Friday, October 31, 2008
Today is Halloween. I think every kid I saw today truly thought that today was a national holiday and they just didn't get why they had to come to school. The hyperness was so thick, you could cut it. Being Halloween, and of course, being me...I got fancy for the occasion. Now, let me state here that I don't celebrate Halloween. We don't trick-or-treat (and when I say we I mean Raelynn too) and we don't decorate for it. The origins of Halloween are not the best. At school, we didn't have Halloween parties or fall parties (this was school-wide so don't start booing me), so I decided to have a little fun with the kids and have a "Candy Corn Day." We did all of our learning with candy corn. The kids loved it. To take the theme over the top, I wore my black jumper with candy corns on it. On my head was a bat. Just a reminder to the kids to not drive me "batty." And of course, my glitter eyeshadow and glitter eyeliner. I even added some glitter hairspray to my hairdo this morning. This is the season of glitter hairspray, so you have to get while the getting is good.
Yesterday wasn't the greatest for me and this morning wasn't much better. I did cheer up considerably at school once my friends Ashley, Lori, and Carrie showed up at my room before school started. Each of them looked slightly different than they usually do. First, they were all wearing these Tinkerbell crown/headbands and they were all wearing purple glittery eye makeup. They all asked me what I thought they were dressing up as for Halloween. I'm not sure what brilliant answer I gave, but I was wrong. They were dressing up as ME! They spent some time this morning following me around and telling people they were dressing up like me for Halloween. It was a very nice pick-me-up. I'm now important enough (or perhaps deluded to even think it) to have an entourage.
On a separate note, I am now done with the first two books in the Twilight series. I have the third one and will be starting that one this weekend. There is a fourth one too, but I haven't purchased it yet. I'd like to get them all read by the time the movie comes out in November. I'm telling everyone to read them, sure that they will love it as much as I do. Hopefully, no one will ask to borrow my books, since I'm pretty possessive of them and don't want to share them in case I want to read them again. You may not understand it, but if you read the books, you will. All this obsessing takes up valuable time.
Well, the sun is starting to turn red and the evening stretches before me. Before I go, I'd like to send a shout out to Bambi, whom I saw at the evil Wal-Mart yesterday. She reminded me that I had been neglecting my blog and encouraged me to post again. Maybe she'll want to join my new entourage. If you want to join, leave a comment!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
So laugh at me if you want to. I know that everyone out there has something that they wear or keep close to them (blankets, sheets, etc) that makes them smile and say "Ahhhhhhh." I think that if I could ever wear these items at the same time to work that I'd be invincible and impervious to stress. I know that there will come a day that the sweatshirt will no longer be wearable, one of the socks will be eaten by the dryer, and my slippers will loose their sheepskin. That surely will be a sad day for me. Hopefully, that year they will be offering the free sweatshirt with new Sports Illustrated subscriptions....because I don't really want the football phone. Plus, they don't look good when you wear them on your feet. I should know...but that's a different post for a later time.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Hello world! Did you miss me? Boy, have I missed you! It's been an interesting couple of days. Now that I think about it, I can't remember a day that I've had that could ever be dull. I think I actually DO some dull things but maybe the flair with which I do them makes them more interesting...I don't know.
I feel like I've had the fun sucked right out of me. This is manifested in my inability to come up with unique and interesting topics. Really....who wants to hear the mundane details of my life? It's the quirky things that I think about that keeps you coming back for more, right? So without further ado, here is my latest topic.
Pencils. They are the staple of my profession. I tend to be idiosyncratic in this area. (I say that like I'm "normal" in any area!) I write a lot in my job....notes to parent, comments on graded papers, forms to fill out, lists to make....the paper trail never ends. Most grown-ups like to write with pen. I do too, but I don't really like the part where you can't erase the mistake you just made. I know, I know....they make really good erasable ink these days, but I'm old school. I don't trust an ink pen that can be erased. If I want to erase, I'll just use a pencil. Which I do. Lots. At any given time, I am carrying around 3 or more writing utensils. On my lanyard, in addition to my classroom keys, police whistle, and ID badge, I clip on two pens: black and blue. I keep a colored one for grading and the black one for signing my name to forms. But other than grading and signing my name, I'd much rather use a pencil.
The issue doesn't end there. Although I like writing in pencil, I don't like writing with a dull pencil. I've tried using mechanical pencils, but the erasers give out before they should and the leads break pretty easily. So I stick to your regular #2 pencils. Which leaves me in a quandary. Where can I hold my pencil as I'm darting about the classroom and throughout my school? I've tried to tuck the pencil behind my ear. Doesn't work. I'm blessed with ears that don't stick out so keeping a pencil there doesn't always work. I've found that I can easily keep my pencil in my hair. I won't go into the hair issue now, that's another post for another time. Let's just say that I don't wear my hair down while I'm working because it keeps me from thinking. I have this wonderful hair clip that I use to keep my hair up and thus, creating a nest for my pencils.
It's nice to have one handy there for those times that I need a pencil and I'm away from my desk (which is quite often.) What kills me is that I unknowingly put several pencils in my hair each day and forget about them until I'm driving home from work. As I take out my hair clip and shake my hair loose, pencils fly everywhere. Multiple pencils. Everyday. So I take the pencils and put them on the passenger seat of my car. I've got quite a collection going. Soon, I'm going to be able to fasten them together and build a log cabin or something. You'd think that eventually I'd just take the pencils in the house or into my classroom. Yeah, I keep thinking that too but it doesn't happen. If I ever give you a lift somewhere you'll see my handy collection of pencils that keeps growing daily.
My pencils must multiply, because I haven't run out of them yet. One day, I will run out of pencils because they will all be in my car. When that happens I'll get into my pencilmobile and ride into the sunset while making my lists, and checking them twice. And if I make a mistake I'll just reach up, grab the pencil from my hair, and use the eraser---just as God intended.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
"Pickle" doesn't actually refer to the delicious, green treat you see featured above. Pickling is the process of soaking a food item in brine. People pickle many things, especially in Mississippi, but for the purposes of this discussion, we'll be talking about pickled cucumbers. Like any other "pickled" item could even compare.
My love of pickles started early. Growing up, it seemed we always had at least a couple of different kind of pickles in the fridge. Side note: Pickles taste their best when refrigerated. We had them in many forms: spears, whole, slices, relish, minis....they're all good. I think that I've eaten at least one pickle a day for most of my life. The way I figure it, they taste good and are loaded with vitamin C. It's a no-brainer.
I love pickles so much that I incorporated them into my lessons. For those of you that don't know, November 14th is National Pickle Day. If you need a whole month to celebrate your love of this tasty snack, then May is your month. That's right... May is National Pickle Month. How sad is it that I know this information? After doing some research, I brought my pickle love over to another love--Christmas.
When I taught in Florida, long before standardized testing when totally CRAZY and we could do something educational AND fun, I learned that pickles are a part of Christmas decorations. It's been a long celebrated custom of putting a blown glass pickle ornament on the tree. The kid who found the pickle ornament first on Christmas Day would receive a special gift from St. Nick. The idea here is to focus more on the tree and its beautiful decorations instead of focusing on the presents and the greed that follows. I don't currently practice this custom but it sounds good. The kids always find this craft project fun....can't you just see your face if your kid came home with a homemade pickle ornament and asked to put it on your Christmas tree? Yeah...that's what I thought.
To celebrate pickle day and/or month, I do activities dealing with pickles with the kids. They love to eat and will usually try something new-at least they do when they're with their friends. We study the history of pickles, how pickles are made, and participate in a taste test. That's usually their favorite part. During this thematic day, we discuss how there is a pickle for each month, very similar to a birthstone. Who knew? Doesn't this sound a lot more interesting than..."Turn in your reading books to page 80..."
Pickles have lots of different uses in food as well. We all know that relish is good on hot dogs and slices are good for sandwiches. Now that they have come up with pickles sliced length-wise to go on sandwiches, having pickles on your turkey and cheese takes on a whole new meaning. My mom uses the pickle juice to help flavor her coleslaw. I know...weird, right? I thought so too until I tried my mom's coleslaw. If you ever come over for dinner at my parents' house and you try some, you'll agree.
In addition to the many varieties of pickles in their shape and size, there is also variety in how they taste. I've always enjoyed the traditional dill, but I also really enjoy bread and butter pickles, and sweet pickles. I probably eat more dill pickles than the other kinds, but it's an absolute must that the pickles be kosher dills. Just so you know, kosher in this sense has nothing to do with a rabbi, but more with adding garlic to the brine. There is one type of pickle that I'm not fond of....sour pickles. I think the name says it all. Why bother with something sour when there are so many other yummy options?
Which brings me to the more interesting side of pickles. There are several places in town where you can get fried pickles. Yes, you read that right....pickles that are battered and deep-fried. Apparently in Mississippi, everything is fried. Grease and heart attacks aside, they taste really good when they are dipped in ranch dressing. If you think it sounds gross, please try it before you condemn it! I think that locally, Little Dooey's are the best.
Now for the next section....I warn you...I don't eat or use anything else you read from here on in, but I did find them interesting enough to include. If you've tried any of these and know more than I do on the subject, please feel free to post a comment.
Kool-Aid pickles. Need I say more? Somebody (we don't know who) decided that gas station pickles weren't enough. They decided to drain out half of the liquid in the jar and replace it with Kool-Aid. I've never tried this. I don't think I want to. I wouldn't want to mess with a good thing. It sorta looks gross to me. I will admit that I've had pickled eggs before. You know the kind...there used to be a huge jar of pickled sausages by the gas station register and once the sausages were gone, they'd drop in a few peeled, hard-boiled eggs in there. Sounds gross and I can't believe that I just admitted that. Back to the pickles....This is something that I found intriguing. Some guy thought that if he took pickle juice and froze it into a Popsicle, people would eat it. He was right...they did. According to the information that I found, this product was featured on the Food Network show, "Unwrapped." Not bad if you ask me. I think this is something I would like to try, just to say that I've had a Pickle Pop. I mean, how many of you out there can say that?
So the next two items I will discuss aren't food items, but fun things you can do with pickles. This is a Pickle-Pult. Why get your hands wet by throwing a pickle, when you can have this handy pult and launch it across the room? I wonder how far its range is.....me personally, I'm more of hand-thrower. It seems like this would be a good conversation starter...."Excuse me...can you hand me my pickle that I just catapulted over here?" You know the person is going to ask you about your Pickle-Pult...or maybe what you've had to drink lately.
I had never heard of this one....a yodeling pickle. The information I found on this one said that it will remind the owner of yodeling "Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music. I'm a fan of yodeling and pickles, so I think this one has possiblities. The downfall here is that this product looks a lot like an item you'd see at an "adult" store.
This is about all the information that I've gathered on pickles at the moment. If you have heard of any other interesting pickles or pickle-type products, please post. Because as we all know, pickles make the world a more happier place. Have you ever seen a kid upset while eating a pickle??? It's just not possible.....
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
*I am enjoying the Tina Fey-Sarah Palin skits. I've always been a fan of Tina Fey and I hope that McCain gets elected so that we can continue to have those hilarious spoofs.
*I'm convinced that there is some 4th dimension where nail clippers live. At my house, we have at least one pair in each room and yet they still manage to disappear. I'm sad to say that the reason most of them are gone is because I don't always put things back where they belong. And to make matters worse, when I go to look for the item in question, I always go back to where the item should be. You'd think I'd learn my lesson.
*I still have reduced hearing in my left ear. I looked into getting a hearing aid but found out that my insurance doesn't cover it. Did I mention that the hearing aid I would need costs around $2,000??? Yeah....I'm just going to ask people to repeat themselves. Come on people...help me out...look at me when you talk and speak up. Some of us are dealing with auditory issues here.
*My mother cooks dinner for my family once a week. It's usually on Monday, but tonight we had it on Tuesday. My mom made meatloaf, which is one of my favorite dishes. I wish I had her recipe. And her to make it for me.
*There is one item in my classroom that students are absolutely not allowed to touch....I have a stapler that will staple over 60 sheets of paper with one finger. I think the thing cost me like $40 but it was so worth it. I'm telling you people, I start to salivate when I think about office supplies.
* A new snack that I enjoy is microwave popcorn. There's a 100 calorie bag of Smart Pop in the flavor of "kettle korn." I've also found some powder that you can sprinkle on top of it and it's very yummy. It's the same kind of powder that they have at the movie theater.
Okay, I didn't do a good job of rambling or of tying it all together. I'll hopefully get my mind back on track and get on with the important things in life....and by that, of course, I mean blogging.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
*Where have I been? Well...I've been incredibly busy with work, grad school, and life in general. It seems that each night there are a million things that need to get done, and blogging isn't always at the top of the list. Never fear- I'm still here....on a side note, when no one leaves comments it makes me feel like no one is listening, hence I don't feel the pressure of having to post. If you want more postings, please leave a comment!
*I'm sending a shout-out to Kathy S. who is a regular reader of my blog! When I saw her last week she asked about several things I have previously posted about. Since she wanted to know, I'll tell everyone...if you didn't want to know and you're reading this anyway...just humor me and read it to the end.
1) I attended a bridal shower last week. This is a huge thing for me. I don't usually do well in large groups of people. The one exception to this is school functions. At school, I am totally comfortable in my element. This shower was for a girl that is marrying my pastor's son. So of course, there were lots of church ladies there. I'm not very social at church...I really think I have some sort of disorder. The good news is that I made it through the shower without an anxiety attack and I managed to make a Southwestern Salad that was quite popular. An added bonus is that no one brought the same gift that I did...so that's good. My gift stands a small chance of surviving the gift returns.
2) I feel like dirt. David currently has strep throat and so he's not feeling well either. I've been nursing him back to health, all the while hoping that I don't get sick too. I just don't have time to be sick.
3) I was not successful in locating a "brake reservoir cap" here in town. I had to look up the nearest Saturn dealership (over 2 hours away), order the part, and have it shipped to my house. Now we just wait for the part and hope that the juice lid, leather bits, and rubber band hold.
4) I have posted about this cap enough that I can now spell reservoir.
5) Yesterday, as I was walking at school in the early morning (I'm there from before sun-up until sun-down) and I could see my breath for the first time this season. I love fall weather. In addition to the cooler temperatures that I love, I'm a big fan of the rapid succession of holidays this time of year. I really like holidays. Someday, I plan on creating my own holiday.
6) Shopping at Wal-Mart has a seasonal bonus. All the of the Halloween stuff is right up my alley. This is the only season you can purchase purple Christmas lights. I guess they'd be called purple "Halloween" lights. Either way, I purchased some. In addition to this, this time of year also has lots of things for sale that I use weekly throughout the year: wigs (I currently have a pink one, purple one, and tinsel one), glitter hairspray (there is no other kind I use--it holds your style great and you shimmer-that's a winning combination), and other assorted items that I love. I've purchased some real nice tinsel fake eyelashes and some glitter body gel. No....I'm not planning on dressing up for Halloween...these are things that I use each week at work. As Dolly Parton has said, "It takes a lot of money to look this cheap!"
7) Yesterday I watched "Employee of the Month." I never rented this because I didn't think that it did well, but thanks to Netflix, I was able to watch it. I thought it was very funny! The next movies awaiting me are "Made of Honor" and "Phantom of the Opera."
8) I got a pedicure today. This is only my second one in 5 years. I enjoyed myself. Raelynn was with me, so she got treated to a manicure. I can see myself doing more pampering like this....if only I had more time and money.
9) I'm quite upset that there was no new episode of The Office this week. Instead of seeing the funniest show ever, I was left to watch the vice presidential debate. It was an interesting debate. I won't discuss my political view since that's one subject most people get heated about.
10) My parents got back from a trip to TN this week and when I went over there to see them, my mom's washing machine got stuck on the wash cycle and basically flooded the laundry room with some spill over to the living room. I quickly jumped in and helped and now can use a wet/dry vac like a pro. I think we emptied it over 10 times. That's a lot of runaway water. Needless to say, when I was done and I returned home, I was too tired to post.
Well, I would say that I wish my life were more exciting, but that usually means there is some sort of crisis and I'm not very fond of those. Hopefully I'll be able to think of some more good topics and post more again soon. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy what's left of the weekend while I grade papers until my eyes fall out......
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I've lived in two places in my life. Key West and Starkville. Even when I went to college I went here at MSU. Moving to Starkville, in some respects, was a step up for me. After all, I had never lived in a town that had a Wal-Mart before. The problem with not living in a large city is that I don't live near a Saturn dealership. Why does that matter, you might ask. When you have a Saturn that needs servicing, you gotta travel to all ends of the Earth to get some help. Why? Because the Saturn brainy types decided to make their car parts only available through a dealership. That's right people...if your Saturn needs some TLC, you can't just go to any mechanic to get it fixed.
Case in point....My Saturn has recently lost its "brake reservoir cap." I feel so proud of myself that I even know what that is now. Let's just say that I spent over an hour on the Internet, looking for this obscure part and came up with nothing. This afternoon David and I went to a parts store in town and came up with more of the same...nothing. Another trip took us to the Chevy dealership in town. Chevy now owns Saturn, but again...no dice. They told us that they could do nothing but change the oil.... Saturn thinks they are so special so they keep the public from being able to fix their cars.... Did I mention that I live over 2 hours away from the nearest Saturn dealership? So now we have to call the nearest Saturn dealership (again over 2 hours away) and see if they can order this part and send it to us. Right now, we are using a juice lid, rubber band, and some leather strips to keep the makeshift cap in place. How janky.
Anyway....I'm over the whole thing. It has done nothing but add to my stress. What I could really use is a vacation. That would give me more time to worry about and locate that stupid brake reservoir cap....