Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's been hectic.  We're at the end of the second marking period, with conferences just two short weeks away.  Yesterday I spent the day assessing my students for report cards - all the while a terrible sub was wreaking havoc on my daily routine and classroom procedures.  Today I was in an all-day meeting that basically reiterated that despite spending 80 hours a week on school work (including more than 10 hours last weekend just assembling books) I still have a to-do  list miles long and there are many more things I "should" be doing to get my students' scores up.  Sigh.

Tonight Flash had a band concert.  With last minute notice and a duplicate concert two nights from now, neither of us were too excited about going, but we did.  I dropped Flash off at the band room at the appointed hour before call time and sat myself in an auditorium seat with notebook and student scores, ready to rearrange my reading groups, pair up students for partner reads and brainstorm other ways to get more "miles on the page".  I closed my notes and put my pencil down when the first band began playing, but picked it back up in between performances to jot down a few more ideas that ran through my head during the performance.

When Flash's Symphonic Band performed, I tried to soak it all in.  The songs weren't mean to be necessarily entertaining, but were chosen instead to be challenging in various ways in order to receive high marks at festival this weekend.  While enjoyable, the concert didn't have the usual flair.  The conductor began the second piece without introduction and it took me several measures before the well-known lyrics rang through me - "It is well....with my soul...."  I closed my eyes and just let the music wash over me.  The piece was a beautiful arrangement and the band performed it well.  I chuckled to myself, thanking God and all 130 band members for the message I most needed to hear tonight.

Note:  I'd like to say I came home and felt rejuvenated, but I made the mistake of stopping by WalMart of all places to get Flash some much-needed cold medicine.  Stopping by WalMart does not keep things "well with my soul" to say the least.  I don't know what it is about that store, but it is always a lesson in frustration management.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I just realized.  I'm a 40-something year old woman, single with more than one cat.  I walk around my house in slippers (thanks, Dad).  I'm in bed around 9 every night and I have a heating blanket on my bed.  I say things like, "whackadoodle" and "gobblygook" on a regular basis.

I'm pathetic.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

His Nickname Seems Too Perfect Now

His dad bought him the camera.  I bought him the classes.  Worth every dime to see the world through his artistic eye.

Photos by Flash:

I'm not sure what captivates me so much about this picture, but I just love it.

This is a pic of one of Flash's best friends.  It just captures the essence of this manchild so well.

Flash is always in orange.  Isn't this a cool pic?!

Epic Flash indeed.
My favorite, without question.  A pic of his cousin.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

They Even Take Debit Cards

A large cowboy for only $9?!  And I can use my debit card?!?
Can't believe there isn't a line out the door...

Wednesday, February 01, 2012


Have I mentioned how much I would love to meet Katrina?  I mean truly.  She's one of those people whose blog I read and I just think over and over and over how cool and awesome and inspiring and just JOYFUL this woman is.  I'd love to fly out there and sit down with her for like a MONTH or well, a YEAR and pick her brain and learn all her secrets to a happy marriage and a joy-filled life and her beautiful devotion to God. Sigh.  And as I start to get all bummed because I have really nothing exciting in my own self to offer back to her in this very one-sided stalker-esque relationship, I see that she PICKED ME!!!  Woohoo!!!  She tagged me on her blog!!!  So.... First Things First… The Rules: You must post the rules.

  • Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post
  • Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
  • Tag eleven people and link them on your post
  • Let them know you’ve tagged them!

Here are the questions that she posted for me (and a few others, but they are so unimportant right now) to answer:

If you won a gift certificate good for a year’s service from either a maid or a private chef, which one would you choose? I'm going to go with the maid for a couple reasons.  One, and most obviously if you've ever been to my home, I hate to clean.  I mean, I do clean, I just really hate it.  I hate all the fur, I hate all the hair.  I hate all the dust.  There's nothing to me that's satisfying about cleaning, it's just grossness everywhere I turn.  Plus, I'm fat enough as it is, so a personal chef would just be dangerous.  And, with the maid, I can cook all I want and s/he can clean it up!!  :) Name something you’ve done that was totally out of character for you. ">Oh, I could name a couple, but this is a family blog and so I won't mention those. ;)  In the "safely mentionable" category, I guess I would say I once bought a Coach purse.  Even at the outlet store prices, and after using it for a decade, I cannot imagine whatever made me think spending that much money on a PURSE was worth it.

Imagine we discovered a life-sustaining planet and a way to get there in a five year space journey. If invited to go, would you be willing to leave behind your life on Earth to explore a new world? (Your family can go with you, of course.) ;Easiest question on the list: No.  However, that said, I'm sure I'd still have to say goodbye to Flash, as he'd be one of the first aboard.

If someone gave you $500 on the condition that you somehow use it to help someone in need, how would you spend it?  I can think of so many answers to this question right now.  While the list is long, I think I'd want to give it to the person it would make the biggest impact on - not just $500 towards medical bills that reach the thousands, you know?  I'd want that $500 to be exactly the life-saving or life-changing amount needed.  I guess I'd have to let God help me figure out the right person/cause.

What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?  Most recently?  Hands down, Horrible Bosses.  Before that?  The Piano. There have been many along the way.

If you lost your U.S. citizenship and had to relocate permanently to another country, where would you go? Why?  I have to rescind my previous statement that #3 was the easiest question on the list.  I want to live in Ireland.  I've never been there, but I just think I'm destined to retire there.  It's soooo green, it's so simple and country and fundamental instead of materialistic and "pop culture"  and loud.  America is so brash to me.  Plus that accent....sigh.

What’s your guilty pleasure?  - Besides food you mean?  :)  Piesporter wine.

Who would win in a street fight between the Black Eyed Peas and the Fugees?  I have absolutely no idea.  Isn't one of the singers of the Black Eye Peas a redhead?  I'm going to go with them.  We redheads are FIERCE.

If you could go back in time and change just ONE decision that you’ve made, what would it be? (I’m not talking about mistakes, but about a time you had to choose between two or more paths.)  I would not go to the college I went to.  I chose it because I wanted to be around people smarter than me (and boy was I!) but I think I would have benefited far more from having some fun in college and being in a more confidence-boosting environment than one where I always felt inferior.

What superpower would you like to have?  I've just finished Season One of Heroes and Flash and I have had several discussions about this topic.  I do not want to be a mind-reader, that's just more information than I ever want to know.  I don't want to set myself or other things on fire.  I think I'll go with shape shifting.  Mainly because I love how the woman on Heroes suggests that she's originally a rather large woman, but she gets to choose her appearance and so she's now a hottie!  I think I'd like that!

Do you have a weird body quirk? What is it?  A quirky body isn't exactly the same question, is it?  LOL  I gotta say, there's nothing fun-quirky about me, no.  The only thing I can think of that's a bit odd is that I get earaches instead of headaches or migraines.  I had never heard of anyone else getting them like mine until a couple years ago when my dad said he gets them too.  In the same ear even (although mine have started coming in both - oh joy).

I don't know 11 active bloggers to tag, so I'm going to change the rules up a bit.  For all who read this, (ahem, this means all my lurking non-commenting readers) pick one (or more) of the following to answer in the comments:

1.  Your phone rings at 3am.  Who do you hope it is?
2.  With a budget of $1000, what household project would you tackle?
3.  If you could give your 18 year old self, one piece of advice (assuming your 18 year old self would listen) what would it be?
4.  What's one thing you wish you'd never bought?
5.  What's one food you wish you  liked that you don't?
6.  What do you hope people say about you when you are 90?
7.  Would you rather go for a hike, go for a swim, go for a ride or go for a drive?
8.  If you could take one law off the record books, which law would you like to see repealed?
9.  I mentioned in a blog post long ago that I'm far too lazy to link to, that there are many everyday sorts of things that I just don't understand (which make me feel so stupid).  My most current one is: why isn't the coldest time of year on/around the winter solstice?  Why are our coldest days in January and even February and not mid-December?  What everday sort of thing boggles your  mind in a makes-you-feel-stupid sort of way?
10.  You just found a box in the basement/attic dated from your childhood.  What do you hope to find inside it?
11.  What word do you avoid using because you're certain you'll use it or say it incorrectly?

Worried for Naught

Our school is in our third and final year of learning some very innovative strategies for teaching reading.  I have learned a hundred times more about our language, our brains, about the learning process (and the teaching process) during these monthly inservices than in all four years of my over-priced private college education combined.  And I majored in Education and minored in English.

So it should come as no surprise to you that I spent many hours of my evening last night berating myself for misspelling a word in an email to my principal.  A stupid word.  A simple word.  The word 'busses'.  I knew it didn't look right when I first typed it (and even now, blogger is red-lining it for me) but according to all the rules we've learned, the 's' should definitely be doubled and so I went with it.  And then I spent all night thinking myself a fool.  Worse than just sending an email to my principal with a misspelling was knowing that a) I teach spelling so, duh, and b) this email was going to be forwarded and I now looked like a fool amongst many instead of just by my boss.  (by the way, blogger doesn't like 'amongst' either.  Humph.)

This morning, upon arriving at school, I am so bothered by my stupidity that I find myself opening up to provide further admonishment and guilt.  Only I find this:


1   [buhs]  Show IPA noun, plural bus·es, bus·ses,verb, bused or bussed, bus·ing or bus·sing.
a large motor vehicle, having a long body, equipped withseats or benches for passengers, usually operating as part ofa scheduled service;

HALLELUJAH!!  I was so overcome with angels singing that I nearly cried out loud!!  I wasn't a fool!  It might not be the most common of the two spellings, but it is right there IN THE DICTIONARY.  HA!

But then as the day wore on, I convinced myself that even if I was correct, perhaps my principal wouldn't know that was a correct option for the word, and would simply continue to think that I'm an idiot.  Or the people that the message was forwarded to, namely, the people at the BUS GARAGE might surely know better and have a good laugh that one of the teachers in the district can't even spell bus in the plural sense correctly.

It wasn't until the end of my day, when I received and unrelated email back from my principal, in response to a thank you I sent her for some help she had provided me with that I truly exhaled and realized all was still well with the world and I would not be looking for a less grammar-driven profession.  In her email, she wrote, "your welcome."