Sunday, April 29, 2007

Less junk in our trunks

It wasn't the most profitable garage sale, but it served its purpose - which was to unload stuff we don't need. We now have emptier closets and the backbreaking bed is gone. And our rule is that whatever doesn't sell cannot come back in the house - it all has to be loaded up and taken to the Salvation Army. Why we don't just do that in the first place speaks a lot about us - we like CASH!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Time to sell more crap

Around a year ago I posted a blog about a garage sale we had. We're having another one tomorrow and have pulled this one together all in one day. I really didn't know we were having one until around lunch time today when Alan told me he'd called in the ad to the newspaper. How can we have that much more junk in one year?

We're hoping to use the proceeds (along with the mega bucks I made subbing the last two weeks) to fix up the guest house, plumbing and all. I can't wait to see what people will actually pay money for tomorrow.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The job has low moments

I just don't have a single thing to talk about of any interest. Really - not a single thing. Go to work, blah, blah, blah. Come home, blah, blah, blah.

I'm winding up a 1st grade assignment which will finish on Monday, just in time for my interview on Tuesday. God help me - I suck at interviews. I can feel my I.Q. dropping when people ask me questions and expect me to answer intelligently. Wish me luck.

I was telling Alan about one of the little boys in class whose dad has been in jail for beating his mom (but who's home now because the mom continues to bail him out), and how this little boy is very sensitive to reprimanding because he's apparently been taught that making mistakes means you get beat for it. I've seen it when I've had to give him five minutes or whatever for breaking a class rule - he gets so upset and tries so hard not to cry but he just can't help himself. Anyway, Alan commented on how he just couldn't be exposed to these sad stories day in and day out and not be overwhelmed by it. It got me to thinking about how callous you sort of become as a teacher. There are moments when you can show some sensitivity, but for the most part you have to put it all aside and treat them just as normally as you do everyone else.

This week I had asked the students to go home and quiz their parents about their jobs. Today I asked one little boy to share what he learned, so he tells me his mom works at Victoria's Secret. I then asked what his dad does and he says, "My dad died." This little boy will be retained next year, his mom apparently doesn't give a flying you-know-what about his schooling since she's only brought him about 7 days in the last 4 weeks, and he has no dad. He also didn't get any sleep one night this week, because his mom was out with "her friend" and some other friends of hers were babysitting him and he couldn't sleep from all the noise. He's 6, maybe 7 years old.

So I watch these very moms of the boys above come to pick up their sons today after school, and both of them have pissed off looks on their faces. No smile, so arms outstretched ready to give their boys a hug, no "how was your day"....just scowls. With support like that, these boys don't have a fighting chance.

Alright, I'm rambling. Guess I had more on my mind than I thought.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Our possessed cat

He looks innocent enough, until you're laying on the couch and he suddenly jumps on your face and bites you HARD 1/8 of an inch from your eye. It's because of these incidents that I relentlessly harass him with the "pointing finger" soon.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wicked Weather

Did anyone hear about the tornadoes in the DFW area over the weekend? We were right there - as in RIGHT THERE. It's as close to being in or around a tornado as I've ever been. And since I have this strange, perverse desire to be in a tornado, it was way cool.

A few of the girls and parents went to the mall in Richardson during a rare break from the tournament. While shopping we hear there's a tornado warning for Richardson and that we really shouldn't consider leaving the mall anytime soon. So we're standing on the lower level, meaning the underground level, outside of Macy's and at the base of some escalators when we hear a loud crash, glass breaking, and then a gust of wind hits us in the LOWER LEVEL. The lights flickered off and the escalators shut down. I was standing under this large atrium tree when the wind swooped down and blew leaves off the tree in my face. At that point, all of us standing around immediately fled to a nearby Foot Locker. It was so funny. The looks on our faces had to be hilarious.

Afterwards when we were brave enough to venture back up to the upper level, we got the scoop from some Macy's employees. The entrance doors to their lingerie department violently blew open, and panties were sucked out of the doors and bras were swinging wildly on the racks! Their actual words - "there were wet panties everywhere." Hmmm. That wind, or maybe the effects of a funnel cloud above the mall (I'm guessing here), was strong enough to blow all the way through the store out to the Macy's mall entrance, down to the lower level where we stood. There might also have been a draft caused by the actual mall entrance doors opening as well around the same time. Cool, huh?

Bailey in action

We really enjoy these tournaments and didn't want to see it come to an end since this was our last one, so the parents are now considering the Regionals in El Paso. Hopefully it's not too late for us to get in!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Lone Star Classic

We had a great time in Dallas. This tournament was the biggest, craziest thing I've seen.

Try to imagine two huge (I'm talking cavernous) areas inside the Dallas Convention Center with 60 volleyball courts, 4 teams at each court. 60 courts! It was loud, spectators sat right along the sidelines of the courts, Starbucks and Maui Wowi stands in the corners, guys from Medieval Times walking around in their knightly duds, and volleyballs flying all over the place. And of course there were hundreds of screaming 13-14 year old girls.

It reminded me of scenes from "Bring it On" where there's organized chaos all around, and you walk by teams that you beat or that beat you badly at a previous tourney and you maybe exchange those looks. The picture doesn't capture the enormity of it all, but maybe you get the idea. More pictures and maybe videos to follow.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Abrupt changes in subject

I did take care of a couple things this week, employment-related. I updated my resume again, scheduled my screening interview with the district office, and called the principal at the school I've been working at to get a feel for openings. She COULD NOT have been less interested in me. There are third grade teachers there campaigning to get me hired on with them, and she sounded like she was talking to some random candidate whom she's never met and certainly not someone she's seen in the hallway everyday for the past semester and a half. It was so bad it was funny.

We're off to the Big D this weekend for Bailey's last volleyball tourney. Should be tiring but fun. She just got braces yesterday and is in a world of discomfort, but hopefully she'll still have a good time this weekend. We're playing at the Dallas Convention Center in a tourney with 143 other teams. That's only our division - there are three others. How cool is that going to be?!

I finally figured out how to get my profile pictures smaller. The new one is Junior being camera shy and trying to get me away from his face by giving me kisses. He does have an occasional sweet side. It's usually when he's sleepy or wants a treat, but we take what we can get. We're his bitches.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The next step

It's time I guess. Gotta get a real job. Yesterday I finished the long-term job, and I'd like to bum out and do nothing today. But really, it's time to get serious. First things first though - I need to find out when my big honkin' sub check is going to arrive so that we can promptly write out a check for a new furnace. These things happen when you buy a 40-year old house. More bids coming today, but it's not going to be cheap.

The good news is that all my plants appear to have survived that wicked winter storm last weekend. And's gonna look something like this:

Life is good again.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

See no evil

Go ahead, click. He's that cute.

This is why I don't camp when it's cold.

Well thank God for space heaters. We have the really nice oscillating one in the living room, the scary and obnoxious one in the kitchen, and a tiny one in Bailey's bedroom. The scary one can only be turned on for short intervals since its wiring is so antiquated that it actually flipped a breaker yesterday. And when you touch the cord to unplug it, the cord is quite hot. That's why it's in the kitchen, where it's okay to have occasional fires. The tiny one in Bailey's bedroom only seems to help if you're sitting two feet away, so she opted to sleep in the living room under mounds of blankets.

The house has been very cold but livable I guess this weekend, which is good since the HVAC folks (who are the ones who pretended to repair our unit three weeks ago when the A/C wouldn't work) haven't called us back. All weekend. I think I would be more upset about the whole thing if it were the middle of winter, but since we're expected to be back up into the 80s on Tuesday, I'm biding my time.

One way we bided our time yesterday was getting out to see "Blades of Glory." Very funny, but probably not going to be my favorite Will Ferrell movie so far. It's easier to pick favorite scenes from all of his movies. Like the entire scene from "Old School" where he gets drunk, goes out on stage naked, and then streaks through town. Maybe my favorite Will Ferrell scene ever.

I just checked the thermostat which has slowly but steadily been dropping all weekend, and we're now down to 61 INSIDE THE HOUSE. Come on Tuesday.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I Give

Because really what else am I going to do?

Grin and Bear It

I had to cover my flower beds and window box yesterday with sheets and plastic covers. And our heater is not working. Do these two statements sound reasonable for April? NO! (said in my most evil Amityville Horror voice.) Currently, it's 28 degrees with rain and sleet falling.

By the way, let's recap the past five weeks: broken car, air conditioner, fridge, and now heater. Mother F***er! I don't mind a few things breaking now and then, but how about something small like the toaster or a hair dryer?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

It's a Full Life

Tomorrow is a school holiday, and I'm so excited about having a Friday off! The priorities of the day include: tanning, watching the last two episodes of The Hills (unless I watch them here in a bit since I'm up so early), and watching my cooking shows!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Insomnia makes for gloomy posts

Yes I do still have another daughter, although the lack of mention of her in my blog makes it seem like I've disowned her. I absolutely haven't, but since I'm not actively involved in her life right now means blogging about her would just seem forced. I keep tabs on her, I help her out when needed, and we talk occasionally but briefly, both in person and on the phone. Hopefully now that some time has passed, we can do this more often.

It's not as if I haven't written several blogs about her, I just never published them. Those were typically low moments when I was struggling with this whole separation issue. There's been a range of emotions - anger, disappointment, frustration, guilt, hurt, you name it. But mostly sadness. And those unpublished posts were ways to get my thoughts out somewhere, even if it meant leaving them suspended in cyberspace.

There are still low moments, but more and more I'm coming to realize that that's just part of raising teenagers. Some parents get to enjoy this time of life with their kids, others don't. Big whoopie. Don't need pity, but don't need to be judged either. Walk a mile and we'll talk.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I usually don't like Sundays

It's 77 degrees, sunny, clear, and the groceries have been put away. All that's left to do is write a lesson, clean a bathroom, and go chill on my back porch. But fear not - I have a strawberry margarita wine cooler to get me through this very tough day.

First Day of April....Aaaaahh.

Finally this morning I can see some light. Between grades being due, the refrigerator going out, and the volleyball tournament (for which I reluctantly volunteered to help out at), it's nice to know I have a full day today to catch up.

Submitting those FINAL grades was a weird experience. There is some finagling that goes on, more than I realized, but always to the student's benefit. Some kids will have happy parents and some....who knows what will happen. I wasn't about to tinker with grades to the point that a kid gets a grade undeserved. So will they be grounded, spanked, ignored, or will pissed off parents be at my classroom door the day after report cards arrive? Guess I better be prepared.

We have a new refrigerator, and the kitchen is a happy place again. Today we get to make a monster-size grocery run to fill it back up. It might be the one day I enjoy grocery shopping.

It was a long day yesterday at the tourney, but still a good one. I griped way more than I should have about having to help out, but I still don't like volunteering. Bailey's team voted her MVP. Alan and I were puzzled at first - not because she's not a great player, but...MVP? We think it's because everyone just really likes Bailey and there were a couple other girls on the team they were determined NOT to vote for. She shows up for practice, she plays hard, she's very likable and nice to everyone, and when her serve is on she can't be stopped. Still, I'm happy that her teammates recognizes that SHE ROCKS. :-)