Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Friend Who Started It All

Hello everyone....have you missed me? I hate when things get so busy and stressful that I don't have time to blog. Occasionally someone will tell me that they read my blog and that they miss getting more frequent updates. Awwwwwwww....that just touches my heart.


So on to today's subject: My friend Wendy D. Well....where do I begin? First, her birthday was this week so major birthday shout outs to her! She's a wonderful friend and I'm very blessed to know her. She is one of the most giving and caring people I've ever met. She is really selfless and will do anything for a close friend. Seriously.


I met Wendy several years ago. He has one biological son and daughter. When her son was in the fourth grade, they adopted a girl from Russia. She was also in the fourth grade. At the time, I had a student that was bilingual in Russian and English so it only made sense that her new daughter would be put in my class. I had heard that this might be happening from Wendy's son's teacher earlier in the year. She (the teacher friend) told me that one of her student's families was adopting a child and they because of the Russian connection to my student, the child would be placed with me. Several months went by and nothing happened. And then it did.


I gladly accepted this member to our class. I remember Wendy doing everything she could to make her child feel comfortable. I can only imagine what it feels like to go to a new country when people don't speak your language and you're only 9. I had several interactions with Wendy in the next months. We talked a lot about how to make her new daughter's transition easier. I hope I was able to be a part of that smooth transition.


At the time, I was a looping teacher. That means that I take one group of fourth graders and move up to fifth grade with them. I got Wendy's daughter in March of her fourth grade year. Her son was in someone else's fourth grade class. Of course I looped up with her daughter and got the bonus of having her son in fifth grade as well. Both of them are darling people. Fifth grade flowed smoothly. Wendy is one those parents that you can always call on to help in the classroom and with parties and stuff. You couldn't ask for a better room parent. I don't know what I did to deserve her, but I was grateful for her.


Then several years went by. We met up at the Fourth of July fireworks where we all ended up camping out on the same soccer field. It happened several years in a row. It's now a regular thing. In that time we also went to their house to go swimming in their pool. Good times. Her youngest daughter was coming up to fourth grade. We were both hoping that I would have her in my class. (Side note here....it's really nice when you make connections with a family and you can have multiple children from that family in your class.) Initially her daughter wasn't placed in my class. All I can say is that Wendy made miracles happen. Her daughter ended up in my fourth grade class. And I love her. Just like I love her other kids.


Somewhere in the fall of 2008, I saw Wendy at school. I think maybe she had come to eat lunch with her daughter that was in my class. We got to talking about my latest obsession at the time....the Twilight books. It turns out that Wendy was an even larger fan of Twilight than I was. I didn't think it was possible. Wendy and one of her friends made arrangements to rent out a movie theater for the midnight premiere of Twilight when it came out in November. I was able to go with her. (We went to see the movie many more times after that.) Since then, Twilight has brought us closer together. We share the obsession.


Sometime the following spring, I introduced Wendy to my friend Kathy....the stalker I wrote about a few posts ago. We immediately hit it off. Since that time, we've been pretty close. A week doesn't go by that we don't go and eat, hang out, or watch a movie. As a bonus, all of our kids hang out together. And the Twilight obsession continued.....


When Twilight was released on DVD this last spring, it was Wendy that I stood in line with at Sam Goody's for my copy. And it was in Wendy's van that we all went to so could watch the deleted scenes from the DVD of Twilight that we had just bought. We literally laid in the van and watched part of the movie in the parking lot.


This past summer, Wendy, Kathy, and I took a road trip. We had a great time in Birmingham. We shopped and ate and ate and ate. We shared many laughs. There are stories that I could never tell, and I hope they would never tell on me.


This March, Wendy, Kathy, and I are going to Atlanta for a Twilight convention. Yes, you read that correctly. (Side note here....Kathy watched Twilight and New Moon with us but she's not a huge fan like we are.) Kathy is going to hang out and be lazy while Wendy and I are going to enjoy ourselves with all the craziness that is Twilight. There's no one else I would ever dream of going with. Or for that matter.....probably no one else would want to go with me. Either way, it works.


So....long story short....Wendy is a dear, dear friend. She is kind and funny and generous. She loves her friends and is very loyal. And she's the one that started the Twilight obsession...and for that, I'm so grateful....


Happy Birthday Wendy! I love you!

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Feelings Exactly

Enough said.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Much Needed Burial


Happy Sunday y'all! It feels nice to know that I won't be going to work tomorrow. Thank you, Martin Luther King, Jr. for your work that now gives me a day off. It's going to be a long time until spring vacation, so I'm going to enjoy every moment tomorrow....probably by grading papers. What else is new, right?
So it's the New Year. Or at least it was. I've made New Year's resolutions before. Some I've kept, others...not so much. I'm not one for public (or privately for that matter) sharing my resolutions because if you mess up and break one of them, people tend to let you know about it. Quickly. I already have enough acceptance issues, so I don't need the extra pressure, thank you very much.
But I will share with you that I'm hoping to make some changes in my life so that I'll be healthier. I'd like to live longer, and more fully enjoy the time I have left. One way I know to do this is to exercise.
I'm one of those people that refuses to join a gym. Now granted, I don't have all the weight equipment at my house, but I can get the same results by walking or running at home. I'm not a stranger to exercise and healthy eating, I just don't enjoy it. You know you're getting old when you talk about your peak years as being so far back in the past. That's not good.
BUT....a few years ago, I joined Weight Watchers. It was successful for me. I lost around 50 pounds in a matter of 3 months. I was running every day and being very careful with what I eat. I kept a food journal and had a strong support group. I would even say that it bordered on obsession....watching what I ate and exercising every day.
And then things changed. Since then, I've not had the same OCD spirit with healthy living. When we moved to Mississippi, I found that my running exercises really dwindled down. There are many more bad weather days here. To compensate, we took my mom's treadmill. She wasn't using it and said we could have it. I tried really hard to walk on the treadmill while I watched TV. The treadmill wasn't some fancy type.....but man it was loud. I say "was" because it has died in my living room. It was a hit and miss situation. So now what? Join a gym? Walk/run outside? These are the questions that I ponder while sitting on my couch. I'm pretty distractable, so it's not surprising that my mind wanders and I forget to exercise.
What is the proper burial for a dead treadmill? Do you hang on to it because it's too bulky to move? Do you keep it for scrap parts that can be used on other projects? Do you throw it away? Again, these are questions I ponder. So far...I have no answers. I need to exercise and my treadmill is broken. I guess I should suck it up and just do what I tell my students to do....
"Be a creative problem solver."
Any ideas? Anyone? Anyone?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hangin' At The Huddle House

Hi everyone! Many apologies for not posting more this week. Many thanks to Mrs. LaFrance, who mentioned this to me. (More about Mrs. LaFrance in this post....) I don't think people understand that when they tell me they read my blog, I get all fuzzy inside. Most people don't leave comments when they read, so I just figure no one reads it. Basically, the more people read, the more I want to write!

Lots has gone on since the last time I posted. Raelynn's ninth birthday was this week and we celebrated a couple of times. My parents took Raelynn, David, and I to Pizza Hut for her birthday. She loves the place. She loves pizza. On her actual birthday, David and I took her to Applebee's in a yearly birthday tradition. If it's your birthday, we'll go out to eat and you get to pick the place. She likes the macaroni and cheese at Applebee's. When looking at the menu, I see that they serve Kraft macaroni and cheese. Basically, I'm paying lots of money for the same stuff that I buy in the blue box at the store. But no complaints....it was her birthday and she had fun.


Another reason I haven't posted is because of work. Work is always there, and nothing slows down. I'm not complaining, just stating fact. I'm sure you don't want those boring details, so let's get to the "random-ness" that is my blog.


Tonight for dinner, David, Raelynn, David's dad and step-mother, and myself went to Huddle House to eat. Since we've moved to Mississippi (about 7 years) it's been a weekly thing, all year long. They come over and we go eat. Usually, they are here when I get home from work. (They live about an hour away.) We usually eat at a few places: the Chinese buffet restaurant, The Three Pigs (new bar-b-que place in town), assorted Mom and Pop restaurants, and Huddle House. Tonight we went to Huddle House. As I was sitting there looking at the menu, I started to think about the evolution of my love for breakfast. Mind you, I don't love breakfast everywhere, but I won't turn a meal away. But I digress.....on to our story....


When I was young, I really fought with the notion that I had to eat breakfast. My mom would get my brother and me up, and then we'd sit at the table and eat cereal while she got ready. I can remember throwing out most of the cereal, and still wanting to try another box of cereal the next time we went to the store. At some point (probably middle and high school) I just started to make what I wanted for breakfast. This mostly consisted of easy to grab stuff, but I was known to eat left overs from the night before. (I still do this.) I only ate breakfast because my mom made me. On Saturdays, that was a different story. My mom would cook us something, usually an egg mcmuffin. I like those and I like egg sandwiches. My mom makes really good ones. But if she had offered me eggs and bacon, I'd eat it, but it wouldn't be my favorite.


My mom is very talented in the kitchen and can make eggs anyway you want. I can remember my dad eating eggs with runny yolks and sopping it up with toast. I thought this was gross. Totally. I've also watched my dad eat some combination of biscuits, butter, and golden eagle syrup. He'd mix the butter and the syrup together until it was blended and then use the biscuit to sop it up. I've never tried this, never want to.


When I became an adult, I would go to a restaurant if I wanted breakfast. In Key West, I'd go with my family to B's restaurant and have a breakfast sandwich. My parents would get an egg, cheese, and bacon sandwich on Cuban bread with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickle and then press it in a Cuban panini press. I would eat a BLT on Cuban bread. Very yummy. But still no eggs.


Then.....something in me snapped. Since moving to Starkville, I've really enjoyed eating breakfast. If I'm in a rush, I'll go to Krystal's and get a breakfast scrambler. This is a cup of grits with egg and cheese on top, and a sausage patty on top of that. Delish. If I have time, money, and patience, I go Huddle House or Starkville Cafe. I look forward to eating a yummy breakfast that now includes eggs. And runny eggs at that. I had such a meal tonight.....let me expand on it.


When I got to Huddle House, I looked at the menu and thought that maybe I'd order something from the dinner menu. I mean, after all, it was dinner time. (Well, more like 4:00 but work with me here...) I looked all through the menu and nothing looked as good as their breakfast platter. This is what I had: two eggs over medium, two pieces of white toast in which to sop the eggs with, two sausage patties, grits, and hashbrowns that had cheese, onion, tomato, ham, green peppers, and jalapenos. I enjoyed every mouth full. The food was good and the service was okay....for Starkville's Huddle House. But that's another post for another day.


So now my tummy is full and I'm enjoying just sort of sitting here.


Now on to some much overdue business....


I promised more information on Mrs. LaFrance. Mrs. LaFrance is the library assistant at my school. I met her a couple of years ago when she did some subbing for a teacher that left in the middle of the year. She is a hoot. She's very outspoken and very spunky. I like this about her. After the subbing, she took over for the library assistant that left in the middle of the year. She's done a fabulous job! She's friendly with the teachers and has just the right amount of fiestiness to deal with the kids. She can take a call from me about AR, check out books, and keep a room of unruly fifth graders from acting like hooligans. Talented, I tell you. Anyway, she reminded me today that she's been checking my blog since I told her that I'd write about her. I've been busy, but when Mrs. LaFrance speaks, people start moving. (She's not mean, just very funny and confident in what she does.)


You might be wondering why I keep calling her Mrs. LaFrance. Please know that she DOES have a first name. When you teach, you can't really holler the person's first name down the hall. (It's almost like we're keeping our first names a secret.) A lot of teachers at my school simply call each other by their last name, and skipping the whole premise of the Mrs. part. I can't do this to Mrs. LaFrance. It would sound too weird. In fact, there are two people I work with whose last names I really enjoy saying. The first is a teacher named Zuege and the other is Mrs. LaFrance. I've even incorporated her name into my regular speech. Kids bug me all day about going to the library to trade in their books. I know that at some point, Mrs. LaFrance is going to snap due to stress. I'm just hoping that I won't be there to witness it. Anyway, it is very common for me to say the following to my students: "Don't make Mrs. LaFrance get LaMad at LaYou." I've even added the "La" part in front of the other librarian's name. It just sounds good.


In future posts, I'll try to include some fun stuff about the people I work with. They make my job fun. The only thing that would make it better is if I had a decent breakfast platter before work each day. But alas, I can always dream......

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Very Own Stalker

Before you go and get nervous for me, know that this post's title is sort of joke between me and my friend Kathy S. She is a self-professed stalker. It was one of the first things I knew about her. I'm sure you want to know more....read on....


I started this blog several years ago as a part of a summer class I was taking. Everyone in the class set up a blog and we read lots of children's literature and then summarized them on the blog. When that class was over I sort of forgot about the blog. A long time later, I was either talking to a friend that is a fellow blogger (LT) or I was reading her facebook page and she mentioned that she blogged. I read some of the stuff that she wrote and I thought it was so funny. I then thought that I'd give blogging another chance, and three years later, here we are.


Over the years, I think I have found my voice in my blog writing. I encounter people every once in awhile that read it, and I always feel good when they tell me that they follow it. In the beginning though, I didn't have a large following and I can't even begin to tell you what I wrote about. Most days, I don't give it a second thought. And then I met Kathy.


In the summer of 2008, I received my class list of students I would teach that fall. I think I look forward to finding out who's on my list just as much as students look forward to finding out who their teacher is. I try to make students and their families feel as comfortable as possible, so I contact them early. I make my phone calls and then I send a letter. I can remember talking to Kathy. She spoke fast. Really fast. She mentioned a little about her son and asked if she could send me some more information to me in the mail. Boy, did she ever. I have to say that the info she sent was helpful. I knew from the beginning that she was a dedicated parent. We made contact again, and she requested that she come to my room and help. I gave her a regular time and day and she's been faithful.


Sometime around open house last year, Kathy admitted to me that she had been "stalking" me. Apparently, she Googles her children's teachers to get more information. I don't blame her. Having information that can help your child is important. She admitted to me that after she Googled me, she found my blog. I immediately searched through my mind to remember what I had written about. I think she found it interesting. At least she told me she did. :-)


So, fast forward to now. I looped up a grade so I am teaching the same group of kids this year that I taught last year. It has its advantages and disadvantages. Fortunately, it has more advantages. So a bonus to my looping was that Kathy spent another year working in my room for me. It's gotten to the point where I have a hard time doing stuff if she doesn't show for whatever reason. (I think that in one and half years, she's only missed two or three Thursdays...all with a good reason.)


Kathy and her husband have been very generous to me. They own a couple of businesses in town and have taken care of me and my class. There's nothing that I need (or want) that she hasn't come through for me. There's no way I could ever repay her kindness and generosity. And if it couldn't get any better, I've gotten to know her much better and she's become one of my dearest friends. We have lots of things in common and I totally get her personality.


She is a HUGE MSU football fan. When she found out that I had never been to a college football game, she quickly fixed that and invited me to a game. She spent time explaining the rules to football and as long as I cheered for MSU and didn't even hint that they'd lose, we were okay. Kathy is very loyal....not just to her Bulldogs, but also to friends. Kathy is also slightly on the OCD side of things. This is one of the things I love about her. She knows who she is and how she has to have things in order to function. She likes to be in control of things....she always drives when we go somewhere. I get such a kick out of that. And of course, I'm happy to let her drive. (I don't like to drive.)


She is a very special person and I'm so glad that I've gotten to know her. She still reads my blog, and was quick to tell me that I "forgot" to include her in the shout outs. I explained that the shout outs on my blog were a result of a facebook status I had written. She felt sort of left out that she wasn't represented, so I told her I'd devote one whole post to her. And since she's my stalker, why shouldn't I? I mean, I have to give her (and the public) something interesting to read......

I love you Kathy! Thanks for being such a great friend!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Titanic

Inspiration can be found in the strangest places. I was sitting here at the computer and at a complete loss as to what to blog about. Sometimes I write about my day, but mostly I like to write about obscure stuff that's on my mind. Hence the blog's name. Anyway....I was sitting here and I got very cold. (Side note: the low last night was 9 degrees. It's very cold. Tingly face cold when you are outside.) So, I thought I'd go over to the fireplace and stand in front of it like I always do. I use the fireplace as a roaster of types. I turn every so often so that all parts of my bottom half are equally burned. (Or is it burnt?) While I was standing there, my eyes were level with my mantle. On my mantle was a treasure I hadn't thought of in a long time. What's the treasure you ask? Simple. I have an authentic piece of coal from the Titanic's maiden voyage. Yes, you read that correctly.


How do I know that it's authentic? I have a certificate of authenticity. I found this website many years ago that sold Titanic artifacts and bought the piece of coal. It was sent to me sealed in a small bag and with an engraved display case. You might be wondering how I come to order a Titanic artifact.


Well, I don't want to show my age or anything, but I remember before the Titanic had been found at the bottom of the ocean. When the ship was referenced at that point in time, it was portrayed as being intact. When Robert Ballard and his crew located the wreck site, it became a big deal. With his robotic camera, we could see the Titanic up close. It looked nothing like I thought it would. After that point, I became very interested in the subject of Titanic and its sinking.


A couple years after I started teaching, I purchased a class set of books about the discovery of the Titanic wreck. The kids found it very interesting. So did I. My interest led me to surf the web and somehow I stumbled upon the site from which I acquired the coal. My husband teases me about my treasure. I don't think he really believes that it's authentic. I know it is. The engraving says so.


When the movie came out, I eagerly went to see it. I remember sitting in the theater in the middle section, in the middle of the row. Perfect seat. However, everyone else in the world was at the movie and I couldn't bring myself to disturb others, so I waited until the movie was over to use the restroom. I don't remember sitting in such a full theater before. I thought the movie was good and very much worth the wait.


You might think it's funny for me to have something like this sitting in on the mantle. I feel pretty confident that this is the sort of thing that many people have. You have some type of treasure that means a lot to you and it doesn't matter what anyone says about it. That's how I feel about my Titanic coal. What kind of treasure do you have around your house?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

An Interesting Start to My Day and Some Shout Outs to My Peeps!

Today's been weird already, so there's no telling how strange this post will be. You've been warned.....


First off, I was wrong. Very wrong. We did get a snow day today...hence the "weirdness." It just doesn't seem natural to be sitting at home during a week day. I'm not complaining....I'm enjoying it at the moment. But I didn't wake up that way......


Last night, David and I watched TV like hawks watch their prey. We switched back and forth between the Weather Channel and the local news channels. (On a side note....when did the Weather Channel become a place where you show movies and have reality shows? I say if your name is "Weather Channel" you are obligated to report on the weather. All the time.) The closing of schools started last night. I got a text message saying that the university was closed and I was instantly happy for two things: 1) I am not a university student anymore. No more stressful classes. 2) I was happy for my friend Ashley who is taking a full graduate load and just started working at my school. She replaced a teacher that left at Christmas. I'm glad she gets a break off from both of those today. But back to our story....I watched the little ticker at the bottom of the news that was reporting the closing of schools. My school district was not listed. My initial thought was that we wouldn't miss school. But here's my thinking....if you're going to cancel school, let me know so I won't worry and wonder about at the last minute. Which I did this morning-lots of times.


I got up this morning at 5, and staggered to the living room to turn on the TV to see if we had school. Nothing listed. I watch some more...nothing. I checked the district's web page. Still nothing. So I pat myself on the back for correctly calling that we'd have school and I go to the bathroom to start getting ready. But when I turn on the faucet, nothing comes out but this hissing sound. Did I mention that I don't do well without the necessary utilities? (This includes electricity, water, cable TV, and ice.) So I woke up David to find out if he shut the water off or if we were facing frozen pipes. He mumbles that he didn't turn off the water. I check the thermometer and it's only 35 degrees. Not at freezing yet. How could my pipes be frozen?


In the midst of pondering this, I finally get a text saying that school is canceled. Thank the Lord! Me without water in the morning is not something you want to experience. I quickly try to assess whether the problem is ours or the community's. I drove down to my parents' house (they live down the same street) and snuck in to check the water. Yup, they have water....the problem is ours.


I get back home and David is up and trying to figure out why we have frozen pipes when the temperature outside isn't freezing. In the meantime, I get Raelynn up and both of us get dressed. Then I took her to my parents' house so she could use the bathroom. (She hasn't mastered the fine art of going outdoors.) I was real tired so I fell asleep on my parents' couch and Raelynn played with the dog. I slept for an hour and half.


When I woke up, I called David and he said that the water was still working. So we packed up and came home. We then went into town to get some breakfast (2 eggs over medium, toast, sausage, and hash browns with all the extras on it) and went by David's school so he could pick up some stuff.


Now I'm here at home, watching it snow outside. It's supposed to get much colder later and this snow that's melting as it hits the ground will become ice. I don't do ice on the road. Ice in my cup....that's a different story.


Anywho, thanks to those of you who are reading my blog as a result of my status update on Facebook. I really like to blog and it makes me happy to know that others read it. I even delude myself to believe that I'm funny. Thanks for humoring me.


As per my status, a few friends sent a shout out so I'm going to tell you a little about them.

Patricia M.-I met Pat several years ago when I moved to Mississippi. She was a gifted teacher at my school. She has since moved to another school, but I'm blessed because she is now my daughter's gifted teacher! Pat and I went through National Boards together and I'll never forget her tenacity. She worked so hard and did such a great job. I'm really proud of her. (BTW, she'll do anything for a friend. You can't beat that with a stick!)


Brandi H.- I met Brandi a few months ago. She was a university student that was completing fieldwork hours in my class. She has this incredible sense of humor. She cracks me up on a regular basis. Brandi was a great teacher in my class and really cares about the students. I'm sad that she's not with me anymore, but she'll be doing her internship at my school starting next week! I really like that she "gets" me. (After all, she suffered through watching Bon Qui Qui on YouTube with me and my continual references to this video....)


Kamille N.- I will never forget this woman. Ever. She and I met a couple of years ago and her child is now in my class. (I could tell you a story about our first meeting...hilarious!) She has the most contagious laugh and is so funny. And she loves. She loves her kid, she loves me, she loves her friends and family.....I don't know of anyone that hasn't met her and doesn't leave a better person. She and I always have the best time together. I'm glad she's my friend.


Tunisa R.- Like Kamille, I currently teach her son. She is a strong and independent woman that wants the very best for her children. She is one of those parents that you wish you had more of. She goes over work with her child, she asks questions if she doesn't understand something, and above all is an advocate for her children. I hope that her children know that's amazing. If they don't realize it now, I know they will someday. She's a wonderful person.


Susan J.- I met Susan this past summer at the Writing for Thinking Institute. My initial impression was that she was a quiet person. I was wrong. When Susan has something to say, it's important.... and you better listen. She has a great sense of humor and big heart. At first, I had a hard time connecting to people that summer. Not anymore. She manages to stay on top of people's Facebook statuses and comments. That means a lot because I know she's thinking of me.


Emily Z.- I don't normally call her Emily. I know and love her by her last name. Which is a shame since she's going to get married this summer and I don't know if I can use her married name. (It's a nice name but not nearly as fun to say as her current name.) Anyway, I don't think I have met a more kinder person in my life. She loves everyone. She helps everyone. And she's always happy. Happy to see you, happy to talk to you....happy. I'm so glad I get to work with her everyday. When I get down and out, she's the one that makes me smile.


Rachel S.- I am related to Rachel by marriage. Her dad is my husband's cousin. I met Rachel many years ago when my brother married my husband's sister. I tend to be kind of nervous around people I don't know...or for that matter, people I do know. I can clearly remember visiting her house and how Rachel and her mom made me feel so welcome. We talk some when I see her at family functions, but sadly this isn't very often. And that's too bad because she's one of the saner ones in my husband's family. :-)


So there you have it.....a rundown of my day and a little about some of the people in my life. There's nothing I can say except that I'm blessed. I have water at my house, a day off of work, and wonderful people in my life. It doesn't get any better than this.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tropical Snow Day Memories

I live in the south. Some would call it the deep south. It's cold here tonight--and I love it! For those of you just joining us (or those having a senior moment) I was born and raised in Key West, Florida. Its claim to fame is that it's the southernmost city in the U.S. Basically, it's the closest thing our country has to a tropical island. The average temperature is about 85 degrees year round. We'd get a couple of chilly days each winter. The locals would just put a hoodie on and still wear their shorts and flip flops. Classic.

Which leads me to today's topic....


So the inspiration for today's post is that it's incredibly cold here in Starkville and may cause schools to be closed either tomorrow or on Friday. (My call is that we'll have school....it's too much of a pain to make those days up.) I started thinking of what a snow day would entail here in Starkville. Since I've lived here, we've not had one. But......that doesn't mean I've never experienced a snow day....let me 'splain....


When I was a kid, none of the schools in our district had heat. Now that I think about it, not all of the schools had air conditioning either. My elementary school was built in the early 1900's and sported ceiling to floor windows. This is the old school version of air conditioning. Anyway, when I went to Horace O'Bryant Middle School, we were blessed with a more modern building and air conditioning. Still no heat though. Most people in Key West don't have heat in their homes either. I can remember when I was in sixth grade, school was closed due to cold temperatures. I think that prior to that, the record low temperature was around 45 degrees. I remember that it was bitterly cold on this particular day and with the wind, it was about 20 degrees with the wind chill factor. You may be thinking that this isn't any big deal, but I have to tell you that when you get cold weather in a place that is especially humid, it feels FRIGID. Anyway, they closed school because it was so cold and there wasn't any heat for us. I don't remember if we had to make that day up or not, I was just excited to have a day off from school. I remember desperately trying to see my breath in the cold, tropical air. It didn't happen. As a matter of fact, I remember that coming to Mississippi for Christmas vacation was a novel thing because I would be able to see my breath for about 2 weeks straight.


It's not really so novel now....I can see my breath in my car as I'm driving to work in the morning. And that's with the heater on. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I really enjoy the change in the season and I'd much rather be cold and add clothes than be hot. If I started removing clothes to get cool I'm sure I'd scare some people.


So tomorrow I'll let you know what happens in regards to the weather and any school closings. I'm putting my money on school being open but one can always hope for the elusive and magical snow day--with no school.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome to the Liars Table

So I went back to work today after two wonderful weeks off. I had two meetings, both of which were long. My total time to work in my classroom today?? About 40 minutes. In that short time, I was able to move student desks and make a couple of copies. After work, I went to the ENT for a checkup. All's well on the ear, nose, and throat front. The only bad news is that my hearing isn't bad enough to warrant a hearing aid. I believe this is the beginning of God's healing in this area. I'll keep you updated to my progress!


But on to today's blog topic: Old men eating breakfast

First, a little background. I'm a fan of breakfast, especially breakfast that is cooked and cleaned by someone else. This is interesting since when I was growing up, you'd have to hold a gun on me in order for me to eat eggs any which way. Luckily, I have grown out of this.

When I was younger, my aunt worked here in town at a local eatery....the Starkville Cafe. This restaurant is located on Main Street and is busy with its breakfast crowd and plate lunches. All kinds of people show up there. My aunt worked from 4 AM until around lunch time. She always had interesting stories to tell of the regulars that frequented the diner each morning. Her best stories were about a group of older gentlemen that ate at a table she called "The Liars Table." Apparently this was a title that the old men gave themselves. I guess they sat around and talked about fishing or the latest politics or town news. When I'd go there for lunch as a college student, I'd notice that each table or booth would seat 4 people. Except for a large table at the front. It could hold as many as 10 people. My aunt informed me that this was the Liars Table. A core group of men would show up daily and they would leave at different times, with new patrons coming in and taking emptied spots. The people changed but the conversation didn't. For the longest time, I attributed this to strictly Starkville behavior. Now that I've thought about it, I see that it's true everywhere.

When I lived in Key West, it was common for David and me (and sometimes my parents) to go out to breakfast on Saturday morning at B's restaurant. This was a nice, family owned restaurant that served the best Cuban food and breakfast sandwiches around. Sadly, it isn't there anymore. My parents went there so often that they never had to order. The waitresses all knew what they wanted and how they liked their cafe con leche. While there, I'd notice that my dad would shoot the breeze with different gentlemen that came in. Some of them sat and talked, some of them read the newspaper. All of them were old.

Sometimes during the week, I'd stop at the corner coffee stand to pick up a cafe con leche to get me going for the day. Literally, you'd walk up to what looked like a living room window on a corner store and it would open. A nice, old gentleman that spoke little English would take your order. While you waited, you could listen to the little old men in wife beaters sitting around on benches outside the window talking in rapid Spanish. It felt like they were always talking about me....but I'm paranoid so they probably weren't.

Now that I live in Starkville again, I've noticed other outcroppings of old men eating breakfast. My parents don't go to the Starkville Cafe on Saturday mornings...they go to Hardee's. And let me tell you, there are always large groups of old men sitting around and discussing the latest football game and how they'd have done it better. Sometimes, David, Raelynn and I join them. I enjoy the biscuits and gravy, not the old men's conversation. This morning, David and I went to breakfast at Huddle House before we went to work. We do that at the beginning of the school year on our professional days and again after Christmas. It's sort of our way of saying good-bye until the next long vacation. While there, we saw some old guys sitting around and leisurely eating and talking.

I think this is universal. My question is....where are the women? Are they at home in bed? Are they gathering somewhere? There are the things that I wonder about. Well....that and how to make my eggs over medium come out right. But I don't worry about it too much.....I have the nice folks at Huddle House take care of that for me.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday-the last day of Christmas vacation :-(

Hi everyone!


Today is the last day of my Christmas vacation. I go to work tomorrow. It's an interesting day....no kids...just meetings. It's a good way to ease into work again.


So here's what I did today:


*Set the alarm clock for 7 AM.


*Hit the snooze and sleep until 8:45.


*Got ready for church. Ate the last of the hot and cheesy black-eyed pea dip for breakfast.


*Went to church.


*Came home and made lunch for David and Raelynn.


*Worked on putting up clothes. I made a little progress--more to work on tomorrow.


*Went to Wendy's house and met her and Kathy and went walking. It was a cold walk. We went a mile and half.


*Went to eat with Kathy and Wendy (and their kids plus Wendy's mom, Helen) at Mugshots. I had water, a Walker burger and a house salad with ranch dressing.


*I came home and worked some more on clothes. Made a little more progress.


*Went back into town to meet Wendy (plus Sam and Katie) and saw New Moon-again. Don't ask how many times I've seen it. I think it may leave this week.


*Came home, showered, and now I'm blogging for you. Exciting stuff, right?


Okay, so here's the deal.....Until I get inspired, I'll be writing more of these posts that basically deal with what I've done that day. You can help but posting ideas that you'd like me to expand upon. Otherwise, I'm not responsible for how boring this blog gets.


Have a great day tomorrow!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Quiet Saturday.....My Fave

Hi fans! (All two of you...)


Today has been good. Very good. I woke up early, around 6:30 when Raelynn came in and asked to watch some TV. Of course, I told her she could since she's been on TV restriction for several months now. This is due to her math grades. We've been working hard so I caved today.


I slept awhile longer.....until 10ish. I spent the rest of the day washing, cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping....you know, the domestic stuff. Some days I can't stand it but today it was good. I've slowly been working on getting things cleaned up. Today, I took out everything from the refridgerator and cleaned. I threw out unidentified stuff.....it's nice to look at it. I've opened and shut the fridge door several times to see my work.


Last night, David and I watched Seven Pounds. Good movie. I'm hoping that I'll get caught up on my NetFlix viewing. Not sure what we'll watch tonight...maybe Bait Shop. Anyway, I cooked supper and now am blogging. Life is good.


Until tomorrow.....

Friday, January 1, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We made it! We got home late last night. It was a long drive. Regardless of the length, I'm very glad to be home. I was visually assaulted with the mess of my house when I walked in. My sister-in-law keeps an immaculate home. When you stay in a very neat house for an extended time, you will physically hurt when you look at your own mess. This is where I'm at now. I've been trying to start slowly with the cleaning and organizing. I think I'll get there eventually.


We got up this morning after sleeping in (Raelynn did wake me up early but I was able to go back to sleep) and we went to town. We got some breakfast at Hardee's , then went to check on the practicality of getting rid of some dead appliances we have laying around. We then went to Walmart and got some groceries to get started for the week. After we came home, we all went on a nice 2 mile walk. The weather is cool but sunny. Great walking weather.


Right now David's dad is playing Scrabble with David. His stepmother is sitting in the living room watching a TLC show on morbidly obese people. I just finished some of my hot and cheesy black eyed pea dip. I got the recipe from a blog that I've been following for a couple of years. Super yummy.


At 5, we'll go over to my mom's house for New Year's Day dinner. I'm hoping into come home afterwards and keep working on the cleaning. I don't really believe in resolutions. I do have some goals for myself. Get healthy, take better care of myself, keep a neater and more organized home and classroom. Those sound like reachable goals.


Anyway.....here's to hoping that your 2010 starts with all that you love. I am blessed.