Sunday, December 31, 2006

2007 Eve

Winter is a bad time to begin exercising, especially if what you choose means you have to go outside. So as I drink my hot coffee, I'll be debating about going out there.

Alan and I had this last-ditch crazy idea to run off to Fort Worth today, meet up with his brother and sister-in-law to spend New Year's with them, and then come back tomorrow or Tuesday (I was pushing for Tuesday). It doesn't look like it's going to happen, but it was a good idea! Alan hasn't seen Karl in a while and another overseas duty would put it off several more months.

And now for some random photos. We heard ornaments clanking around on the tree and discovered the source. Guess Junior was getting one last climb in before we took the tree down yesterday.

And then Bailey had a friend spend the night last night and decided to bake some cookies. It helps to set the oven to the correct temperature of 350, not 450.

Hope everyone has a great New Year's Eve!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Got plans?

Hmmm....what to do...what to do New Year's many options and invites....NOT. So I guess instead of feeling like losers for not having plans, maybe we'll go to the movies or be wild and crazy and do a double feature or something.

I'm trying to get a headstart on resolutions, my main one being to get back to exercising. I've now walked/jogged two days this week, including this morning in the rain (see river forming in our street). Our friend Heather, who visited over the holidays, is training for a marathon and is therefore inspiring me to get my running shoes back on. You know, those pretty white and blue ones that I got on my 38th birthday and whose awesomeness was so great that I would become a running machine. That lasted as long as all my exercise phases - about 3 months. I will never ever in my life run a marathon and frankly don't want to do that to these knees, but I think it's so cool to know someone else who has set that goal. Anyway, my shoes are still pretty and need to be shared with the world.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

As if I need another sedentary activity

As long as my break is for the holidays, I should have read some books by now. I just can't get motivated, and I'm all open for suggestions. I'd really like to find another series to start, because then you have several books to read one right after the other. I'm up to date on both the Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich mystery series, and those are my favorite. But it doesn't have to be mysteries. I like juvenile fiction as well, but seriously - I'd be up for anything and should try new authors and genres. Please give me suggestions and as many as you want! Oh yeah, preferably they should be books that have been out long enough that I can get them at the library. It's a cheap hobby and I want it to stay that way.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A little family time

I took a short break from blogging because we've been busy like everyone else with Christmas, seeing family, friends in town, etc. We had a good time getting to know Joe and Heather's little boy, Dillon, and spending time over at Mother and Dale's with close family friends.

Alan had to go back to work today, but I'm off until I take another subbing job. I think I'm ready to put the Christmas stuff away and get the house back to normal, especially since the Christmas tree always looks so sad once the presents are all gone.

Joe snapped this shot of us in front of my mother's house. What strikes me most is how close in height everyone is getting.
More later...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

We have a saying around this house that it's a good thing he's so beautiful, or he might be kicked out on the street. Hope everyone is having a great Christmas - more later...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Reindeer assault

At this very moment I can only think of one thing I hate more than grocery shopping. Windy days. Wait, I just thought of one more - shopping on windy days. The wind is blowing 40 mph here today and I still had lots of Christmas shopping to do. So I was rushing around this morning trying to get as much done as quickly as possible so I could get back inside out of the wind, when I got knocked off my feet, literally. I had to stop at my mother's house to drop off shopping bags and was doing everything I could to quickly grab the bags out of the car and get into her house. As I hurried past her mechanical yard reindeer, it swung its head around and KNOCKED ME DOWN. The bags went flying and I fell to my knees. I did that thing where you look around to see if anyone saw, but I think I was in the clear. It didn't become funny until I retold it to DeeBee later. Guess I got the message to sloooooww down.

So once Alan and I get finished shopping (hopefully tonight or tomorrow night) we're going to be ready to sit back, hang out with our Okie friends this weekend, and as Heather would say....kick it old school.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The kids

When they were much younger, Christmas was all about them. What really mattered was that they had a good Christmas, got much of what they asked for, were happy, surprised, excited. Now that they're getting older, yep it's still about them. Parents (and I have to say especially moms) just have this innate need to please their kids. I'm guessing that won't change, at least until grandkids come along many, many years from now. Or decades.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Who doesn't love checking the mailbox at Christmas?

We've been receiving quite a few Christmas cards this year, which is totally undeserving since we are so bad about sending cards ourselves (this is our first year to send them, I think). Not that receiving a card means you're something special or popular, but don't you sometimes feel guilty if you don't send any? I've tried to be more comfortable with receiving a card or gift without feeling the need to reciprocate if I hadn't intended to with that person or couple or whomever. But that didn't stop us from hurrying to get our candy made and out to the neighbors before they could bring us anything! Isn't that what the season is all about? Beating people to the punch! Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Denise asked for the buckeyes recipe, so here it is for whomever. By the way, we actually made these yesterday and just be aware that it is an off and on full day event. It usually makes 12 dozen, but we rolled some of them smaller and got 208 I think. We were packaging them up for gifts and needed a lot more this time. Bailey helped roll, Addison helped dip, and Alan helped with cleanups and whatever else we needed. So we can officially say it was a family occasion. :-) Why did I not get pictures?! Ugh!


3 lbs powdered sugar
2 lbs creamy peanut butter
1 lb melted butter or margarine (cooled down a bit)
2 lbs milk chocolate chips
1 block paraffin wax (found in the canning supplies section of stores usually)
150-200 small to medium baking cups

Mix first three ingredients together in a huge bowl and form into 1" balls. You will start mixing and think "no way in hell is all of this going to mix together." I start with a mixing spoon and end up just digging in with my hands, and even then I'm thinking there's no way this will ever mix together. Just use your muscles and keep mixing. Get it to a point where you're not seeing or feeling the lumps from the powdered sugar.

Place balls on trays and refrigerate for about an hour to firm. Cut wax block in a few pieces for easier melting. Melt chips and wax in double boiler (or however you want) over low to medium heat. To dip, insert a toothpick into ball about half-way - dip in chocolate and cool on wax paper. You will need 3-4 prepared trays or cookie sheets lined with wax paper to hold all the buckeyes. After all balls are dipped, remove the hole from the toothpick with your fingertip. This works easier when the balls have been sitting out at room temperature a while.

I then put all the balls back in the fridge to cool before placing them in the baking cups. They can be stored either in the fridge or at room temperature. We put together 15 packages with about 12-15 buckeyes per package. This is what our neighbors and some of the girls' friends will be getting.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday rambling

A couple people have mentioned that they tried to comment on my site and couldn't. I think it's just Blogger issues, since I haven't changed any settings on my site.

I can't believe next weekend is basically Christmas weekend. I might force the kids to help me make buckeyes tomorrow. I made the claim before Thanksgiving that I would do SOMETHING for the neighbors during the holidays. Thanksgiving came and went and they got nothing. So this is my last chance to take them something before they show up at our door with goodies. Anyway, it makes such a huge batch that the girls could take some to their friends for gifts, too. That could be my incentive to get them to help! I just realized I'm thinking out loud instead of trying to post something of interest.

I subbed yesterday and am subbing half a day today. Here's my oh-so difficult schedule: I show up at 11:30 and don't actually have any real contact with the students until 1:00! Then we take a math test which will take about an hour, then they are going to do some kind of Christmas craft, and then they get PAT time (free time). I just don't know if I can handle such a stressful afternoon.

Tonight is the Oxy company Christmas party. All I'm gonna say is that it better be a step up from last year - the party that was held on a Sunday afternoon at a theater and included a visit from a choir and Mr. and Mrs. Claus, followed by a local rendition of "A Christmas Carol." Oh, and children were invited.

But although tonight is at a country club and there is alcohol allowed this time, the entertainment is a magician. Hmmm...expect pictures. :-)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My new baby

So since I asked several people their thoughts on cameras, I'll share what I ended up with. I got a Kodak EasyShare Z612, 6.1 MP with 12X zoom. If you read Melissa's blog, then I sound like her copycat when I say I didn't get to play and fidget with my new toy very much either last night. But I'm throwing a picture in anyway of Alan and his dad putting a new radiator in my car, partly because some of you may not have known that Alan is becoming quite the mechanic. Just makes him that much more handy to keep around.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Saturday Night

A couple of pics from the party, courtesy of Denise.

Alan won most Bunkos (yes, we played Bunko and the guys LOVED it) and is therefore wearing the night's Bunko hat.

That's my best friend Denise in the middle and her sister Darla on the left. We had a good time!

Monday, December 11, 2006



This is another NOT clear picture. Funny thing is that the fact that the pictures didn't turn out well is so like how the last week or so leading up to graduation has gone. But before you get to thinking that here goes Tanya again on a whining rampage, don't. It just got kind of comical how many things didn't go the way I had envisioned them. And the reason I think they didn't is because I was maybe getting a little too excited about the weekend itself. I have this theory that if I get to acting too happy and/or proud and/or confident about life in general, some giant invisible foot comes along and stomps all over things just to make sure I keep my feet on the ground. And to force me to remember all the things to appreciate - like my dad being there, and Leigh, and Melissa, and Addison and Bailey, and of course, Alan. And all the support and kind words from family and friends. Thanks everyone!!

Here's a very blurry picture from Saturday. All the pictures from Bailey's digital were blurry, so the purchase of my own camera will be happening sooner than planned. I'll be posting some other pictures later today and maybe some from the party soon. The ceremony was an awesome experience, but I'm glad it's all over. I also couldn't and wouldn't have done this without Alan.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"Calgon..." (you know the rest)

I knocked them upside the head, screamed at them, held my hand over their little mouths, and then locked them in a dark closet with spiders and ghosts. Or at least those were the sweet visions that were floating in my head after teaching a bunch of third grade heathens yesterday. It's amazing the disruption a teacher has to juggle in any given day. And then try to teach on top of it. Some days are good, and some are very, very bad. I hope I have a big "Ah-Ha!" moment someday when I realize, "oh, that's how it's done!"

But I'm spoiled more than I should be and don't have to work the rest of the week. Alan's dad will be here later today, his mom is arriving Friday, and then there's graduation and a Christmas party here at our place Saturday night. It won't be a party the likes of what the Richardsons can throw, but I plan on having a good time. ;-)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Some blah, blah, blah

Not much to report about the weekend - a little Christmas shopping that Alan and I forced Addison and Bailey to be a part of. They weren't overjoyed at first, but sooner or later a tiny smile or two surfaced for split seconds. Alan finished hanging the last of the new blinds in the house, Junior gouged a two-inch cut along my foot, we ate way more fattening foods than necessary, and so it was a normal weekend.

My biggest accomplishment was getting the computer fixed (with a little help from Microsoft after I donated $35 to their cause). I can now view websites the way the internet gods intended!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Now we know

I've heard of lots of explanations from kids about where thunder comes from. God is bowling, God is mad, God is mad at the Devil, etc. But I heard one the other day while teaching science to some first graders that still makes me laugh. When asking their thoughts on what causes thunder and lightning, one little boy said "That's when God is mad at Jesus." Wow, you know you're having a bad day when you're JESUS and you piss God off.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


By the way, the room color turned out nice. The paint chip says "cliff rock," but I think it's better described as my coffee after I add vanilla caramel creamer. I'm off to pull weeds now. My mother-in-law has a beautifully manicured backyard and porch, and she needs to not see my flower beds like this next weekend.

His name is Bear

One of my new favorite shows is Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls. It's a show similar to Survivor Man, which is also a cool show, but Bear is hotter and has a British accent. And sometimes he gets naked.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ghost from the past

Twenty years ago I graduated from high school. Ten years before that I was in second grade and writing lies in my diary about how I had a new boyfriend named Donny. (I'm leaving off the last name in the totally off chance that someone who knows Donny might read this. But I mention that because never do I remember referring to him by his first name only. It just doesn't seem right to be doing so now). Donny was an actual person, was one of the boys all the girls liked, but in NO way was my new boyfriend. I was just such a pitiful loser it seems, that I had to make up boyfriends TO MYSELF in my own diary.

What's weird is that twice in one week recently here in Midland I have seen Donny. And I heard from a good source (you know who you are, wink, wink) that times haven't always been good for Donny. You know those newspaper pages where they print photos of people with the associating crimes listed? It seems he's been on one of those pages. But when I saw him he looked to be a normal-looking working dude and then on the second encounter to be a normal-looking family man.

We all do dumb things, but I hope things have turned around for him. I really shouldn't care, other than the fact that I used to place him on such a high pedestal. He's down here with the rest of us now, where we all belong. And I think these recent spottings are just more proof that it's time for me to get out of Midland.

Off to Home Depot

My plan today is to finally paint our bedroom. Originally I said I wouldn't do anything with our room until we could do it right - buy new furniture, new bedding, window treatments, art, etc. But I just can't wait any longer. It's ugly, drab, and I usually try to pretend it doesn't exist when giving someone a tour of the house. Don't expect before and after pictures though. A little paint won't hide the goodwill furniture.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Temporary Insanity

I think this is my third post to write over the last two days, but only my first to actually post. Each time I'd write one, I'd re-read it and think "god, how depressing." There are times when having only X chromosomes really annoy me. I hate hormonal episodes. So if you're a guy reading this and rolling your eyes right now, piss off. It's a horrible feeling that you'll never understand.

Times like this I just want to walk off the face of the Earth and never return. The only way I know how to handle it is to keep my distance, speak as little as possible to anyone, and nap or look like I'm trying to nap. Joy.

Tomorrow I'll likely be a new person and will laugh that I not only wrote this but was nerdy enough to post it.

Friday, November 24, 2006

My Friday Off

I have so much I could/should be doing today, so I've decided to set minimal goals:
  1. Clean off the friggin' dining table. This has unfortunately become the walk-by drop spot.
  2. Find a spot for the huge roasting pan I bought for the turkey. Who knew this would be such a chore.
  3. Go shopping, at least some, and probably with my younger sister Ashly who's in town.
  4. Ignore the mess in the garage.
  5. Not kill the cat for deciding the Christmas tree is his new jungle gym.

There. They're neither lofty nor overwhelming goals. All I need now is some coffee to get going.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Keep blogging...

Yes, I've been a blogging fiend the last few days but there's a reason. At least four fellow bloggers that I know, including myself, have been either bored with the blogging thing or bored with what they have or don't have to talk about, and so I'm trying to do my part to get back in the blogging spirit. My sister got the ball rolling, so I'm following along. And Melissa has been putting us all to shame.

So fellow bloggers out there - stop thinking you have nothing to write about. I bet you'd be surprised at what entertains your readers.

Alan and I assembled the Christmas tree last night, and I hung lights while he hung more new blinds in the living room. (We've been replacing all the old flimsy mini-blinds with the wide slat wood-looking ones - huge improvement.) Anyway, I think I spoke too soon this morning when I said Junior has played with the tree but hasn't actually been IN the tree from what I could tell. Nope, I'm wrong. A lower branch has already been knocked off and lights are being pulled and probably chewed. Should be a fun few weeks. Grrrrr....

Hoping for zzzzzzzzz's

Why is it that sleepless nights hit you at the most inconvenient times? Like, I don't know...say the night before a busy day? I know the answer is was pretty much a rhetorical question. Or perhaps it's because I can't stop falling asleep before 10:00 (some nights before 9:00!) on the couch every evening. It must be contagious because now Alan is doing it. And to the two people who called during this time, sorry. There is no phone call that can interrupt a nice nap on the couch!

So we woke up at midnight and moved to the bedroom. I haven't been able to sleep since. But there's a James Bond marathon on Spike, so I'll try curling back up on the couch and seeing if I can recapture that sleepy mode. It helps to curl up with Bear - that would be the name I gave this super thick blanket that Alan's dad brought back from Korea. You could easily survive sub-zero temperatures with this blanket.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Much to celebrate!

I'm Done with a capital "D" with student teaching. Today was my last day, so yea for me! It was really a good experience overall, and I honestly could not have had a better mentor teacher. I have some sub jobs lined up for the next 2-3 weeks and a long-term maternity job that I'm likely to have starting in February. Other than that, I think I plan to just substitute instead of taking a mid-year job.

Graduation is December 9th. One of my students wrote me a note that said "congratulations on passing college." It's just hard to believe that I'm really done with all of this. I mail off a paper tomorrow, and that is my last official anything. Although I think I owe the university $47 for something.

Tomorrow Alan and I are going to an early morning turkey-frying and beer-drinking party, but it's hard for me to be in party mode at that time of the morning. Last Saturday as we rode on the chartered bus to the Tech game, I had a beer at 9:30 a.m. That had to be the earliest I've ever drank alcohol. That would be considered a late start to Alan and his college friends, "back in the day." Could y'all still do that at the old age of 30?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Once burned, twice not so shy

Three or four Saturdays ago, this young black kid rang our doorbell at 12:30 a.m. Normally, we're in bed by then but just happened to be up and in the living room watching TV. Alan answers the door, which is the first thing I wouldn't have done. I would have looked through the peephole and either ignored the guy or yelled something through the door. Alan not only opens the door but goes outside to talk to the guy, and listens to a story about how this kid's parents are fighting and they don't have enough money to get back to Odessa. Whatever. But if you know Alan, the Good Samaritan, you know that he couldn't let this kid go without doing something for him. And Alan has the kind of heart that tells him people are generally good and honest whereas I believe the type of people that show up at your door at that time of the night are up to no good, ever.

So Alan TAKES THE GUY IN HIS CAR to find his parents. Alan's not believing everything the kid is telling him, yet he still has to help somehow. I'm left at home flippin' mad and scared thinking this so-called "kid" is pulling out his knife or gun to not only rob Alan but leave him with a scar for all his neighborly behavior. Anyway, Alan finally comes back without the kid and starts feeling kind of stupid for what he did. It didn't help matters that I'm ranting and griping about all the things that could have happened and how I'd been pacing the house wondering what the hell was going on.

So I tell all of this not to make Alan look like a fool, but to get to the really good part where Alan kicks some ass! At least verbally.

About two weeks later, we go out to eat at La Bodega, not too far from our house but not a walking distance either. We go to leave and are getting in our car when this black guy walks up to the front of the car. I'm already inside with the door shut when I realize this and then realize he's approaching Alan. My first thought is, oh dear God, here we go again. Another sob story and someone wanting money. And I'm thinking either Alan's going to give him some or he's not, and this not so small kid is going to get pissed. But then as I'm trying to strain my ears to hear the black guy, I hear Alan loud and clear. He says something along the lines of "Yeah, well you told me this same story on another night at a different location about a week ago, and YOU'RE A LYING DOG." And he didn't say it with a neighborly tone of voice. It was awesome. I was in the car doing that universal sign with the elbows and fists for "YES!"

I don't want Alan to be cynical and suspicious like me, but it was cool to see him put someone in their place.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"Red hot mama, velvet charmer" - who knew?

Since Alan must get his "Bob and Tom" fix, the radio in our bathroom is usually set to the local rock station every morning. So this morning I'm about to get in the shower and on comes Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog." I get all excited and am turning it way up, because this takes me back to when I was 13 and listened to that cassette no less than 100 times at deafening levels. I probably thought I was something else, listening to a song that had the word bitch in it. Today they probably say bitch on the Disney channel, for all I know. Anyway, I'm singing along in the shower when it occurs to me I HARDLY KNOW THE WORDS. How is that possible?

Well for starters, the cassettes or albums rarely came with the lyrics printed inside. And we sure didn't have the internet to look up words to any song ever recorded. So what you would do is play the song over and over with your ear to the speaker trying to write down the lyrics, or if you didn't have the actual cassette you had to have a blank cassette tape ready and waiting in your stereo in case the song came on the radio. If you were really on top of things, you called in your request to the station and sat by the stereo ready to hit the record button.

So I look up the lyrics today and, I wasn't even CLOSE to knowing the words. I had the "son-of-a-bitch" part down though.

And I'm just going to take this opportunity to beat Alan or any other pervert I know to the punch, by saying that yes, I realize I mentioned getting in the shower and being excited in almost the same sentence.

Monday, November 06, 2006

You might be bored after reading this.

I should be posting more. I have time. I'm not writing lesson plans, I've almost finished my portfolio, I've taken and passed all my tests now, and I'm not even really teaching much this week or next. So I basically don't have a lot to do, school-wise. And with Bailey's volleyball season being over until club starts in January and Alan's softball done until the spring, I don't even have games to go to every week. But in case you haven't figured it out already, I'm a fairly boring person.

Weird thing is, that never stopped me from blabbing before. I might be in a slight funk, but I think it's the lack of having fun things to look forward to. We've (meaning Alan and I) been in need of a fun weekend away for a long, long time now. I don't see that happening for a while. I guess I have graduation to look forward to, but that also drives the home the fact that I better get my butt busy in the ole' job search adventure. Glory day! That's always a good time!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Time Change

I don't handle the time change well. It'll take me weeks before I stop falling asleep on the couch before 9:00. Yesterday when I got home from school, I made coffee, thinking I had figured out a way to keep myself awake enough to make it to The Daily Show. And Thursday night is my TV night, so I knew there'd be shows on I'd want to stay awake for. Especially after DeeBee told me there would be a new episode of "A Haunting" at 8:00. So I drink my coffee and go about my evening - taking Bailey to a game, picking up pizza, etc. I watch The Office, which was amusingly awkward as usual, and settle in for my fixation on hauntings. I guess I made it through half the show. 8:30!! I'm out.

I don't wake up again until nearly 9:30 when Addison gets back home. By then my contacts are super dry and I'm fighting to open my eyes so that I can look friendly and approachable when her boyfriend or whatever he is comes to the door. He already thinks I don't like him, so last night's failed attempt at looking pleasant didn't help.

It's not like it's a two-hour time change! But that one hour coupled with the darkness just puts me out. The only plus side is that I'm usually waking up before the alarm goes off at 5:00. I don't see anyone else around me having trouble.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

You can scare me

If you've never watched the series, "A Haunting," on the Discovery channel, I highly recommend it. It's documentary-style episodes of actual hauntings, mostly in people's homes here in the U.S. They're pretty well done, so it feels like you're watching a scary movie instead of some dorky show like the one where the British guy is followed with a night vision camera and freaks out when he "feels" the presence. That show should be watched only for amusement and/or when drinking with others.

If I read the schedule correctly, there are 2 or 3 episodes of "A Haunting" starting around 11:00 a.m. this morning. Hopefully there will be more in the next couple of days and especially on Halloween. Do you remember when we used to have regular scary series on TV, like "Night Gallery" or "The Twilight Zone?" Of course you don't, because you're not friggin old like me. But we need something more along these lines on TV - like M. Night Shamalamalama should create a series. That would be cool.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

You're probably weird, too.

I’m not an Oprah viewer, but I happened to be home the other day when it started and heard it was about OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). I find this interesting because 1) the girls’ stepmother seems to have some OCD tendencies, and 2) because I think a lot of people have at least minor tendencies. I might be one of them. Nothing major, but I do find myself bothered by certain things or adhering to certain "rules." Some are probably OCD related, while others are just weird idiosyncrasies. I bet you do things like this, too:

It’s just not right for certain items in the fridge to be placed next to other items. For instance, milk does not belong near items like pickle jars, the mayonnaise, or steak sauces. I just feel my milk is going to be contaminated in some way if it sits next to those foods.

Pictures on the wall should never, EVER be crooked. Ever. Even in someone else’s house, if you can manage to straighten the picture without them noticing.

I like for miscellaneous items to be perpendicular or parallel to other items. Any other angles are somewhat annoying. I recall this being an issue when I had an office job and the papers on my desk needed to be arranged just so at various times throughout the day. The world was a better place when the edges of the papers were parallel with the edge of the desk.

I have to say that I have come a long, long way in chilling out. I used to be more bothered by mess, disorder, and dirt. I’m way more comfortable with it now, and perhaps some of that is because I’ve discovered there just isn’t enough time to worry about those imperfections anymore. And if you were to open my fridge, you would see little or no indication of OCD mannerisms. Or if you popped over to the house, it wouldn’t be free of clutter on the computer desk, messy dresser drawers, or unorganized closets. The annoyance of these things is always there, always looming over me, but I don’t often take the time to fix them.

I can’t explain to the three people I live with how much more relaxed and laid back I would be if their rooms or bathrooms or general stuff was neatly taken care of. And I think that because they don’t have issues with order like I do, that it becomes too overwhelming for me to try keeping my part as neat as I would like it. My mind tells me that if I worked hard on my stuff and no one else did on theirs, that I would simply lose my mind. So I give myself over to the dark side and try to join them, if only slightly. It doesn't mean they're sloppy or dirty people (okay, two of them definitely are sometimes), but just that they're different from me.

And now for a sudden subject change, I'm going to attempt to get some Halloween-appropriate pictures of Junior this week. You'll see what I mean when and if I capture the evilness within.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A little improvement would be nice

I guess a scary surgery on a pretty important part of the body wasn't bad enough. On top of that, Addison's been super sick for two weeks with an ear infection and soar throat. She went back to the doctor today, since a week's worth of antibiotics hasn't helped, and was told the white bumps on her throat were so bad that the culture is being sent to the hospital for analysis. She was also given a "big shot" that the nurse was not fond of giving to people. They won't know anything for 2-3 days and therefore can't change treatment until they know something. It's not helping her grades any either.

She'll get better, but it still sucks. She's also highly contagious and now Bailey's complaining of a sore throat. Bring on those freezing cold temps.

Friday, October 20, 2006

"It had two bulbous lumps like Mickey Mouse ears."

Odd that it would be breast-cancer awareness month and Addison had surgery this morning to have a breast lump removed. But before you go getting worried, three doctors have said they suspect it to be absolutely benign. And after the surgeon removed it and saw it with his own eyes today, he still suspects it to be benign. All three say it would be extremely rare for a sixteen year-old to have anything but a benign mass. The only reason it had to come out, says one doctor, is if it was bothering her and/or she was uncomfortable with the fact that IT would be there. He was willing to watch it for a few months, but we opted to get it out. It wasn't small, it would never go away, and she would notice it probably every day.

We'll know the results on or around Tuesday, but I feel certain she's fine. Funny how she found it though - she and a few friends, including one guy, were having lunch at Whataburger when one of the girls joked about how their diet cokes caused cancer. So a conversation started about breast cancer and Addison starts checking her boobs right there in Whataburger. Much to her surprise, she actually felt one - a LARGE one. Her friends didn't believe her. A few days later when she was back at our house, she had me check it. Yep, there was something there that shouldn't have been.

A fibroadenoma they call it. A harmless but nasty foreign creature.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Still around

I'm way overdue for a posting, but from the looks of some of my fellow bloggers' sites, I'm not alone. Just busy with school and lessons and stuff around the house. So instead of trying to come up with an interesting thought tonight, I'll just wait until I really have something to talk about and will instead go put my headache to bed. I have a three-day weekend ahead, so I'm sure to be in a chatty mood then...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dynamic Duo

I love when these guys get together.

Several weeks ago I took it upon myself to destroy the appearance of the back porch. I'm fun like that. We have a semi-enclosed porch, and the previous owner had installed a bamboo wainscoting along the bottom of the walls with a bright turqoise paint above it. I hated both. I decided to rip off the bamboo because I knew there was panelling behind it, and I figured some sanding and painting of the panelling and upper part of the walls would be a huge improvement to the porch. What I discovered was that the previous owner was hiding moldy, rotting panelling behind the bamboo. So for the past several weeks I've been looking at those nasty, moldy walls.

Yesterday, Alan and Leigh tore off the rotted panelling, installed a plastic barrier, and then put up new panelling (wainscoting of a sort). They did an awesome job. Now it's off to the hardware store for new paint, and we'll have a porch that we can look forward to sitting out on again.

Just need the mosquitos to die off...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Cool planes

We had fun with Alan's dad at the air show today. It was like having our own private guru and commen-tator for the show.

The P-51 Mustang and the F-15 fighter. Click on it for a better look.

Alan's favorite, the Corsair.

The F-117 Stealth Fighter. This plane had to fly in from elsewhere and wouldn't land, since it still has a sensitive status and the common public is not allowed to see it that up close. At least we saw it close by in the air. Very cool. Click on it.

Monk E-mail

Thanks to Denise, I can't stop playing with this this morning. I have to do the junior high thing and see what all I can get the monkey to say. You have to try it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

No time to write, but here are some photos

Busy week. Here are some quick photos to share. Addison turned 16 yesterday! Check out the triple-layer cake I made.

Her very first car.

What Junior does to mail and other items left out for his amusement.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Miles to go

Had I had my normal voice today, the words I said to a certain third grade boy would have been yelled. At least I think they would have. I don't like admitting that. I haven't yelled at any of the students yet. Thankfully, my voice was only halfway working today so it didn't come out that loud. But I was irritated enough and loud enough that I heard some other students' muffled reactions like, "whoa!" and "man!" Guess they saw Mrs. Schaeffer really pissed off today. Sucks to be them, because my training on discipline and classroom management doesn't come until after I'm hired by the district and have started teaching.

I also had to send a note home about behavior problems to a boy's mom today. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but it's not a great feeling when you know there may be consequences at home that are beyond your control.

On another subject, we had swordfish for dinner tonight. Okay, here's some advice if you don't already know, because we sure didn't. Swordfish is around $18 per pound. Tilapia can be found for about a buck a filet. Fish is fish is fish in my book. I'll take Tilapia and spend the other $17 on important foods like Bit-O-Honey, bean dip, and Frosted Flakes.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I'm curious what drugs other people rely on for general body aches, sore throat and ears, that does not make you drowsy during the day. Nyquil is my nighttime remedy, but I need something to get through tomorrow.


Am sick. Maybe the dozen times a day I wash my hands, in addition to the 3-4 times I use that hand sanitizer is not working. Anyway, off to school to spread more germs.

Monday, September 25, 2006

30-year old memories

I'm teaching third grade right now, and there are moments when it takes me back to my own third grade experience. For whatever reason, I have a vivid memory of being the fastest find-a-word puzzle solver. Mrs. Samuels encouraged us to do them as fast as we could, and I won A LOT. And I liked being the fastest. So much so that when someone else beat me, I recall being a bit miffed. How dare someone circle words faster than me.

I also remember being obsessed with the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series of books. I'm sure I read every one our library had on hand. There was just something about the transformations those bratty kids would go through in her books that fascinated me. Reading was a big deal to me in third grade - mostly because I think that's the grade when kids start reading chapter books and realizing they can get lost in a story. I want to say I read "The Diary of Anne Frank" that year, but that seems a little young. But I'm pretty sure I read "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," and was so into it that I remember taking it to the lake over the weekend and staying in the camper reading.

And then there were those lunch tickets. Today it's all electronic, but back then we were given certain color tickets according to how much our parents paid in advance. My mother usually bought us monthly tickets, the blue ones, and not many kids had those. Most had the smaller pink ones that were just a week's worth of lunches. But those blue ones - your parents had to write an $11 check out for those. That was BIG TIME money. And I had the responsibility of safely getting it from my pocket to the office without losing it. The cafeteria lady would hole punch the ticket each day, and the ticket would eventually become wrinkled and torn and who knows how it stayed in one piece until the end of the month. If we didn't have a lunch ticket, we'd take our 55 cents to school in one of those weird rubbery money holders. They were shaped like a little deflated football with a slit down the middle. You squeezed the sides to make it open so you could get your money in and out.

And now I'm so old that I've substituted at that same school, Rusk Elementary. I could actually be an employed teacher there in the near future, who knows. What a 360 that would be.

It's not okay until Junior's checked it out

It would have been funnier had Blogger allowed me to post this with the other pictures. But here it is anyway:

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Authorial switch.

Call it a case of a pinch-writer charging the mound. ;]

I typically try to avoid burdening my wife's blog with my run-on style, but it has been an all around good day and it couldn't be avoided any longer. It has been a phenomenal day here. It was one of those days where you can't even put your finger on what made life good, you just know that everything 'fit'. The high here today was in the 60's and that gave the air a wonderfully crisp fall feel, with little or no breeze and plenty of sunshine and the occasional high cloud. Both girls were home and in pretty good moods and the cat was typically mischievious which made him entertaining. The promise of fall in the air and the thought of mowing my yard without being absolutely pummeled by the heat, humidity, and my allergies absolutely sent me soaring. As an aside, may God, in his or her infinite wisdom, shower the creators of Claritin with blessings - as I would have had to shoot someone during the last 3 weeks under the hail of body blows my immune system has delivered without that fabulous drug.

Tanya and I make a good couple for a number of reasons, but our mutual love of food is very near the top of that list. When Tanya and I got around to starting dinner tonight we agreed that we would try a recipe from the food network. I can't remember the name of the show but I can tell you that Giada De Laurentiis is so good that I could watch her show on mute or without the picture and either way I would be in heaven. What did we try? Bruschetta with gorgonzola cheese drizzled in honey. Actually, we modified it to suit us, but it was a fantastically light and tasty meal. First we picked up a flute of jalapeno sourdough bread from the day old bread rack (yes, I remain a skinflint). We followed that up with two gorgeous tomatoes, the gorgonzola, and two kinds of lettuce. The menu for this evening was the bruschetta, salad, sliced tomato with salt and pepper, sliced bell pepper, and Robert Mondavi's Private Selection Johannisburg Riesling (2004).

Perhaps capturing the essence of what made today so spectacular is beyond my ability to express but let me leave you with the fact that the air was just electric. Not 4th quarter game winning drive electric, more like drag out the hammock and thank God for putting you here-and-now electric. I recently heard a radio talk show host that I respect explain to a listener the difference between want and need. He patiently told the listener that merely by the fact of living in North America that the listener really didn't NEED anything because they wanted neither for food nor shelter nor clothing nor transport nor employment. Religous discussion holds little interest for me these days, but today I'm thankful to my creator for all the things that have made me who I am so that I could 'suck the marrow' of today.

Fat Cat

Look at me using a new font. There's an adven-turous side to me after all. Just thought I'd share some escapades of Junior, our very portly cat. We don't let him outside often enough, so he attempts to get out at any opportunity. Seems he misjudged the size of the window opening relative to his fat ass, so he was briefly trapped. For the record, we put the automatic feeder away a couple months ago. He's been on a diet of 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of food a day.

And then later he helped Alan with some laundry. But for some reason, Blogger won't let me add that picture.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

1st Homecoming

This is what homecoming should be like. Going with someone you really know, someone who is special to you. Not with someone you barely know but will go with anyway because that way you'll get to say you have a date to homecoming, will be seen at homecoming, and will get the must-have mum. I hope they had a great time.

And by the way, if you're as clueless as me and are thinking these mums are a little over the top, they're not. Addison says that hers was smaller than a lot of them with double and triple mums and with a lot more accessories sticking out of the sides and tops of the flowers.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Where did September go?

Such a long week - you'd think I'd have something to talk about. But mostly all I wanted to do every evening was come home, make sure dinner happened, see that some cleaning took place here and there, and attempt to be asleep on the couch before 10:00. I succeeded most nights, but those don't really sound like lofty goals. That whole falling asleep on the couch thing leads to some of the best, deepest sleep there is.

I was observed Tuesday and it went much better this time. I got better scores and received no tally marks of my negative comments. She wanted a show, and I obliged. Whatever....four more of those to go.

I feel completely out of touch with some people right now. I am way overdue with phone calls to at least three people. One of our friends had their first baby (here in town) over three weeks ago and I have yet to call them since they came home from the hospital. Sadly, what was top of my list this week was to tune in for Thursday night TV with no interruptions. I put the premier of The Office above friends, lesson plans, and laundry. What's worse, is I don't even feel bad about that.

Tomorrow will be filled with back and forth trips to Odessa to catch Bailey's games in a volleyball tournament. She's being moved to a starting position, taking the place of a girl who broke her ankle during practice this week. And tomorrow is homecoming, so I'll be driving back to make sure Addison and Ian have rides, pictures have been taken, etc., etc. The weather's supposed to be really nice, which is great since the retards who schedule these events decided to have the homecoming game at 2:00 in the afternoon. Who does that??

Anyway, that's my week without really telling much about my week at all. My next post will be Post #100, so I'm feeling the pressure to share something important. Don't hold your breath.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

That Sunday Night Feeling

Earlier I was talking to Alan's mom on the phone and she mentioned something about going to work tomorrow. As soon as the words "going to work" popped up, I had that tinge of dread that you get sometimes when you realize your weekend is gone and tomorrow it's back to the grind. I hadn't felt that yet on a Sunday night with the whole teaching thing, and it depressed me for about 10 minutes that here it was already. Don't you hate that? Let's say you feel it at around 6:00 p.m. You still have a good 4-5 hours of your weekend left, but now you get to spend it dreading the next day.

I don't dread going there, so I can't figure it out. Maybe it's that each week I have to add more to my plate or maybe it's that Tuesday I'll be observed and evaluated again. Consciously I feel fine about all of that, so why does that impending doom hang around?

So then I started thinking about how bad Sunday evenings used to be when Alan had to head back to Levelland every weekend. Funny how perspective can make your current situation seem so much simpler and brighter. I'm not sleeping alone this Sunday night, and I kind of like it this way.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday night lights?

I'm going to bypass giving an update on the psycho mom issue, since she's so friggin out of her mind that legalities may enter the picture some day and record of a blog posting could be bad. It's hopefully improbable, but still possible with The Monstrosity. However, my mentor teacher practically insisted that I program her cop husband's cell phone number into my phone.

Totally aside from that, today I found myself daydreaming of coming home and persuading Alan to take a spur of the moment weekend trip. Midland's really boring me lately, but I think it's best to wait a couple more weeks until we can celebrate our anniversary and hopefully have slightly cooler temperatures. We'll likely go to Ft. Worth, fatten up at La Madeleine and Papadeaux's, and I'll get to satisfy my art nerd desires at a museum.

This week I got to add Science and Reading to my teaching responsibilities, but I have to say that the highlight of each day has been the 10-15 minutes after recess of reading Charlotte's Web to the class. I was never a big fan of the movie, but the book is hilarious. Who knew.

Alright, so I'm sure this is no indication of how the rest of this weekend is going to play out, but Alan's asleep on the couch right now after being off all day and has been sleeping for 2 1/2 hours. I'm giddy with excitement.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

More fun in third grade

"I understand that being a newbie, you have not learned how to pick your battles...."

This was the beginning of a degrading, handwritten, full-page note from a parent that I received first thing this morning. The parent's son handed it to me, and in retrospect I now recall that the boy seemed oh-so-happy to deliver. The letter is basically a mom ranting about something I make the boy do, that the mom has a major problem with. I wasn't threatened in the letter, but the tone was disrespectful enough that the principal wants to personally handle the matter and will be calling the boy's mom today. The mom is also not to set foot near myself or my mentor teacher without the principal or assistant principal present, per the administration. Indefinitely. And by the way, "The Mom" (a name she refers to herself as) is no less than 6'2 and 350+ lbs.

So what was the unreasonable thing I made the boy do? Dry his hands with a paper towel. Grow up and learn a life skill.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Glory day!

I'm not making this up. A minute ago I tried logging in to Blogger, and got this error message:

Blogger Problem:

This server is currently experiencing a problem. An engineer has been notified and will investigate.

I know I feel much better.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Die already!

I might as well blog away this weekend (if Blogger will stop acting up), since I probably won't have much time this week. We did go see "Little Miss Sunshine" last night, and it was very good. There weren't many people in the theater, but there was a lot of laughing out loud. Really loud, especially if you happened to be sitting next to Alan. :-)

I am way ready for Fall. I lost all interest in trying to keep a tan a good month ago and am so disgusted with the flowerbeds that I don't even want to look out the back windows. Bring on the cooler temperatures and let everything die! Alan has kept the lawn looking nice, but the flowerbeds (my responsibility) are embarrassing. I guess I have no shame though, because I'm posting a picture of how bad it really is. I just want to dig everything out down to the roots so that hopefully these perennial viney things will go away. And the weeds - geez! I need to figure out a solution that does not involve my going out there every other day and pulling weeds, because I'm just not going to do that. I have bon-bons to eat and reality shows to watch.

On the brighter side:

Alan is feeling better.
I cooked two whole meals this week.
Bailey is playing volleyball again.
I got to play Bunko Tuesday.
The highest temp this week was around 85.
We're going to see "Little Miss Sunshine" tonight.
I've now written 15 out of 20 lesson plans today.
I still like teaching.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I'm being watched...

I haven't posted much this week because 1) I've been tired and 2) my mind is elsewhere. Wednesday I had my first observation, which didn't leave me feeling very positive. Apparently, according to the hatch marks that my supervisor made ON the official evaluation form, I used nearly 50% more negative comments than positive reinforcement. My mentor teacher was appalled and totally disagreed with the evaluation, but I just felt bad that I came across so negatively. It's the kids that these so-called negative comments are directed towards. And just because someone criticized me and I didn't like how it felt, doesn't mean I shouldn't take some of that person's comments to heart. Anyway, I'm not a teacher yet, haven't really been trained how to teach in my schooling, and am therefore just learning.

However, one person's idea of negative is subjective. For instance, if I discovered that a student had been goofing off and not working along with us on his/her paper during the lesson and then brought that up to the student, that marked me as negative. I was told I needed to use a lot more non-verbal communication to get my message across. So instead I guess I'm supposed to walk over to the student and just point at his paper. And by the way, I'm supposed to utilize all these techniques I've never been taught while someone is staring at me and grading my every move. Yikes.

Other than that, it wasn't all bad. But I was told I needed to put on a "dog and pony" show anytime I am being observed. I purposely did not do that, because isn't that sort of fake? Oh well, I guess it's all about the show and not about the kids.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Where is that parenting manual?!!!

Here's the deal. When one of your kids is grounded, you're grounded. Everyone's heard that before, but it's really true. Especially if you've grounded them from things like the phone and computer. You feel you can't leave the house (meaning, leave the child unattended) unless absolutely necessary. Because everytime you leave, there's always the chance that they'll sneak those little privileges back. And if you catch them, then hooray! More fun confrontations ahead!!

So worse than being stuck at the house is the tension that hovers around. You can't fully enjoy yourself when one of your kids is unhappy, whether they deserve it or not. No doubt, this kid deserves it, but it still sucks.

I've decided to get tougher. I guess too often in the past I've been a softie. Which sounds so strange coming out of my mouth, because I feel like a bear a lot of the time. So I'm getting on board with her dad and stepmom and Alan, and this little bundle of joy is severely grounded for a long time. Will it work and convince her to change? No. Absolutely not. I stopped being naive about that a long, long time ago. But we still have to do it. She messed up big.

And today I know without a doubt that there will be at least a couple of third graders who will disrespect me, at least once. I just tell myself that they might have parents at home who haven't lost hope in their kids either.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

When you're bored, you're boring.


Surely I have something to talk about. Because if I don't, that means the only thing left to do right now since Alan is sick and we're just hanging around the lesson plans.

I thought grocery shopping was the most dreaded chore, but lesson plans might be worse.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Friday = Tests all day = No teaching = No lesson plans!

Maybe the planets were all out of alignment yesterday or Pluto was still brooding about its planetary status being taken away, but things were much better today. I'm still wanting to rumble with a couple of kids, but I'm trying to keep my temper in check. These little darlings are someone's kids after all.

And if you're thinking to yourself, "Dear God, is she going to talk about teaching every day?" Then I can tell you, OF COURSE I'm going to! It's going to dominate my world for the next 12 weeks.

I was supposed to be observed yesterday (for a grade!), but my supervisor got sick. That means next Wednesday she'll try again. I hope I don't get nervous, because my voice will start doing that really odd thing it does. I've been nervous for presentations before, but can usually mask it unless my voice gets weird or I get that freakish red blotchy attack on my chest and neck. I've purposely in the past worn a shirt that conceals as much of my skin up there as possible, but there's nothing you can do about that voice. If only I could have a drink beforehand...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A learning experience

Holy Cow. This may go down in my student teaching journal (if I really had one) as the day the shit hit the fan. I was having way too many behavior problems in class this afternoon, during a time I wasn't supposed to be teaching anyway. So not only was the lesson thrown at me (which I don't mind) but the kids thought that when the regular teacher left the room, it was time to go crazy. Let's just say the class and I had to have a little pow-wow. And twice today I had to take someone out in the hall for a "discussion." Fine, go tell your mama. I documented everything and will be MORE than happy to speak with her.

On top of that, they were really having some difficulty with the grammar lesson from yesterday and today. My mentor teacher assures me I am teaching it well and am actually being more thorough than she would be. Did I mention she's awesome? But they just aren't getting it. That bothers me more than the discipline problems, but I know it's too soon to expect wonders from average to below-average students. I know they can grasp this, so I'm still determined to get this concept through to them. Tomorrow is a new day.

Another tidbit I have been told is that white teachers are often accused of being racist. I can honestly say, although it sounds very trite, that I don't feel I am seeing the color of anyone's skin. There's a little white boy who gets in trouble as much as a certain little black boy and a certain little hispanic boy. BUT, I am warned, this doesn't matter. You will be accused at some point so just get ready for it and document, document, document.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I Married an Engineer

There's this little boy (a special needs child) that joins our 3rd grade class for brief periods during the day - P.E., lunch, and recess. He has this little quirk where he sometimes gets the urge to charge people like a bull. To help avoid this problem, he's required to wear a weighted vest. The thinking is that the weight of the vest will slow him down, and I guess give other students AND teachers the chance to move out of the way when they see him coming. So I explained this to Alan whose first question was, "yeah, but won't the extra weight make the impact hurt more?"

He then brings this up at work to a few other engineers and says that every engineer responds the same way. "Doesn't that make him hit harder?" "The weight will increase the force of the impact." "But force = mass x acceleration...." And so on.

By the way, I've yet to see this boy charge, but he does have a strange look in his eyes.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Hooray for Mondays!

I talk about a lot of things, but I normally don't divulge sensitive or personal information that would make someone in my family look bad. I love my daughters, and if one of them is not at her best, I don't want you to know about it. At least not by means of this silly blog.

Having said that, I will divulge that upon dropping them off at their dad's today at 5:00 p.m. and coming back home, Alan arrived from the store a little later with no kidding: 4 bottles of wine and 4 six packs of alkeehol. And one of the bottles of wine says "RELAX" in huge letters along the side.

THAT should tell you how the last 48 hours of my weekend have gone.

Yeah, boo-hoo. But if you haven't experienced it, then shut it. If you ever do experience it, then call me. I vow to sit on the other end of the phone and tell you how wonderful a parent you are, how you don't deserve what was said to you, and how one day (as I'm often told), things will change.

Right now Alan is grilling a big fat juicy steak, and slicing fresh peaches and French bread and cheese. It was not a fun weekend, but we're going to start the new week off fresh and rested!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Migraines suck

I think DeeBee once had a posting with that title. But they really friggin suck. How many Advils does it take to wipe out a migraine? Apparently not enough. Doctors say that three Advils are equivalent to prescription strength. It's not working. And so I'm not out at Alan's charity softball game right now, because I figured the heat would just make it worse. I still worked in the yard some this morning though, did laundry, ran a couple errands, all the while thinking it's going to sneak away if I just keep busy. Why is it that when you're sick or incapacitated in some way, you think of a million things you WOULD be doing if only you felt like it. But when you feel perfectly fine, you don't want to do a damn thing.

And here's the dumbest part of my migraine. I know what will make it go away. And I was at the grocery store a little while ago IN THE PHARMACY area where I could have picked up some Excedrin, come home and popped just a wee bit more than the recommended dosage. Needless to say, I think I'm heading to the store again.

By the way, this is posting numero three today. And if I weren't already sad enough by posting three times for those 2 or 3 people who might glance at my blog sometime in the course of week, I've also caught myself checking out my total number of postings. I'm like "hey, I'm coming up on posting No. 100 soon!" As if it is a milestone I must celebrate. And I will.

What I learned my first week of school

  • In schools, just like in any other work place, women talk about each other.
  • What do teachers talk about most when the students aren't around? The students.
  • If you're a parent, never use the "my child gets in trouble because he's bored" excuse.
  • There's a rule for everything.
  • Third graders still pee their pants.
  • Male coaches are huge assets.
  • Teachers rock.
  • I have a LOT to learn.

Food rules my world

Many times after watching some chef on Food Network make something that looks both yummy and doable, I'll run over to the computer and download the recipe. And yes, I do usually go to the store for the ingredients and try it out. Usually everything turns out pretty good and I might even make it a second time. This last one I tried, will be a definite regular in this home. Fried Ravioli I didn't take this picture, but it looked similar.

It's supposed to be an appetizer, but can be an entree by just serving the sauce over the ravioli. Big hit around here.

Modifications if you're cheap like me: No way am I using that much olive oil for frying - it's just way too expensive. So I used part vegetable oil, part olive oil. And I forgot the buttermilk and just used regular milk. Worked fine, but I'd recommend adding an egg if you go that route.

Really work the ravioli into the breadcrumbs and do use the Italian style.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

On my way

Wow, I haven't blogged in a week. I really had nothing to say the end of last week, and this week has been busy. Started student teaching on Monday. So far it is going really well, but I'm TIRED. A full 8-hour day followed by an after school staff meeting today. Teachers just don't get breaks. Conference periods are full of work, and the 30-minute lunch is laughable. Plus, for me, having lunch with other people every day in a small room with no windows is not a break. I like my time alone, and I'm just not going to get it for at least 8 straight hours on this job.

I do like my mentor teacher however, and the students are great. Next week I start teaching a couple subjects and will then build from there. If this is any indication on how beat I was today, I actually ASKED Addison to drive home. Who am I?

More later. And by the way, I wrote this Wednesday but my blog thinks it's Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's still raining

Some days you think you want to disown your teenagers, and then someone hurts them or you think something bad has happened to them and you realize -- nope, still love them beyond words.

Take this past family vacation when we went to the beach. There were two incidents in which I thought something really bad might have happened to the girls. Those incidents lasted mere seconds to one minute tops, but everything stood still for that brief time. The first time happened at dinner. The four of us were sitting in a restaurant one night, and the girls decided to go get something out of the car. It seemed to be taking them a long time to come back to the table, so Alan went to check on them. Then it seemed forever before he came back in the restaurant, but when I saw him come back in, I saw the panic on his face. We both ran back outside calling their names, scanning the parking lot, and then it registered that maybe they went to the bathroom before coming back to the table. (Girls and bathrooms...geez.) And yes, that's where they were. It took a little while before mine and Alan's heartbeats settled back down.

And then there was the next day at the beach. Bailey and Alan had ventured out to this sandbar or whatever you call those. It was a good distance from the beach, or at least it felt that way when you were making your way out there. The waves you encounter the whole way are HUGE, but that's part of the fun. Anyway, Addison took off to join them while I was wading around near the shoreline. She had made it about half-way when I had glanced away for what seemed like five seconds. And when I looked back, I couldn't see her. Anywhere. I kept looking and waiting for her head to pop up any second after a big wave, but I just couldn't find her. I started yelling her name, started running out to the water and then stopped once more to look around. Somehow, which still baffles me to this day, she had veered WAY left. I can't imagine how she got that far that fast. We laugh about it today and remark about her super-human ability to trek sideways in rough water. But I'll never forget that feeling.

And now Addison has a broken heart, and there's nothing I can do about it but listen and let her work through it in her own way. She's tough though - she'll bounce back. Maybe she'll see some hot seniors today that'll take her mind off things. :-)