Thursday, August 31, 2006

It's that time of year.

Things are getting busy. But like I've said numerous times, it's a good thing. Yes, I will be constantly complaining about the state of my house, but at least I won't be whining about not having a boyfriend or a date or friends or whatever.
Tomorrow is Friday, thank goodness. Josh has a game tomorrow night. I think we're going to go to Albuquerque this weekend. I feel kind of obligated to go. We haven't been since March. I'm not sure I can afford it, but I'll probably go anyways. I'll have to find a Church to go to. I can't miss Mass. Luckily we're out of school on Monday. So that means I won't get anything done around the house. But next week will be nice. I don't have school on Wednesday because I'm going to a meeting.
Josh got the lawn mowed this evening. Sure enough, as soon as I go to Walmart and get a new spark plug and a spark plug socket thing, the lawnmower starts without a problem. Oh well, the front is done. The back yard is still a jungle.
And now it's bed time. I'm tired. Maybe I'll write something more exciting tomorrow. Or not. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Absolutely miserable

Well, I don't think it's a cold. It's full blown allergies. My eyes are bloodshot and watering; my nose is running; I'm sneezing; and I just wish my head would go ahead and explode. I took a benadryl about an hour ago and it hasn't done anything.
My yard is just pitiful. With all the rain we've had, the weeds are about two feet tall. (Gee, I wonder why I'm having allergies) I know the City is going to get on to me soon. Josh started mowing the lawn tonight. But of course... once again, the lawnmower quits working. I call my brother and he tells me things on the phone thinking that I have a clue about spark plugs and what-not.

"You probably just need to remove the spark plug and clean it."

"I don't even know where the spark plug is."

"It's on the front of the mower."

"O.k., how do I remove it?"

"You should have a spark plug socket in your tool box."

"What does it look like? Here, talk to Josh, he's the one that will have to do it."

Maybe it's because I'm so miserable, but I don't have the patience to pretend that I am of a mechanically sound mind. Yeah, I've bragged of having the knowledge to put oil and anti-freeze in my car. I can change the air filter and headlight bulbs. But that's the extent of my knowledge. Where's a man when I need one? I am not even asking for a boyfriend. How about a boy-friend... just friend that could help me out once in a while? Is that too much to ask for?

Well, I took a tylenol p.m. and hopefully that will at least just knock me out for a while so I won't feel so awful. Sorry for the pity party today. I hope to be back to my old self soon.

Oh, I did put my letters in the mail today. We'll see what gets done about the speech class at Josh's school. I'll keep you informed. I'll post the letter later. It's on my school computer.

Well, time to get ready for bed.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

On the war path

O.k. maybe that is a bit over dramatic. But remember when I told you about the situation with Josh's debate class? Well, I got a call last night from the UIL coordinator at the school who gave me a heads up on the situation. She indicated that they may completely do away with the class since there's not enough kids in there. She also gave me some background on the person that was supposed to be taking the job as their speech coach. I am not a very happy camper about the situation at all. So today I wrote a letter to the principal. I haven't sent it yet, because the UIL coordinator (who is one of my former advisers) told me today that they were working on another potential solution. But when I do send it, I am sending a copy to both the superintendent and the personnel director. I don't know why they didn't hire someone that actually wanted to do the job that was called for. It really takes a lot to get me worked up enough to write a letter, but I really felt it was necessary. I kept it nice, but basically stated that the kids are getting the short end of the stick and they deserve better than that. End of current rant.
In other news, I felt drained today, but a little better. I'm still fighting something. I'm giving a test to my interp & debate classes tomorrow and my comm. app. class is going to be watching a movie. Hopefully I can get caught up on all the paperwork that has accumulated on my desk.
I need to go to the store and get a few things. Josh isn't home yet. He has musical tryouts this afternoon. I hope he does well. I better get off my butt and get moving before I take a nap in this chair.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Drained and getting sick

I think I'm getting a cold. I woke up this morning but did not want to get up at all. I should have caught up on my sleep with all the rest I got yesterday, but I just felt exhausted this morning. About mid-morning my nose started running and I had this drained feeling. It feels like the beginning of a cold or something. My eyes are burning and watery. I didn't have a temperature when I got home, but I just took it again and although it says it's not above 98.6, it is higher than it was when I first got home. My throat is feeling a little on the sore side. I really want to just go and lie down, but I'm going to try to stay up until at least a normal bed time hour. I'm not going to plan to get any work done tonight.
I guess I need to keep some hand sanitizer in my room. I'm sure this is because of coming back to school after a break and I haven't gotten my immunity up.
I don't have a lot to share today. It was just another day at school. I don't have to drive this week except on Thursday. We may be adding a third person to our carpool and I may only end up driving twice a week at most. That would be great. I need to save some money on gas.
Well, I'm going to go take some tylenol and veg in front of the t.v. for a while.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Is the weekend over?

It was an amazing weekend and I really haven't had time to blog. I wrote about the Eucharist Congress in my other blog. You can go over there to read it.

I got up early on Saturday, took a shower, took Josh to school at 6:30 for his march-a-thon, then I finished getting ready and drove up to Borger. I went to an annual speech meeting up there and attended a few sessions. It was interesting and I got some good information. Then I headed back to Amarillo for the Congress.

I got home around 8:30 and crashed around 10:30. This morning I decided I didn't want to get up for early Mass so I went to the one at 11:15. Afterwards, I came home and got Josh so he could have a vocal lesson to get ready for musical tryouts. His piano teacher also teaches voice. She was impressed with his singing ability.

Then I got home, made some lunch and sat in front of the t.v. I just couldn't keep my eyes open and so around 3:00 I took a nap. Josh left to go to the movies at 4:30. I had to pick him and his friends up at 6:30 so I finally got up shortly after he left. I sat in front of the t.v. some more. I finally started doing the dishes. Then I left to go pick the boys up. We got home around 7:00 and I started dinner and now I'm watching the Emmy awards. They just finished a segment with Dick Clark and it was so sad. I'm sure that like many of you, I grew up with American Bandstand. It was one of my favorite shows as a kid. I loved the music and the dancing. Not many people know this about me, but my dream job when I was a kid was to be a dancer or choreographer. I would watch bandstand in my room and dance along with the people. And when it wasn't on, I'd play records and make up dances.
It was very sad to see such an amazing icon that has always been quite youthful appear so old and frail. It's reminding me that I am indeed getting older. I know... I'm still a young pup at 36, but sometimes I feel much older.
Well, I better get busy catching up on stuff here so that I'll be ready for school tomorrow.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Between a rock and a... well, sleep

I went to the opening Mass this afternoon but decided not to go to the concert this evening. I needed to do laundry for tomorrow. I got back to town around 8:00 and picked up Taco Bell for dinner. I didn't get home until 8:30 and Monk was already on. I have this thing about not being able to watch shows in the middle. I have to watch them from the beginning if it's the first time to see it. So I missed Monk. I watched Psych at 9:00. So now my dilemma is whether to stay up until midnight to watch Monk at 11:00 or go to bed since I have to get up by 6:00.

I'm already tired, but if I don't watch Monk, I won't see it for a while. But I think I'll go ahead and go to bed early. It's going to be a very long day tomorrow. I have to take Josh to school by 6:30 a.m. and then I have to leave to go to Borger by 7:15 a.m.

Well, I'm heading to bed and I hope that Monk will be on next week so I can watch the final episode of the season.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Barely time to blog.

I should be in bed already, but I just got home. Since I hadn't blogged today, I figured my readers would be expecting at least a little something. It's been a long day, but surprisingly, I'm not that tired. Had a full day at school. Then after school we had a speech team meeting that lasted about 30 minutes. I drove home and made a quick supper, ate, changed my shirt and headed up to Amarillo for our final choir rehearsal. It went pretty well. My only problems are singing the Gloria in Latin and two of the pieces that have Spanish verses. I had a bit of a hard time tonight because there was somebody singing behind me that was pretty loud, a bit off key, and off tempo. I don't claim to be a great singer. Actually, I claim to be not very good... but if I'm off, I will soften up a bit. I generally can stay mostly on pitch and I can follow the rhythms.

I am so very excited about the Eucharistic Congress. I think it is going to be amazing. There is going to be a Cardinal from Rome presiding at our closing Mass. I am quite excited about it. I'm also going to attend a session on beginning apologetics which should be interesting.

But it's going to be a very long couple of days. Friday after school I will head straight up to the Congress and attend the opening liturgy and a concert afterwards. Then on Saturday I'm heading up to Borger for a speech meeting and back to Amarillo at lunch time to go to the session, then have a choir warm up, then participate in the closing Mass. Then I'll be ready for a break. It will be a short one though. We start choir rehearsals for our parish choir next Wednesday and I will be staying after school on Thursdays to work with the speech team members. Our first tournament is now less than a month away.

I have nothing else to report. My life is busy so that's a good thing. I still love being a part of the Catholic Church. And now it's time for bed.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Maslow's Hierarchy

I'm sure we've all heard of Maslow's hierarchy of needs to some degree. I am going to be teaching it to my comm. app. class tomorrow in hopes to get them to think about why they make certain choices. The hierarchy is a pretty simple concept. You have to first meet your most basic level of needs before you can move up to other needs.

We must first have our very basic needs of food, water, and shelter. Without those needs being met, we cannot move up to the next level of security. I think my friend Andrew is an excellent example of this. He was at a point where he was basically out of food and money and he thought of resorting to begging in order to satisfy his need. He didn't succumb to it, but it's an excellent example of how one might choose to do something they wouldn't normally do in order to meet those needs.

Next is the need for safety. Generally, as adults we have this. If we have a place to live, locks on our doors and don't live in an area of rampant crime, we generally have a feeling of safety and security. But this also includes financial security. Having a job or some kind of income is a big part of this. Again, Andrew faced not having this need met because of his father's reticence in helping him. But I admire Andrew’s fortitude and courage as he deals with having his needs met. He is finally making some decisions that will help him along that path.

Once these two needs are met, we can move on to social needs. I think this is one of the most crucial. We as humans have the need to love and be loved. We need friendships, and a sense of belonging to other humans. People that don’t have this need met, tend to make bad choices when it comes to relationships. In teenagers, it is often the reason they join gangs. Without the social aspect, people succumb to loneliness and a sense of alienation. For myself, I know that joining the Church has been a big part of meeting this need. I still have issues with my own shyness and lack of friends, but I do have a sense of belonging and have people that I know care about me.

The next level deals with esteem needs. At this level we achieve self-respect and respect for others. We feel confident and valuable. Generally people who have gotten to this point have activities give them a sense of purpose and contribution. We appreciate recognition, but it doesn’t go to our heads when have achieved this at its highest level.

And finally, if we can get to the top, we have self-actualization. At this point we know what our purpose in live is and we’re doing what we were born to do. We are able to accept others at face value, we appreciate the beauty in things, and have meaningful relationships with others. It may take a lot to get there, but it’s not impossible.

For me, I’m not certain where I fall in the scale. I know I have my physical and security needs met. For the most part, I have my social needs met but I think my desire for a relationship is hindering me from the next step. I am trying to let go it, but I think the more I try to do that, the more it comes back at me. So I guess that I need to get through this social level so that I can deal with some of my esteem issues. There are times I feel very confident, but mostly, I am unsure of myself. I tend to have a positive attitude most of the time, but I still question whether or not I’m doing what I’m called to do. But I do hope that some day I am able to get to the point of self-actualization.

Now I just have to think about this when I do make choices. Is my choice going to help me get to higher levels or is it a hindrance?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My Epiphany

O.k. maybe not quite an epiphany, but one of those ah-ha moments. I was watching Sex and the City tonight. It was the episode where Carrie finds out that Big is marrying Natasha and at the end she has her own epiphany. They talk about how Big is just like Hubble in the movie The Way We Were. Hubble (and Big) couldn't handle the girls that are kooky, a little crazy or complex. So they settle for the simple girls. I figured that realization is probably right on. On more than one occasion have I dated guys that have bailed when things have gotten complex. I am going to make a generalization here so I hope you 2 or 3 guys that read my blog don't take offense. But guys typically are simple and shallow. I think that Jeff Foxworthy got it right when he said that what guys really are thinking is "I want a beer and I want to see something naked." I think guys like dating the complex girls for a while because they're fun, but in the long run, the decide that they can't handle them. So they settle for someone that isn't that complex. Or perhaps a few of them are able to break the girl... much like breaking a horse. So I guess my problem is that perhaps I'm just too complex for the few available men that are left. I know that I wrote about having choices in life... but now I'm getting to a point that there are so few decent choices left. I don't mean to complain, but I see and meet a lot of really great guys... that are married... happily, no less.

Overall, Marty was a really pretty decent guy. I think ultimately, though, he couldn't handle my complexity. I don't claim to be perfect (anymore), but I still think I am a pretty good catch. And the thing with Marty is that he, like many men, has absolutely no idea what he wants. And no, I'm not obsessing. I am quite over him, but I'm just analyzing the choices I've made in the past.
Why did I choose Marty? I had other guys in the picture at the time. I was dating Patrick and still had Steve from Michigan in the picture. But what was it about Marty? It really just felt right. I felt like I could be myself with him. I felt what I thought was real love from him.

My problem is that I wonder if I can really be myself should another opportunity present itself. (I am being optimistic here.) Do we pretend to be simple girls and then deal with those surprise moments of complexity when they hit and hope that the guy doesn't go running? Or are we honest about ourselves and take the risk of not even getting a second date? How much information is too much when it comes to meeting someone? Yes, I'm putting the cart before the horse at the moment but I'm just having some random thoughts at the moment.

Now my brain is tired and I have a bit more work to do before I can head to bed which will be soon. So much for my epiphany. Maybe I'll call it just another thought.

Wake me up before I go-go

I'm writing a blog hoping that it will keep me awake long enough until I have to leave for Josh's piano lesson. I don't know why, but I feel exhausted right now. I got enough sleep last night, but was still tired when I got up this morning. I remembered to take my vitamin so that got me through the day and I wasn't really tired. Now that I'm home, I just want to crash. But I can't. Gotta go to his lesson, then to the store for the major things I forgot yesterday (like trashbags), then cook supper, then work on my lesson for my comm. app. class tomorrow.
I don't have anything exciting to share. It was a typical day. My classes worked on things, I worked on things, blah, blah, blah. I did have a student help me with some Spanish in my choir music. We have some songs that we haven't practiced much that have Spanish lyrics. I'm getting pretty good at my Latin, however. I can pronounce it at least. I'm not sure what it all means, but it's cool to sing it. Well, gotta head out soon.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Rain, rain

Go away... come again some other day. We've been praying for rain at Church, but sometimes enough is enough. It almost non-stop. It has rained the past several days with some brief interludes. Tonight was a major downpour with flooding in some areas of Amarillo. We were at choir rehearsal tonight when it hit and you could hear the thunder and the rain even in a very large Church.
Well, it's the start of another busy week. I am now carpooling, but it's my week to drive. I hope that I will see the benefits of less gas soon. Today was a regular day at school. I've decided to continue my lessons on choice and when students didn't want to present their poem/shields that they've worked on to the class, I told them it was their choice and that the highest grade they could get was a 50. I am learning to choose my battles. Tomorrow I'm going to go over my class expectations. I came home right after school and had to go to the grocery store to get cat and dog food among other items. I didn't have time to cook dinner so I picked up McDonald's and scarfed my food down before leaving to go to choir rehearsal. I got home shortly before ten and I'm going to head to bed soon.
Tomorrow is another day at school and Josh has a piano lesson. Wednesday will be my only evening that I have free this week. Thursday is the final choir practice. Friday is the beginning of the Eucharistic Congress and I need to go register right after school since I can't on Saturday morning. There is a mass and and concert on Friday night. Saturday I have to go to Borger for a speech meeting and then leave just before lunch in order to go to the session on apologetics at the Eucharistic Congress. Then I have to be in place by 4:15 to be ready to sing. The closing Mass will likely be well over 2 hours, but I think it will be an amazing service. We are singing some really awesome music and it gives me chills to think about it. And after that, I will crash for the night probably. I know it's a lot on my plate right now, but I am enjoying it.
Now it's time for bed. I want to thank all the wonderful readers and commenters that have stopped by because of Andrew's blog. I appreciate it a great deal.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


I taught a lesson to my Comm. App. Class about the power of choice. I’m not sure how well it went over with them because you know.. well, they’re high school students. But for myself, I’ve been giving it a lot of afterthought. But first, let’s have the lesson shall we?

Your first assignment is to write a statement that starts with “I have to __________.”

You are to fill in the blank with something you feel that you absolutely have to do. (And no cheating… something like breathing is a given.)

Next, you write this statement: “I can’t ___________________.”

Go ahead and do it. Don’t worry, I’m not going to check your answers. (But if you do feel the need to write about this in a blog, that’s cool.)

If you’re needing help, here’s examples.

“I have to work.”

“I can’t lose weight.”

Finished? Good.

Let’s talk about choice. Almost everything… and I do mean everything in our lives is a choice. Sometimes it’s a hard pill to swallow, but most of the time it is true. Take your first statement and mark out the word “have” and replace it with the word “choose.”

“I choose to work.” I really don’t have to work. It is my choice to work. I do have the choice to not work. Of course, there are consequences for that choice… but it is indeed still a choice. I even have choices in the type of job I have. I really don’t have to be teacher.

Now let’s take the second statement. Mark out the word “can’t” and replace it with “don’t want to.”

“I don’t want to lose weight.” That is more true than saying I can’t. I could lose weight if I wanted to, but honestly, I don’t want to do what it takes to lose it. I could walk every night and change my eating habits. But since I choose to not do those things… it means I really don’t want to do it.

So that’s the lesson I discussed with my class. Now, hindsight is everything, and so last night I was in a reflective state and I started thinking about all my “I have to” and “I can’t” statements I’ve made.

Some simple statements: “I have to pay bills.” “I have to go to Mass every week” “I have to make dinner.” Honestly, I choose to do all those things. I don’t have to pay my bills. I could take the money and go shopping instead. Of course, then I have to face the consequences of that choice and have even more bad credit than I already do have. I could have my electricity, water, and gas shut off. But it’s my choice.

Now for some I can’ts: “I can’t get a date.” “I can’t get my graduate degree.” If I am honest about these, they are really choices as well. “I don’t want to get a date.” What getting a date might mean are things I am not willing to do. I might have to lose weight to be more attractive. I might have to go out more to places I don’t want to go. I might have to step outside of my box and be less shy. I could get my graduate degree if I made the effort to take the GRE, apply for financial aid, and cut back on all my expenses. But that means I would have to give up more of my already limited time and money and I am choosing to not do that right now.

What this boils down to is that if we don’t like they way something is in our lives, we have the choice and power to change it. If we go around making “I can’t” and “I have to” statements then we are acting like victims. We are telling the world that we have no choices… but in reality we do.

There are five things we absolutely have to do in order to live. We must eat, drink, breathe, sleep, and go to the bathroom. Everything else is a choice. We can change what we want. And if you’re saying “Well, I can’t change so-in-so because they make my life miserable… etc. You’re right. You can’t change anyone else’s behavior except your own. You can change how you react to so-in-so or whether or not you even associate with them. Eleanor Roosevelt once said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

So remember that when we don’t like what is happening to us, we have the power to change things through our actions or our reactions. And we really have no excuse to complain about things… though it certainly won’t stop us. Just remember that attitude is everything. We can choose to laugh in the face of adversity or we can act like victims.

I was in a bad marriage a few years ago. I was depressed, gained weight, and felt like I had no control over my life. I had thought about divorce at times, but I thought that I’d be worse off because I would be ruined financially. So I stayed in the marriage and that was my choice. I finally got to a point where I realized I couldn’t be happy if I stayed in the marriage. But in hindsight, I realize that I finally made a choice. For a long time I stayed because of the financial stability and health insurance despite my unhappiness. Eventually those things were taken away when my husband lost his job. So I decided to make the choice to be happy by getting out of the marriage. Sure, I had to face some fears of losing my house and managing financially, but I did it anyways. It was one of the best decisions of my life. I'm not going to blame my ex for the problems in our marriage. It came down to my choice to accept things or change them and I finally took the steps to change them. And that is why we are still friends. I got to a point where I accepted my own responsibility in the failure.

So instead of telling ourselves that we have to do this or that remember that we are choosing to do this or that. We should think about why we are making that choice. Even if we don’t like it, is there a good reason for it? And instead of saying we can’t do things, we should really be saying that we don’t want to do them. The key is figuring out and owning up to the why. Eventually that may lead to acceptance and taking responsibility.

Perhaps this lesson has given you something to consider. I’ve been thinking about it a great deal. I’m going to leave you with a few inspirational quotes that I found.

"Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." William Jennings Bryan

"Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can't prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you're presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power." Blaine Lee

If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise." Robert Fritz

"Because you are in control of your life. Don't ever forget that. You are what you are because of the conscious and subconscious choices you have made." Barbara Hall

***Note: The lesson on choice came from LouAnn Johnson’s book Teaching Outside the Box.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Made it to the end of the week at least

Today was a decent day even though I had morning duty. It wasn't a very exciting day but I made some major progress in the storage room. My aide and I worked on it during my first conference and got the extra filing cabinet cleared out and moved to the corner. The mountain of paper has been cleared and I spent this afternoon working on it. I stayed after school until 6:00 but I've moved all the business department's materials to one area. Now I have a wall of shelves, two counters and a smaller shelf in the second room. I would be willing to let the business department keep some of there materials in there as I don't need that much room, but I think there's a ton off stuff that is obsolete. I found keyboarding manuals from 1987 in there. There's also computer books dated 1997; anything that's more than a few years old in that regard is usually obsolete.
I ordered Thai takeout for dinner tonight as I was too tired to cook. Now I'm waiting for Monk and Psych to come on.
Oh, I emailed Josh's speech sponsor and let her know about the upcoming meeting next weekend. She seemed appreciative of it.
Now I could really use some chocolate. I wish I had something. Oh well, I guess I really don't need it. It's almost 8:00 so I'm going to go watch Monk.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Back to the grind

The only bad thing about having summers off (other than it's still too short of a vacation) is having to come back to working a full day and not being used to it. I am really not doing a lot of "teaching" yet and I'm still tired. I decided to hold off on the lessons I was working on last night and do an easy assignment instead since it's still only the first week. The students are memorizing a brief anecdote to present so I can get an idea of their speaking voices and style. So today they read Reader's Digests all period. I did make some progress today in the storage room. I had my student aide clean out the filing cabinets that are in there. One of the business teachers needed a cabinet so I had the custodian take it down to her. That leaves me with an extra one which I can always use. I think my aide and I are going to continue to work in the storage room and get as much done as I can in there without ruffling the feathers of the business people. I think we'll make a list of the books and such that's in there and they can probably decide from the list what they want to keep and what can be tossed. I would be willing to even keep some things in there in the bottom shelves for them, but there's so much right now, I don't know if I want to go that far.
I've got a few things to do tonight, but I think I'm going to take it easy for a while until supper is done which will be in about an hour.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Note to Self

Don't go shopping after your first day back to teaching. I stood on my feet all day and then went shopping immediately after school. Well... I had to. I didn't buy Josh any back to school clothes before school started. So we went to the mall and he got some shirts and shorts. We had dinner there and then went to a couple of other stores. Then we went to the book store because I wanted to get a book on the great philosophers that I had seen a while back. We browsed there for a while and then left when it was pouring down rain. We went to yet another store for clothes. Josh wanted at least one more shirt and possibly a pair of jeans. My baby is finally grown up and we are no longer shopping in the boys section. He can now fit into a pair of men's jeans. Granted his size is a 30/30, but it works. So at the last store he got two shirts and two pairs of jeans. After that, we headed to Walmart to get school supplies and some groceries. I just now got home. My feet are sore and I'm tired. I still have a lesson plan to prepare for tomorrow. I may just wing it. And now my cat is reminding me that I forgot to buy canned catfood. I guess they'll have to survive on dry another night.

My day was good. I love my schedule so it wasn't too bad at all. I have a student aide during my 1st conference period, so she can help with some basic tasks. I have some great kids in my interp and debate classes. If everyone in the classes goes to tournaments, I potentially have a team of 35 students. I know that not all can go every time, but I should have a fair amount at each tournament. I am looking forward to the year.

Now on the bad news front, Josh is in the competitive speech class at his school and he doesn't even have a teacher. The librarian is going to be their sponsor, but he has nobody to actually teach him what he needs to know in class. Of course I'll help him, but I am really disappointed in the school system. They are really killing the program. That's one of the reasons why I chose not to apply for the job. They don't seem to care whether or not they are successful in speech. Although they do have a teacher that is teaching the comm. app. (basic speech) classes, he is also coaching soccer so they felt he couldn't do that and travel with the speech team... which is true. I just don't understand why they didn't hire a full time speech teacher that only teaches comm. app. Well... I do know why. They are trying to get the kids to take the class in the 8th grade which is a horrible idea. The class was designed for upper level students so they could be prepared for job or college interviews and dealing with people in the world. 8th & 9th graders are at an age that they can't comprehend the importance of the class. I also know that the way it is taught in junior high is NOT the way it is supposed to be taught. It is very frustrating.

O.k. I'm done ranting for now. I don't have time to go on as I need to at least read through the information that I need to cover tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Well, tomorrow is it

Am I ready? That's what everyone I run into is asking me. My pat answer is "Sure, I guess." I am planning to basically improvise the first day and possibly the rest of this week. One thing I am not going to do is have the same rules talk and information sheet that all the other teachers do on the first day. We'll just play some games and get to know each other first.

Today was another long day. I got to school by 8:15 after stopping at Walmart first. I got busy with things to do and before I knew it, it was lunch time. A local church made hamburgers for us, but it was kind of slow. They kept running out of them and we had to wait for more. My room is neat and tidy. I have roll sheets ready to go. My largest class has fourteen students. My smallest has eight. I did find out some very good news, however. We are getting the $2000 raise. I will also get my stipend, and the step on the ladder pay. I figured that I'll be making about $276 more a month than last year (after taxes). Well, at least that will go towards a car payment.

I drove home in a torrential rainstorm. I hydroplaned a little while driving home and had to slow down considerably in some spots. I picked up Josh from a friend's house and then we went to eat. We went to a local Mexican food restaurant and it was quite delicious. I was home for about 30 minutes before I had to leave to go to Mass. Today is the celebration of the feast of the Assumption of Mary and it is a Holy Day of obligation which means we are required to go to Mass.

I got home around 8:15 and I changed the sheets on my bed, took a shower and now I'm getting ready for bed. Although I probably don't need it, I will take half a tylenol p.m. just to ensure sleep instead of thoughts about the first day of school tomorrow. Josh tells me this afternoon that he has to print 38 pages of his English journal to turn in tomorrow. (Advanced classes have work over the summer.) Unfortunately, my printer isn't working very well. I finally was able to print it, but it's hot pink. Next, he tells me that he needs a notebook to put it in. I scrounge around in the garage and I locate a notebook. But now, I can't find a hole punch. If he would have just mentioned this BEFORE today, I could have brought everything he needed home. Why do kids wait until the LAST minute before they spring these things on you?

Well, it's getting late. I'm going to head to bed and I'll be sure to report on my day tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 14, 2006

In hopes of a great year

I finally got my schedule today. I am very pleased. I have two debate classes, two oral interp classes, one communication applications class and two conference periods. Since I am teaching three preps, that extra conference will come in handy. I also have an aide during my 3rd period conference so I can use her for grading papers and such. Right now, my largest class is about 14 students. I am getting very excited about the year. It's going to be a lot more work, but I think overall, it will be a better teaching experience.

We had inservice this morning and we at least had a fairly entertaining speaker so it wasn't as drab as it usually is. But then the superintendent got up to speak and he's a nice guy, but just not a very exciting or really motivating speaker. I had a good time sitting with the band people. I'm going to have to make an effort to hang out with them more. They're pretty fun and I feel more of a sense of belonging with them. When it was finished, I went to McDonald's to get some lunch and then took it back to the school to eat.

I got the border put up around the material covering my bulletin board. I also got my mini-refrigerator brought up to my storage room. I started working on my filing cabinet and sorted a box of materials that I had. I'm still not very popular with the business teachers as they still seem upset about moving the stuff out of the storage room. I know it's a pain, but honestly a great deal of the stuff in there is obsolete. I've even volunteered my speech team kids to help move things out. I don't know when it will happen, but I'll remain hopeful.

Well, I'm just about to head out to take Josh back to the school for a band thing and then I have to go to choir rehearsal. It's going to be a long night... but not as long as tomorrow night. The day before school starts is always a long night.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A new meme created by moi

Well, I had a lovely dinner this evening. My dad and his girlfriend bailed out, but my friend Carol did come over to eat. We had a great time with great conversation. I started some laundry this evening so I am essentially caught up for the most part. I didn't get the extra room cleaned as planned, but perhaps I will get to that soon.

I really enjoy entertaining and I wish I could do it more often. When I was married, I loved having company over for dinner or a party or something and I loved to make things for people. I love cooking (but hate the cleaning part) and I have a few favorite recipes I tend to use over and over, but I could always use some more.

So here's my meme: In my last post, I gave you one of my favorite recipes. If you are reading this post and have a blog, you are hereby tagged to do the following:
1. Post your favorite recipe in your blog.
2. Leave a comment here indicating you have done so (and give us a link if you don't officially log in). When all is said and done we should all have some new recipes to try.
3. And as a continuation of this meme... if you try any of the recipes you get from this, you should write a blog entry on it.

So get going... now you have no excuses to not blog because you have nothing to write about.

Time to get busy

So what am I doing instead of cleaning? Blogging, of course. I just got home a few minutes ago. I went to Mass at 11:15. Afterwards, I went to Hastings with our choir director for a coffee break (but I don't drink coffee... but had a chai tea latte instead). We had a nice visit and then I went to Walmart to get the makings for dinner tonight. And yes, I do have a great recipe for cashew chicken. I will paste it at the end of this post.

Today's agenda is to paint the mistake areas in Josh's bathroom, clear the stuff in the extra bedroom, clean the kitchen & living room. I have about 3 1/2 hours to get it done. I also will do some laundry, but it's not at a crucial point yet. Well, I've procrastinated enough.

Here's the Cashew chicken recipe. I'm posting it exactly as it is in my recipe book, but here's a tip: I usually buy the prepacked boneless chicken at Walmart that is 1.65 pounds. I have found that if I double the sauce ingredients, it comes out just right. I serve it with steamed rice.

Cashew Chicken

1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 red pepper sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch strips
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
2/3 cup dry-roasted cashews
2 green onions, sliced

1. Mix broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, ginger and pepper sauce.
2. Heat wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil; rotate wok to coat side. Add chicken stir-fry about 4 minutes or until no longer pink in center. Remove chicken from wok keep warm.
3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to wok; rotate wok to coat side. Add bell pepper, onion and water chestnuts; stir-fry 2 minutes.
4. Add cornstarch mixture to wok. Cook and stir about 1 minute or until sauce thickens. Stir in chicken and cashews. Garnish with green onion.

I am awake

I'm up this morning, but I guess I won't be going to early Mass. It starts in 10 minutes. I've been up since 7:50, but had to get on the computer, you know? I will go to the 11:15 Mass.

I had some vivid dreams last night and I dreamed that a friend of mine from high school had died. It really worried me so I got up to find his phone number. I don't know if it is still his number, but I am going to call him today and make sure everything is o.k.

I need to start cleaning my house for my company, but I just don't want to. There's nothing like waiting until the last minute to get things done. Maybe I'll go back to bed. I've read all the blogs that have updated. I commented on a friends blog. I've checked my emails. Now what?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

My Day

I got up by 8:30 this morning. I slept well, but had a lot of different dreams last night. Some were disturbing and others were just weird. I think Marty was in one of them, but most of them are now kind of vague. I piddled around this morning and watched t.v. I eventually took a shower, got dressed, and headed up to Amarillo. I went to Lowe's to get a piece of wood to fix my lecturn at school. Then I went to the craft store to get something for my bulletin board border. After that, I went to Taco Villa and had lunch. I called my friend Matt because he had a piece of board for me to fit into Josh's window. We changed out his air conditioning unit because his wasn't working, but one side of the expanding things was missing. I went to pick it up and then called to see if my dad was home so I could pick up the little refrigerator he had for me. I'm taking it up to school to keep in my storage room. I visited with my dad and his girlfriend for a while and then came home. I fixed the board next to Josh's airconditioner and then made supper. We had spaghetti.
Now I'm watching t.v. and just taking it easy. I am forcing myself to clean my house tomorrow, however. I invited my dad & his girlfriend over for dinner. I will make cashew chicken. I need my house to be clean before school starts so I can start on the right foot. Of course it won't stay that way, but at least I can get a good start.

Online Banking

I really don't know what I would do without online banking. I am such a total technology geek. O.k., I'm not a total geek because I still don't use a palm pilot, but I am pretty geeky. When I opened my first checking account in college, I was pretty good about balancing it and not going into overdraft. I didn't know what the term overdraft meant back then, but I figured it out. I can't say that I've never done it... but it has only been on rare occasions. When duplicate checks became available (or perhaps they had been but I didn't know about them) I jumped on getting those. I hated to write everything down at that moment while standing in the checkout line. But when I got my first ATM card, I had to be careful. That's when I would sometimes go over my balance because I would forget certain transactions. In general, I keep a running tab in my head about how much money is in my account when I use my bank card now. How wonderful it has been, however, to have online banking. I am not certain how I truly lived without it. If I am ever in doubt, I go online and check my account. I have my own checkbook register that I created in excel. I generally keep up with my accounts on there and double check it with my bank online. I hate saving receipts and trying to find them to figure out how much I've spent. Now, usually within a day, I can see the amounts I've used on my bank card. It is a wonderful thing. I hardly even use checks any more. I pay all of my bills online. That is truly the greatest invention of all time for those of us that hated to take the time to write out checks, put them in envelopes AND then getting stamps. Usually my bills were a little late just because I had to always get stamps at the post office. (Well, now you buy those online as well.) The only time I write checks is for my tithing at church, when Josh has to pay for something at school and a few other occasions where a bank card can't be used. It brings joy to my soul every time I balance my checkbook in excel and it perfectly matches what the bank indicates is in my account. But, no, I should not have been an accountant. I tried taking accounting twice in college because I was a music business major and it just never made sense to me. That's when I decided to change majors. Well, now that I know how much is in my account, I'm going to head out and do some minor shopping today.

Friday, August 11, 2006

At least it's Friday

Today was both productive and a waste. This morning was a work day so I got quite a bit done in my room. I was a bit put off, however, when another teacher came to my room. If you know me at all, I am not confrontational and tend to be a pretty pleasant person. I don't purposely say things to tick people off and I'm pretty even tempered in most situations...well, at least professionally. I'm sure my ex-husband might have a different opinion, but that is within a different context. This teacher, however, came in and just rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't say anything and stayed pleasant, but she seemed to come in with an attitude. The room I am in now was another teacher's room that left. She was part of the business department. Some things left in the room and most things in the storage area were part of that department. This teacher along with another teacher seemed to just barge in without even a friendly "hello" and start going about getting some the things that belonged to their department. I really don't have a problem with this, but to me, it could have been more friendly. I think she was upset because I had asked about having the stuff in the storage room moved at some point because I wanted to use it for a book room. I never asked her, but conveyed this to my principal who talked to the technology director who talked to the business teachers. This particular teacher commented a few times saying that she wasn't going to be moving anything out because it wasn't her job. I don't mean to complain here, but what other source do I have to vent?

During my brief lunch break, I ran to walmart to try to find some border material to finish my bulletin board. I didn't find anything that I loved so I think I'll run up to Amarillo tomorrow. I didn't have time to eat before going to a pointless meeting at the administration building. It was the same old stuff... bloodborn pathogen training, district policies and such. After the meeting, I went to my old room to clear stuff off of my old computer and have my tables moved. I had some personal tables that I brought up last year since I didn't have enough and extras couldn't be located. Then I went back to my room to tidy up and I took a few pictures of my room.

Once home, I immediately heated up the leftover pizza because I was starving. Now I'm waiting for Monk to come on. I will probably go to bed a decent hour as I'm already quite tired. I need to remember to start taking my vitamins in the morning.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

well, it's almost Friday

It's been a very long week. The hard part about being a teacher is having summers off (for the most part) and then suddenly jumping back into a regular schedule. I guess it's good that they ease us into it with inservice before actual teaching. I'm glad that we don't start school on a Monday. I think it's much better to have just a few days before going full speed. School for the students starts next week on Wednesday. Tomorrow is half of a work day and the other half is at the administration building. I really hope this year they have more interesting people talk. Last year it was all about making the students be enganged in learning and how important that is, but then they gave us no strategies for actually doing it. And the speakers that were telling us we needed to be interesting and engaged were boring as heck. I don't mean to complain, but I didn't feel like I got much out of last year's inservice.
Today we went on home visits. Groups of teachers went out and knocked on doors of students houses to welcome them back to school. It was interesting to see where and how some of these kids live. It's amazing that some of them do so well when they're living in very poor conditions.
I'm really tired at the moment. I didn't sleep well. I actually went to sleep at 10:00 and fell asleep, but then woke up at 11:30 with some gastrointestinal issues. I didn't get back to bed until after midnight and finally around 1:00 I took 1/2 of a tylenol p.m. I'm starting to sound like a junkie, huh? I think once school starts, I will sleep just fine. I will be so totally exhausted that I just crash.
I made pizza tonight and if I say so myself, it was quite delicious. It's one of our favorite meals around here, aside from spaghetti. Well, I'm up for a lazy evening in my recliner in front of the boob tube. I'm really almost too tired to think.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Another day at work

Well, it was as expected. Much of the inservice was the same old stuff that wasn't very helpful. I did get the stuff in my room put away. I still have some boxes of materials that I need to deal with eventually, but for now they're in the storage room. I'll try to remember to take my camera up there and take some pictures for those of you that are interested. I don't have much else to share today so I'll leave you with yet another meme.

20 18 Firsts
1. Who was your first love? Well, my first boyfriend was J.T. in 3rd grade. I can't call that anything other than puppy love. I thought that I was in love with my friend Bret. But that was just a major crush in junior high and high school. I guess my first real love was my boyfriend Tony in college.
2. Who was your first kiss and when? Mike S. (who now happens to be Josh's band director) when I was 13. It was actually in front of this house I'm living in now.
3. Who was your first prom date? My first and only was William A. He was the guy that dumped me the day afterwards. (Here's a pic of me in my prom dress.)
4. Who was your first room mate? Well... my first roommate (although briefly) was my friend Kirsten when we roomed together for two weeks at band camp. But my first long-term roommate was a girl named Lisa who I roomed with during my freshman year at college.
5. What was your first job? Hostess at Denny's restaurant.

---I'm wondering what happened to number 6???

7.When did you go to your first funeral? My best friend, Laura, when I was in junior high. (8th grade) She died of a brain tumor.
8. What was your first car? A 1979 Ford Mustang. I had to put a quart of oil in it every day.
9. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown? I haven't moved yet! Maybe when I'm 40 I'll move. (Though I was technically born in Perryton and we moved from there when I was 6)
10. Who was your first grade teacher? Mrs. Heron at Western Plateau
11. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane? When I was 4 and I broke my neck, we flew to Oklahoma City where I had surgery.

Is it just multiples of six that's missing???

13. Where did you go for your first date and who was it with? What constitutes a date? I went on outings with a group of friends to movies when I was in junior high. I guess my first official date was in junior high when I went to a church movie night with Mike S.
14. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with? I'm not sure... but it was when I was in 5th or 6th grade and lived out at the old TSTI air base.
15. Who was your first best friend and are you still friends with them? Kirsten. We've known each other since we were babies. Yes, we're still friends.
16. Who was the first person to send you flowers? I really can't remember. I don't think I ever got flowers in high school. In college I got a valentine thing with ballons... but no flowers. When I was in my 20's I got flowers from this guy before we even went out on a date... so that might have been the first.
17. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents house? Well, I sort of moved out for a while when I was in high school and I lived with my aunt for a few months. Officially was my first year in college and I lived in the dorm.
18. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day? I don't call many people these days. Sometimes it's my friend Pam. Usually I just deal with it.
19. Who's wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid or a groomsmen? My friend Robin's wedding.
20. What is the first thing you do when you wake up? Look at the alarm clock. If I don't go back to sleep I get up and go to the bathroom.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Nice Surprise

So I spent all day at the school. I was there from 10:00 until shortly before 6:00. I came home and fixed dinner because Josh had plans this evening. But my surprise was in the mail today. You have to understand that at this point, Josh and I are hanging on by $26 in the bank account to last us another week. We're not in dire straights since I did buy groceries and we have plenty of food. But when I got home today, there was a check for $50. It was a refund for overpayment at band camp. I guess he ended up receiving a scholarship from his school or something. But it was a very nice surprise and will definitely come in handy. That means I could potentially go out to lunch with other teachers this week. I'm not saying I will... but you never know... there's always hope.

In other good news, my body is finally acting normal again. That means I haven't had a period or spotted in several days. I'm hoping this will last. Now if I could just stop hurting myself in my classroom at school.

Tomorrow is my first official day back to work. We have inservice for the next week. I hate inservice. It is a bunch of pointless meetings that try to get us fired up about teaching. I would do better by having work days in my own room getting my materials ready. But they never ask for my opinion. I did get some more potential good news today. I may have 4 classes of my competition students instead of only two. That means I'll only have either one or two classes of regular speech. If I get an extra conference again, then I'll have one class. If not, it will only be two. Something else that is good is that my conference is going to be 4th period which is during lunch, so technically it's an hour and a half. Since I generally work through lunch, it will be nice to have that time.

Last night I went to bed without any medicine. I slept o.k. for the most part. I am going to try to get away from relying on tylenol p.m. if I can. I'm already tired, but will wait until 10:00 to go to bed. I need to get some laundry done so I'll have something to wear tomorrow. It's professional dress. I want to wait and wear my new clothes when school starts.

It's just too much stuff

First, some good news - The painting at school is DONE! I only sustained one more injury today and it was not painting-related. I was taking apart one side of my desk because the return just doesn't work for the way I want to organize things and while unscrewing it, the top part of it fell on my shoulder - so I'll probably have a bruise there as well. More good news... I'm getting things in my room situated. I have my desks in rows. I have the computer desks all to the side and they're all hooked up and wired. I haven't tested them yet, but wanted to make sure my teacher station is working... obviously it is since I'm still at school.
Bad news is that I just don't know where to put everything. I have plenty of room but I'm not sure how I want things to be organized. The storage room still hasn't been cleaned out as well. I could use that space to start organizing some of my other things, but I can't because it's pretty well packed with a bunch of other junk. As soon as I get things situated, I'll take more pictures so you can see what my room looks like now. Tomorrow is our first day back to work. We have inservice meetings for the next week. I will probably work in my room through my lunch hour. We have a lot of new staff this year so it will be interesting tomorrow.
I had a couple of students that came up and helped today. They cleaned out some of the junk that was in the storage unit in my room... at least in the cabinets that weren't locked. I'm not sure what to do about that. I can't use some of the cabinets and a filing cabinet because I have no keys for them. I think I need to find a student that is good at picking locks. I know that's kind of sad, but I think there are probably several here that would have that skill. Well, I better get back to work. I don't have much more time here.
I wanted to thank my new readers for commenting. It really made my day. I was starting to wonder if anyone was reading my blog any more.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The dangers of painting

Well, the bruise on my abdomen from last week's injury is starting to heal. The bruise is bigger than my hand, but showing signs of fading. Today I sliced my thumb. I got a razor scraper to get the stuck masking tape off the windows and when I was wiping it off it slipped and I cut my thumb. I think I'm going to have to give up the room redecorating. I think the painting is finished. Tomorrow I'm going to go up there and put furniture in it's place and start getting organized. Now I'm tired. I came home and Josh was ready to go to the grocery store. We're on a tight budget this week so we took the calculator to add up the cost. I budgeted $75 for food to last a week and half. I had a menu planned along with Josh's requests for snacks. We did very well and it came in around $70. I'll have enough to go out for a few cheap lunches when I go back to work this week. I'll probably work through lunch on most days. I didn't get as much done this summer as I'd planned. But I'll wing it like I usually do. It's a good thing I am able to improvise at times. I'm going to try to go to bed without any sleeping pills tonight. I am already pretty exhausted so I should be able to get to sleep. I've started some laundry and the dishes desperately need to be done. Well, so much for avoiding the "this is what I did today blog." It seems everyone is taking a break from blogging these days. Haven't had many comments and only a few of my regular blogs have updated. I guess it's the start of a busy week.


I am posting one of my journaling workshop assignments here. Usually I like to keep that stuff separate for whatever reason, but I decided to go ahead and post it here as well.

Where to begin with the miracles in my life? There have been so many. Often I have not realized them until many years later, but I can see how very blessed I’ve been.

I think probably the earliest miracle was me getting to the age of five. I guess you could say I was a rambunctious child. When I was two, I got my head stuck in a cabinet, ripped part of my ear getting it out, and had to get three stitches. When I was three I fell off of a slide and busted my head getting another twenty stitches; I still have a funky part in my bangs. When I was four, I loved those Bayer children’s aspirin that tasted like orange candy. I ate an entire bottle and upon discovery was taken to the hospital and given that nasty syrup of Ipecac. But the biggest miracle was when I was hit by a car and broke my neck at the age of four and I never suffered any kind of paralysis. The details about how it happened aren’t important, but let’s say that my Big Wheel was involved and I think I was practicing my dare devil moves. When it happened, my mother had just gotten home and for some strange reason that she couldn’t explain, she walked straight to the window. She didn’t hear anything, but some propelled her. She saw that I’d been hit and ran outside. I was taken to a hospital where they said I was banged up pretty good, but really couldn’t find anything else wrong with me. I complained about my neck hurting for days afterwards so my parents took me to a chiropractor. It’s a funny memory because I remember going and was told they were going to take an x-ray and asked if I wanted to see my skeleton. I absolutely did not! Skeletons were scary! After that, I was flown to Oklahoma City (my first plane ride) where after two weeks, a broken neck was confirmed and I finally had surgery to fuse my vertebrae together. I had cracked two of them, but it was high enough that it didn’t affect my spinal cord. After my traumatic stint in the hospital, I finally calmed down and never returned to one (other than visiting people or for brief lab work) until I gave birth to my son.

I’m sure I had other miracles during my childhood, but those memories tend to be foggy these days. I do know that I experienced several more during the time I was in college and facing an unplanned pregnancy. I’ve never told anyone this, but when I knew there was a possibility that I might be pregnant, I prayed that I was. I don’t know why at the time because it would completely turn my life upside down, but there was a part of me that felt I needed to do it. And so I was. I had others that wanted me to have an abortion, including the father, but I said no. I briefly thought of adoption, but ruled it out almost immediately. I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle it, but I had decided to do whatever I needed to raise this child and finish school.

It was very much a struggle. There were times I was so tired because I didn’t get any sleep and then had to go to class, and then had to work and do homework that I didn’t know which way was up. But because of Josh, many more miracles seemed to happen. If I hadn’t gotten pregnant and had him, I probably would never have qualified for work study or grants. My parents were middle income which was too much for certain assistance but they didn’t have enough to pay for my education. After I had Josh, my entire college years were paid for and I only had one college loan - $1000 for one summer session in which I didn’t get a grant.

I earned less than $5000 a year but still had food to eat and a place to live. The first house I lived with Josh was a small place that had two bedroom areas, a living area, tiny kitchen & bath for only $75 a month. This is without being on HUD. It needed to be fixed up because it only had cement floors at the time, but we found used carpet in good condition, painted the walls, and even finding a refrigerator that fit in the small space was another miracle. We happened upon it while driving around town and it was sitting in someone’s yard. The owner hadn’t planned to sell it, but decided to on the spot.

And so the miracles continued. I always seemed to find a place to live that was affordable. When I applied for my first teaching job, I only applied at one district and a job in my field just happened to open up that summer. When I was facing my divorce, a foreclosure, and my mother’s death, her passing, although sad, gave me a new start with a place to live. When I had no health insurance with my job for two years, Josh and I stayed healthy. When I decided to return to teaching in order to get health insurance, another job opened up at just the right time.

These are only a few of miracles and blessings in my life. I have often wondered why I have been blessed when I’ve thought I have been so undeserving of it. I gave up on religion for quite a long time, but I still seemed to manage during the bleak moments. And now that I finally found faith again and am experiencing God’s graces in a very profound way, it continues. Yes, sometimes I still wonder when it’s all going to come crashing down, but if and when it does, I will still have the other blessings and good things to help me through.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Stepping outside my box

Today I'm going to Amarillo for a diocesan choir rehersal. I'm going out on a limb and doing something kind of new with people I've never met before. I'm really trying to get out there and do more than my same old routines. I'll let you know how it goes.

I went to early Mass at 8:30 this morning so I'd have time for lunch before having to head up to Amarillo. I was still tired when I got home so I went back to bed for about an hour. Now I'm waiting for my lunch to be finished. I know... exciting day, huh? I really don't know what else to write about. I've exhausted the subject of my love life, or lack thereof. You know that I don't have much in the way of friends either. My life is dull and I sometimes wonder why anyone reads my blog at all. No, I don't necessarily want excitement either... that's usually not a good thing. I guess I wish I had other thoughts to share besides my dull life.

I thought about writing about things from my past, but my memory is getting a bit foggy and some things I'm too embarrassed to even put in this blog. I'll give it some thought and try to come up with something more entertaining than "I did this today... blah, blah, blah."
Well, gotta go deal with lunch.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ahhh Shopping

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I first went to JC Penny's. They were having a really good sale. Everything that was already on sale had another 40% taken off. I got two two-piece outfits that were originally $70 for $21 each. I also got both a skirt and top for $20 total. I spent $60 there and got three outfits. After that, I headed to Dillards. Dillard's sales weren't as good, but they have really nice stuff. I think watching What Not to Wear has had an influence on me. I found some tops that are supposed to look good for my particular shape. I tried them on and they did look good, but I'm such a cheap-o that I wouldn't spend $35 for a top that was kind of flimsy material. I did end up getting two really cute short-sleeve sweaters and a pair of black slacks. I even went out on a limb and got the wide-legged style because according to WNTW that draws the attention away from a larger middle and balances out a heavier person's shape. I spent $60 at Dillards which got me another outfit and an extra top. Next, I went to Ross for Less which sells some name brand stuff at a discount because it's discontinued or sometimes flawed. There was hardly anything there that I was interested in, but did come home with two pairs of khaki capri pants. One of them is kind of dressy so I think I could still wear it to school with a nice top. I stayed under my budget of $150 and only spent $143 today. I still need shoes, but may wait until the first day of school to get those since I'll get paid then.

Shopping was a bit exhausting. I'm ready to sit in my lazy boy recliner and veg in front of the t.v. for a bit. Eventually, I'll make supper.

Last taste of freedom

Today might be the last Saturday of not having anything pressing to do. I slept quite late this morning. I was totally tired after taking a benadryl last night. But it did knock me out all night. My allergies aren't as bad today which is good, though I still feel a bit drained. I was also sporting a headache so I took some tylenol a short while ago.

I'm heading out shortly to face the crowds at the mall. I, too, want to take advantage of this tax-free weekend. I have a budget and I hope to get a few new things to start the school year.

Time to head out!

Friday, August 04, 2006

I Guess I'm bored again

So here's another meme. This one stolen from Cheshire Cat.

9 Lasts....

  1. Last place you were: Feldman’s Diner for dinner.
  2. Last drug used: Benadryl about 15 minutes ago. Tylenol/Tylenol p.m. yesterday
  3. Last beverage: Coke
  4. Last kiss: Do I really have to admit this? More than a year ago. July 2005.
  5. Last movie seen: Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest
  6. Last phone call: Dad called while I was taking a nap to ask if he had a DVD delivered here. I’m amazed I remember this as I was half asleep.
  7. Last CD played: John Michael Talbot – Table of Plenty
  8. Last bubble bath: I honestly can’t remember… years probably.
  9. Last time you cried: I’m thinking… a few days ago watching Oprah I think. It’s been a long time since the real dramatic heartbroken type tears.

Have You Evers.....

  1. Have you ever dated someone twice?: Yes, Marty.
  2. Have you ever been cheated on?: Yes
  3. Have you ever kissed somebody and regretted it?: Yes – no details though.
  4. Have you ever fallen in love?: Yes, more than once.
  5. Have you ever lost someone?: Of course.
  6. Have you ever been depressed?: Yes… during my marriage. I had to take anti-depressants for it.
  7. Have you ever been out of the country?: Yes – I went to the Caribbean on my honeymoon. I’ve also been to Mexico briefly.
  8. Have you ever been on T.V?: Very briefly… the t.v. crew filmed our class in elementary school and I was on for a split second.
  9. 7 States that you have been to: New Mexico, California, Connecticut, Nevada, Michigan, Kansas, and Oklahoma… where the wind comes sweeping down the plain.

6 Things You Have Done Today....

  1. Took a shower
  2. Went to Kinkos to have documents printed.
  3. Taught a yearbook workshop.
  4. Went out to dinner.
  5. Watched Monk & Psych.
  6. Read blogs & blogged.

5 Favorite Things....

  1. Rollercoasters.
  2. My God & my Church.
  3. My son.
  4. Spaghetti & meatsauce
  5. My laptop

4 People You Can Tell Almost Anything....

  1. Richard – my ex-husband… strange, I know.
  2. My friend Pam
  3. My friend Carol
  4. My blog readers

3 Favorite Colors

  1. Blue
  2. Purple
  3. Green

2 Things You Want To Do Before You Die....

  1. Ride 600 rollercoasters
  2. Get out of debt

1 Thing You Regret.....

  1. I really try to not live with regrets. I think all our experiences have something to teach us… even the bad ones.

Teaching is Exhausting

First, I didn't sleep well. I went to bed around 11:30 after staying up to finish my presentations and such. I took half a tylenol around 12-something and probably fell asleep around 1:00. I had to be up by 6:45 to get ready. The workshop went well. I saw few of my old advisers that seemed to miss me. I met some new people that seemed to appreciate the material I presented. I had to wing-it a bit when the power to the outlets went out for about 45 minutes. Because of that, I couldn't continue presenting with the LCD and my powerpoints. I got everyone to a point where they could work in groups on their book planning so it seemed to work out. I started going hoarse by the last hour or so. I guess I'm long-winded because I seemed to have a lot to say. We ended a little bit early and we were packed and ready to go by 4:00. I was paid $300 for the workshop and reimbursed for my printing expenses. I am greatly relieved. Money was getting pretty tight and now I can afford groceries for the next week and a half. Perhaps I'll do a little shopping tomorrow and take advantage of the tax-free weekend and get a few new pieces of clothing for school. I have a limited wardrobe and some pieces are just getting worn out.

When I got home, my brother was here fixing my sink drain. He was impressed with the bathroom as well. After he finished, Josh and I went out to eat because there was no way I was going to spend the effort in cooking someting. It was very good and now I have leftovers for tomorrow. Now I really want to sleep, but I need to stay up to watch Monk and Psych. I might just go take a nap.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Got a lot done...

... and even a good night's sleep. After my glass of tea last night and after I finished watching While You Were Out, I got up and made supper. I made beef & cheese enchiladas. They came out pretty well. I had to go pick up Josh from a friend's house and then ate an enchilada. I'm not sure why, but my appetite has changed quite a bit lately and I can't eat as much as I used to... which is probably a very good thing. After dinner I decided to get busy working on my upcoming yearbook workshop. I actually got a great deal done last night. I pulled together my slides for each presentation, added some of my own material, and planned what I need to get printed. I was finalizing one of the things that I needed to print, but had issues with it. I had to create one of the files on my own in InDesign and it decided to not work for me. Finally at 11:30, I decided to give up and go to bed. I couldn't fall asleep for an hour or so. My abdomen was still a bit sore from yesterday, and yes, I have a nice large bruise on it. I finally got up at 12:30 and took one tylenol p.m. and a regular tylenol. That seemed to do the trick. I fell asleep right away and actually slept through the night for the first time in a long time.

So today's plans are to go back to the school and finish all the touch up painting and paint the long ledge by the windows. Since I won't be able to go back over there until Monday, I wanted to be able to have the painting completely finished and then I can start organizing my room and putting furniture back on Monday. It's still not quite enough time, I'm afraid, but somehow I'll manage to pull it together and be ready for the first day of school. I may regret saying this later, but I'm actually looking forward to getting back into the swing of school and starting classes. The only concern is the fact that now I have three preparations this year instead of one. One of them is debate which isn't my strongest subject, but I'm going do the best I can.
Well, I'm off to take a shower and get ready to head out.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I'm almost too tired to type this post

It's been a very long day already. I got a fairly decent night's sleep. I woke up at odd hours but was able to go back to sleep fairly quickly. I got up a little after 8 and got dressed, etc. I took Josh to school at 8:45 so he could register then go to summer band practice. After that, I headed to Hereford to continue painting. I stopped at Walmart briefly to get a few more brushes and small rollers. I got to the school and spent 3 hours finishing the blue trim. I got it done despite having a bit of a fall. I was on a stool on top of this little ledge to reach the high spots at the top of the windows and the stool slipped out from under me. I think I will have a nice bruise on my abdomen. It's a bit sore. But I shook it off and finished up the trim painting. Then I gave myself a break and I went to McDonald's to get some lunch. I picked it up and came back to the school. During the afternoon, I started touching up the cream wall color in spots where the paint was a bit thin. Problem with having students help paint is that they don't always paint as think as I do. I'm more of a one coat kind of girl. That painting was simply exhausting. Up on the chair, off to refill the roller, up again, down again, rolling in every direction, stretching... you get the picture. So now my body hurts and I'm exhausted. I'm afraid to go lie down though. I think I need to stay up so I'll sleep better tonight. I also have things to do tonight. I am going to rest for a bit, however.
On the way home, I had to drive through several rain storms. I thought of my friend Andrew who would have really appreciated it. I actually thought about him all day today as it was a big day for him. I was glad to discover that there was a great deal of good news for him today and he's still going to be around for a while.
Tonight I have to continue getting ready for my workshop on Friday. I started putting stuff together last night. Luckily almost everything is already in a power point, I'm just combining some of the files and adding some of my own things. I already had a powerpoint for the workshop from last year, but I'm just combining the two for the most part. I'm also putting together a packet of information for each school and I need to finish that tonight so I can go have it printed tomorrow.
Well, I'm going to go have a glass of tea and sit in my recliner for a bit.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Thanks for the comments

I appreciate all the comments on the bathroom. I'm still proud of it and there's still the extra work to be done, but I was busy doing other things today.

I got some sleep finally last night, but I still didn't sleep very sound. I took the tylenols at 9:00 and fell asleep around 10:40. I woke up briefly around 1:00, again around 3-something; 5-something and 8:00. I got up around 8:30 and got ready to go to Hereford. Josh went with me and drove. We went to my room and taped the trim edges so the trim could be painted. We came back home and had left over stromboli for lunch. My friend Kirsten came over and then we went to Amarillo to go shoe shopping. We went to two different stores and she tried on a million pairs of shoes.. just kidding... only about 3-4 pair at each store. At the second store, she found a winner and got a new pair of tennis shoes. Then we went to the mall to see if the southwest artsy-stuff store was still there, but it wasn't. Then we went to another clothing store across town and to the grocery store to get some special dog food for her parent's dogs. After that we came home. Josh had a doctor's appointment for 3:45 to get one of his booster shots for school. Now I'm home and worn out. We're going to the band picnic tonight at 6:30 which means I don't have to cook, so I'm thankful for that. When I get back, I hope to get started on my workshop stuff for this Friday. I'm ready to get that done with and hopefully I'll have a little bit of shopping money afterwards. That's all the excitement here today.

oh.... to answer Summer's question: No, I only actually laid one tile section. My friend Matt did the tile work until I was one section short. He left a space so I could get another tile and put it in myself. I did, however, do all the grouting on the counter as well as the caulking.