Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Do Croissants Make Me Sad?

I know.  Until now, you've thought I was a very rational human being.  Nothing too quirky.  No real psychoses to deal with.  Sadly, this may change.

I told my students that croissants make me sad and they thought that was hysterical.  I don't know why they make me sad.  I bite into one and immediately, I just want to cry.  I get that ache in the back of my throat like I'm just going to cry at any second.   
It's not that I don't like the taste.  I enjoy the buttery flavor.  It's not that I had a bad experience when I ate a croissant.  They just make me sad.  It doesn't matter where I eat them:  France, England, Belgium, Quebec, my kitchen, my classroom.  I've had them everywhere. And they make  me sad.  

Hmm there are people at my door wearing white coats and carrying a straightjacket.  How did they hear about this already?? 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oh So's Your Granny

I just found out that a girl I went to high school with is a GRANDMOTHER.  This would be ok if I was like 50 but I'm 35!!!!  She had twins a few days before our graduation and I just taught those twins a few years ago.  Now, one of them is a father, according to the aunt of the new baby.  The aunt is in my 6th grade class and proudly told me that her sister, who I had a few years ago, just had a baby and the father is this boy.  That means this girl could easily be a great-grandmother before she's even through with menopause.  Wow.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ka Boom

This story was inspired by 29andholding's story about a cabinet that fell off her wall in her office and magically missed the computer and didn't get damaged.  It inexplicably fell and no one was around to witness it. 

All my life, there was a little red chicken/duck house in our yard( i live in the house i grew up in, next door to my parents).  When I was little, we had chickens.  Then all of the chickens were killed by animals, and the house stood empty.  For a while, I had a garden in the coop.  Then it was just an empty little house with no coop. 

Then we had a very crazy windy afternoon one December.  And as I drove up the driveway, this was what I saw.
It wasn't even a hurricane!  See the blue sky?  Just a crazy wind that blew through and it crushed it into smithereens!  Like 29andholding's cabinet story, I would love to have seen this as it happened.  Was it slow motion?  Was there creaking and groaning or just a big bang?  Did it all fall at once or was it over the course of a few gusts of wind?  This thing was up for many, many decades and now it's completely gone.  Just a few pieces of glass on the ground that no matter how many times I pick up keep coming back. It's where my clothesline is now but this fall, I'm putting up a greenhouse.  Oh yeah.  Watch what I can do with my greenhouse.  It's going to be scary.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Feel Good Friday

Wow, Feel Good Friday again.  Do you like thegirlnextdoorgrowsup's new button?  I think it's a little more sophisticated looking.  It's been interesting for me to do a weekly Feel Good Friday because it puts the week into perspective for me. I choose to always pick 5 things to highlight.  Sometimes, the 5 things just come to me immediately and sometimes it takes a lot of searching.  So, here we go.  I'll go in reverse order today.

5.  I always have to refer to the garden when I do a Feel Good Friday because it pleases me to no end when things continue to grow and produce.  Tomatoes are still coming in like crazy.  My beans are still growing, many are on round 2 or 3 and some are the new plants I've grown from seeds of round 1.  I love it!  The zinnias are maniacal out there and I keep forgetting to take a picture.  Now it's dark, so I've missed my chance again!!

4.  My friend j-ster and her baby j-ster stopped by one afternoon spontaneously and that was cool.  We have very busy schedules and though her baby goes to child care between my house and school, we never seem to run into each other because I usually ride or go to the gym after school.  Since I'm kind of caught up in my fitness, I thought I'd come home on Tuesday and we passed each other, so she came by. Baby j-ster is at a fun age.  He's just walking, saying a few words, and can be fascinated for hours by a piece of lint.  She's one of those rare, normal mothers who lets her kid bang his head when he crawls under the table because she believes he will figure it out and stop doing it.  She lets him play and doesn't interrupt every two seconds.  Ah if only every mother could let their children figure it out.  Isn't that what we did?  Didn't we figure out how to entertain ourselves and stop banging our heads?

3.  K-ster helped me rearrange the living room and though it isn't too different, it's different enough and it looks a little cleaner.

2.  I made another sale on my esty and that's really a good thing!

1.  And the number one thing that made me feel good today was my visit to the doctor for my physical and my blood pressure was 110/64.  Interesting, because when I got there, the nurse got 126/80.  I've had some interesting blood pressure readings in the past few years, considering how fit and healthy I am and the fact that I don't do mean things to my body.  The lack of reason for the sometimes elevated blood pressure makes it elevate because I perseverate and it's an ugly circle.  I've made some choices to SLOW DOWN in the past year, and it's been better.  So, no bandying about with the idea of a low beta blocker for me.  The past 2 physicals have been good, so I'm pleased.  Except that now she wants me to visit the boobologist since I am at the age when it's good to get a baseline now.  Sigh.  More on that when it comes.

Now get over to thegirlnextdoorgrowsup and link up your own Feel Good Friday!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blog Contest- I Write, I Blog, I win & The Random Dozen

I  was over at  thegirlnextdoorgrowsup yesterday and she has a great contest planned for October.  It seems that she wants to read everyone's best posts.  So start looking for your best posts- best for whatever reason you deem best and visit her today to get ready.  She's also having a pre-contest contest so hop on over there and check it out!!

Today, I am participating in
Random Dozen--In-laws, Out-laws and Patriots

and if I ever had a 2nd cup of coffee, I'd be locked away for all the randomness I could create.

1. Have you, or has someone close to you, ever won an award for anything?  I am woman of the year for the local American Business Women's Association this year.

2. Who is the nearest relative to you who has served in the US Military?  My father

3. Share something that stirs the patriotic spirit in you.  parades.  Usually just a band makes me feel somewhat patriotic.

4. Where are you in the birth order in your family? Do you think your "placement" made a difference in your personality?  I am the oldest of three.  I am everything I've read about first children AND I am a Scorpio, so if you believe in astrological signs, I am a tough nut.  Or maybe just nuts.  I am certain my "placement" made a difference in who I am and what I believe.  I'm the RESPONSIBLE one.  The RELIABLE one.

5. Name one trait you hope you carry that was evidenced in your parents or grandparents.  Following through, doing what I say I will do.

6. If female, do you prefer wearing a skirt or pants? If male, shirt and tie or polo?  Mostly pants, although when I have a reason, I like to wear skirts.  But only when it's warm.  No tights or hosiery for me.

7. Approximately how many times do you wake during the night? What do you do to go back to sleep?  Once, to go to the bathroom and I am usually back to sleep before I'm completely settled back in.

8. Share a favorite movie quote.  I can't quote movies for anything, but I can quote my father, so if this life I am living is a movie, then my favorite quote would have to be "well that sounds like a personal problem to me" about anything trivial.

9. What is your favorite Fall candle scent? no.candles.ever.smells.are.bad

10. What is one Fall activity you're looking forward to?  I can't say that I love fall.  I don't do any particular activities that are fall related- no apple or pumpkin picking, I dont' love Halloween, etc.

11. Tell us about a pleasant surprise that happened to you recently.  I won a $25 gift card to Trader Jo's for no reason.  I didn't really win, it was a "gift" out of the blue.

12. What was it like when you first met your in-laws-to-be?  Not married, so I never had in-laws-to-be.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Random Tuesday

It hard to believe it, but my well of creativity is dry, truly dry.  So, I am doing a Random Tuesday post from over at theunmom because it at least gives context for the very weird assortment of things I'm going to write. I have to say I've never done a Random Tuesday for a variety of reasons, one being the creepy badge.  Why is it scary?  Why is there ham?  I'm not sure I want to be associated with these people, but I want to write something, so I guess I have to take the creep and ham and just deal.

1.  There are 2 pages of my high school yearbook of butts.  I KNOW.  I posted this in someone's comments the other day and then I thought, wow, this could be a post unto itself.  The names are below each person's butt.  Yes, they are clothed.  And yes, they were all pretty hot butts.  I believe it was theprincessofsarcasm who suggested dared me to suggest that those same brave souls do it again for our 20th reunion.  THAT is a very good idea!!  I can't believe we were allowed to publish that.  I am certain the ACLU would be all over that in these days.  Not for those whose butts we see, but for the fact that some unsuspecting person should open the yearbook and see it and harm their eyes.

2.  When I was a child, my grandmother would buy cards and calendars from a society that supposedly helped para and quadreplegic people.  The pictures on the cards and calendars were supposedly painted by mouth by these very people.  I don't know why I was talking about this last night, but k-ster went nuts.  No one puts those people to work, he said.  No one would write "mouthpainted" on the back of a card, he said.  You are out of your mind, he said.  Does anyone know what I'm talking about?  Did your grandmother buy these?  My sisters weren't of much help.  They said they remember the calendars but didn't know they were mouthpainted by quadreplegics.  Is this some sort of blasphemy that I keep saying mouthpainted by quadreplegics????

3.  In relation to entry #2, I have to tell you how this subject came up.  Well, I still dont' know where the original topic came from, but I asked k-ster if when he was little, he would imagine what things would look like when someone told him something.  For example, I said, when my grandmother told me that these people painted by mouth, I wondered if the paintbrush would stick out of their mouth like a cigarette, or off to one side.  Would they have a different brush for each color?  These are the things I have to know.

4.  In relation to entry #3.  In my very carried away imagination that I still have, when I was little, my mother told me that the sign that said "blind driveway" was for people who were blind.  And at 8 years old, I believed her.  So I imagined several things.  First, did blind people who drove down these driveways bother to look in the rearview mirror?  If not, did they still throw their arm across the bench seat (this was the 80s) and turn their heads back to "look" as they backed up?  I also imagined that they were allowed to drive down the driveway but then on the street, the seeing driver had to get in and finish the drive.  And the interior of this mystery car was always blue plush.

5.  Maybe I should call this whole post "People Who Lied to My Child Self and How I Believed Them!"

6.  I cleaned THe General this weekend and it looks so spiffy inside, I'm not always sure I'm in the right vehicle.

7.  Tomorrow I am starting the Bernat Crochet A Long on the Bernat Blog and I really don't have time to do it.  I don't know what I'm thinking.  But it's a mystery afghan that you do by getting one clue per week through December and then you have a gorgeous afghan.  Hmmm.

8.  I'm coming up to my 100th post in a few posts and heard of people who do 100 things about themselves for the 100th post.  I don't know if a) I know 100 things about myself and b) people will bother to read them if I go to all that trouble.

9.  We bought a Sleep By Number bed 5 years ago and it's one of the best things I've ever bought.  I love having the different firmness controls.  K-ster isn't always convinced it is as firm as he likes, but we like it better than any mattress we've had.  I don't fall into a hole and feel like my back is broken anymore.

10.  We got new widows in 1998 and they took all of the storm windows off because they were supposed to be magical windows.  I have never been impressed with them and I think we still need the storms windows.  This summer, I took a screen to be rescreened and the nice man told me that with the brand we have, we should really put the storms back on and just rescreen those.  Lo and behold, the storms are still in the barn and most of them are fine.  K-ster believes otherwise and wants to buy new ones but I say there is nothing wrong with them and I brought one out and washed it today to prove my point.  Looks like someone is going to have to buy some aluminum screws to get those babies back on the house.  And for the few that are missing, we can buy new ones but look at what we'll save overall.  He wants to just buy a whole new set, but I don't think he recently hit the jackpot, so the answer is no.

11.  I have an abundance of tomatoes this fall and just about every night I have made something with them.  Just now, I threw them in a pan with oil and garlic and sausage and made spaghetti to go with it and k-ster just said "you know, sometimes I think you really know what you're doing out there."  This makes me laugh.  He is the best at eating whatever I put in front of him, with the rare exception of olives, and rarely complains.  Even when I'm like, hmmm, this is disappointing.  I pay attention to cooking shows when they just toss things together and the more I toss, the more things just seem to make sense.  Someone asked me today if I love to cook.  No, but I usually dont' mind cooking. I really hate it on those nights when it's already 6pm and I haven't even started and I'm really starving.  Then I wish I had it made a maid.

12.  I'm getting a facial tomorrow, just because, and I'm most excited that at 4:30 in the afternoon, I can lay down because I am supposed to and no one will make me feel like I should get up and do something.

And if that's not enough random, I don't know what to tell you. Now get over the to unmom and do your own random!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Minute Since I am Creatively Broken

Ah the plight of the teacher.  Summers off, everyone thinks, so we get to sit around with our feet up having Raoul buff our toenails while eating bonbons(while we're eating them, not while Raoul is eating them).  My summer is nothing like this, and I'm probably far more on during the summer than off, but I do have a better schedule and have time for things like blogging.  I've only been back to school for 2 weeks and I've fallen right off.  And when I do want to post, I have nothing creative in me.  So, I am doing the Monday Minute at the dailydoseofreality because I can't think on my own.  Even if for some reason they think this Monday is the 21st, which it is not, it's the 20th.  But I digress.

 1 - Have you ever lied on one of your Monday Minute answers?
Never.  I've never played Monday Minute, so I haven't had a chance to lie. And I don't lie on my blog, I tease, but it's always clear, I think.

2 - What is on your bedside table?
A very weird collection of things.  A lamp.  A great alarm clock radio that allows you to set TWO alarms so you can have the one you always wake up to and then when you have to get up at 4am to go skiing, you can set it for 4am and not ruin the one you usually use.  But it has such a bright led, even on lo that I must blindfold it with a sheer blue thing so I can still see but it's not so bright.  This looks really funny in daylight.  I also have an LLBean catalog from the spring.  The Book Thief which we are reading in bookclub.  The 13th Tale which bookclub read last time but I didn't so now I am.  A pen.  Burt's bees lip stuff.  Dust.  A whole lot of dust.

3 -Would you rather lose your sight or hearing?
I am so not normal that I actually have this debate with myself on a regular basis.  I love to hear things, even when they get on my nerves.  I enjoy my eyesight but I feel like I've seen so much in this world that if I were to go blind, I could still imagine what something looks like.  Sounds are so unique that you can't just imagine what it sounds like.  Also, if you are deaf, people don't know by looking at you or how you are acting, so if there is danger, they might not know that they have to show you what is happening.  If you are blind, people can either see that your eyes are not correct, or you're walking with a cane, or guide dog, so they know if there is danger they have help you to know.  I really don't know.  I love to hear nature.  I love to see nature.  It's a debate I don't think I will ever win and God help me, I hope I never get to find out!

Now, if sense of smell was one of the choices, I assure that I would give that up if I had to give up one and had a choice!

4 -Would you rather give up all forms of sexual contact for a year or give up your DVR for three months?
Um, I don't have a DVR, never have, so I woudln't know the pain of having to give it up.

5 - Name one thing that you are proud that you've accomplished in life.
Oh brother.  Well, here's a recent thing and I dont' know that I had much to do with it, but I like to think I did.  I teach French.  One of my current French students is in France this week at a wedding for her former babysitter who is marrying a French man.  IN A CASTLE!  The former babysitter was a student of mine many moons ago.  And she's marrying a French man!!!  Very cool.

Now go visit thedailydoseofreality and link up your own answers!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Feel Good Friday

It's really hard for me to believe it's Friday again already!  It's Feel Good Friday once again, so visit The Girl Next Door to link up.  Here we go.

1.  I wish so much I had taken a picture of Gwenstopher the other day.  She was making a beeline up my parents' walk and I couldn't imagine what she was doing.  She doesn't go over there.  So, from the house I called her and she stopped dead in her tracks, looked around and didn't see me, and kept right on going.  What on earth was making her throw caution to the wind and go over there.  MINT.  She LOVES mint. It doesn't even have to be catnip.  Any mint will do.  Even though it's there all summer, every summer, she only occasionally gets into it.  I don't know if she forgets or if she likes to savor it for a rainy day, but when she finds it, she is in her glory.  Rolling around in it.  Obliviously to everything.  So I snuck up on her and scared the bejeezus out of her but then she went right back to it.  She doesn't ruin it, so it's all good and pretty funny.  Somehow, she doesnt' come out staggering, she comes out looking just fine.  No stoned look about her.  She usually carries herself with such decorum that rolling around in mint seems so beneath her.

2.  I ran for the first time in a month and I didn't drop dead.  I am not a lover of running but I do it to stay in shape.  They tell me that someday I'm going to just love running.  Well, it's been 10 years.  Isn't that long enough to know that I'm never going to love it?  I never run every day, nor is running my sole workout method.  I believe in cross training so I do one of everything each week instead of all spin classes or all running or whatever.  I am certain this is what has kept me injury free for all this time.  In the winter, it's not unusual for me to go a month without running because of the weather.  I will use the stairmaster, spin, etc.  But in the summer, this is rare.  But,I thought if I waited much longer, I might never do it again, so I went out there and knocked out 3.5 miles.  And I'm still kicking.  Myself for not running more, but oh well.  My philosophy about running over the years has changed.  It used to be that I wanted to get faster every day and would scold myself for being slow one day but now I realized I'm still fit, I can be very active, and that's all I really want in this life.  Realizing that I can learn to ride a horse (and not fall off is a major accomplishment, according to my instructor) or spend a day at the beach playing the waves and then come home and remain a functioning human being, not a comatose crybaby who is out of shape has been a major thing for me in this past year.  I'm not going to the Olympics.  If I don't knock myself working out one day, the world does not end.  My pants still fit, I can still ride Tucker, I can mow the grass and not get winded, so life is still good.

3. Tuesday,  I was given a $25 gift card for Trader Jos by the same women's organization that I belong to that made me Woman of the Year in April and from whom I won the laptop I am currently using.  They say it is because I work so hard for them and blah, blah, blah.  I make the reservations for the meeting.  Whoopeee.  A very hard job indeed.  Got to get the excel spreadsheet just so.  But I like Trader Jos and who doesn't like free money?

4.  Many of my 6th grade students are THRILLED to be taking French.  For the past few years, my incoming 6th graders have had pissy attitudes and make me pissy by spreading their attitudes and then we all hate each other.  It's been a while since I've seen the joy on the faces of 6th grade so early in the year.  They are so tickled when we go through the calendar routine in French. They are knocking each other over to bring me extra credit and post on my class blog.  It's a nice feeling and makes me realized why I've felt tense at school for the past few years.  On this same note, those very same 6th graders who really made me question my career choice for the entire year last year, have turned into some decent 7th graders who have great attitudes.  They are like bring on the French which is so nice to see.  And 8th grade is fine. They were fantastic last year, and the little twerps who got on my nerves seem to have a matured a little.  We're speaking the same language at the moment and this is a major thing in 8th grade. Perhaps the carrot of getting French penpals is motivating a few.  And scaring the pants off a few because they realize they have to actually write something in French.  One kid asked me for some 7th grade work because what he was doing was too hard.  "oh, this IS 7th grade work, it's chapter 1 review" I told him.  This didnt' go over well..

5.  K-ster got to go to a hockey game last night and that makes me happy.  His brother got season tickets and though it is a hike for k-ster to go, I like that he gets to watch the games with his brother.  Even if it does mean he has to take the General because his truck is lifted and too large to fit in the parking garage.  It amazes me how much I use what a have in the General and how empty I feel when I can't just reach and get something I need.  And I need a stepladder to climb into his truck so I dont' love driving it. Until I see a man gawk and then I get a little pleasure out of being a tiny girl in a large truck.  And some day when I have it at school, kids will inevitably see me get in or out of it and it will be quite the talk.  I will be a legend for like a minute.  It's a big deal to be a legend to a middle schooler and I strive for it every day.  There was a time that I was a legend because there were rumors that I was a "model" .  I'm 5'2".  What in all of hell could I model?  Ok, maybe I was a SPOKEMODEL for 5 years.   But that's another story for another day.  Maybe if you show some interest, I'll tell you about it.  

Now share your own Feel Good Friday goodies!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Just Can't Turn Off the Sounds

I usually have my teaching act together and maintain a level of composure that I should truly win Emmys, Oscars and Day Time Soap Awards for but sometimes, I have these highly professional moments such as this.
If you feel the need to send me some pencil sharpeners that actually work, I would more than welcome them and so would my students.   They can't keep witnessing breakdowns like this.

 "EVERYONE who is using a pencil sharpener PUT IT AWAY"   

The sound was making me nuts after like 10 minutes of it yesterday (that little ch ch ch sound of a hand sharpener because my regular one doesn't work right) but they couldn't stop. I tried ignoring, I'm really good at that, but 2 of them were like men obsessed.  They have to sharpen after every word, they think.  They weren't able to write because the pencils were in the sharpeners and they kept trying to sneak a turn (ch- I'd hear) and I finally had to stop what I was doing and say


So then one got up with his sharpener and went to the trash.  Not to empty it, to remove a piece of tape that was bothering him.  So he did that I'm pretending I'm listening but I'm so busy trying to remove this tape that though I am looking at you I really have no idea what's going on because THIS TAPE WON'T COME OFF.  Once again, I did the professional teacher thing and tried to ignore, made faces at him, and finally just had to stop and say 

WHAT ARE YOU DOING?  NO, SIT DOWN and do this, we need to get it done.   

The funny thing is that these kids are in a class of 15 where last year it was a class of 30.  They don't quite realize that in a class this small, you can't get away with anything because I can see and hear you.  With 30, someone could be murdered on the other side of the room and who would know.  With 15, I hear every last CH.  But I do like them a whole lot better as 15 than 30.  This was the grade level that aged me 10 years last year.  Either they matured a lot over the summer or I got the better lot because I can at least stand them this year.  

Except for  that CH.  I swear k-ster's in there using one right now to get me going.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Ummm, What Was I Saying? Oh Yeah, I Forgot You Were An ASS

Well, where should I start?  Ok, as an advisor with lia sophia jewelry, I am often called upon to give donations to raffles and fundraisers.  I actually don't mind because usually people don't use the gift certificates I donate, so it makes money for the organization and no one uses it, so it doesn't cost me anything, and everyone is happy.  Sometimes, people do use them, so I always put it's $25 off your purchase of $50 or something along those lines.  Otherwise, I have found that some cheap pricks thrifty ladies will find one thing for $25 or less and not spend a dime more and I'm screwed.  No one has ever complained (unless that's why they dont' use them, and then oh well).

So, last year, I donated to the local Alzheimer's whatever it was they were having(I truly forget) but it was some big fundraiser bash.  I dont' recall what I gave, but it was likely a gift certificate like the aforementioned.  Or maybe it was an actual piece of jewelry, I forget.   So this year, they sent me a request for another donation since I was so generous last year.  And I could include something for display if I wanted.  So I made out a gift card, included some mini catalogs and business cards and mailed it for like $2.

I received this: 
I wanted to send a thank you for your generous donation of a Lia Sophia Jewelry discount of $25.  I was wondering if you would happen to have an item of jewelry from Lia Sophia that you would rather gift to the Reds, Whites & Blues Gala for auction.  We do not allow items in the auction that are for a discount and not the whole value of the item that they will be receiving the night of the auction.  I feel awful that we cannot use your discount and hope that you will still want to be a part of the auction.

Umm are you EFFING kidding me???????  I am generous enough to GIVE you something and YOU TURN IT DOWN??????  Because I put a caveat?  Hello, wouldn't you still benefit from this?  Wouldn't the people who bid on it know what they are getting into?  Wouldn't you write that on the bid sheet?  I've been to and done enough of these that there's no question how you word it so everyone is clear.  So, if they pay $15, let's say, they still save $10 and you make a friggin' $15 off of my donation which is $15 dollars you dont' have today.  WHAT IS THE PROBLEM HERE??????  You ask for money and then refuse it when I hand it to you?

I am so furious I can't even respond to that.  I am certain I will not be giving them anything today or in the future.  And she hasn't even mailed it back to me. She says she feels terrible and I am sure she does because she is the secretary.  I'm sure it's not her decision.   And what makes me really mad is that the only way she knew that the $25 off of $50 was worded is because someone had to open the envelope that was meant to go to the winner.  I dont' want someone getting an envelope that was already opened.  It's sealed for a reason.

OH. I . AM. SO. MAD.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chivalry Is Deader Than Doornail

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a "yes ma'am", "can I get the door for you" kind of person.  I went to college in the south and learned pretty quickly that I could not marry a southern boy.  I was raised to do it myself.  Anything you can do, I can do too and probably better.  I am a truck driving, lawn mowing, tractor driving kind of gal and if you feel threatened by that, tough noogies.  My father didn't raise boys, so we had to be the boys he didn't have.  We didn't know it wasn't normal to be playing in the old barn and come in with grease all over us.  Or that driving a tractor long before we were even teenagers wasn't the norm.  Even today, I sometimes do things no other female I know will do simply because the men are never around when I need it done, so I've learned to do it myself.  At 5'2" my height and strength often get in the way.  The one thing I have never done, much to my father's dismay, is get my CDL (Commercial Drivers License) and do you know why?  Because that is the last thing around here that I can't do.  Once I get that, then there would be nothing that anyone would have to do for me.  And I'm not ready to do absolutely everything myself.  Even though boys seem to think it's really hot when a little girl climbs down from a big Mack truck.  In my experience, they also find that threatening.

It took me the whole 4 years I was in college to learn to accept the "yes ma'am"s and wait for doors to opened so as not to step on anyone's toes.  I'm a Yankee, from a long line of Yankees and before that I'm sure we were farmers somewhere that got just as dirty as I seem to get on any given day in the summer.  I clean up nicely, but really, it's much easier for me to just be dirty and sweaty and for you to just accept that this is the way you will usually find me during the warmer months.

So, imagine my surprise when I was irritated in the following situation.  I did a lia sophia jewelry show for a girl today.  I did one at this same house about a month ago and had the same reaction, so I don't know why I was surprised.  It takes 2 trips for me to get into the house with all of my stuff.  One load entails one of those square carts on wheels that you can put things in.  This is great when I'm wheeling it down a driveway but when I have to bring it up stairs and into a house, it can be a pain.  So, as I entered, the husband was sitting on the couch.  We exchanged hellos and he sat there as I made trip #1 with my bags.  Mind you, I was wearing heels and looking decent.  The second trip required a lot of stopping, lifting, carrying that cart.  Banging through the door.  And there he sat.  Not ONE lick of interest in helping me.  Not holding the door.  Not moving the cart, nothing.  And on the way out, same thing.  There I go, struggling away, and there he sits, watching.  Or not even watching, who knows.  Just holding the door open would have been an acceptable gesture.  Yes, I could do it myself.  Anyone could.  But helping me by holding the door or taking the cart would not have insulted me.  Maybe saying something like "Let me get that for you, Precious, you're too delicate to carry that" might have insulted me.  But letting me come crashing through your house, titling on heels all the while?  What a jerk. 

I could almost say "give me those southern boys anyday."   Where's Rhett Butler when I need him?  But I know what would happen.  They would all descend on me as I pulled into the driveway, they'd open my car door, carry in all of my things and then insist that they set it all up for me.  And that would be too much.  

But holding a door open?  Please.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Feel Good Friday

Ok, so here we go with Feel Good Friday.  A big feat considering this was the first week of school and I had shoe issues, heat issues and just about every issue I could come up with because I really don't like to give up my summer routine.  But I found some funnies that might make you laugh.

 1.  I walked into the gym today, and this is what I saw in the locker room.  It's bamboo.  Randomly nailed to the wall.  I suppose it is meant to soothe in some universe way, but the irregularity of it in this universe is making me crazy.  And beside it was this:
If this isn't enough to make you chuckle, then maybe this will work:
That's right. You ARE seeing black stripes randomly painted directly on the wall, possibly looking oriental with bamboo pieces creating a "frame". I was in a hurry, taking pictures with my phone in the locker room (how creepy is that) so I was trying to look casual.  This makes for a slightly wiggly look, which isn't really making it look worse.  It kind of reflects what I feel like when I see it.  It makes me vibrate! Where is Martha when you need her??? She would never let such nonsense take place. WHAT is going on in my gym????

2.  It made me VERY happy when k-ster made supper last night, just like he said he would.  I taught a class at the gym that I don't normally teach and would have come home very ugly if I had also had to cook at 7pm.  He gets high points because he also cleaned up.

3.  It made me really happy when I discovered that my 7th and 8th grade classes are really good sizes.  I feel really good about them this year.  Don't ask me about 6th.  I wouldn't be able to see your hand raised through the masses of 30 per class anyway.

4.  We had great weather for the beach on Sunday with k-ster's family and the waves were great for boogie boarding.  Check here to see some pictures.  Not of the waves though, I kind of forgot to take those.  But you can click here to see waves from another day and they were pretty similar.

5.  I was pretty happy that after Hurricane Earl bypassed us, k-ster and a friend brought all of my plants back out of the shop.  I wanted to bring them in so they wouldn't be beaten by the rain and without my coaxing, they carried every one of them into the shop and then the next day every one of them out of the shop. I have a lot of outdoor plants as you can see here (tomatoes in pots) and here (although the lilies are in the ground) so i was pretty amazed that they made a million trips and didn't care.  It was like they were on a mission.  Pretty soon I'll have to bring in all of the summer plants to school so they can winter over.  That's a mission all on its own.

Now go see The Girl Next Door and link up your own Feel Good Friday.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Trials and Tribulations of A School Teacher

Yep, apparently I'm an old lady.  Look at these feet!  They are like an old wren's bony feet.  But I do have sexy ankles.  The point of my post is to complain.  Tomorrow's Feel Good Friday so today is Complain Complain Thursday.  If you don't like it, go away.

All summer, I spend most of my time barefoot or slipped into something that I slip out of just as quickly.  Or, I am trapped in socks and sneakers because I'm mowing and that's OK.  Once school starts, I have to actually keep shoes on my feet all day.  For 2 days, I wore some strappy things that gave me a blister near my toe.  I didn' t know I had a blister and proceeded to rip it open last night in the shower.  See the bandaid?  That's because no shoe, flip flop or otherwise, would avoid it.  These shoes are cute LL Bean ballet flats, but I'm not ready for these.  I never realize just how much I don't wear shoes all summer until school starts.  Then it's like wearing them all over again for the first time.

And I've decided I'm getting rid of all the furniture in my house and I'm installing nothing but hammocks.  In the summer, I occasionally(like at least once a day) lounge in the hammock to regroup and it's amazing how it makes my whole body feel better.  I totally take it for granted.  Until I have to stand for 6.5 hours repeating myself all day long (I hate these first few weeks of school).  By the end of the day, which is only like 2:45 but it's the end of my work day, I am paralyzed from standing all day. Me, the queen of fitness!   I move around a lot but it's amazing the number it does on my spine.  All I can think about is laying in the hammock to regroup.    And there's another reason the hammock is divine.  I have found that it puts my body in the perfect position to do things like sew or read.  It provides support for my arms when I'm holding something.  It cradles my back perfectly. So that's it, no more couches for me.  Just hammocks.  And imagine how much fun it will  be at parties with people trying to get in and out of them.

I want AC in my classroom.  We have a very steamy school and though the fall weather is beautiful around here, at school it's very humid.  I sweat just standing there.  It's amazing.  And by the afternoon, I am pretty hot and grouchy and I start to not care.  My fan had disappeared but has now reappeared but it hasn't really helped much.  Today is tolerable, I don't even have the fan on.  I hear it might be only 60 for a high all weekend and that kind of makes me sad.  I'm not ready for cold weather to just slap us like that.  I just want it cool in my room.

I think that's all I can complain about for now.  Tomorrow's Feel Good Friday, so stay tuned!

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Labor Of Love

I know it's hard to believe, but I've grown up on the beach and don't love going.  I love the IDEA of the beach but when I get there, I spend more time trying to avoid the sun and get comfortable than I want to.  As I mentioned in my last post, k-ster cannot be satisfied with the beach down the road, so we must trek a half hour to the beach and then almost another half hour OVER the beach to get to the perfect spot.

Yesterday, we went with k-ster's family.  HA, if the whole family went, we'd fill the beach.  We went with some of his family.  Grandparents were involved.  Lots of cousins, a few aunts and uncles.  I went later because I had already planned to ride in the morning.  So this is what it looks like when everyone descends on the beach.

I know!  This is why it's such an ordeal.  You don't just pop your suit on and go.  Since you're there for the day, you must bring food and drink, which means coolers.  And with this group, you must bring a grill or you aren't really eating on the beach.  Then you must bring umbrellas and shade makers.  No swim would be worth it if you didn't have a boogie board.  And you bring towels.  And games to entertain yourself, like this.
Oh, you don't know what this is?  This is a game called Cornhole.  It's the dumbest game EVER.  Almost as dumb as Apples to Apples but someone is probably making a lot more money off of this.  I suppose some kindergarten teacher is laughing hysterically in her retirement as she rakes in the dough from her website(which I won't link to because I don't support this asinine game).   It's a beanbag toss.  Right, from when you were in kindergarten.  You have square beanbags that you have to toss at a board and get into a hole.  There are rules and regulations.  You  must make the hole the size of a coffee can.  The board must be titled a certain amount and must be a certain size.  And then the point system is very odd.  You cancel out each other's points.  It's like throwing horseshoes but I think it takes much less skill.  And I just don't know why it's fun.  They play it everywhere and those heavy boards had to go out to the beach too.  I don't know if you can see it, but there are actually 2 sets of Cornhole boards.  The one they are playing on is very fancy.  They are painted and varnished.  The other is very raw.  Not finished, just plywood.  I think it is far sexier takes more skills to get the bags on there if it's slippery with varnish.  They will play this for hours.  I will not.  You can visit the site and see just how much money you can waste on accessories, like a scoreboard which also had to make its way to the beach.  And to give you an idea of the state of affairs, the scoreboard has beer holders on it.

There were other games, like volleyball and bocce.  The volleyball net is great and I've had it for about 20 years and I've used it maybe a dozen times.  Last time we brought it out there, no one would play.  This time, it was fun for quite a while.  And when the boys played bocce, they truly were like little kids.  I suspect it was one of k-ster's uncles and not his younger cousin that kept suggesting the crazy places (on the hill, over the hill, once with obstacles in the way).

Since this isn't the regular beach where you park and walk to the sand and then see a snack bar and bathrooms, that means there are no bathrooms out on the beach.  Except the biggest bathroom in the world right in front of you.  Did I mention the water is 63 degrees?  And as you saw in yesterday's post, quite choppy.  So, when you have to go, you don't just want to hop in and go.  It's a long torturous event trying to get in just to your waist.  And if the tide isn't going out, the shoreline has rocks that are very sharp and the waves toss them at you. Good thing I don't work for the Chamber of Commerce or we'd have no tourists here,the way I paint this picture. One way to deal with this is the wetsuit that k-ster bought me one Christmas.  While I look like I'm going deep sea diving, it is a fantastic way to deal with the cold.  And then I can boogie board and get tossed onto the ocean floor and don't scrape up my knees.  It's also marvelous because I don't have to worry about losing my top or bottom, as k-ster's cousin kept doing.  I don't get boogie board rash on my front.  And the best part is the sun protection.  But, if I don't want to gear up and just want to go to the bathroom like a normal person\, I use this.  I call it the Potty Tent.  That's really what it's made for! The brand is Travel John but Potty Tent is much better, don't you think?  Inside is a portable toilet like you would use for camping.  This is a much needed relief out there.  But the wind was so bad yesterday that we had to tie the tent down in like 100 different ways and it was still questionable.  It's also a great place to change out of wet clothes or into a bathing suit.  I think it's time to buy a new one because it's getting quite beaten up and it's a pain to set up and take down.  Lots of bendable pieces.  I've seen others.

So why is my title A Labor of Love?  This is labor day weekend, the last weekend of fun around here.  It isn't really, because fall is fantastic around these parts, but this the tourist's last big hurrah as kids have to go back to school.  And though I hate all of the packing and unpacking and being tied up out there all day long knowing how long and bumpy the ride off is, I do love it when the waves are good, not scary, and I can boogie board.  We had perfect waves for the yesterday and it was lots of fun.  But today is the next day and we haven't even touched the truck to unpack yet.  I leave you with this picture because it cracks me up.  Two people are holding something behind the truck, can you see it?  It's a metal shelf that goes into the trailer hitch at the back.  You can carry more stuff on there.  At the time this was taken, someone was looking for the cotter pin, truly the lynch pin of the entire operation, because without that, the bolt doesn't stay in and the shelf won't stay on the truck so nothing gets towed home.  It makes me laugh that the two of them are standing there holding it, like it might run away if they don't.  They are tired from their day of too much fun and they are kind of like zombies standing there.  And you'll notice the truck in front of us has a lot of fishing poles.  They never made it out of the truck.  But you bring everything including the kitchen sink bathroom toilet because you'd hate to be out there and wish you had brought it.

I realize I have a lot of nerve complaining about living somewhere so gorgeous and having such a great place at my disposal.  But I just wish it was simpler.  I don't like ordeals.  I don't like having to think about everything I might want to have with me just in case.  I don't like that the water is so cold I have to either put on a wetsuit or risk turning blue.  But I do like the view.  And I love seeing the seals.  Especially when they pop up about 10 feet away while we are in the water.  This freaks out some people but I'm ok with it.  Now, if one of those sharks popped up with it, this would be a very different post!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Feel Good Friday

I can't believe it's Friday again.  I'm not one of those thank GOD it's Friday people.  I like Fridays but then that means the week is over and that's just one more week finished in my life.  I try not to hurry my life over.  Feel Good Friday is brought to you by The Girl Next Door Grows Up so go on over there and link up and share your own Friday goodies.

Doesn't this make you feel good?  Early in the week, we went out to the beach.  We live 1/4 mile from the beach but k-ster doesn't like the kind of beach we live near.  It's south facing and isn't anything like the beach he likes to visit on the east side of things.  That is open Atlantic. It's very cold.  It's far from home.  He says it's not, but I say it's likie driving to Montana.  First, you have to drive all the way there.  Then, you have to drive out on the beach.  And k-ster likes to drive out as far as possible on the beach.  Beach driving is not fast, so it takes forever.  This time, we just went out to have supper.  I agreed to this because I have not been all summer and I knew I wouldn't be stuck there forever because it would get dark and we'd come home.  Here are some pictures of k-ster surf casting before the sun went down.  No fish, but we saw lots of seals, surfers and we both swear we saw a shark through the binoculars.  Sharks are big news around here this summer because there have been great whites spotted, so everyone wants to see one.  As you can see, we were not the only crazy people out on the beach for the evening.

2.  I had 2 riding lessons this week and both were great and I felt like I was back to normal.  I've had a frustrating few weeks where I regressed and was doing things I haven't done in months.  I blamed the heat, the new saddle, anything I could.  Today was particularly hot and humid(we are awaiting hurricane Earl, supposedly) and really just stifling but he did what I asked and it felt right.  I wonder what threw me off for the past few weeks.  I seem to do this.  Part of learning, I guess.  But it's so frustrating to feel like I'm taking a step back every once in a while. 

3.  This is related to part 2.  I bought a new pair of breeches that are so thin and cool.  I had no idea they made them this thin.  To think I could have been riding with a little less sweatiness for all this time.  And they are black so they look pretty sleek and don't look filthy.  And I also bought some half chaps- dont' get excited, they are not buttless chaps that I wear naked.  They are pleather that you put over your boot up to the knee.  It looks like you are wearing a tall boot.  I always thought they were just for show and I don't care what I look like, so I never splurged.  But, I didn't know that they are like GLUE to keep your leg in a good position.  I kick myself, with my new breeches and chaps, for not getting them sooner.  They give a nice sense of security.  And since they are not real leather or suede, they are lightweight and can be tossed in the washer.  I'm happy that they are helping.

4.  I'm happy that my classroom is in order and ready for hot and sweaty students next week.  If someone would return my fan, I would be even happier.  And if I knew who I was teaching and when, I'd be ecstatic. 
5.  And, it made me pretty happy when a woman from the business group I belong to decided to host a lia sophia show.  This was a nice surprise.  But what was even nicer was the number of orders she got and the bookings!  That means more cash in my pocket for more riding lessons!