Thursday, May 29, 2008

Smokin' hot

I've gotten to where I love roasting vegetables - squash, zucchini, tomatoes, asparagus, green peppers, you name it. Besides being a healthy way to eat veggies, it also seems to be the most flavorful. So how charming of my Brady Bunch non-self cleaning oven to start smoking up the kitchen every time I set the temperature over 350. Someday this oven, along with its vintage stovetop counterpart, will be replaced. But for now I'll just keep opening the windows and running the venthood fan when necessary. If anyone has good roasting tips or ideas on foods that are good roasted, let me know!

I'd take this over a steak any day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How much would a thumb weigh?

It's not often that I pay that much attention to special shows or mini-series, but for whatever reason Alan and I both wanted to catch "The Andromeda Strain" on A&E. So much so that we kept reminding each other for days that it was coming up, what night, what time, etc., and planned our evening around it. Monday was the first night and was pretty good, with cool concepts like the whole virus from the future thing and the use of worm holes and such. However, the second night left me speechless. And not in a good way.

Oh. My. Lord. It was one thing how the virus apparently spread across hills and through rivers at a neck-breaking pace, like right before your eyes, and turned everything red in its path. But seriously, when the Korean scientist sacrificed his life to enter the radioactive pool of water (at the bottom of an elevator shaft...of course) to cut off the thumb of the dead white scientist who was laying in the pool, and the Korean scientist then needed to hurl the severed thumb UP about THREE stories (before he died from the radioactive water) to the hispanic scientist who was hanging on for dear life inside the elevator shaft, who needed to catch the thumb (thrown perfectly) and shimmy inside an air duct, who then got blinded temporarily because a hot spray of steam shot out of the duct, who then had to blindly find his way to the next floor and over to the panel where the dead guy's thumb must be placed on the screen to deactivate the nuclear destruction of the facility that was about to take place in 30 seconds, because a black scientist didn't destroy all of the virus since her family was being threatened if she did....

All I could think of were the words often said by Alan's good friend Ed: "There went two hours of my life I'll never get back."

But I'm giving it two stars for the thumb-tossing scene. Worth the laugh.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I'm going through one of those times where I have absolutely nothing to share. So here's the latest:
  • School is almost over but still very busy tying up loose ends.
  • It has been volcano hot here the past week.
  • Karl and Ashley and the kiddos are visiting this weekend. Fun!
  • I found a swimsuit for our summer trips that I'm not mortified to be seen in.
  • Bailey will be leaving for camp in a week.
  • The mosquitoes have arrived.
  • My gradebook is completed.
  • There is SO much to look forward to this summer. I'm ready to get started!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

$260 later...

Being the responsible pet owners that we are, we decided to cut Junior's treatment short about 3 days. What should have been a 7-10 day process, we cut to 6. I've had enough poking into open wounds and wrestling with a 17 lb. monster each morning to administer his liquid medicine through razor sharp teeth. We've declared: he's healed.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bone dry

Earlier it was raining. I could hear the big, fat drops on the skylights! But minutes later when I went to turn on the porch light to look out, the cement was already dry. So until we get a rain that lasts all day and night and our street is flooding like the river it yearns to be, I will continue to complain of no rain (Heather!). Honestly though, we're up to one inch for the year. Even in the desert, that's not rain - that's teasing.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Poor baby

He may be big and mean, but something (some other cat probably) was brave enough to get a hold of Junior and bite him pretty fiercely. It was probably two weeks ago when we noticed that Junior was skittish about going outside for a couple days. Something had scared him. A few more days passed before we noticed the bite marks under all that hair. And then it started looking bad. And gross.

So Alan had the pleasure of taking him to the vet today, where they anesthetize a cat like ours before they will even attempt to look at him. Turns out the damage was pretty bad under the skin, and boy, are we going to have fun treating him for the next 10 days! We get to do all kinds of fun and gross things to a very large, sometimes very mean cat.

To be continued, I'm sure.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Spreading my wealth of knowledge of random things

Sure, it would seem a bit obsessive that one would be so taken with a fabric softener that such a person would post about it. But being said person, and being very excited to finally find this Downy again (since HEB chooses to push their brands instead of the widely popular brands that we desire), I just had to share. This is Downy with "chamomile and lemon verbena scent," but I just call it the "Downy with the daisies." Two separate guests that have stayed with us agreed that we had some of the best smelling laundry.

You're welcome, in advance.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Quick break

I am having a rare and awesome Monday off today. I scheduled this day off weeks ago and had already gotten a sub when we thought we'd be in Albuquerque for volleyball regionals. That was before Bailey's club team became a bunch of quitters. Anywho...I never once thought of canceling the day off. Last Friday when the students were asking why I was going to be off on Monday, I kindly replied, "BECAUSE THERE'S A GOD IN HEAVEN." (Perhaps I need a little break from them.)

Today I'll spend my time off shopping for a swimsuit, tanning, taking Bailey lunch, going to the eye doctor, and whatever else I want. This includes DOING NOTHING. Awesome.

Banner blooms

The flowers up there on the banner are not bluebonnets, although one of Bailey's friends thought they were. They're called Angelonia and are similar to Salvia, but I think they're a lot prettier and not as weedy looking as Salvia. The best part is they're perennials, which means I didn't have to do a single bit of coaxing or begging to get them to come back. I don't even think they care that Midland hasn't seen rain since....well actually I can't remember the last time it rained. Anyway, they just popped up and have been growing crazy all spring.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Finally, no french fries

Alan and I went grocery shopping yesterday without a list and no plans for dinner. This is usually a bad idea. But we walked around the store grabbing this and that and were pleasantly surprised at the meal we planned. We had sockeye salmon, grilled squash, bruschetta (little toasts with apricot jam, soft cheese and prosciutto...perhaps we copied this from Food Network) and blackberries. No special marinades, just drizzled almost everything with olive oil and salt and pepper, and poof! Fine dining! Check out the fancy plastic china.

My favorite was the squash - much more appetizing than it looks.

Friday, May 02, 2008


Or so it will seem...I have a little girl in my class who hasn't had the best of home lives. Her real dad raped her step-sisters, and he's supposedly a wanted fugitive. In my mind, her mom's a loser and so is her stepdad, but that's a judgment I've made based on what I see with my own eyes and what is hearsay from the little girl. They don't seem to provide much support at home, and her stepdad has been known to be explosive when he gets mad. And this little girl - she's a drama queen, let me tell you. She's the type that talks about her situation way too openly, to the point where it's awkward and annoying. She likes attention, and so it's difficult to know when she's exaggerating or blowing something way out of proportion. Still, it makes me kinda sad when she comes to school with her hair all in tangles, hanging in her eyes, sometimes matted. She wears shoes that don't fit because they're two sizes too big, so she flops around in them all day, including during recess or gym. On top of everything, she's dyslexic and struggles in school. My, life is treating her well.

And I'm hard on her to boot. I sent her to the principal's office this week because I've warned her about not doing her homework. And I take her recess away and make her stay inside to get that homework done so she won't get zeroes. I'm on her constantly about staying focused, while her mind is probably on the crap she dealt with the night before or wondering where her dad is. And when she brought me a letter this week asking if she could live with me, because "my parents hate me...and I'm scared and cry all the time," I just told her, "Thanks, I'll read it in a bit....go back to your desk and get busy."

I'm sure there are teachers out there who stop what they're doing, hug the child, console them, hear them out, etc., who would think I'm completely heartless for not doing so. I absolutely feel cold and callous sometimes. But I also know that you just can't get wrapped up in all of the mess that these kids deal with at home. I read the letter and for a split second felt the urge to tear up, but there was no time for that. I was taking the breakfast and lunch count, monitoring several students that were off-task, and quite frankly didn't have time for some one-on-one counseling.

So I try to find other ways to give her a little attention. I brought her bobby pins for that hair, I tutor her after school, and I keep her in at recess knowing fully well that she actually likes to stay in with me in the classroom. And what she doesn't know is that I caught the counselor as soon as I saw her that morning and showed her the letter. She also doesn't know that I have daydreamed about being able to take some of these kids home, but it's not going to happen. I'll just keep being that pretty strict teacher who provides as stable and predictable environment as possible.

I guess it's depressing to talk about, but I think it's an interesting part of my job.