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Oklahoma Teacher Walk-Out My Thoughts | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Oklahoma Teacher Walk-Out – My Thoughts

First of all, I want you to know that I do not claim to know anything about this hot topic.  I can only address what I am hearing and seeing on social media or television. One of my favorite people in this whole world is a teacher in Oklahoma (Love you, Sis!), we have a granddaughter in Oklahoma public schools, and several of my friends are teachers here so, this is why I am concerned. (Yep, that is a run-on sentence. You know that because of a teacher. Hmm)

What I am hearing from the people that are not in the teaching profession is that all the teachers want is a raise.  Wait! Before you teachers start commenting about how wrong that is, let me finish.  This is all about my thoughts, so be sure you read this well before commenting. Read it twice if you need to. One of the main reasons a lot of people think this is because of a certain man in the OEA was heard on the news complaining that the raises that will be given are not enough. Then, our fabulous news media shows it over and over. Social media isn’t much better. I think the OEA needs to get on the same page as the teachers.

What I am hearing from the people that are in the teaching profession is that they would have rather had funding for the classroom than a raise. We need more teachers because they need fewer kids in each classroom, but there’s no money to hire more. We need new textbooks! When kids have to tape their textbooks together to be able to use them, that is no bueno. (Do you know what bueno means? Thank your Spanish teacher.) Oh, and get this, the tape used to tape those textbooks together was bought by the teacher or the parents.

I know that many teachers need a raise.  I know that many of the staff need a raise.  I also know many people who would be looking for a new job if they were not given a raise in a year or two years.  How long have teachers gone without a raise?

What about the funding that the teachers are asking for?  Do you go to work for a company expecting to supply your own pens, staplers, file folders, calculators, computers/tablets, supplies, or coffee (that’s a big one for many)  needed to do your job?  I for one loved being able to pick all new supplies to be provided by my employer when I started a job. I know a teacher that decided not to go to the Capital today to take a stand. Instead, she bought paint and was going to take the day to paint her classroom.  Am I the only one that finds something wrong with this? She bought the paint? And she has to paint the classroom? Why is she doing this? Because, she takes pride in her classroom. She wants her kids to have a nice place to learn. (Yes, I said her kids because believe it or not every teacher I know worth a damn considers them their kids. Just ask one.)

Yes, I know the argument.  Teachers only work nine months out of twelve, and they get paid all year.  They get Spring Break, Thanksgiving and Christmas break, and they only work until four p.m.. I’ve heard it all, in fact I’ve used it. That was a long time ago, and after watching my sister and many teacher friends through the years, I know the facts. The facts are that teachers work almost all year, and they are paid for nine or ten months (I am not positive which) over a twelve month period. They are almost always working over every break they get. They get sick days and/or personal days, but if they run out of those days they have to pay a substitute teacher out of their own pocket.  It isn’t that they just don’t get paid, they have to pay. They get off work at four in the afternoon. Yea, I know that isn’t true.  I mean, they may leave the building most days by four, but they work at home, coach, sponsor extra-curricular activities, or work in the concession stand at school sporting events. Yes, I know, coaches get more money for coaching. I was married to a coach, and I know that they money they paid him as a contract coach didn’t amount to anything. Many teachers have more than one job. I’m sure I could go on and on, but this has to end sometime.

Speaking of this having to end sometime. When will this end? When will everyone be happy?

Not everyone is going to be happy in the end. If the teachers get the funding that they deserve, then legislature won’t be happy. If the teacher walk-out continues then parents won’t be happy. Finding childcare for that many on such short notice won’t be easy or free.

What needs to happen?

I don’t really know, but I will tell you what I think.  You have your opinion and I have mine. We do not have to agree. We (most of us) are adults, and should be able to act accordingly. This is my website, therefore, I can say anything I want to here. Capiece?

I don’t think the teachers will get funding unless the walk-out causes pain and suffering for others. By pain and suffering I mean, I think parents need to have to find childcare for their kids or have to take off work to care for them. I think those parents then need to complain to the legislature, and make a stand any way that they can. People usually don’t react until it affects them. That is what I think might help teachers get the funding that they deserve.

Whatever happens, I am praying for the teachers, the kids, and even the legislature. I am praying for an outcome that will be better for everyone. In the end, the kids are the ones getting the short end of the stick. Our future teachers, employees, even politicians. How is this affecting them?

Ouch! I Got Called On the Carpet | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Ouch! I Got Called On The Carpet!

If you’ve ever been called on the carpet then you know it is never a good thing.

Thank you to my friend, Anya for calling me out! I needed it!

Here’s how it went down.

Anya: Hey, I thought you said you were going to start writing again.

That’s all it took. The guilt took over my whole being! I’m not joking!

I did, I told everyone that I would start writing again and then I didn’t.  Well, I had all kinds of great ideas when I wrote that.  I promise, I did. But then everything went blank.  Those ideas vanished! (I’m sitting here trying to think of Harry Potter’s spell to make something disappear, but it has vanished as well!) So, I’ve decided to just tell you what has been on my mind lately. (Happy, Anya?)

In no particular order:

  • I need to get back on my diet.
  • I need to remember to tell the vet that the dogs need pedicures.  Do not write TNT on the note this time. But really, the note was just for Butch (McD for you special bloggy pals) and he gave the note to the tech. Apparently, he forgot what my abbreviations stood for.
  • I really should start dinner.
  • Why, oh why, have I lost every good idea to write about. Oh, I will write about my prayer bracelet. Next time.
  • I need to get some photos of the baby calves!
  • Oh, I hope I get to build my raised garden beds this weekend.
  • Why do I write anyway?
  • I seriously need to finish binding that Crown quilt!! Like yesterday! Maybe I can share a pic. Hmm.
  • Why is it so hard to figure out my Enneagram number? Am I a 2 or an 8? Or a 9? Or am I an 8 with a strong 9 wing?
  • Did I leave that gate open?
  • I sure hope Jim’s shoulder is okay.
  • Should we be cremated or embalmed? (We recently went to a funeral!)
  • What should I plant in my garden? Tomatoes. Cucumbers. Marigolds. More tomatoes.
  • Maybe I can write about The Bible Binge podcast.
  • Oh, I need to tell BooMama about the calming treats we got for the dogs that one time. It sounds like Hazel really needs some.
  • Dang it! I forgot to have pie on Pi day!
  • RIP Stephen Hawking – I bet The Big Bang Theory has a special episode for him.
  • I think I should be sitting on the couch with the dogs.

Yea, I think I’m gonna go sit on the couch (after I fix dinner), and watch Bull. Then Criminal Minds. Oh, who knows, I might get caught up in a Mahjonng game!

See, aren’t you glad you don’t know what is going on in my mind?  I even cut this list in half! I took out the rude and crude. I hope I have made you happy, dear Anya.  I do have a few book reviews to post in the next few days. I have a bit to share about my trip to Jerusalem, and my prayer bracelet. I guess this little list helped some because a few ideas are coming to me. Sorry you had to sit through it all. If you did, do you want to give me a few ideas of what you want to know? Or what you think I should write about?

Hello? Anyone there?

I didn’t think so.

Julie out

Why I Haven't Been Writing | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Why I Haven’t Been Writing

Oh dear.

So this is either going to make a lot of sense or open a big ol’ can of worms.  Or both.

I quit writing because more people that I know and see in real life, face-to-face, have started following my Facebook page for this website. After I realized who some of the people were that were reading what I wrote, and had been going back to read everything I’ve written, I started to clam up.  I told myself it was out of respect for those people.  They might not like what I write, they might not agree with my opinions, and they might say something about it.  Most of my blogging life I didn’t have to worry about anyone I knew in real life reading it. Now, it’s different.

I love Jesus! I love to talk about Jesus! I know that not everyone is going to agree with my beliefs, and I will not agree with everyone else all the time.  I attend a church that is very conservative, in fact I was raised in this church as was my husband.  We are not that conservative.  We do not believe everything that our church, including our family, believes and I have felt like I can’t write because of it.

I’ve decided to start writing again. I have decided that we are all adults/grown-ups/big people, whatever you want to call us, and if we can’t all get along then quite frankly…get off of my page. (Hey Hey You You Get Off of My Page (Cloud). Are you singing it too?) It’s that simple.

Again, I am not going to be trying to be disrespectful in anyway. I am just going to be me.  I am just going to keep on sharing, and who knows what that will be. I hope that a few of you will stick with me.

So, be prepared. I’m ready to write.  But right now, I have to go feed the cows.

Until next time. Pray for me. I’m praying for you.

Last Minute Gifts - Burp Cloths | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Last Minute Gifts – Burp Cloths

Sunday at church, I found out that there was going to be a baby shower that I had not planned for.  Yes, it had been in the church bulletin all month, but let’s just say I’m lacking in my planning skills lately.  Oh, the dreaded pressure of last minute gifts.  Since we live in the middle of nowhere, quite literally, and I had ridden to church with my loving husband, I knew that I shouldn’t push my luck and ask him to take me to lunch AND go shopping for a baby gift.  I chose lunch.

When I got home I started brain storming.  This basically means that I sat in a lawn chair on the porch, in the shade, and browsed Pinterest.  What did we ever do before Pinterest?  Do you Pin on Pinterest?  Okay, now I am just seeing how many times I can get Pinterest into one paragraph.  Sorry.  So, after perusing Pinterest (HA!) I decided on either burp cloths or one of those thingys that attach to door knobs and a cloth goes over the do-hickey that actually secures the door; you know, so the door doesn’t make a noise when the new parents finally get the munchkin to sleep.  Anywhoo!  I thought about doing both, but then I perused a little longer than I should have, so I went with burp cloths only.

Then I had to shop my stash.

Last Minute Gifts | juliekmccomas.com

You know what? It took me longer to peruse pins and pick fabric than it did to actually make the stinkin’ burp cloths.  And I felt pretty darn good after accomplishing all that that day.  I was rushed, and they weren’t as perfect as I would have liked them to be, BUT… I’m not perfect and nothing I do will be perfect.  Especially when it comes to sewing!

Here’s what I came up with…

Last Minute Gifts - Burp Cloths

What are the perfect last minute gifts you tend to go to?  You know, I might need ideas for next time.

2016 Word PURPOSE | juliekmccomas
Confessions, Faith

My Word for 2016 and What Came of It

My word for 2016 came to me one day in late 2015, and at the time I couldn’t figure out why it kept coming to mind when I would pray about it.  Purpose.  That is what kept coming up everywhere, purpose.  It came up in ladies bible class, I received a bracelet with purpose stamped on it, and the list keeps going.  At first I just thought it was because I have often wondered what my calling is, and I even asked The Big Guy if that was what he meant.  You know, we all doubt Him every once in a while, right?  Anyone?  Don’t we?  Bueller?  Okay, so it’s just me.  Purpose kept coming to my mind, and I finally (I am stubborn) committed to my one word for the new year.

Purpose 2016 | juliekmccomas.com

After thinking about my word many times throughout the year of 2016, but seriously between you, me and the keyboard, I couldn’t figure it out.  Then I went to She Speaks.  It is a conference held by Proverbs 31 for speakers and writers.  It was the first time I’d ever flown anywhere by myself, and wouldn’t you know it, there were all kinds of problems.  But, it all worked out.  I ending up attending my very first writing conference, and I loved it!  I made wonderful friends, learned lots of information that I still use today, and I think I found my purpose.

Purpose Definition | juliekmccomas.com

What is cool about me finding my purpose is that I found yours too!  Yep!  If you are a Christian, it is your purpose to become like Christ.  So, if that is our purpose, we as individuals have different gifts to accomplish this purpose.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;

if it is to encourage, then give encouragement;
if it is giving, then give generously;
if it is to lead, do it diligently;
if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Romans 12:6 (NIV)

While at the She Speaks conference, I took in everything I could on the writing end of things.  I took written notes, mental notes, and photos of different slides. I loved every minute of it, but things weren’t clicking for me there like I thought they would.  Then on the last night there it hit me; maybe I’m supposed to do the speaking thing too.  Everything led me to think, sure publish your book but make that the starting point.  I thought about it and I prayed about it for a few weeks before I ever said anything out loud to anyone.  The first person I told was my husband, and he was very blasé about it.  After keeping it to myself for a while longer, I decided to talk about it with up to a couple of friends.  Finally, when I decided to update the website, I tossed the idea out to my girl, Kristin, who did all the work on here, and she said, YES! If that is what you feel called to do, then put it out there! (Possibly paraphrased.) So, my purpose is to become like Christ, and my gift might be to encourage, teach, and speak (even though that one isn’t on the list).

Everyone has a gift, and I hope that you have discovered yours.  Once you do, your life will never really be the same.

My Word - 2017 | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Real – 2017

Real.

A few years ago, I joined the gang that chooses one word to strive for each year.  A couple that I can remember have been focus and purpose.  This year I chose, Real.

I want to be real.  With everything.

Have you looked at Pinterest lately?  All the photos are so pretty and put together.  If my photos look like that it is because they are staged.  I don’t want to stage things anymore.  I used to test things I found on Pinterest, but then I didn’t take photos because it was such a mess.  No more.

I have a messy house!  I’m not a great housekeeper.  I have four dogs, therefore I will have dog hair in my photos.  Can you believe I used to edit those out if they were noticeable?  I did!

I want to lose weight, but I just ate a chocolate covered peanut cluster.  I drink too much Diet Dr. Pepper, and not enough water.

I love to read!  I would much rather stay home with my husband and our dogs, and read than hang out with other people.  Just being real.

I hate doing cardio! But, I’ve started reading while on the treadmill so, I am tolerating it.

I love Jesus, my husband, our kids and grandkids!  My Momma, my Daddy, and my sister too! I try to love everyone like Jesus would do! But I fall short, and I don’t really like a few.  Just keepin’ it real!

Just hang around for a while, things are changing around here.  I quit writing so much because I felt like I had to sugar coat everything.  There might still be some sugar, but it will be real.

Do you have one word for the year?  What is it?  Will you share?

Head on over to #oneword365 to find your tribe (those that share your word).  I tried to find my tribe, and found that I am the only one with Real.  Want to join my tribe?  Click here.

Welcome to 2017 at juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Welcome to 2017 Here at JulieKMcComas.com

Welcome to 2017 at juliekmccomas.com

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!

In the next few weeks, I am going to share with you a few things to wrap up last years activities.  I will tie them up with a nice red bow, and get started on our current year, 2017.

Some of the things I will be sharing with you are photos from the 3-Day 60 mile Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure; how my one word for 2016, Purpose, worked out for me; some Pinterest Pins I tried, books I read, and my one word for this year.

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and brought in the New Year with a Bang!  My big bang was the dogs wanting out right at midnight, and of course they had to wake me up!

I’m looking forward to spending some more time here on the little ol’ blog.  Hope you are too!

Confessions, My Battle with Breast Cancer

Celebrating Five Years Cancer Free

Celebrating five years cancer free this year, and I hope you will celebrate with me!

Alex McComas | juliekmccomas.com

On June 23, 2011, I was sitting in the chemo chair for the first time. Fast Forward five years. On June 23, 2016, I was sitting next to a pretty special pup on the porch enjoying the summer morning.

Flyin' High | juliekmccomas.com

This year was going to be all about celebration!

I’ve been told that the five-year cancer-free mark is a pretty big deal among us survivors, so I wanted to celebrate in a big way. I wanted to do the Susan G. Komen 3-Day! Are you familiar with it?  Long story of my “celebration” short. Raised $2300.00, flew to Detroit, walked the walk, slept in a tent on a concrete floor, lost two toenails, made several new friends, and hobbled home.

If you google the 3-Day walk it will probably say something nice about how all the nice people raise all this money that goes toward research to find a cure for breast cancer. (If you have something bad to say about SGK and how they spend the money, yada yada, then just know that my comment section is not the place for it. Thank you very much.) I, on the other hand, will tell you that the 3-Day is a bunch of crazy people walking for 3 days (60 miles) wearing lots of pink, crazy bras and tutus to raise money for research. I will also tell you that I have marked it off my non-existent bucket list, and I will not be doing that again.

One and done.

I was blessed and honored to have my friend Margaret go with me. We had a lot of fun, but I think we will both stick to donating from here on out. I love you, Margaret!

Julie & Margaret 2016 | juliekmccomas.com

In all honesty, this was quite an adventure! I loved almost every minute of it! I am so thankful to each and everyone of you that donated/supported this wild hair idea of mine to fly to Detroit so I could walk 60 miles in a sea of pink. So I could help raise awareness and funds for the possibility to find a cure.