Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Year in Review Meme

I think I skipped this in 2006 but I guess I'm in a meme mood so I'll do it again.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
Ripped out carpet

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any so therefore I had none to keep. I probably won't make a resolution, but I may set myself a goal of losing weight before my 20 year reunion. Can you believe I'm that old?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my brother's girlfriend had a baby. It's my brother's first natural child and their expecting another in February.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully no.

5. What countries did you visit?
Yeah, right. I did get all the way to Wichita, KS this year, does that count? I was able to meet Abbagirl in person which I thoroughly enjoyed.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
More money. More time. More friends. A date?????

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Nothing comes to mind. It was a fairly uneventful year.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Giving up the internet at home for Lent. I will not do that again this year.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Luckily I don't think I can consider anything I did as a particular failure this year.

10. What was the best thing you bought?
Books. 7th Harry Potter, Sue Grafton "T is for Trespass", and Janet Evanovich "Lean Mean Thirteen" and my mp3 player.

11. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Well, I guess I've continued to be on my best behavior in the sense that I avoid anything considered to be a mortal sin. My son always merits celebration. He was given parts in both the one act play and musical last year. He was the only member of his speech team to qualify for TFA state, and he made All-State band again. Pretty impressive, I think. (Oh and he is in National Honor Society with about a 95 average.)

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and disgusted?
O.k. Andrew - this is a small thing so don't think because of this one thing I don't like you, but it really upset me when you pawned your camera this year. I'm glad you came to your senses and got it back. But please don't do it again. I wouldn't say it appalled and disgusted me... those are harsh words, but I wasn't happy about it.

13. What song will always remind you of 2007?
Never Alone by Barlow Girl. It became one of my favorites.

14. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Exercise. Reading. Cleaning.

15. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Spending.

16. Did you fall in love in 2007?
Not at all.

17. What was your favorite TV program?
Monk, Pysch, Chuck.

18. What was the best book you read?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

19. What one thing would have made your year measurably more satisfying?
More money to pay bills and afford something luxurious like air conditioning. Being able to ride some new coasters.

20. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
I have no concept of fashion. I wear the same clothes over and over because I can't afford to update my wardrobe more than once a year. Maybe I need to go on What Not to Wear.

21. What kept you sane?
Going to church and blogging.

22. Who did you miss?
Sometimes my mom still.

23. Who was the best new person you met?
I only met a handful of new people this year, but I appreciate all of them. It was awesome to meet Abbagirl. Then there are my neighbors from Church that set me up to meet a new guy (Susie & Don), the new speech teacher at my son's school, Stefanie, and although I haven't met them in person, I enjoy knowing all my new blog readers like Leann, Cheryl, Terri, and Mago.

24. Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2007.
A teenager should have a minor fender bender to help him be a more cautious driver. It pays to have good tires on your car.

25. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Yeah when I get where I'm going
There'll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I'll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I'm going
Don't cry for me down here

Seven Things About Me

I was tagged by Abbagirl for this meme. I may have already done it in the past, but I can't find it so I'll try to come up with some answers that at least my new readers may not already know about me.

The "rules" for this meme are:
1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) Share 7 facts about yourself.
4) Tag 7 random people and include links to their blogs.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. My favorite food is Spaghetti with meat sauce. It has been since I was a child and I never get tired of eating it. Of course I no longer eat it with my hands as I did as a child... but that might be fun.

2. I went to a taping of The Price is Right in hopes of becoming a contestant. It was an interesting experience filled with hope and then a total let down when you don't get called to "Come on Down" I'm glad I got to go before Bob Barker retired. It's just not the same with Drew Carey. At least they didn't give it to Rosie O'Donnell.

3. Most people are surprised to find out that I have a tattoo. I have a small Marvin the Martian on my shoulder blade on my back. I would like to get another tattoo on my ankle, but I haven't figured out what I really want (but something religious that represents my Catholic conversion). If I did get one on my ankle, I would have to cover it up when I wear a dress at school (which isn't very often). And yes, it did hurt.

4. One of my biggest pet peeves is people reading over my shoulder. I can't stand it when I'm trying to read a newspaper and they're reading the same thing and since I read fairly fast, they tell me to wait when I want to turn the page. I really don't read newspapers that much and then I only skim it... but it still bothers me.

5. I have a "thing" about memorizing numbers. I can remember all my phone numbers since 2nd grade. I know mine and Josh's driver's license and social security numbers along with my ex-husband's. I also still know birthdays of friends I had in junior high. I am a fountain of mostly useless information.

6. The only bones I've ever broken was when I broke my neck when I was four years old. I was hit by a car and I cracked two vertebra. Luckily my spinal cord was not affected (0bviously) and I eventually had surgery that fused them back together. I was donned the nickname of "steel neck" afterwards.

7. I am relatively shy. It is strange that I am a speech teacher and I teach others how to communicate. I'm not afraid of speaking in public or making presentations but I'm horrible at interpersonal communication with people I don't know. I think I do have a bit of social anxiety because I hate being in uncomfortable situations where I don't know what to say. I also hate doing business over the phone. I would rather do it in person.

8. Bonus - I love riding rollercoasters and have ridden about 125 different coasters to date. (It may be 124 - I need to check my count).

Well, that's it. My long time readers probably already know all of this. I'm a fairly open book on my blog.

I tag: Andrew, Summer, Susan, Terri, Cheryl, Leann, and Mago. (But no big deal if you don't want to play.)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Politically Speaking

I hate that I'm going to have to eventually vote for someone as President of the United States. First, you should know that I hate politics in general. I think it's really a bunch of hogwash and the fact that there's not a single candidate that I can agree with on every stance makes it difficult for me to decide on one that I should try put into office. I think that the people running simply like the idea of power and although a few get their actual viewpoints in there, most have a slew of other people around them telling what to think and write their speeches for them.

I haven't given the election much thought and I haven't spent time investigating the candidates. Tonight I decided to take a look. I first took a quiz on this site to figure out who in general I agreed with. Although I tend to have a conservative stance, I did take both the Republican and Democrat quizzes. And what I found out is that I still have no idea as to who I would vote for.

Another Sunday

I spent another day doing much of nothing. Josh and I went to church and played our duet. It seemed to go off well. I came home and made some lunch and watched t.v. I thought about going to the book store. My brother gave me $25 gift card to Hastings. I still have a little bit of Christmas money left as well. Tomorrow my friend Kirsten and I will get together for New Year's. We've been celebrating New Year's together for probably the last 15 years or so. We'll probably continue to do so as long as I'm here and she comes homes every Christmas. But today I'm getting a feeling of wanderlust. Although I am quite a homebody, I have an urge to get away. I don't have any place to go, however. I guess Kirsten and I will go to dinner tomorrow and then come back here and watch movies until midnight. We're a pair of party animals, I tell you. Well, I haven't had dinner yet and Josh ate while he was out with friends. I guess I should figure out what I should eat.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Nothing Kind of Day

Well, I've now finished the Harry Potter series once again. I still love the books and they still made me cry. I've done nothing today and I don't even feel guilty about it. I slept in, got up and read most of the day. I stopped for some lunch, blog reading, and email, but pretty much just read all day. Now I'm not sure what to do. I had thought about going shopping, but I decided I didn't really want to get dressed to go out. I did take a shower, but I immediately put on my sweats and comfy clothes. I guess I need to start thinking about what to have for supper. It will probably be steaks tonight. Josh and I are playing at Mass tomorrow. We're playing the medley he wrote for my cousin's daughter's Baptism. Hopefully it will go well and I'll make it through it again. He didn't give us much room to breathe in the piece.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday Break

I had another enjoyable day of sleeping in. I really didn't do much today other than read most of the day. I've now finished the 6th Harry Potter book and will start reading the 7th one shortly. I did get out of the house, however. Josh, my friend Kirsten, and I went to the movies and saw the 2nd National Treasure movie. I thought it was really good. After coming home, I made a quick supper and opened the present that my friend Kirsten had gotten me. She got me this Looney Tunes coaster figurine that I have been wanting for a while. It has Marvin in it of course. I was thrilled to get it.

I did sign up to take the GRE so I'll be doing that on January 5th at 1:00 p.m. I'll do some math reviews this week and just see how it goes. I'll also work on my admission essay and get everything going with that. Hopefully I'll know something by the end of the month as to whether or not I'll get into Graduate school.

The snow didn't last long, it was a fairly sunny day today. It wasn't enough to get rid of everything on the streets in town, but the main streets and highways were clear. Tomorrow I may try to brave the mall and see if there's something I want to spend the rest of my Christmas money on before I pay bills with it. And with that, I'm going to curl up in bed with my book and enjoy reading.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Snowing again

The snow is coming down pretty good, but I don't think we're expected to get too much. I had a restful morning. I went to bed some time after 11:00 last night after taking a benadryl. I slept all night until Josh got up around 8:30. I put the presents for my brother that he was supposed to take to work with him on the door and went back to bed. Josh left around 9:30 to go work with my brother. I slept until about 10:30 and finally got up. I spent the morning reading and watching t.v. Around lunch time I realized we didn't have anything to eat. I ordered thai takeout and picked it up after I took a shower and made myself somewhat presentable. I enjoyed my lunch and continued reading. I've now finished the 5th Harry Potter book again. (I'm re-reading the series.) Around 3:30 I decided that I really needed to get some groceries so I headed to the store. There was quite a big of fog in the area and a little bit of snow coming down when I left. By the time I spent $125 and left, it was starting to accumulate. Now I'm home and I'm going to continue to take it easy today. I'm feeling better, but still not 100%. I got more benadryl at the store and will take another one before bed tonight. I did spend some of my Christmas money on myself and bought the 5th Harry Potter movie. I have $30 left and will have to figure out what I want to spend it on. Maybe some new clothes. I need some new khaki pants. I just want to wait a bit before attempting the mall.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sick on Vacation

Typical, huh? I guess it's better than having to take a day off at school, but I did catch something on my trip. Yesterday I started developing the scratchy throat and today I could tell that my tonsils have swollen and my throat is raw. I drove the five hours home sipping a sprite just to appease my throat. I came home and immediately got into bed. I sent Josh for dinner at some point and I've pretty much stayed in bed since I've been home. Now I'm getting that tickly feeling that causes me to cough. I may need to take something to help me to sleep tonight.

I don't have anything exciting to share today other than the fact that I just don't feel well. The roads were fine for the most part despite snow falling yet again last night. There was only about a 10 mile stretch where it hadn't been cleared so I had to slow down some.

Well, I guess I'm just going to try to get some rest and take it easy and hope this thing passes. If not, I guess I'll have to go back to the doctor - I guess it's good that I got some Christmas money... though I kind of wanted to actually buy myself something with it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I've been wanting to blog but the internet connection at my aunt's house is painstakingly slow. I'm at my sister's house right now so I figured I should get something up while I have a decent connection.

This morning started pretty early. We were up by 7:00 a.m. waiting for the kids to come out and see what Santa brought. They eventually roused around 7:30 and the chaos ensued. It took them about 3 hours to open everything... because they would open something and then play with it for a while, then open something else and so on. My aunt got me an oven glove and $50. My cousin got me some fuzzy socks. My dad is broke right now and so he didn't get me anything, but he did give Josh some money. Josh seemed to like all his presents. I got him the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, the weather calendar and $100. I didn't get his afghan finished, but I showed it to him and told him I would continue to work on it. My aunt gave him an Elvis book and some money. We spent the morning watching t.v. and just sitting around. We had typical Christmas dinner of turkey and all the trimmings around 1:00. Around 3:30 my dad brought us here to my sister's place. She got me a really pretty necklace and gave Josh a $50 gift card to Penny's. We played trivial pursuit and now we're going to be heading back to the mountain soon. I probably won't get pictures uploaded until after I get back due to the internet connection.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Trying to have self-control

I slept pretty well. I'm in the middle room this time so I have the more comfortable bed. I was up by 7:00 Albuquerque time and got ready for church. We had to leave by 8:25 but we didn't quite make it by then. We headed out but my car wouldn't make it up the bit of hill from my aunt's house to the main road. My dad and others had to help push it a bit to get it going. It was pretty much pure ice on top of a dirt road. We got to the church and had the service which included the blessing of my cousin's marriage vows and the baptism of their youngest child. Josh and I played the prelude music which he wrote/arranged himself. It was only 3 1/2 minutes, but it was tough to play because we didn't get to rest much. After the service, we went to the grocery store and then came home. I had a sandwich for lunch and a bloody mary. That made me very tired so I took a nice long nap. I got up and haven't done much at all today. I tried working on Josh's afghan but I'm not going to get it finished. I'm maybe a third of the way done. Oh well. I had a glass of wine and then we had dinner. Oh... I forgot to mention that at church we also had food. I've been eating and drinking all day and I need to stop. Now. I did take some pictures that I'll try to post before we leave. I know that Andrew would love to see pictures of my aunt's house here in the woods. Well, that's it for today. Hope everyone is safe and sound whereever you may be.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Made it here safe and somewhat sound

So I guess I should have more faith in the weather forecasters. Indeed it did snow. I awoke around 7:00 this morning and there was hardly anything accumulating so I decided to go back to bed for a bit. I got up shortly before 8:00 and checked the highway department's road conditions. It looked as though there were some advisories for New Mexico, but they indicated that road crews were working so I figured I should give them time to work a bit. Josh and I left the house around 9:30 but had errands to run before leaving. By then the wind in our area was wipping up pretty good and snow was blowing everywhere. We left for Albuquerque around 10:30 and it was an arduous trip just to get to I-40. We have to go up a decent hill which wasn't a problem. Then there's an overpass. A stupid driver decides to pull over at the last minute causing the cars behind them (including me) to break and swerve. I ended up going off the road a bit, but didn't hit anything. I backed up and continued on over the overpass. Shortly thereafter, I came upon a 3-car pile up. I traveled about 25 miles an hour at the most just to get down I-27. The visibility at times was zero and there were still cars whipping around me. I hate it when those big honking SUV's think they're above sliding on ice. I exited and headed around the loop which was a little better because the snow was blowing across the road and not straight at us. I had to stop at a convenience store to pick up the beer I wanted to get for my uncle. The roads were still snow packed and icy but I managed to get to I-40 after about 40 minutes. (It usually takes 15-20 minutes) Once we were on I-40 it wasn't too bad. I did see several vehicles off the road but it had started to clear towards the west which is the direction we were headed. There was a bad spot where we had to deal with the icy stuff that hadn't been cleared in a construction zone. As a matter of fact, one of the vehicles that was stuck was a snow plow. Once we got to New Mexico, the roads were clear and so was the sky. We were finally able to pick up the pace.

We arrived at my aunt's around 4:00 Texas time which took us an hour longer than it should have, but better safe that sorry. I didn't count the number of vehicles off the road, but it did include a semi that was upright but had a gash in it's side, an overturned semi, an overturned U-haul, several SUV's and pickups. (Again those people that seem to think a big vehicle makes it safer to drive on ice). I took it as slow as I needed. I settled in for about an hour and a half and then I had to go to Mass. I headed down the mountain road which I did not like. It was winding and there were long patches of ice on the downhill curves. It was scary. And I had more idiots behind me that didn't like the fact that I was going so slow. They finally went around me. I made to church a little late... but again in one piece.

As soon as Mass was over I headed back but decided to forgo the mountain route and went farther down I-40 to the simple up & down road that I took coming into my aunt's house. I had a message on my phone so I checked it. It was Abbagirl worried about me because she had heard about the 80 car pile-up in Amarillo. Luckily it was the opposite end of I-40 that we started out on. It made national news though. Here's the report on CNN. Here's the local news and you can see some footage of the wreck. So now we're back at my aunt's and I'm ready to stay put for a while.

Heading out shortly

I just wanted to give you a quick update. We did get some snow. It's not a lot, but it's very windy so it's just blowing around. I decided to wait a little before heading out to give the road crews a chance to do some work. It has paid off as the New Mexico conditions are getting better. We'll take it slow and we'll be careful. I'll update later once we make it to Albuquerque.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Getting things done

But I'm not sure if there's still enough time. I think this has been quite a productive day. I went to my doctor's appointment. No worries.. just my annual check up. I actually wrapped most of my presents before I went to my appointment. And to comment on Mago's comment, I'm not very organized. I can be and to some degree I can be quite organized, but my house is always a mess. But when I do get a bug in me to clean, I can get a bit over-enthusiastic about it. So after my doctor's appointment I picked up lunch and got some gift cards for my brother's girlfriend's boys. Then I came home and ate. Then I went to Walmart to get a few other things and I was able to finish up my shopping there - except for the beer I'm getting my uncle and I'll pick that up on the way out of town. I picked up food for Josh on the way back and then I got busy with the rest of the presents. I have everything wrapped and labeled. I've been cleaning the house a bit so I don't leave it a complete mess. I haven't started packing yet, but I'm going to shortly. I want everything ready to go tonight so we can leave as soon as I get up in the morning. The weather report is still saying it's going to get bad overnight, but I still have a hard time believing it. It is still 50 degrees right now... but we have a snow and blowing advisory for our area. It says the chance of snow right now is 90%. Well if it does get bad, we'll just take it slow. I've driven to Albuquerque in pretty bad conditions before.

I'm going to take my laptop with me so hopefully I'll find time to blog amidst my duty of playing bar tender. I also have to go to Mass Saturday evening and on Christmas Eve while I'm there. One of Josh's friends is going to come by and take care of the animals for us. Well, I better get busy packing so I'll be ready to go in the morning.

Debating...

...on whether or not I want to eat lunch before I go to my Doctor's appointment. I'm pretty hungry right now, but I have to be there in a little over an hour. I think I'll hold off and just wait. I left school around noon today. I got home and started finding boxes for presents. I have a box for almost everything, but now I need to start wrapping. I'll probably do that this evening. I still have to pick up a couple of things, but I'll do that after my appointment. I really could use a nap actually.

I'm still waiting for this yucky weather that is supposed to hit. It's in the 50's right now. I'm not even close to being ready to go. I still need to clean the house some. I did start soaking some dishes so I'll be able to put those in the dishwasher shortly. I did do some laundry last night so I have that done.

I think I'll go find something to snack on before my appointment.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Almost finished with shopping

I left school early today. Technically we were supposed to stay until 3:45, but I left around 2:00. I already spent the morning working and then went to lunch shortly before 1:00. I felt a little guilty leaving early, but I didn't worry much about it since I tend to devote quite a bit of extra time to work already.

I came home and then headed to Amarillo. I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up something for my cousin. From there I went to a Walmart in North Amarillo so I could get the yarn I needed for Josh's afghan. I also got Josh a DVD. After that, I went to the mall. I got my hair cut. It's quite a bit shorter, but not the shortest I've had it. It should at least last me for a while. I want to know what kind of spray conditioner the hairstylists use that make my hair so sleek and soft. I'm sure Cheryl could answer that for me. Is it something I can buy myself?

After my hair cut, I wandered the mall some. I bought Josh his Weather calendar that he wants every year. From there I went to another Walmart to get pet food and some things to get us through the next couple of days before we leave. I'm done with Josh's shopping. I'll give him some cash and that should make him happy. I have a few more things to get that I can pick up in Canyon tomorrow.

I have to get some laundry started and then I'm going to sit on my bed and watch t.v. and do a little reading and then call it an early night. Tomorrow is the last day of school. Yay! I'm going to get home early tomorrow and then clean the house, pack, wrap presents and then we'll probably head out pretty early on Saturday morning.

Blogging at School Again

I slept in this morning and got here about five minutes before the first bell rang. I figured since it's just a work day, there's no reason to rush. I do have plans of things I'm going to work on, but I don't think it will take me the four hours that I have to be here until lunch. They are feeding us today.

Yesterday was fairly productive. I got home and had to drop off Josh's new prescription to be filled (which was an agonizing $50). I then went to Walmart and had my oil changed. I think I'm kind of like Andrew with a bit of social phobia when it comes to talking to mechanics. I often feel like they might try to take advantage of me and I'll spend more than I need to. I also didn't want to be chided for not taking care of things on my car. But Walmart was simple and there wasn't any fuss. I also spent 30 minutes in there without buying single thing. Can you believe it?

After that, I came home and picked up Josh to go to the Mall. It wasn't bad as I thought it would be. The parking lot wasn't full and they didn't have people directing traffic so it wasn't too crowded. I finally found something for my sister (a bamboo plant) and that's it. Josh and I looked at suits for him. I offered to buy him a suit instead of cash for Christmas, but he decided he wanted money. I wanted to get my hair cut, but Josh wouldn't let me. I guess I'll have to go on my own today or tomorrow.

We left the mall and then went to Outback steakhouse for dinner. Josh received $20 in gift cards from his director so we spent it and I paid the extra. It was a bit crowded and they had said it would be a 45 minute wait, but luckily we were seated within 20 minutes. After dinner, we went to the craft store and I got some cake decorating things for my brother's girlfriend since she is taking a class on it. After that, we headed home and I spent some time reading before bed and was asleep by 11:00.

Well, I better get started on the work I have planned. Hope you're all having a great day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Blogging from Work

Well, it's now 2:40 and technically I'm supposed to be here another hour and five minutes. My tests for today are graded. All my class grades are finished. I cleaned my room a bit this morning. My office still needs work, but I need something to do tomorrow when I have to be here but have no classes. I'm just not in the mood to focus on anything school-related right now. I've read blogs, checked email and now I don't know what else to do.

I love having my test online. The only drawback is still having to manually grade the short answer questions. I may just change the test next year and make it all multiple choice, matching, and true-false questions. I'm going to try to get my entire course online by the start of school next year.

I may try to do some shopping today. I know it will be a pain, but I've got to get it done. Josh received $20 for the Outback Steakhouse. That sounds really good! I told him I'd pay the extra amount if he wanted to go eat at somepoint. I have a few ideas of what I want to get people. My uncle is hard to buy for, but I think I'm just going to take him some Texas beer. I don't buy for the nephews any more because I just can't afford it. I need to pick up something for my cousins though. Luckily there's money in my account now so I can get some shopping done!

Well, I've wasted about 10 minutes so far. What else shall we talk about? I always have good intentions to send cards out, but I have yet to accomplish it. Maybe next year. Tomorrow I have to send out the student Stock-in-talk letters and create a database for printing labels. I also need to go through my tournament checklist and see what else I can get done before the holidays.

Well, I guess I'll head down to the office and turn in some money and then perhaps sneak out a bit early. I'll see if other teachers have already left so I won't feel so bad.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

There's nothing on t.v.

I didn't bring any work home and I'm actually caught up for the most part. I have my tests done and the comm. app. one is on the web. Most of the papers are graded and almost all the grades are entered. I'll have time tomorrow to get all of that finished and then I'll clean my room and start getting ready for after the new year.

I've played two games of scrabble this evening and now there's nothing to watch on t.v. I'm actually watching "Cops" because there's nothing else I'm interested in. I may just go to bed early and continue reading the 4th Harry Potter book.

I went to the bank today and submitted the paperwork for my loan payment deferral. Luckily I'll have that money to do a little bit of Christmas shopping. It won't be much, but it's the thought that counts, right? Josh just wants money. I'll probably pick him up a few smaller things though.

I saw two of my former students today. It was good to see them. College is suiting them well. Today was the last regular day of school. Tomorrow is semester testing so I'll only have two classes.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I have to work tonight

I still feel perpetually behind. I'm catching up on grades (despite not grading anything this weekend). I need to put two more tests together.... which really sucks because it's only for two students in one class and three in the other. If they could just come to school and do their work and pay their fines they wouldn't have to take the tests. So that's on the agenda for this evening.

I was very disappointed in the performances that I saw in my interp class today. The students have had almost six weeks to find and memorize a humorous or dramatic piece and they were quite pathetic today. I hope tomorrow's will be better.
We had to do a bus evacuation drill today. It's a new mandated state law.

I'm ready for Christmas break. Not Christmas... just the break. But then we're going to Albuquerque and that just means that I'm still going to feel like nothing gets accomplished around here. I do like visiting with my family, but I really hate being away from home that long. We'll be gone four days. Our break is cut short this year because of the change in our calendar having to start school later than we've normally been starting. I'm hoping to take the GRE on January 5th and I'll need to get a little bit of studying in before then.

On Thursday I won't have any classes, but I'll have to be at school which just doesn't seem fair. I guess I'll get some cleaning and organizing done in my room. That's also our staff luncheon so I guess I do need to be there. I think I'm going to snuggle under the covers in my room with my work that I need to get done.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I hate being broke

It's that time at the end of the month when money runs short. Of course I'm still feeling the guilt from buying that book last week. (Which I did finish and enjoy.) I had $60 to spend on groceries to get us through the next few days. I did pretty well spending only $47 and that included a $14 gift for my aunt. (It was on sale and I knew she'd like it.) I really wanted to do actual Christmas shopping, but that's a wash with only $13 left in my account until Wednesday.

I went to Church this morning. Josh and I played again at the 11:15 service so we had to be there by 10:30. Right after Mass I brought Josh home and then headed to Amarillo in search of more yarn for his afghan. I went to every Walmart in Amarillo and struck out. I did get some groceries and the gift for my aunt so it wasn't a completely wasted trip. I came home and changed into my pajamas (yes at 3:00 in the afternoon) and then started another scarf for a Christmas present. I put a pre-made lasagna in the oven a little after 5:00 and we ate around 6:00. I haven't done much other than crochet, watch t.v. and read blogs. I did bring home a bunch of papers that I'm certain I won't even attempt to grade.

I need to get to the bank and turn in the paperwork to skip a loan payment so I can pay for Christmas. I'm also behind on my water bill and need to get it paid before my water gets cut off. You'd think that someone that makes $37,000 a year wouldn't be so poor. It's not that the cost of living is very high here, but having a teenager is very expensive. Now that I'm having to shell out a couple of extra hundred dollars each month for things that always seem to come up, I'm broke all the time. I really hate living paycheck to paycheck. O.k. enough whining. At least I can pay my bills at this point. It could be worse and I know it. I still want to be able to pay for the GRE and I just don't know if that's going to happen this month. Josh has to re-register for his college classes and that's going to cost $150 more.

Well, I'm going to continue crocheting and take it easy. I'll think about grading those papers, but maybe I'll just try to get to school early tomorrow. It could happen. Really.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree!

Well, I finally did it. I got the tree up. I have some lights that need to be changed, but I think it looks pretty nice. For those new to my blog, you should know that my tree is thematic in that almost all the ornaments are music related. They are either instruments, or music symbols or characters holding instruments. Josh also added his collection of Elvis ornaments. So for your viewing pleasure, I've included both a picture and a video.



video

And just for Andrew... here's some snow on the ground. That is my dog Max (i.e. the "Mop"). He really needs a hair cut.


Almost don't know what to do with myself

I am sitting in my recliner in front of the t.v. simultaneously watching it, web surfing, and reading. O.k. I tend to focus on one and then randomly alter my attention to the others. I enjoyed sleeping in this morning. I woke sometime around 8:15 but I didn't actually get out of bed until 9:00. It was quite lovely.

I know you're all anxiously awaiting the report from last night's dinner thing. Well, it wasn't a dinner thing. It was snacks and wine and playing dominoes, but it was still fun. I was kind of worried that the guy (whose name is Wes) would be a bit out of my league from the description I was given. But he wasn't at all pretentious. He was very nice... maybe even a little soft-spoken, but not shy. He was very nice and has a good sense of humor. I am horrible at writing physical descriptions, but I will try. He's not very tall... maybe a few inches taller than me. He's thin and he didn't eat much. I, on the other hand, didn't hold back and had two plates full. I know that some women eat like birds when they are out on dates (though this wasn't really a date or even remotely close) but I figure that I should be myself. If someone decides they aren't interested because I happen to enjoy food, then it wouldn't work out in the long run. (At least that's my philosophy.) He has blue eyes and light brown hair that was short but wavy on top. He has a little bit of a crooked smile which I thought was charming.

We played a domino game called "Mexican Train." I picked it up pretty quickly but didn't do well in the beginning so I ended up in 4th place. I did win one of the games by getting rid of all my dominoes first. Wes, the statistician (that's what he does for a living), beat everyone. He seems to have a logical mind which is a plus.

So is this dating potential? I have no idea. I thought he was very nice. I have no earthly idea as to what his impression of me was. I was simply myself. If he happens to ask me on a date, I would certainly go out with him. I'm not sure how he felt about being set up but I guess he wasn't opposed to it. I didn't give him my number or anything, I thought that would be presumptions (and he didn't ask for it). I figured that if he's interested, he could easily get in touch with me. I simply enjoyed getting out for the evening, being around real people and having fun.

So that's my report. There's really nothing much to tell. Today I'm taking it easy and I'm definitely going to get my tree up today. I'm going to try to do some cleaning but mostly I'm going to be a bum. I'm thinking about taking a nap already.

We did get a little bit of snow. I took a picture earlier that I'll try to upload later today. The snow will probably be gone by tomorrow. It barely even blanketed the ground. Well, gotta get busy doing nothing.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday at last

You'd think having a day off this week would make it seem shorter, but it didn't. I had a million things to do and I got about half of them done. Today was a strange day. We had only 30 minutes with our classes and then went to the school musical today. All I can say about that is at least they tried. It dragged considerably and we didn't even get to finish watching it. I was more disturbed by the audience which was completely rude. They wouldn't shut up and between scenes they would whistle and wouldn't stop. One would get another started and before you know it, they were all doing it. As you know, rude audiences is one of my biggest pet peeves, so today was extremely irritating. Then I had an hour and a half with my 7th period class.

I spent time working on on putting one of my tests online. It's time consuming right now, but the students will be able to log on and take it and it will automatically be graded. I won't have to print anything. I'm going to try to get it done this weekend. I also have intentions to get the tree up. We'll see if it happens.

We may be in store for some winter weather tonight. I'm not very keen on the idea, but I guess if it's gone by Monday it will be o.k. I just don't like driving 30 miles to school in it. If we do get snow, I'll be sure to take a picture just for you Andrew.

Well, I have the dinner thing tonight. I am supposed to be picked up by my neighbors at 6:40 p.m. They live just two doors down. I'm assuming everything is still on for now... I don't think the roads have gotten bad yet. It's been drizzly today, but nothing is freezing yet. I'll start getting ready around 6:00. I'll try to report when I get home if it's not too late. Well, I'm going to continue reading my new book for a bit until I have to make myself somewhat presentable.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cold has come and gone

I guess that I'm a quick healer. I was sneezing a little this morning, but most of the symptoms are gone. I finally got another good night's sleep which was very helpful. I got to school at a decent hour and got several things done today. I caught up on a lot of grades. I still have a few things left, but I got most everything entering into our online gradebook. I have to work on semester tests and get those ready to go. I'm thinking about putting those online as well.

The interviews went fine yesterday so I don't feel as bad about taking the day. I spent a good portion of the afternoon trying to figure out which hotel I should book for the Seminole trip. I'm taking a small group, but Seminole is a small town and their two hotels are booked up. The closest town that has multiple hotels is in Hobbs, NM which is about 18 miles away. I checked the hotels there and I could spend an arm and a leg for a fairly nice hotel with a free breakfast or an arm and maybe a knee for a not so nice hotel. I went ahead and decided to spend an arm and a leg - after all, if we stay at a Holiday Inn Express, we'll be much smarter the next day.

I just got back from the band concert. It was o.k. but it's the same old cheesy Christmas music. Their jazz combo also played. Maybe it's me, but I've just never really gotten into jazz music. I kept waiting for it to be over.

I had another pang of guilt last night. I stopped at a Walmart in Amarillo on the way home in search of more yarn for Josh's afghan I'm crocheting for him. They had what I needed, but it wasn't on sale and I didn't want to pay full price unless I had to. So instead I got a crochet hook I needed for another scarf and then I decided to just peruse the book section. Wouldn't you know it, but the new Sue Grafton book is out and I couldn't resist. It's getting to the end of the month so money is getting short, but I bought it anyway. I took it with me to the concert tonight since I got there 30 minutes before it started. I'm going to go get in bed shortly with it and continue reading. I feel guilty, but I'm still enjoying it.

I desperately need a hair cut. My hair grows so dang fast. I just can't afford to get it cut that often and that's with going to the cheap place at the mall. Maybe after payday I'll get it cut again.

The Christmas party last night was nice. I didn't have time to cook so I took a cheeseball with crackers and some peanut butter cookies. The gift I took was a plush snowflake throw. I came home with a gloves, scarf, and hat set. I was needing new gloves so I stole them from someone else after someone stole the cute talking puppy that I had. (It was a white elephant gift exchange.) Well, I'm going to enjoy my book for a few hours before I go to sleep. I knew better than bring papers home to grade. The tree isn't up, but I should have it up by Saturday evening. I'll take pictures and post them this weekend.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Much Needed day

I still feel guilty, but it is subsiding a little bit. If I had just stayed in bed or in front of the t.v. all day, then I would have had major guilt. I have been busy. I have done quite a bit of laundry, cleaned my bathroom, most of my bedroom, swept the house and tore up most of the carpet that was left in the living room. I haven't gotten the tree up, but I'll try to do that Thursday or Saturday. I still have a runny nose, but I'm not feeling too bad. I'm going to get dressed soon and run to the store to get something for the party this evening.

Feeling guilty

I don't feel just horrible, but I'm still home. I sent the message to my principal and the secretary last night around 8:00 while I was still feeling miserable and I was in bed by 8:30. Maybe it was the benadryl, but I started feeling better during the night. I slept from 8:30 until around 11:00 p.m. and then it was fitful after that. I was awake around 5:00 and 6:00. I think I'm feeling guilty for taking the day. I feel like if I'm at home, I should be completely miserable. Well, I'm starting to sneeze again so maybe I can feel better about being here. I am going to get some things done since I'm here. I'm going to clean my room and get laundry done. Maybe I'll even get the tree up if I'm feeling adventurous.

I'm going on the dinner date of sorts on Friday. The people from church are picking me up at 6:40 and we're going to their daughter's house in Amarillo. I haven't decided about the party tonight. I'm going to wait and see how I feel this afternoon and if I feel like getting out to the store.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dealing with a cold

I had high hopes that I only had a mild cold because I didn't feel too bad today. I could tell that it was coming on, but I didn't sneeze much... until now. I left school sporting a headache and now I'm sneezing quite a bit and my eyes are watery.

I was supposed to have jury duty tomorrow, but it was canceled. I'm very seriously thinking about taking the day as a sick day instead. I already have the sub, so it would just be a matter of changing the absence reason. I haven't decided yet, however. I really needed to be there for the interviews, but I did plan for the fact that I might not be. I also need to be there to listen to a debate, but I think I need to realize that school does go on when I'm not there. I think in the three years I've been teaching, I've only taken one actual sick day. I've taken personal days that have been planned well in advance, but rarely have I ever taken a sick day. The last one I took was my first year there and it was on the second to last day of school before the Christmas break. I guess I'll decide before I go to bed tonight. If I decide to go, I'll have to call my sub and cancel. If I decide to take the day, I'll just need to email the proper people and change the absence reason. What would you do?

I'm supposed to go to a party tomorrow night, but if I feel as bad as I do now, it would be pointless to go. I'm also supposed to make some kind of food to take. I can't decide what I should do about that. I also need a gift to take. I want to go, but if I go to school tomorrow, I won't have time to get anything done. If I don't go to school and feel o.k. by the afternoon, I could still potentially go. I just don't know at this point. Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Tournament Results

It was good to sleep in a bit on Friday. Normally when I have to get up at 6:00, I wake up sometime around 5:00. I had set my alarm for 7:00 and I woke up around 6:00. Maybe it is something psychological. I took my time and left around 8:45, went to the bank, and then picked up the check for the hotel. We left right at 10:00 and got there shortly before lunch time. I should have allowed a little more time forgetting that often the bus drivers I get don't know how to get around Lubbock. I tried to check into the hotel shortly before 1:00 but they only had two rooms ready. I had the girls change in one and the boys in the other and we left for the high school around 1:15. We had two different tournaments this weekend. On Friday it was at Lubbock High and I was in charge of the extemp draw at this tournament. That means that students who were doing this kind of event had to draw topics, choose one and then spend 30 minutes preparing before they went to give their speeches. I had to make sure they drew their topics, then kept time and told them when to go and give their speeches. It isn't very exciting but I did get a lot of crocheting done. My students did pretty well at the tournament. We placed 3rd in sweepstakes which is pretty remarkable given some of the competition we had there and I only took 10 students.

We didn't get back to the hotel until around 10:30 and I had to stay up until 11:30 to make sure they had lights out at that time. We had to leave for the next tournament on Saturday by 7:00 a.m. We got a late start, but managed to get there on time despite the construction going on all over Lubbock. Some of my students didn't do as well - probably due to being tired, but some did pretty well. We didn't win any of the sweepstakes - a Dallas area school edged us out for 3rd place, but there were some good successes. One of my students that really loves performing is finally placing in her event. Last year she didn't get to go to many tournaments because of sports. Her mother hasn't been very supportive of her wanting to do speech over sports. Another student who finally figured out she is more of a speaker instead of an interper, placed first in debate and qualified for state at this tournament. I have another student who is either close or possibly qualified for state in Oratory. Josh did pretty well placing 4th and 5th respectively at each tournament.

We didn't get to leave the tournament until almost 11:00. We stopped to let the students get food, but it took forever. We didn't leave Lubbock until 11:30 and had a two hour drive back in freezing rain. We got to Hereford about 1:30 but I didn't get to leave until 2:10. My car windows were frozen over and of course, I didn't have an ice scraper. I turned on the defrosters, but it took forever before it started working. One of my students parents was late so I let her sit in my car so she wouldn't be out in the freezing rain. They came but another student thought she had gone to the bus barn so they left looking for her. In the meantime, I finally started working on the windshield with a credit card which worked, but was slow going. Eventually her parents picked her up and I started heading home. The roads were starting to ice over and my windshield wipers were frozen and didn't really work on clearing them so I had to pull over twice to scrape them again. It took me 45 minutes to get home.

This morning I had to get up by 9:30 in order to get to church by 10:30. Josh and I were playing at Mass. (Another note to self, don't plan to play at Mass after a swing tournament). It went fine and I'm glad I went instead of going to the student center this evening. We came home briefly to get my wallet and then headed to the store to get the ice scrapers and windshield wipers. We got some groceries, picked up lunch and came home. I spent some time catching up on the blogs I missed then I took a nap. I got up around 6:00, made supper and now I'm watching the Monk marathon. I'd like to go to bed early tonight, but I have to watch the episode I missed on Friday which comes on at 9:00.

It is going to be a busy week. I have to deal with the class interviews on Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. (I have jury duty scheduled for Wednesday.) That also means I have to get ready for a substitute on Wednesday even though the jury duty could potentially be canceled as it usually is. I also need to put together my semester tests, have papers to grade, stock in talk letters to get out, and tournament stuff to plan. I also have a Christmas party on Wednesday evening so I need to get a gift for that and figure out something to make. I think I'm getting a cold which will make this week all the more enjoyable.

Note to Self...

Buy new windshield wipers for car and an ice scraper. Just got home. It's 3:00 a.m. I'm dog tired and hate this weather. Will report about the tournament tomorrow.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tournament Time

I probably won't be posting for the next two days. Tomorrow we're leaving for a two day tournament in Lubbock and won't get back until very late Saturday. I'm not taking my laptop as it is bulky to carry and I probably won't have time to use it.

Although I'm going to enjoy sleeping in tomorrow morning, it is a pain to have to get ready for a sub. I was at school until almost 6:00 tonight. I had to stay after school to listen to some students perform and then put my sub materials together. Tomorrow I'll get to sleep in a bit and then go to the bank to get meal money and then head to Hereford and pick up the hotel check. We should be on the road by 10:00 and get to Lubbock by noon. We'll have a quick lunch at Spanky's before checking into the hotel and going to the tournament.

I don't have anything else to report today. No tree yet. I'm disappointed that I'm not going to be able to go to mass for the Immaculate conception on Friday or Saturday. I am excited about playing on Sunday, however. I'll report again sometime on Sunday. Until then enjoy some Christmas music.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Long days

I keep having good intentions to get out of school early but it never seems to happen. During the middle of a debate round today our trophies for our tournament arrived. I only ordered them last week. Talk about fast service! So I spent part of the afternoon unpacking them. Then I had to fax some items and typically I couldn't get the fax machine to work on the one to the hotel for this weekend. Oh well, I guess I'll just take the rooming list with me. Now I'm only taking 10 students. It should be a nice trip, but I'm pretty certain that we won't have any chance at a sweepstakes. I just hope some of them get to finals and get some more points.

I'm going to make dinner shortly (chicken tortellini with marinara sauce) and then probably take it easy tonight. I'll do a little laundry so I'll be ready to pack tomorrow. I need to do some more crocheting on Josh's present. I finally called and made a doctor's appointment for my yearly physical. I should have gone in September but I just never got the time. Well, I'm getting hungry so I better get busy in the kitchen.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Going to make it an early night

I did not want to get out of bed this morning. Granted, I went to bed later than normal. I waited up until Josh got home which was 10:30 so I didn't get to bed until probably 11:00 or so. The alarms went off at 6:15 and 6:30 and I hit the snooze after that. I made it to school earlier than yesterday at least. I heard some very good debates in class today. I realize that perhaps some of what I've been telling them has been sinking in and they are doing quite well. I'm still overwhelmed with paperwork and grading and even though I brought some home, I'm not going to touch it. I am going to go to bed early and hopefully make it to school earlier tomorrow.

I didn't intend to stay very late after school, but I was there until 5:00. I got home and made supper (taco salads) and then at 7:00 Josh and I had to go to a rehearsal. I was finally able to play my clarinet with decent reeds tonight. It is amazing. The feel is just incredible. The sound quality is amazing. I still need to work on getting my chops (mouth muscles) in shape again. I get worn out playing too long.

I'm going to go to bed shortly and crochet for a bit and then do a small bit of reading and have the lights out by 10:00. No, the tree hasn't made it up yet... but I'm still hopeful. I was thinking that perhaps some magic elves would get everything from the garage and set it up (after cleaning the living room first). I guess not.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday Ramblings

I had good intentions of getting to school early today, but it didn't happen. I stayed late until 5:30 or so working on materials and making stacks of papers to grade. I'm trying to get ready for the interviews that my students will be doing next week and getting ready for our tournament this weekend. It is an over night trip so there's a lot of planning to be done. I went to the store and spent too much money once again. I need to start using coupons or something. I didn't get home in time to watch Chuck from the beginning, but Josh was recording it so I'll watch it later. I did watch Heroes which was pretty intense.

I spent time working on Josh's afghan that I'm making him. I'm not sure if I'll have enough yarn. I'll check the other stores in Amarillo and see if I can find some more. He just called a little while ago and said that he got first chair in the All-Region band again. He's been using my clarinet. I hope it is making a difference for him. I'll get to play it tomorrow night though. We're going to rehearse to play for Mass on Sunday. It will be nice to play again.

I didn't get my tree up. I just didn't feel like it yesterday. Tonight I didn't have time. I'm just too tired. Maybe after this weekend.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Updates before my Nap

The tournament was long. It was a two day tournament and on Friday I only got about three hours of sleep. That made Saturday a very long day. One of my students finally qualified in oratory and another who was qualified in humorous also qualified in oratory. Josh is getting closer to qualifying but still needs six points.

I feel asleep as soon as I hit the pillow last night. I woke up a few times, so it was a fitful sleep. I didn't go to class this morning and slept until I had to get ready for church. I went to Mass and then afterwards a lady that lives down the street from me asked me if I had a minute. I said "sure" and she then asked me if I ever allowed people to set me up on dates. I said "Sure, why not." So she has a guy that she wants to introduce me to that is a friend of her daughter and son-in-law I think. She's going to set up dinner at her house some night so I guess it could be interesting at least.

I got a jury summons in the mail yesterday. I think that for the first time it is at a time that I'm not going to be out of town. Unfortunately, it is when I have a major project going on at school. I'll have to talk to my assistant principal and see if he could deal with the guests that are coming to do my class interviews.

I am thinking about trying to put my tree up tonight, but we'll see how it goes. I'm not sure that I'll get to it. I'm going to take a nap first, then probably head to the store to get groceries for this week.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

3 Hours of Sleep

...is what I'm functioning on right now. Needless to say, I'm not going to type a lengthy post. I just got back from the tournament. Had some successes and disappointments. I'll write a full report tomorrow. Now I'm going to bed. Good night.