Friday, December 29, 2006

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I am going to the hair salon today. So, after 3pm, I will have a good hair day. My roots thank Jane, my lesbian stylist, whom I love to go see. She is awesome. And if anyone in Indiana needs a referral, see me and I'll hook you up. She's "off the chain" as the teenagers like to put it.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

So many things to write about?!

There are so many things swirling in my head that I could write about. Some, of course, I can't write about. I would hurt people's feelings, allow too many things to be told, and open cans of worms I don't dare bother. So, I'm feeling dumbfounded, actually. Numb, so to speak. But it is the kind of numb that stings. The kind of numb that lets you know you are still alive and feeling emotions that you perhaps don't want to feel.
I get into these moods where I miss people. It is really mental illness, I've diagnosed. I insanely miss my grandpa who commited suicide when I was little. Call me immature; I know some will. But, it still exists that I miss him. Where are the days when he picked me up and danced with me? Why can't I go back to that? Just a few more times I want to be picked up by someone and held, them breathing into my neck a familiar, loving breath. He thought I was it. No one since has ever thought that. I just made that realization. Maybe that's what hurts. I think it is.
I miss my Grandma Rosie. She is the one who died three years ago around the holidays. Since she has been gone, my family that lives in the same town as I do has not talked. My kids got Christmas cards from my aunt, but we've had no face to face contact. They hate me for still talking to their daughter in law (she and my cousin divorced). They think I should shun her. I won't do it. She is my friend and I love her. So, I choose to continue to talk to her and support her. That's what friends do. I would continue to support my cousin that she divorced, too, if he would not be a jerk and act stupid over the fact that I talk to his ex-wife. Dumb.
Anyway, Grandma Rosie kept the family together, I guess. We haven't even gotten together for Thanksgiving or Christmas since she died. It just fell away. I miss her cooking. I miss her coming by and talking, even if it was for ten minutes. I miss going to her house, where everything was pink. My youngest daughter loved that. Pink is her favorite color. And, it is heart breaking when my kids miss her and talk about her. I wish she was here.
And I miss my mom. Yes, she is still alive. Yes, she still lives down the street from us, but she isn't the same. She is sick. She doesn't do the things she used to. She doesn't enjoy life anymore. And it breaks my heart. What really makes me scream is that I will see glimpses of her from time to time, the old her. It is gut-wrenching. I want her back. And I need her. I sit here and cry just typing the words. I haven't said them aloud before. I know she will read this at some point, even perhaps a month from now. I am not writing them to provoke her. I simply needed to put the words on paper.
I also miss the friendships I used to have. Without them I feel alone. I don't really have that "go to" girlfriend in my life right now. Hasn't it been said that every girl/woman needs that?
And last but not least, my job doesn't fulfill me. Point blank. I went back to college after having two kids and got my education degree. It is my passion. I love English, I love to read, and I love passing that on to others. But my job as a teacher does not make me happy. What I am trying to figure out is if anything can make me happy. What kind of job can I do that will make me feel good? Any? Working for minimum wage at a perfume counter? Selling scrapbook supplies? What?
I'm just so lost, aren't I? Therapy, maybe. I should have gotten that for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


So the times I can now sleep in because school is out, I seem to be waking up at 6am. What in the world??? Thus, here I am blogging.

The holidays are past, and the new year is approaching. I survived the Christmas hustle and bustle. So did the kids. They made out like bandits, believe me. The pup is doing great. She is a snuggler and so cute. Today we are off to our second orthodontist consultation. The first one resulted in us being told Patrick is in dire need of braces, and that Mak's are optional. Since the figure was around five thousand a piece, I think we'll stick to getting one set of braces for now. Mak's teeth aren't bad at all; it is purely cosmetic. Pak, on the other hand, has a major overbite and his two front teeth do not even up. (That is putting things mildly and in laymen's terms...)

We are also going to an eye doctor appt. for Syd ("Clovis"). I made the appt. back in early Nov., meanwhile at school they were tested. I got a letter in the mail stating that, "Hey, your child is in need of an eye exam. Without her glasses, she can't see shit!" ...or something to that effect.

Yes, I know. She needs a different prescription in her glasses. I'm aware. I mean, she only tells me daily how she needs new glasses. Duh!

Next will be Cam's eye exam. They just don't understand how I cannot pay for everything all at once! They honestly believe when I sit on the toilet, I must be producing money out of my crack. I'm here to tell them, IT AIN'T SO!

Oh, more news. The tree that had fallen over during yet another wind storm here has been cut down and hauled away as of yesterday. I awoke yesterday to the sound of chainsaws and a wood chipper. We can now see out the kitchen window for miles. Well, not really miles, but you get it.

And, since the window is ginormous, everyone can see us, too. Those driving by on the street can see how beautiful I look with bed head as the kitchen light glows before me. *Not a pretty sight, might I add.*

The Husband is back to work today. Thank goodness because if he had been home a couple more days, he would have exploded at the mess in the house. Christmas gifts to be put away, laundry to be caught up, Playstation and games out, tree still up, decorations still visible, clutter, clutter, clutter. Did I mention clutter? Thought so. So, honey, if you're reading this, be glad you are at work, away from the mess, focused on something else. Send nice caskets to others around the nation.

The kids and I will be off to our travels to various appointments and services. Sorry you'll miss the enormous fun. I know you're envious. I just know it. Ha!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

My apologies, please.

I know, I have not posted in a very long time. It has haunted me, believe me. It just seems that whenever I have a chance to post, I either cannot think straight, or it is too late at night. I have been running ragged. I had to prepare for final exams at school (it took me over five hours to make two final exams...), finish grading a very large writing assignment that I gave to my tenth graders, and take care of my own children.

I have a teenager now, Happy Birthday, Mak, and a new baby girl. No, I did not give birth again! We have a new baby girl named Miss Maddie Bea. She is adorable! This puppy is a Yorkie, the same breed that our older dog is, Daisy. This little gal makes Daisy (five pounds) look like a giant. Maddie is 1.6 pounds and should get to be only three pounds full grown. She is precious. She belongs to Mak. That is her one and only Christmas gift. A new puppy was the only thing on her list - she wasn't settling. We tried to bribe her with a motor-skooter (the nice kind that look like a scooter you'd ride around Italy), and many other items. Nope. Wasn't biting at the bit. We talked about it and decided to explore our options. This little girl fell into our lap, coincidentally. So, I guess it was meant to be. *Note: by falling into our laps, I did NOT mean for free, naturally. No, quite the opposite, hence the reason this is her ONE and ONLY gift.
(Clovis, not Mak, holding the pup.)

Today, Christmas Eve, I have decided to be nice and allow my exhusband to have the girls from 2-9pm. I don't have to, but I am going to. Of course, it isn't really the easiest thing to do schedule-wise, but...perhaps a gold star in my heavenly crown awaits me for it.

Before they go, we are having the Husband's parents over. I'm getting ready to chill some wine so that I can offer my sister-in-law some in order to not drink alone. I have to gear up for the visit, you understand. We strategically planned the 1pm visit so that 2pm would roll around and the girls' dad would be here to pick them up..."Oh. Party over. The girls have to leave. Bye-bye."

Yeah, I hope it'll go something like that.

Tomorrow we will open gifts here with all the kids at home. My parents and brother will come over to eat a breakfast feast cooked by dear old me. It has sort of become a tradition over the past five years I have been with the Husband. I enjoy seeing my dad so damn happy to have home cooked food. He loves it. I think it is actually the highlight of the holidays for him.

Around this time he missed his two most beloved people in the world: the dog he had to put to sleep three years ago on Dec. 11, and his mother who died three years ago right before Christmas. It makes the holidays rough. I miss her so much. And my girls do, too. They usually get a gift from my mom that says "from G.G." (stands for Great Grandma - this is what she had the girls call her). It is usually something of hers. I like that. Love you, G.G.

So, to all of you reading, Happy Holidays. Mom, I love you. Dad (Jerry), I love you, too. And to all of my family, I hope you have a Merry Christmas. I'm thinking of you all.

Friends, same to ya!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Thanksgiving Trip Photos

I have a few select photos up on Flickr now of our T-Day trip to NYC. Check 'em out...

Tonight is the Husband's company Christmas party - adults only! Kids are staying all night with Nana. Woohooo!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Today, today

Wow. Today I am so exhausted. I think I said that before, but...

It is amazing - next Monday, a week from today, my oldest daughter will become a teenager! (I did get a compliment at work from a student: "You don't look old enough to have a teenager!") When I think about her birthday, I think back to the day she was born. I'll save that story for next Monday. When her birthday rolls around, I know it is exactly two weeks before Christmas.

I have not even started shopping. NOT EVEN STARTED!!! I hate waiting until this late, but since I have been married to the Husband, we've always done this. I don't like it, but I do it.

We don't have our tree up yet, either. When I was little, we used to put it up the day after Thanksgiving, no question. Now, we don't. I am disgusted with that. You see, it isn't entirely MY fault...the Husband is very particular about The Tree. He has to be the one to assemble it. AND, he has to be the one to put the lights on. He must have 1000 lights, all clear, and they MUST be put just right, or it won't be acceptable. So, the kids and I leave the room while he does this. Before this takes place, however, the huge box must be drug down the stairs, which is no small feat. Sweat is dripping before the first limb of fir is out of the box. Then comes the box of ornaments. This box would be the same size as the box that holds the tree, since it is a box that an old tree was in years ago. Yes, that is how many ornaments we have. Way too many, if you ask me. Some should be discarded. But, then there is that twinge of guilt that slaps you in the face, reminding you of the sentimental value of the ornaments that you think should go. So, they stay - year after year, year after year. It is also a tradition that we started to buy the children a symbolic ornament each year, standing for whatever they are into at the time or the time period of their lives. May sound quacky, but we like it.

I am in over my head with school work. I assigned this "wonderful" assignment and now I have 100 of them to grade. (Long story) I also should be preparing my final exams. That is a job in itself that I can't seem to tackle right now. The Husband is sick -it's his turn!

So, I'll get back to my chores, my responsibilities, my heavy load (whimper. cry. tear.). I have laundry going and must go pick up the boy from practice. Then dinner, then homework, then baths, then ironing, then...then...then...

Friday, December 01, 2006

I'm back

Back to reality, hence the long time away from posting. I mean it - I haven't stopped for air since we got back home from NYC. Our flight home was delayed for over two hours on Sunday, so we didn't get home until close to 1am. It sucked bad.

Other than that mishap, the trip was excellent! Good food, good wine, good times. I simply love NYC. I love being able to be invisible, so to speak. No one there cares what you look like, dress like, talk like, or act like. Everyone and everything is accepted.
I also like how at 3am one can walk not even two blocks and cure their cravings for anything from cannoli to pizza to oysters. Yep, nothing closes. I love that! In contrast, around here in the backwoods of IN, you have to make up your mind quickly if you want a "midnight" snack at 8pm, because the one store we have closes then. It's a sad reality. I'll even go as far to say this:
I feel more comfortable in NYC than I do in Indianapolis, Indiana. I feel safer, secure, and satisfied.

The Husband and I took a trip down memory lane and visited the place where we got married. It was good to see it again and to sit on the large rocks near the Ladies' Pavillion. We saw skaters at both Central Park and Rockefeller Center. We did get to see the famous christmas tree there, too, but of course it wasn't lit until last night (we watched that on t.v.).
We didn't see many famous people on this trip, other than the few who were on a float for the Macy's parade. That was nice because one of my favorites attended the route on a float -- Hall & Oates. I love them. And Julie Andrews.

I didn't get to see Oprah at The Color Purple on Broadway. I knew she'd be celebrating somewhere else for the holidays. I tell you what - for as many plays I have seen in my time, this musical was the absolute best I've witnessed. The music was absolutely amazing. I even bought the CD. I cried, people. I cried. If you have not read the book, you need to do so. It is a quick read and will blow you away with its themes. Wow! Powerful stuff.

We also saw A Chorus Line. It was good also. Some really funny parts in that one. Tits and Ass was the best song in the production.

We went to many shops and quaint stores. Bought the kids some New York stuff. Relaxed when we needed to and ran full steam ahead when we weren't relaxing. The food we had was magnificent. I can't even put it on paper. No words could cover it.

As soon as my lazy butt gets the pics downloaded, I'll post them. Here is a view of the city from an old photo.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Myriad of things, really

Okay. Here are a couple of pics of the living room ceiling I've been telling you about and putting off posting pics of. The one at the top is of a beautiful corner piece in the crown molding. The other is just the plain drywall ceiling with our recessed lighting (without the finishing canister).

In other news...

I do have a few limited fall pictures of the covered bridge where we live. It is about the only "famous" thing around here. I took the kids out there on a cold, windy day and made them get out for a few quick shots. Needless to say, we weren't dressed nor make-up(ed) for the occasion. It was fun anyway.

And, last but not least, we are off tomorrow night for our big Turkey Day vacation. I'll take lots of pictures. And give all of your bests to the Big Apple!!!!!
Cosmopolitans here I come...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Our the middle of our street...

This is a picture of the sidewalk in front of our house last fall. I love the colors of the trees. This year was different. The leaves didn't really turn colors. It was as though they skipped that stage and went straight to falling off onto the ground, already dead. Fall wasn't fun this year. We had an early frost so that all of the pumpkins were ruined before my family even got to go to the patch. I was literally heart broken. So, I drug this picture out to bask in the memories of last fall.

Our house looks so stauesque in this picture. It is a bit misleading as well. I mean, after all, it does have the white picket fence that is a symbol of the American Dream. Think about what the American Dream means to you. The white picket fence isn't really representative of it, is it? Sure, the house we have is gorgeous and the fence, too. But, even in this small midwestern town, there are the roots of evil among us. For example, the mailbox that is hidden behine the largest tree on the left is no longer there. A new mailbox had to be put up in its place because a local teen was driving along at noon on a quiet Saturday and plowed into it with his car. You see, he was high on multiple kinds of drugs. Thank God not one of my children were riding their bikes on that sidewalk you see. Because had they been, they would have died. That, my friends, is tragedy. Just three weeks ago I saw someone outside walking on this same sidewalk. I went out to get the mail and who was that person? None other than the boy who ran over our mailbox himself. He was walking as a free man, without a care in the world, it seemed. He hasn't even paid us for the damages to our property yet, but he is allowed to walk right past the crime scene as if nothing happened. (I use crime scene in loose terms, naturally...) It took all I had not to say something to that boy. But I didn't. I simply thanked the Lord that he didn't hit one of my kids or my husband mowing the yard that day.

Next week this time, I will be getting ready for a big trip with the Husband. It is a trip we have definitely earned, so to speak. I am trying to get over this flu bug and the whooping cough that I must have gotten from my daughter. It has kicked my butt, let me tell you. Today was my first day back at work and the first day out of bed (other than tending to the young) since Saturday. And Lord knows, if I am not able to get up to eat, there is definitely something severely wrong! My students missed me. The administrators probably did not. That's okay. I'm there for the students anyway, when you get right down to it. My time at that school is coming to a quick close. I am thankful in some ways, but in some ways sad. There are those certain students whom I hate to leave. And some fellow teachers I will miss. I just hope I have touched someone's life there and inspired them in some way. I digress...back to the trip...

So, the Husband and I will leave for NYC and spend Thanksgiving there. We have on the agenda the following:

Turkey Day: Macy's Parade, perhaps Letterman, and dinner at Tavern on the Green

Next day: seeing Broadway's The Color Purple, dinner at Sardi's, and probably a jazz club

Next day: matinee of A Chorus Line (tickets courtesy of a fellow producer who worked with Husband's uncle), a grand dinner somewhere, and shopping!

Sunday: stroll through Central Park, more shopping, an afternoon cocktail or three, and get ready to return to the rat race, relaxed and filled with great holiday memories.

Who can't love that? I am so excited I am getting to the point where I can't sleep. I think I'm gonna squeal...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It's my turn

It's my turn to be sick now. Since Friday, all I have wanted to do is simply lie down. Nothing else. Yesterday, I had the chills so badly I was dressed in layers and under two covers in my bed. Bad part? I can't relax enough to really rest well. I mean EVERYTHING hurts. I don't want to walk, bend down to sit on the toilet, nothing. And I have my bi-annual bronchitis cough with no voice. I have taken so much Advil and Tylenol that I think I feel my stomach lining peeling away.
And to top it off? The Husband leaves on his week-long Disney trip tomorrow. I am alone with the children all week. I have to work, and do everything here. Don't know how I'm gonna do it.
I'll write more later when I am coherent.
Could be days, naturally...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I swear.

I swear to you I had planned on uploading pictures of the remod. I sincerely do not have the patience to wait on my slow camera to upload the photos onto my computer, then transfer them, yadda, yadda, yadda. I just don't have it in me, folks. Isn't that sad and terrible? I thought so, too.

On a brighter note, the Husband and I are taking a trip to NYC for Turkey Day Holiday. Just the two of us. We have scheduled to see the Macy's Parade, the Broadway play The Color Purple, and Turkey Day Fixins at Tavern on the Green. If that doesn't sound like a rip-roarin' good time, I don't know what does. Plus, we will shop and root around for fun. A couple of clubs, a few drinks, good music (Birdland Jazz Club) and we'll be set. I simply can't wait.

The oldest daughter is still not feeling well. We are both over it.
Last night I had to move to the couch around 3am because the Husband was absolutely sucking in the roof with his snoring. I couldn't even wake him up. So, my night didn't go well. The couch just isn't the same sometimes, and last night was one of those nights.

I'm going to rant and whine for just a second longer, and then I'll allow the charades to stop... middle daughter, Cam, in fifth grade continues to bring home "busy work" from school. I have done more homework than I care to in the last few months than I remember ever doing. It's sickening. Like, what do they do all day at school - pick their noses? Work on building relationships? What? Even at the high school level (which I teach), I try not to send home much homework. Maybe I'm too liberal. Or maybe I am too realistic - knowing that it won't get done. Who knows. But, the antics can stop. I don't want or need any more homework this year. I already went through fifth grade. I don't want to do it all over again. Plus, it makes me red with rage. I don't need that, either. I have enough of that already.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Pass the Advil, please.

I am getting older. Not that I am that old chronologically, but in physical capabilities, I'm gettin' up there.
For instance, this weekend the Husband and I finished up on some of the remod projects. We wiped down walls, ceilings, baseboards, etc. with Murphy's Oil Soap. We also took everything off the living room bookshelves and wiped each thing down (that we decided to keep). This included books, books, and more books; toys, movies, and board games; and picture frames, pottery, and more. Did I say EACH item? Yes.
After that, the Husband primed, painted, and painted some more. (still having some left to do later on) See, I am not allowed to paint. He is an expert painter - one of those types that can freehand trim pieces and follow lines with the slight of his hand. I, on the other hand, wouldn't be able to paint a straight line. Putting on lipstick is about my extent. That is painting enough for me. So, while he painted, I continued on normal things like dusting, laundry, dishes, and such.
In the end, we also swept up the entire living room floor and mopped it from end to end, moving what little items still exist in that room. There were plenty, don't get me wrong. Couch, chair, table with four chairs for overflow of Christmas brunch, end tables, hutch, dry sink (antique), tv and entertainment equipment. I also had to vacuum out the furniture for the third time. Drywall dust consumes everything. Even if you cover it, it doesn't work entirely.
Back to my point -- I am sore as all get out today. My muscles hurt. I am a weakling like I have never been before. This proves how much my body has turned into the corpse I am letting it become. I'm decaying. My muscles are now merely pools of cellulite, unable to be used. If it takes more effort than walking a short distance, I'm out of the game. I could ingest more Advil than Wal-Mart can provide today, and I'd still be hurting. (not recommended, folks - just a figure of speech)
But darnit, the house looks and smells better.
I'm sure it reminds the Husband of the good ol' days when his grandmother lived here. She used to wipe down the kitchen cabinets with Murphy's Oil Soap every week. I'll never live up to that.

In other news...
The oldest daughter, Mak, reported that she slept all night at her dad's on Friday night. First full night's sleep in a while. Maybe we are on the road to recovery, finally. Today is her last dose of antibiotic, but the medicine is said to last another five to ten days in her system, acting as though she is till taking it. (Z-pack, it is called) So, let's hope so.
I sent for her homework from last week at school. Get this - only two teachers sent anything for her to do. Nice.

Gotta run - time to go pick up the girls from their dad's house. Can't wait to hear the familiar words, "We're starving!! We only ate breakfast then again at 4:00, so that was LUNCH!" Happens every other Sunday like clockwork.
I'll post pictures of the advancement in projects on the house soon...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hello, edge. GERANIMO!

That's me, going over the edge; off the deep end, as they say. It's happening.

Daughter went to school with me today so that I could immediately take her to the doctor (hour and 15 minutes away from my school) on my prep, while someone covered my last class for me. Once the administration finds out, they'll probably nab me. Does it get any better?

So, doctor says that she probably has whooping cough. The one they vaccinate babies for? Yep. Seems as though there is now a resurgance of the illness, more common among adults, but can happen to anyone. In China, doc said, it is called the "100 day cough". There apparently is a window in which, if given the CORRECT antibiotics, it can be curbed. He believes we are still within that window. Good news? I guess. Bad news? Nothing you can do about supressing the cough. Absolutely nothing. The antibiotics just have to work (which takes days, you know). In the mean time, suffer. He could have taken an expensive, unreasonable blood test to be sure, but he said it doesn't make the treatment any different, so why not just give her this change of antibiotic to cover all bases. Sure, I agreed.
I pay the co-pay and move on to the pharmacy. I am called back to the pharmacy, which resulted in me being told my insurance said they cancelled us yesterday, and that the generic form of her medicine would be $55. I called the Husband. He was angered, but said pay it and he'll send it off manually. Enraged, I called the company Husband previously worked for (not more than 3 weeks ago). Yep, the benefits don't continue the full 30 days past the day of termination/resignation. They end on the last day of the month in which the employee still worked there, hence the benefits ending yesterday. Screwed. Plainly screwed.
So, now that the Husband is at a new, better company, we are uninsured until November 9th. And with my luck, who knows what the hell will happen. I said to my daughter on the way home: "God help us all that we don't have a car wreck or break a bone!"
Oh, the luck. I'm lookin' over the deep end, ready to jump. (no bungee cords attached)

It's 12:54 A.M., do you know where your children are?

That's right. That is exactly what time it is here, and I am posting on here. I am awake, alert, and cannot sleep. Why, you ask? Because my daughter is up coughing her head off. I have gone through an entire bottle of prescription cough medicine, almost emptied an inhaler, a bottle of Tylenol and Advil, and she is almost done with a heavy dose of antibiotic. I am at my wits' end. I have missed work, been pardoned there for one day (with much effort), and can't seem to find two hours to take her to a doctor who can help her further.
My mother took her to the clinic here in town. That, obviously, has not helped. So, now, I believe she needs to go to her "real" doctor in the town 35 minutes away. I can't take her there because they close before I can get home, get her, and drive there. Her real Dad can't do squat for her, so that's out. My Husband can't take off work at his new job; that's out. My mom is on vacation two states away; that's out. I wouldn't dare ask my mother-in-law; that's out. No Aunts or Uncles to do the duty; that's out. So?? Stuck. Period. I don't want to call the clinic where she went - evidently they don't know what they are doing. I'm telling you, these illnesses are taking over my life. My daughter can't sleep from coughing; I can't sleep because she can't sleep. We are both going insane.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Pumpkin man

Pumpkin man
Originally uploaded by Ranguard.
Since I love orange and fall is the best season, I decided to blog this pic from flickr. Isn't it great?
This, my friends, takes much thought and planning. Too bad we waited too long to get our pumpkins this year. It frosted and killed most of them in the patch, so we decided not to make the annual trip to pick out pumpkins. I regret it now because I won't have any pumpkin patch pictures to post or scrapbook. They are my favorites.
This pumpkin man would have looked awesome standing in my yard for all travelers to see. It would have been a conversation starter, to say the least.
Check out this guys pictures on Flickr - he has one of a "puking pumpkin" that is hilarious. Or, search on that website for puking pumpkins - there are some goodies.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

When down and out, eat dessert

I just took a batch of brownies out of the oven. It makes the house smell so good. It even said on the side of the box, "at least two whole chocolate candy bars in each batch". What could be better than that?
Then, I went to the store and bought vanilla bean ice cream ("Light") so that we can put a scoop on top of a warm brownie. As you know how things have been lately, we also plan to top that off with a dabble of hot fudge, just so we know we are getting the calories we need. Ha!

If that doesn't cure what ails ya, what will?

I got a newsletter today in the mail from Archiver's, my favorite Indiana scrapbooking store. It has some very cute projects in it for Christmas. Can you believe it is rapidly approaching? I vow to not wait to purchase gifts. I do not want to be shopping the third week in December. That's how the Husband usually does it. Not this year, sweetheart.

We have been kicking around the idea of going off for a few days around Thanksgiving. Not sure where, but just to get away. Warm place sounds great. Any suggestions? I also don't want to spend thousands of hours in a plane, either, though. (The kids will be gone.)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Do you hear what I hear?

Do you hear that? That sound? Ding-ding-ding. The sound of the bell in a boxing match. It is ringing in my ears. Get out your gloves, cause it's round seven at my house.

Oldest daughter came home from her dad's last night and said that she hadn't been feeling very well. Have we heard this before? Yes, we have. Repeat. Same symptoms that the middle daughter had the last time she was sick with pneumonia. So, I gave her some cough medicine and some Tylenol before she went to bed.
She woke up this morning and came to me as I was leaving for work. She told me that her head was killing her. I gave her another round of the medicines. I called her immediately after school and she said she had to run in gym class today, and that she coughed her fool head off. She also said that her chest was hurting terribly. I told her I'd be home in twenty minutes.
We took her temperature when I got home. Ready for this? 103 degrees. No kidding! Back to square one with the sicknesses. I swear. When I tell people this, like ladies at work in my department, I swear they look at me like I make this shit up. I mean, after all, how can one person have it 'so bad'? Believe me, I often ask myself this same question.
So, the gloves are on for rounds and rounds of more of the same. And, still battling the lice situation. Just when I don't find any nits, she goes back to school and comes home with a live one in her head. I can't take it. Honestly.
Oh, and furthermore, I find out today that on my "Fall Break" (one day - this Friday), the remod guys are coming to install drywall in the living room. *Bright and early in the morning they'll start, and they'll finish that evening. No going back to bed after the kids are dropped off at school. No privacy in my own home by myself on my ONLY DAY OFF FOR THE ENTIRE SEMESTER!!!!!!!!!!!!! God, why? Simply, why?
What the heck does a girl have to do to catch a break around here?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Two nights of them

I have had two nights of various parent teacher conferences. No, I wasn't acting as the teacher, I was acting as the parent. I attended conferences for my own children. (at the elementary where I am having "issues" shall we say.)

I feel guilty for actually saying what I am about to say. I have been really down lately. Sure, I'm still taking my antidepressant, but it has been a funk that I've been in lately. The reason I feel guilty is because I know, deep in my heart, that it could be so much worse. Yet, that doesn't erase the feelings I have.
It seems like there is this black, thick cloud of gook around me, just hovering. As I was talking to my mom last night on the phone, I was telling her what has gone down at these conferences over the last two days and she stated, "Well, it's just like it is one thing after another with no break." EXACTLY. That's what I'm sayin. If I felt I had a small "let-down" of sorts, I might be able to handle things better. I just feel bombarded. Like I am trying to tread water, but the gulps are getting to me.
Am I taking things like a baby? Probably. I've been told I play the victim well. But why, then, do I have such deep feelings of 'uuuugggghhhhh' and exhaustion no matter how much rest I get?
I'm not posting this here for miracles. I'm not that naive. I guess it is just therapy enough to get things down 'on paper' so to speak, that I can face just one more day. One at a time is what I'm doing here. It has to get better. It just has to.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Release the Hounds!!

Boy, did my Friday the 13th turn out wacky!!
I went to work early for a faculty meeting. Supposed to be there at 7:30am. Since there is construction on the highway that I take daily, I decided to leave in enough time to be sure I was prompt. I got there ten minutes before the meeting was to begin.
As I pulled into the parking lot out in front of the school, it was pitch black outside. I noticed five squad cars parked directly in front of the school. Odd, I thought. Perhaps at these early hours, the police parked a few vehicles around the school to deter mischief. I wasn't aware of that.
Then, in my peripheral vision, I noticed a police car with its headlights on in a far parking lot to the left AND right of the school. Way odd.
I walked up to the front entrance and saw a semicircle of police officers inside the doors. As I got closer, I also noticed a dog, much like the one in this picture, sitting at attention, waiting for me or any other 'visitor' to enter the school. I proceeded with caution. After all, I had a Snickers bar in my purse. Contraband.
I opened the doors and breathed a sigh of relief when the officers at least smiled at me and said good morning. I then thought that we must be having some sort of 'training' or presentation by the officers in our meeting. With all of the recent school incidents around the country, it is a heightened issue.
I went to the meeting, and the main building rep for the teacher's union came in and made an announcement that there would be no meeting. There had apparently been a 911 call last evening to the police, stating there would be a bomb in the school today. This was called in by a student of the school.
As the story unfolded, I learned that the student was one of mine. Sure. The officers and dog found nothing. Each student was wanded and bags were searched upon entrance to the school. Everything was clean. No bomb was found, no residue of anything, nothing. So, precautions turned out nothing questionable. Thank goodness.
Other tidbits: the student called last evening about a bomb threat for today. Not the smartest thing to do. Also, he stayed on the pay phone at a convenience station in town long enough for police to arrest him about two minutes after he hung the phone up. Again, not too smart. The boy was detained in a juvenile detention center and will be given the book.
Apparently, all week long, he had told his friends that he was "gonna get everybody outta school on Friday the 13th!" Dumb. Instead, he got himself locked up for the event.
Just goes to show you that you can never be too sure of your own safety.

Friday the 13th

Even though there will be some out there that will tell me I am overstepping the boundaries of safe internet use, so be it. I can't hold it in.


Gosh, I don't want to keep getting older. Not that I really think 33 is old, persay. But, that means that old years are to come. And frankly, I don't want it.
I have a cousin, who is like a daughter to me, who will turn 21 tomorrow. Remembering back to my 21st birthday...the night before it, I felt that twinge of intuition and went out and bought a pregnancy test. After all, I wouldn't want to celebrate on a pregnant stomach!
Yep. Pregnant.
So, memorable as it was, my twenty-first bday didn't involve the traditions of a normal 21st. I hope her birthday is great. I love her.
And, my biological father's birthday is tomorrow. He will be 51. You do the math. He lives in Florida, way far away. I miss him terribly, and wish I could be there to celebrate with him.

As for the birthday being today, on Friday the 13th? I'm not worried. My 16th bday was on Fri. the 13th, too. And it turned out great.
Hey, I already got the new Lionel Richie CD this morning as a gift so I can crank it on the way to work. It'll be a good day.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

This is me.

This is me. Not literally, of course. I mean, I've had three babies. My body won't resemble this ever again. But...metaphorically. Every morning I wake up, it is getting more difficult to face the day - going to work all day long, rushing home so that the kids aren't here alone long, dinner, homework, laundry, dishes, baths, bedtime, try to unwind, count the hours of sleep I am not going to get. Then do it all over again.
I am tired of being a full time working mother. I could handle part time. What I find is that I am so exhausted by the time I get home, I am shortchanging my kids and husband. It's just that simple. And I'm not happy with it. Sure, the paycheck is helpful, but what am I losing for that blue piece of paper?
In other news...
The school. Yep, another incident. This time, it is with the youngest child. Yesterday she comes home, is fine, or so it seems, then at 9:05pm, five minutes after bedtime, she tells me that the nurse came to her classroom to "check heads" yesterday. But that she only checked her crown (she pointed to the area) of her head because the nurse said, "That's where lice usually are." Oh, my, goodness. This, coming from a "NURSE" that is supposed to be taking care of people? Where did she get her degree, The Dollar Store?
So, I said, well, let me check you - go in the bathroom. *Note: I am a lice-o-phobic. Big time.
I checked the back first, right where the nurse did, to see what she saw. Then I moved on to above the ears. Yep. Found some. Did I mention it was after nine at night? And that we live at least 15 minutes away from any store that carries lice products? I was furious. I called her teacher, since we are friends, and let loose. She was furious, too. Said she had contacted the nurse on MONDAY to come and check her kids. She came on WEDNESDAY. WTF?
I can't take this trying to work and trying to take care of everything here. My life is going to hell in a handbasket.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ugly Mom, continued...

Well, good news first - she didn't have to participate in gym today.

Secondly, thanks to the allies that commented, telling me to kick ass and take names.

Lastly, here's how it went down:
After I sent the emails this morning, where I stated to make any and all necessary replies to my SCHOOL EMAIL NOT HOME, I did not get any responses at school. Unusual. So, around lunch time, I sent a second email to the principal, asking that she verify she received a previous email from me. An hour goes by. Nothing. Hour and a half. Nothing. Finally, I emailed Cam's teacher directly stating that I just merely wanted to know if she was forced to participate in gym today, or if she was "allowed" to go to the office and sit. I added that I would appreciate his response, since I obviously couldn't get anyone else in the building to reply. He promptly replied that she did go to the office and read. Easy to respond to me - see principal?
I just thought I would let you all in on just how empathetic this P.E. teacher is. Here is her email to me today. Enjoy, and tell me what you think. It doesn't get any better than this, by the way.

And I quote...
First, let's clear up some false accusations. I did not deny your request last week. I read your note. We were unable to go out for the mile because it was raining. I did not let her run. I did check the doctor's note later and it did not have any restrictions listed. When a student brings me a note from home at the beginning of P.E class, I do not have the opportunity to go to the office at that time. The office usually copies the note if it has P.E. restrictions. Since it had no restrictions, I had not received a copy.
I told Cammi to try to walk when the class practiced for 7 minutes. I checked with her while she was walking and she had no complaints. I didn't see the problem with walking fast, but if she had complained, then I would have let her quit.
She sat at the office today as you requested. If she cannot run/walk the mile next week, please get a doctor's note stating this. We will probably only go out one more time.

Now, wanna hear more? Here is the response I got from the principal, and I quote:
Dear Nina,
Upon checking with Mrs. *****, she did read your note and did not make her run. Cammi walked for 7 min. at the beginning of class in the gym. She asked her at the end of this how she was doing and Cammi told her o.k. No one did the mile run because of rain. Cammi will be allowed to sit in the office area and read today during her gym time since they will be doing the mile run if it isn’t raining. The doctor’s note indicated no restrictions, so if we should need to excuse her further we will need a doctor’s note stating this. This is standard procedure for excused PE classes. Hopefully by next week Cammi will be back to better health.

Any grand suggestions as to what to do next? Do I be a witch and respond back, or let it ride as is? It is difficult for a gal like me to keep my mouth shut ya know.

Ugly Parent

I'm going to be the ugly parent today. The elementary where my kids go to school is going to hate me after this morning. (Not as if they haven't already thought that a time or two, but...)
Last week, middle pneumonia daughter's first week back to school, I sent a note to the P.E. teacher, telling her that Cam was NOT to run the mile. That was their mission for the week. So, Tuesday, her gym day, I wrote a lengthy note. I told the teacher that if she had any concerns, questions, or issues with the note, that she should contact the office to see Cam's doctor note AND email me immediately. Well, the teacher made her "speed walk" the mile. This is for a kid who hadn't eaten a full meal in over ten days. She was on an inhaler, cough medicine, antibiotics, etc. I was HOT!
So, I was informed by Cam that today is the same deal. Running the mile. She is better, but I really do not want her getting that overheated, ya know? Am I wrong, here? She is still coughing at night. She doesn't feel great, you can see it in her eyes. They are glassy and she gets very grumpy by the end of the day due to pure exhaustion. So, I am going to get ugly.
I am sending an email to the principal AND the P.E. teacher. I am having the teacher send Cam to the office for gym class. She can sit and read. And if they have a problem with it, they can call me immediately. I will march out to that school and be the ugliest parent around if I have to. Running the mile at this stage in her life is not critical. She'll have plenty of chances to do it many more times when she doesn't want to, throughout her long life. So, here I come.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It slaps you in the face when you least expect it

Previously on this blog I have talked about suicide. Not my own, but my experiences with suicide in my family. Today, that demon reared its ugly head and slapped me when I wasn't expecting it.
Today, while talking to a fellow teacher, we were discussing some particular E.D. students (that's emotionally disabled/special education). In this discussion, we eventually talked about depression. I told this co-worker of my family having a history of depression, and that, in fact, my mother's father commited suicide. She extended her sympathies and we talked about others who had been through deep bouts of depression, resulting in death in other ways: immobility, eating one's self to obesity and death, sleeping life away, etc. The conversation ended and I did not think any more about it. Until I got home.
After being home for about a half an hour, my mom called. This wasn't out of the ordinary. She asked me if I was watching Oprah. I told her I wasn't and she said, "Good!" I thought maybe she was saying that because the show was almost over and she was taping it for me to watch in its entirety, since I would have missed about twenty minutes of it due to the fact I don't get home in time to watch the first part of the show. No, she said she wasn't taping it. She said it was good, though. What is it about, I asked. She told me it was about people who had tried to commit suicide but lived. She then blurted out a statement I didn't expect to hear: "I'm glad my dad died. I wouldn't have wanted him to live through what this kid has that is on there right now!"
Wow. I just was stuck on the words she said. Not that she said anything wrong. She didn't. It was just weird to hear her say she was glad he died. My mom doesn't often talk about him dying, not as much as I do. I know it hurts her so badly, and sometimes I am tempted to try and stay quiet about it so as to not pain her even more. But honestly, I can't restrain myself.
So, I walked upstairs, turned on the TV and she was saying, "I just kept watching this kid. He blew his whole face off. As he talked, I just kept getting hotter, and hotter, and sweating!" I then saw what she was talking about. I blurted out, "Oh, my!!" She said, "What, did you turn it on or something?" Yes, I told her. I did.
After listening, and watching this boy, I knew what mom meant. I'm okay with the fact that Grandpa died, if this would have been the alternative, or worse. That is one statement I never thought I'd say.
And I wouldn't have thought today would be one of those days I would be reminded of how badly suicide hurts the living. But just as this boy on the show stated, it does.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ex(s) and Ohs

Alright. Big b_tch session here...
I talked to my exhusband tonight because this weekend is his weekend to have the girls. They go to his house on Friday night and I pick them up on Sunday. It is supposed to be 6pm to 6pm. You do the math; they aren't there much.
So my oldest, Mak, is in 7th grade, which you already know. This means she is allowed to attend all of the high school functions - games, dances, etc. So this Friday is a traditional "Big Game" for our school. We play our rival school who is also in the same county as we are. It is called the Bucket Game. Long tradition of the winning team taking the bucket (pail for your n'easterners) and proudly displaying it in a showcase in the school until the next year's game. So after this big game on Friday night (think Friday Night Lights movie, folks), there is a dance that lasts until 11pm. I'm rambling...I asked the ex if Mak could attend, forcing him to drive 15 minutes one way to pick her up at the dance upon its completion. He has stated in the past that he is over the little scheduled outings on 'his time' and wants the girls to be at his house when they are supposed to be. To my surprise, he said she could go. I should be ecstatic then, right? Almost. His comment about the dance is what got me. The exchange is as follows:
Me: "The dance is over at 11 o'clock and it is in the cafeteria, right there when you pull in the high school."
Ex: "So this thing is for high schoolers, too?"
Me: "Yes, it is for both high school and jr. high."
Ex: "Well, I'm definitely not too crazy about that!"
Me: "Oh Lord. You know, most of the high schoolers think it is too dumb to go, so the people who are there are mainly jr. high kids."
Ex: "Well... I'm just sayin'..."
Me: "So she can go, or what?"
Ex: "Yeh, I guess. "
Me: " So what your saying is you'll pick her up. at 11. at the school. right outside the cafeteria. like I told you. "
Ex: "Yeah."(said in one of those 'kiss off' tones)

Conversation over. Me mad that I had to talk to him and get his point of view that makes no sense, given his input on everything up to this moment in time.
I can't win sometimes. I mean, she isn't even interested in boys (on an outward level). She goes to see what everyone else is doing and to dance (fast songs) with her friends. She is much more reserved than that. At least he could give her credit for that.
Oh. The agony. Just let me raise them. We're all better off.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Spa News

So I opened my mailbox today, on a gorgeous fall afternoon, and found a newsletter from a place in my memories. The newsletter was from Juva Spa in New York City. Now, you ask yourself, after looking at their weblink, how does this woman afford a place like this? Let me explain.
On my thirtieth birthday trip to NYC, the Husband and I attended a Michelle Branch concert in Central Park. At this concert, I entered a drawing for door prizes. Since I never win anything, I didn't expect my name to be called. But, to my surprise, it was.
I won spa services from this world-renowned medispa in downtown Manhattan. I was pumped. Sign me up, man!
So, I went for a full treatment and was instantly hooked. If I lived in the city, my extra money would be spent there. The aromatherapy massage was the best massage I have ever had. And the scents have lingered with me so that whenever I smell lavendar or a hint of sandalwood, I am instantly taken back to that moment of relaxation. I love it!
If you are ever in the Manhattan area, make an appointment for this place. It is fabulous. Just reading the newsletter slips me into my memories. I wish I could take the next flight out to enjoy the relaxation once more.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sick and sicker

Haven't posted lately because my middle daughter, Cam, has been sicker than sick. Found out she has pneumonia. Today my mom took her back to the doctor for the second time this week and she got another injection of antibiotic, Rocephin. It is powerful stuff, but not yet kicking her illness. She is also simultaneously on oral antibiotics. She just looks horrible. Missing a week of school is not good either, considering she doesn't even feel like glancing at any homework, let alone starting on a week's worth. This is kicking our rears. And thank God for my mother who has watched her all week so that I could work - since I can't miss a day or I go back to getting paid peanuts instead of "teacher pay". UUUUGGGHHHHH.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Oh, Bill-Bill...

Bill Clinton - despite his carnal ways, he was a good president. This is only my opinion. Me, the non-political gal of the family. I mean, sure, in high school when I registered to vote I declared I was a Republican, but what did that mean, really? I had no idea. So, registered a Republican, I vote whichever way the candidates strike me.
Billy Boy is in the news hot and heavy for getting fiesty with an interviewer. I heard the sound byte this morning on the radio station I listen to on my way to work. I must say, I found it amusing and entertaining. Bill was gettin' sassy on him. He said something to the effect of, "You sittin' over there with that little smirk on your face..." I lost it. A former President of the United States talking like a ticked off chic. Hilary must be proud.

In other news...Husband got a new job. This one is a big deal, working for Hildenbrand in their largest industry. Now don't laugh, since the Halloween season is approaching and all...the industry is the casket business. The kids said, "Maybe he can get us a casket so we can sit it on the front porch and decorate for Halloween - it'll scare EVERYONE! That'd be awesome!" I told them I thought it would really be too early in the career to ask for something like that. Kids. Never a dull moment.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Another victory for the beloved Colts! Beat Jacksonville today, though at times we were sloppy. Hey, a win is a win. And we are undefeated. Go Blue!

Last night's dinner was excellent, might I add. We had Firestone Reisling, warm bread and tapanade, I had Brick Oven Roasted Garlic Prawns with fresh roasted vegetables and rice, and the Husband had Prime Rib. For dessert we shared the best creme brulee I have ever tasted. It was scrumptious.

Rodney Carrington was absolutely hilarious. I laughed so long and so hard that my cheek muscles were hurting (on my face, not my a**). He sang several comedic songs and put on a great show. He sure is a redneck, though. Funny one at that. If you have a chance to go see him, I'd do so.

Tomorrow begins another work week. Unless you are fortunate enough to stay at home and do nothing. Exactly, no one qualifies for that!
and if you are reading, Hi Dad!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Night out on the town

Good morning well wishers!
Tonight the Husband and I are going out on the town. Here is what we are doing:
1. I am attending a baby shower of the friend who stood by me during Husband's and my wedding. While I do so, Husband is going to Restoration Hardware to pick out paint for our upstairs bathroom. He states he may also stop by the Volvo dealer and take that Badass S-40 for a spin.

2. He will pick me up from the shower and we will go to my favorite restaurant, Palaminos. There we will drink some fine wine and dine on the most scrumptious meal ever. I love that place! (to be this seriously excited about food should tell you something about me)

3. We will venture over to the Murat Theater and take in a most hilarious show featuring Rodney Carrington. He is a regular on the famous Bob & Tom show in Indianapolis, not to mention he had a funny sitcom called Rodney. If you haven't heard his work, here is a link to the funniest bit he does, in my opinion. WARNING! It is not for the virgin ears. Must be 18 to listen.

4. Who knows what the rest of the night will bring. Perhaps dancing somewhere in Indy? I hope so - I love to see a white man dance -- hahahahahha.

Jealous passersby - meander through the Carrington website or Bob & Tom. You'll be guiltily entertained.
See ya!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ridin' Dirty

Here is the car the Husband wants. It is pretty sleek, actually. He says he'd be "badass" in it. I love when he says things like that. He is whiter than the bread in my breadkeeper, but tries to talk ebonics from time to time. Priceless! You should hear him sing the chorus to "Ridin' Dirty" - for those of you who don't have teenagers, it is a hip-hop rap song overplayed on the radio.
Check it:
Volvo S-40. Kick-ass car.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

15 Reasons Why Women are Better Than Men

This girl has style...
Originally uploaded by phoenixdoula.
1. We have the ability to birth a baby.
2. We can pick out baby names better than men.
3. We know the world must go on, even when we are feeling ill (mentally OR physically).
4. We have intuition.
5. We enjoy kissing and holding hands without requiring sex to follow.
6. We can find our own food to eat for dinner (or other meals) without relying on someone else to fix it for us.
7. We know the importance of detailed laundry sorting to avoid ruination of clothing.
8. We value compassion.
9. We LIKE to smell good.
10. Our feet are usually well-groomed.
11. For the most part, we keep our bleching and farting at home, away from the general public.
12. We pluck or wax our unibrows.
13. Hairstylists and "products" do make a difference, in our opinion.
14. We carry what we need with us (and let others borrow, if need be - kleenex, tampons, band-aids, pen, paper, analgesics, etc.).
15. We can down those "foo-foo" drinks that men love to hate!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dream Weaver

Okay. Here's where I want to be. Do ya feel me? Get me?
Warm, sunny, sandy, smooth. Hovering above the crashing waves, lulling me to sleep. I'd have my pillows, my book to read, and my handy dandy beverage. What more would I need?
As summer ends here in the midwest quite abruptly, I must say I would like fall to be a bit longer than what it appears it is going to be. For example, over the weekend we had eighty degree days with a tad bit cooler nights. This week, the low is calling for 40's. Forties!!! What happened to fall? We are heading straight into winter, which makes me begin my deep depression. If I wasn't in my thirties, and instead in my sixties, I would "move South" for the winter. However, I am not near sixty, so I am stuck here in hell. Melodramatic? Perhaps. Go with it. I hate winter and I don't care who knows it. End of production.

Tonight, while watching some ridiculous celebrity update show, my husband said, after Tom Cruise's name was mentioned, "Oh, Tom Cruise. He'd be the first to board my celebrity dud plane crash flight in first class! He's an idiot! Oh...Mr. Cruise (in falsetto voice), you will be seated here right next to Ms., beverage?, fresh baked cookies?...Please don't approach the curtain(as if talking to other passengers approaching from the back of the plane), this is first class!..."
Man, I was cracking up.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Variety Show

Today is just a hodge podge of sorts. I don't have anything lengthy to say, so I'll say several short and sweet things. (of which I am sure you are dying to hear...)

First, I awoke this morning after dreaming of my late grandma. I think I have spoke of her before, but for those of you who need a refresher, she is my grandmother who passed away a few years ago due to stomach cancer. I miss her terribly. A Sunday like today would have been one of those days she would have gotten in her car and made her rounds to all of our houses to see us for a second. My mom and dad, my aunt, my cousin, etc. She would have opened the door to come in saying, "Whoopeedoo! It's getting hot outside today. " She said whoopeedoo when she was excited about something. Perhaps I had a dream about her last night because I was planning on fixing chili today for the Colts game. She was famous for her chili in my family. So, props to you, grandma. I miss you terribly.

Friday night our local football team lost its homecoming game. My oldest daughter, in 7th grade, went to the game and dance. It was her first "high school" dance. It ended at 11:30, so I had to wake up/stay awake to go and pick her up. That was rough. One more tiny experience in 'letting go' I guess. Man, I am getting older... According to what she has told me over the weekend, I have gathered she is playing the role of peace keeper among her friends. At least she isn't the one creating the problems. I'm thankful for that.

The IU Hoosiers lost their football game, too. Couldn't win one for Coach Hep. Shoot.

Colts win! Awesome passing game by Peyton. I love it when he moves the ball down the field like that. I get so excited. I want to go to at least one home game this year. Adrenaline rush is great there.

And, finally, my fantastic whoas. Somehow, remarkably, I have pulled a muscle in my lower back or something. I can barely move without being in excrutiating pain. I am not much of a manual laborer. So, how the hell did this happen? I am asking myself that, too.
I have taken Tylenol like candy. Nothing. I don't have any Advil here, so...I have used a gel called Biofreeze from a chiropractor (sample), and I have resorted to taking a scalding whirlpool bath. Still, no relief. I can't sit still, can't get comfortable, and can't bend over for any reason. Stuff on the floor will have to remain on the floor. How in the world am I going to get this to quit?!

One bright star in the day: Intervention is on A&E tonight. I love that show. The drug/alcohol counselor tech in me longs to watch it every Sunday night. I'm sick, I know.

ISTEP Week is this week - testing, testing, and more testing for my little munchkin students. Hey, bonus: we get snacks on Tuesday, delivered right to our room! Rumor has it that it is PB&J crackers with juice. Slam!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Crimson and Cream of the crop

The Indiana Hoosiers' football team has struggled over the years. Being an alumnae, I am heartsick over the fact that sometimes I have to root for a losing team. Make that most of the time, not sometimes. Things are changing, though. Wins, determination, and dedication are the result of the coach of the team, Terry Hoeppner. Therein lies another difficulty - the coach had to undergo his second brain tumor surgery yesterday.
Can you imagine being in your fifties and having two brain surgeries? All the while being the coach of a Big Ten university? Not really a small deal, if you ask me.
According to reports, Coach Hoeppner is resting and recovering well. He's got fight in him, I'll give him that!

I hope he has a speedy recovery. The team needs his enthusiasm and spark. Come back soon, Coach.

In other news...

My students have gone and done it. They brought out the bitch today. Yep, you heard it here first. I wrote up a student today and my claws were out while I did it. I had to get mean, which I don't normally do. I had had enough of this kid. His attitude and mouth - that's what sealed the deal for him. He is one of those kinds of kids who think school is just for punishment, and that staying awake in class is just too much to ask. The world must revolve around him, or so he thought. It all started with him asking if he could go to the nurse. He asked less than halfway through class, which was the last class of the day. He had made it all day, didn't look ill, and so I asked why. He said, "So I can sleep." I told him absolutely not. He then began mumbling under his breath. I began a discussion with him. I was getting angry as the discussion went along. He was too, because he just couldn't understand why his request was so out of line. After he made comments about hating the class and that what we do is stupid, I gave him a one way ticket to the office. As I was writing it, he had the balls to say, "Did I do so much that you have to write for five minutes about me?" (answer: yes) I put on the discipline referral that I request him to be moved out of my class due to the fact that I just can't stand his bad attitude and disregard for what I am trying to do in the class. He wasn't happy, but neither was I. Kids: you can't love 'em all, and you can't hate 'em, either. Hopefully he'll learn a little something from the incident. I'm hoping, anyway.

Until tomorrow's school day...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Horse's Ass

Horse's Ass
Originally uploaded by ldp1963.

*This is a joke my grandma used to say when we would be in the car, following a horse trailer with one or more horses' asses facing us.
She's somethin', isn't she?
Had to pass on the legend.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Manning Bowl

In honor of the Manning Bowl tonight on NBC (at 8:15), I made a wonderful NFL Football snack for our eating pleasure while we watch the brothers battle it out.
Here is the recipe for an awesome dip that most can't refuse. Take it to your potlucks, family reunions, and friendly get togethers. You'll be a hit!

Mexican Dip (Crock Pot)

1 lb. sausage

1 lb. hamburger

Mix together and cook until browned.

1 minced onion (you can omit if you'd like)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can El Paso peppers and tomatoes

1 can El Paso green chili peppers

To the above, add 2 lbs. of Velveeta cheese cubed. Combine in crock pot and keep warm. Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips. Could use pita chips, too if more health conscience.

*If you can't find the exact brand of tomatoes and chilis, you can use Rotel (it comes mixed already - the chilis and tomatoes, or another brand.)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

So California

So California
Originally uploaded by unsure shot.
According to a local radio station, Paris Hilton's arrest for DUI was related to this place - In-n-Out Burger. Yep, Paris was starving and was trying to get to this drive thru so that she could eat. If she would have made it, according to herself and her publicist, she might not have "blown" a BAC over the legal limit. See, she hadn't eaten ALL DAY because she had been shooting a video. Then she went directly to a CHARITY EVENT for brain tumors and had ONE, MEASELY LITTLE MARGARITA (in a fish bowl) and was caught speeding. Pulled over only to find she had been drinking? Oh, shoot.
Poor thing had to spend fifteen minutes in the jailhouse lobby. Sissy came to rescue her, Nikki Hilton, and she was released because the papparazzi was surrounding the place. How unfortunate.
These burgers from this place must be great!

Thursday, September 07, 2006




Happy 50th to me...happy 50th to me...

My fiftieth post. Wow. They really do add up fast. To you pros out there, fifty seems infant. But to me, it is somewhat of a milestone. I vow to make it fifty more at least.

Beer bread - it was a hit yesterday. I had about two pieces left over and that was all! Two of the four kids liked it. Husband liked it. I loved it, go figure. Bread + Me = True Love 4 Ever. 'Nuff said. Following are some comments heard last evening while the bread baked:

~ does it have BEER in it?

~ man, this tastes like beer!

~Is that why I saw an empty beer can in the trash?

~Beer, yum...I'm not even allowed to drink beer yet. (Eleven year old MALE, imagine that!)

~ I like it.

~ I don't think it tastes like anything.

Recipe is as follows, if you are brave enough to combat the comments at your house:

3 Cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
12 oz. beer
3 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon honey

Grease loaf pan. Mix flour, salt, baking powder. Combine with beer and honey in large bowl. Stor together until well mixed. Spread batter in pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until browned and a wooden pick comes out clean.

Cool completely before slicing.
(I ran a stick of butter over the top right after it came out of the oven. I let it cover the top of the bread, but only used a little bit. That turned out well. )
The pear bread turned out very moist, but I did not like the taste as well as some people did. Now, my oldest daughter loved it - the one who did NOT like the beer bread. So, it is not predictable.
I took the pear cake to work and the teachers seemed to love it. Of course I was haggled and called Martha Stewart (as an insult) because they know I have four children and wonder 'how I had the time' to make things. I digress...
The cake would have been better if I'd had time to whip up a cream cheese icing and put on it. The recipe called for no icing, but it would have really made a big difference. If you like spice cake or apple cake and the like, it would be good for you to try.

So, beer bread is declared the winner in the bake off of last evening. After all, did I really expect anything to win over booze infused food? Duh.
Emeril and I will be coming to a city near you. Check your local listings.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Betty Crocker reincarnated - ME.

Well, evidently my hormones are off keel or something. I am in the mood to bake, cook, experiment, or whathaveyou in the kitchen. And, I am doing it.
At work yesterday in the copy room, there was a huge box of pears that said, "Take as many as you like - there are at least thirty more bushels on my trees at home," from a fellow teacher. I indulged and took half a dozen. Now, these weren't half-pounders a piece, you know. Just little ones. Plenty to go around. I'm not that greedy.
So, today, I came home and searched on the internet for some recipe to use these fresh pears in. I like to do that from time to time - find a recipe on the internet that I've never tried and put it to good use. Today was one of those days.
While I was searching on the recipe sites, I came across a "bread" theme. I began to salivate when I read a few, so I searched for one of my favorites growing up, that I have never made since out on my own - BEER BREAD! I am, after all, twenty-one now...hahaha.
I printed off two pear recipes and one beer bread. The bread is currently in the oven and smellin' fine! The pears have been peeled, put with the sugar to "marinate" for an hour, and I am well on my way to tasty treats. I'll update everyone tomorrow on how great it all tasted.
For now, salivate in expectation...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Some occupations may be hazardous to your health. (see Steve Irwin)

*I'm burnin' in the depths of h*** for that one*

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Well, as of Friday, our living room ceiling is completely down now and the insulation pulled out by our "remod" crew. While in the throws of cleaning all of that out, the guys told us that the insulation that was yellow was not "legal" persay, according to today's residential codes. It had to be pulled out because it was a fire hazard. It would have gone up like paper, they stated. Great to know.
So, now we have pink panther insulation under the part where our bedroom is (above the living room) and exposed beams. We can see the roof's ceiling, or whatever you call it, as seen in the pic. Are we making progress? I guess. Work is what we're doing, even though we have remodeling people doing the bulk of it.

In other news...

We went to see the movie Accepted last evening. It was very funny. I liked it. The husband didn't like it much, but then again, he wasn't in the mood for a humorous movie. The kids and I were, on the contrary.

Today the two younger chitlins and I went to church. It was communion day. For those of you out there who are Catholics (as I WAS one), I know you are saying to yourselves 'what Sunday ISN"T communion Sunday??'. Well, go jump off a cliff. I don't do that anymore since I am not a) in the Catholic church, b) wouldn't be "allowed" to take communion if I DID go there, and c) have such a burden on my conscience according to your kind for being remarried without an annulment. *Not something I really want to get into today.*
Anyway, in the sermon somewhere, I heard the following from the preacher's mouth:
"Sometimes we have to get angry or bent out of shape about things for the right thing to happen." Huh. Ponder that for awhile. This is a statement after my own heart. Truly. I do get angry about things, more often than needed. But if it makes the right things happen - wow. And sure, there have been times that things have turned out to be that way, now that I think back. I like that statement.

I got a phone call from Princess - the graduate who was our morning babysitter, now going to IU. She went to the football game last night. Said she had fun. I again played the part of mother and warned her about how careful she needs to be at all times. That she may think she knows someone, but really she doesn't know what they are capable of. And that it only takes one time to do something stupid or to put herself in a situation where things could go wrong, and she will never be the same person. Now that could run the gammet (sp) of many things. Let's recall what students usually do at college - not just walking alone at night, but also things like tailgaiting, parties, sleepovers at other dorms/apts., going to the 7-Eleven at 2am, many things! I just want her to think on her feet, so I reminded her. She is probably cussing me under her breath, and did so as soon as we hung up our phones. That's okay. Moms can take it. If I can be that little, annoying voice that pops into her head if she is in one of those situations and keep her from heartache, so be it. I'll be the bad guy for that.
Have a fun Labor Day!!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sweet N Sour Letters

I have a few letters I need to send out for the day:

Dear Cafeteria Lady at School,
Was it actually necessary to be so rude when you came outside this morning before 8am and told me that I could not park where I had already positioned my car? I mean, really. I understand that deliveries are key to your success, but you could have asked nicely. Also, adding the words, "Oh! I suppose no one has told ya about parking here, huh? Yeah. So, you'll have to move. You can't park three wide!"
Given that you had me unnerved, I was trying to quickly put my bags back into my vehicle. In your tone, I sensed urgency, so I shoved my purse, bag, and drink back into the passenger side of the Envoy, getting ready to run back over to the driver's side when you saw me put my whole life belongings into the LOCKED VEHICLE!! Trying to cool off, I did walk to the back of the SUV and say a curse word. Pardon me.
Lastly, I really do appreciate the way you nonchalantly turned and walked back into the school building so that YOU could go about your day like nothing happened while I moaned out in the parking area.
Thanks again for all of your help,
Dear Police Dept.,
In the progression of events this morning, I so appreciate your kindness in telling me that you no longer unlock cars for people - that you have smartened up to smalltown living and partnered with a local locksmith company, charging the hell out of people.
It's people like you who make the world a better place, "to serve and protect".
Ever so sincerely,
Dear Davis Locksmiths,
This morning, while a local teacher (me) called in with a dire circumstance, I commend you for calming me into a much better place for the entire rest of the day. Not only did you tell me you could help me in under an hour, but you also told me that it would only cost me FORTY FREAKIN' DOLLARS to get into my own car, not twenty feet away from the school building. Now, given the comments I got from students and teachers alike, I understand you are very involved with the local school. You advertise in the sports flyers, yearbook, etc. and have a reputable name. However, it seems as though you couldn't waive that darn fee for a hardworking educator. Wow, I completely (do not) understand.
In addition, thanks to you for teaming up with the local police department. You guys make a great pair.
In dire straits,
Dear Mom,
Thank you for being the only human being on the planet that would help me today. Not only did you wake up way before you wanted to, and under crappy conditions, but you also made a trip somewhere where you did not HAVE to be. Your completely capable grown daughter, who should not have these episodes, required your help and you came to the rescue.
Mom, without you driving forty-five minutes one way, I would not have been able to get home to the kids when I needed to after school. I so appreciate you bringing my spare keys to me from home. Thank goodness I am smart enough to give you a house key so that you could rummage through the glass bowl of extra keys to find my Envoy set.
Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart. I am cut from good cloth!
Yep, that about does it.
It doesn't get much better than this.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Get ready for Labor Day

The end of summer is almost here. What better way to end things than with a kabang on Labor Day this long weekend? I have done some homework for you and can link you to my favorite network, The Food Network, so that you can start planning that down-home BBQ or Beach Party you have been dying to host. Click on over and browse - find a new recipe to wow the crowd with. I know I love a good treat and so will your guests. And if you aren't hosting that party in your backyard, just fix something for the intimate family then. Enjoy!


In other news...
On this day in 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C. to hundreds of thousands of people. Hard to believe he was dead five short years later. How much progress have we really made? Tell me what you think.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Missing you

In May of 2002, my husband and I married at a beautiful, elegant, and memorable site. We married in the Ladies' Pavillion in Central Park, New York City. Most people ask if we are or were from the city. No, we weren't. We just both love New York. Ever since I was young, I wanted to live there. I hadn't even visited. When I was in high school, our student council took a trip there for a few days. I instantly feel more deeply in love with the place after seeing it in real life. I don't know what it is, exactly, that captivated me at that age, but it did. And I have longed for it ever since.
Having my children at such the young age of twenty, I didn't ever have the chance to move to NYC. I will someday, believe me. I don't care if I am sixty years old, I'll move there. But, I do have the luxury of the memories of my wedding there. (my second wedding)
We each took one friend to stand up with us at the wedding. No family, no children, no fuss. We did it the way we wanted to and had no one to answer to in the end. It was fantastic. The pictures suffice with the relatives. Plus, a second marriage - it isn't like we both had never gone through with the "big wedding" deal.
The Ladies' Pavillion was the setting for the ceremony, then we went to Tavern on the Green for our wedding dinner/celebration. We had an awesome dinner and enjoyed the sounds of a baby grand piano playing in the background. The night was beautiful and we couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. It is engraved in my memory for life. The reason I write about it today is that I am missing NYC so very badly. My husband and I have taken at least one trip there a year, but we haven't lately, so I am missing it terribly. There is hope! We may go in October. We are trying to see what we can work out with A Chorus Line opening back up on Broadway. *Long story, but my husband's uncle used to be the stage manager for the original running of the musical, so we want to go experience it in his honor, so to speak.*
Keep your fingers crossed - I want to go back!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Meaningful Learning

As I posted a tidbit about Alice Walker some time ago, I have another story linked to her, somewhat. As you all know, I am teaching right now. I have one section of ninth graders and mulitple sections of tenth grade. In these tenth grade classes, we have read a story by Alice Walker called "Everyday Use". It is about two African-American sisters who are very different. One lives her life simply and the other very complex. One is timid, with the other being very outspoken and forward. Beyond that, the story involves quilts (that the sisters are fighting over), which are very near and dear to my heart, since my grandmothers are quilters. One of my grandmas, my biological father's mother, has been featured in magazines and across the country for her quilting expertise. My other grandma, my mother's mother, still quilts today and is part of a sewing guild. I appreciate their craft and wish I could do it, too. But alas, I digress.
I had my students do their own quilt squares (on paper) so that I could piece them together on the wall, making a quilt of squares. Most students really got into it. I will have to post picks when I get the quilt pieced together and up in my classroom. One of the quilts in the story was in the Lonestar pattern (featured here). The other was Walk Around the Mountain. Perhaps the students didn't quite fully grasp how important our heritages are; perhaps they did.
I know from my experiences that I treasure the quilts given to me by my grandmothers. They are prized possessions of mine. And yes, I DO put them to "Everyday Use" around my house. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Come in; it's open!

I have had two open houses this week. No, not the homemade skylight in my bedroom kind of open house - at schools. One was for my seventh grader. We got to go out as the family and meet her teachers, etc. It was a harsh lesson in "letting go". First of many lessons in that area, I'm afraid. See, in the seventh grade, our children here in my town go over to the high school. That's called rural, folks. So, she has no transition of middle school, really. It is just boot straps up straight into the high school.
In meeting her teachers, some of which were MY teachers when I went to high school there, I sensed that the overall message was "Stay organized and on top of things." Wow. As a parent, how can you not shriek at making sure your preteen 'stays on top of things' on her own? And as my teacher/parent independent research tells me, the smarter the kid is, the more disorganized. So, my smart preteen is way disorganized might I say. So, I have to let go and let her sink or swim. I can prompt her about things, but it is ultimately up to her. Damn. This parenting stuff is hard.
The second open house was last night at the school where I am teaching. It is a larger high school than the one in my town. It has roughly 880 students in grades 9-12. So, guess how many parents I had show up? Go on. Guess. What would be a good percentage? You're wrong. I had seven sets of parents show up. SEVEN! Parents need to be more involved, I tell ya. I won't even go into that soapbox realm right now. Gosh!

I must fly away to get ready for another school day. It's FRIDAY! Have a Coke and a Smile.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The nose, knows? The Feet Know, too.

This chart on the right details where to find pressure points for reflexology therapy. Sounds hoaxy, doesn't it? Well, it isn't. For those of you out there who have NOT had a pedicure by a trained professional, I must say I'm sorry to you. You are missing out! Especially if that professional knows anything about reflexology. Now, some manicurists/pedicurists do not have training in reflexology. Just ask. I can vouch that it does relax you and help the blood flow to those places listed on the right. If you are in dire need of some good ol' pamperin', schedule a pedicure for yourself at your local day spa or salon. I would tell the receptionist that you must have the diva treatment. It works wonders on the body, mind, and soul.

In other news... I read about some states doing away with their standardized testing for graduation. For those of you who don't have children old enough to be in school or who aren't in the education system, let me fill you in. In Indiana, for example, there is a test called ISTEP. This test is administered on several grade levels, but the most important test is the tenth grade ISTEP+ test. Students must pass this test in order to receive a diploma during their twelfth grade year. Yes, it can be harsh. It is that No Child Left Behind garb. Take this scenario: say you had a child who has a learning disability. This child must pass the test, also. No breaks for the disadvantaged. Plus, these scores are holding schools and teachers accountable for funds, staying open, etc. It is a long, complicated thing, but for me to hear that some schools are finally not putting so much emphasis on these types of tests makes me sigh with relief that someone, somewhere is finally getting it. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, legislators, and all folk are NOT cookie cutter specimens. We can not treat them as such. Okay, off my soapbox.

Have you ever just wanted to curl up and read for like three days straight? My list of books that I want to read is so long that I need to take a leave of absence from life and catch up. Or make myself not like books so much. RIIIGHT! I'll just keep on listing.

*fun factoid: Did you know that Alice Walker, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning The Color Purple, married a white man in Mississippi in 1967 and it was the first legally recognized interracial marriage in that state? In 1967!!! As if slavery was abolished in 1966 - NOT. Get with the times, Mississippi!