Monday, October 26, 2015

I know, I know

Yes, I've been a very bad blogger lately.  Things have been crazy busy for a while.  Let's see - I got the Inspire award and it was a very nice evening.  I shook hands with John Quinones and Matt took a blurry picture of he and I together.  (Note to self: Do not let Matt take pictures with my phone any more.)  School has been busy with just about everything.  My Scrabble club is now HUGE.  I have over 50 students that I'm recording scores on.  One lunch alone has 28 students in it.  Another lunch has about 18 and the last lunch has only 4.  Still - it stays active and the kids are having fun I think.  My Scrabble class is also keeping me busy as I'm constantly working on the curriculum that I'm creating as I go.

I played in a Scrabble tournament this weekend and did fairly well placing 4th overall.  I won my entry fee of $50 back.  It was up and down for a while, but I had some good wins and some lousy losses.  We always host people from out of town for tournaments so I had to work on cleaning the house a few days before.

Josh is coming home this weekend.  He's going to speak at our career day at school on Friday.  On Saturday, he and I are going to go see the Rocky Horror Picture show.  Matt is going to the Stevie Wonder concert by himself.  I feel kind of bad that I'm not going with Matt, but he says that he is ok with going by himself.  I've been in the stage version of Rocky Horror and watched the movie on tv with a group of friends, but haven't had the full theater experience.  I think it will be fun.

On Friday night, Matt and I are going to the Spurs opening home game.  It's going to the a busy weekend.

Matt is planning on hosting a Scrabble tournament in San Antonio in December.  I'm going to try to bring my students to it.  I don't know if I'll be able to play in it though.  I will need another sponsor to help watch the students while I play.  I should start playing in more Scrabble tournaments.  I don't know if I'll steadily move up the ladder, but I need to force myself to study more in order to do so.  I really need to learn my four letter words.

Well, I'm going to go have some leftover pizza for dinner and probably call it an early night.  I'm still tired from all the thinking I did this weekend.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Being Recognized

So last week I received a surprise visit during school.  The assistant principal came into the library and told me that something was going on and that I needed to stand up.  In walked the director of the SAISD foundation that has funded my Scrabble club and other projects the past few years.  She told me that I was going to be recognized as an honoree at their annual Inspire Awards banquet as an Innovative educator.  Only two teachers in the district were being recognized - myself and an elementary teacher.  It's kind of a big deal.  The dinner is a major fundraising event for the foundation and there will be some celebrities like John Quinones there.  Matt will be going with me.  I went shopping this weekend for a dress to wear.  The ceremony is next week on Wednesday.  I was told that I'll be able to say a few words so now I have to figure out what I want to say.

School has been busy as always.  Last week I had a nasty cold that made work more difficult.  I'm finally getting better but not at 100% yet.  Hope to be there by Friday.  I'm presenting at a workshop on Friday.  I haven't even gotten a real start on the presentation.  I have a general idea of what I'm doing, but need to start actively working on it.  I've spent the last few weeks working on my book order.  The district facilitator is coming tomorrow and she is going to approve my final list.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Starting another year

So school has been in session (with students) a little over a week.  I spent most of last week getting textbooks out to teachers.  I'm hoping to open the library for book checkouts later this week.  I'm (im)patiently waiting for a bunch of equipment to be picked up before students can freely roam.  So last year I was a bit worried about getting a new principal.  So far I really like her.  I was worried about her need for tidiness, but so far it hasn't been an issue since she knows I'm trying to get the library opened and have had to deal with a bunch of stuff.  I like the fact that she gets stuff done, she is visible, and is tough but fair.  I think I've impressed her with my technological skills so far.

Tomorrow I should be finished with all the textbook deliveries.  Next I have to pack up a bunch of books to get rid of.  Then I have to update out fixed assets.  I'm also in the middle of working on my book order which has to be turned in two weeks from now.  I'm pretty close to spending all the money I have - it's harder than it seems - especially when you have to be careful about the titles you choose.  We can't purchase anything that has to do with drugs, sex, gangs, bullying, or violence.

So there's big news in Josh's world.  He is finally a fully employed adult.  He graduated in May with his Master's in music composition.  He has been working as an intern at the local classical music station in Houston.  An opening came up at the station and he was offered the job after interviewing for it.  He will have health insurance and an pretty good salary.  I'll be able to take him off my insurance and he will start paying me back for his car payment and car insurance.  He is airing his first two hour show on Friday. You can listen to it online if you're interested.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Back to Work

I reported back for my first day yesterday.  The past two days have been productive but exhausting.  I couldn't keep my eyes open after getting home from dinner tonight.  Our new principal is a bit of a clean freak so it's going to be an interesting year.  I wish I could say that my library is always neat and organized, but I tend to operate in what I call organized chaos most of the time.  My desk is rarely tidy, but I can tell you where that paper is that I'm looking for - it's in that pile over there.  The verdict is out on the principal so far.  I'm just hoping she doesn't micro-manage.  If she lets me do my job, I'll be ok.

Tomorrow starts three days of meetings with other librarians which will hopefully be refreshing.  It's nice to be able to work with colleagues that are also friends.  We tend to commiserate with each other.  The only thing is that I won't be able to go to lunch with my "group" tomorrow as I'll have a working lunch with our library organization officers.

Matt works late on Tuesdays and doesn't get home until about 10.  I might be asleep by the time he gets home.  It's going to take a few days for me to get used to working and not being totally exhausted at the end of the day.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Back to School

To answer DKZody's question, school starts for students on August 24.  I report back for work on Monday.  I get two days on my own in the library before all the teachers return.  On those days I'll have to get equipment set up in about a dozen rooms in preparation for district inservice that is happening on our campus starting Wednesday.  I also have to get the library clean, pull textbooks out of a million boxes, and update the fixed assets information since the new principal wants every room in the school to be known as a number (instead of "office") or ("band hall").  

Yesterday Matt and I braved crowds to go clothes shopping.  Matt really needed new pants and it is the tax free weekend.  Kohl's wasn't too crowded and Matt found 4 pairs of pants.  I found a pair of pants and a blouse.  After that we headed to the outlet stores in San Marcos.  That's where it was rather crazy.  It took us 15 minutes to find parking.  Matt was finally able to find new shoes at the Nike Store.  I found two pairs at the Sketcher's outlet.  After that we headed home.  It was really hot - over 100 degrees.  This is the hottest part of the year for us.  This is when I moved down here 4 years ago and it was about 106 degrees then.  Our summer has been relatively mild until now.  Hopefully it will start cooling off in another few weeks.  

Today I slept in since I was up fairly late last night.  I'm going to have to start training myself to get to bed earlier.  Being in Reno last week and on Pacific time has thrown my clock off a bit.  I went to get my hair cut at 12:30.  She cut it quite a bit shorter than last time, but I'm ok with it since my hair grows really fast.  I went to lunch at a place called Fire Bowl Cafe and then went to Michael's.  They had all their Scrabble paraphernalia on sale for half price so I picked up lots of pencils, pens, notebooks, and such to use as incentives for my students in my Scrabble class.  

Now Matt and I are trying to decide what to do for supper.  We seem to be very indecisive tonight.  I haven't gone to the store to get groceries yet so there's not much to cook.  

Friday, August 07, 2015

I guess I'm a Scrabble player

So Matt and I left for Nationals a week ago.  Somehow I got on a roll and played very well in my division - at least up to the new format of an elimination round.  Day 1 I went 6-1.  Day two I think I only lost two games.  By the end of day 3, I had a record of 15-5, I think, and I was in second place going into the elimination bracket of the top 8 competitors.  Unfortunately, I lost the first bracket to the young man who ultimately won in my division.  (I did beat him twice, however.  Once in the preliminary rounds and once in the elimination round when we played best out of 4 games.)  After that I was vying for 5th-8th place.  I had a record of 3 wins and 3 losses and ended up in 7th place because of the spread.  (Number of cumulative points after 6 games.)  I won $300 and hope to get the check in another week or so.

Matt didn't do very well.  He had a lot of bad luck in drawing tiles.  He was happy for me though.  We did have a nice time visiting with fellow Scrabble friends and going out to dinner.  The best dinner was at a nice Italian restaurant.  It was so much food and I was frustrated I couldn't box it up to take back to the hotel.  Our room didn't come with a refrigerator.  I found that during the week, I couldn't eat a whole lot.  We did try the Mexican restaurant at the hotel but it was fairly bland.  It seems that places outside of Texas really don't know how to do Mexican food very well.

We went to the movies while there and saw Mr. Holmes.  Matt needed a night to decompress and not think about Scrabble.

Our last day was very long.  I had to play 3 rounds in the morning and then I had about 3 hour break.  I went to the awards room where they were live streaming the final rounds in the first division.  It was interesting to watch two master players at work.  I discovered that they each took quite a bit of time before making their plays.  I'm always worried about my time so I often try to play fast when I can.  I had to wait for awards of course so once I received my recognition and they finished announcing for my division, Matt and I rushed out to catch the shuttle to the airport.  It was just before 3:30 and the shuttle was supposed to leave at that time.  Luckily the shuttle was delayed so we did make it.  Our flight was at 5:30.  We had a layover in Las Vegas that was supposed to only be about 2 hours but turned into about 3 1/2.  We were supposed to get in at 1:15 a.m. but didn't make it until a little after 3:00.  Once we got luggage, took a shuttle to the car, and got home, it was almost 4 a.m.  We slept in until almost noon the next day.

Today we went clothes shopping since it is the start of the tax-free weekend.  Matt really needed new pants and shoes.  He found four pairs at Kohl's while I got one pair and a blouse.  Next we headed to the outlet stores in San Marcos.  There it was really crazy - took us 15 minutes to get a parking spot.  Matt was able to find some shoes at the Nike store.  I found two pairs of shoes for myself at the Sketcher's store.  We headed home around 3:00 and then went to an early dinner around 5:30.  Tomorrow I've got to see if I can get my hair cut again and then head to Michael's for more Scrabble stuff.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Paying the Price

I paid the price for the fun I had yesterday.  You'd think that sitting in a tube riding down a river for five hours wouldn't be that exhausting or physically demanding.  Well, you don't just ride, you have to paddle with your arms from time to time to steer around rocks and to catch up to others.  I'm a magnet for big rocks in the river.  I hit one pretty hard with my butt while going over some small rapids.  On the plus side, I didn't get sun burned.  I put on plenty of sunscreen before we started and had a small tube that I took with me in a waterproof case and I reapplied it throughout the trip.  We went to dinner when we finished and I was so hungry I ate every single bit on my plate and it was a rather large piece of chicken fried chicken with fries and corn.  Matt and I stopped at a store on the way home to pick up some tylenol since we were so sore.  This morning I was feeling stiff and puffy.  My eyes did not appreciate wearing contacts yesterday.  I laid around until I was hungry around noon.  I ran to Sonic for a burger.  I felt a little more alive after eating so I've been working on word lists this afternoon.  I need to go to the store but I may wait until tomorrow.  I think today is just going to be a lazy day with some naps involved.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Going tubing tomorrow

A Scrabble friend of ours invited us to go tubing with her tomorrow at the Frio river.  Matt has a doctor's appointment in the morning, but we will head over there in the afternoon.  I have to see if I can still fit into my swimsuit and find my water shoes.  I went tubing for the first time two summers ago in the Comal river in New Braunfels.  It was fun, but I got sunburned pretty bad.  I put sunscreen on, but I should have taken some with me so I could keep applying it.

My cousin Rob took Matt out for a boy's movie this afternoon with Rob's son.  His wife and two daughters stayed here and we watched the second Harry Potter movie.  I'm glad I have family in town, but sometimes doing things with company can be exhausting.  I guess it's because I'm so much of an introvert.  I need my alone/down time.

I've been actively working on my online Scrabble study cards.  I've found several that have already been created by others, but need some editing because the list is slightly different (probably a Collins or British) word list than the NASPA (North American Scrabble Players Assoc.) word list.  I'm hoping that by going through all the words that some of them will sink in.  I worked on my three to four hooks (letters you add to a three letter word to make a four letter word such as ban + d = band) the other night and I was surprised at how many I knew.  There are some unusual words I've learned from that list like "waah", "kbar", and "udon".

I'm going to head back up to the Panhandle on Saturday.  It will be a quick trip to take care of some bank stuff in person and to see a few friends.  Of course I'll have to have my beloved Taco Villa and a donut stop donut.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Just three more weeks

I only have three more weeks of summer vacation.  Boy time goes by fast.  I've read a few books, studied some Scrabble words, watched some t.v. and rested a lot.  I haven't done a lick of cleaning.  I'll probably do that next week so I can start school with a clean house.  I especially need to clean out my closet.

I slept in this morning and then headed out a little after noon to take care of my craving for Tacos.  I went to Taco Cabana and got the Mexican Plate (enchilada, taco, double rice since I don't like beans) with a drink and an extra taco.  It was filling and hit the spot.  After that, I went to Home Depot to get some spray paint for my Scrabble racks.  I then went to Best Buy to pick up some ink for my printer.  I have more word lists I want to print and start working on.  Finally I went to Walmart and got some glitter spray for the racks.  I put the first coat on the racks and am waiting for them to dry outside.  It's pretty hot today so it shouldn't take long.  I've been goofing off online for a bit, but I think I'll start working on some Scrabble stuff shortly.

Matt was on the news this morning.  Here's the link if you want to watch the story:

I think we are going out to a district library social this evening.  The problem is that it's kind of far away across town.  I hate trying to go across town in rush hour traffic.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Celebrating One Year Together

Matt and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary.  Time seems to fly when you marry the right person.  I didn't know that the traditional first anniversary gift was paper, but I guess I did well by buying him the new Stephen King book that he's been wanting to read.  He is going to get me the new Harper Lee book when it comes out tomorrow.  He also got me a $20 lottery ticket and I won $100 on it.  I spent a good portion of it today by going to Hobby Lobby and getting stuff to decorate my new Scrabble board and then going to Ross for Less for some new clothes.

Last night we went to a nice restaurant for dinner.  It was expensive, but not as bad as some of the places we've been to.  The service was great and it was a nice atmosphere.  The food was excellent as well.  I had a rib-eye steak with garlic mashed potatoes.  Matt had venison and quail.

So I played in a Scrabble tournament in Austin on Saturday.  I have yet to do well in an Austin tournament.  I was seeded 4th and came in 6th winning 3 games and losing 4.  I did bingo out in 3 games but one of them wasn't enough points to surpass my opponent.  I would have won that game if I had challenged a word that I let go.  After the tournament, I met my friend Brent for dinner.  It was great to be able to see him.

I need to start studying again this week.  I really need to nail down all the three letter words and work on some of the important fours.  My summer is quickly coming to a close.  I'll be heading back to Canyon in about two weeks for a couple of days and then shortly after that will be our trip to Reno for Scrabble nationals.  We'll get back late Wednesday on August 5 and then I report back to work on Monday, August 10.  Where has the time gone?