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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/abranson
Rated: 18+ · Book · Experience · #1578384
You never know what you'll find - humor, ramblings, rants, randomness- it's all me!
This description part is challenging. I never know what I will blog about until I start typing. I do know there will be typos. I don't reread or correct my blog. Otherwise it turns technical instead of my feelings and thoughts. Trust me, on stories and poems I'm a grammaraholic, but this is freedom. Sometimes to keep it from getting too personal, I even turn my head away while I type. Weird, right?. I hope you find this somewhat entertaining, thought-provoking, and humorous. *Inlove*

Let's cross our fingers.
A little about me. The most important things in my life are family, especially my son, Reese, and my husband, Bruce, my walk with God, and making a positive impact in some way. I am a teacher, currently teaching 6th grade Language Arts. While at times my job can be trying, overall, it is one of the most rewarding passions in my life.

My best friend, my son Figured since my son is about to graduate high school, I might want to update his pic.


This is my wonderful son, Reese. He is now 20 and and a junior at Oklahoma State University. I may be partial, but he is an exceptional kid with the best heart I've ever known. He makes me laugh, think, and want to be a better person. We are both huge Oklahoma State Cowboy fans - Gooooooo Pokes!

My son's dog - Betty

This is Reese's dog, Betty. She shares a name with my mother. Reese named her that because she was beautiful and kind just like his Nanny (my mom). I'm not sure my mom is quite convinced it is a compliment though. Betty is a huge part of our family. She even had her own blog for awhile.

Poke around at your leisure and shake your head at some of things that go through mine. I always return reviews/comments, though admittedly, sometimes it does take me awhile depending on what life is serving me at that point.

Keeping the faith,
Audra


my newest sig

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January 11, 2021 at 7:48pm
January 11, 2021 at 7:48pm
#1001902
I realize making a New Year's Resolution usually takes place at the start of a, well, new year, but as with many things I'm running behind. But this morning, it came to me. I would give up cursing! Yet, even I knew there was no way I could go cold turkey. It's not like I'm potty mouth of the year or cuss like a truck driver. Where did that saying even come from? I mean why truck drivers? There is no one even with them for them to hear them curse or know if they let a little d-word or f-word slip. I'm sorry, truck drivers, for the stereotype. Or was it sailors? Why would sailors cuss more than, say, nurses? Hmmm....We may have to do some research. Back to the point (possibly), I decided to give up a curse word a week....you know, just to be realistic.

Anyway, like I said, it's not like it is a chronic condition with me, but I am a teacher - so I have a fear of dropping a stapler on my foot and letting a damn or shit slip out. (The word, not the actual fecal matter - though at times I have been scared of that slipping out, too.) I decided to give up 'fuck' and all forms of the word.

Boy, was that fucking stupid! I didn't even make it to 7 fucking o'clock. I don't remember exactly how I used it, but it was followed by "Well, fuck! I just broke my fucking resolution." It is clear I don't do well with failure. I realized I had to change my mindset, because there must be some relationship going on between my thoughts and my vocal cords. (Even though, my vocal chords are quite great at filtering my thoughts during school hours....my eyes, not so much,)

Things like this:

Mrs. Branson, I couldn't do my assignment that you gave us a month to do, because I had the first wrestling practice yesterday.

My brain says: Are you fucking kidding me?
My voice says: Do you think your coach will think that's a valid excuse when I call him?

or

Someone is writing on the board and a girl says, "Why is it so small?"
Someone replies, "That's what she said."

My brain says: Who the fuck said that?
My voice says: You are in 6th grade; you need to wait until you're a little older to be that inappropriate.

So anyway, it was a fuck of a day. I tried not to give a fuck, but I'm human...I do still have a heart, withered though it may be.

Here is the best thing I learned though! It's educational, so get ready to learn something. I'm an English teacher so I really like words and forms of them...pretty much everything about them. When I was trying to decide why I failed my resolution so quickly, I realized it is because the word 'fuck' is amazingly impressive. It is one of those words that can be almost any part of speech.

Verb - Have you fucked yet?
Noun - I don't give a fuck; why should you?
Adjective - He is so fucking cute!
Interjection - FUCK! I broke my resolution!
Adverb - He fucking screamed so loud when he stubbed his toe.
Pronoun - That fuck over there took my parking spot.
Conjunction - I'm so tired; fuck, I could sleep all week.

7 out of 8 parts of speech! That's fucking awesome. I don't think it can technically be a preposition, but what the fuck do I know?

You have to admire a word that is so versatile, yet also frowned upon in certain social settings. I mean I am still going to try to eliminate it from my vocabulary, but it's versatility will always fucking impress me.


If this offended you, I am truly sorry. BUT on the other hand, you didn't have to keep fucking reading.

Peace,
Audra

July 9, 2020 at 4:50pm
July 9, 2020 at 4:50pm
#987666
Well, I wrote a whole blog entry on things I didn't want to write about, but it disappeared. I guess I will call it divine intervention so you didn't have to see my negative feelings.


I wrote, that should count for something.

Gratitudes:
1. New coffee pot
2. Slow cookers
3. Picking up embroidery again
4. Watching a Lifetime movie for the first time in years.
April 10, 2018 at 10:19am
April 10, 2018 at 10:19am
#932497
I will probably second guess myself and delete this post, but I have to write it because it is eating me up inside. I just saw a post that April 2nd is bring your kid to work day. Maybe we need a bring your parent or even a politician to school day.
That plan needs some work though, because when I have all students in attendance I'm short a chair. There is very little room to move around as it is with 30 in a class. I'm not sure where we would fit everyone, but I do wish they could experience a day at school with overcrowding and underfunding.
I love my school. I love my kids, and I love the community. I value the support I receive from all of these.
That being said, until you live it you can't realize how different education is from when we went to school. I'm not talking about technology or educational standards. I'm referring to being a priority. How was it even ever okay to cut funding for education? Were we over valuing our children...their futures...our state's future? Who in their right mind said 'You know we are really putting too high of a price on kids'?
Or were they smart? Maybe they realized teachers and administrators love what they do so much they would take up the slack. Because we do. We have fundraisers in communities where the majority of the kids qualify for free and reduced lunches. The money for these fundraisers go for things our kids should not have to ask for. Chairs, supplies, electives, field trips!
I have spent over $100 since January on pencils. Yes, pencils! Why? Because my kids need them. Teachers do this all the time, because it's the right thing to do.
I'm not saying I'm not thankful for a raise, because I am. Teachers deserve it. But please hear these words....OUR KIDS SHOULD NEVER BE A CUTBACK. Give them what they need to flourish. Invest in them! Value them! Respect them! Oklahoma students should know they are a top priority.
They deserve proper funding. Let them have the opportunity to experience putting on a drama play or having a reasonable class size. Provide for them what our generation got to experience! Your kids are worth so much more.
Teachers see it. My heart aches that not everybody does.
April 10, 2018 at 10:19am
April 10, 2018 at 10:19am
#932496
I will probably second guess myself and delete this post, but I have to write it because it is eating me up inside. I just saw a post that April 2nd is bring your kid to work day. Maybe we need a bring your parent or even a politician to school day.
That plan needs some work though, because when I have all students in attendance I'm short a chair. There is very little room to move around as it is with 30 in a class. I'm not sure where we would fit everyone, but I do wish they could experience a day at school with overcrowding and underfunding.
I love my school. I love my kids, and I love the community. I value the support I receive from all of these.
That being said, until you live it you can't realize how different education is from when we went to school. I'm not talking about technology or educational standards. I'm referring to being a priority. How was it even ever okay to cut funding for education? Were we over valuing our children...their futures...our state's future? Who in their right mind said 'You know we are really putting too high of a price on kids'?
Or were they smart? Maybe they realized teachers and administrators love what they do so much they would take up the slack. Because we do. We have fundraisers in communities where the majority of the kids qualify for free and reduced lunches. The money for these fundraisers go for things our kids should not have to ask for. Chairs, supplies, electives, field trips!
I have spent over $100 since January on pencils. Yes, pencils! Why? Because my kids need them. Teachers do this all the time, because it's the right thing to do.
I'm not saying I'm not thankful for a raise, because I am. Teachers deserve it. But please hear these words....OUR KIDS SHOULD NEVER BE A CUTBACK. Give them what they need to flourish. Invest in them! Value them! Respect them! Oklahoma students should know they are a top priority.
They deserve proper funding. Let them have the opportunity to experience putting on a drama play or having a reasonable class size. Provide for them what our generation got to experience! Your kids are worth so much more.
Teachers see it. My heart aches that not everybody does.
January 6, 2018 at 5:10pm
January 6, 2018 at 5:10pm
#926512
Teaching - it’s not too far-fetched to say it’s in my blood. My great-grandfather was the Dean of Education in Alva. My grandmother on my dad’s side taught into her 70’s. My mom was a teacher; my brother teaches and coaches. I could go on and on: cousins, aunts, nieces.

Growing up a teacher’s kid, you see the rewarding aspects as well as the ‘challenging’ elements. When I was ten, there was a writing contest for Mother’s Day. I loved to write, was competitive, and my mom was (and is) one of my heroes; therefore, the contest appealed to me. I started it with: “My mom has 43 kids. Three are her biological children; forty are her kindergarten students.” Reflecting back, it amazes me that even then I understood that teachers are invested in far more than educational content. My mother modeled this. Day in and day out, we were one of the first at school and one of the last to leave. I saw her freely give love and acceptance to each five-year-old. It didn’t matter if their jeans had holes in the knees, they knew how to write their name, or she knew their families; they were her kids during those nine months.

I won the writing contest. My mom received flowers, and I learned there are such things as happy tears. But even then I didn’t know for sure that I wanted to be a teacher.

At the age of thirteen, I began teaching baton twirling at our local studio in Crescent. It may seem young, but when you’ve done something for ten of those thirteen years and pretended to teach a majority of that time, it seems natural. I loved it! By high school, I was teaching almost a hundred students which is quite a few for a small town. Many won at both the state and national level. I also tutored younger students. You would think when people asked what I wanted to major in, the answer would naturally be ‘education’. However, that wasn’t the case.

I’m not sure when it started, but my mom would often tell me, “You don’t have to be a teacher.” I know it wasn’t because she had lost her passion for education; but more likely, she didn’t want me to limit my options just because it was what I knew. However, at the time I think I saw it more as a challenge to do something different. That is why when people inquired about my future goals, I proudly responded that I was going to major in Psychology.

I paid for college teaching dance and twirling. I received my B.A. in Psychology and continued to teach dance and twirling. At a glance, it might appear that I was stuck in a rut, but I wasn’t. I loved kids. I loved teaching. I loved seeing kids progress and crave more challenges. Plus, when you work with kids, or probably people in general, you do use psychology to a degree, so I was convinced I hadn’t wasted money. At least, that’s what I told myself.

One of my favorite things ever was visiting my grandmother and talking about her life. It was a spring afternoon when I asked her if she had any regrets. This rather feisty woman turned the tables and asked me if I did. I thought for a few minutes, because you don’t lie to your Mema! Looking down at my hands, I admitted that I wished I had become a teacher. When you say dreams out loud, they gain potential; and it is up to you what you do with that potential.

I glanced up to meet Mema’s eyes. She replied, “So, do it.” I rebuffed explaining there was no way I could go back to school, raise a son, and work full-time at the age of thirty-three.

With that twinkle of stubbornness and love in her eye, she responded. “Oh, thirty-three is the age we stop going for our dreams? Wow, I wish someone would have told me that about fifty-two years ago. Life would’ve been so much easier. . . and unfulfilling. Audra Lea, you have never turned your back on a challenge when you knew what you wanted.”

I went back to school and got my teaching certification. I am so thankful that I did! I had help from all those teachers in my family and Mema, who never desired to teach even though she did in endless ways.

August 11, 2017 at 10:21am
August 11, 2017 at 10:21am
#917305
I sit bed side at the greatest woman I know. In 97 years she's seen so much; in 48 years, I've learned a mountain of knowledge from her.

She's dying, at home as is her wish. I feel guilty because my sadness over losing her is greater than my happiness for her to go to the blessed life after.

She is not in pain, but she is not herself. She would hate for anyone to see her like this. My prayer is that her spirit and mind are not completely here right now. Her determination to care for us and not being able to would bring her anguish.

She was born before women had the right to vote. She had her first kiss at 11. Lied about her age at 17 so she could get a job as she finished business school early. Had her tonsils out as an adult with only ether for anesthesia. Made every Easter dress I ever had. Volunteered at the Senior Center when she was 20 years older than many of those she served. Mowed her own lawn and did maintence on the mower until she was 94.

I could go on and on about the example she has set for not only us but all who know her. I miss her already, even as she squeezes my hand. Thank you, God, for the gift of Mema.

Rest dear Mema and thank you for everything,
Audra

Gratitudes:
1. I am grateful for being able to help take care of Mema....she has spent a lifetime serving others.
2. I am thankful for sister Amy and her knowledge as a hospice nurse to help us during this time.
3. I am appreciative of the rain and cooler weather.
4. I am grateful for the caregivers and their compassion.
July 1, 2017 at 5:23pm
July 1, 2017 at 5:23pm
#914515
The Dilemma of Alone Time

This is truly a dilemma in my world. I don't get much time completely to myself, and the majority of the time I'm fine with it because I actually love being around my husband and son. To clarify, I enjoy being around whomever I'm around, because I'm way passed that point in my life of spending time with people I don't like being around.

But, there are times when I need alone time. I'm not sure exactly why. I think maybe because I spent so much of my life as a single mom of one child. So I did have quite a bit of time to myself. Or maybe, I'm just a bitch. Either one works.

The thing now though is when I get alone time, I'm torn between being super productive and being a sloth. Part of me wants to utilize the time organizing the cupboards and the other part wants under the comfy blanket watching any channel I want no matter how terrible the show.

I'm not facing this dilemma right now; I just found myself pondering what I would do. I think I would sleep today. For some reason I'm exhausted. Bruce said I talked all night and I was sad, so maybe this is night depression hang over.

I don't need near as much alone time as I do during the school year. I think it comes from constantly being talked to by several people at a time all day long and them expected an answer or decision from me. You know...life. I used to have my son give me 30 minutes down time after school so I could regroup and attempt sanity. He really was great about it. But then again, who would want to talk to their mom when she has psycho face on. He's a smart kid. He knew he'd have a much better chance of me agreeing to take him to Popeye's Chicken if I wasn't still hearing the echo of "Mrs. Branson....Mrs. Branson....Hey, Mrs. Branson.... Mrs. Branson, Could you.... Technically, at that time I was Ms. Ralls, but I like Mrs. Branson so much more.

Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not sure if I am having alone time right now or not. I don't hear Reese or Bruce, but I don't remember hearing them telling me they were going somewhere. Oh my gosh, is this alone time?! I could go upstairs and look but, well, I already told you I'm tired and sloth-like.

Anyone home?,
Audra

Gratitudes:

1. I'm grateful for our lovey cats, Matt and Indy.
2. I appreciate the ease of a touchscreen.
3. I'm thankful no bill collectors called today - or if they did, I didn't answer.
4. I'm appreciative of prayers.
June 30, 2017 at 9:50pm
June 30, 2017 at 9:50pm
#914464
Seriously, Free?!

There is not much teachers love more than free school supplies. . . except maybe a couple of snow days or an extra jean day at school!

I saw a Facebook post that Galleria Furniture in Oklahoma City was offering free binders for teachers to use in their classrooms. There is always that sort of skeptical side of you when the word 'free' is used - like - hmmm. . . What organ am I going to have to donate? or 'Maybe, they are free because they have the poop emoji on them or a swastika'. But, I decided since we had an appointment in the city anyway it was worth the risk. I asked for 30 (stating less would be fine - I had no idea how many was okay to ask for). I figured that would give me enough for my homeroom class. And being in a low income school and in Oklahoma where we are the lowest funded of all states, my kids need all the help they can get.

When I arrived (still somewhat cautious), they gave me a 'form' to fill out. I thought, "Here it comes. Which organ shall I part with? Or how many pieces of furniture do I have to agree to purchase in the next 20 years?" BUT - it was a form asking me what else we could use in the classroom for future purchases and grants they apply for! I wasn't shy about that list: paper, pencils, one subject notebooks, colored pencils, erasers, glue sticks (I hate them), pencil bags (I'm an optimist - I'm pretending my students will keep up with pencils), etc. I did feel a little bold, but they asked. I figured they'd rather purchase things we really need rather than things we would never take out of the cabinet.

They then ask me to pull around to the back and they would load the binders for me. I thought to myself, "I think I can handle loading 30 binders, but okay. This pampering thing isn't too bad."

I was met by a young lady with a smile - I'm pretty sure I might be in Eden. She gets my boxes ready - and there were a lot of them! I told her I had only reserved 30 binders. She smiled and nodded and kept loading boxes in my car. When I peeked in an open box these were huge, nice binders! Some of them had 4 inch spines and the others had 5 inch spines with multiple slots to shove work your teacher has handed back that you probably won't look at much less show your parents. :)

After I had said thank you about 40 times and was getting ready to leave, she asked if I would also like some books for my students; they had some left over from their last give away! Books left over? What kind of crazy talk is this? These were FANTASTIC books! Hard back, never used, authors and subjects my kids love. She let me take 2 bags full! It felt like grown-up Christmas!

This act of kindness has inspired the heck out of me. For the moment, I am pumped about the start of school, not begging the calendar countdown to slow down (I'm sure that may resurface again the closer it gets). I really think the reason for my euphoria, besides my love of office supplies, is that someone thought of us (teachers) and our kids! Not just thought, but acted.

You see, no one becomes a teacher to get rich or at times be able to pay their bills. I chose this profession because I knew it was what I was supposed to do. I knew the score. I come from a long line of teachers (who told me not to be a teacher). And most times, I think the majority of teachers don't get down about their salaries or the work they put in, but it does happen.

You can only hear people say, "Wow, you teachers don't get paid near enough" and then nothing changes. Tax increases are voted down that would allow education to have more money, yet people still shake their heads in awe of the fact that we teach their kids.

I have to admit, Oklahoma is probably one of the worst. After teaching going on 14 years, I have yet to make as much as I did as a dance instructor. We haven't received a raise in 10 years. We could go 3 hours in any direction to cross state lines and have an immediate pay increase of about $10,000. Oh yeah, and have supplies bought for our rooms. Even our state teacher of the year for 2016 moved to Texas. I don't blame him, but my home is here. And these kids need teachers who care, too.

My point is the small gestures do matter. Not that I view these books and binders as small. Heck, I figure they are worth about $300.00. Money I would have spent if my class was lacking. But this made me feel valued. It made me excited for my students and I don't even know them yet! Above all, it was done with a smile!

Whether it is teachers, nurses, garbage men, your parents, etc., show them they are valued. Maybe it's not a binder, but a hand written note, an iced tea, a set of Sharpies. . .just take the time to do. It seriously does make a difference.

Thank you Galleria Furniture,
Audra

Gratitudes:

1. I appreciate pure kindness.
2. I am grateful that inspiration comes in many forms.
3. I am thankful for my new scales (someday, maybe I will be thankful for the # I see when I stand on them.) :)
4. I am thankful for orchids.
June 29, 2017 at 10:55pm
June 29, 2017 at 10:55pm
#914393
First year at a new school in a new town going from 8th to 6th grade.

I've taught 13 years so I thought I had been exposed to about everything, which just goes to show you I'm a slow learner. What I should have learned is there is always going to be something unexpected.

Here is my top 4 of 2016/17:

1. I depants myself while teaching during the 3rd week of school. I had lost some weight, and made the poor decision to wear spanks with slick pants. So I'm walking around the room, teaching, engaging blah blah blah. I pause and actually say, "What do I keep stepping on?" Yep, it was my pants, all the way down to my ankles. No idea just how long they had been falling. So I verbalize it, because I rarely have an unexpressed thought. "Well, dang! My pants fell down." Of course, I'm trying desperately to pull them up, but you know how it is the more you need to do something the longer it takes you. It was not a pretty sight. No doubt the kids were scarred as much as I was.

2. Two boys put a paperclip in an outlet to see if it really would shock you. It does, as well as shoot a flame up the wall. Where was I? (No, not pulling up my pants again.) Talking with another student about why you are not allowed to sell Takis at school.

3. This one is terrible. I was being observed my the superintendent; this usually doesn't bother me. I don't put on a dog and pony show; I just teach. Well, I must have been a little nervous with being a new school and all, because while going over the emergency procedures instead of saying evacuate the building, I said ejaculate the building. I just kept going praying the kids weren't listening and the superintendent didn't catch it. He must not have because I still have a job.

4. A group of boys met in the bathroom before school and put koolaid packet mix in their mouths to see who could keep it in there the longest. Apparently, it came out in a great spray of blue all over the mirrors, sinks, and floors. They thought I was a genius when I figured out who had done it. Considering, their teeth and lips are probably still stained blue, I didn't have to be Sherlock Holmes.

But, overall it was a great year and provided me with some wonderfully entertaining stories.

Thank goodness for summer,
Audra

Gratitudes:
1. I appreciate the smells and sounds of rain.
2. I am thankful for long baths.
3. I value my quiet mornings.
4. I am thankful for books that pull you in from the beginning.
June 28, 2017 at 7:24pm
June 28, 2017 at 7:24pm
#914319
Call Me A Creeper,
But I'm Obsessed with Rube & Rene


Who are Rube & Rene? I thought you'd never ask! It's not the latest reality show, but it is TRUE REALITY.

Several years ago, I purchased some old letters off ebay. I probably thought I would use them in class or something, but I'd never gotten around to reading them. Today I came across them while going through some boxes.

I laughed and told my husband that we should read them and see what juicy tidbits were happening in 1920 in North Carolina. I had no idea!

It is this amazing love story between Rube (aka H.F. Walthall) and Rene. It is so addictive. I found myself saying 'I'll just read one more letter'. It's like binge watching a Netflix series but I'm holding the actually letters in my hands.

Rene is a teacher in North Carolina during these letters, but she's put in her 3 weeks notice that she will stay until winter break because she can't bare to be away from Rube, who is in Virginia, any longer. She is a widow with two children, Mundy and Johnnie. Johnnie is old enough to be married (her husband is away), but young enough to need help with a math problem now and then.

Rene writes Rube at least twice a day. Her letters don't have the date just the day of the week, but the envelopes show the date and whether it was a.m. or p.m. when they were stamped.

Stamps were 2 cents and just needed a name and city and town. Her handwriting is such perfect old cursive that sometimes I stumble on the word. It's gorgeous!

She mostly writes of her undying love and devotion to Rene, but other things put me back in the time period. One example is she writes of a lot of gun fire and people partaking late into the night; she assumes that means Harding was elected but they won't know anything certain for a bit.

But so many things are just like it's not almost a century ago. She has a cold, and teaching makes her lose her voice. Missing a day of school creates a bit of stress for her. (I know that feeling! It's easier just to be there and feel like poop.)

Her friend, Rebekah, wants to know the scoop on her and Rube, but for now Rene doesn't want to share. She wants to enjoy it all herself. She worries Mother Walthall will think she is too eccentric or frivolous. As it turns out, she doesn't think that at all.

Because of some things she says, I think she and Rube got a little cozy on his last visit. Now I understand clearly the meaning of the term 'roll in the hay', because she talks of how the hay doesn't keep her warm on a cold North Carolina night so she must sleep in her bath robe.

I've done a little research, because I'm a creeper remember, and found that Brookneal, Virginia had about 1,200 people in the 2010 census. Imagine how small it would be in 1920! Sometime around 1918 a men's clothing store was opened there called Walthall & Son. Perhaps, it was Rube and his father's.

I am just in love with this couple and the language and the history. At one point, she says she is afraid people will just refer to her as a gay, grass widow. I had to look up that term. A grass widow is one that is separated from the man they love or he is gone for work often.

Rube kept these letters forever and they are in wonderful shape. At first, I was appalled that someone would then just sell them for next to nothing on ebay, but who am I to judge? Maybe, no one was left. Maybe he hid them in his house and they were recently found by people unrelated to the Walthall family.

I have four letters left, and I was going to try to save them to read tomorrow, but I just can't. Therefore, I must end this blog here.

Thank you, Rube & Rene,
Audra

Gratitudes:
1. I'm grateful for Rube and Rene and their inspiring love and history.
2. I appreciate my son bringing Bruce and me ice cream.
3. I am thankful for my label maker -- I just love it!
4. I am thankful for my dad helping us around our farm.

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