Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Harvest

Ok, I'm just here to brag.

It's Halloween. We just had an ass-kicking storm over the weekend, and yet, my gardens are still going. So much wind, I was sure everything would be destroyed, but things still look OK.
 The two little watermelons are about the size of softballs.  I started these in AUGUST and wanted to see what would happen with them in the greenhouse.  This is how big they got before the plants died back.  I want to cut them open, but I suspect they don't have much red in them, so I am delaying the sadness for a little longer.

The green beans are just fantastic!  I had this green bean tree that got really crazy and finally has just about died.  Those plants lasted ALL SUMMER and took just about the long to even produce a bean.  ONce they started, they were popping out beans constantly.

I planted others really late in the season, like beginning of October late, and they are coming along.  I worry that the bees went away this weekend because it was so cold.  If so, nothing will pollinate them and that will the end of that.

The bag behind the watermelons has broccoli.  I expect to get broccoli from my outside plants for another 2 months.  I always have broccoli until about December.  I planted some new broccoli plants in the greenhouse last weekend and they've really taken off.  They don't need to be pollinated, so I really think I might be able to get broccoli in the middle of winter in the greenhouse.

We'll see.  No heat in the greenhouse means it's just as cold in there overnight as everywhere else.  BUt I'd like to think the frost will stay off for a little while longer.

You  can be sure I'll let you know how it's working out!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Waiting Game

I don't get it.

Maybe this is something unique to this area.

Every morning, on my way to school, I pass a lot of students waiting for their bus.  I live 3 miles from school.  Most of the kids I see live about 1.5 miles from school.  Since we don't have sidewalks the entire way, they are bussed, even if they live less than a mile away.  It used to be that you had to live at least a mile away to get a bus, but then the sidewalk rule came into play.

I do think it's nuts to have kids who live practically next door to school take a bus.  But that's not what I don't get.

What I don't get is the parents who stand or sit in a car WITH their kids, waiting for the bus.  The amount of time that is spent waiting is the more than the amount of time it would take to DRIVE the kids to school and return home!

I realize that some parents think it's unsafe for kids to stand there and be leered at by nasty perverts, but I don't think having an adult there keeps people from doing that.  I think it just sets them up for the ONE DAY that the parent isn't there and the predator can take advantage.

Some might say, 'well, I dont' want to waste the gas driving the 1.5 miles when there is a bus that will do it, so I'll just stand here.'

True.  But there are many parents who sit there in a RUNNING CAR, WAITING for the bus.  Where is the logic?

I mentioned this to a friend of mine who was fussing about waiting at the bus stop with her daughter.  I asked why she didn't just drive her to school.  She said it wasn't on her way to work.  But really, would it be so far out of the way?  We don't live 20 miles from schools around here.  Most people live like 10 minutes, maybe 15 from a school because we don't bus kids from all over creation, just kids in town.

I can't understand the logic of standing there and then complaining about how you have to stand there.

Well, if you don't like it, drop the kid at school, right?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Still Whining About My Ipod- Wait, Did I Say That Already?

Yesterday, I whined all about my ipod's tragic demise.

One of the reasons I am reminded of my fury over this is because I currently have an audio book (I had just typed book on tape, but I guess that's so 1999, right?) on the ipod I'm using.

I can't remember the name of it.  Ironic because it's about a woman with Alzheimer's.  It's fiction and it's not Still Alice which a lot of people have read about a woman with Alzheimer's.  This is another one that I had seen in the library ebooks for a long time and I downloaded it.

I like to listen to audio books when I am doing menial tasks like mowing, cleaning, doing dishes, sewing.  I can't listen when I am driving or correcting papers or anything that requires dual focus like that, so summer is the best time for me to listen. 

I guess that's a shining example of my life during the school year and during the summer.

Now that it's fall, the grass only needs one more mowing, but I've been listening a lot while cleaning or lounging about in the hammock, knitting.

At least, I've been trying to listen.

But my sister's ipod is old.  And it was neglected once she bought her iphone.  So it sat in the corner and atrophied.

When she first gave it to me, I was so thrilled to have a device to put my music onto and use at the gym, I didn't care that it was kind of big.  Or that it seemed to have a mind of its own.

And then I downloaded this book.  And listened to about 20 minutes of it and had to put it away. 

 Now, with the 3rd generation, I would hold down the bottom of the scroll circle, I dont' even know what that thing is called but it's gone on the new versions anyway, and the screen would go dark and it would be off.

I can't seem to find the magic "off" button on this one, so it is always dead when I want to turn it back on.

No matter, I thought, I'll just make the screen go dark and then switch the lock button so it stays asleep.

Nope, that didn't work either.

So, I started plugging it in before I'd use it.  That requires a lot of preplanning.  Part of my desire to use the ipod comes from spontaneous menial chores, not preplanned tasks for which I line up all of my entertainment a week in advance.

I'd charge it, plug in my headphones, scroll to the book, and the damned thing would start from scratch.  On the 3rd generation, it would pick up right where I left off.

So, I'd have to scroll through until it was where I thought it might have been when I shut it off the last time.

And then I'd have about 10 minutes before the battery died.  And it would be repeating most of what I had already heard in the book anyway.

And because I have no idea when it's going to croak, I can't look and see where I am in the chapters because it's dead before I get there.

So here's what I know about the book so far:

-the woman was a surgeon and her name is Jennifer
-she now has Alzheimer's and knows it
-she keeps a journal
-she has her lucid days and  days when she takes a shower in her clothes and then goes into the neighborhood, soaked
-her best friend was found murdered and I think they think she might have had something to do with it
-her son and daughter are at odds over who is trying to steal her money
-she has a caretaker

Sounds like an intriguing book, right?

However, I'm beginning to think I'm the one with Alzheimer's each time I turn on this book.  I keep hearing the same things and feel  like I've been there before. 

I have good days, when I pick up near where I left off.

I have days where I hear the opening music for the book and think "I've heard this before"

I have days where I fear I might have skipped past a crucial point as I rushed to get to a new part before the battery died.

Don't tell me the end of this book, if you've read it.  I want to hear it for myself.

If I can find the device to listen to, that is.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Death By Boobsweat

It was quick.

It was painless.

It was a salty affair.

We tried to resurrect its soul, to no avail.  We gave it life support, a new heart and brain, everything we knew and then some.

I have the sweatiest boobolas this side of the Mississippi and they wreaked their sweaty havoc on my poor, helpless ipod nano, 3rd generation.

I jumped on the ipod bandwagon in 2008 and bought the nano that was available at the time, the 3rd generation nano.  I had no idea how much I would come to LOVE this magical device.  It never ceased to amaze me how much I could fit in those 4 littls gigs and still have room for more.  The battery life was phenomenal.  It was so handy.  It behaved so well.

We shared a lot of good books, downloaded free from the library.  We listened to excellent music together.  We made lots of women sweat in spin, toning and aqua classes.

I bought a "skin" to match my laptop, phone and crazy creek chair.

And then, I took it out of the leather case that I used to wear it in when I was mowing the grass.  And I didn't have a pocket, so I stuck it in my bra.  Where I'd stuck it before when it was in the case.

And I set about mowing the back 40 and listening to a good book.

And then I got that screen.  The magical screen of death.  With the slightest evidence of a water spot inside the screen.

I tried everything.  I went online and searched every nook and cranny and did what every Tom, Dick and Steve Jobs said to do.  and then I even called their special hotline to speak to someone.

She led me through everything I had just done.  She told me that for $29, I could speak with someone who could lead me through everything that she had just led me through and it sounded like it would not be worth it.  I thanked her for her honesty and I bet she lost her job.

I immediately went online, assuming I could buy another one.  It has only been 3 years.  How many generations could possibly have been born since then?


There is basically no hope of getting another 3rd generation new.  At least, not from a reliable source.

The new nanos are touchscreens and my hands also sweat when I work out, so I don't think touch screens are the way to go.   They aren't getting the greatest reviews.   And iphones and itouches are just too big for what I want to do with them.

So, I got the cockamemy idea that I should replace the battery.  And by I, I mean k-ster.  Because I read everywhere that it's really easy to do.  There are youtube videos and everything.  And a new battery was only $10.  And k-ster is an electronics technician which means he is pretty much qualified to dismantle a bomb with his eyes closed, one hand tied behind his back, on the roof of a ship in a 50 knot gale.

AH HA!  I'm saved!

Here's k-ster working very hard with truly nano technology.

It was not so easy.  It required soldering.  I didn't expect that.  And it required fingertips the size of mouse claws.   Thank God k-ster has opened a million GPS devices.  This wasn't his first soldering rodeo.  I didn't really know what "nano" meant before I cracked that baby open.

And speaking of cracking it open.  It was nearly impossible.  With the battery came these 2 dinky , plastic tools that I managed to shave down to nothing by trying to slide them into the the almost invisible seam.  It took hours.  And I finally broke down and used a razor blade.  A no-no on two fronts.  Highly dangerous and it scratched it up.  I wasn't worried about the scratching, though.

I just wanted my tunes!!!

As he was dismantling it, k-ster said some words I didn't like.  He said "this has water damage, you know" as evidenced by all of the white salt left behind from my sweat.

"Yeah, I think it's just the battery, get back to work, slacker" but I knew.  I knew that was the end but I wasn't ready to face it.

After all of that, he couldn't get the back on completely, but we figured if it worked, I could just duct tape it.

I'm redneck enough to be able to be proud of a duct taped ipod.  I had visions of another 5 years of happiness.  So many more books, so little grass to mow.

And then the strangest thing occurred. I plugged it into my computer, and the ipod actually emitted a sound!  There is no speaker on the ipod.  NO WAY for a sound to come out.

It was like the little squeal a lobster gives when you boil it and it finally dies.  What, I am from New England.  We know these truths.  I am not kidding.  It truly was the ipod's squeal of death.

So it's over.  Kaput.  We're through.

I'm not sure I can get past this.

I must have an ipod for my classes at the gym because that is now the only way to play tunes in spin.  I am using my sister's original classic but it's playing games with me, so I can't use it for my own entertainment.  It works fine when it's in the dock at the gym, but when I want to actually listen to it for myself, it dies after 15 minutes.

Sounds like the battery right?  Hey, I hear you can replace those things pretty cheaply and it's so easy.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Feel Good Friday

**I picked these peppers today and the tomatoes have been ripening on the plants that I have in the greenhouse.

I can't believe I made this salsa this late in the season!  I had to add a couple of store bought tomatoes, and the onions too, but the peppers and 2 tomatoes are mine!  I picked the peppers kind of small because when we get this far into the fall, we can have a frost very quickly and peppers are instantly ruined by frost.  The actual peppers get ruined and you can't use them at all because they smell and taste rotten immediately.

I have lots of flowers on my pepper plants, so I might get some more!  I need to remember to plant my peppers where they will get more sun and water.  I have had this issue a few times and this year, I planted those GIANT marigolds that just about blocked the sun from them all summer.  I am just getting peppers now, after waiting since April!!

I hope to make this fresh salsa one more time before the frost, with as many of my own tomatoes (more are ripening in the greenhouse) and peppers as possible.  I don't have any onions in the ground, but I do have some random leeks that have sprouted in places where I never grew leeks.  Intriguing....  But leeks won't work in this salsa.  I need the bite of the real onion.

**I thought I had poisoned my friend but I did not.  I did all of that canning and put away all of my goods, but I haven't yet eaten any of them.  I gave my friend a jar of apple butter, one of  applesauce and one of cranberry sauce on Saturday.  We went over for dinner, which included fish.

Monday, k-ster told me that on facebook, she posted that she was in the hospital with excruciating stomach pains and they didn't know the cause.  My immediate thought, since k-ster and I were both fine, was that she had tried one of the cans and there really was something wrong with it!!

Thankfully, she had not tried them yet.  And it must not have been the fish because the rest of us had no problems.  She still does not know the source, but she is better and they don't seem worried.

Someone better eat one of these canned goods soon or I'm going to have this panic every time we open a jar.

**My sister sent me a video of my niece laughing her butt off and it just cracked me up.  I'd post it here, but it's not like you've never heard a baby laugh before.

**I've been having a knock down, drag out fight with Merrell over a pair of shoes and after explaining my issue for the umpteenth time, they actually are letting k-ster pick out a new model for free and they are paying for the shipping both ways.

When I am finally satisfied or fed up, I will post about it.  I haven't yet had to say "I have a blog and I know how to use it" but I am about 2 steps from doing that.  We'll see how the new model works, first.

** You heard it here first: the school committee approved a high school trip to Paris in February and I'm pretty sure I'm going to go!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Day Yellow Pissed Them Off

One of my favorite modern baby toys is the Baby Einstein Octoplush.  It says the colors in 3 languages and I love the color of the octopus.  I bought it for my niece and just sent it to her.

But, I'm a little worried about the yellow.

Listen to it in Spanish.  All of the colors are so happy.
Even yellow (amarillo)

Then there's the French.Pretty happy too!

Even yellow (jaune).

I guess it was some time after the French colors were recorded that things went bad for yellow.

Have you ever heard anyone say a color with such disdain?

All of the other colors were so exciting and happy!

And then we get to YELLOW. UGH. It's like yellow sat on her prize winning tulips. Or ran through her house and flashed everyone. What a sad day for yellow.

It's not my favorite color either but I would have reserved that kind of disgust for something like brown or orange..

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Flock of Rototillers

There is going to be a murder.

I thought maybe my father was rototilling his nice green lawn.
 His lawn gets him lots of compliments.  He has used chemicals for a long time but decided last year to try the organic route.  He went that way again this year and lo and behold, the lawn was still green.

Then I saw this.  I thought it was really weird that he would dig up what seems like a really nice lawn.
But it's not him.  This is the handiwork of crows.  Yes, crows.  The very same jerks that dug up a lot of my seedlings this spring.

They hung around all summer, en masse, and made so much noise.  They have this awful clicking noise that sounds like one of those African languages that no white person can mimic.

They get really bent out of shape when you charge after them and shoo them off.

They don't like it too much when beebee guns shoot at them.

Did you know that a group of crows is called a murder?

Yeah, we've been having a murder of crows pay us a visit all summer.

But it's time to turn the tables and show them what murder is all about.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm Sick of This Shi*t

Did you know that I teach middle school students?

This statement seems to come up a lot around here lately. Well, I do. And it's never dull.

We have a dress code at school, which I mentioned recently.  And there are days when I'm ready to throw a sheet on every one of them and call it a day.

Other than the bra straps, there really hasn't been too much for me to fuss about lately.

Until Thursday.

8th grade.

I seriously dislike my 8th grade class.  I have not liked them since the first day I met them in 6th grade.  They are not a likable group.  I like one child in the entire 8th grade.  Something very wrong happened the year these kids were born and there is something wrong with every one of them.  They are like robots.  No expression.  No reaction.  No interest.  It's so weird.

Thankfully, I have only one 8th grade class this year.  And the one student I like is in that class.  But there is a whole raft of others I'd like to ship downriver and never see again.

Lisa and I have had a strange relationship since last year.  Everything I ask of her is a personal affront.  Lots of huffing and puffing.  Sometimes, she knows the answer and she gets all smug and looks at me like "SEE!" but most of the time, she has no clue and looks at me like "what the hell did you ask ME for?" even if her hand was raised.

Thursday, in walked Lisa with a shirt on.  Nope, bra straps weren't exposed.  Nope, midriff not showing.  Nope, no beer or cigarette slogans.

Just a white shirt with some words in black.  The words said "I'm sick of this shirt!"

"Lisa, come here, I need to see you"

I walk into the hall, she stomps and huffs her way out.

"Umm, what's going on with this shirt?  You can't wear something like that here!  You're never going to make it through the day with that on!"

"I've worn it before."

"Well, you're not wearing it today, it's totally offensive.  Do you have a shirt or..."

"UGH FINE" stomp stomp stomp" I'll wear my sweatshirt" stomp stomp back into the classroom "MY SHIRT IS INAPPROPRIATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

That's just about the fastest way to get a teacher so fired up.

"You know what, Lisa?  Take it to the office.  Let them tell you why it's so inappropriate."

"Hi, Lisa is on her way down so someone can tell her why her shirt is inappropriate.  Ok, thanks."

3 minutes later

Huf, huff, hands me a pass that says "please let Lisa put on her sweatshirt"

Cue the 5 minute production of Jess taking off the sweatshirt so she can give to Lisa.

So why would it catch my attention and make me so furious???

Yeah, I'm pretty sick of this shit too.

**On a strange note.  I searched the internet for this shirt and could not.  I am certain it is a commercially made shirt, not one that she just spraypainted out the R herself.  I swear she bought this somewhere but I could not find a single shirt on the internet like this!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Why I Should Advise No One

Over the years that I have taught, I've had homerooms and I haven't had homerooms.  Some years, they were called advisory periods.  I haven't one in a while, but this year, I have 9 sixth graders in my advisory. 

It's fun.  They aren't too jaded yet but I am trying to make them that way, so we can have fun conversations. 

And they are a little strange.  It's like they don't know I can see them.

Traditionally, when someone in my advisory has a birthday, I let that person choose breakfast.  I will get bagels, munchkins or I will make pancakes.  I bring in my griddle and make them on the spot.  It's not a big deal, but they like it and it's fun.

Last Friday was Jane's birthday and she chose pancakes.  I chose to wait until this past Friday because it was day 2 and that is my lightest day of the week.  I don't want to also make pancakes on a day when I have 5 or 6 classes in a row.  That's just a recipe for disaster.

We talked on Thursday about not eating breakfast because I was going to make pancakes.

You know where this is going.

I was so excited that Friday was day 2, I meandered through my morning, not racing out the door by 7:30 because I only had 3 classes.  I got to school a little later than usual and then I was fooling around with the teacher across the hall as kids were coming in.

It was day 2, a great day.  I could get so much done!

I got into my room and Jane said "Here she is!" and looked at me.  And said "You forgot, didn't you?"

Here's where the jaded begins.

I felt like 2 cents.  I wanted to crawl away and die.  I felt so bad that I not only forgot to acknolwedge her birthday, but I told them all not to eat breakfast!  I offered to send her to the cafeteria for breakfast but she didn't want it.

I promised I would do it Monday, to make up for it.  But that day sucks.  And it's totally my fault.  How could I do that????

The worst part is that she is the first one to have a birthday, so now the rest of them will be like "yeah right".

Ugh.  I can't believe I did that!!!

To top it off, I then had a great nightmare that I forgot AGAIN.  Only this time, in the nightmare, I remembered on the way to school and raced home to get what I needed.  In the dream, I decided to make the batter at home and have my mother drive me back to school.  I had left my car midway and walked home.  In the middle of it all, I added ketchup and spinach to the batter.  And ran out of flour.  And didn't have enough.

You might be saying, forget it, just don't bother.  But I have to because I said I would.  And I'm good like that.

When I remember.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Feel Good Friday

Here we are again. These weeks just fly by and I can't believe it's Friday again. My new schedule this year has me so busy I can't even remember the day anymore.  I made a very big mistake today that I will tell you about later, but it was not a feel good moment.  My advisory may hate me from this day forward.

Anyway, on to the feel goods.

I had Monday off for Columbus day and that was just dandy.  We also had last Friday as a professional day, so I went 4 days with no students.  Can you say relaxed? 

I learned a new activity on my professional day on Friday and though I was skeptical, I tried it.  OMG.  There was a French fest in my room during the activity.  EVERY student was speaking, because they had to, and I didn't have to say a word except top tell them when it was time to move to the next partner.  Anyone walking in the door would have been so impressed.  Now I have to be careful not to overuse that activity.

I went out this morning, the 14th of October, and picked green beans and broccoli!  We still have this unseasonably warm weather, so the plants haven't given up yet.  I have peppers that are growing.  Some tomatoes in the greenhouse that are turning.  And some winter squash that thinks it can be as big as the others I already picked this summer, but they aren't quite getting there.  The beans just keep coming and coming and my new crop is flowering.  The bees are still going crazy.  It's very exciting to me!

After watching a coyote run through the yard the other morning, later than I think a coyote should dare show its face, Gwenstopher tried to spend the night outside.  After much calling, shaking of the treats bag and calling some more, she finally sauntered home. 

That's all I can think of this week.  It's been slim pickings for feel good moment around here lately.

What about you? 

Grab the button the right, write a post on your blog about it and come share the link in the comments.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WTF Wednesday

Police arrest man for child pornography after tipoff from burglars  A central California man has been arrested for possession of child pornography, thanks to a tip from burglars who robbed the man's property..

I couldn't even be bothered to read the article, this just made me say WTF???? 
And since none of you lazy butts out there jumped on the WTF bandwagon, funnyorsnot is thinking about cancelling it.  It's all fun and games until no one participates.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why Bridezillas Is My Go To Show

I have not been married before. I have participated in a few weddings. I have been to a few weddings that I didn't participate in.

And never once, did I see the kind of behaviors we see in the Lifetime show Bridezillas.

I don't know if you've ever taken the time to watch this show, but I can't stop watching it.

I think the reason is that I would never, ever, EVER behave the way people on that show behave. They are obnoxious, dirty, trashy, and many are so low class, I think the only way they can afford a wedding is to be on that terrible show and behave that way.

 I am fascinated and can't turn away. I can't believe what they say. I can't believe who they think they are. I can't believe their future husbands put up with it.

And I can't stop watching it.

Did I mention that?

K-ster hates it. I mean HATES it. He might hate it even more than the Apprentice and Amazing Race combined, and he hates them a lot too.

Last night, he was out taking a shower, and I couldn't help myself. I turned on Bridezillas. When he came back in, he took the remote and solemnly said "That's it. You cannot be left alone with the remote anymore."

If that's not the first step in making someone become a bridezilla, I'm not sure what is....

Monday, October 10, 2011

Living Life In Onesies

Wouldn't life be easier if we all just wore onesies?  No need to match things.  No need to worry about tops and bottoms.  Just put them on and go.

I had seen some really cute ways to jazz up a onesie over here, so I finally got around to make a couple for my niece.  They are really easy to make, but without her here, I wasn't sure where the waist would be.  I just kind of guessed.
These are lady bugs.  The other is butterflies.  She's growing faster than I expected, so the onesies are a little smaller than I would have liked.

I also think the white is a little too much white and thought I might applique a ladybug on there.  But I didn't get around to it.

Obviously, she 's tickled with the idea!  She's always putting her hands like that- plotting, I think!

Nothing But Country

Friday, October 7, 2011

Feel Good Friday

Ok, I am here to do Feel Good Friday some justice.  I forgot that once I go back to school, I have to do these on Thursday night so they will appear on Friday. Otherwise, it's like SUnday before I can think about it.

*The garden and greenhouse are still going strong and it's October 7th.  I love running out in the morning and still coming back with a handful of beans.  The tomatoes are just about done, but the 2 that I put in the greenhouse have suddenly exploded with flowers.  It's been in the 40s for the past few nights, so I've been keeping the greenhouse closed which means no bees can get in.  If it's warm this weekend, I'll open the door when I'm home so many we'll get a few more.  I'm not used to being able to harvest anything so late in the seasons except for broccoli.  I planted some new beans a couple of weeks ago and they are just flowering, but I think the frost might cut them short.  I have a plan to keep the frost off.  It's ridiculous.  It involves a mattress pad that I bought at the goodwill.  I can't talk about it. I'll let you know.

*It's cranberry season around here!  These are actually prettier in the picture than they were in real life!  K-ster's boss has his shop at some cranberry bogs and k-ster knows the owner, so he asked if he could have some cranberries when they picked.  He told him to help himself.  So, I had him bring home a paperbag full.  I had no idea how much that would be! 

Well, it was enough to make one batch of cranberry muffins, put about 4 cups in the freezer, give about 2 cups to my sister and can about 6 or 7 quarts of cranberry sauce.  And I still haven't used them all!  Who can turn away FREE cranberries?  And then I canned them myself, so I've only had to pay for the jars!

I have this much left!  Cranberry bread, anyone?

*I have discovered apple butter and I might never be the same. You might have read about my apple picking debut and I've been busy putting those apples to good use.  I'm not sure I've really ever understood the deliciousness that is apple butter.  Until this past weekend.

I read the recipe and decided I'd give it a whirl.  Other than the fact that it took forever to boil down and in its final moments just about exploded all over my stove top, it might be the best thing I've canned this year.  I made little 4oz jars and they came out so perfect looking.  They are the first thing that I've canned that behaved exactly as I wanted it to.  No oozing out the sides, no strange things inside the jar when I was finished.  I can't wait to show you.  If I don't eat every little jar myself first!

OK, so all of those involve food.  Let's see if there were any non food feel good moments this week.

*Well, it did not feel good when our schedule was changed this week and my world turned upside down because I was given a lot more classes.  BUT BUT BUT the feel good piece is that I was given 4 sections of 7th grade instead of 3 and I still have all of those kids that I enjoy so much.  But the huge class of 28 was sort of split, so now I can enjoy them even more because I can actually attend to each of them and they can actually get a chance to particiate.

When you have a class of 28 kids plus an aide in there, a person could drop dead in the corner and no one would really notice because there is so much activity and chaos.  Not that my room is full of chaos but it's mild chaos with that many bodies compared to 16 or 20.  Someone always has to go to the bathroom or throw something away or sharpen a pencil or ask for an eraser or drop their pencil or play with  a clicky thing or the office has to call me or the AP has to come to my door to take a kid or someone has to go to the nurse or I trip over a chair and almost kill myself or the window slams in the breeze and a painting falls off the wall or the kid with Asperger's is marching around in his little circle because he hasn't calmed down yet or the kid who was absent needs the papers I gave out RIGHT THIS INSTANT or the someone's drumsticks fall on the floor and echo like it's the Grand Canyon or I go flying over someone's violin case because they left it in the middle of the floor and everyone laughs or the fire alarm goes off or I forgot to turn on my Smartboard and we're all staring at it  while it warms up.  Oh wait.  Feel Good Friday.  Sorry.

And so far, 7th grade is really stroking my self esteem.  THANK GOD.  If this whole thing took place with last year's 7th grade, I truly would be in a straightjacket right now. 

*K-ster got to go to the opening Bruins game so he was tickled and that's good. I like it when he gets really happy about the games.   He even cleaned out his truck so when I drove it to school, it wasn't all grimy and nasty inside.  He has to take The General because his truck is lifted and too tall for the garage.  And The General gets better mileage and is much younger.  And I look "so hot" when I drive his truck.  I get everyone all stirred up.  It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.

Now, go write about your own Feel Good Friday moments and then come back here and give us the link in a comment!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tea For How Many?

This is such a WTF every day, not just Wednesday.
Why can't all tea bags be separated?  

Why do the tea companies think it's ok to keep them in pairs?

Is it so hard, when splitting all of the other tea bags to do one more, so each bag is alone?

Do they know what a royal pain in the ASS it is in the morning to reach into the box, grab what you think is a single bag (because it might be the mate to the one you tore off yesterday) only to find that it's 2 bags and you have to tear them?

Do they know how unpleasant it can be when you tear them and one actually rips and tea goes everywhere, first damn thing in the morning?


Is it that difficult?


Sunday, October 2, 2011

And THEN... She said BRAS!!!!

This post was written in 2011, when I was teaching middle school.  I have now been moved to a 4th and 5th grade building and while I am really looking forward to the age group, it's episodes like this that I will miss.  Because middle school is such a bizarre time in everyone's lives and teachers are forced to say things we never thought we'd say in a million years.  And they never stop giving us plenty of blog fodder.


I know 4th and 5th grade will supply me with endless stories as well, but they will be, well, so much more tame...

I think I'm missing 12 year olds already.

Cue gut busting laughter, giggling and major averting of eyes.

I realize the fashion trend these days is to reveal as much of the shoulder/arm/chest/neck area as possible, but in the middle school, we try to keep it under wraps.  Actually, if I could just give them all wraps, my life would be so much easier.

And, if I can't wear it, ain't nobody wearin' it.

We have a district dress code which has a LOT of lengthy explanations of the basic:  no boobs, no butts, no problem.  It goes on and on about tank tops, tube tops, pants at the natural waist, etc.  I am sure exactly one parent has read the thing from top to bottom.  In fact, I am probably the only teacher who has read the whole thing.

So, when we got back to school this year, and I learned that the Flashdance look (wide top on the shirt, allowing one side to fall down the shoulder, revealing the shoulder and a bra strap) had returned from 1985, I had to investigate to make sure that this was sort of like the revealing tank tops that are forbidden.  And indeed, shoulder exposure is too much.

Add to that the wifebeater tank top (worn by girls) with the bra straps that are showing in the front and back.  And the tank tops that are super skinny spaghetti straps, so they wear two or three of them to try to make them look like wide enough straps.  We use a 2-3 finger rule, meaning that your straps need to be at least 2 fingers wide, I usually say 3.  I have a million tank tops that are not school appropriate, so again, if Mademoiselle Sparkling can't wear them, neither should you.

And don't even get me started on the length of shorts and skirts.

I am the dress code nazi these days.  If you don't have a sweatshirt or other shirt to cover those straps then you go to the nurse and pick out one of the glorious shirts that has been donated to the school.  The kiss of death in 7th grade.

Recently, by the third class of the day, I had had enough bra straps, bare shoulders and boobs, so I figured I would address EVERYONE because I was sure the nurse was running out of shirts.  This was a 7th grade class.  This whole 7th grade class loves me.  They did last year too.  I am a comedian, in their eyes.  Class is just one big party.  I don't know why I 'click' so nicely with this group, but it's so much fun.

So, it kind of went like this.

"Ok, I'm going to say this to all of you so there is no surprise when I tell you next time.  There is a dress code here at school, and basically, your tank tops have to be 3 fingers wide, like this ( demonstrate, realizing my own shirt better be wide enough!) your bottoms much be at least as long as your fingers can reach and no off the shoulder shirts.  I know, it's very fashionable, but we don't need to see your shoulders."

"Oh, and boys, that's for you too, just in case you get any ideas."

Snicker, smirk, gee that Mlle. Sparkling is pretty funny.

So, I'm ready, I get my book out and start turning to the page and for some reason I mumble "because I'm tired of looking at underwear."  Again the snickers and smiles.

A boy says "UNDERWEAR?  We don't see any UNDERWEAR?  Whose UNDERWEAR?" This is a boy so clueless that if I were standing there in only my very own underwear, he would never notice.

"Yes, Mark, UNDERWEAR, I'm seeing UNDERWEAR!"

Again, he's looking around for underwear.

I catch a few glances from some of the more with-it girls.

"BRAS, Mark, I'm tired of seeing BRA STRAPS.  They are underwear, you know."

They did NOT know what to do!  Mlle. Sparkling just said BRAS!!  OUT LOUD!!

I don't know if you remember middle school, but as a middle school student, you can say any dirty word in the world to your friends and it's highly acceptable, but when an adult, and worse A TEACHER says a dirty word like BRAS?????

Well, you just about wet your pants.

And then to frost the cake, I too smirked, looked down at my book like I was very busy and said quietly "OMG she just said BRAS, she's lost her mind, she just said BRAS out loud in a FRENCH class!"

I think I heard organs actually bursting with the laughs they were trying to suppress.  And no one could look at anyone else for the rest of class.

Why would I ever want to leave the middle school????

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