Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Knew That Masters Degree Would Come in Handy

It's the end of another year and I'd like to share my top 10 posts of all time.  According to the number of views.  According to blogger's calculations, anyway.  Some of these are not what I would have chosen, but they must have caught the eye of someone who needed to know more!

Starting off, #9

I Knew That Master's Degree Would Come In Handy 

I just didn't know it would be for something so simple.

You know I'm a lia sophia jewelry advisor, and have been for 5 years.  I really like selling the jewelry and it's a fun thing to do on the side.  I would never make a career of it because then I would have to hound people to have shows and I don't want to do that.  Ever.  It should be fun, not something you do because you feel guilty.  Or scared that I will bite you.

A friend of mine is a Pampered Chef consultant and has tried for a while to get me on board.  No way Jose, I have told her time and time again.  Her name is not Jose, but let's protect the sly devil  that she is innocent.

We did a couple of shows together which proved to be very bad for both of us.  It sounds like a great deal:  invite your friends over just once and have all of those consultants over at once so they stop bugging you.  However, people can't deal.  They dont' know which company to buy from.  They come with one mind set and then feel overwhelmed.  They don't know what to do.

So they buy nothing and leave.

Not a smart thing for either of us.

So, we decided after the last fiasco, NO MORE OF THAT.  It did, however, let us chat at length about the two companies.  There are big pros and cons to being a consultant with both.  Nope, I'm not sharing a single pro or con for either.

Let's just say that I we made a deal with the devil and I "somehow" became a Pampered Chef consultant over the weekend.  I am such a great friend.  Let me stop and pat myself on the back.   Numerous times.    It's all in the  name of helping her promote to manager.  Yeah for Jose.

Anyway, so here I am.  Jewelry and cooking supplies.  Teachers have the summer "off" right?  I should have plenty of time to book all kinds of shows and be rolling in dough (ha ha ha literally) all summer right?  RIIIIIIIGHT.

So, here's how the Master's degree comes in to play.  I know, you're like "whoa- you got a Master's in being a jewelry or Pampered Chef advisor??  COOL!!"  Of course not.  I wasn't even a business major.  I can barely do math

Today, I entered my first Pampered Chef  show and there was a guest who was entitled to this month's hostess bonus because she had a show last month.    And the hostess wanted to take her own special deal too.

So, I got into my site, got down to business and started entering the show.  I've done this 4,000 times with lia sophia so you would think it would be easy.  And it basically was.

Until I tried to get the hostess special for the hostess and the guest.  I could not for the life of me, make it work.  And I tried really hard.  So, I called Jose and she told me to do everything I had already done and it still didn't work, so she said she'd call the Big Guns and get an answer.  We stumped the Big Guns too.

So, I sucked it up and called tech support.  And I started with "I'm a new consultant and I've managed to stump two managers..."  She laughed and said she is fearless.  And then she told me to do what I already had done.   And it still didn't work.

So she passed me along.

I sat and waited and listened to muzak.  And what did my highly trained, Master's degree holding eyeballs discover?

That's right, the wonderful little icon on the right that said "click here to add hostess special" and the other icon on the right that said "click here to add guest special for previous hostess".  Yes, those very 2 icons.  That 4 sets of eyeballs couldn't find.

Until the beautiful muzak drove me to find something to get me out of that hell before I died.

I didn't expect to pay off my education in cookware, but whatever works! Linking up with Finding the Funny. Go there, there's a giveaway today!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Not Sure I Can Grin and "Bear" This One...

I don't usually disclose where I live in the event that my 48 fans decide to stalk me and gas me out of my house.  However, I might have to share that information to illustrate my point.  Please don't gas me.  Or write things on my house.  Or the General.  And, for the love of God, don't picket on my lawn.

We live on a manmade island, but most of us think of it as a peninsula.  A canal was dug in the early 1900s so that boats could save time getting in to port, and 2 bridges were created to get across.  It's not a very wide canal, but it has crazy currents running through it.  It's maybe the width of 2 football fields?  I don't know, I'm not very good with measurements off hand, but it's not like 1/4 mile or anything.

We have all sorts of wildlife, as I've explained, but this weekend, we had our first ever "bear".  I can't write it without the " " because I don't believe this is a bear that has been spotted.  I believe it's a very big dog, like a Newfoundland, or a Bouvier de Flandres or a hairy Mastiff.  Or maybe it's a gorilla.  Because as far as I'm concerned, I'd be just as willing to believe a gorilla had jumped onto our "island" than I would be to believe it's a bear.

I know some of you live in bear country and that bears are not cute and are not a laughing matter when they are chasing you up trees and shaking your car and destroying your back yard oasis.

I simply cannot take part in the blind belief that local residents have that indeed, this is a bear.

Not only did this "bear" take a dip in very dangerous currents and make it across the canal, it then has made its way 25 miles or so in 3 days.  Again, I know bears can swim.  I know they travel.  I don't doubt that a bear would travel almost 10 miles a day looking for food.

However, I just don't believe that a solitary bear, one that looks rather young, has manage to leave its friends and neighbors behind, jumped in the water, and is making a beeline for the tip of the Cape by sundown. 

Also fascinating to me is that this "bear" is only staying along one roadway.  In what is ironically the most protected "historic" section of the Cape.  Proctected like you have to choose from a selection of paint colors for your house.  Like you have to get permission to change the style of your windows.  Like having bears in that neck of town would be most inappropriate.

So, until this creature lumbers by my own window, I just won't believe it.  And since I don't live in the historic section, I doubt I'll have a chance.  They don't like to share.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Who Wants A Job?

I've been riding a different horse for a couple of weeks.  His name is Jake and he's 27.  You'd think such an old horse would be dragging his butt but he's pretty energetic and so many ways different from Tucker, I'd have to write a whole post just about that.

But that's not my point today.

Today, r-ster and his owner c-ster were talking about how he seems pretty happy to be ridden lately.  C-ster said horses love nothing than to have a job to do.   He was on stall rest for a tendon issue for a while but is all healed and enjoying me, according to them.

I've heard that before.  Put a horse in a pasture day after day and they just get bored and atrophy.  Exercise a horse regularly and make it think and do what you want and it will keep on truckin'.

I repeated this comment to someone today who said "that's why women and horses get along so well!  Horses like to have jobs to do and women are always coming up with jobs for people to do!"

Hmm, something to ponder.

Linking up with the Finding the Funny Gals
and Saturday Laughs

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Someone's Pants Are Burning

And that someone is Martha Stewart.

According to Parade Magazine, when asked if she ever orders take-out, she says "Oh, I never do!  I can't remember the last time I ordered a pizza.  I will either eat out in a very good restaurant or I will cook."

Really?  Really?  Can't remember the last time she ordered a pizza?

Is that "a good thing"?


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Teacher Loses Pants, Operation Shock and Awe A Success

If you see this headline tomorrow, don't be surprised. 

I have a new habit of wearing disintegrating clothes without knowing it in the spring and summer.  I don't know if my thighs are super close now or what, but I'm making swiss cheese of pants like it's my job.  It could be that I refuse to throw out clothes if they still fit, due to my frugal nature.  And I love my summer clothes that I bought in the 90s that don't seem to exist anymore.  They appear to be timeless (to me) and I can't part with them.

So, every time I wear these pants that are from the Express circa 199?, I worry that this might be the last time I can be seen in public and not hear the whispers.

I love these capris.  I love the way they fit, the way they hang, the color and did I mention, the way they fit?  I've worn them in Europe, I've worn them just about since I started teaching, I've worn them and worn them and worn them.  And they remain clean and intact.

They  have this very weird closure.  It just zips and then there's a tie thing.  No buttons or clasps.  And they manage to stay up.  Like magic!

There was this one time that I was tieing them and the tie broke (I'm holding the remains) and I thought "Ok, this is the last day for these".  But, many years later, I still dare to wear them.

The inner thighs look ok to me.  Right now.  But there is a good chance they will completely disappear by 3pm and I'll be standing here in my underwear while my 7th graders sit in utter silence.

I suppose I should keep the high kicks and splits to a minimum today.

In the meantime, I'm linking up with Finding the Funny, and Saturday Laughs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Manning the Camp

My niece turned 1 on Friday and my family went to their house to celebrate her first birthday.  Hard to believe it's been a year since this post.  I first saw her last June, when she was about a month old.  Now she's 1 and just about to walk and babbling and being funny all the time.

I was just there in April and I'll  be going back in June, so I wasn't too disappointed to miss the first birthday party.  Plus, someone had to stay home to guard the compound.  This is the beginning of our busy season and it's not a good time for all of us to be gone.
So, I stayed at home and did the following:

-went  into the office and dug through all the secret files
-added an extra digit to everyone's rent except my own
-ran around telling people if they don't shape up, I'll hitch the General up to their trailer and they'll find themselves on the street come morning
-mowed the endless fields of grass that are so out of control in the spring
-bought my parents a dog so they don't look lonely when they take their walks
-let some Hell's Angels park for the night because they swore they'd be quiet

Just a normal weekend around here.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Project Runway Wants Me Now

There are only so many of us who are blessed with the gift of pulling off an outfit like this... broad daylight... 

To mow the grass.

So many levels of wrong are crashing into each other at once, I have no doubt it will be the new biggest trend to hit the runways since, well, the jet.

Really, how can you not love this?  It's women's golf meets walking in the Outback meets running a race meets Hollywood glam.

I know you want to be me. Linking up here.

But what I really want to know is, do those glasses make my butt look big?

Linking up with the Finding the Funny ladies and Saturday Laughs.  Go see who else can make you laugh at their expense!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

L'Eggs Eggs and Legs and Legs

Remember L'eggs Eggs?  The pantyhose that came in the plastic egg?  When I was little, I remember there being no end to the wall of pantyhose (another word I don't like because, you guessed it, it has the word PANTY in it) at the grocery store or the drugstore.  Remember that?

I used to wear pantyhose.  Once I was in high school I seemed to think it was like a requirement with any skirt. I think all the girls did.  I never found L'eggs Eggs to be anything worth buying though.  I worked at CVS in high school and the CVS brand that came in a package was always wonderful, to me.  And it was cheaper.  And I swore they fit me better.

Off I went to college with a bag full of CVS brand nylons.  And I wore them.  And I wasn't the only one.

And then one day, I can't even tell you when, I stopped wearing them.  And I stopped wearing them for so long that today, I almost throw up at the thought of having to put them on.  For so many reasons.

I don't like to be tied into hosiery of any kind.    In ballet, I would cut out part of the foot so I could roll it up to my ankle and be free but then roll them back down for recitals so I wouldn't have to buy a new pair.  I don't know how I ever convinced myself that wearing nylons or tights was comfortable.  Something about just having the foot free makes wearing anything tight bearable.  So leggings are fine.  But add a confined foot and it's all over.

Now I only wear them if there is a penalty involved if I don't wear them.  This means I don't wear a skirt for most of the winter.  And no one seems to care.

The whole reason I bring up this topic is this.

No, it's not because of that creepy guy looking at me from the nylons section (who is he and why is he looking at me as I look at nylons????)

It's because I was in the grocery the other day and this meager sampling is the entire offering of hosiery at today's grocery store!  That's it.  Hardly a whole display, let alone a whole wall!  And some of that stuff is socks. And not a L'egg to be found!  So really, there are like 2 brands of nylons you can buy today.

What does this mean for human kind?  What does it mean when my girl students are 12, 13, 14 and have never, not once in their lives donned a pair of tights or nylons?

It probably means a happier generation of women who:

-have never had to fear causing a run in their hose

-have never carried around clear nail polish to stop said run

-have never brought a pair of nylons up to their knees and known they were never going all the way up, no matter how hard they pull, queen size on a size 2 body or not (really, am i alone in this?)

-have never been in a rush and put their thumb right through the "panty" area of the pantyhose as they were trying to scrunch it all up so they could then pull them all up

-have never felt that cool breeze that is even colder than the actual air because nylons have this weird way of making their own cool breezes

-have never been walking and felt their nylons slipping down at a rapid pace until the crotch is below the hemline

-have never accidentally bought control top pantyhose and realized their hem line was above the control top bottom

-have actually had to shave their legs or suck it up and wear pants

-have never had the joy of standing up, only to have the waistline roll right down to the widest part of their hips

and most of all...

-have never tried to match their skin tone to that crazy color that comes in the "natural" or "neutral" package that would only match the skin of a doll

and really most of all...

-have never had to utter the word "pantyhose"

We've probably created a generation of gloriously free women, not forcing these girls to wear such confining 'stockings".

And ladies over 50, don't get me started about how good we have it because back in your day, you had to wear garters and the material was like cardboard, etc., etc.  None of them feel good at the end of the day.  None.

Linking up with the Finding the Funny ladies and Saturday Laughs.  Go see who else will make you laugh!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I Knew The End Was Near

I just didn't expect this.

Remember when I posted about my grocery store points that I use for gas?  In it, I  marveled at my 1000 points one day and how I saved $1 per gallon.  I was a little suspicious about where those points came from, but I took them and ran.
And then I noticed that after I got back from France, I couldn't seem to hang on to my points.  The first time, I figured it was karma and that the points I got when I shouldn't have were now being taken away.  But then it happened a lot.

And then the final straw was last week.  I intentionally bought some things that were supposed to give me 200 extra points.  I don't usually buy the crap that gets you those extra points, but it happened to be something I wanted and needed.  I was annoyed when a coupon came out at the register saying I had to wait until I made another purchase before the 200 points would show up, but I figured as soon as I made another purchase they would add in, like they have in the past.  I left the store with 400 points that day.

And then the next day, I tried to use my points and I had NOTHING.  And I went shopping and NOTHING happened with my points.  I was LIVID.   All week, I made a few trips to the store and accrued a meager sum of points, but nothing like the hundreds I had had.
I found my receipt from last week and the magic coupon yesterday and I called the hotline and made an amazing discovery.

My sister e-ster, my mother and my GRANDMOTHER and I are all linked.  Weird, since my grandmother wasn't even alive when they started this points system and my sister and I weren't living at home when it was instituted.  So, my sister, my mother and I have been racking up and stealing each other's points!!

I called to break the news to e-ster that she can no longer have my points!  She was like "well, I always thought it was weird.  It was like the lottery at the gas pump.  I'd leave the grocery store with like 50 points and I'd go get gas and have like 500 points!  I never knew what I'd get!"

So, I guess some of those 1000 points were hers and my mother's, so she gets to have my 600 that she stole last week, but now we're even and NO MORE. OF THIS CRAP.
And my mother?  When I first wrote this post, I said that she can't be bothered with points, so I was sure she wasn't stealing them.  Then she posted anonymously that she does use them and could never figure out why she didn't have what she thought she had. 
But the best part?  The nice lady on the phone put 600 points back on my card!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Overheard at the Barn

I'm linking up with Finding the Funny today but their buttons seem to be missing.  Click here to go see.

I figure I'm on a roll with all the bra talk, so I might as well add this one.

I was warming up Tucker the other day and overheard this conversation between another rider and her instructor:

"Oh, I know, remember when she just rode out there with nothing but her SPORTS BRA??"

"Tsk, tsk, oh my"

"I know, I was like THERE ARE FAMILIES HERE, I mean, I was soooooo embarrassed!"

"Wow, yeah,"

"I mean she's fit and everything but still.  I mean there are FAMILIES all around the barn!"

more conversation I can't hear....then:

"Like, I remember  Susie, she used to just go off in the woods with her bra top on and a shirt tied around her waist!  I mean, she was fit and everything, but still!  And she had BIG ONES.  I was just so embarrassed!"

So I guess riding like this will be out of the question this summer:

They probably would frown on this too.  I'm more shocked at the white pants on a horse.  How does she keep them clean?  I can't even keep BLACk clean around horses!

And where the heck is her helmet?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's All About the Bras

I linked up with Finding the Funny but their button is missing.  Click here.

You might remember that I said the word bras in class one day this year.  Well, that same class forced me to say it again today.  Really, the situation needed to be addressed but it didn't need to be taken to the office, so I did it my way.

Students walk in, one student is all aquiver, full of giggles and showing a whole table of kids something.  I see it's some sort of magazine page and he said he got it in another class.  Sensing nakedness in my presence, I immediately decided I needed it on my desk.

"Bob, bring that up to my desk please"  Bob is mortified because he is only the recipient of the contraband, not the laughing fool that brought it in.  Bob's not in trouble

"Jack (the same boy who brought us this).  Really?  You needed to steal a page full of BRAS from Mrs. Brown's room?  BRAS?  15 bras on one page is what you found so funny you had to tell everyone?"  I said bras 3 times!!

"huh huh, yeah"

Everyone's snickering, not believing that once again, Ms. Sparkling is saying bras.  God I hate that word, almost as much as panties.

I stand there, looking it over intently, everyone wondering what my next move will be.  I flip it over.

"So, do I need to call your mom to tell her about all of the bras, underwear and girdles you were looking at during French?  About the page you stole from another class where you were using newspapers...."

(***OMG, she said GIRDLES!  I don't know what a girdle is but I''m sure it's really dirty, the way she's saying it!**)


*class is gasping, chuckling, rolling*

"Or should I call and tell her that you were looking at the blueberry bushes."

"Yeah, the blueberries" 

*all out laughter*

"So, should I call your mom and tell her you are going to buy her some raspberries for Mother's day or you are going to buy her bras for Mother's day, Jack.  What should I say?"

Of course I'm not calling Jack's mother.  Like another teacher said, this is such old school misbehavior, it's kind of refreshing!  Like looking at the Sears catalog!

Got to link this one  up to Finding the Funny  .

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I'm Think I'm So Clever

Yeah, so I jumped on the whole Keep Calm and Carry On bandwagon a year too late. I came up with these last night and I'm putting them in my classroom.

Linking up with:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cuckoo For Cocoa Puffs

I'm getting concerned about the ornithological critters in my yard.  I think they are criminal masterminds and I'm thinking maybe I should be afraid.

Very afraid.

First, it was a visit from these guys.

They didn't do any damage, but they are a little off putting when there are so many of them.  But I was ok with them.

Then, the other day, crows did this and I was outraged.

That led me to create:

I put out new kale and thought maybe this would keep them off.  Old screens and a bamboo "roof".

I learned this trick from the town dump.  To keep seagulls from sitting on the trash all day, they strung filament across the trash area and not a single bird lands there.  At first, I was going to string this twine across the top but then realized I would have to duck to go in and they could just land elsewhere in the garden and walk over.  And then I realized if I strung it about a foot off the ground, it would inconvenience them enough but not me too much.

So far, so good.  I expect that once things are firmly rooted in a few weeks, I will be able to remove these.

And then this morning, I watched a chickadee pulling insulation out of a hole under the window.  It very methodically would pull out a piece and then lay it on the lilac bush.  Decorating it every so carefully.

See all the fuzzy little "decorations"? It was pretty fascinating to watch and I was amazed that it could get each piece to stay on the branch.  And another chickadee came over to watch and then fed the first one a seed.

I told k-ster that now he REALLY needs to do something about the hole so he put some super wide, strong tape over it.

I had no idea until I went outside, just how much insulation that bird had pulled out!  Look at all of that fiberglass laying under the bush!

The crows spend all day clacking and clucking just out of sight and I swear they are laughing.

And now I'm starting to think the peaceful "chick-a-dee-dee-dee" sound is an awful lot like the theme from psycho.....

Friday, May 4, 2012

Lock The Doors, They're Coming, They're Coming

Remember this from a post a few days ago?


Right, beer traps for slugs because slugs love beer and they were eating my carrot seedlings.  They managed to nibble almost all of them down to the ground in one night.

So, I created little carrot jails to keep the slugs out.  They are way too lazy to climb up a whole coffee cup and then back down.  And, it's making me feel a little better than I can reuse k-ster's coffee cups.  And it offers the plant wind protection.  I like the idea a little more each day.

And then I came upon this scene.

Not only did the crows pull the red plastic cups out of the ground and either dump or drink the beer and eat the slugs, they also pulled out every white cup except for one.  And they poked holes in one of the white cups, while intoxicated.

And THEN, after I put all of the white cups back around the carrots, and put one of the red cups back in the ground, empty, they came and did it AGAIN and flipped the little carrot seedlings out of the ground like this.

And, I know you won't believe this, but they TOOK ONE OF THE RED CUPS.  I am not kidding.  I had two red cups for beer traps and THEY TOOK ONE.  I can't find it anywhere. 

I know, you're sure that this is a joke, some human thinks I take my gardening too seriously and is playing a trick on me. 

Last year, I thought it was squirrels

TWo years ago, racoons did this.

But squirrels don't care about slugs and racoons wouldn't do this in broad daylight. 

And we have a serious crow infestation around here.

Crows did this in the fall to my parents' lawn.

A year ago, I was saying this about crows.

And they did this to my swiss chard seedlings last year.

I really might have to put up a scarecrow, after all.

Unless my screaming and swearing and wild gesturing scares them.  No, actually, that entertains them.  THis morning, I could hear a crow cackling but I couldn't find the damned thing.

I'm sure it was hungover, red cup laying next to it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fat Man In A Prius

This is why I teach middle school:

In 7th grade, they are creating haiku in French that revolve around nature.  Today, they were looking for pictures on the internet to help illustrate their haiku, when a kid was called to the office.

When I went over to see what was on his screen, I was surprised to see a bunch of pictures of fat men in Batman suits and other strange pictures.  I looked to see that he had opened bing and was looking for Fat Man In A Prius.

I wondered aloud why he would be looking for a fat man in a prius to illustrate his haiku about a squirrel.  Everyone was quite entertained.

He came back from the office and made a mad dash to his computer, a stricken look on his face, as he saw me sitting there.

"Why on earth were you binging a fat man in a prius (whole class erupts in giggles) when you are supposed to be looking for squirrels?  That just seems a little odd.  Especially since I don't see a single fat man in a Prius, but I do see a lot of fat men in Batman costumes (even more hysterical giggles)"

"Well, ummm, I thought it would be funny."

And it was. Linking up with these funny ladies today:

 Finding the Funny