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!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Zoo - A poem

(In honor of school starting this week and field trips to come being planned, I give an ode to the zoo, which is where our first graders go at our school. I wrote this when I was a chaperone for Clovis, way back in the first grade, two years ago. )

Five classes of first-graders, murmuring with excitement.
Their first field trip this year.
Two adults per class, so a total of ten chaperones.
Not including the teachers
So, fifteen adults in all.

Two buses. Many miles to Cincinnati.
A long round trip for fifteen adults.
I asked my daughter if I could sleep on the bus.
She said no, because I’d be asleep when we got there.
I told her she could wake me up.
She didn’t buy it.
She’s smart for her age.

I also asked her if we’d see lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
She didn’t find that funny, either.

I’ve made my game plan in my head already.
Take Advil, like I’m preparing to go to the dentist.
Preventative medicating, I call it.
Then, reload before the bus ride home.

You see, I’ve done these field trips before, so
I’m old hat at it.
First-graders don’t quite understand how loud they really are.
Just ask the teachers.
They’ll agree.

The zoo.
Many animals people look at.
Many people animals look at.
It’s a learning experience for both.

The children want personal interaction with the animals.
Kids want to feed them, pet them, talk to them.
The animals want to be left alone.
But they’ll take the food. If anyone’s offering.
Bananas for the monkeys
Peanuts for the elephants
Sack lunches for the students.

It’s all routine.
Memories made at the zoo.
Time after time, year after year.
Generation after generation.

My parents took me to the Cincinnati Zoo.
I’m taking my child, too.
I hope she’ll take her own child someday.
Then she’ll have tales to tell.
And Advil to take.
And questions to ask that her daughter will see as silly.
"Can I sleep on the bus?"

The field trip will be great.
We’ll both never forget it.
Nor will her son or daughter.

*My favorite animal at the zoo has always been the monkey. I could sit and watch them for hours. I mimic the monkey, I guess. I mean, after all, I pick at my kids, rub their faces to get them clean, and throw food at them when I am angry. No, all kidding aside, I do love the monkeys. I especially love the ones with the red butts. I feel for them. Just when I feel my butt's draggin', I can always think back to how bad they have it. I mean, YOU try sitting down with that!

Friday, August 18, 2006



Thursday, August 17, 2006


I'm going to bullet point these items, a list, you might say. These are some random things I thought about on the way home from work today. *Note: I have 45 minutes to think, so these things pop into my brain while it is trying to unwind.

~ Why do people drive slower when there is a double line on the highway so one cannot pass whilst driving faster when one COULD pass on the dotted line?

~ Do farmers driving tractors time their days just right so that they hold up a mile of traffic after school?

~ Why do I not prepare for the drive home and make sure I have a drink with me so that I am not cussing because I am so darn thirsty after school?

~For some unknown reason, every single person who is at school, whether it is teacher or student, is absolutely starving right after school. This leads to me being overweight.

~ Why can't my own kids get along for an hour after school and not have to call my mom to come and referree the arguments?

~ I don't like having the pressure of trying to rush in the mornings to get to school and out of the house, only to have to rush after school to get back to the house, not being able to even run in WalMart for things like bread or milk.

~ I feel like I am missing everything.

~I want to be back at the beach. I miss it: the taste of saltwater spray, the smell of blooming flowers, the feel of the sand between my toes, and the warmth of the sun on my face.

~ I don't want to cook dinner and have to clean it up afterwards. Can't kids do that?

~ I am afraid of my daughter growing up, having to face womanly things like periods, cramps, moodiness (worse than she already is), and pregnancy. Most of all, boys.

~ Why can't we just all get along?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Oh baby.

Today was the first day of school with students present for me. It went well, though I am sooooo tired. This was my first experience with block scheduling, which means I had to instruct class sessions for 90 minutes at a time. For a high schooler, this was a long period of time. College classes are another story, but high school kids have trouble staying focused. So, I came up with a couple of ways of breaking up the time period. It worked for today, so I'll run with it. I did get a couple of great compliments from a special education teacher who was with me for two blocks today. She commented on how great of a job I was doing and how she liked my "style" of teaching. I told her thank you and that I wasn't sure I would be able to label my techniques as having a certain style, persay, but the boost of confidence was welcomed.

In other news...
One of my good friends is having In Vitro done this week. Her eggs are being harvested, if that is the right word, tomorrow and then fertilized for Sunday's activities where doctors will put them back in her girl parts. I am not well educated on this, as you can tell from my verbage, but I wish her all the luck in the world. She and her husband have been trying for years to get pregnant. I hope this is the ticket. I talked to her tonight and she told me that she has not had one drop of alcohol nor any tobacco products for over three weeks in preparation for this. I could understand why she said she had been sort of grumpy today. Plus, she admitted, she is nervous. I asked her if the procedure would be painful and she said yes, that tomorrow's would be. She said that they stick a needle into her uterus and suck out her eggs from her ovaries that way. Ouch. Yes, pain would be involved. I am actually kind of nervous for her. I was a Fertile Mertile and didn't ever have to worry about pregnancies NOT happening. I feel for her. I hope she has a baby with this procedure. She told me her first pregnancy test would be Sept. 1. We'll see - keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Here come the troops...

Tomorrow is D-Day. No, I don't mean the day of death; I mean, "do or die". For me. My students will arrive for their first day of school this year with an unfamiliar face in the teacher's chair. I don't live in the town where I am teaching, so none of the students know me, nor the teaching staff. So, I am a complete stranger, with no one to connect with for reliable answers to my many upcoming questions. I'll sink or swim, so to speak. I worked all day today on getting things in order. It still doesn't seem like enough. It is sort of that way every year at the beginning of each sememster, though. It doesn't matter how many years of teaching experience one has; the beginning of each new semester is chaotic.
I will have one section of ninth graders and many sections of tenth graders. For the first few weeks, we will be reviewing things and preparing the sophomores for the state test. Any English teacher should know their grammar, so most of the review should come naturally.
It is just the logistics of things that make me insane. New place means new expectations. For example, this school has the students keep portfolios throughout their high school careers. I must find those in jumbles of hundreds and keep adding to them. I also have to have each student get a two pocket folder to keep in my classroom. It will NOT leave the room. This is for D.O.L. and graded work in case parents want to see what their child has been doing, or lack thereof. Lots of things to remember. Brain overloaded. Need sleep. Hungry. Signing off - I'll let you know how the first day goes tomorrow.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

School bell's soundin'!

“The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.”
Tom Bodett

Back to school. Tomorrow begins another school year. Kindergarteners will leave their mommies to attend their first of many years in the education system, and Seniors will hoot and holler because it is their last year to deal with high school. The teachers have already gotten their classrooms ready with decorations at the elementary schools, names being printed neatly on desk strips of paper with apples or pencils on them. The high school teachers have been writing out lesson plans and thinking through the many state standards they have to meet with their lessons. (This isn't to say that the elementary teachers don't do lesson plans, so no hate mail, please.)

The first day of school is exciting, yet nerve wracking for me still, at my age. I don't attend school as a student, but I still get those first day of school butterflies. Crazy to have those feelings after all these years. I get them every year, though. The night before the first day of school I can't sleep, and I go through the mental list of things to do and not forget. It is exhausting. So, the first night back, I am so tired I can't see straight. This year is especially nerve wracking because I feel like I am overwhelmed with things to do to get ready and don't know where to start. I only learned a few days ago that I would be filling in full time for a medical leave for a teacher, so I am trying to make a priority list of what needs to be done just to survive the first week. There is so much to do, plus not much time to do it in considering the clean-up from the storm. Way too much on my plate right now! But, God seems to think I can work best under extreme pressure, I guess. I don't know any other way, really. I'll go on and do fine, I keep telling myself. I've done similar things before in classes I've taught before, so I'll just go with the flow. Teachers must be good at that, for all of you non-teachers out there. The best laid plans, always get de-railed into something a bit different. We teachers are used to it.

So, tomorrow morning my alarm will go off with me already staring at the ceiling (with the duct tape over the holes might I add), feeling like a zombie. I'll be wondering if the butterflies will subside and I'll go forth. I'll have teacher meetings all day, praying that my kids are doing well on their first day back. I'll meet tons of new people at my new school and remember about two names tops. Then, I'll come home and begin filling out the mountain of paperwork for four returning students I call my own. Send good vibes to the middle schooler - she is on her own in the big world of the high school. I know she'll do well, but will I? (smile)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Storm pictures

Here are a selected few out of about a hundred photos taken by me of the storm damage. Note that from the outside, the damage doesn't seem to be too bad. From the inside is another story.

Whirlwind? No, tornadic!

I am up at 2am here. My head is absolutely pounding and I can not sleep. Not only was yesterday overwhelming because of the multiple boxes I had to go through in the teacher's room I'm filling in for, but on the way home, I ran into some crazy storms. I was talking with my mom and girls from a cell phone, communicating about what it was doing at home. After losing the call, I got them back on the line and they told me the news. Our hometown was hit hard, possibly by a tornado. They told me that my brother, who was trying to get home from work, had called and said I could not get to my house due to down trees and power lines. Upon arriving in my town, I dodged tree limbs to make it to my moms, which is down the street from my home. I parked there and walked to my house because I could not get through via SUV. The sad part is, while I was passing through a side street, I caught a glimpse of my house, with a few large trees on its roof. Yes, you heard me correctly. Trees fallen on my roof, and my white picket fence in the front. It is one of those weird plastic, but not plastic, material fences. Not cheap. So, I called the Husband at work before I walked up, telling him I wasn't sure of what was awaiting me. He said, "You mean like 'damage' bad from the trees?" I told him possibly. He used expletives I can't repeat. He said he'd try to leave work. I walked up the street with my oldest daughter and an umbrella.
Upon approach to the side I couldn't see from the side street, it was definitely worse than first suspected. Multiple grand trees were lying on my rooftop, porch, fence, and yard. I began shaking at the knees, afraid to open the door to the house. My fears were genuine and rightly so. Our living room was a disaster. My oldest daughter told me she was shaking and afraid to go any further. She said, "But, I want to go upstairs to see if everything's okay." I told her to find the flashlight and we'd go. We did, and her room and every sibling's room was okay. No damage other than gutters outside torn off and the view looking like a jungle of green from tree foilage. We venture into my room and were astounded. There, above my bed was a huge tree limb through the ceiling. A new skylight. My bed was soaked with rain and debris. Ruined.
Upon further investigation, the chimney bricks were moved and therefore getting ready to fall. Water was coming in from the fireplace inside and the wall on that side of our bedroom was cracking from the pull of the bricks. The downstairs living room's ceiling was falling, tiles everywhere along with water. I was frantically moving things like pictures out of the living room into the dining room to save them from water damage. I got most everything else an hour later after the Husband arrived. Needless to say, he is sick with anxiety. See, this house was his grandparents'. After they both passed away, he bought it. It wasn't cheap like some might expect when a family member dies and the house sells. It was a hot market item. And it made him sick inside to see the damage to the sentimental place. He practically grew up here.
I would try to load pictures, but I am afraid it will take the pics off the camera. So, until daylight, when I can use camera #2, you'll have to wait. I'll try as soon as I can to take more and get them up here. They look like something out of a CNN story. I am going to try to go back to sleep at some point so I can be coherent when the tree company gets here bright and early. Then the real fun begins of trying to cover the holes in the roof with tarps, plastic, etc. I've got work ahead of me, as does the Husband.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Whirlwind action

Believe it or not, I got a job. Sort of. To make a long story short and spare you details, the position is teaching English at a high school forty-five minutes away from my home for a medical leave situation. Now, I am a glorified substitute for a while, it seems. Then, it may turn into a contract situation, which would be long term. It is kind of odd, but I'll take it. Beats sitting at home twiddling my thumbs, waiting for some school to call for peanut pay subbing. Now, I have to find a sitter for my children in the mornings so that they will actually make it to school. Gosh, everything happens last minute, then I'm in a pickle. But, thankful.
More later - I'm off to get the books I'll be teaching from so that I'm not staring blankly into teenage faces on the first day!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Originally uploaded by PartsnPieces.
I love brand new crayons. I am a teacher, but that has no bearing on my love of crayons because I teach secondary students. (Middle school and high school.) There is nothing better than opening a brand new box of crayons, with all of the tips perfectly sharpened and unused. They make the best lines, perfectly proportionate. A person can color exactly where they want to, without worrying how fat or thin the line may become because of the worn crayon tip. To this day, and I am in my thirties, coloring with crayons in a coloring book destresses me. I can zone out and really get into the picture I am working on. Either that makes me immature, or simplistic.
Forgive me, other manufacturers, but Crayola crayons are the best. They just are! I love the oranges, greens, and purples in the box. Perhaps I like orange the best because it represents the internal flames I have. I am not an aritst, but I do create things. I can't draw or paint anything that resembles much, but I can do artistic things like calligraphy, scrapbooking, and painting pottery.
Colors fascinate me. And new crayons, ready for the new school year, make me smile.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Look away, I'm hideous!

Look away, I'm hideous!
Originally uploaded by pinkdaisypea.
A boy kitty in a pink clog. Embarrassing.

Multi-generational clogs

Multi-generational clogs
Originally uploaded by pinkdaisypea.
As the clog wars continue at dooce and blurb, allow me to put my two cents worth in: here are clogs worn by my mother and my daughter. Notice my fifth grade daughter wears a bigger size than her grandma. Thanks to my genes for big feet.

My youngest daughter has pink clogs. I'll post a picture of our new cat in them. Too cute.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Shop till you drop

I am taking my three daughters (plus one friend) on a shopping spree today. We are leaving this morning and not returning until they have spent 100.00 a piece. Given those statistics, 1) we'll be gone all day because they can't make decisions, 2) a hundred dollars doesn't go far when jeans are an average of 25.00 a piece, and 3) momma won't be sane for long.
See photo here of a cute pair of jeans that the "young uns" are wearing these days:

How much do you think these cost? (Not knowing the name brand will make or break your answer...)

They are: $39.50! Of course, the name brand is Abercrombie & Fitch. No, we won't be going to that store today. I mean, seriously. My girls could only get three items and their hundred would be gone. Three items??? How in the world are families supposed to survive? I know what you are saying to yourselves: "don't shop at expensive stores". I don't. But still, things aren't cheap these days. Take this, for instance. In a sporting goods store in the mall, the Husband and I found shoes for the son on sale. If I were to find three pairs of shoes at the same price for the three girls, we'd still be looking at $120 for those three pairs. This doesn't factor in any clothing for the bodies, just the feet. Wow. Tough being a parent now, isn't it?

For the sake of a good friend of mine, I'll quit talking about the money part of the shopping. I'll move on to emotion. I want my girls to look good. I do. It's natural, isn't it? My oldest, Mak, who is entering seventh grade (which is housed in the same building as the high school in our town), is such a tomboy. She owns a pink shirt for the first time since toddlerhood. I am worried about this transition into teenager land. If she wears her normal athletic boy shorts and ratty T-shirts to school, she'll be pulverized. But will she care? Who knows. I just want her to be cute. Fashionable. Perhaps that is my problem to get over. Yeah, it is.

Cam, the middle daughter, is more girly. She won't wear skirts to school daily or anything like that, but she wants to look feminine now. She is growing rapidly and will be the tallest girl I have in the end. She, like me, hates to try things on. She is very body-conscious, as am I. It isn't any fun to not fit in certain sizes. She is big for her age; she's just like her aunt on her dad's side. Big shoulders, built like a brick sh**house. Tough world when you're built like that. We'll survive today, though. She likes fashion.

And, last but not least, Clovis. The baby. At age eight. She is the diva, as some of the family calls her. She can walk four miles in high heels and not waiver a bit. She HAS to have matching items, and is picky beyond belief. Pink is her signature color. She is cutting edge and wants to be like no one else. She may like the looks of something on the rack and then try it on and complain about how hideous it looks. Walking on egg shells is what I equate shopping with her to. It is rough and tough. She calls the shots on her outfits. If she doesn't, then she flat out won't wear it. She'll wear her pajamas to school first. Honest! One day last year I came home from school to find her still in the same shirt and sleeping pants she went to bed in the night before. I asked what happened and she said she couldn't find anything to wear, so she wore her pajamas. That Daddy let her. See what happens when Mom isn't home to scream at her? She wears pajamas to school. I was mortified. For about four minutes. Then I got over it. At least she didn't wear a nightgown with striped panties underneath for all to see. I would've gotten a phone call at work for that one!

So, ladies, moms: Pray for me as I go out to battle. The school shopping wars are on and it might get ugly. Peace, love, and chicken grease.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Well, Kiss My Bricks!

Today was the running of the Allstate 400, otherwise known as the Brickyard 400 in Indiana. Jimmy Johnson was the winner today and did a traditional brick kissing along with his pit crew. (I sure was hoping that Tony Stewart would get the chance to kiss those bricks for the second time in his career, but to no avail. He did do well, finishing in the top ten after starting near the back. Sure, he's an ass. That's why I like him so much. He tells it how it is, and doesn't care who likes him for it or not. My kinda guy. )
The yard of bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway make up the start/finish line. They are very visible from the straight between turns four and one. The track is beautiful, and rather large. I have attended two Brickyard 400s in my time. It is definitely something to see at least once. The parents and myself used to camp out at the Coca-Cola lot. It is a large lot owned by none other than Coca-Cola, go figure. No free samples have ever been given to me there. You'd think that would be great promotion, but no. I thought about setting up a Pepsi stand just for spite. I haven't been up there in a few years. It is easier to watch it on TV, as I did today. It really is more special when you watch a race or any other event on television, when you actually can identify with the location. I like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Gasoline Alley is something else. And the roar that those Nascar cars and Indy cars make is earth shattering.
When you are in the crowd and you hear those famous words: "Gentleman, start your engines!", it sends chills down your spine. I can't imagine the adrenaline rush those drivers get behind the wheels of the monsters they drive. I think I could do it. After all, I can get a ticket for speeding on the highways of Ohio. Why can't I drive as fast as I possibly can and win money for it on a track made for speed? Sign me up. Tony, get me a car, STAT. Better luck next year, Stewart.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Trash to treasure

Today was the first day of the big "garage" sale. More like a carport sale, really. Last night around nine o'clock, it started to look very yellow in the sky, like a three day old bruise. Then, out of nowhere, it started to monsoon rain, soaking the things nearest to the edge of the carport. The kids and I had to run out, move things toward the middle of the carport, and dodge the pouring rain. It was quite unbearable. Plus, the carport cement is like that smooth, roller skating cement that, when wet, seems like a sheet of ice. Very slick, indeed! So, we had to jump that hurdle, too. It all worked out. The rain lasted maybe a half an hour. Today, it was not as humid, and actually nice outside. Good day for a sale. Plus, I sold my couch and loveseat by 11am! "One man's trash is another man's treasure" as they say. Excellent.

Right now, as I type this, my middle daughter (age 11) is upstairs with the electric razor shaving her legs for the first time. I have come under fire lately by friends and family for not letting her shave them up to this point. See, she is very dark-headed, so she is quite hairy. But, at the same time, I tried to defend myself, telling all that I know once shaving is started, there is no turning back. She has been shaving her armpits for some time now, and that is the case with her pits already - she has to do it almost every day. Boy, am I thankful that I have blond hair on my arms and legs. Still! Even though the hair on my head isn't truly blond, those body parts are, which results in shaving less. They are all growing up...

We went school supply shopping at my favorite store tonight - Target. It was difficult to stay focused on what we were there for - you know how it is if you are a Target Addict. Tough. Very tough. I did it, though. School supplies only for tonight. Afterward, we went to Fazoli's to eat. Real Italian, Real Fast. And it is Real Fun to puke it Real Soon After Eating. The belches that burn your throat - can't beat 'em. While there, the kids were making jokes, of course. Some are as follows:
I wonder if the Breadstick Lady's friends call her "The Breadstick Lady".
First name Bread, middle name Stick, last name Lady.
BSL would be her initials! Bread Stick Lady! hahahaahah
Ask her for two plus twenty more. See how many she gives us.
Did she just pass our table? Oh, maaaaaammm. We would like so like some more! Come back!

They were just going on and on. We had to just give up and leave, making them finish the breadsticks they already had. And, no, we did not get twenty-two! We do have limits as parents. Gosh.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Here are some flower pics of my own for those of you into gardening. I must say, I love the Mexican sunflower. I can't resist the nature of my own hands in the dirt, resulting in these flowers. Gorgeous!

And I included one Clovis picture - she was very silly today, obviously!


Originally uploaded by stoker.
Beautiful photo. I love sunflowers and have passed that on to my younger cousin. She has decorated parts of her house in sunflowers and it looks great.
I would love to be gorgeous enough to have my picture taken in a field of these just like this one here. If only...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mega Birthday, MTV!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, I'll say. Can you believe that back on August 1, 1981 the legendary MTV began? If you are anything like me, it seems like it has been in existence forever. I remember the logo of the astronaut landing on the moon, staking his MTV flag on the surface. Does anyone else remember that? I can't believe that was 25 years ago today. Yes, you heard me, 25 years. That is the age of the friend I spoke of yesterday. She was freshly hatched while MTV was blossoming itself. Know what the first video shown was? Video Killed the Radio Star. Can anyone hum the tune to that one? I thought so. It all came rushing back to me this morning as I watched the infamous channel. Kurt Loder? Anyone remember him? Gosh, all the early VJ's. I wanted to be one. Dream job. Of course, I was only around twelve at the time. Impressionable.
The channel doesn't even have Headbanger's Ball anymore. They've moved beyond that, thank goodness. Now they are phat, dope, sweet, tight, etc. (New verbage...) I must confess, I still like it. I love Laguna Beach, The Hills, The Real World. I can remember the first season of The Real World. I loved it! I'm so young at heart, I still adore the show today. Call me immature. ***Note: Picture is of Real World cast member Eric Neis, season 1.***

In other news: I can't remember if I told you I finished reading Anne Tyler's Digging to America?? I did. Took me a day and a half, I think. Good book. It is about adoption, heritage, losing loved ones, envy, etc. Good themes.

The heat index is well over a hundred degrees and I am feeling it. My head is about to explode. One of those summers that I wish I was either A) close to the ocean or other body of water, or B) had a pool in my own yard. See, in my small town living, we don't have a "city pool". Have to drive to get to one. One of the many perks. So not only does one have to pay for gas to drive to a pool, but one has to pay for five or six persons to get into said pool. Not good.

As fate would have it, I got wonderful news in the mail yesterday. There was an envelope addressed to the Husband from Northwoods Ohio Police Department. I immediately took the liberty to open it, hoping he wasn't a newfound criminal. Indeed, it was of legal matter. There, in complete color photos was our family Envoy, license plate number visible, near an industrial park along a roadway. The picture looked like a familiar place. The date did match when we were on our excursion to the lovely, desolate, Toledo. Looking at the time, I figured out that I must have been the driver of the vehicle on the date stated because my husband was in a training session at that time of day. What does this matter, you ask? It matters about $90.oo. I was "photographed" by a video surveillance police camera thing speeding - 50mph in a 35mph zone. Reluctantly, I told my husband immediately out of guilt. He said no big deal, couldn't change the facts. He did say that he was going to write the department a nasty letter, telling them how great that was for tourism and that we would, indeed, not be back. Of course I can't contest this ticket, it is on film! What gets me is a couple of things. First, I was in an unfamiliar place, looking for the right factory entrance to pick up my husband with four kids in a vehicle. I wasn't quite paying attention to my speed, or the speed limit. I just wasn't! Secondly, why have police if they are being replaced by idiot machines that can take pictures of "crimes"? Oh, I know, I'm just bitter. You're right. I don't want to pay it. But, I will so that I can keep my license and drive my kids to all of their events. Gosh.