Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ho Ho....Huh???

We all like Christmas surprises, right? I'm all for good know...winning the lottery, finding money, secret santa gifts....but I wasn't prepared for my UNpleasant Christmas surprise tonight!

OK...I know that snowglobes have water in them. I get it. I also know that they break from time to time. I know this because Raelynn loves snowglobes so much that she inevitably breaks them from too much lovin'. So imagine my surprise when I pulled out the Christmas decorations and found a ton of MOLD in the box!!!!!

Apparently what happened is that my Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus snowglobe broke in the decoration box sometime between Jan 1st and today. The water leaked out into the waterproof box (thereby trapping the liquid that caused the mold) and pretty much everything it touched was a nasty mess. Many Christmas items bit the dust tonight....Raelynn's stocking, all of the stocking holders that I got from Crate and Barrel that were incredibly cute, and many ornaments. Did I mention that I'm allergic to mold and mildew? Great.

So, after weeding through what was left of the Christmas decorations and cleaning out the bottom of the box of sludge and broken glass, I put up the Christmas tree and Raelynn helped me hang the ornaments. I have to say that she did a pretty good job of spacing them out so that the different colored ornaments weren't bunched up together. And to top that, she can totally carry a tune when she sings Christmas carols, which she did the entire time she hung ornaments. I much to be proud for.

So if there was a lesson to this cautionary tale it would be this: If you want to store seasonal snowglobes, wrap them in bubble wrap and wrap that in newspaper. Or better yet, leave your Christmas decorations up all year so they won't get broken during the storing process.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

An Annoying Christmas Tradition

Whoever invented the Christmas jingle bell is my hero. There's nothing like being annoying to not just the people immediately around you, but also to everyone else in the room. Like most things about me, jingle bells as accessories are pretty tacky. The phrase "Less is more" makes no sense to me. For me, overkill is almost the right amount. There are times during the holiday season that I'm literally covered in jingle bells from head to toe.
I'm not sure how it all started, but my mom tells me that when I started walking she would put jingle bells on my shoes so she would know where I was. Isn't this the same reason we put bells on cat collars? Anyway- I think the shoes in question were those white high top numbers that people use for bronzing. Who knows... at the time, I probably was enchanted with my ability to make noise and loved them. I don't know but the habit has stayed with me.
Every year after Thanksgiving, I use festive ribbon to tie jingle bells to the laces of each of my shoes. As my daughter started walking, I did the same for her, but only at Christmas. As I walk around my house, my classroom, and out in public, I listen for my jingling bells and think that it makes me seem more festive. Apparently not everyone agrees with my view.
There were a few times in middle school and high school that I'd have the uptight teacher that would ask me to remove my bells because it was distracting. I tried real hard to keep my feet still in those classes. I was trying to spread Christmas cheer, not cause people to go postal. As I got older, I felt like my little sneaker bells just didn't announce my approach like I'd hoped. Since then, I've collected hair bows with bells, a couple of jackets with bells on them, of course the bell necklace and matching bracelets and rings (yes, I have a ring with jingle bells on them), holiday socks with bells, and my ever present and jolly sneaker bells. As a teacher, you can get away with an outfit like that. If I worked at a bank, it'd be a different story. My students quickly catch on and begin to wear their bells too. I'm one of those weird people because the bells don't bother me. Even those big and noisy sleigh bells.
There's no other time of year that I can overload your senses before I even walk up to you. My tacky Christmas sweater assaults your eyes (this will be a future post) and my insistent jingling announces my presence. I'm not sure what my garb is saying about me, but I have no doubt you'll hear the message and remember it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Is Not Year Round Folks!

Hello everyone! I hope this finds you all recovered from yesterday's traditional coma, induced from too much turkey and eating way more that you should. This is the gut busting season. Everyone has these wonderful baked goodies that are "special" AKA "I don't make this very often, so please eat this and tell me you love it so I won't beat myself up later." You're cornered. If you don't partake of the goodies and contribute your own goodies to the many festive occasions you encounter, you are regarded as a scrooge. Not the best image to have during the Christmas season.

So as you know, today officially starts the Christmas season. Being as quick and above average as I am, I started the season early. Now mind you, I don't start as early as the evil Wal-Mart. They started putting stuff out before Halloween this year. For some reason, I can't get into the Christmas spirit during the period of Halloween. I don't know....witches, ghosts, skeletons and santas, baby Jesus, Christmas trees, and snowflakes just don't go together. It's weird because I totally love the Christmas season. You'd think I'd be into all year. I've been out shopping before and come across those stores that are all Christmas, all the time. I can't go into one of those stores unless it's between November 1 and December 31. I know, bizarre. This is coming from someone who has to have working Christmas lights 365 days a year in her classroom and sees glitter as a necessary element in any decent ornament or decoration. I know, I'm this walking mass of contradictions. I think that's one of the many things that makes me so interesting.

So, I'll try to really focus my future posts during this holiday season and see if all of them can be holiday related. Being as I love Christmas, this shouldn't be too hard. After all, when you have Alvin and the Chipmunks playing in the background, it's hard to not be creative.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Lived To Tell The Story...And So Did Everyone Else At The Table!

Okay, I rock. Maybe you didn't know this about me. Maybe you already knew this about me and are wondering why I'm just now catching on. Either way, it still boils down to--I rock.

This was my first Thanksgiving dinner to cook for my family, including my in-laws. Everything worked out great and no one got sick from food poisoning. This is a good thing. One of my fears, other than rampant diarrhea and vomiting from my food, was being able to get everything done at the same time. Well, the end story here is that the food was fab-o and everyone loved it. That's a load off my mind.

'Tis the season for thanks...many of you have listed things you are thankful for and in the spirit of continuing this practice, I will add my list to the many floating around in cyberspace. There are in no particular order.

1) My husband, daughter, parents, and family...this isn't really original, but it's so true. Without them, I'd be a star with no fan club.

2) Running water and electricity--The few times I've been without one or both of these have made living very difficult. I like to wash my hands, flush the toilet, have ice in the maker, wash clothes, and take a bath. Those things are hard to do without water and some electricity. We take this for granted people! If you don't believe me, try going without either one for an extended amount of time.

3) My home-I do spend some time harping on my house and the perpetual state of improvements that it goes through. It's then that I think about all those people out there that don't have any house at all. It puts things into perspective.

4) My job-I enjoy what I do and have more fun that I should. I get weekends off, two months in the summer, 2 weeks at Christmas, one week in the spring and another in the husband and daughter have the same days off that I do. Many unhappy people have no jobs or hate the one they have. That's no way to live.

5) My friends-I have lots of great friends and am always looking to add to my list of people that I enjoy. If you aren't my friend but want to be, let me know. If you know me in person but don't hang out with me on a regular basis, you don't know what you are missing.

6) Good books/TV shows/movies- I like to be entertained. Without these three, I'd have a hard time making it.

7) Good food-It's a great thing to be a little overweight. There are lots of people in this world that have no food at all. I don't want to list any particular food I really like because I don't want the other foods to get jealous.

8) Glitter- This is one accessory that I must have. It not only adds sparkle (literally) to me, it announces my personality before you actually get to know me.

9) Blogging-I love to blog and love to read your comments as well. My writing teacher told me that we all write for an audience, even if it's for ourselves. There's great motivation to write if you think someone is going to read it.

10) Facebook- This is a wonderful thing. I'm able to stay connected to people that I know from lots of different places. Who has time to write a real letter anymore?

Okay, so this is a partial list. I'm sure with much thought, I can come up with more. Right now I'm in the middle of a turkey coma, so I'm going to walk it off and think of you, reading my blog. Thank you for taking the time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This Won't Be Like The Norman Rockwell Painting...

Imagine the Indiana Jones theme music in your mind.....this is what I'm dealing with today. You might ask yourself why I would be hearing music in my head instead of the regular voices....I wonder that too. I think I know why.

See...Thanksgiving is pretty special. First of all, you get to eat. And not just anything but really good food. Second, my mother (the best cook in the world) is the one that cooks it. I may have mentioned before, I'm not a natural cook. I can follow directions pretty well, but I'd say that cooking doesn't come second nature to me. So you can see why I've never bothered to learn. My mother absolutely loves to cook. Really. I'm the smallest (weight wise) adult in my family if that gives you any idea of how much we like to eat and how good her food is.

But that's not the case this year.

My parents own a timeshare. They are spending this week at their timeshare in New Orleans. I'm happy that my parents are getting some time off. Not that they have jobs to be off from, but believe me they are incredibly busy for folks that are retired. So having mom that far away poses a real problem for Thanksgiving dinner. How is she gonna cook and get the food here from several hundred miles away?

Answer: She won't be cooking.

So I've decided to attempt the impossible and "cook" Thanksgiving dinner for myself, David, Raelynn, and my in-laws. My in-laws usually come to my Mom's for Thanksgiving too, because really, when I said she's the best cook, I meant it. She is highly regarded locally as an excellent cook. Since she won't be here, the responsibility this year rests on my shoulders. Did I already mention that I can't cook?

I've decided to just cook the things that I really like from Mom's Thanksgiving dinner menu that won't cause me to have a migraine and are relatively easy to make. Keep in mind that my mom's Thanksgiving meal starts in the morning at breakfast and lasts all day.

Here's my menu:

1) Breakfast casserole to be served for breakfast on Thursday. (This is delicious. It has eggs, sausage, cheese...yummm)

2) Veggies and dip to be enjoyed during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (We eat these pretty much all day while we wait for the food to cook.)

3)Turkey-I got a three pound turkey breast that says "Guaranteed Foolproof" on the package. It gives directions for cooking it in the oven and in the slow cooker. I will decide how to cook it after I call my mom on her vacation for the one thousandth time--all cooking questions.

4) Gravy of course.... homemade, not from the jar

5) My mom's famous fruit salad. This stuff is so good, you'll want to slap somebody.

6) Squash casserole-this is good...David loves it--very yummy.

7) My sister-in-law's English Pea casserole-This is the "green" element to the dinner. I haven't made it but it looks pretty easy. Famous last words.

8) My absolutely fabulous homemade mashed potatoes--with sour cream, green onions, and cheese, cheese, cheese

9) Cream corn-by far the easiest thing to make- Open the can and heat on a pot on the stove.

10) Southwest Salad- this is also my mom's recipe. I've made this a few times for parties, showers, etc and it never fails that someone wants this recipe. It's totally yum-o.

11) Rolls- hopefully I can juggle these and the other things that need baking at the same time

12) Tea-you might not have mentioned this but I don't make tea. I think I know how, but my father-in-law only drinks sweet tea, so I have to find the right balance of sweetness.

So you can see that this is a major undertaking for me. I hope that we all live through it to tell stories about it. If not, I guess this will be the radical diet plan (basically-food poisoning) that I've been looking for.

Keep an empty seat open for me at your Thanksgiving dinner table. If I can't get hold of my mom on the phone, I may need to eat at your house.

Monday, November 24, 2008

He Had Me At Hello

Today is a significant day. Thirteen years ago today, I married the man of my dreams. When I look back to the time I've spent with David, it doesn't seem like it's been that long. On the other hand, I find that I can not see my past before him clearly. It feels like he's always been with me. Since I really love him, I'd say that's a good thing.

For those of you who don't know, David and I met in December of 1986 at my grandmother's house. The year before, David's sister Melissa, and my brother Hugh had gotten married. I was not able to go to the wedding, so this was the first opportunity I had to meet him. David was 21 and had just gotten out of the army. He was very cute and I felt a connection to him immediately. I was still in high school so, we dated long distance for a few months. Those were tough times. Neither one of us knew whether we were coming or going. We broke up shortly thereafter.

For those of you that have interconnected families, you quickly learn that the other person never really goes away. Over the years, I heard about David and what he was up to from my brother and sister-in-law. I also roomed in college with his other sister, Susan. Another connection. We ran into each other at family functions and it was always awkward. The timing wasn't right.

Ten years later, I met up with David again at Christmas, but this time at my brother and sister-in-law's house. By this time, they had two kids and were the only grandchildren on either side. An easy compromise for everyone was to have one large family Christmas. David and I walked and talked for about 2 days during that time. We even had a few fights. David was teaching in Alabama and I was teaching in Florida. We began our long distance relationship again.

This time it was different. Time and maturity were on both of our sides. Three months after meeting up again at my brother's house, we became engaged. Eight months after that we were married. The rest is history.

I don't often blog much about David. Some people that work with him read my blog and I don't want to put David into a weird situation he didn't ask to be in. David also doesn't read my blog. He feels like if I were to write about something and he didn't like it, it would really hurt me. And it would. He's very good like that. Very perceptive and wise.

I know that he was sent to me by God, because I asked for him. I didn't ask for him by name, but about 3 weeks prior to our reuniting, I made a list of all the qualities I was looking for in a husband and then prayed that the Lord would send him to me. I listed all the qualities that I was looking for, even down to hair and eye color. It's hard to believe that it all happened so quickly but it did. We've had our ups and downs, but I figure that all marriages do. I can't imagine even a day without him. I feel very blessed to be his wife. I feel like I'm a better person because I know him. He's had to overcome some large obstacles in his life, but he's still standing strong. If you ever come in contact with him, it'll be an experience you'll always remember. He's that great.

Happy Anniversary honey. I love you very much. Everyday with you is better than the one before! Thank you for choosing me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

To Do List

My Thanksgiving Break To Do List:

1) Sleep late. By that I mean, of course, 6 AM. My daughter knows when there is no school so she wakes up extra early to take advantage of all her "free" time. She's seven. When you're seven, all your time is "free." Apparently, she doesn't realize this yet.

2) Return my Netflix movie to the post office. This is the 4th DVD of the TV show, "Freaks and Geeks." It's really a good show. I take my mail to the post office because one-If I leave in my mailbox with the little flag up, it can take up to 3 more days for my mail to be received and two, I live across from some "questionable" neighbors. I wouldn't put it past them to root around in people's mailboxes.

3) Go see Twilight and eat Mexican food with some friends. I've already seen this movie once and I'm excited to see it again. My previous post is my movie review. (You didn't think this post would be without a Twilight reference, did you?)

4) Grade papers. I tend to do lots of this during breaks from school. There is just no way I can get them done at school with all the other stuff I have to do. I'll spend a couple of hours there a day until I can get some things at school in order.

5) Lesson plans. This is another thing I spend lots of time doing. The teacher across the hall from me is planned up to like February. I just can't do that. Things change from day to day and I like to leave my options open. Also, when you're that anal, things really bother you and you're unhappy all the time.

6) Call in a couple of prescriptions to the evil Wal-Mart. I keep forgetting to do this.

7) Go to my mom's and dad's house each day this week to feed their cat and dogs. All of them (the pets, not my parents) are annoying. However, it's the least I can do given how much my parents do for me.

8) Open a book or two and study for my next project for my graduate class.

9) Watch TV-lots of TV. I almost can't grade papers or write lesson plans without it on in the background. Right now, Superman, is on. Lois Lane has just found out that Clark's identity is really Superman. Christopher Reeves was really cute. Too bad he died. Margot Kidder...well, that's a different story.

10) Put up the Christmas tree. I ususally do this during Thanksgiving because it's the only time I have to do it.

11) Put up my clean clothes. I have a couple of baskets of clothes sitting in my room, waiting to be hung up. I keep waiting for them to do it themselves, but so far, no luck.

12) Clean out and organize my purse. I always feel so much better when I know what's in my purse and where to find it.

13) Cook Thanksgiving dinner. My mom is the best cook in the world and she usually does this. My contribution is deviled eggs (my recipe is the best-ask anyone who's had them) and helping Mom out in the kitchen. My parents are in New Orleans for Thanksgiving so I'm having to do it myself. Fun.

14) Finish reading Breaking Dawn, the last book in the Twilight series. I've had this book for a couple of weeks but haven't read it because I'm savoring the anticipation. I'm sure I'll be majorly depressed when I'm done reading the books.

15) Clean up my house before I put up the tree or cook Thanksgiving dinner.

16) Check Facebook, my email, and this blog several times a day to see if anyone's left me a message. Let's be honest, I don't write for me...I write for you. I already know what I think about me and what I write. The important thing is, what do you think of me and my writing?

17) Sit on my couch, lay on my bed...basically be lazy...which sort of trumps out all of the other things on my list.... It's nice to have the freedom and time to be able to be lazy.

I'm sure there are other things that I should add to this list, but I'm too tired to think of them. Maybe it's not tired---maybe I'm getting a head start to being lazy.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Give It An Enthusiastic Two Thumbs Up

So my public, and when I say that I mean all "one" of you, asked if I was going to review the movie "Twilight" that I've spent so much time blogging about. At some point I was going to mention it in one of my posts, but since I crave your acceptance and approval, I will review it now so I can please my fan(s).
As you may or may not know, I had a friend who rented a theater to have a private midnight showing on Thursday of last week. I don't think I've been to a midnight movie except to see "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" years ago. Since that is an audience participation movie and "Twilight" isn't, you really can't compare the two. I'm hoping that "Twilight" gets a cult following like Rocky Horror and it becomes an audience participation movie. That would be cool.
Since I work full time, going to a midnight movie means cutting into my sleep. Getting large amounts of quality sleep is not only important to me, it's absolutely crucial. I have a hard enough time making sense when I'm well rested, so trust me when I say that you don't want to be around me when I'm really tired. To prevent a total catastrophe at work, I came home after work and tried to take a couple of naps. Why two naps instead of one? Well....there was no way I was going to miss "Survivor" and "The Office." So I tried to sleep both before and after those shows. I think I got a total of about an hour of sleep. I laid in bed and thought about sleep, but it just wasn't happening. After the movie, I got about 2 hours of sleep before I had to go to work but surprisingly, I did okay the next day. Work was fine, but I did fall asleep at the kitchen table about 7 PM. I say all these because my opinion of the movie was filtered through lack of sleep, massive amounts of anticipation, and I had a large Diet Coke during the movie. No wonder I didn't sleep when I got home.
I looked up Roger Ebert's review of the movie and he gave it two and a half stars. Obviously he hasn't seen the movie OR read the book. I must say that I really liked this movie, but I think it's because I really love the books. There is no way to include all the book elements in a movie, but these people sure did try. The movie was very closely aligned with the book. Robert Pattison, who played Edward Cullen, was really dreamy in this movie. It took awhile for me to like his messed up hair, but by the end of the movie, I didn't even notice it anymore. Kristen Stewart played Bella Swan and she did a pretty good job too. She's very pretty. (I like the fact that Edward prefers brunettes!) I don't think the movie really spent enough time developing Bella's character so viewers could invest emtionally in her. I don't know if this actually could have happened since the book has lots of references from her thoughts and dreams...things that are harder to portray in a movie. The Edward character was dark and troubled, which is why Bella is so attracted to him. There were some points that I thought were rushed but if they did every little scene like I would have wanted, then the moive would have been 6 hours long. Having said that, overall I'd say this was a good movie and I'm glad that I went to see it. I'm even happier that I'm going to see it again on Tuesday with some other friends.
I really hope they make the other books into movies. The fans of the books are very passionate and loyal. I don't know of anyone that has read the books and didn't like them. I read the book before the movie twice, in the space of about 3 weeks. I'm debating about rereading it again. I still have the fourth book to read and I'm really trying to savor the anticipation. When I'm done reading that book I will feel as if there is nothing more to read. I think that I'll have just enough time to reread the sixth Harry Potter book before the movie comes out next summer. And when that's over???? Well, at that point, I hope to have a life. In the meantime, I'll continue to babble on and on.
I'm hoping that my next post will be about something other than "Twilight" and I'm sure you are looking forward to that. Since I crave your approval, I'm sure it will happen.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I've Got A Fever...A Twilight Fever...And There Is No Cure!

Okay...I'm not dead. I'm just tired and busy. Tomorrow is the premier of "Twilight" and I'm going to the midnight show with some friends (and students). I have to work the next day and I'm going to be totally dead on my feet. I sure hope it's worth it.
I don't really have lots to tell.....I have next week off and I'm looking forward to that. Did I mention that during the Thanksgiving break, a group of people from my graduate class are getting together to eat Mexican food and then....wait for it.....go see "Twilight?" I know, I's like an addiction. I'm looking for a 12 step program and have had no luck as of late.
So I'm going to sign off now. I have papers to grade, children to bathe and read to, newsletters to write.....the list never ends. And if I'm going to spend the wee hours of tomorrow morning watching a movie about vampires, it HAS to be worth it.
This is Edward. He sparkles in the sun. You'll have to read the book or watch the movie to understand.

This is Mexican food. I'll be enjoying this before I watch the movie....I know you wish you were me....don't hate!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yet Another Twilight Posting

I hate that my posting has become something more sporadic than I'd like. It doesn't help that my computer at home has STUPID DIAL-UP and runs slower than molasses in January. Today is a prime example. I've tried several times to upload pictures to this posting, but my computer and the almighty Internet are not working with me this morning. On days like these, my thoughts tend to REALLY be scattered. All I can tell you is...hang in there when you read. It'll all be over soon.

A subject that has been rolling around in my head is the upcoming movie, "Twilight." (And here's a question...are movies written with quotation marks? I feel like I'm writing it wrong.) I've mentioned this book/movie several times in previous postings-and if you've spoken to me, I'm sure I've mentioned it too. There are currently 4 books in the series, and an illegally Internet leaked manuscript for a fifth book that isn't complete. I've mentioned before the depression that hits when you read a really good book series and you get to the end of the last book. You feel as if there will never be anything else to read. I felt that way for a month after I read the entire Harry Potter series. Knowing this was coming, I've read the first 3 books and the manuscript online. Why skip the 4th book? Well, Stephenie Meyer started the fifth book to tell the first book's story again, only from Edward's standpoint instead of Bella. So what I am in the middle of doing is rereading the first book. I read the manuscript in tandem with the first few chapters of the Twilight and now I'm finishing the first book up. I feel sorta like I did when I first saw "The Sixth Sense." Once you saw that movie, you wanted to go back and watch it again, so you can pick up on the little details you missed the first time. I'm also saving the 4th book until after the movie is over. I'm savoring the anticipation. Anyway, I'm enjoying the reread. The movie comes out next week and I'm going to see it on Thursday night at midnight. Yes, that's right, midnight--and yes I have to work the next day. My plan is to come home and take a nap before going to the movie. Of course Friday will be a little rough but I think I'll manage. My friend Wendy has arranged for a private showing and I'm going to join her and her family to watch it. Now if only I had a cool Twilight movie shirt to wear. On a side note, I'm a little afraid that the movie will not live up to my expectations. In the past, I've found that I've almost always preferred the book to the movie. The one exception that comes to mind is Pride and Prejudice. After watching the movie (with English subtitles no less) I understood more of the story. I'm hoping that I won't be too terribly disappointed with Twilight. At any rate, I think I'll be too tired to worry about it much. If you're looking for a good read, I suggest this book. It's targeted audience is for teens, so it's an easy read. The story line is really good too...even if you don't like vampires. I promise you, I don't like them but I really liked this book. Just don't ask to borrow my copy. I'm toting it everywhere, trying to finish it by Thursday.

A week long vacation is coming so I'm sure I'll be posting more then. Hopefully, I'll have something new to write about. I'm sure you will be too.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I Swear I'm Not A Pack Rat, Really

I'm not sure if this picture goes with this post, but I thought it was cuter than actually putting a picture of a real rat here. Humor me and go with it.

I have a Saturn. It's a mid-sized car with a moderate sized trunk. It's not quite what my friend Ashley calls a "mafia trunk," but it holds more than you think. I'm not a pack rat, I just don't have enough time and hands to unload things so they stay where they are until I can't take it anymore. Here is a partial listing of the things you'd find in my trunk right now...don't worry, I already took the bodies out....

1) A new 4-foot purple tinsel Christmas tree in the box to be used in my classroom. I couldn't resist it. Later, I'll post about the silver tinsel tree from my youth.

2) An expanded folder that has truly been expanded with scrap paper to be used in my classroom that was saved by my friend, Kathy B., whose child was in my class for the last two years. Paper (or lack thereof) is a major issue to teachers. If I could just figure out how to get more.....

3) A box full of "stuff" to be used in my classroom store. Again, my friend Kathy B. cleaned out her trunk and house and donated a bunch of small toys and trinkets that my kids will love. If I could only get them out of my trunk and into my classroom.

4) Assorted rags that David put there to be used during the odd emergency. I don't think I've touched them in like 2 years. If you could see them, you wouldn't touch them either.

5) A spare tire and a jack. Now technically, this stuff can be found under the lining in the trunk, not in the trunk space but I'm listing it because to get to it, I'd have to take everything else out of my trunk.

6) Another somewhat large box of "stuff" for my classroom store from my friend Kathy B.

7) A bag of unopened pine shavings to be used for my class pet. Snickers, the guinea pig, isn't doing so well, so I may be taking this back to the evil Wal-Mart to get my money back.

8) About five 2 liter bottles of assorted sodas for the Bunco game I'll be co-hosting this Wednesday. These are always good times. It's a big thing here in Mississippi. I think just about everyone belongs to at least one Bunco group.

9) A Cappe's Kitchen cup. My house is outfitted with plastic cups from assorted eating establishments in town. This particular cup size is my favorite. Not too big, not too small...just right.

10) A Disney tote bag full of children's books about spiders and bats. This is left over from a presentation I did for one of my graduate school classes. Again, these items need to be returned to my school library. If only they had legs and could walk themselves.

11) One large maroon, blue, and white umbrella. Don't ask me how I'm supposed to get the umbrella to use it during a rainstorm...but in case I figure it out, I'm ready.

12) Some old Wal-Mart receipts. These things are as evil as the Wal-Mart bags and the institution itself. I swear these things multiply when I'm not looking.

13) Five Diet Mountain Dew sodas attached to a 6 pack ring. Before my acid reflux got bad, I'd have one of these at school to get me going. Now that I can't have them, they just sit there.

14) One sharpened pencil that must have migrated from the front section of my car where there are about 10 pencils in the cup holder. I stick these in my hairdo during work and then find them later when I'm driving home.

15) Pine straw. This stuff is everywhere. I think that if you live in Mississippi, you must have this stuff in your trunk or somehow attached to your wiper blades. Since I don't have any pine trees near my house or where I park my car (home or at work) I have no idea where this stuff came from.

It seems like a lot doesn't it? My trunk must be bigger than I think because I can also get a week's worth of groceries in the trunk while also toting home my rolling backpack and additional school bag. I think my car's trunk deserves some award...if at the very least I deem it "mafia sized."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Twilight, Trick-or-Treating, and Mental Health Days

So I told you that I wouldn't be posting for awhile. And I was right. I just finished reading Eclipse this morning before work. There is still another book in the series, but I think I want to see if I can hold off until I see the movie in a couple of weeks. I'm thinking of rereading the first book, even though I read it like 2 weeks ago so I'll be ready for the movie. I don't know.

There hasn't been too much to report this week. I did have a rough day on Thursday. Thanks to some friends and a visit to Old Venice, the day ended much better than it started. I really think that to make schools more efficient, a full time massage therapist should be on staff at each school. Someday when I'm independently wealthy, I'll go to massage therapy school, get licensed, and then volunteer my time at schools. Getting a massage is fabulous but expensive enough to not happen as often as I'd like. Guess I'll just have to settle for wearing my pj's to school on Pajama Day.

Raelynn went trick-or-treating this year for real for the first time. We did not plan this in advance, but just couldn't resist her current wide-eye wonder at it all. It seems that this year is the one where she really gets into every holiday. So we came home and gave her about 10 minutes to find a "costume" to wear using the elements she already had in her dress-up box. I think she was trying to be fairy princess, but she looked closer to a hobo with wings. We then whisked her off to the suburbs and did one section of one neighborhood. She had a blast. The weather was real cool, so I enjoyed walking around holding David's hand. Holding hands is great. When you have kids, you don't usually hold hands as much with your spouse as you do with your child. And you start calling your spouse "Mom" or "Dad." I swore I'd never be one those people.....and yet I am.

I will be out of school on Monday. I am required to go to a district training on mentoring new teachers. I spent 4 hours on lesson plans and gathering materials for the sub this afternoon. And that's not all. Snickers, our class guinea pig, is in rather bad shape. I'd hate to think he'd die over the weekend and the kids were faced with death first thing Monday morning. So, on top of the 4 hour long planning and preparation I spent today, I'll go in before work on Monday to take care of any "passings" that happen this weekend. (On a side note, I can't go to school on the weekends anymore, so I would if I could.) Why 4 hours you ask? I remember subbing and it's not easy. At all. I believe that leaving very detailed (and when I say very detailed, I mean anally detailed) lesson plans. It just works better for everyone that way. You might be wondering why I'm even mentioning that I'm going to be out, right? For me, this is huge. I never miss work. I don't know if it's this incredible work ethic I have or whether I'm just too lazy to spend 4 hours on lesson plans for one day. If I had somewhere interesting to go (a concert, a cruise, etc) I think I could talk myself into taking off. In all my years of teaching (and that's been a lot) I've never taken a mental health day. I wouldn't even know what to do on those days. If you have any ideas on what to do when playing hooky from work, please leave a comment.

So that's about it. Not much to say. I'm really enjoying the books I reading and not looking forward to the depression that will soon follow. I hope to be more present in the blogging world this week. Hint Hint: a comment now and then makes me feel loved, which in turn makes me want to post. So really, commenting is a win/win situation. I feel validated and you get more of my incredible wit. I know. It seems almost too good to be true.

See ya'll later..peace..I'm out!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Twilight Books-AKA Why I Won't Be Blogging As Much

Hello my faithful friends, fans, and those of you who happened to stumble upon my blog and are now wondering, "What the heck??" I'm back posting today, but I can't say for sure when I'll be posting again. You see, I'm currently going through some major obsessions right now. If you've been reading this blog or known me longer than 5 minutes, you're not surprised to hear that. You also know that my childlike enthusiasm is fodder for everyone's amusement. I must say here that I consider it "childlike" and I'll ask that you humor and just go with it. (I notice that some of you out there laugh at me and think I'm just a goober--but again, humor me please!)
So I've written about this before but I must state again that I'm currently reading a wonderful series, the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer. I love to read-I've stated that before. Since I've become an adult with a child that follows me around and wants mundane things like food and attention, I've not be able to read as much as I'd like.
There are exceptions. I do read what I'm about to ask my students to read. This is a good thing, since there are times that things may not be appropriate to read to students and you want to find that out before you actually read it and a parent becomes irrate. Another exception is the Harry Potter series. I started reading them last fall after hearing several teacher friends talk about how great they were. Also, I happened to catch a Harry Potter marathon on TBS one weekend. The rest is history. I spent all of Christmas break that year, reading. Literally. I was hold up in the corner at my parents' house on Christmas Day, reading a book instead of visiting and being social. After that series was done, I went into a book depression.
That is until I started this series.
I've blogged about them before, but I'm putting it out there now in case you like reading my blog and you don't hear from me in awhile. These books are fabulous. The movie based on the first book comes out around Thanksgiving. I can't wait. I read the first two books pretty quickly. They are both out in paperback, so I didn't feel guilty buying them. The third and fourth books are still in hardback and I don't like to pay for expensive books if I can wait awhile and read them in paperback. Or at least, that's what I used to think. After I finished the second book, I ran off to Wal-Mart (the axis of evil) with the plan to purchase the third and fourth book. The only problem is that they didn't have the fourth book!!!! Being the cheapy that I am, I drove to the next town over (about 24 miles) to go to the next nearest Wal-Mart to get it. Yes, we do have a book store or two in my town, but they can be so expensive. Why not take any excuse to go on a retail therapy road trip?
I'm happy to report that I did find the fourth book and now I have all of them. I started reading the third book last night and plan to read some more tonight, after I grade some papers, cook some dinner, and do homework with my daughter. If I could only get that auto-pilot option on those things, I'd have it made. As a bonus to my shopping trip, I went to a book store in the mall during my shopping trip. This was mainly for my daughter because she loves books as much as I do. While there, I also found the official Twilight Movie Companion book that goes behind the scenes of the movie and tells you how it was made and stuff. I can't wait to read that one too.
I say all this so that you'll understand if I don't post as regularly in the next couple of weeks. I'm telling you...these books are great. So great that I don't even care that when I'm done reading them, I'll fall right back into my book depression until I can find a new series to obsess about.