Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm Not Sick... Really.

As you may know, I have aspirations of being a published children's author. Well, right now I'm vomiting a book. I use that phrase because the words are gushing out of me; they're ugly, and they stink. I know they won't always be that way. But right now, every time I sit down to type, the words flow and flow. I've never experienced this before. It's weird. But I like it.

I'm not going to tell you what it's about just yet. But I will tell you that I already have a character who's doing things I don't want him to do. And he's not a kid.

Is the suspense killing you as much as it's killing me?

Thursday, October 29, 2009


A friend of mine blogged about this today, and it's a very blogworthy story, so I'm going to tell you about it here.

Yesterday, a teacher at our high school had a heart attack. During class. With students present. This same teacher had invited an EMT to do a presentation for his class. So, as the EMT is presenting, the teacher collapses. The EMT goes from presenting to doing; he saves the teacher's life, keeps everyone else calm and manages to get an ambulance to the school. And the kids get to see what a real hero looks like.

Coincidence? Luck?


As my friend said, "He may not be invited in, but God is in our schools."

As both a teacher and a parent, I'm doubly thankful for that!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Move Over, Psycho!

I readily and willingly admit that I have an irrational fear/hatred of jellyfish. Even typing that word gives me a little shiver. I can't explain it. All I know is they have absolutely no business whatsoever on this planet. I can't look at them at aquariums or even on t.v. I won't even draw or craft them at school for my kindergartners.

I've never been stung. I once hit some cabbage heads with an oar while kayaking in the Gulf of Mexico (that expedition ended with my husband rowing us back at super speed because I was frozen with fear).

Irrational, I know. But wait.

Last night my insanity reached new heights. I had just stepped into the shower. I rinsed my face and as I shook off my hands, the water droplets hit the glass, then ran down the side, forming the horrendous silhouettes of what appeared to be a hundred tiny jellyfish sliding down the shower stall. There was only one thing to do. I picked up the squeegee and "erased" the disgusting little buggers.

As if I needed one more reason to take baths.

Does anyone else need a good therapist?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Around the World in My Kitchen

Further proof of my randomness:

Monday: Fetuccine alfredo with garlic breadtwists and stuffed mushrooms (all made from scratch, thank you very much)

Tuesday: Japanese cabbage pancakes (learned to make them when I went to Japan)

Wednesday: Chili (my daughter's favorite - she found out that day she was getting 4 teeth pulled in preparation for braces)

Thursday: Leftovers (I had a church meeting that night)

Friday: Thai food at a restaurant - beef satay with peanut sauce and shrimp pad-thai.

Saturday: I couldn't make up my mind, so I made two stir-fries. One was a garlic-sesame beef number and the other was a chicken/veggie combo. Jasmine rice included, of course.

I love to travel, eat, and cook. And yes, sometimes all at once. Can you tell?

Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm Just Sayin'...

It would seem lately that there are a lot of divisive issues out there. There are issues we might have never thought about before, even in a million years. There are things we feel strongly about; and there are those we would die for.

I was recently called a "stupid, ignorant skeptic" for saying that I was not going to get the H1N1 vaccine. My reason has nothing to do with media hype or even religious conviction. I simply choose to opt out because I've gotten the flu 3 out of 5 times after receiving the seasonal flu shot. I'm just sayin' I wouldn't go to Vegas with those odds. I wasn't trying to persuade anybody one way or the other. I was simply stating my own personal reason for making my own personal choice. Living under the good 'ol stars and stripes allows me said choice. If I get the H1N1 virus, I accept full responsibility. I will also do the responsible thing and STAY HOME.

Really!?! Stupid and ignorant?

If there are going to be issues out there that divide us, let's at least be divided over issues that matter. And let's do it without resorting to name calling.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Random Thought About Tucson

I went to school in Tucson, at the University of Arizona (GO CATS!). Some of my favorite places in Tucson included Grandma Tony's Pizza (a mushroom slice to die for) McKale Center (home of the NCAA Men's Basketball Champions) and a place called Eegees.

Eegees is a sandwich shop, but that's not what they're known for. They have these slushes, that everyone calls eegees. "What flavor eegee are you gonna get?" When you're wearing a hot (I mean that in the literal sense) polyester band uniform at a Saturday afternoon football game in Tucson in September, nothing hits the spot like a frozen lemon eegee.

Today at the grocery store as I was perusing the ice cream section, I noticed that they had these little frozen lemonade cups on sale. I could never expect a factory-made, mass produced frozen lemonade to even come close to the bliss that is an eegee, but I had to give it a try.

I'm waiting for the kids to get home from school so that I can give it to them. They'll think it's a real treat.

By the way, my husband proposed to me at Eegees.

Do you pine for a hard-to-get-treat from your past?

Monday, October 19, 2009

200,000 Reasons to be Thankful

I called my friend Stacee on Saturday afternoon. It had been a while since we'd hung out. "What are you doing tonight?" I asked.
"We're having a birthday party for our car!" she replied. She then explained how her Dodge Caravan had recently turned 200,000 miles and she promised her kids that they could throw a party for it. Her four kids had gotten up at 7:00 that morning and baked a cake. The 10-year-old supervised and the 2-year-old topped it with his toy vans. Stacee invited my family to come over later for pizza and birthday cake. As someone who has worked as an automotive journalist, I could hardly pass up such a momentous event.

We arrived at the appointed hour. We ate delicious pizza, drank ginger ale until our noses tickled, and sang "Happy Birthday" to the van. It was great!

This may seem like a really silly thing, but here's what I learned that night:

1. Gratitude for a car that has lasted 200,000 miles (and counting) vs. complaining about an old car that has 200,000 miles is the right perspective to have in life.

2. Stacee's kids (and in turn, my kids) had a wonderful time learning lesson #1.

Thanks, Stacee for a fun time. I can't wait until my car turns 200,000 miles! (Only 70,000 more to go)!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Mouse in the House

I don't typically condone rodent infestation, but this little guy looked kinda comfy on my front porch this morning.

I'll let my hubby deal with it when he gets back from golfing.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Big Balloons, Big Money, and Big Litter Boxes

I'm not intellectual enough to get into a full-on political debate with anyone (uncommon sense, remember?) but common sense is lost on today's political climate. Besides chasing a giant runaway mylar balloon that may or may not have contained a small boy (whew) there were two stories in the news that caught my attention today.

The first was the fact that social security recipients will not receive their cost of living adjustment for the first time since 1975. Despite the fact that the economy saw negative inflation, the cost of prescription drugs and food continues to rise. The president is proposing that every social security recipient instead receive a one-time check for $250, at a taxpayer cost of $13 billion dollars. Here's what it looks like with all of the zeros: $13,000,000,000. Really, what is $250 going to get people? Nothing; but it will get their grandchildren's grandchildren deeper in the hole.

The other story has to do with another bill being proposed: a $3500 per person tax break for pet owners. To quote the reporter, "Analysts say this could be good for the economy as people will spend the money on luxury items for their pets."

Hmmm... on one hand, we're plunging deeper into debt. On the other hand we're giving Fluffy the cat $3250 more than we're giving Grandma.

Well, at least Fluffy will finally get her luxury litter box.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Exciting Life

Today was one of those RARE days whenI actually had some time all to myself. I finished work, had two quick errands to take care of, and then found myself unbound by the constraints of time or kids. So I decided to hit some stores that I could only enjoy by myself. And you know what? I ended up at Target, bought a mop, and drove home.

I need a bath.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm Trying To Write This

When the school year began, I decided that Tuesday afternoons would be dedicated to writing. So every week I take my laptop and head to the library after work. I spend a couple of blissful hours surrounded by books and imagine what my own books might look like on the shelves. Hopefully the day will come when I won't have to imagine.

I am sitting in the YA section as I type this. Allow me to describe my surroundings. To my right is a mother and two small children sitting on the bean bags. I think she is reading books to them in Russian. She's loud enough that I know she's translating "No David." To my left are two men having some kind of very loud discussion about a possible job. An interview? It's not for a job here at the library, by the way. Within the YA section are two women. The younger one is helping the older one pick out a book. The older one can't seem to control the volume of her voice. There is also a woman with a teen-age daughter, both of whom seem to lack any sense of the phrase "quiet voice." They're talking to each other two aisles apart.

Is it just me or are libraries supposed to be places of quiet? I guess I'll go home and write. Hopefully I won't be distracted by something silly like laundry or dishes or dusting.


Monday, October 12, 2009


If you know me at all, you know that my little brain is capable of some pretty crazy dreams. It's been that way since I was a kid. I quit trying to analyze them long ago, because I'm afraid the result would be, well, frightening. Last night's was a doozy (yes, I said "doozy").

Here it is:

I was driving my car to Kansas City (not sure which one). My husband was driving behind me. Along the road were fields and pastures full of bison and buffaloes - you know, the ones with the big fluffy heads. Before long, my daughter and I were enjoying the bright-blue buffaloes leaping alongside our red Tahoe. Once we got to Kansas City, there was a ladder you needed to climb up and over to get into the city. As I swung my leg over the ladder, it began to tip. I woke up right before I hit the ground.

By the way, I've never been to either of the Kansas Cities. But I'm pretty sure neither of them require entrance by ladder.

Are you plagued by loopy non-sensical dreams? I'd love to hear about them!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Made a Quilt!

I have always been the "occasional" seamstress. If someone needed some pants hemmed or a Halloween costume made, out came the sewing machine. The past few years have seen a tradition of homemade pajama bottoms at Christmas. That's as far as my skills and desire have ever taken me. This year, summer came, and I found myself sewing like the mad hatter. It started out with a simple bag. Five bags later, I decided I really enjoyed the creative outlet that sewing offers and decided to make a quilt.

The first quilt I ever made was also the last quilt I ever made. It was one of those straightforward patchwork numbers with pink yarn tied at every corner and a sheet for the back. I used it all through college and today it is sitting in my garage somewhere.

This summer, I discovered a quaint little quilt shop in my town. The assortment of pretty fabrics was like a party for my eyes! It was hard to choose, but I zeroed in on some brightly-colored Amy Butler fabrics. I cut. I pieced. I sewed and trimmed. In between all that, I moved. And now that fall is here, I have a cuddly quilt that reminds me of warmer days to wrap myself in whenever I watch T.V.

More than that, I have something I can be proud of.

I created something that didn't exist before.

By the way, if you want to see some beautiful quilts, check out the Bloggers Quilt Festival here:

Friday, October 9, 2009


Call it a premonition, prompting, intuition, or a gut feeling. We've all had them at some point in our lives. I woke up this morning with an indelible, indescribable feeling of anxiety. I have no idea why. I had no tangible reason for such worry. And yet I could not shake it. I went to work and it stayed with me. I teach from 8:00 until 12:00, so after work I decided to take a drive to Park City and walk around in an effort to shake it. As I pulled out of my school's parking lot, I had a strong feeling that I should go and check my kids out early from their schools. And when my mind goes into overdrive, as it did today, I know better than to ignore those feelings. I first picked up my daughter and then went to get my son. And then, as soon as he was in the car, all the anxious feelings melted away. Just. Like. That.

The rest of the afternoon was a delight. We did, in fact, go to Park City. We walked around. We shopped. We shared a chocolate-dipped strawberry shake.

Maybe I just needed to spend some quality time with my kids today. It's more likely that I'll never know why my day started and ended like it did. Whatever the reason, I've learned not to ignore my instincts.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Do you ever find yourself in public places and wanting to shout out "OTHERS!"? For example, when old men have their grocery carts in the middle of the aisle while they carefully deliberate over which brand of instant coffee to select, I want to shout "OTHERS!" Or when I'm on an elevator and the doors open and 23 tweens all step into the elevator without first allowing me to exit - OTHERS!

Is it just me?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Start 'Em Out Young

If you didn't already know, I teach kindergarten. Along with getting 22 5-year-olds to sit still for more than 25 seconds at a time, I'm supposed to teach them to write their names. To accomplish this, I laminated 22 sheets of grid paper and wrote each letter of each of their names with meticulous perfection. I then gave each student their paper and a dry-erase marker.

The last writing session was going better than I ever expected. They were quiet. They were focused. They were writing their names. And then one girl (who shall remain nameless but about whom I'm SURE you'll be hearing a lot this year) discovered that the dry erase marker "smelled good." She quickly pointed this out to the other kids at her table who all proceeded to wave their markers under each others' nostrils. Word spread like wildfire and within seconds, I had a class full of little sniffers.

I actually said the words, "markers are for writing, not for smelling." Thankfully it was over before they could move on to the spray paint.

My New Sanctuary

Sitting in a tepid pool of my own filth has never really "done it" for me. I rather enjoy the gravity assist that a shower offers when I want to get myself good and clean. Besides that, baths have always bored me. I could never last for more than 10 or 15 minutes in a tub. That is, until now.

We recently moved into a new house that happens to come with an extraordinarily inviting, jetted bathtub. It's white and sparkly, and surrounded by gorgeous travertine. And it sat unused by me for three weeks. And then one day, after carrying yet another box to some corner of the new place, my back muscles simultaneously screamed out "enough!" What I needed was the swirling action of a hot, jetted bath. Funny thing is, I've "needed" a bath lots of times since then. I caught a little head cold, took a bath. I had some time to kill, took a bath. I even came home from work the other day and took a soak at 1:00 in the afternoon.

A girl could get used to this.

What do you do to relax? Have you ever gone from disliking something to embracing it?