Monday, December 29, 2008

Blogging and Traveling

How often is too much?

Yesterday I thought of about 20 things I could blog about as I deep cleaned the spare bedroom in anticipation/possibility of having guests in the couple days.

And I kept myself from blogging again because I had already written my blog for the day. But, it is MY blog. Can't I write more than once a day?? Or is that bad blogetiquette? And if it is, does anyone else really care?

My mind travels a lot when I do menial things, like folding the laundry, dusting, driving, etc. Oh, did I just say driving? Well, you have all done it I'm sure. You get somewhere and wonder how on earth you got there. You don't remember the drive. You were on "autopilot," a line from the movie CLICK, which I believe to be the non-religious, all season version of A Christmas Carol.

See how my mind travels? I went from dusting to movies in 2 seconds flat.

Yesterday as I was typing my blog, I was sitting at the kitchen table, looking out the window. As I started typing again, something caught my eye. It was a giant bird! And he was flailing as he landed, which is why it caught my eye. First, I made sure it wasn't an eagle (which wouldn't be that impossible as we are fairly close to the Missouri River and have seen them flying around, along with seagulls and other water birds.

But, it was just a Red Tailed Hawk. I got a few pics from the window but they didn't turn out very well because he was still pretty far away. The best one is below.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

How Does It Happen?

How on earth, with two people, does a bathroom closet get so, well, disheveled???

I am sure I am to blame, and I say two people but the only thing he does is get a bath towel out of it. Unless he is bleeding because of an accident and then he has to root and destroy everything looking for a large enough bandaid and some type of antiseptic. Which gets me to thinking.

This post was intended to be about cleaning out the closet (which I did yesterday) but let's go back to the bleeding because of an accident thing.

Time number 1 - about a week before our wedding he went out for a bachelor party. When he returned I was already asleep but he came in and sat on the bed and the first words out of his mouth were, "Now don't freak out." It must have been about 3am. So, of course, I start to freak out even though it is dark, asking what is wrong.

It seems he had been digging in his truck toolbox getting a jacket or something equally less important, and the lid had fallen, right onto his nose. It was gashed and bloody, and it looked like the skin had been scraped off the bridge. After that the only thing I remember thinking was how awful he would look in our wedding pictures! Ahh, true love. :) Needless to say, he got the truck toolbox out and hasn't used it since.

Time number 2 - It was early in the spring and we had been talking about removing some limbs from a tree (I am sure you see where this is headed.) He got up early, which for him is about 4:30 (what a nut) and went outside with his brand new sharp shiny handsaw specifically designed to cut limbs. He climbed the ladder as high as it would go and proceeded to climb the tree, tying himself off. He couldn't get the right angle for the limb. Well, for the tree limb. Anyway, it ended up the saw came down onto his opposite forearm and cut him on that vein that runs on the top. Now keep in mind, I am sleeping soundly, unaware he had even planned to do this.

So now he is in a pickle. He is bleeding profusely and worried he won't even make it down the ladder. He got down, took his shirt off to cover it, ran to the back deck door, and then realized it was locked - he hadn't gone out that door.

As he bounded down the deck stairs, he broke through the second to last step. His speed and bounding cracked it and he fell through and scraped his shin up really bad. He ran to the basement door and up the stairs to the bedroom. He walks in and says, "Baby, I think I need your help," loud enough to wake me.

What a way to get woken up. He's got blood all over and he's about greenish white.

I have to say, honestly, he is really not prone to accidents like I am. He is very careful and thoughtful. But accidents happen to even the best of us.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What To Do the Day AFTER Christmas

Having no kids and no gifts "to play with," what do you do the day after Christmas???

Well, you paint the bathroom of course!

Not wanting to waste a day off (and having had the paint since May) I dug in. I had previously put sand paint on the lower portion of the wall, so that all had to be scraped off. A very messy, dusty job. Then I had to take down all the hardware and decorations (rods, shelves, dryer mount, etc.) After that I had to painstakingly fill in all the holes because I knew I wanted to change the layout of some of it.

Then I did the ceiling. I hate painting ceilings. I detest painting ceilings. ICK ICK ICK. But it was small and needed to be done, so DONE!

It took me absolutely forever to do all the edge work on the walls, behind the toilet, etc. Plus even that needed two coats. Rollering the rest was a breeze, and my hubby even chipped in and rollered some, but that also needed two coats and time to dry some in between.

But it turned out great and I was able to take a candle lit bath last night in my beautiful peaceful bathroom.

I stilll have some to do today, such as put up the towel racks and decorate and such. There is just something about painting and redecorating before the new year. It's a nice feeling. Like preparing for the year to come. Out with the old and in with the new.

I think I need some boxes. It's time to clean out the closets!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas in Old Time St. Charles

We went last night. We figured we better go since it was the best weather we have had in awhile to be outside at night.

It was beautiful and fun. Lots of things to look at and watch. Neat trains and animated objects. Tons of lights and decorations. Carolers in costumes. Various Santas in costume. Frontier Park was full of lights, which was a pleasant surprise. Make sure to go down to the train depot - lots of stuff going on in the windows.

If you go, here is my list of don'ts.

1. Don't wear high heels - it's a lot of walking and much of it is uneven cobblestones and bricks.

2. Don't dress for fashion but warmth.

3. Don't go with anything less than a full camera battery.

4. Don't wait too long to get there - traffic on 70 was horrendous and when we got there parking was insane - very far away.

5. Don't pass up the warm beverages being served on the sidewalk, like hot chocolate and cider.

6. Don't have to go to the bathroom. (Talk about cold)

But do go. It is a neat thing to see and we had so much fun :)

Friday, December 19, 2008


Only 2 more days to get up and then . . .

As many cookies as I want.

Straight perfect corners on packages.

Coffee in bed (and what an extra bonus if it is flavored!)

Snacking on iced pickles (Oooh - I will give you the recipe here. It sounds icky, but is so absolutely delicious!)
medium to large size whole pickles
those little packages of thin lunch meat (I have used ham, roast beef, and pastrami and pastrami is my favorite)
package of cream cheese softened

Lay the meat out flat and ice it about 1/4" thick with cream cheese.
Wrap two (or as many as needed to go around the pickle - overlapping is ok)
Slice the pickles into chips
EAT (when I make them it is often one for the plate, one for me!)

Back to my list~
Playing poker for play money on line.


Cleaning closets.

Watching and playing with my niece.

I can't wait for all the fun to begin~~~~~!!!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


photo courtesy of orchid @

No, not the book.

I have tried to vaccinate myself from it. I have tried to heavily purge to alleviate any and all symptoms. I think I have done a fairly good job.

I am talking about stress.

My stress level has been fairly low. I have had peaceful times for a while leading up to the holidays. I have gone with the flow and rolled with the waves. And I have been stress free.

But everyone else hasn't! In the last week, I have seen stressed people. And the stressed people have come to me. Now I am not talking crying on my shoulder or bending my ear. I could handle those things. I'm talking about far out stuff where you think, "Dang. Did that just happen? Where was that from? What was that?"

Today was particularly hectic. Something was falling from the sky (sleet?) and I knew my commute was going to be a nightmare to get home. A parent showed up in anger immediately after school about an assignment. I explained I would love to talk but was extremely worried about getting home. I made sure she had my cell number and asked her to call. Despite this, I spent the next 25 minutes discussing and explaining the project in depth and calming her down.

This is a mom that has been nothing but sweet and kind to me. We have had lots of friendly communications through email and on the phone. I don't think a 10 year old's project was the cause. I think it was a build up of stress. Holidays, loss of stock $, job cuts, and downturn of home prices are some major real happenings right now. Every day I am thankful.

And no matter how hard I have tried, I can't keep others' stress from affecting me. I just have to make sure it doesn't become contagious.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stop! I am NOT Ready!

I cannot even believe that Christmas is less than a week away. It just doesn't even seem possible. How did it happen?

I have been busy, busy, busy. And not a lot of it has been fun (although I did get to paint my nails on the snow day I had, which was really an ice day.)
Some might say I have been blogging too much. But that only takes maybe 15 minutes. Well, maybe 25 if I had to put in a picture and edit the picture, etc.

I'm not worried about it being so close. Just surprised.

My husband and I have had this discussion many times. Now that we are older, time is just whizzing by. Have to wait a week? Well, that really feels like 2 days. A month? That really feels like 1 1/2 weeks. Been married 10 years? That really feels a lot more like 3 or 4 (depending on my mood that day :))

What is this phenomenon? Does it have a name? Does it have to do with the amount of time already spent living? As you get older, the day as a 2 year old is 1/730th. One day of a 40 year old's life is now 1/ - hold on - gotta do the math - 1/14,600th. Does this account for our perceived shortening of time??!
Or is it just that not much goes on in a 2 year old's life and a LOT goes on in a 40 year old's?

Well, gotta get working on the family calendar for 2009. I swear I just made last year's the other day . . .

Monday, December 15, 2008


I am in the middle of watching the news, which I rarely do. Once again, they have a man teacher that won some kind of award for teaching that they are featuring. This really irks me.

21% of teachers (there are three million in all) are men. That is not even a quarter. Yet every time you turn on the TV lately, or open a magazine, they are raving about a man teacher. What about the 79% of women teachers? Not one of them is newsworthy??? I can't believe that.

Male teachers are a novelty and a necessity - and much needed in schools. This is not a male teacher bash by any means. I am more concerned with the inaccurate amount of representation they are receiving in the media. I know plenty of outstanding female teachers that go above and beyond every single day. Where is their movie? Where is their article about all their great deeds? Or are they all just too humble?

Many of our students need positive male role models. Some of our students respond better to male teachers. But the media needs to remember that there are 2.4 million female teachers and a lot of them are giving their hearts, their money, and their 100% effort to the success of their students every day.

Why I Choose to Make So Little Money

Because of today :)

I have a bachelors in education with an additional 23 hours.
I have a masters in education.
I have +15 (well just shy, I need 1/2 a credit more) in educational technology after my masters.

And I make diddly squat. I know people without any college education that make more than twice what I do.


Yeah yeah yeah I say as I sing and dance around the dining room table with my cup of coffee.

There really isn't anything that even compares to a snow day. Imagine your boss calling you at 5:00 in the morning, an hour before you have to get up, to tell you, "Don't come in to work today." How absolutely fabulous is that???? I always leave my alarm clock on - just so when it goes off, I can turn it off and roll over and fall back to a very happy sleep-in.

When my day does finally begin, I lounge over coffee (sometimes in bed :) and imagine all the possibilities of this newly given chunk of time. I can . . . well, do whatever I want!

So today, I will be working on MY homework and trying to get some knocked out (which is hard to do with a full time job). I think I will also paint my nails and do my toes. I also think I will finish my nephew's Christmas stocking (it's his first Christmas).

A snow day is a gift of time. What a wonderful present. So it's okay if I don't make much $. Sometimes I get an extra 8-9 hours that other people don't. And I am always very thankful, because you can't buy time.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Knock Knock

Who's There?

Blog Reader.

Blog Reader Who?

No, really. Who?? Are you being a secret reader?? :) Here are directions on how to comment: Click the comment button. Type some stuff. Maybe just tell me who you are. Type I was here. Then click submit.

That wasn't so hard.

It's interesting for me to see if anyone reads this. Your comment need not be relevant to the topic. Because the topic changes steadily.

Today I would like to talk about . . . I don't know. I can't think of anything really. I have so much to do and I didn't make a list. So I am a bit . . . out of sorts. :)

Okay. I am leaving to make a list.

I was here :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Get 'Er Done

photo courtesy of cohdra @

I planned for it.

I laid it all out.

I was going to get so much accomplished.


Not one thing went the way I planned.

And I ended up getting absolutely nothing done on my list.

Now, that is not to say that nothing got accomplished. I had two very productive meetings. My students were happy. I got some editing done while they anxiously awaited the return of their stories.

But none of that was on my list.

I took a class about two years ago that was focused on the type of people we are and how we are all different. I read a book (which the title escapes me at the moment). We discussed it. I learned that I am . . . an achiever. I love lists. I make them all the time. The accomplishement I feel when I cross off "Clean toilet" is beyond measure. And it has nothing to do with the toilet. I GOT TO CROSS SOMETHING OFF THE LIST!

My husband teases me about my lists, among other things. Therefore, some of them become mental lists so no one can see them.

But today was a written list and not one thing was crossed off. So despite everything, I don't feel as well as I should.

Now, I have to admit. Sometimes I get sidetracked from my lists and do something important and productive that is not on the list. I am guilty of writing it on the list just so I can cross it off. I am not ashamed to admit it. I'll bet someone else is laughing because they do it to. Sorry to have to tell you this but YOU ARE AN ACHIEVER! :0 And that crossing of just feels so good.

I have been accused by various family members that I don't know how to relax. It is relaxing to me to get something done. That is how I am wired. My husband lovingly refers to me as "The Overachiever."

I just don't see anything wrong with doing it all. And I will leave you with a list from this past summer.

1. Lay out

2. Clean pool

3. Check email

4. Finish book

5. Go to karate

See???? I do know how to relax!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Traffic Geniuses

Okay, I don't know if I spelled the plural of genuis right. But I'll bet I am still smarter than the idiots who are planning the highways around here.
On my home every night (this is the absolute truth) I drive on two portions of two different highways that are "accident reduction zones." This means that there are MANY accidents in both of those areas. And honestly, it happens about once a week during my regular traffic time.

So what, you may ask, do they do to help reduce accidents?? They put up signs that say, "Accident reduction zone" so people have to take their attention away from driving and read the sign in the highly dangerous area. Now THAT is smart!

Actually though, the one area has been much improved the last year due to major construction and a portion of the highway being closed. Because a portion was closed, that meant all people had to exit the highway. To accommodate this, they made what was previously one lane south and one lane north into one lane south and TWO lanes north. This greatly reduced the traffic congestion to non-existant and really did make the area reduce the number of accidents.

"Wow! They did something right," you are thinking. But slow down. The story isn't over yet.

So, after over a year of the highway being closed down (at this point I might add that the highway closing was a major highway and a major problem) they are getting ready to reopen a portion next week. "In honor" of that event, they felt they should put the exits back to the way they were - THIS WEEK! BEFORE THEY OPEN THE NEW SECTION!!!

Can you say idiots???

Why on earth couldn't they open the highway back up and THEN go back to the regular lane exits??? Did they not see how beautiful traffic was flowing? Did they not notice the reduction of accidents?? Did they think that no one was using the area anymore because traffic moved so smoothly???

Needless to say, I will be dealing with this the rest of the week because someone never learned not to put the cart in front of the horse. They are welcome to come back to my classroom and review cause and effect. My fourth graders understand it way better than the MODOT engineers do.

Thank goodness I have this blog or I would stew and rant and rave all week. Now that it is out, I can just drive in peaceful oblivion and work on avoiding all the accidents. (yeah right)

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Decline of EBAY

I can't even begin to tell you how bad ebay has gotten. I think I saw the decline around the beginning of summer.

I had a couple fiascos at the beginning of summer and things have gone downhill since then. It seems to be a change in clientel. Everyone wants something for nothing.

For example . . . Last weekend I listed some of those oldfashioned bulb type Christmas lights. They run about $10 in Walmart. I listed them for $1.99 because we never use them and four bulbs are burnt out.

Someone had the nerve to email me and ask if the price was negotiable because 4 of the bulbs were burnt out. YES, IT IS NEGOTIABLE AND IT STARTS AT $1.99 BECAUSE 4 BULBS ARE BURNT OUT.

Are you kidding me???

I sell my stuff cheap because I want it out of here. But that was ridiculous.

All in all, I'm just getting tired of ebay. Something for nothing is not what it is about. It's supposed to be something for a steal or a great deal. Not free.

I'm jdsdive on ebay, incase you want a 25 strand of bulbs (with 4 not lit) for two bucks.

LICE!!!! No, Not Really

I was so upset this afternoon when I came home. I had on my brand new brown tights, which I just love. I had worn a camel colored microsuede skirt (the kind that is wash and wear, oh so soft, and comfortable). Well, the two didn't mix well.

When I got home to change into my lounge around clothes, my tights had lice. Well, it wasn't really lice. It was miniature microsuede balls embedded into my dark brown tights. The moving and wear had rub the skirt and gotten little balls attached to my tights.

Is this insane???

So I tried the lint remover (the brush kind AND the sticky roller kind). Neither worked. These things were embedded and not coming out. I asked my husband to help.

He took a few little pulls at the balls and said, "These things are cheap. I would just trash them."

But that wasn't the point. I had just gotten these tights and I love the way they feel and love the color.

So I said, "Give me a glass of wine. I'm in for a long night."

45 minutes later . . .

Well, they look a little better. I guess a lot better. Or maybe it is just the wine talking/wine goggles. Hopefully the rest will come out in the wash (yeah, right). But at least I got most of them off.

This is just another day in my wacky life.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


photo courtesy of nasirkhan @

It took me 27 years to find the perfect bra.

That's a long darn time. And I have to say that when I found it, I bought 8 of them. They are beginning to wear out. I think I might cry.

They are nothing fancy or expensive. They are made by Bill Blass. You will never believe where I found them. Dollar General. Yep. Forget Victoria's Secret, Macy's, JC Penny, etc. The most perfect bra ever lives at Dollar General and they cost $5 a piece.

They only come in white, but that's okay because they are perfect. (and I wear tons of white shirts - which is a whole nother blog in itself - the quest for the perfect white top)

With these bras I never have seam lines show (or anything else for that matter). The straps are adjustable and don't come off in the wash. They are preformed, so they look like they are full even when laying on the bed. They are low cut in front so I can wear any shirt I want and not worry about it showing. They have three dual hook sections in back (which is great around Thanksgiving time as I grow!) And they always look nice.

It's hard to find the perfect bra. I am hoping Dollar General still has them as it is time to get more. Otherwise I might just wear them until they become rags. And then I would probably still wear them!

Of course, my husband is now laughing hysterically as he just read my blog. He thinks I am nuts. He doesn't get how important the perfect bra is. But us girls know. ;)

photo courtesy of nasirkhan at

Friday, December 5, 2008

Do Our Computers "know" Us?

Have you ever tried to help someone with their computer?

Do you help them do something on their computer you have done a million times? And it doesn't work the way you do it every time??!!

My new thought is that our computers, unbeknownst to the general population of dummies like me, are reading our minds. Well, really, I think they have little readers in them that track our activities. And when we do something over and over, the computer "gets used to us" and knows what we want to do when we plug something in or stick in a gadget. They learn us.

Take my school mp3 players I use for my kids. I upload to these quite regularly straight from my computer where the podcast was made. (We use them as study guides) So one of my teammates had made a podcast and I wanted it on my student mp3s. I went and plugged it in (they have a straight usb port to the player) and the thing went wacko. Wouldn't work until I did many different things to get it where it was supposed to go. But in mine, I put it in and it works just like it is supposed to.

So maybe at this point you are saying, well the teammate has her computer set up different. But she doesn't. All her settings are the same. Well, except for not having a purple Windows Media Player screen.

This hasn't been the only incident. Different things like this have happened many times. And I am always so happy when I "come home" to my own computer and it works like it is supposed to.

I think I have trained it well.


photo courtesy of cardenio @
I don't care what everyone else says. Jeans are not warm.

Today was REALLY cold - like 10. It might have gotten up to 18. When I walked outside at noon for about 5 minutes, I thought my jean legs had frozen solid. It's almost like they trap the cold air in after allowing it to float up from the ground.

Also, most jeans are not flattering. Give me a cute little skirt any day. For jeans to really look good, they should not be purchased (or even made) above a size 2.
The low jeans have a bulge over the waistband. The high jeans cut off your circulation from the waist down, make you miserable if you eat, and make you look like your waist is just below your boobs. Now that's attractive.

Jeans are not comfortable. (unless you get the grandma elastic waist ones, and then of course, they are not fashionable) You can't bend your legs. If you wear low riders you spend the day pulling them up or else you look like a plumber. Not to mention, some feel just like your wearing a thong bikini. Yikes!

Over the years I have had my share of jeans. But I don't think I have ever found a pair to like, much less love. Favorite jeans? That would be the ones that hurt the least, look the best (which isn't saying much) and don't make me look like my grandma. I haven't found that pair yet.
Give me a bikini any day. Way more comfortable.

photo courtesty of cardenio at

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What Do They Really Mean?

How many ways can you say "You look like crap?"
My husband has become excellent at this.

Various comments he has said -

"I thought you were going to do your hair?" Well, I had!
"Does that go?" Yes, the two different patterns are the same colors.
"Are you wearing that?" It's a little late now as I am already walking out the door!

And the new one this morning -
"That doesn't really look like you."

I have to hand it to him. He is becoming more and more creative and kind the longer we are married.

So this morning I responded, "So basically what you are saying is that I look like crap."
He didn't say a word.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Season

This is my favorite time of year. Well, one of them. I also like New Year's Eve. And St. Patrick's Day. And Valentine's Day. And Fourth of July. And when it comes to my birthday, well that's just a week long celebration. I have a birth week.

Things I don't like - leaves, fall, cold weather, rain. So I am glad most of those things are over.

Christmas holds many special memories for me. No proposals or cars or stuff like that. It's more about the little things. Making cookies with mom and sis. Putting up the tree listening to carols. Getting surprised with a REAL Christmas tree by hubby. And I would have to say one thing that ranks way up there as well is making the perfect gift. MAKING, not buying.

Time is precious. For years I have tried to get my family to exchange only MADE gifts. I keep giving them but they can't really comply. My mom (sometimes - she is pretty crafty with knitting and sewing, etc) and my dad (sometimes - he builds things). My sis did once, and I have to say it is one of my most cherished gifts ever (only because she is not crafty and went to a lot of trouble and spent a lot of time creating a "piece" for every letter in the song "Christmas Alphabet.")

To me, that is what it's all about. Giving a piece of yourself to the other person to let them know they are special to you. It isn't about money. Don't forget that this year.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Reality vs Progress

I was so excited when cell phones came out with cameras. I just knew that very shortly there would be real pictures of aliens that would confirm their existence.

It seems that didn't prove to be the case though. Not only do we NOT have more (and real) pictures of aliens and those encounters everyone used to have, it seems that people aren't having those alien experiences that much. Kinda makes you say hmm.

Or, could it be that with those cell phone cameras that also came with keyboards for texting, people are no longer looking up to the sky? They are too busy texting and finding the right letter to type?

We have become a nation that loves reality. Our TV shows follow ordinary people around. Sometimes I wonder why they haven't picked me yet. I find my own life pretty dog gone interesting. My refrigerator mysteriously stopped working. I play poker online and win thousands of fake dollars.

Reality. We all get enough and have enough. Let's go back to dreaming and wishing on stars.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's About Time

Okay, I have been dying to do this! But had other more important blogs to create. This is not a hobby blog. This is where I get to be myself and say what I feel like talking about. So, this will be a very random blog. Probably only read by myself. But that's okay.
I LOVE to write. (See my other blogs)
There are so many things I love! Pink, scuba diving, taking pictures, being a teacher, my husband, sparkly things, oh the list goes on.
So if you can't sleep, come read this every now and then. It will be just like a Tylenol PM :)