Friday, January 30, 2009

The Total Unjustness Of Sweatpants

Okay, it's cold outside. Most people wear pants, prefer to bum around in sweatpants. First, they are comfy. I never realized how important comfort was until I "grew up" and had to work for a living. Also, elastic can be your friend. I know some of you don't agree with me, but as a person whose weight fluctuates, I appreciate it when at least something fits. But I digress.

Even though I enjoy wearing sweatpants, I get a little unhappy when I think about all the sweatpant injustice out there.

Okay, first gripe:
I carry a cell phone like most people do nowadays. I'm not the kind of person that feels good leaving my phone on my desk at work (people have sticky fingers....I have a teacher friend that had a 9 year-old student steal her cell phone and then throw it in the toilet at school!) and I don't always hear my phone go off in my purse. (I'm hearing impaired.) I like to carry my cell phone in my pocket. Most of the time, I'm wearing pants or jeans to work and there's no problem. On the weekends, when I'm out and about wearing my sweatpants, I can't put my phone in my pocket because most women's sweatpants don't have pockets!

Did you know that men's sweatpants have pockets? Perhaps this is because most men don't carry around a purse and they need a place for their wallet. I have a place for my wallet purse...what I need is a place for my cell phone! Tell me that's not unfair! Why can't women's sweatpants have pockets? If you don't need, don't use 'em! If you need them, there they are!!!

Second gripe:
Color. Women's sweatpants come in the most awful colors. I mean, I like bright colors.....just not in my sweat pants! I prefer a nice neutral color that I could wear with my brightly colored shirts!! It's really hard to match to sweatpants in sage green, light pink, magenta, or baby blue. Come on people! What's wrong with black? Navy blue? Gray? Why must we dress ourselves like Easter eggs on our legs?

You know what I'm going to say, right? Men's sweatpants come in a variety of neutral colors. And they have pockets. I'm sure this is because most men would find it less manly to wear sweatpants in sage green, light pink, magenta, or baby blue. Someone smart figured out that the neutral colors were the way to go.

Third gripe:
Cost. As I'm sure you've guessed, women's sweatpants cost more than men's. Now why is that? Most of the men's pants are larger and require more fabric. Should they not be more expensive then? Or is it the fact that so much trouble was gone through to secure the rare colors of sage green, light pink, magenta, or baby blue? Sweatpants for men cost less. That's just not right. I figure women's cost more because we'll pay more. Guys will see a pair of sweatpants they want (probably black with pockets) but would flip out if they had to pay more than $7 for them. The ugly women's pants will cost about $12 and that's at the cheap and evil Wal-Mart.

I think I have the solution. From now on, I'll just shop for sweatpants in the men's department. And if anyone asks me what I'm doing, I'll tell them my husband is looking for some nice neutral colored sweats with pockets. So he can carry his cell phone. Ahhhh.....the injustice of living a lie!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 things

The following is a facebook note that I was tagged in. Basically, you list 25 things about yourself and then tag at least 25 others to do the same thing. I thought they were interesting facts....tell me what you think!!

1) I have a blog. I write about random things…hence the name and URL:
2) I don’t like rats and snakes.
3) I truly believe that Bigfoot exists and he has a distant cousin that lives in the deep woods of Mississippi.
4) When eating a meal with multiple items, I always start with the item I like the least, then continue eating each item until I get to the thing I like the best. I eat all of one item before I go on the next thing.
5) I wear a watch all the time, except in the shower. There is at least one clock in every room in my house-even the bathrooms.
6) I am related to Abraham Lincoln.
7) My hair has been every shade of blonde, red, and brunette that you can imagine.
8) My brother is married to my husband’s sister. (brother/sister married brother/sister)
His wife is my sister-in-law twice and our kids are double first cousins.
9) In high school, I drove a 1968 maroon Mercury Cougar. It was an awesome ride.
10) Every year after Thanksgiving dinner, I add jingle bells to my sneakers to usher in the Christmas season. I leave them on until New Year’s.
11) I am very proud of the fact that I’m a Nationally Board Certified Teacher. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done professionally.
12) I have always gone to sleep almost as soon as my head hits the pillow.
13) I have psychic abilities—I am often correct about situations that I get a certain “feeling” about.
14) My favorite fruit is the pear.
15) I have never met a cheese that I didn’t like.
16) I have read the Twilight books and seen the movie more times than any other book/movie. It never gets old to me.
17) I prefer to write in pencil as opposed to pen. My pencil must be VERY sharp. I don’t like mechanical pencils at all.
18) I collect refrigerator magnets. My fridge is covered in them.
19) I often wear glitter eye makeup. When I say glitter, I’m talking loose glitter in a bottle.
20) I like the smell of new plastic shower curtains.
21) When getting my teeth cleaned, I enjoy “crunching” the sandy stuff used to buff my teeth.
22) I get lost easily. If you put me in a paper bag that was open on both sides, I don’t think I’d find my way out.
23)A good afternoon snack is a cup of Fritos and buttermilk. Don’t knock it till you try it.
24) By the age of 15, I had been to 49 out of 50 states. The only state I haven’t been to is Alaska and I don’t plan on going anytime soon.
25) I am allergic to cats, mold, mildew, and cockroach dander. Yes, cockroaches have dander.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

So Creepy......

Hannah Montana lives in my living room. Or at least that's what it feels like. Raelynn had her birthday party last weekend and when we were buying stuff for it at the evil Wal-Mart, she saw this life-sized mylar balloon of Hannah Montana. Since that's the theme we were going with, she, of course, wanted it. I caved in only turn 8 once!

So we toted Hannah all through the store and Raelynn finally had someone to listen to her chattering and singing while we were shopping. (I do listen to her, but I can only take in so much Strawberry Shortcake and Barbie talk...after awhile it all runs together.) So we got our groceries and headed out to the car, which thankfully I could locate this time. As we went outside, the helium in the balloon contracted and made the balloon look like it was leaking. I hadn't thought about how the cold could do that. We got Hannah to the car and it was interesting to watch her re-inflate after the heater was put on. So far, this is most entertaining this balloon has been to me. We took her on the party and we all had a good time.

Raelynn has continued to enjoy her Hannah Montana balloon all this week. I mentioned in an earlier post that our house is pretty drafty. Many times this week Hannah has deflated and re-inflated as the interior temperature has changed. Raelynn has been very concerned about Hannah and has kept her in the living room near the fire to make sure she stays as warm (and inflated) as possible.

Here's the creepy part. The ballon is anchored to a weight which keeps her from floating to the ceiling. Well, thanks to innovations in mylar balloons that don't loose helium and the weight holding her down, a week later I look out of the corner of my eye and I see a life-sized person slowly spinning around. I don't think Raelynn (or the balloon) realize that eventually I am going to get freaked out and "accidently" pop her. I think I may amuse myself and the neighbors by anchoring her next to our picture window so it'll look like we have a celebrity staying with us.

Lesson learned: Don't buy anymore life-sized balloons. I'm just not in a place where creepy works for me.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Little Dab'll Do Ya!

Okay, so I hope you don't think I'm talking about Brylcreem. I think my dad used it in the 50's but for some reason, the jingle for it came to my head while thinking for a title for this post. But my little corner of the world, I have found the cure for the blues. Add some glitter and the blues go away! Let me 'splain.....

I don't know when I started it, but on Fridays, I "glam" it up by adding some sparkle to my beauty regime. It probably doesn't flatter me and makes me look older and nuttier than usual, but it doesn't seem to slow me down. People around these parts are pretty conservative, so I've had to ease my way back into the glitter. I know it doesn't make any sense, but even though I can't see it, I feel better about my day.

I've gotten the system down to a manageable routine. I put on my eyeshadow and eyeliner as usual and then add some Urban Decay liquid glitter eyeliner on top of my regular eyeliner as a type of "glue" for the next layer of glitter. I must say here that I adore my liquid glitter eyeliner...I have it in many colors and am always on the lookout for new colors. But I digress....While the Urban Decay liner is still wet, I then pat loose glitter on top of that. I have many little vials of this wonderful pixie dust that I find at our local Claire's. Yes, I shop at Claire's and I'm not afraid to admit it. After the loose glitter is in place, I add my usual brown/black mascara. My last step in this process is to take some loose glitter in a different color and spread it lightly on my cheekbones and above on my brow. On the rare occasion, I will also add my fake, glitter eyelashes and some glitter lip gloss. Over the top, you say? Well.....I'd agree with you. Somewhere along the way, I stopped caring how much I resembled a drag queen and embraced my tackiness. All I can say cheers me up and is a great way to usher in the weekend. And if I should happen to have plans Friday night, my face is already dressed for the occasion.

Before you knock it, you should try it. My students love it, which proves that it's "cool."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Fine Art Of Fire Starting

Okay, so it's no surprise for you to hear that it's cold in my neck of the woods. Mind you, I'm totally not complaining. For those of you who may not know, I was born and raised in Key West, Florida where its residents experience year-round summer. Really hot summer. Experiencing the four seasons is a true delight. This nice chilly weather feels a lot better than being hot and sweaty. And my faithful readers (all 2 of you) know that I detest long sleeves. But on to my randomness.......

The house we bought when we moved here was our first home to own. We chose our house for two reasons: it was cheap and it was on the same street as my parents' house. It wasn't until we had been here for just a little while that I realized why our house was cheap. There's lots of stuff wrong with it, that's why. One of the many things our house is deficient in is the insulation. Also, we don't have many windows, but the ones we do have are drafty. This makes for a warm house in the summer and a cold house in the winter. Now, don't start thinking that I live so far out of civilization that we don't have central heat. I don't know if I'd consider it the traditional central heat, but more of an attempt to be a central heater. Our house has many cold spots, and it's not because we're being haunted. Like I said, we have bad insulation. What keeps us from totally freezing is that we have a fireplace in the living room. Since it isn't the gas kind where you flip a switch and get sudden flames, you actually have to get the wood and start the fire before you get any heat.

It's here that I should mention that my husband is well-versed in all things firewood. His father makes his living by cutting and selling firewood. David and his sisters started working with his dad very early on. His house growing up had a wood burning stove to produce heat. So saying that he had experience with making fires is an understatement. Let's contrast this, shall we, with my upbringing. In Key West, no one has heat of any kind. Maybe a few people have central heat, but most folks make do with space heaters when they need them. I do remember us having an old metal space heater that we stored in the shed for about 363 days a year and since we were all warm-natured at my house, we didn't use it very much. Also, just so you know, my Brownie troop disbanded before I got to become an official Girl Scout and go camping in the woods. My experience with starting fires is basically nill.

So then I married David and moved to any old, drafty house where it gets cold. For the most part, taking care of the fire is David's job. Not that he has to do it, but he's better at it than I am, so we all work within our strengths. That's why I fix Raelynn's hair each morning...not that he can't do it, but I'm better at it. There are times when David isn't around and a fire needs to be made. I'm good at cleaning out the ashes in the fireplace, but not so good at starting the fire. But just saying I'm not good at it won't make it any warmer in my house, so I have become a student in the art of starting a fire.

I must say here that David is truly talented at making fires. There are other things he does well, like drive stuff, but making fires is something I think he could give lessons on. That's a good thing since I desperately need to get better at it. At our house, we use cut up pine pieces (cut by David) as the bottom layer in the fireplace grate. On top of that I use a variation of bark, dried wood, and smaller twigs. After stacking the wood just so, I then light the pine pieces. If I've done it right, the pine will ignite the wood and my fire will take off. My successes in fire making are about equal to my failures. But not being one to give up and wanting to show my willingness to contribute, I continue my quest in making a fire.

Tonight, I was successful. When David came home, the fire was burning even though it had yet to warm up the house. With an internal temperature of 54 degrees, it takes awhile to warm the house. But....I got credit for my efforts. Tonight I felt like Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway. I want to pound my chest and declare to no one in particular...."Look at me....I've made fire. I. have. made. fire." Aren't you proud of me?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This Post Has No Interesting Title

This should be me. I definitely need some r & r. I'm up to my eyeballs in grading papers, doing lesson plans, working on a paper due for my grad class on Monday (did I mention this is only the second time we've met?), completing my IRB training (I'd tell you what it is but you'd die from boredom) also for my grad class, and of course all the little stresses that come with being a wife, mother, and teacher. The only other thing that sounds good right now is a massage. At $50 an hour, this isn't a luxury I can afford often. Have I also mentioned that my last paycheck was on December 19th? I won't get another one until January 30th. That sucks. Anyway, I don't have much to say, but felt the incredible need to post in case anyone was reading it on a regular basis. My topic tank is starting to get a little low, so if you'd like to hear my random comments to a particular topic or hear my take on a thoughtful question, please leave a comment. Since I don't have a bathtub to take a bubble bath, my only means of relaxing these days is blogging. life is that exciting!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sunset Celebrations In Key West

A couple of you have asked for posts on growing up in Key West. I will be happy to oblige you after I tell you why I haven't been as regular at blogging. Basically, my life is busy. I'm currently enrolled in grad school, teach full time, and try to maintain working relationships with my husband, daughter, and friends. When you take out sleep and showering time, there just isn't much left over. That's not really a valid excuse, but it sounds good, so I'll continue to use it until I think of something more clever to say.Every afternoon, as the day passes into evening, a daily celebration occurs at the western edge of Key West. People of all walks of life gather around the seawall and applaud as the sun sets over the water. Some people are celebrating the ending of a beautiful day in paradise but others are just clapping because everyone else is and they don't want to appear confused. How this tradition started, I don't know. I do know that your first trip to Key West will include at least one visit to what the locals call "Sunset." I've never seen anything like it before.

I've seen sunsets. I've traveled quite a bit and seen the sky turn many beautiful shades of violet and gold, but I can honestly say that the sunsets in Key West are truly a work of art. Part of it is just the sheer beauty of it but another part is the fact that this daily natural occurrence draws the nuttiest people in town.

It's been awhile since I was in Key West and even longer since I attended a sunset celebration. Occasionally, we'd have visitors in from out of town, and we'd go with them to view the oddities that I've not seen anywhere else. I can't say that it's a place we would frequent of our own volition, but every once in awhile it provides some amusement. Some of the regulars to sunset have changed over time but the feeling of the place is still the same.

There are many vendors that set up along the water. Some sell local food fare and others sell things that really have nothing to do with Key West but are something you'd associate with a tropical island. Lots of those items can be picked up at the local Walgreens but buying from someone in dreads that smells of incense just makes it seem more authentic I guess. All sorts of items can be found, shirts (both hippie and touristy), jewelry, pieces of art, various items made from parts of the coconut (which isn't native to the Keys), and differnt types of food that have interesting ingredients like Key Limes. Watching the sunset with a chicken kabob marinated in Key Lime juice in your hand just makes the whole event so much more memorable.

In addition to the vendors, there are street performers. For many years the locals just enjoyed the show like the tourists but somewhere down the line, people started barking about how these people needed to be liscened like everyone else in town. Key West is really into codes and enforcing eco-friendly legislation. After much fighting there was resolution and the street performers went on with their entertaining.

Some regulars at sunset that I remember:

*The iguana man: This guy had MANY iguanas and often was draped in them. You could have an iguana sit on your shoulder or arm and get a photo taken for a small fee. In recent years, I don't recall him being there, but I do remember giving him a wide berth when I did see him because iguanas can be very mean. I'm sure that everything they had to put up with every night made them even more crankier than normal.

Then there was the Southernmost Bagpiper. This wasn't the only music you'd hear at sunset but it definitely was the most sad sounding. He is a very good bagpiper, but if you've ever heard bagpipe music, it's hard to make it sound festive. Most times you would see him slowly walking around the pier, wearing his wifebeater undershirt and kilt, playing for money. Yeah, I don't think this is something that most towns have....
There are other various performers that are synonmous with sunset. There are people that juggle fire and just about everything else you can imagine. There's a guy named "The Cat Guy" who brings his cats out nightly to have them do tricks like jump through a burning hoop. I think people in town starting fussing about cruelty to animals at some point, but he's still going strong. I think they should have focused on the cruelty of having to look at his wig. There's a tightrope walker that's been doing his thing for over 20 years. His little setup is now a permanent part of the sunset celebration. If he falls, I'm not sure what will happen to the sunset celebretion as we know it.

There are lots of other characters there at sunset. One is the Silverman who poses as a live statue. People usually get a kick of watching him and trying to see if they can get him to move, very much like the guards outside Buckingham Palace. Somehow, I don't think Silverman would be welcome there. There's also the "Cookie Lady" who drives around the pier selling her homemade cookies and sounding a lot like the front man for a sideshow at a circus. She looks real "earthy," and that not's something I want in a cookie. Interestingly, I haven't seen her or any of these other performers anywhere else in town. Maybe they're like vampires and only come out at night. Perhaps they frequent different places than me....I'm not sure.
Looking back, I think I took this event for granted. I'd like to see what's going on there now and if there are any new regulars. There's nothing here in Mississippi to compare, although one time I did see some hunters sitting real still on the tailgate of their truck, parked in the middle of a dirt road, waiting for a deer to cross so they could shoot it. I wanted to pull over and watch the event and applaud because it looked more like performance art than hunting. I'm not sure that clapping would have been welcomed or helpful in their efforts to be quiet. Although Key West sunsets are something that I do miss, I have to say that watching the sun go down behind the woods near our home in a swing built by my husband has a certain beauty of its own. I think it's all about appreciating the uniqueness of where you are and experiencing life no matter where you are on the map.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Just Say No To Long Sleeves!

Okay, so I realize that a lot of you out there are really cold right about now. I'm no different. It's mighty chilly for the south. Most people around here don't really care for the cold weather, but I'm really enjoying it! Now mind you, when I say I enjoy it, I'm not talking blizzards, school closings, or ice on the roads. I don't enjoy cold that keeps you a prisoner in your home or freezes the water in your pipes. Let's face it people, you don't want to be around me if I haven't had a shower or washed my hair. Not that I'm all that stinky, but more because I freak out when that happens. You can take my electricity, but boy don't mess with my running water! But I digress.....

For those of you that don't know, I was born and raised in Key West, Florida. If you've never been there, all I can say is that it's the closest thing you'll find to a tropical island in the contiguous United States. It's a nice place to visit but in my opinion, not the best place to live. But that's another post for another time. Back to our story.... Living in the Florida Keys means that you experience one season all the time-summer. Hot summers. Most people wear shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops due to the heat. In some places there, that attire is considered dressy! I think when I lived there, I owned one pair of jeans. I know I owned many pairs of shorts. As for shirts, I'm a big fan of t-shirts and for work I had a collection of short sleeved shirts. Notice I didn't say long sleeve. And no, I didn't really have sweaters or sweatshirts either. I didn't even own a "coat." If it got chilly (which in Key West is 65 degrees), I'd put on a windbreaker and that would do it. Most locals there would get bundled up like they were going skiing, but not me. I don't wear long sleeves, sweaters, or sweatshirts. It's only shorts sleeves for me, even now that I live somewhere else and experience all four seasons. Tomorrow will be in the thirty's and I plan on wearing a short sleeve shirt. You might be asking why I would do such a thing.

The answer is easy. I don't like to sweat.

Here's what I don't get: It's wintertime, and it's cold outside so people really pack on the layers of undershirts and shirts and sweaters and coats and mittens and gloves and hats and get the picture. However, how many of those people actually work outside? I mean really.....don't most of us (or at least the people that I know) work indoors and mostly go outside to get to the car to go home? Isn't it heated in your workplace? If it is, wouldn't you get HOT being in all those layers? Or am I the only one who works around here??? I don't know. All I do know is that if I wear short sleeves and put on a jacket, I can take the jacket off or put it back on depending on how cold I feel. You can't do that with a sweater. If you did, you might not have a job for very long.

So you see, there's really no need for me to get any "winter" clothes. I will say that I've progressed from wearing shorts to work everyday to now wearing pants. All of the people that I work with now wear pants, with no one wearing shorts or dresses. I'd really like to keep my job, so I gave in to the jeans. I'm happy to say that I now own about 6 pairs of jeans and several pairs of pants, both in black and shades of tan. But as for the shirts.....I'm not giving in. Short sleeves will rule the day around here. That is until my heat gives out and I need a sweater. But you'll let me borrow one, right?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Raelynn!

This is my daughter, Raelynn. Tomorrow is her birthday. She will be eight years old. Where has the time gone? Normally, I would post this on her birthday, but tomorrow night is the first night of my graduate class this semester and I'm sure I won't have the time.

Raelynn is a very imaginative and happy person. She loves dressing up, playing with her dolls, and as of late, being fancy. I'm not really sure what the entails, but it's a state of mind in which she continues to strive. She tells jokes that make no sense and draws pictures of me with long, curly blonde hair--I'm a brunette.

Her arrival into this world is a day I won't soon forget. Raelynn was due on February 26th and for some strange reason, I was convinced that she would be born on March 2nd. Neither of those things happened. Basically without going into too much detail, I woke at 5:00 AM on January 11th and went to the bathroom. Something didn't feel right, and I suspected that my water was leaking. I called the doctor and since he was at the hospital, he told me to meet him there. I must have been deluding myself because I really thought that I'd be back to work that morning. I called my teacher friend Debbie, and told her that I was going to the doctor and that I'd be back soon. I called the office secretary and told her too, but since I have this crazy notion that missing work is bad, I convinced them both that I'd be just a little late at school. Debbie offered to watch my students.

I didn't make it back to school.

The doctor confirmed what I already suspected, my water was leaking. He felt that the best course of action would be for me to be airlifted to the nearest hospital with a neo-natal intensive care unit, which happened to be 165 miles away. He wasn't sure if Raelynn would need special care once she was born and he didn't want to take any chances. David wasn't able to fly with me, he had to drive it and hope he made it there before she was born. The doctor at the hospital gave me medication to stay off contractions and I was assigned bed rest. He took me off the medication the next day.... and you guessed it, it became Raelynn's birthday.

Of course she was born via emergency C-section. She was 3 pounds and 15 ounces and 16 1/2 inches long. Most Baby Alive dolls are bigger than she was. Thankfully the Lord watched over us because she had no complications except not having lots of baby fat. They took care of that by hooking her to many machines and pumping liquid fat into her by IV. She left the hospital two weeks later weighing 4 pounds and 7 ounces.

There was a time that I doubted I would even have a child and when I look at her now, I can hardly believe that was my state of mind. I think I was worried that I wouldn't be a good parent and that I would "mess her up." I came to the conclusion that all parents mess up their kids (but they don't mean to) and that what matters is that your parents didn't set out to do it. They just made mistakes that we all make. They did the best they could at the time.

I'm very blessed to be her mother and can't imagine life without her. When I look at her I can't help but think, "Man, David and I make great looking babies!"

Happy Birthday Puddin'!!! Momma loves you so much!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Old Pictures Take Me Back

So some of my friends on facebook have been scanning and posting old pictures. It's been very interesting. I joined the bandwagon and posted some of my own. Maybe sometime I'll post some of them here, if you're interested in seeing me as a youngster.

This particular photo was taken on a sunset catamaran cruise. I had a great time. A friend took this picture and then sent it to me in the mail. I thought it pretty well summed me up. Anyway, I love this photo. Hope you enjoy it too!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What do pajamas, Santa's helper, and Lady Liberty have in common? ME!

As long as the comments (mostly positive) keep coming, I'll add more costume pictures to my blog. This post is a continuation of my previous one. I was looking through some old photos and found some of me while I was teaching in Florida. I chose the ones where I'm dressed up to post because some people keep asking for proof of my sparkling persona's on Fridays...I aim to please so here goes.....

Every year my old school, Sugarloaf Elementary, celebrates Dr. Seuss Day on March 2nd. Each class picks a book and dresses up and make props to carry at a parade we have at school. We also rotated to different stations to make crafts and listen to Dr. Seuss books being read. In this picture, I am modeling the latest fashions for the book I Am Not Getting Up Today by Dr. Seuss. My kids loved coming to school in their pajamas. (I enjoyed it too.) I've always said that my job performance would dramatically improve if I could wear my pajamas and slippers to work. No one seems to think this is a good idea because it hasn't caught on yet. The kid waving in the back is named Dominic and he's now in college. Perhaps I should post this to facebook and tag him...hmmmmmm.

This is one of many Christmas costumes that I wore to school. The student I'm standing with is named Heather and she's currently in college. I should post and tag this picture on facebook too. Heather's mom eventually made me red collar with bells on it to go with this outfit. I wear it each year. Take note of Heather's shoes. I made those. Several girls that year brought me shoes and asked if I could make them elf shoes. I made some for myself too but this was taken at the end of the day and my feet hurt so I took them off. Just so you know, most of my students dressed up like elves too. You may not be able to tell, but behind me are Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling. I eventually got in trouble for all these lights (I think I had about 6 strands looped from the ceiling) and had to take them down. Now that I'm at a new school in a new state, I put my lights back up. There are about 7 strands of Christmas lights in my room year round. They look tacky but I love them.

This is a picture of me dressed as the Statue of Liberty. I had worn this to school and liked it so much that I wore it to a faculty Halloween party. I got the hat while on a trip to New York. My torch is really a flashlight because I was too lazy to make a realistic looking one. I still use this sheet in my classroom. I use it to cover my computers at night.

I found some other pictures and will scan them this weekend when I have some's been a long day and The Office was a rerun tonight....funny but disappointing. I think I'll go be sad a little while I consider what to wear tomorrow. Any suggestions you may have are always welcome....

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

By Popular Demand

So I was looking through some old photos yesterday and found some I had packed away from teaching in Florida. Sadly, I haven't taken as many pictures as I should have on my "Dress Up Fridays." Because some people **cough cough--you know who you are** constantly remind me of how I need to post them, I thought I'd try to oblige. I figured out how to scan some pictures without tearing my hair out. So I'll post some here and add to them.

This first picture was during my first year of teaching. I know, I know....I don't age, right? The social studies curriculum in third grade in Florida consists of studying ancient cultures. After we learned about the Greeks, we had a toga day. I let students decide if they wanted a traditional toga or if they wanted to put a "spin" on it. I chose to spin mine as you can tell.

I love this picture. The principal at my school had a school-wide theme each year for Open House in the fall. The theme for this school year was a western theme. Most people just put up a bulletin board, but I couldn't just leave it at that. I have to go over the top.

This was taken during our feast after studying the Egyptians in social studies. We had several centers we had the kids go through. We had authentic food, games, and crafts. We did this grade-wide so it was a lot of work.

This picture was taken before a "Hippie Party." I know that I wore this same outfit to school as a costume, but I didn't take a picture of it. The other girl in the picture is my friend Julie. We had lots of fun at this party.

I have other pictures but in the interest of not making my computer explode from overheating with all my scanning, so I'll add those another time. Please feel free to comment, but if you don't like my costumes....please lie to me!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Yeehaw! Look At Me!

So today I thought I would share with you something that I did over Christmas break that I'm proud of. I. rode. a. horse. all. by. myself. For some of you, this may not seem like a big deal but I must assure you that for me it is INCREDIBLY huge. I'm not what you would call an outdoorsy kind of person and I'm not particularly fond of large animals. When you put these two together, you would think that riding horses is something that I wouldn't ever start. And you'd be correct in that assumption.

For those of you that know my husband David even a little, you know he really enjoys doing stuff outside and working with horses. One of the reasons we moved to Mississippi is so that we could live somewhere with enough land to have horses. We currently have three. The horse I'm sitting on is named Megan. Raelynn is sitting on Cricket, and standing behind David is Magic, the most recent addition to the herd. We've been living here for six years and I can count the number of times I've been on these horses on the fingers of one hand and have several fingers left over.

In addition to just having horses, David wants to teach Raelynn to ride too. There have been many times we've gone for walks while David gives Raelynn riding lessons. She ususally rides Cricket and we walk along side of them. To say that Raelynn doesn't like to ride horses is an understatement. What she doesn't quite realize yet is that David is stubborn. She will learn to ride horses. Hopefully one day she'll actually enjoy it.

Lately David has ridden more than he usually does. Having some vacation time allows us to do things we normally don't get a chance to sleep, ride horses, and breathe. In addition to his own riding, he really wants Raelynn and I to join him. I probably don't like horseback riding any more than Raelynn. But to please David and to be a part of a family activity, I rode Megan yesterday and today. And I don't mean some little turn around the yard. I rode her for several miles by myself. David hasn't given me any formal lessons, I think I was able to live through the experience because I learned vicariously through Raelynn's lessons. Whatever I did, it worked. I didn't fall off the horse and she went where I wanted her to go.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not liking it any more than before. David does lots of things for me that he'd rather not do so I figured I could do the same. And I did. I'm not ready to enter the horse races yet but I feel pretty sure that after all the practice I will get in the future, I'll have me a second career to look forward too....cowgirl.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Romance--Real or Imaginary?

So I've had something on my mind for the last week or so. Romance--or more likely, the allusion of romance. I'm guessing that my many viewings of Twilight haven't helped. Tonight, I was cruising through the channels on TV and I came across a favorite movie of mine: Sabrina. This movie has been done several times. Most people probably like the version with Audrey Hepburn, and as much as I like her, that version isn't my favorite. I really like the version with Harrison Ford and Julia Ormand. Part of the appeal is the romance, part of it is that part of the movie takes place in Paris, France. I've never been to Paris, or Europe for that matter, but it's some place I've always wanted to visit. In my mind it feels like the city would be dripping with romance (of which I'm a big fan) and since most people speak French I wouldn't understand what they are saying. I could just enjoy the romantic qualities that the language has. I could just pretend every one is speaking romantically to each other. I think there are several things in Paris that I'd like to see.

Okay, so who wouldn't want to see the Eiffel Tower? The pictures I've seen make it look so incredible, especially at night. Lots of movies have been filmed there--mostly romantic ones. I believe that Tom Cruise proposed to Katie Holmes there. As much as I don't like heights, I think I'd have no problems with it if I found myself visiting this landmark. I could then also get a magnet for my refrigerator and then say that I've actually been there. So far the closest I've been is when my mom bought me a magnet from her trip to Paris, TN. But still--Paris is Paris.

The Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre are two other things I'd like to see. Part of the Da Vinci Code movie was filmed at the Louvre and I loved it. By the way, that movie isn't what I'd call romantic, but still it's a good movie to watch. People have told me that the French are snobby and that everything is really expensive there. I used to live in Key West, so I know first hand about what expensive and snobby. I'm not sure if I think that if I were to visit these places in Paris that I'd suddenly be struck down with background music playing and have a happily ever after ending. Like I said earlier, it's really just an allusion. No relationship can withstand having romance 24/7. It just wears you out. I've got a great husband and I definitely am not complaining. But anyone who enjoys a good romantic movie knows what I'm talking about. We like the feeling of being swept away and we all have romantic moments that we remember well. I think it's just something that we are exposed to at an early age (all those fairy tales) and the allusion lives on.
As I think about this, I need to revise what I said about romantic movies. I don't enjoy all of them. One that comes to mind is the movie "Love in the Time of Cholera." I watched this because this book was a part of the incredibly romantic movie, "Serendipity." I didn't enjoy the Cholera movie. An example of a romantic movie that I did enjoy was the Jane Austen classic, "Persuasion." This book was mentioned in the incredibly romantic movie, "The Lake House." One movie that stands out is "Somewhere in Time." That one is a little depressing because Christopher Reeve's character dies at the end. David really doesn't like this movie, but I do. But again, all these are movies where the problem is solved in under 2 hours and we never find out what happens when they have their first fight after being swept off her feet.
While watching the movie Sabrina, there was a song that came on that I thought was just so perfect. The song is called La Vie en Rose. The lyrics are:
Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose
When you kiss me heaven sighs
And tho I close my eyes
I see la vie en rose
When you press me to your heart
I'm in a world apart
A world where roses bloom
And when you speak...angels sing from above
Everyday words turn into love songs
Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be La vie en rose
I thought it was a very romantic song. And the movie is set in Paris. But maybe it isn't and it's just all an allusion. Either way, real or allusion, I feel good. And that's all that really matters.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! This is a great day of beginnings. It's like your past year is an Etch-A-Sketch that you can shake clean and start over again. You can be anything you want to be and do anything you want to do. Many people make New Year's resolutions....most do not keep them.
This would also include me. I do have some things I want to do differently this year. Before I can do them, I need to come up with a plan. It's one step in front of the other, one day at a time. I believe there's a saying that a trip of a thousand miles starts with one step. And here I go, stepping into 2009. Keep an eye out for me....I'll be the one that is shaking her head like an Etch-A-Sketch to get a clean screen.