Sunday, March 29, 2009

What I Love About Spring

Today was a beautiful spring day. For those of you who may not know, I was born and raised in Key West, Florida--the land of perpetual summer. It wasn't until I moved to Mississippi several years ago that I got to enjoy the different seasons. Fall is my favorite. My second favorite is a toss-up between winter and spring. I like winter for the holidays and such, but really what it all boils down to is....I don't like to sweat. Even when exercising, which I don't like to do. But now that winter is over and we're in spring, I'm thinking that I am presently going to rate it as my second favorite season.

What I like about spring is that it usually is cool outside when I wake up and by the time late afternoon rolls around, you can walk around without a sweater. The sun is out, the flowers are blooming, and we're all on the countdown to summer. But really, the best thing about spring in Mississippi is the blooming wisteria.

As I guess you can tell, my favorite color is purple. And since wisteria is this lovely shade of lavender, I can only love it. As I drive down my road, it seems to be growing everywhere, draping over the road like a waterfall of purple, just for me. I used to have some wisteria in my backyard. What I'm not mentioning here is that wisteria only has these beautiful blooms for a short time, and then it goes back to being this really ugly and annoying vine/bushy plant. David got tired of it and killed it several years ago. Luckily, it grows just about everywhere else so I can enjoy it as I ride to and from work each day. Once at work, I can enjoy my wisteria colored walls. Yes, that's right...I painted my classroom walls in a color named, "Weeping Wisteria." It's lovely. I dread the day that I have to move classrooms, for fear that 1) I will have to repaint the new room or 2) I won't be allowed to paint my new room and I have to settle for institutional tan. How sad. Also moving the tons of crud that I've collected and stored in my classroom won't be fun either, but that's another post for another day.

So for now, I'm enjoying spring. I just enjoyed a week off from work and around the corner I'll have a four day weekend as we celebrate Easter. Who doesn't love Easter? The fabulous candy? The wonderful weather? The blooming wisteria??? I should stop before I convince myself that spring in Mississippi is the best thing going. (By the way, if you read my earlier post on pine pollen and are wondering how I could love spring with all that in the air...well....I think the worst of the pine pollen is over.)

If you should happen to be driving down the road and see a bunch of wisteria, take a moment to stop and smell the flowers. You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's Saturday and I should be working

So I should be grading papers, doing lesson plans, cleaning my house, washing clothes, writing a research paper, reading chapter 9 on experimental research, and making Raelynn do something constructive. Sorry ain't happenin'.

It seems that as I age (and note that I'm aging slowly), I feel like I'm becoming more and more distracted. I also seem to put off the things I should be doing. So far this morning I have:

* slept in
* got dressed
* got Realynn dressed
* ate some breakfast casserole that David made
* checked email
* checked facebook (twice)
* checked to see if the chickens had laid any eggs (there were two)
* called in my prescription refills to the evil Wal-Mart
* walked around my house aimlessly and attempted to put stuff up in the right place (I got bored
so I stopped)
* sorted laundry into colors and whites
* printed lesson plan sheets (haven't written them yet)
* semi/quasi made my bed
* had the TV on in the background...."Fun with Dick and Jane" and "What Not to Wear"
* Googled images for future blog posts (Cuban mix sandwich and Paradise Cafe in Key West)
* put shoes back on the shelf
* cleared off the coffee table while looking for a missing Netflix envelope (still haven't found it)
* marveled at how $5,000 for a new wardrobe really doesn't give you many clothes

and of course....

* blogged about absolutely nothing

What have you done today?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Hate Pine Pollen

I. Hate. Pine. Pollen.
There's nothing else I can add to this post....for once it's clear and concise. It doesn't help that Mississippi is one of the country's leaders in pine tree farming.
P.S. This isn't a picture of my car or where I's worse here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A New Hair Trend?

So I was standing in line at the evil Wal-Mart this afternoon and the lady in front of me had hair that looked something like this. Actually, if anything, I think it looked worse...if that's possible. I was thinking to myself...Does she not know that her hair makes her look like she's got some abnormally shaped head? I mean, I know beehive hairdo's and ratting your hair was big back in the '60's...(not that I was around to know it then..) but really....didn't it look like they had weird shaped heads back then too? Did the poor lady in front of me know that she didn't look very good? She reminded me of someone, but I couldn't remember who....

Just the other day I saw an infomercial for something called "The Bumpit." If you look at the word, it appears to say "Bum-Pit" which doesn't sound so great...someone out there has come up with an invention that makes your hair look like this on purpose. I think that if your hair doesn't do this on its own, you don't need to help it. Maybe I'm not getting it and it's this really hot new trend that makes people look hip.....If that's the case, I don't think I'll ever make "cool." If you look at this contraption closely, it loosely resembles a bear trap, doesn't it? Another reason to not put it on your head.

You know, I think it's all coming back to me now.....that woman today looked like a Conehead with hair....I'm so glad I didn't ask her if she knew Zeldar....She might not have appreciated that and reported me to her leader.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

If Yellow Box flip flops are in town, then it must be spring!

Today was an interesting day. I slept till 8. For me, that's a big deal. As you age, you find that sleeping in bed for too long starts to hurt after awhile. Not saying that I'm old or anything....that's just what I've heard.

Went to school and spent about 3 hours researching articles for my research proposal. I found about 35 of them. I met David and Raelynn for lunch at Zaxby's and then took Raelynn with me back to school. I spent the next few hours moving desks and cleaning up.

After that, I had a hankering for a milkshake and some shoes. Weird combination, this I know. I went to two shoe stores before I found the Yellow Box flip flops I so dearly love. Just know that if you're in the Starkville area, Shoe Country next to the Hallmark store has a large selection and are reasonably priced. I tried to get Raelynn to wear some but she's adamant that she won't wear anything that goes between the toes. I was once like her but now have found the joy that is Yellow Box flip flops. I bought two black with a white floral print and some silver iridescent ones. I then walked down to the Purple Elephant where I bought a charm for my Pandora bracelet as a Valentine's Day/St. Patrick's Day present to myself from myself. After that, I went to McDonald's to get a chocolate milkshake. It was yummy!

I came home and worked on my paper some. I'm about 20% done with the part that's due by Monday. I'll need to work on this some more tomorrow.

Tonight I wanted to watch Survivor but forgot that stupid basketball is on and will keep me from seeing a new episode for two weeks. Thankfully NBC ran two episodes of The Office. After that, I met my friend, Kathy S. for dinner at Old Venice. The manicotti there is something to write home about. I had a really good time.

I'm now off to bed.....I have to work on my paper some more tomorrow, and go to school and work some there too. Later tomorrow night I'll be going to the Twilight DVD release party at Sam Goody's where I can pick up my copy of the movie at midnight. Sometime on Saturday, Kathy and I are going to Wendy's house to view it in all her large flat screen surround sound goodness.

I'm so sad to see spring break coming to a close. I love having time off!!!! In the meantime, I'll consider today a banner day. New shoes, jewelry,chocolate, fabulous dinner with a's a day I'll savor for some time to come!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blogging Potpourri

I'm letting you know now that I have no idea where this post will take you. If you're up for the reading of it, then I'm up for the writing of it. Here goes...

First off, spring break is here!! Yahoo!!!!! I am really enjoying my time off. People who complain that teachers get too much time's what I say....come and spend a week doing what I do, and you'll see why we get so much time off. Also, keep in mind that we don't get paid for our time off! Teacher salaries are notoriously low. I figure that's to keep up humble. So far this spring break I have gone to the dentist to have a filling replaced (I'm working on a post for this), taking Raelynn to the dentist to get a cavity filled (happy to report that no blood was shed), and contracted what I believe to be strep throat. Fun. There's nothing like getting sick when on vacation. Oddly, I think I'd almost rather it be this way. I don't have the energy to handle the day-to-day stresses of my job and feeling crummy. It doesn't stop me from going to work, it only makes it harder for me to do my job. Luckily, I have a prescription here at home for an antibiotic, which I have been popping. Hopefully it will kick in and kick in soon. Tomorrow I'm getting my hair done and it would take a lot more than being sick to keep me from going!

Some other things that are going around in my mind....

*The Twilight DVD release is set for this Saturday, March 21. I have preordered my copy from Sam Goody's and will be there to pick it up at midnight on Friday, March 20th. My friend Wendy and I will watch it on Saturday on her big screen TV. I'm looking forward to watching it with subtitles (see yesterday's post) and to view the extra stuff--deleted scenes, commentary....all that stuff. Tomorrow I will pick up the newest book about Twilight...this one was written by the director of the movie and it relates her notes and thoughts while filming. Basically, I've read out of stuff to read about Twilight. I didn't think it was possible, but I went to the evil Wal-Mart today and was able to walk past the People magazines and not feel tempted to buy one. I think I've purchased two of them since my Twilight phase began in October of last year. It's really a great book. The music from the movie is pretty good too...I've been listening to that in my car since Christmas.

*My mom found a little, bitty kitten at her next door neighbor's house yesterday. She is completely black with blue eyes. My mom named her Lucky since she was so young it's totally possible that if my mom hadn't of picked her up, she would have died. She's cute and Raelynn is totally in love.

*Raelynn's dental appointment went well. She's really maturing and is better able to take direction. Thank the Lord that her dentist has happy gas for the kids to use if they are uptight. Raelynn takes after her mother and is very uptight. I think part of her motivation was to get a big prize at the evil Wal-Mart for good behavior. I think I'd do the same thing too if I knew I was gonna get something afterwards.

*I've started working on my paper. When I say that, what I really mean is that I'm going through all my research articles and summarizing them before trying to write the introduction. You sorta have to have read the literature on the topic before you can write a section entitled "A Review of the Literature." If you're totally bored and you'd like to help me with this, please leave a comment!

*David has created an electronic gate opening system that he made from a garage door opener. It works really well. He tried to explain it all to me before he started, but I have spatial issues and couldn't picture it until he built it. He's real proud of it and so am I. This means I won't get wet anymore on my way to work. (Did I mention that he also built a wonderful car port too?) No more damp hair!

*I've watched lots of TV and taken lots of naps so far this week. I think that's because I feel crappy but I'm not going to question it. I love doing both of those things and I will continue to pursue them as long as I can. I wish I could say I was cleaning my house but it wouldn't be true. Cleaning is only fun when I'm really mad about something. David and I get along really well, so that would explain the condition of my house.

So those are the only things I can think of at the moment that are close to the surface. Most of it blah, all of it unnecessary, and some of it just stinks....just like potpourri. Don't you just love how I can bring the post right back around to where I started? If only writing a research paper was this easy.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why Can't Life Have Subtitles?

On my Facebook profile page under favorite quotes, I almost added, "I'm sorry. What did you say? I didn't hear you." As some of you may know, I have recently been diagnosed with Meniere's Disease and have lost some hearing in my left ear. I've prayed for healing, and feel confident that it will happen. In the meantime, I have to deal with day-to-day living. And in my hearing impaired world, I don't understand what lots of people are saying.

It seems that there are certain tones that I am incapable of hearing. Apparently this tone is the same one that fourth graders have, because I have a real hard time understanding my students. I have some students that have legitimate speech impediments, some that hold the record for speed talking, and pretty much a whole class that mumbles. I have to tell my students many times a day to look directly at me and slow down when they speak. It never fails though...they will come up to tell me something, and then point in the direction of their issue and turn their head as they talk. It becomes very frustrating.

I looked into getting a hearing aid. As you may guess, I have state insurance, which means I pay way more than I should when it comes to medical bills. Wouldn't you know that hearing aids are not covered under my insurance? According to my audiologist, the type of hearing aid I probably need costs about $2,000. Um...yeah....I think I'll stick to just saying, "What??"

Before I had hearing problems, I discovered that watching movies with subtitles was great. I was watching "Pride and Prejudice" and was having some trouble understanding the dialogue. I feel this is because of their accents but also because it was set like 200 years ago and they certainly spoke different back then. (On a side note, I read the book but had to use Cliff Notes in order to get through it.) Watching the movie with subtitles was very helpful. I'm a fast reader, so I was able to follow along with the dialogue. Now that I have this hearing problem, it's become vital for me to have the subtitles so I can understand the movie. There are some movies that don't have it and I hate that. I think that all movies at the theater should have them too....the people who need them will use them and those that don't won't even look at them. It's a win/win situation for us all.

Now mind you, I don't care at all for closed captioning. The captioning doesn't appear as the dialogue appears. And when it does appear on the screen, it's often incorrect. I think that if I ever totally go deaf, I may change my mind about this, but for now, I prefer movie subtitles only. If only my life was on screen and the subtitles appeared for me to keep up with what's going on. Until then, I'll just keep a steady stream of, "Huh? What'd you say?" as a means to understanding what you're saying. Remember: Speak slowly and look directly at me when talking to me!!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hello World, Remember Me?

Hello my blog reading fans. Above is a picture of me in case you forgot....It's been a little while since I've been blogging regularly and I'm really feeling it...(that and the stress related chest pains) but since this is the dawn of my spring vacation, I thought I'd start it right by posting a montage, of types, of all things Tassie. Sorry my topic won't be focused, but you'll forgive me, right?

Work was rough today. The day before vacation, end of the nine weeks, ice cream party, rain, constant interruptions.....this is the formula for disaster. I'm happy to say that I made it through and am looking forward to some serious down time. I'm a little over my near constant "up-time." I'm hoping to find the much needed time and money to relax. There are lots of things that calm me favorite being a massage. It would be nice to save some money each month to splurge on one....but often if I have to choose between getting my hair "refreshed" or my body relaxed and refreshed, I think I'm going to go with the hair. At least with that, I can wear what I paid for on my head for everyone to see. Now if I could just get Tracy to quit her salon, leave her husband, and become my own personal stylist...but that's another blog for another day. Suffice to say that I'm looking forward to this break. I will still be busy, mind you, I just will have a little more freedom with my time. I have some grandiose ideas about how to spend my time....getting caught up on much needed house cleaning, planning future lessons, getting caught up on grading papers and solving the problem of world hunger. I might actually do some of these things, but perhaps I'll be a little more relaxed as I do them. Hopefully the break will start off right and my daughter won't wake me up at 5 AM tomorrow to tell me that she doesn't have to go to school. (I kept her up late tonight, hoping that she'd sleep longer...I know...bad Momma, bad Momma)

Some other things on my mind.....
Most of you know about my fascination and love of the Twilight Saga. I just have finished reading the complete set, yet again. It never gets old. I may decide to start rereading the first one again, just for fun. But the real excitement this week is that Twilight will be coming out on DVD at the end of next week. I, of course, have my copy pre-ordered. The local Sam Goody's will be open at midnight before it's released, so I'll be there to get my copy. I've seen the movie more times than I'm comfortable admitting, but I am looking forward to being able to watch it with subtitles (I have a post brewing about this topic) and watching any deleted scenes or extra materials it will include. I'm not brave enough to think about watching it with my husband....I have the feeling that he would find it very easy to give me a hard time about this subject and my feelings can be a little close to the surface, so I won't make him watch it with me. If you haven't read this series, you should. It's an easy read and you'll probably love it. I've convinced several people to read it and my friend Carrie is the only one able to withstand its spell. She didn't hate it but she also didn't see the big fuss. She just wanted Bella to say that she thought that Edward was beautiful once and then to move on to other subjects. We agree to disagree. I still love her though, and we do share a love for the Harry Potter books.

I also have a portion of my research proposal due for my graduate class right after break. You could work alone or in partners. Guess who doesn't have a partner? Yeah, that'd be me. I love to write but I'm not crazy about writing papers. I'm really not wanting to do this paper and I'm somehow hoping that I can get going on this and not let it hang over my head.

Sleep. I'm hoping that this break from school will allow me to catch up on some much needed sleep. At the very least, I'd like to think I could relax some. Perhaps I will stumble upon a discarded $50 bill so I can enjoy a massage to help with the de-stressing.

Some things I'd like to accomplish during my time off this week:

*Wear as little makeup as possible.
*Not leave the house much, since I won't be wearing makeup.
*Sleep. And then, sleep some more.
*Tap into my own personal muse and get my research paper written and written well.
*Go the dentist, both my own and with Raelynn, without anyone embarking on a full-scale freak out.
*Watch as much TV as I want to. This includes several viewings of Twilight, when I pick it up at midnight.
*Spend some time with my friends Wendy and Kathy. Wendy's parents are visiting for the break, and it would be nice to meet her family. Wendy is a great person and has an incredible heart. My friend Kathy is also fabulous. She wants to spend time eating manicotti at Old Venice....and since I'm such a good friend, I won't let her go alone.

Having said all that, I'm sitting here and yawning. I need to log off and get some rest, since that's one of the things I'm hoping to do this week. I figure that if I can't solve world hunger, the least I can do is catch some ZZZZZZ's.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Dancing Fool??? I Think Not!

I must start today's post with an apology and an explanation. As my followers can attest, I haven't blogged nearly as much as I should have or wanted to lately. My reasons/excuses are pretty much the same as before....they were lame then, and they're lame now. Work is incredibly busy and stressful (as it usually is) and my graduate class is very demanding and stressful (as it always is too.) There was a short period during my absence that I felt sort of out of it and didn't have any incredibly witty or random topics to discuss. So I asked for your help. Several people responded and so I once again am getting back on the blogging horse for a ride.

One my suggested topics was thoughts on my time as a "Conchette." For those of you who don't know what this is, I must first tell you that it's pronounced "Konk-ette" as opposed to the "ch" sound at the end of conch. The Conchettes are a dancing drill team at Key West High School. So here's a little history to get you caught up. Before you laugh, please keep in mind that our high school mascot was the conch, but that's another post for another day.

Back in the 1940's a precision dance drill team was formed at Kilgore College in Texas. Their choreographer, Denard Hayden, came to Key West (I believe on vacation) and created a similar dance drill team at Key West High School. This group, called the Conchettes, have been a long tradition of pride for over 50 years in Key West. Each summer, the Conchettes have a summer training camp, called Hayden Week, and for many years, Denard Hayden would come down to Key West and teach the team all of their routines for the upcoming football season. Dancing at half-time at football games is the Conchette's major performances during the school year. They also march and perform at parades, festivals, and have a spring show called Conchette Capers. For many years being a part of this drill team was an honor and privilege for me. My understanding is that in the last 10 or so years, the team has dropped in numbers from the 50+ while I was a member to under 10 now. My hope is that they will once again find popularity and pride and their numbers will increase.

I tried out two times, and was crushed when I didn't make it as an entering freshman. My father was a teacher at the high school at the time, so you gotta hand it to them for not playing favorites. I was so sure that I'd make the squad. I've taken dance lessons most of my life and consider myself an accomplished dancer. The fact that I didn't make it made me more determined than ever to make it the next year. I stretched and practiced everyday. I'm happy to report that I made the squad. Just making the squad didn't mean that the stress was over. Before each football game, all Conchettes had to audition to perform. Not everyone made it. That would include me. My first year was bumpy.....I didn't dance all of those games but it did make my resolve more determined. My second year on the squad I performed each game. At the end of the year, I was awarded Most Improved and still have the trophy. It was a proud moment for me. The next year I was chosen as an officer. Those were proud times for me. Lots of people laugh about the Conchettes...either because of the name or the idea of it all, but I have to say that my most meaningful moments in high school were spent performing for others. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat. Plus, I looked great then so that's an added bonus.

This is me during my senior year in my uniform.
I looked so cute!