Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Room Wish List

Kathy over at The Junk Drawer often has me in stitches. Today she wrote about houses and it got me to thinking of the perfect house for me.

I would have rooms for:

1. one room completely dedicated to wrapping presents/gifts, with organized hanging sheets of colored tissue paper, bags of assorted sizes hung on nails, by occasion of course, a ribbon holder similar to a thread spool holder, scissors attached to heavy chain (so they couldn't run off and be used for other things by other people!!!)

2. a library - I am in desparate need of one - we have books in EVERY room in the house. Of course the library would have to have one of those chase loungers (settee?? - I don't know exactly what they are called) and a fire place, lots of sunlight, and my favorite blanket

3. a crafting room with all the different crafts stored neatly in their rubbermaid boxes and a super large table for getting it all out and leaving it whenever I felt like (of course this room must come with a lock on the door so no one else could see it)

4. a room large enough for ballet/karate with exercise equipment to make it look pretty (hehe) - and a whole wall of mirrors so I can see how stupid I REALLY look

5. a really good acoustic room for music, again, with LOTS of chairs

6. a greenhouse room, to keep indoor plants and me alive during the cold dreary winter months

7. a room lined with shelves for shoes, organized by color, then heel height - wouldn't that just be dreamy???

So honey, get the hammer and saw and get building! HA!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Live a Little

Last night, after 4 months of kind and patient emails, I met up with a few people I had gone to college with. VERY uncharacterstic for me. I love being home and hate being away from hubby. (I even invited him to come along)

I was a bit nervous - but it was so fabulous! We laughed and chatted about now, what we do, and about then, what we did! OMG! We remembered places and people. When I left, I felt very young again. We hadn't seen each other in almost 20 years.

The personalities were still the same. The fun, the silliness. I am so glad I went.

Yesterday morning I wondered why I had agreed to go. I didn't know and didn't have an answer for my hubby. Why would I want to see people I hadn't seen in so long? Today I still don't have an answer, but have a refresher of that part of my life (which is actuallly kinda hazy anyway- it WAS college!)

And besides, it felt good to get out of my routine and stretch myself. And remember myself.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What REALLY Happened

Okay, so this morning was NOT my problem. I was up - about a billion times last night. Couldn't sleep. I'll tell you why.

My loving, grieving husband invited my dog's spirit in the house after he died (the dog). (Where else would he go? Dogs aren't in heaven so I've been told.)

So last night was my first night in the house alone. With the ghost dog.

He huffed, and sniffed and tap, tap tapped on the floor.

Needless to say, I was scared s word less (see previous post).

I was GLAD to go to work today. (which I always am, but I am also a homebody and love being at home piddling)

So now I know we gotta fix the fan on the furnace, need to get some limbs away from the house, and ask the neighbor NOT to start his weed eater after dark. But in the dark, things can sound awfully different.

I told everyone at work about my harrowing night. As I left, I explained that if I didn't show up to work tomorrow, it meant I died of fright. So at least now I have a good reason to be late to work tomorrow besides "I had to make my lunch AND the coffee."

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Bunch of Tidbits

Of course, in list form.

1. I have to make my own coffee tomorrow and pack my own lunch. I have to get myself out of bed on my own. I'm just so not good at these things.

2. Tomorrow one of my pictures, along with a prompt, will be at this site for creative writing. I'm excited and nervous. I don't even know what picture it will be! I will check it in the morning to see if I can use it with my students. You can check it too :)

3. I am knee deep in writing a book, and loving every minute of it. I love my characters, I love the story. It's why I have been so "absent" from here lately.

4. I am teaching about poetry to my students. I am tired of hearing about puppies and rainbows. They (not the puppies, the students) are banned from writing acrostic poems. I told them that poems didn't have to be "pretty." They could be ugly, painful, and nasty. One of the kids pipes up, "Can we say blood?" I said, "No" and someone cut me off, saying, "It still has to be appropriate." And I continued, "Yes, appropriate." Another little guy, Mr. Perfect Student, adds, "Yeah, you just can't use the s word or the f word." Well, what do I say to that???? I just said, "Yes. Right."

So, in honor of my Mr. Perfect Student, I will write a poem about what I HOPE doesn't happen tomorrow morning.

S word! No alarm?
It was set. On.
S word of a B word -
Run. Faster. Yep, clean there, move on.
A 3 car accident? I'll never make it.
F wording S word! Where's my F wording coffee?
I'm guessing that isn't blood running down the windshield.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Things You Don't Want to Hear

Things you don't want to hear your date say

That's the topic of the blog today, largely due to last night being "date night" for hubby and I. I set aside one weekend each month and then he picks the night for our "date." He has my complete and undivided attention (which is actually pretty hard for me because of the whole attention thing).

So last night, for date night, we decided to get the ACDC rockband CD and play all night long. (Yeah, easy, cheap date, but we knew we would have fun)

After one particularly difficult song on the drums, I commented, "That got me sweating."

Of course, hubby came back with the sarcastic line, "That's what you want to hear from a date. Very romantic." We had a great laugh, and then I got to thinking what else you wouldn't want to hear from your date.

1. Watch my scab. Careful.
2. I had a spider in my ear once.
3. Can you do this with your toes?
4. Do you smell that?
5. I need to shave my back.

Okay - add to it folks :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Real Pain in the Eyes

I'm here today to talk about my eyes. I'm getting ready to go crazy.

Off and on for the last three weeks I have been coughing. Ok. Fine. I can deal with it. But what I absolutely cannot deal with is stuff coming out my eyes that looks like it should be coming out my nose. It's so attractive in the morning.

Now I have a new symptom. The evil red eyes. I had them one day about a week and half ago. They were REALLY bad, but they didn't bother me.

Today, well, I'll make a list of all the things that they felt like all day long.

1. Someone splashed fingernail polish remover in them.

2. I ran through cedar trees with my eyes open (yep, did that one in real life so have something to compare it to)

3. Every time I blinked, someone who thought they were funny, rubbed sandpaper on my eyeballs.

4. Like I opened the little pop up lid of the toilet cleaner and it spouted into my eye at 2 in the morning (yep, that happened in real life too, and the memory is pretty vivid)

5. The cat tried to claw my eyes out while I was sleeping (I don't own a cat)

6. Like I swam 5 miles underwater in a heavy cholorinated pool, being pushed by a motor boat going 60 mph.

7. After staring at the sun for 11 hours, the eclipse finally happened.

8. The mascara I have had bacteria in it and it is eating my eyelids away (another true one, although my eyelids stayed intact) (And no, I just bought new mascara about a month ago.)

I'm getting ready to go pirate. Arg. Where's me patch?

And yes, they really hurt that bad. How will I read about Bella and Edward tonight before I go to sleep?

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Teacher Who Doesn't Teach

That was me today. What a messed up day.

I had a meeting at 8 am (30 minutes before school starts) that lasted until 9:20. I got back to my room just in time to take the kids to library and drop them off for another 30 minutes. They came back in at 10 and for a wonderfully glorious 30 minutes, I got to teach. I read to them and we talked about the story and they wrote about it.

At 10:30, all but 4 of my students left to go to violin. They returned at 11:20. We continued to talk about the book and I gave them some time to read their own reading books ( and they are reading some really good ones - historical fiction :)

At 11:55, I took them to lunch and then picked them up at 12:25. At 12:30 we headed off to an afternoon presentation about bullying. It lasted until 2:45, and I don't even know how it went because at 2, I had to leave for another meeting and didn't get out until 3:30. (30 minutes after school ended)

I hate days like this. I LOVE teaching, not meetings. And I have to say, I am pretty selfish. I want to teach my own students, not let other people teach them. It's almost like I didn't even see them today :(

Do I think that everything they did is important? Yes. But that isn't the point. The point is, well, I guess I need to go back to kindergarten and learn how to share.

Friday, April 10, 2009

What a Refreshingly Nice Day

First - talked with another friend who had lost her husband seven years ago to cancer, as to how to "act" and what to do with my newly widowed friend. A very heartful, endearing conversation.

Second - Arrived back in my room to find this little surprise (see picture) on my desk - how perfectly pretty and delicious - from one of the aide's who helps in my room.

Third - MAP testing is OVER! It was a somewhat normal day and the kids were SO wonderfully perfect all day.

Fourth - Had another deep conversation with another friend/teacher about love, caring, etc.

Fifth - Did I mention the kids were wonderful today?

Sixth - We helped out another teacher (my class counted push ups for first grade :)

Seventh - Another friend/teacher asked for some support and help in a delicate situation. I felt honored that she trusted me so much.

Eigthth - We had a "party" to end MAP testing - popcorn and social studies videos about pioneer life (the kids sure are glad they live in THIS time!)

Ninth - everyone wished everyone a Happy Easter/Passover and left thinking about food, Easter bunnies, and more great food.

I just felt really loved today. Very surprising and unusual for me on a Good Friday. I usually have pretty rotten ones.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

On to Something Not so Sad

Really, just bear with me for a minute while I set up the background.

My dear friend's husband's memorial service was today. As we got there, we all piled in and the line to see her was long. But I couldn't go up. I couldn't do that to her - I cried the moment I walked in the church and couldn't stop for about 20 minutes. And she was being so strong.

Later in the service, the pastor had a "moment" when everyone could hug, kiss, greet, etc (peace be with you and all). I had gained my composure and headed up to see her.

I got there and hung back but she seemed a bit tired of whomever was monopolizing her at the moment. She finally reached over and just grabbed my hand and pulled me over. Hugs, love, all the good stuff. Then she smiled at me and said, "Did you see my shoes?" I had to tell the truth. OF COURSE I HAD! And right there in the middle of her husband's memorial service - we giggled.

Ahh, girlfriends. And I knew her husband HAD to be smiling down too.

But back to the "moment" of greeting. Obviously, the poor pastor had never turned the room loose to a bunch of teachers before. We are SO worse than our students. He tried clearing his voice (yeah, right), making hand signals like he was rounding up a herd (we were more like a stampede) and finally had the organist play a chord. That poor organist played the same chord over and over for at least 5 minutes trying to get everyone back in their seats. When it all settled down, his first comment was something about teachers (I couldn't hear as others were STILL chattering, but I did hear "teachers") and everyone laughed.

It's nice to have a friend that is so loved by so many.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Another Horrificly Sad Story

I stayed late tonight to go to the PTO meeting at school. I got to see the head custodian (he works nights).

I checked with him to see if he had heard about my friend's sorrow, as he had known her when she worked at our school. He replied, "Yeah, I heard. We had a tragedy in our own family."

It seems his daughter and son in law had taken their family on vacation in Arizona. They had a great time and were packing up to come home this last Friday. In the midst of all the packing and loading up the car, the three year old got out of the room and ran off. They found the baby in the motel swimming pool.

This poor grandpa was in so much pain. You could see it so plainly as he spoke.

My heart ached. And still does.

And you may wonder why I have chosen to share this story.
1. It helps me cope with things when I write.
2. Just to put the story out there, in case it helps save someone else so much heartache and pain.

I really am just done with these freak, tragic accidents.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Sad Day

A very sad day indeed.

I spoke about a very dear friend of mine awhile back in a post. (click here) She is the subject of that first paragraph.

It seems her husband (of about 30 years I would guess, I'm not exactly sure) was working on the van on Saturday. She was out, probably running some do-gooder errands like taking sick people bowls of chicken soup and such.

She returned home to find her husband crushed under the van. He had already passed away.

The love of her life. The man who STILL took her on "dates" and out dancing. The man she exchanged perfume with every Valentine's Day. They already had their vacation to Hawaii planned for when school ends in May.

Not too long ago, she told me how she dealt with being "upset" with him. He would ask "What's wrong?" She would say, "Nothing." He would say, "Your awfully quiet. Something's wrong." She would answer, "I'm meditating."

Of course when she shared this I was in a fit of laughter. Because that is what she has always been best at - helping other people feel good.

Her catch phrase has always been, "Spread the Joy." One year for her birthday I gave her a wooden purse and painted "Joy" on it. She carried it to our Art Museum outing. The sales lady in the gift shop kept calling her Joy. We just giggled.

About 5 years ago, she lost her younger brother suddenly - heart attack. Almost exactly a year later, her mother passed away. She took both extremely hard but you would never have known it to see her.

I called today and another friend was at the house fielding phone calls. Actually, my friend was out 'making arrangements.' Of course I asked what I could do and offered to pick up family members at the airport, since I live close by.

Amazingly, she took me up on the offer. I picked up her husband's sister and drove her to my friend's home.

As I drove home, it occured to me that my services weren't really needed. She probably just let me do it so I would feel like I had helped. So I could feel better.

I didn't stay long at her house. She had family and more were expected.

We hugged. I told her I loved her. She told me to keep the joy. I told her to hang in there.

Someone so beautiful inside and out shouldn't have so much pain. I am angry.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Self Help Group

I am thinking of starting a new group at school. Teachers and students alike would be welcome. The Twilight group. We are just such a mess! Half of fifth grade is reading it and there are a couple teachers who are just about where I am as far as being insane.

Today I finished a really long read aloud to my kids. They were five minutes late to lunch because they wouldn't let me stop and we were so close to the end of the book. I had read it last summer after our social studies coordinator had given them out. It's about a young girl living in Missouri during the start of the Civil War. The kids were totally hooked, as I started it to kick off our historical fiction unit. You can learn more about it by clicking on the link.
A Voice From the Border
While it was from a girl's perspective, there was plenty of guns and battles to keep the boys interested too.

The most wonderful part had to be the intimacy our class shared as we read/heard. We all would gasp or suck in air loud at the same points of the story. It was so funny! And at points, I would stop and ask how they were feeling about the book. Several commented "It's why I came to school today!" and that made us all laugh. I also asked them if they would have every chosen the book (after I read them the summary). All of them admitted they wouldn't have. So I would like to think that this has opened a new door for them.

I absolutely LOVE historical fiction and Avi (the author) seems to do it best. I think I have read all those books. Yet, I failed American History in high school. Yes. It's time I owned up to that scandal.

I had American History as a requirement my junior year. I passed the second semester, but not the first. It was first hour and just SO boring! So when I failed, I had to change my report card. Not once. I had to do it for two years.

That may sound impossible, but let me continue.

So, all second semester, I had to change the grade from first semester because it still showed up on my report card. And what grade did I give myself? Well, a B of course. It matched closest to the letter F. The were computer print outs and a bit of smudging made it look exactly real.

Over the summer my parents received something in the mail about me having to meet the requirement of American History. (I hadn't planned on something like this coming!) I quickly explained it away, saying I was chosen to be in an ADVANCED class of American History. Of course my parents believed me because I always got A's and B's. I had recently just written a speech and won a bond for writing about war and American society. They had no reason NOT to believe me.

So, Senior year comes and here I am in a class with juniors, retaking a semester that I had failed. And what did I do at report card time? Well, the grade actually was a B (because the teacher was OUTSTANDING), but the course listing was MOD AM HIST. (You would think I would have gotten an A since I was actually repeating but it just goes to show how much I DIDN'T get out of the first class.)

I changed it to ADV AM HIST. This was a bit trickier but my report cards always seemed to get wet or sweaty or something, and of course they were highly smudged. And of course, I had to do it the whole year because the first semester was included on the second semester report card.

Okay. I feel way better now. And my mom already knows the story, so it's okay if she reads it. :) The whole thing was just so unfair - I should have never failed in the first place if I had had a good teacher. I don't care how early it was. And I can say this because I strive NOT to be THAT teacher.

I think my kids are in to history. I LOVE math and writing. And I adore science, although it isn't my greatest subject. Reading, well, what isn't there to like.

Yes, I am a teacher and yes, I failed a class in high school. Oh well. Thank goodness I didn't let affect my life.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Birthday List

Obviously, this post is for my mom and sister. :)

I will try not to make the list too long - I am guessing we ARE doing birthdays this year since we didn't do Christmas???!!!!!

1. Twilight - the movie on DVD (yes, I have seen it but only in 10 minute increments off of youtube.)

2. New Moon (book) (This is the second book in the Twilight series and the only one I don't own. I would like to have it - paperback or hardcover are both fine)

3. A foam floatie (The purple one I inherited from Weena is starting to get a funky smell to it and I absolutely LOVE that floatie)

4. I need some perfume. "Black" of course. Or else "Beyond Paradise"

5. Money on a music download account (this would be right up Weena's alley. I don't have one anywhere so she could even set it up for me - just not itunes)

If more things come up, I'll be sure to let you know :)
PS NO CAKE - we are all dieting!

Edit - Addition to the birthday list
6. AC/DC (playstation 2) for RockBand CD
7. Rockband 2 (for playstation 2) CD only
8. Track Pack 2 (we have #1) for RockBand (playstation 2)
or anything else Rock Band related :)