Thursday, July 31, 2008

If A Washing Machine Had Wheels, My David Could Drive It!

Okay, so I have to ask...did anyone miss me? It seems that I've added another addiction to my arsenal. My first is facebook . I'm now adding blogging to the growing list! How will I make when I go back to work and have less time for these "hobbies?" Sending a shout-out to my friend Crystal who I think enjoys blogging as much as I do!

So on to today's ramblings. For those of you who are movie buffs, you may recognize this post title as a quote from the movie, "Apollo 13." Tom Hanks' character's mom (that grammar looks so wrong!) says this (except instead of David, she says Jimmy) to Neil Armstrong as she is awaiting his return from space. It's a good movie. If you haven't seen it, you should. Get Netflix...I'm enjoying it so much!

Which brings me to husband David is a very gifted driver. I don't just mean how he drives, because he's good at that too, but really my focus today is more on what he can drive.

Yesterday, I went with David to help him cut up some tree limbs at a rental property for my dad. David took the truck and our trailer and off we went! I was sitting in the truck, not really looking forward to doing yard work 'cause I hate to sweat, and then David amazes me by backing into this teeny, tiny driveway with our ginormous truck and trailer. And he hit his mark dead on the first time. I know I couldn't do that. David pulls our car hauling trailer and his dad's borrowed horse trailer and makes it look so easy. He has really good spatial sense and hasn't wrecked any (at least as far as I know.) I once tried to drive our lawnmower with a small trailer and almost had an emotional meltdown because I couldn't back up about 4 feet. So you can see why I'm impressed.
Since I've already mentioned the lawnmower, I'll talk about that next. When we moved to Mississippi and bought our house and land, we invested in a lawnmower. Let me state here that I don't do yardwork. I appreciate nature from a distance, but I don't enjoy sweating or digging in the dirt. David thought if we got a riding lawnmower that I'd enjoy cutting the grass. I think I've done that twice in the past 5 years. It's not because I can't drive's more because I don't understand all the gears and handles and stuff that you have to remember when stopping and starting this machine. Again, David is a master of the riding lawnmower. He cuts our yard and pasture and frequently takes the mower to my parents' house and cuts their lawn too. He hasn't wrecked on this thing either and makes it look so easy.

Yes, that's right....David can drive an 18 wheeler. In an earlier post, I mentioned that I met David many years ago just as he was entering truck driving school. He drove cross country for awhile way back then, and just within the past couple of years, drove a truck for a local company as a summer job. I've always heard David tell stories from his days as a trucker, and I got the chance to experience first hand! I went with David on one of his trips when he drove during the summer. He was able to find his way in an unknown area, back up expertly, and not plow over any slow drivers. (Come on people...check your mirrors...if a truck is behind you, either speed up or move over and let them pass!) These big trucks have like a gagillion gears, knobs, handles, etc. It made my head hurt. He did an awesome job!

He can also drive a motorcycle. Back when I first met David I was 17. I had very limited experience on motorcycles, so naturally I was scared of them. I met David, liked what I saw, and when he asked me to go riding with him one sunny, summer day, I agreed. Let's just say that I enjoyed sitting on the back of his motorcycle, hanging on to him, and feeling the wind on my face. Everything was fine until we stopped for a little while and the motorcycle wouldn't start again! David, of course, fixed the problem. In case you didn't know...David is also a mechanic. He's the kind of guy you can say, "Hey David, my car is making this noise...(insert bad imitation of car noise) and he can tell you what is wrong with your car. But anyway, he had a motorcycle for awhile and someday I think he'll get another one. If he does, I know I'll still enjoy riding with him.

I feel like this a given, but I wanted to include it. David enjoys riding bicycles. We used to do more of this when Raelynn was smaller, but lately we haven't found the time. When Raelynn is a little older, David will continue giving her bike riding lessons that he started last year. He is a good bike rider. Me, on the other hand...not so much. I was involved in a car accident while on my bike when I was 9 and I've never mentally recovered. I don't feel safe on a bike and I'm a very timid bike rider. He still loves me anyway!

I may be dating myself here, but I am a talented skater. I feel I need to say this since so far, I haven't painted a great picture about my driving abilities. My parents used to own a skating rink, and I worked there. I got lots of skate time in, so I became pretty good. David made friends with the guy who owns our local skating rink many years ago, so he also got lots of skate time in. When we were "courting" many years ago, we went skating several times. I really enjoyed this, especially the "couples only" skates. He is an accomplished skater. We enjoyed skating around and around and around (in front of our parents no less.)
I think the only thing that has wheels that David doesn't know how to drive is an airplane. I'm betting that if he had enough practice, he'd master that too. I don't know if this counts, but he can also drive a tank. It has some wheels.
All I know is....If I have to trust my safety with anyone on anything with wheels, David is my guy. (That's right....he's mine and not don't hate!)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Friends Help You Move, Real Friends Help You Move Bodies

The topic of today's random thoughts is my friend Jessica. She and I met in the fall of 2006. She was assigned to my class as a student teacher. Let me say, she totally rocked. The kids loved her, I loved her...and we became friends.

If you read her blog, you'll see that her life is full of "drama." I put it in quotes because even Jessica will tell you that she worries way too much about the little things in life. I can say this because I am the same way. We "get" each other. We know when it's time to rant, and when it's time to listen. Lately, we've taken turns venting almost on a daily basis.

Just last month, Jessica made one of my childhood dreams come true. I was a bridesmaid at her wedding. Until this point, I've only been in one wedding-my own. I was thrilled when she asked me and I quickly agreed. After all, Jessica was interning with me when she and Adam became an "official" item. I'm sure that story will make it to one of her posts someday. Shortly after agreeing to be in her wedding, I asked about the other bridesmaids. There were 6 others. Keep in mind that all of them were about 50 pounds lighter and about 15 years younger than me. Can you say panic time?

So I began to get ready-like, 5 months early. I went to the tanning salon and worked hard on my tan, I lost a few pounds, I let my hair get the picture. I couldn't let those "whipper snappers" show me up! I had to represent for all the old, fat people everywhere! Many people teased me about my enthusiasm for this wedding...but truly it was because Jessica is so dear to me and I wanted to be a part of her special day.

In the end, the wedding was beautiful, Jessica was beautiful, and my dress still fit. I had a great time at her wedding. I'm very blessed to have such a great friend in her and hope that when the day comes that I ask her to help me move (regardless of what I'm moving-see post title), she'll be there...because that's what real friends do....they help you out when you need it most.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Love Affair With Ice

For those of you who know me in person, the following statement will be no surprise: I LOVE ICE! I don't know if it's the fact that I was born and raised in Key West where hot has a whole new meaning, 364 days a year. Yes, they have one cool day where the temperature gets down to 60. I now live in Mississippi, where summer and hot are one and the same. You can't get from your car to Wal-Mart without breaking a sweat. I hate to sweat. But that's another post for later. So I'm not sure when this love affair started, but I know that I couldn't live without ice in my drinks.

Back in the day, my family had ice cube trays. Do ya'll remember those? We had these metal ones with a lever that you had to pull up in order to free the ice from the tray. I'll never forget how my hands and fingers got stuck to the trays. Eventually we progressed to plastic trays. I'm not sure whose job it was to empty the trays, but I do remember getting yelled at for taking a few cubes out of the tray without dumping them all and refilling the trays. Mom and Dad should have made that a household chore. At some point, we got a newer refrigerator that had an automatic ice maker so the days of the ice trays disappeared. They still don't have ice-in-the-door. It wasn't until David and I bought our own house and appliances several years ago that we got an automatic ice maker and ice-in-the-door. As a matter of fact, that was the only thing I cared about when picking out the fridge. I feel really sorry for anybody who hasn't experienced the joy of having ice-in-the-door.

But back to the story. I got a job teaching. I found that I liked the sound of my own voice and I talked a lot. All that talking got me really thirsty throughout the day. And since I like my drinks (now mostly Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper) VERY cold, I had a dilemma. I had a mini-fridge in my classroom but just refrigerating my drink didn't make it cold enough. So one day I stopped at the Circle K on my way to work to pick up a fountain diet soda and saw they had an insulated cup you could buy and get free drink refills. Let me see if I can paint this picture for you. It's this ginormous 52 ounce cup made by Aladdin. Very shortly after purchasing it I found that the ice in the cup would last all day. This was wonderful! I could put ice in my cup at 6 in the morning and still have ice at 5 in the evening. I started toting this cup with me to work. I would fill it at home with ice and buy bottled soda. To this day, I still carry this cup. If I forget it one day, I will not know what to do. Do not fear, my dear readers, I do not tote this with me everywhere. I've suffered many tauntings over my large cup o' ice, so when out in the general public, I'll head to different places around town to get my drink on ice.

This brings me to ice and the watering holes I frequent. Mind you, I will take ice in any form in my drink. But if I have to choose a place to get a drink from in town that has the best ice, hands down, Sonic will win. Sonic ice is these little pebbles of ice that make your drink so slushy. They crunch very well when your drink is done too. When you factor in that my town has 2, soon to be 3 Sonics, so accessibility is good AND that Sonic has happy hour everyday and drinks are discounted, you've got a recipe for chilled loveliness. On a side note, they serve their beverages in styrofoam cups so the ice doesn't melt that quickly. I recommend the Route 44 Diet Coke. You'll get lots of good ice and drink to last you most of the day. Some restaurants have that ice that looks like little cylinders. That kind of ice is good too, since you can spear it on your straw when your drink is gone. I haven't seen that kind of ice in awhile, so I'll have to do some investigating.

I've never been to Europe. I've been told that they don't hold the same regard for ice in their drinks as Americans do. Whenever my European tour begins, I'll have to figure out how to get my 52 oz. Circle K cup full of ice through security at the airport.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Just Because I Haven't Seen Bigfoot, Doesn't Mean He Doesn't Exist

Bigfoot is real. When I was a kid, I remember seeing a video clip of a guy named Patterson that saw Bigfoot. The picture above is a still from the video. I was scared. Okay, you can pick yourself up off the floor now and stop laughing...because I really do believe. However, I DON'T believe in aliens, UFO's, life on other planets, or the Loch Ness Monster. I do believe, and am personal friends with the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Santa.

There was a movie called "Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot" that I vaguely remember seeing at some point during my childhood and I was scared for days afterwards. From that point on, whenever I'm outside, I keep an eye open for the elusive gentle giant. Keep in mind that I've never seen Sasquatch, any artifacts related to him, or even know anyone that has seen him. But I do believe. This is a picture that some brave soul took of Sasquatch. I do believe he is camera shy. Mr. Bigfoot has many names: Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, and Skunk Ape. Yes, you read that correctly....Skunk Ape.

This is a picture of the Skunk Ape. He lives in southern Florida. Have I mentioned that I was born and raised in Key West? I've lived there my whole life, with the exception of the last five years that I've lived in Mississippi. I can remember lots of people talking about the Skunk Ape, and I always kept vigil watch in case he ever came to my very suburbian childhood home. He never came. My family has always enjoyed "educational" shows on TV, so there were plenty of documentaries and specials about the search for Bigfoot that I watched growing up. I heard testimonies from people that said they saw Bigfoot lurking about their windows around their homes. I don't know this for sure, but Bigfoot may have been peeking at me as I was singing at the top of my lungs in my bedroom. I certainly felt like I was being watched.

Skunk Ape

Different species of Bigfoot are thought to be living in all parts of the world. To the right you'll see a picture of a Yeti. He looks like he'e enjoying a nice hike on this mountain. I think if I encountered him I'd stay out of his way. This would be after I take a picture with him and get his autograph. There are just some things you can believe in without having to see.

Moving to Mississippi did not make my Bigfoot fears go away. Mississippi is a heavily wooded state, and I did some research and found that Bigfoot has been sited as close as Texas. Well, we all know that Mississippi has fewer people than most states in the south, so it would make sense that he would come here to get away. There have been many times as I'm out jogging at sunset that I look over my shoulder to see if Bigfoot is coming up behind me. I can't help it. When you live out in the country like I do, you hear all sorts of weird sounds. Thankfully, I live with a great guy that would protect me if Bigfoot ever came a callin'.

So, I will leave you with this thought....have you ever been outside, by yourself, and felt like you were being watched? It's very possible that Bigfoot has moved to your neighborhood, and is trying to be be decent and meet the new neighbors. As for me....I'm keeping watch so when I see him, I'll be ready.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Love of My Life

This is my family. I don't really talk about them much. Not because I don't love them, but more because I don't think David really wants to know that I'm blabbing all his information on the Internet. So, I won't get into specifics, I'll just give you the essence.

First off, David's sister Melissa is married to my brother Hugh. That's basically how we met. Our families were getting together for Christmas after they got married and David was there. I was 17, he was 21. At that time, he was just getting out of the military and starting truck driving school. We "dated" long distance for about 6 months...lots of letters and phone calls. He even came down and visited me in Key West. To the left is the only surviving artifact from this period. We went to the county fair in town and took pictures in the photo booth. On a side note, for those of you who know me, I know you're thinking that I look exactly the same as I did when I was 17, and for that I thank you! Back to the story... I broke it off for a variety of reasons. Neither of us took it well.
He did his thing, I did mine. We saw other people and had serious relationships. I went to college, he went to college. When your family is connected like ours is, you never really "escape" the other person. You always get an update as to what they are doing, etc. During this time period, we had several encounters...all of them awkward. I must say that most of that was my doing, but it was awkward for him too.

He got a job teaching, I got a job teaching in two different states. My family traveled to MS every vacation we got because my grandmother was still here. This particular year, my grandmother died and we didn't have anywhere to stay, so we spent Christmas with my brother Hugh, Melissa, and their two kids. David happened to be there with his family. We spent about 2 or 3 days together and basically we agreed to give it another shot. I went home, he went home and we "dated" long distance again. Three months after the Christmas reunion, he came down for spring break and proposed. Two months later he moved to Key West. His mother died just days of coming to KW so he came back for the funeral. Afterwards, he came back to KW and stayed with my parents until we married that November. This is our engagement picture. (I know...I don't age, right??)

That was almost 13 years ago. We lived in Key West for 8 years, and have a daughter, Raelynn, who is seven. We moved to Mississippi about 5 years ago when my parents decided to move herer too. We wanted to be closer to family. David's father and step-mother live about an hour away and we see them weekly. Living here is very different than what I was used to, but I think I've adjusted well.

I love my husband. He is so smart and talented! There isn't anything he couldn't do! He loves me and treats me so well. I am very blessed!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Tassie Show

So on to today's ramblings. I've sorta felt weird today, almost like I'm having an out-of-body experience. I think that the steroids I was taking for my ear (see earlier posts) have totally messed with my system. I don't really feel like "me"-whoever that is today!

My day started with several errands that I ran with David and Raelynn. We currently have some home improvement projects going at our house. One of those errands was walking about Lowe's. They usually have enough stuff there to interest me and I bring a book for the times when there's nothing to look at. You can only look at padlocks and hammers for so long people.

I went to work in my classroom for a little bit, and it totally wiped me out. I had to sit down and rest from all the work. I think the steroids did a number on me! I still have several things I need accomplish in my classroom, so hopefully I will get some work time in next week--it all depends on how the home improvement projects are going!

I called Jessica because that's what I do most her or see her in person. I know once school begins my social life will disappear. I've been trying to make my summer count! After that I got my hair cut. I go to a fabulous place-Tracy's Tresses here in Starkville. If you are looking for a good place to get your hair done, see Tracy, Elizabeth, or Kristen...they'll fix you right up!

So for the randomness....I said earlier that I feel like I'm having an out-of-body experience. Part of that is paranoia. I feel like either I am the star of my own reality show, or perhaps my life is like that movie, The Truman Show. Any minute, some camera equipment will fall from the sky and I'll realize that my life is actually a movie and all aspects of my life are "planted." I really liked this movie and for awhile afterwards, I secretly thought that people were filming me for my own "show." I'm still waiting for confirmation of this or at the very least, an invite to a red carpet event because I'm famous and I just don't know it yet. This is one movie that if you haven't seen it yet, you really need to rent it. I'm currently enjoying Netflix, and highly recommend it!

Another show that I've been thinking about is "Oblivious" that came out on Spike several years ago. The host was Regan Burns, who can be seen in various commercials and hosting some movie trivia show on USA or TBS or something. The cool thing about this show was that it was a game show that you didn't even know you were on. Regan Burns would just walk up to people and ask random things..."Who was the third president of the United States?" If you could recover from the shock of being asked something random like this from a complete stranger, and answer the question correctly, he'd hand you some money. This show made me laugh so hard and I was sad when it stopped coming on TV. It joins the ranks of "Joan of Arcadia" and "Friends." These are some shows I also miss.
School is looming near, my work is piling up, and yet I sit here and blog. I should be doing something more constructive so I won't freak out next week. I think that I'll go now, I feel like the cameras are coming in for their close-up and I'm starting to get paranoid.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wal-Mart is either the center of the universe or the axis of evil.

I'll start off this post by saying that I went to the doctor yesterday about my ear and found there was no tumor! My hearing has improved somewhat, but the ringing still continues. I'm thankful to God for His healing and feel confident that my complete healing is in my future!

So on to today's ramblings. How did I live for so long before Wal-Mart? Being raised in Key West, you learn to live without things. We had no Wal-Mart, no Target...only a K-Mart and Sears to fill our shopping needs. The nearest Wal-Mart was at least 3 hours north by car so we didn't go that often. However, we would come to Mississippi every vacation we had so we could go then. Wal-Mart stores grow on trees in Mississippi. You don't have to have a Burger King in your town, but if there are more than 2 people and a stoplight, a Wal-Mart is near by.

I don't dislike Wal-Mart like most people. There are many times that I dislike the people that work for Wal-Mart, but I enjoy the other shoppers. I'll never forget when we first moved to Starkville and I went grocery shopping at Wal-Mart and was recognized by another shopper. I finally felt like I had a hometown. Everyone goes to Wal-Mart, so lots of socializing gets done there.

Let's be honest. You could live in Wal-Mart. They pretty much have everything you need to survive, and many things to entertain you. Several years ago, there was a movie called "Career Opportunities" with Jennifer Connelly before she got famous. It takes place in Target, not Wal-Mart, but the concept is the same.They don't live in Target, but have many adventures while being locked in to do the night cleaning. This movie didn't win any awards and most people wouldn't consider it a quality film, but I did enjoy it. If you have nothing else to do, rent it. And of course, another movie that features living in Wal-mart is "Where the Heart Is." This was a good movie too, but I recommend you read the book because it was so much better.

But really I think Wal-Mart is the center of the universe. You see everyone there. As a teacher, this can be both good and bad. It's always fun to push your cart around while children of all ages and sizes say hello to you and call you by name. This may not sound special to you, but when you have no idea who they are, it sort of makes you feel like a rock star. There have been times that I've seen parents of students at Wal-Mart and we've had a parent/teacher conference right there in between the juice and the cookies. Then there are those people that you wish you could avoid but happen to run into them there. Lucky for me, everyone pretty much loves me, so I don't have any known enemies. Then, there are those people who you ONLY see at Wal-Mart. How is this possible? It either means that they live in Wal-Mart, or you do.

Today, I saw Jessica there. We pulled into the parking lot at the same time. Now this isn't that extraordinary, because lately I have either seen or spoken to her everyday. But I don't ever recall seeing her at Wal-Mart. Anyway, she was off to get groceries and I was returning some sunscreen for David that didn't work. I know what you're could I stand such excitement? Well, it wasn't easy. I ended up wandering all over the store even though I didn't need anything. That's why I think Wal-Mart may be the axis of evil. There's some sort of magnetism that pulls you through the aisles for things you don't need. On a side note, I did cruise around the school supply section. I do this every year. I sent out my supply lists to my students on a particularly distinctive color. Obviously this is because I'm trying to case out the parents of my students. So far, I haven't run into anyone.

Perhaps you'll see me there..pushing my cart around the aisles with a glazed look on my face. That's okay....they have something for that on aisle 4.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Some "ugly" and "serious" time

I think that I start most of my posts with the words "Okay" or "So." I'm not sure why that is. I think that I start most conversations with those words too. In my mind, I must be having a continuous conversation--it wouldn't be the first time that I had a conversation with myself.

Today is Sunday. Busy day. I awoke early to my daughter telling me she loved me, followed by a request to watch "just a little TV." I agree, and she leaves me to lay in bed, not wanting to get up and not wanting to go back to sleep either. We each made our own breakfasts: Raelynn-cheese crackers, David-hash/egg/tomato omlette, me- leftover fish sticks and macaroni and cheese. We went to church, came home, cleaned out the fridge, made the grocery list, ate a quick bite (more mac and cheese), then went back into town for a trip to Wal-Mart. We made it home in record time! I made dinner (salad and spaghetti) and then we were off to church again.

Now I'm home and I've just polished off a small bowl of no sugar added Breyer's vanilla ice cream. As I opened the fridge, I notice that the piece of chocolate cake that I bought at the store today was still waiting for me. I sit here now and ponder whether I should eat it today or save it till tomorrow. I adore chocolate cake.

On a side note, the steroids that I'm taking for my ear problem (see earlier post) make me feel like any minute I am going to die. My chest hurts, my heart palpatates, and the entire inside of my mouth is blistered. I have three more days on this medicine until I go back to the doctor on Tuesday. So far, there has been no change in my condition. I am claiming God's promise of healing and am waiting on Him. In the meantime, my left ear has the continual high pitched ringing of many crickets on a summer night. Although that may sound charming, it isn't. With the crickets, when you're tired of listening to them, you go inside and close your door. I've been trying to get outside of my head for the last several weeks, and have had no luck.

I'm not feeling very philosophical at the moment. Nothing witty comes to mind to write about. I guess that's okay because I find people that are always funny can be dangerous. It's great to be funny, but you have to have some balance. It's the same for people who look goregous all the time. You have to get some ugly time in there so people know you're real. This is the reality that I deal with daily: how to fit in more "ugly" time each day. :-)

There's only a few weeks of summer left and I haven't done what I wanted in the time I wanted to do it. I have only gone to Greg's Produce Barn a mile or two from my house once this summer to buy some of his homegrown tomatoes. I adore summer tomatoes. Slice them up real nice with a small dallop of mayo and some salt and pepper and you have a fine meal.

I had hoped to be further along in my lesson plans and organizing for school. Usually at this time of year, I am super enthused about going back to work. I'm not really dreading going back to work, I just don't feel as pumped up as I should be. I'm going to blame the stupid steriuds for that.

My house isn't completely cleaned and organized. The kitchen, Raelynn's room, and our bedroom is done. The bathrooms won't need much. It's the living room that I really don't want to tackle.

I haven't read as much as I would have liked so far this summer. I've read People magazine each week, plus one Nicholas Sparks book, and Joey Pigza Swallows the Key. It was a good book, but I don't think I should read it to my class.

I have managed to enjoy my Netflix subscription so far this summer. David and I watched "Wild Hogs" last night and had a few chuckles. So far I have 56 titles in my queue. I think I'll be loaded up for awhile. I may have to scale back some during the fall because I'll be taking a class and of course Survivor and the Office will be back on. In the spring I can look forward to American Idol and the Amazing Race. Sad that I so look forward to watching TV.

So far this week, I have nothing much scheduled. Other than a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, I may go to lunch or something with my friend Jennifer. Looks like my social life is back to raisins again.

Okay, so this is my "serious" and "ugly" time for the week. Now we all know that I'm balanced. My next post will me more witty.....I promise.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Life Was Destined to Become a Musical.

So, today is Saturday. (See earlier post about how this is true for me everyday in June and July.) The day is open with possibilities. Something that I enjoy doing during the summer months is dabble a little in cooking. I made one of my favorite breakfasts this morning, Eggs Benedict. It was my own version, because I do not know how to poach an egg. So, I fried mine instead. I even used eggs from my own chickens. Yes, dear reader, you are reading correctly, I have chickens. My brilliant husband built a mobile chicken coop, and our little hens produce little, bitty eggs. Anyway, I enjoyed my breakfast.

I spent a large amount of time over the past couple of days cleaning and organizing the house. This is something I also like to do during the summer, when I have time and I don't feel so stressed. Too bad my family has to be hungry and live in a chaotic house the majority of the year. One of my goals this year is to do a good job at work, and balance it more with a life at home. But that's another post for another time.

Last night I went to the movies with my friend Kathy. We saw Mamma Mia. I really enjoyed this movie. If you don't like musicals, don't see this. I like musicals, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, and ABBA so this this was a no brainer for me. I had a wonderful time sitting in the theater packed mostly with women, and belting out each song with everyone else. Watching this movie made me wish that I could just break out into random song and dance during everyday moments in my life. I can see myself at Lowe's with David, walking down the lumber aisles, and then busting into a song about the joys of nails, hammers, and other tools that are necessary in building projects. Of course, the other shoppers would join me in my song, and we would use the large and roomy aisles at Lowe's to do our large and showy dance number. I would go to Lowe's lots more if I knew that would happen. As it is, I enjoy going to Lowe's every now and then with David because he pushes me around in the cart.

So I don't know what I'll do today. Perhaps I'll go to town and look for school clothes for Raelynn. Maybe I'll stay home and work on laundry. (I like doing laundry, I just don't like hanging or folding the clothes. This means there are lots of baskets of clothes that pile up for me!-That's another post for later.) I'm trying to stay busy and not concentrate on my ear. For those of you who haven't read my earlier posts, I've lost significant hearing lately and there's a slight possibility that I could have a tumor in my head. We'll find out Tuesday. In the meantime, I'm having fun and trying to stay busy.

I have to say that last night when "Dancing Queen" came on during the movie, I think that for a little while anyway, that'll be my theme song. The entire theater broke into song and everyone was smiling. If you haven't listened to ABBA much, I suggest you do. They have lots of songs that fit every mood, as evidence by the fact that the music was turned into a Broadway play, now a movie. And Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan do their own singing in this movie. But I digress. I think that today, regardless of where I am, I will be the star in my own personal musical. Certainly it would make the day brighter.

Friday, July 18, 2008

These are some cool people.

Ashley, Me, Lori, Carrie

So, I must start off by saying that I have STUPID DIAL-UP, so again, please be patient with me as I learn more about how to get stuff moved around on this blog. If my saying that I have STUPID DIAL-UP bothers you, please contact AT&T and plead my case for high speed internet service. They've already heard from me but apparently they didn't believe me.

I had a good time last night. Earlier this summer, my friends Ashley, Carrie, Lori, and I went to Jackson for a day later deemed "The Liberation of Tassie." We did manage to get some school shopping done, plow through Target, and get clear on the serving of salad at the local Olive Garden. Several trips to other stores were in order, and I was introduced to concept of layering. These girls swear to me that I won't get hot if I layer these shirts that I got. We'll see. I do trust them (but now that I think about it...maybe I shouldn't!)

We had a great time, in spite of the grilled chicken wrap from Dairy Queen, and decided to meet up again. I love Mexican food, so we sampled local fare from a place in town. Food was okay, company was great! Other than bothering some poor soul to take a picture, I don't think we bothered anyone too much.

This on top of my already fun week of socializing. I hung out with Jessica on Monday house hunting and providing moral support while her husband is away, Tuesday I had lunch with my Bunko friends from school, Wednesday Mom had us and Jessica over for a fabulous dinner, Thursday I had dinner with my awesome friends, and tonight, Friday, I am going to see Mamma Mia with my friend Kathy. I think I'll take it easy this weekend since I will be dodging some staff members at work as I get chased out of the hallway. I'm sure I'll need the energy to think of creative ways to get around them so I can get some work done!

Today has been interesting. Raelynn and I had a tea party this morning, followed by a mini-reunion (sorry Lori was at a conference!) at work as I poured over countless cards, searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack. An hour or two in my room, sprinkled with conversation from my wonderful next door neighbor, and then lunch with my husband and daughter. Chinese...and yes, Ashley, I did drink the water!!!

Anywho....I'm smiling. My routine is starting to fall into place. I just need to get busy and get some work done. I'm hoping to get by with a little help from my friends.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I went from raisins to grapes in one week!

Okay, let me start by saying that I have STUPID DIAL-UP. For whatever reason, all the companies that make high speed internet have forsaken my little community. I don't think anyone else around here (except David) is really concerned about though, because if they did, we'd have it by now. I say this, to you dear reader, so you'll understand my frustration. The picture of my friends you see on the left here took 10 minutes to load. I'm not kidding. I timed it. So if you wonder why I don't have all the fancy pictures and whatnot, now you know.
Laura T., Jessica, Me, Catherine
So the rantings for this post: Shriveled up social lives. As a teacher/superhero, I find my social calendar very dry between the months of August and May. In June, I may have a few social encounters with my family (this sounds odd, but with both of us teaching, it's difficult to do stuff), but it seems that my hot month is July. I think this is because my friends (mostly teachers), see the light at the end of the tunnel. Although doesn't sound like a good analogy since the tunnel here represents our freedom in summer and the light at the end is the next school year. Whatever, but you get where I'm going with this, right?
We can see that precious little time remains of our freedom. Many teachers, like myself, continue to "work" throughout the summer. By work, I don't mean actually teaching the kids, but doing all the little behind the scenes stuff that most people don't think about. It includes the big stuff like lesson planning and partaking in much needed professional reading. Some of my friends actually spend time during the summer going to professional development meetings and conferences. But it's the little things that take so much time and mental energy. You have to unpack and organize your classroom. It takes 2 days to get everything off the floor and crammed in drawers and cabinets at the end of the year. Then the waxing occurs. That will be a different post for later. But now I'm in the mode of making nametags, cutting out stuff for bulletin boards, sniffing crayons, making labels for binders, contacting parents...the list never ends. So to avoid the stress, we socialize.
Last week I went with some of my friends pictured above to the State Theater. Before that, Jessica and I went to Old Venice and had some dinner. I had a good time and provided Jessica with some much needed laughs. So yesterday, I went with Jessica house hunting. Read her blog to find out how fun that is. Today, I am eating lunch with my Bunco buddies from school. It'll be nice to see some of the people there, since they have now left our school. Bunco is super fun and I will have to remember to make a post about that soon.
I also got a call from my dear friend Kathy, asking if I'd like to go to the movies with her this weekend to see Momma Mia. Since I love ABBA and Meryl Streep, I think this will be a good one. So I have that to look forward to.
I'm also in the planning stages of having either lunch or dinner with my MTM (More Than Mediocre) teacher friends. Still waiting on one person to reply but I feel it'll be soon. You must be thinking that we seem to eat out a lot. Let me tell you, teachers NEVER get to eat out during the weekday between August and May. I eat with the kids. Not just mine, but several hundred of them. Going out to eat is a real treat, so you see why we like to do it!
This is probably my last week for going out. More than likely, my social calendar will start wind down some next week as I tackle my classroom for real. Of course, I have Raelynn with me and she always add some excitement to the mix.
So just think.....sometimes you're social life may look like one shriveled up raisin, but in the blink of an eye, you have many wonderful grapes right in front of you, waiting for you....

Monday, July 14, 2008

Random Ramblings About School Supplies

Crayon Sniffer

Each summer I anticipate the annual putting-out-of-the-school-supplies at Wal-mart and Office Max. There’s something entrancing about having a thousand different options for index cards that I don’t feel any other time of the year. A rainbow of ten-cent colored folders (both pocket and with brads) reminds me of childhood drawings I made with leprechauns and pots of gold. I lift the folders out of their box, rub my hand over the cover, and mull over the texture and the placement of the brads. Will this be the perfect folder? I count and recount hordes of folders and gleefully place them in my cart.

Crayons entice all the senses. The untapped potential to draw a lopsided pumpkin, to delineate regions on a map, to shave the wax and create colored confetti on a landscape-all the senses are engaged. Plus, they have the best smell. I step in close to the shelf so no one will see me and put the yellow and green box to my nose. I deeply inhale the innocence of my youth and my mouth waters for a large helping of paste. I add them to my stash and quickly move down the aisle.

Paper, paper, paper everywhere! Wide ruled, college ruled, primary ruled, no lines or ruled! Construction paper, drawing paper, tissue paper- I am delirious with the varieties. How do I decide? Paper is my blank canvas. On it, I will write my plans for my students, notes home to parents, and the poems of my soul. The endless sea of paper beckons me to its shores as I gently place a sampling of each kind with the other treasures in my cart.

My pencil choices are no less easy. Mechanical, wood, recycled fibers, number two, and number whatever. I am giddy with the choices. I pick some up and roll them in my palms. Which pencil will be the tool of my greatness? Yellow Ticonderoga, the pencil of champions graces my cart as I move to the next decision…..erasers! Pink Pearl, White Gum, cap or bar….Who needs erasers? I will add none to my cart. The school year ahead is a clean slate, and there are no erasure marks, no errors, no blots on the page. For this brief time, I am content to feel the pencils, smell the crayons, and dive into the paper of the school year to come.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Mom and My New Hobby

So tomorrow is my mom's birthday. I didn't remember until this morning on my way to church. She's this incredible woman and her favorite hobby is shopping, especially at Wal-Mart. If shopping for a bargain was an Olympic sport, she'd be the gold medal winner. So after church, David, Raelynn, and I went to Wal-Mart for him to look for wasp spray and for me to find something for my mom. Not an easy thing to do. The woman goes shopping almost everyday and pretty much buys whatever she wants.

So I spent lots of time in the garder center. Mom loves plants. Me- I can't keep fake plans alive. Raelynn chose some nice orange begonias for mom, and I chose a purple type of daisy. I hope she likes them. I then thought about Mom and her Red Hatters. She's totally into it. She's got more purple outfits and red hats than the law allows. Once a month or so, her Red Hat sisters and her go out for dinner or lunch and ham it up. I thought....why not make her some beaded eyeglass holders? I've been wanting to get into beading for awhile and this seemed like the best time to start...after all, I still have Raelynn's closet clean-out that I keep putting off.

Let me just say, I had a real good time making it. I think that I could enjoy this alot. Who knows how long it'll take until I get good at it. Maybe then I could make some money at it. And since I've been feeling crazy anyway, (see previous posting about my current health condition and the meds that might help) I think it's a good way to keep me from going even more insane. I've tried basketweaving and it was very hard. When you see that in movies and they make it look easy, it's a lie.
So, one last thing before I go....I'm still learning how to blog. My computer at home is quirky and I have STUPID DIAL-UP. When I loaded the three pictures above (first is a shot of my mom's eyeglass holder, the second is some random beads, and the last is a picture of my mom and Raelynn at Christmas) it literally took 7 minutes to load each picture. I desperately need blogging help!
Have a great one people! I'm over and out!

Friday, July 11, 2008

So I have found my calling in life....modeling!

Hi everyone! Okay, I'm posting twice in the same day- don't freak out! Actually, I looked back over my blog and well, it just sounds depressing. I have been in a little of a slump lately, but there really is a funny side of me!
So, I was cruising around the internet looking for images for a school project I am doing. Let me stop here and say that even though I technically don't work "at school" in the summer, I work everyday. If I'm not making something for school, I'm reading about school, or at the very least thinking about school and how I can make it better. But back to the story...... I googled (don't you love google??) purple star for the covers of my students' STAR notebooks (If you really want to know about this amazing organizational tool, let me know and I'll fill you in) and this was an image that I found. Now normally, when I look at magazines (and People is my fave) I just don't relate to anyone I see on any of the pages. Really. But when I saw this photo, I thought..."This is me!" I have this same wig and headband. This model's eyes are brown and mine are green, but really, this is how I appear most Fridays at school. One of my goals this year will be take more pictures of me and my getups. I think I may teach one of my students how to use my camera and make that a classroom job. I think fourth graders can handle that, don't you?
So you may be this someone that teaches the youth of America? How do these kids focus? And how does Tassie live with all the ridicule? These are questions that I ponder as well. All I know, it works! If you had something this interesting to look at while you were learning about fractions, don't you think you would remember? Also, it's really hard to be in a bad mood when you're dressed up. And Fridays are my favorite day of the week. Most teachers would probably say Saturday was their favorite, but I disagree. By Saturday, your weekend is half over. On Friday, the anticipation of the weekend is much better than looking back over the weekend Monday morning. So I say, why not make the most of Fridays? Dress up! I must say that some of my more outlandish costumes can look a little much, but I enjoy it. There's nothing that says, "Take me seriously--I'm wearing glitter eyeliner and purple wig!" Try this costume out at Wal-Mart and people will seriously leave you alone.
So, first goal for the new school year, take and post pictures of my Friday Fun Wear and post on my blog. I have stupid dial up, but I can figure out a way to post if I put my pretty purple head to it.
No other goals just's summer and I'm a Super Model. Don't be hatin......

Life is never dull.

It's been awhile since I posted. The first reason/excuse is that I'm enrolled in grad school on top of working full time and trying my darndest to be a good wife, mother, and friend. The first part of my summer was spent in intensive learning. I had two awesome classes and the work load was incredible, however I learned lots. The second reason is I've been trying to get back into "school mode" to prepare for the upcoming school year. I'm slowly doing this to avoid burnout. I'm finding that my candle is lit from both ends and now is lit in the middle as well.

Which brings me to the latest blip on my radar. Last week, I had a sudden and significant loss of hearning in my left ear, coupled with constant, high-pitched ringin. With it being the 4th and all, I couldn't get into the doctor until the Tuesday after (about 4 days ago.) The first thing they did was put me in this little sound-proof closet with headphones and did extensive hearing tests. I was sort of reminded of those hearing tests you had in school, but this was much more sophisticated. They then tested me with a probe on my head and I guess sent sound waves through my head. Either way, they said what I already know: I can't hear out of my left ear (but unfortunately, no one can hear the ringing....I wish I could share that with someone!)

The doctor then asks tons of questions, I guess to rule out some weird and rare disease. No, I haven't had any dizziness, no I haven't been around anything loud lately (except my mouth, does that count?)....his response was that either it was viral or could be a tumor. If it's viral, I have a 25% chance of improvement with a HEAVY dosage of steroids. If you've never taken them before thank the Lord. You feel nervous, paranoid, can't sleep, and pretty much want to throw yourself off the nearest cliff. I'm not kidding....the literature the doctor gave with the meds has a disclaimer that says I shouldn't make any major decisions while taking this medicine.

If it's a tumor.....well, that's pretty scary. I went yesterday to have an MRI to see if there were any tumors. I don't think that I'll be able to get my results before a couple of weeks. Seriously. I have to wonder for that long if I have a tumor. Of course, the only way to get rid of the tumor is through surgery. I wouldn't be as bothered by this as you might think....I trust my doctor...only.....he doesn't do that kind of work and no one else in this area does either. Great. Adn did I mention that this is a really bad time for me? I can't imagine trying to go through all of this and start a new school year off with a brand new batch of kids.

MRI's aren't fun either. It's a good thing I'm not claustrophobic. I guess all that tanning in the tanning beds, paid off. The hardest part is not moving at all for about 30 minutes and trying to ignore all the very loud noises as the monster machine took many pictures. They also shot something into my arm and that wasn't fun either.

I've only broken down a few my mom of course, and most recently on the phone with my friend Vicki. She told me the story from the Bible with the woman and the matter of blood that knew she would be healed if she could only touch Jesus's garmet hem. Her words to me: "Do not be afraid. Only believe." Such powerful words. I pray that God fully heals me and restores my hearing and removes the ringing. And of course, no tumors. I ask that you agree with me on this that God will completely heal me.

Life is never dull....this is one thing that I know.