Would You Invite This Person to YOUR Reunion?

DSC01640 Nana, nana, nana, nana, nana, nana, nana, nana, BAT MOM!

DSC01639 Happy Halloween!

Bat Mom was a hit at the office.  I carried my “Cooking with BAT-ter” cookbook, ready to beat up some Batter.  I wore a shawl this time because I’m getting a little older.  I’m more like BatGrandma.  (Actually, I lost my cape.  I couldn’t find my Batman shirt either.  I think I must have thrown them away after the flood or something.)  My lovely bat earrings, which can’t be seen in the picture, accented my eyeware and apparel.  My huge glasses are necessary because, as you know, bats are blind!  The antenna, though not usually found on real bats, provided the sonar needed so I didn’t bump into objects. 

Most everyone in the office dressed up.  We had a couple witches (we normally don’t have any witchy people in our office!), we had a couple pirates, an alligator, a cat (the cat had to watch out for the alligator so she didn’t get eaten.) and a hippie.  One of the doctors was a sheriff dressed in black, another was a pirate.  The doctor I work with showed up in an orange polo shirt and regular pants.  He said that was the best he could do.  So, I told him he could be one of the cell phone guys like Chad.  (If only he would’ve put some gel in his hair to make it stand up!) One of the nurses was a “retro girl” dressed like the 1980’s with leggings and a baggy cutoff sweatshirt like in Flashdance or Footloose.  Another nurse was a 1950’s girl with a poodle skirt.  We also had a Booster Mom, with lots of picture buttons of her kids and high school sports buttons.  Very cute!  Another nurse was an American Girl in a matching outfit with her American Girl doll.  Everyone looked great! 

Joe leaves for Des Moines this afternoon to see his friend who always has a big Halloween bash every year.  She just finished mortician school!  Anyway, Joe has a kilt and a sword and is going to dress up as William Wallace (“Braveheart”).  The party lasts all weekend!  I’m glad he is carpooling with his former roommate who is a very responsible person.

Mike is going to be a leprechaun tonight.  The band is playing for the football game, so their director told them to wear costumes since it’s Halloween.  (Burke [#5] is in the playoffs and is up against Bellevue West [#7] tonight.  Burke lost to Bellevue West during the regular season, so hopefully, they can redeem themselves tonight!) 

Mike and I were in Lincoln last night.  (Dennis was sick so couldn’t come with us.) We went to the Omaha World-Herald Honors dinner with UNL.  It was held at the Embassy Suites downtown.  Very nice.  I think around 400 kids from across the state were honored.

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The Burke band received a Superior at State in Lincoln last weekend.  They had a great year, with all Superiors!  They placed 7th in the State and their drumline was #1. We band parents had an ice cream social for them Wednesday to celebrate.  Their performance this year was a real “crowd pleaser,” and it was fun to sit in the audience and hear the comments from non-Burke people.

They did “Crime Wave” which had very lively music.  At the beginning, the band (police) march the prisoners out. The prisoners are the drums and the flag girls dressed in orange.  A speaker gives an intro like on “Law and Order”…”In the criminal justice system…” The band puts the drums and flags in “jail”, a huge prop built by the parents.  The prisoners try to break out and finally do, when the band isn’t looking.  One of the flag girls, dressed up like a Keystone Kop, runs through the band, blowing her whistle and shaking the nightstick as the band marches in formations.  The drums and flags hide behind a graffiti-filled wall.  Then the band discovers them and the speaker says, “Come out with your hands up!”  The band hold their instruments like weapons.  The drums come out, doing their cadence.  It is a really fast and really cool!  Then everyone is marching around very quickly in many formations.  Before you know it, the prisoners have put the band in the jail! 

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Drum line (#1 in the State)

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Flags in jail

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“Police” have weapons drawn

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Halloween Costumes

Do you dress up for Halloween?  Since I am over 50 and going on 10, I do. 

At work, we were trying to decide about dressing up for Halloween. One pediatric office is dressing up using a “theme.”  They are wearing their old prom or bridesmaids dresses and will be beauty queens.  My old office did this a few years back, so I feel like this other office is “copying!”  (And I’m telling!)  It is a cute idea.  Our old office wore the dresses, sashes and tiaras.  The sashes said things like “Miss Communication,” “Miss Understood,”  “Miss Guided,” “Miss Informed,” etc.  It was fun.

Our office isn’t doing a theme.  We will each just pick something to wear.  Today one of the nurses said she might wear a pig’s snout and blanket and go as a pig-in-a-blanket.  She saw it on TV.  I am going to be Bat Mom.  I have decided to resurrect my old Bat Mom costume from years ago. 

When Joe was 3 years old (19 years ago!) he was a huge Batman fan.  He refused to answer to anything but “Bat Joe.”  If you called him just Joe, he totally ignored you.  Three-year-olds are fun that way.  He prefaced everything with “Bat.”  He called David, “Bat Dave,” Dennis was “Bat Dad,” he ate his “Bat lunch” and slept in his “Bat bed” which was in his “Bat room.”  Guess who he dressed up as for Halloween that year?!  It inspired me to dress as Bat Mom.  I got some bat earrings and a bat headband, the kind with the boingy bats on top.  I had a Batman t-shirt, found a long black skirt and made a Bat Mom apron.  It was pretty cute.  That night, little Bat Joe and his Bat Mom traveled the neighborhood, trick-or-treating, hand-in-hand.

A couple years ago when the White Sox won the World Series, I dressed as the White Sox.  I wore a sweatsuit that I covered with white gym sox.  I had on a Sox baseball cap and carried an inflatable bat.  One lady didn’t get it and asked if I was suppose to be a gym locker!  My boys were aghast because they are Cubs fans.

Aside: I believe I can be both a Cubs and a White Sox fan.  Mike tells me it’s impossible.  He says it’s like being for the Union and the Confederates in the Civil War. I think he’s nuts.  I do prefer the Cubs, but I root for the Sox, too.  

Another year I was a Catholic school girl with a plaid skirt, bobby sox, white blouse and a huge wig like the 1960’s.

Last year I had to do a flu clinic at work on Halloween.  I put on an old blonde mullet wig that one of my boys had for a previous Halloween and I found a big syringe and needle kind of like Steve Martin’s arrow-through-the-head prop.  It was fun to see the kids’ reactions when saw that needle sticking through my head.  I think the mullet startled them more than the syringe…although that syringe caused a lot of curiosity and concern!

Joe has outgrown his “Bat Days” although he still like to watch Super Hero movies like Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man, etc.  The boys are too old to trick-or-treat anymore (although I have to hide the candy until Halloween night or I won’t have any to hand out to the kids!)  I don’t put out all the decorations I used to when they were little, but I have a few knickknacks here and there to remind us of the season.  And I won’t be doing a flu clinic on Halloween this year and scaring children with needles.  But we will still turn our porch light on and wait for the ghosts and goblins to show up…and I will wear my Bat Mom apron and earrings. 

Tell me about your Halloween costumes! 

Gas for $2.49 a Gallon Today!

I just got home from the gas station where I paid $2.49 a gallon!  I can’t figure out what is going on!  Gas prices skyrocketed a few months ago and my 401K was losing a little bit.  Now, gas is down and my 401K is a 104K! Crazy times we live in. 

People are gradually sending back their questionnaires.  Thank you very much!  I still am waiting for several, though.  I had two letter returned this time with no forwarding address.  I think that is a record!  Most of the addresses I have now must be current (although I didn’t send out questionnaires to people whose addresses I already knew were incorrect.)  I got Connie and Steve P’s letter back as well as John Stm.’s  If anyone has their new addresses, please email them to me.

Thanks for the pictures for the DVD, too!  A word about the way to send those…if you can use JPG or JPEG, it is much easier to put in the folder for the DVD.  BMP also works, although I’m not sure the picture is quite as clear.  It’s OK, though.  If you copy and paste to something like Microsoft Word, it doesn’t work.  When I try to retrieve them, the colors are distorted and the pictures are pixilated.  If in doubt, you can always mail them to me and I can scan them and return them to you.  I am receiving some really good pictures, so thank you so much!  The more we have, the better the DVD will be.

Thank you to Cheryl for sending a donation to the class fund!  We have some very generous classmates!  Twenty-eight classmates have added to our funds.  Their names will be included in the reunion booklet.

Our weekends have been full of marching band events.  Last week we were in Lincoln at “LINKS”  It was held at Lincoln High and 39 bands participated!  The comeptition started at 11:30 and lasted until almost 11:00 pm!  Long day!  Burke performed at 6:30.  Dennis, Joe and I went down to Lincoln early so we could watch the football game and not worry about getting to Lincoln High in time.  It almost didn’t happen when NU and Texas Tech went into overtime! 

We got to Lincoln around 1:30.  We thought we’d go to Old Chicago in the Haymarket for lunch.  We found a parking place right across the street from Brewsky’s so I said, “Let’s go there instead!”  I had never been to Brewsky’s and I was getting kind of tired of Old Chicago.  It turned out to be great fun.  The crowd there was wonderful.  Brewsky’s has televisions everywhere, even in the bathrooms, so you don’t miss a bit of the game.  It was a lot of fun.  The Vegas bookies had Nebraska down by 20 points, and here we tied the game and went into overtime!  I imagine some gamblers lost some money on that one! 

We rushed over to Lincoln High in time to see one band perform before the awards ceremony.  They had a “halfway” awards ceremony for those schools who had played earlier in the day.  Burke went on right after the ceremony.  I felt bad for them because the poor kids were standing on the outside of the field for almost a half hour while the awards drug on (the awards were only suppose to be 15 minutes long.)  Then, when Burke finally marched out, the Lincoln coordinators were having trouble with the sound system, so our kids stood at full attention for another 20-30 minutes!  One of the clarinets got sick and threw up.  They took her off the field.  Apparently, the judges were impressed with the kids, though, and commented on how disciplined they were standing at attention for so long.  When the band finally got to play, there were a few glitches at the beginning, but the kids soon were in their game and ended up scoring a “Superior!”  Our color guard and drum line got “Best of the Show” out of almost 40 bands!  It was really neat!

This weekend is OMI (Omaha Marching Invitational).  It goes from 11:30 until 5:30, so it’s not as long as LINKS was.  Burke is the host school and the invitational is sponsored by OPS.  All the OPS schools participate as well as other Omaha school districts, surrounding towns, western Iowa and southestern South Dakota.  There are so many talented bands out there.  It’s fun to watch the kids perform.  I am chair person for OMI at Burke, so I have volunteers lined up to work at concessions and the ticket areas.  Hopefully, the weather cooperates with us and we have another beautiful fall day.

Here is a picture from the Columbus competition and parade earlier in the month.  Burke got a “Superior” there, too.  They have a great show this year. (The kids didn’t wear their hats for the parade.  They have new uniforms this year.  Black gloves and all.)

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Keep those questionnaires, emails and pictures coming.  By the way, we are having a meeting November 8th at Bill F’s.  If anyone is in or near Lincoln that weekend, please join us.  Email me for details.

Also, Dan J left me a message on the blog.  I don’t know if you guys can get to it, so I will copy and paste it here. I think you can connect with Dan’s blog from here.  His is ndnflyr.  I think it’s listed on the left side. (When I look at the blog, I may see something different than you do since I can edit, add, etc.)

Beautiful Fall Day

We are having a beautiful fall day here.  I commented that I wish we could have weather like this all the time!  One of my friends said, “We don’t want that! Then everyone would want to live here!”

It has been a busy week and it’s barely half over.  Saturday was the parade and band competition in Columbus.  Mike’s band got a Superior!  They put on a great show (although Mike thought they made lots of mistakes.  I told him, “Apparently, the judges didn’t think so!”)  Now, it’s on to LINKS next week.

More marching Tuesday at the Omaha Marching Exhibition.  OME featured all the OPS schools.  It was a beautiful evening at Central High (after a raining day Monday).  A little on the nippy side, but I loved it!

Today was packed full for me.  I had to go to a meeting at work at 8 am, then it was off to speak at a church circle meeting.  I had a lot of fun with that!  I spoke in front of about 60 ladies.  I talked about being a writer, telling our stories, and topics of my stories.  I read them the canteen story from “Chicken Soup for the Veteran’s Soul” and gave them the background of how I happened to write that story.  I got a lot of positive feedback from the audience with that story.   Then, I read “The Letter,” a story in another anthology book about a premature baby I took care of many years ago.  I asked if they wanted to hear more stories, and they did.  Each time I thought I was going to wrap up my talk, they wanted to hear another story.  It was great!  I even sold a couple of the “Chicken Soup” books. (I don’t make much on those; just enough to cover the cost.  I charge less than retail price because I figure the people have had to listen to me drone on.)  My theme was it’s important to tell your stories.  So many kids today are getting their stories from the television, movies, computer, I-Pods, that they are missing out on all the wonderful family stories out there.  Do you remember sitting at your grandma’s knee and hearing all the great stories about growing up in the 1920’s, or the Depression stories or WWII?  Our stories are being lost, too.  Kids think the hippie era was like what they see on “That 70’s Show.”  Did we live like those kids do?  I don’t think so (unless I was in a different world at the time!)  I remember Mr. Hamlin telling us that, “Those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it.”  We need to let our children know about the past so they won’t repeat the same mistakes as generations before them did.

After my talk, I hurried back to the office because we were celebrating our first anniversary of the new computer system.  (It was my boss’ idea to recognize the day in some way.)  I made certificates for our Super Users and for the people who trained us.  It happens to be Yom Kippur today, too, so I mentioned we should all atone for our bad thoughts and curses toward the computer system!  My boss gave the Super Users and trainers flowers and I took a couple pictures while we ate cake.  (I used to work with one of the trainers.  She was a nurse at the other office with me.  She joked that she drove all the way out to our office and she wasn’t leaving without cake!)

Now, I am home and it’s a mess.  I didn’t have time to pick up much this morning, so dishes need done and things need put away.  But…instead I’m writing on the blog!  I have an appointment for a hair cut in 30 minutes anyway, so why bother doing chores yet?  Excuses, excuses.

I found time today to sign up for NaNoWriMo.  November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  Writers from all over the world sign on to the website and try to write a 50,000 word novel in a month.  The quanity is important, not the quality!  The point is to sit down and write, or as one author says “Get your “BIC” (Butt in Chair)”  This will be my second attempt.  I am getting an earlier start, so that may help.  At least I signed up in October instead of the second week of November, so I should be ready to go Nov. 1.

One of the church ladies asked me today if I had a blog.  I told her, “Sort of.”  It gave me food for thought, that maybe I should set up a writing blog.  When the reunion is over next year, I don’t know if I will continue this or not, so if I had a second blog I devoted to writing, that may work out well.  What do you think? 

Keep those questionnaires and pictures coming!!

 

 

Questionnaires

The questionnaires have been sent out and I am hearing back from people gradually.  I mailed 35 via US Mail and the rest were by email.  Thank you to Terry B for a couple more Senior pictures I needed.  Thank you to Sandy for her email address and another address.  So far, I have had one “Return to Sender” letter.  It was from Scott F.  If you have his current address, please let me know.  The reunion booklet is starting to take shape. 

Last weekend was River City Round Up and the Burke band played in the parade.  The parade used to be one of my favorites, but this year it was very disappointing.  There were lots of beautiful horses, as usual, but hardly any floats and only three bands!  Yutan, North High and Burke were the only bands in the parade.  Later, we found out that most of the area marching bands were in Sioux City at a competition!  We weren’t too happy to hear that!  Now the other schools have a “leg up” on us! The slide show above is of the parade.

Burke’s first competition is Columbus this weekend.  The band will march in the parade in the morning, then compete in the afternoon.  It will be the first time we see their entire performance.  They did part of it at a football game a couple weeks ago and it looked good.  It’s a “cops and robbers” theme and the music they play is called “Crime Wave.” 

Mike has been receiving offers from colleges because he is a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.  We are amazed at all the colleges that are sending him offers for scholarships! And he hasn’t even begun to apply for scholarships!  Mike, his girlfriend, her mom and I are going to Lincoln Friday for the Red Letter Day.  It’s an all-day event where we tour the college and find out about all the activities, programs, and campus life at UNL.  Then, the end of October, Mike, Dennis and I will be attending a special dinner they have for Honor students from across the state.  I don’t know where Mike gets his “smarts!”  I tease that aliens came to Earth and took my “real son,” leaving Alien Mike behind.  Mike is in the top 6% of his class. He told me the other day that a friend was teasing him that, if he had Chris’s mother, he would #1 in the class!  Apparently, her mother really pushes her and even helps her with her homework, making sure she’s on track.  I said, “Yea, blame your mother!  It’s always the mother’s fault!”  Unfortunately, Mike inherited my procrastination gene because he would have even better grades if he turned everything in on time!  Again…the mother’s fault!

Keep those questionnaires and pictures coming!!