Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

It’s that time again – another year gone.  Can you believe that I’ve been blogging for almost ten years?  I feel very bad that I didn’t post much this year.  I looked at my stats yesterday and I decided that I really need to make more of an effort to blog this year. 
This is just sad:


Well, without further ado, here’s the year in review:

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?

Played at Scrabble Nationals.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

No, I intended to lose weight and didn’t quite accomplish that. I still need to lose weight – especially with the upcoming nuptials.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not that I know of.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

I had to put my dog Max down. It was a difficult decision, but necessary since he was in pain.

5. What countries did you visit?

Still no countries, but I might get to Canada this summer when we head up to Buffalo for Scrabble Nationals again.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2013?

A library assistant. I have so much to do that I never have time to catch up it seems.

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

November 10 – my birthday when Matt officially proposed.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Winning the Laura Bush foundation grant for my school and starting other Scrabble clubs in my district.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not losing weight like I had planned.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nope, normal colds and stuff.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Technically, my engagement ring since I used my previous ring to trade in and we filled out a joint credit application to pay the balance.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Both Matt and Josh have continued to be awesome.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Matt’s mother. She is so close-minded that she refuses to accept me when she hasn’t even met me. I would be shocked if she came to our wedding.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Eating out.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Getting engaged – duh!

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

“The Search is Over” by Survivor

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

happier or sadder? Happier – I’m getting married!
- richer or poorer? About the same. I have more money with Matt moving in and sharing bills, but less since I bought Josh a car.
- thinner or fatter? Slightly fatter – added another 5 or so pounds since the 15 from the year before.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Reading and traveling.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?


20. How did you spend the holidays?

New Years (2013) – with Matt
Valentine’s Day – with Matt
Easter – with Matt in San Antonio – tried a new church, but it was too much of a “Mega” Catholic Church.
4th of July – with Matt – cooked out on the grill and then just hung out at home.
Thanksgiving – in New Mexico with my aunt and uncle. Christmas – here in SA with Josh and Matt

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?

Still in love with Matt.

22. How many one-night stands?

Nope – just Matt

23. What was your favorite TV program?

Big Bang Theory is my new favorite.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

No – still friends with everyone as far as I know.

25. What was the best book you read?

Not sure of the best one, but I committed to reading 50 books this year on Goodreads and just barely made it. I enjoyed reading Rick Riordian’s mystery series featuring detective Tres Nevarre. Other books are Divergent, Sue Grafton’s W is for Wasted, Cuckoo’s Calling by JK Rowling.

26. What was your favorite film of this year?

I really enjoyed Saving Mr. Banks. I thought The Heat was hilarious though. We didn’t see much this year, but I thought Catching Fire was good and stayed true to the book. One of the best for acting was The Butler.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Still no fashion concept. I wear what is comfortable and fits.

28. Whom did you miss?

Miss some people back home, but I’m making some good friends here.

29. Who was the best new person you met?

Dr. Bob – one of Matt’s Scrabble friends. It was fun to hang out with him in Vegas.

30. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

I can’t think of any major lessons learned this year. Life was good overall.

Monday, December 30, 2013

A completely lazy day

I slept in until 9:30 this morning.  I only got up because Mollie was barking and the cat was meowing – both wanting to be fed.  I made the animals happy and then sat on the couch and goofed off.  I needed to finish one more book to reach my good reads goal.  I started one of my YA novels from my library at school, but couldn’t focus much on it.  I have several Ebooks on hold at the library.  Luckily a fairly short one came available so I finished it today.  My goal was to read 50 books this year.  It was harder than I thought it would be.  Then again, I re-read the Harry Potter series twice so that took away time I could have spent reading other books.  I didn’t count those toward my 50.  Luckily several of the books were YA novels which don’t take very long to read.  I slogged through The Hobbit this year.  I guess I don’t see what the fuss with Tolkien is all about.  He is just very wordy. 

Tomorrow I’ll post my 2013 year in review.  Maybe one of my resolutions should be to blog more.  I thought about doing some church reviews on my now defunct Catholic Blog.  Matt and I haven’t found “the” church yet.  We rotate between about 5 that are ok, but none that I just love.  We went to a new one this past Sunday.  I have to say that the choir was probably one of the most decent ones that I’ve heard, but I wasn’t keen on the priest.  But it was fairly close by so that was a plus. Tomorrow Matt and I are going to a Scrabble New Year’s eve party in Schertz. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

I must have been good this year

Santa was very generous this year.  I got a new purple Keurig coffee maker to take with me to school, a Kindle Fire HDX, a Bose BlueTooth mini speaker, and a Titanic jigsaw puzzle.  Even my stocking was filled this year – I got a lottery ticket (and won $25), Big Bang Theory Bobble Heads, and a variety of snacks.  My aunt sent me a new comforter for my bed.  Josh bought me something from my Amazon wish list, but delivery has been delayed.  Maybe I’ll get it today. 

I think Matt liked his presents as well.  I bought him pajamas, a new sweater, a weather radio, a book of obscure words, and a new laptop computer.  I also got him socks as he requested.  Josh got pajamas, a dinosaur shirt, a digital recorder, and a binding machine for his music scores.  I also bought him clothes during Thanksgiving in Albuquerque. 

We went to see the movie American Hustle on Christmas day.  The acting was really good though I thought it was slightly long.  Matt grilled steaks for dinner.  His mom sent him his annual Omaha Steaks package. 

Matt is off today.  We’re going to go to the movies tonight to see Saving Mr. Banks.  I’ve enjoyed having mostly pajama days this week. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Not So Jolly Holiday

While life is still good in many ways, we’ve got some hiccups happening right now.  Matt is angry and frustrated with things happening at his work.  His department knew that they were potentially on the chopping block when the director offered up the potential to cut the department to save money during budget talks.  They thought, however, that they would ok as the foundation would be able to help cover salaries of the department manager and another position.  On the day of their Christmas party, one of the employees was told she be reassigned.  The following week they got news that the manager was expected to retire or move by April.  Starting in February, they are cutting the department’s hours.  Some of the staff will probably be reassigned to other departments or branches.  Matt is very discouraged and is planning to start job hunting soon. 

My dog Max that is now about 16 years old is not doing well.  We’re going to have to have him put down tonight.  It is a difficult decision, but he obviously now in pain as he cries out at night and can’t get comfortable.  He’s been incontinent for a while now and he’s not able to walk any more.  He has had a good long life, but it is painful to make the decision none-the-less.  Thankfully Matt will take care of it for me.  I don’t think I can handle it. 

In spite of this, I got a tree put up finally though I opted for the smaller tree this year.  Matt and I hung the lights outside the house yesterday.  I guess we’re still going to try to have some Christmas spirit.  I need to do all my present wrapping in the next day or so.  Luckily all the shopping is done.  I just need to get some groceries to get us through the week.  Josh is coming home tomorrow so I need to get cereal and sandwich stuff so that he won’t starve. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Three days and counting

The students are starting to bounce off the walls and I’m starting to lose my patience.  Luckily there’s only three more days left until Christmas Vacation.  I have most of my shopping done with the exception of a few things that will have to wait until payday on Friday.  I finally decided on Matt’s present.  It isn’t exactly what he asked for, but I’m pretty sure he will use it and like it.  We haven’t put up the tree yet.  I guess we’ll do that tomorrow.  I also need to do some baking this week. 

Tonight I went to confession for the first time in a while.  I’ve been needing to go and I prefer the communal penance services.  I almost talked myself out of it, but I made myself go.  Of course I always feel better afterward.  I signed Matt and I up for the marriage preparation seminal that is coming up in January.  Hopefully then we can officially set the wedding date with my church back in Canyon. 

I still have 8 books to read for my good reads goal for the year.  I’m halfway through one that I started today at school.  Hopefully once the break starts, I’ll find more time to read.  I’m going to try to finish the YA novel tonight. 

We’ve been doing Secret Santas at school this week.  Yesterday I got a package of chocolate-caramel candies.  Today I got a purple and white garter for my wedding.  The person I have is the art teacher.  Yesterday I gave her some do it yourself Christmas ornaments.  Today, I gave her some fuzzy Christmas socks. 

I think I’m going to watch Big Bang Theory, then read a little, and get to bed soon. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Shopping

Why are men so hard to buy for?  Perhaps it’s not all men, but Matt is proving to be difficult this year.  Last year was pretty easy – I ordered his gift (A grill) before Christmas so it wasn’t really a surprise. This year, he tells me that all he wants is socks.  He said he wanted a weather radio so I did order that for him (along with some socks).  We might end up getting each other bikes, but I want to get him something else.  I’m pretty sure he plans to buy me a new Kindle (so he can have my old one) and a new Keurig coffee maker that I can take to school.  I thought about getting him a new Kindle as well, but he says he doesn’t want one.  I thought about getting him a laptop, but I’m not sure if he really wants that either.  He did tell me about a bowflex thing he wanted as well as a slingbox, but I’m not sure about either of those.  I did buy him a nice long sleeved shirt.  I also have book on order that I think he’ll like.   I need to figure this out pretty soon – especially if I order stuff online.  Turns out that two day shipping on Amazon right now is actually 4 day shipping. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Counting down the days

I’m ready for Christmas break.  Not Christmas – I still have lots of shopping (online) to do, but I’m ready to have my break from school.  I know we just had a week off for Thanksgiving, but I didn’t get to spend that week at home.  I’m looking forward to being a slug for about two weeks.  I do have to get some things done.  Matt still has boxes of stuff here that needs a place to go (such as the attic).  School is fine – I’m just tired of it right now.  Today I finished getting all the books from my grant order processed and on the shelves.  Next I started pulling some old books for weeding.  At the end of the day I started getting a headache and was feeling kind of blah.  I took some tylenol and came home right at 4:15.  I tried to nap for a bit, but I was too cold (having been freezing all day in my library).  I had to leave for band rehearsal a little before 7:00.  Rehearsal was ok, but I feel like I’m getting a cold or dealing with allergies.  I just took a benadryl and hope it kicks in soon. 

I need to sign Matt and I up for a Catholic engagement seminar so we can officially set our wedding date.  They have a weekend retreat coming up in January.  Once that’s done, I think we’ll be able to finalize a date for July.  I’m hoping for the weekend of July 12, but it’s still up in the air right now.  I need to start figuring out a budget for the wedding as well.  I got off pretty easy last time, but I think it will be a little more expensive this time.  Even though I don’t particularly want a big wedding, I have a feeling it may turn out to be more than expected.  Matt is now up to four groomsmen so I’ve got to see if my friend Kim will be a bridesmaid again.  Surprisingly, my bridal party is the same as it was in my previous wedding with the exception of my former friend Robin.  My friend Pam is now my maid of honor.  The other attendants will be my friend Kirsten who lives in Nacogdoches, my cousin Amanda who lives in Garland, TX, and my friend Kim who just moved to Tennessee. 

Well, I think I’m going to play a quick game of Words of Wonder and then call it a night. 

Monday, December 02, 2013

Engagement Pics

Since I couldn’t post them from the iPad, here are some pictures I posted on facebook.



photo (3)

Our trip to Albuquerque was very pleasant.  I read a few books, goofed off online and played a lot of Scrabble against Josh and Matt.  We did go out shopping on black Friday but it wasn’t too bad.  The line at Kohl’s was only 25 minutes.  I bought Josh some clothes for Christmas.  I still need to order his other gift from Amazon, but I need to balance my checkbook first. 

Everyone at school was happy to hear the news about the engagement.  They loved my ring.  I’m still behind on work, but I’m still busy.  I got another email from the district today.  They want to come film my Scrabble club again for a local commercial about choosing public schools over private.  I don’t know that I would choose public school in this day, but it pays my bills these days.  Working for a private school might be less stressful, but the pay would be much less. 

I’m down to 10 books that I need to read to meet my goodreads goal.  I’m halfway through one of them right now.  I think I might make it. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I'm Engaged!

It's official. Matt and I are engaged. I've been sitting on this information for two and a half weeks which has been difficult. So the last two or three people that actually read this blog will get the story. This blessed event actually started on my birthday and a very bad mood. All day long Matt would tell me that my present was that he was going to mow the yard. He did mow the yard, but I didn't think that was a very good present since he normally does that anyway. The only thing he did for me on my birthday was take me out to dinner. That was nice (in spite of the restaurant messing up my order), but that was it. No flowers, no other gift, no promise of I'll get you something later. We got home and then he proceeded to sit on the couch and watch sports. I had enough so I decided to go to bed a little after nine. I was in bed watching the Big Bang Theory when he came into the bedroom. I told him that he didn't need to be up there. He said that yes he did. He then dug into his dresser and pulled something out. He sat on the bed and said it was my present. I opened a velvet bag and discovered that he had given me his Rolex watch. I asked him why he was giving me his Rolex. He said that he wanted me to sell it so that we could use the money to buy an engagement ring. I asked "Really?" He said "Yes." So that started the process of figuring out the best way to sell the Rolex and get enough money for a ring. At that time he said that he thought we should wait to tell people until we actually had a ring. I reluctantly agreed, though I did tell my aunt. Thankfully, I did because we were able to sell the Rolex to my uncle for more than we'd probably get on ebay, at a pawn shop, or a jewelry store. I decided that I would also try to trade in my wedding ring from my previous marriage to help cover the cost as well. We started looking at rings the day after my birthday. We went to the largest, but best reviewed jewelry store in San Antonio. Their selection and pricing overall seemed good, but they were unwilling to take a ring for trade. The next day we went to another local store who advertised that they bought jewelry, but they only wanted to give me $650 for my ring that originally cost $2300. We tried another locally owned store in the mall and found something I liked, but with my ring as a trade, they wanted $3700 on top of that. We thought that was too much, even with the $2000 we were getting for the Rolex. The salesperson invited us to come back later in the week when the owner was there since he had the ability to make a better deal. Next we went to Jared but we both didn't like the atmosphere at all. It seemed they were trying to upsell from the moment we walked in the door - pointing out all the magnificent jewelry they had. We both decided that would not do business there after we left. Matt thought that we could possibly afford an extra $1000 for the ring so we decided to check out the store at the mall again last Friday. The owner was there so we looked at the setting I liked again and checked out several round solitaire diamonds to go in it. I choose the diamond I liked best and then set to negotiating. I had given the owner my ring to examine and told him that we had $3000 to spend in total after the trade. He asked if that needed to include taxes and I said yes. He crunched the numbers and said that he could do that so we applied for financing (six months, no interest) and he was able to have the stone set and the ring resized while we waited. So I had my ring last Friday, but Matt still wanted to wait to tell people. I had to finally wear him down and compromise so we set the "roll out" date for Thanksgiving. Of course he had a double standard it seems. He ended up telling some of his out of town friends when he talked to them on the phone. I decided that I could play that game so I told my three friends that were going to be my bridesmaids last weekend. My friend, Carol, also knew early on because I was going to have her start checking with Father Phan (my priest back in Canyon) to see what dates would be available this summer. Matt originally wanted to get married in May, but I reminded him that I was still in school until June. He then said June, but I think we have decided on July since it will be easier for one of my bridesmaids and for the music if I can coordinate it during band camp. I got to start wearing my ring when we left for Albuquerque on Monday. It feels a little weird, but I think it is beautiful. My aunt took some pictures of us so that I could post them on Facebook. Can you believe that I'm actually getting married? A part of me is still in shock. I never thought that moving to San Antonio would have such a positive impact on my life. Matt is an absolutely wonderful man and I am so lucky to have found him! I can't put pictures on this blog right now since I'm posting from an iPad. If you're friends with me on Facebook, there will be some pictures there.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Vacation Time!

It’s a cold, blustery day here in San Antonio.  I’ve grown so accustom to nice, balmy weather, it’s almost a shock to my system.  Thankfully, this will only be temporary – a few days, but I’m staying inside today.  I have a lot of things that I need to get done, but it’s been difficult to get out of my bed.  I have my laptop on my lap, the tv on, and books at my side.  What more could I ask for? 

Unfortunately, I do need to start on my laundry so I’ll have things to pack for our upcoming trip to Albuquerque.  It’s a good thing that I held on to my sweaters when I moved.  It’s pretty cold there right now, but I think it will warm up some while we are there. 

I need to read a dozen more books before the end of the year.  I have a goodreads account and challenged myself to read 50 books this year.  I have 38 down, but need to get a few more in.  I think I can do it – I just ordered four books from Amazon and bought two more at the bookstore the other day.  I’ll get several of them read as I travel.  Airplanes and airports are good for reading. 

Well, my battery is about to die on my laptop.  I guess that means I need to go downstairs and plug it in.  I’m getting hungry so I’ll see what I can come up with for lunch.

Friday, November 15, 2013


It was a relief to end this week.  With the excitement of the news broadcast earlier this week, I stayed behind on getting things done that I needed to.  Of course that meant that I would get further behind because I had to babysit again on Thursday.  I had the ESL students and the first class was only four students, but the three boys in there were jerks.  They pretended that they didn’t understand anything I was saying to them like “sit down” but had the ability to ask me in English if I knew the bad words in Spanish.  I’m sure they cursed me out, but I was fed up by that point.  I was trying to get ready to go to a meeting where I had to leave by noon, but I kept getting bombarded with students. 

At the library meeting yesterday, 10 schools were awarded grant funding to start their own Scrabble clubs at their schools.  I’ve started a trend it seems.  I’m excited that other schools are getting on board and I hope we can have some interschool competitions in the spring. 

Tomorrow I’m going to take my car to the tire place and have the tires rotated and balanced.  My tire light has been staying on but I think that was due to the cold front we had come through this week.  Luckily the weather is warming back up.  It was a beautiful day today.  I actually had to turn the air conditioning back on at the house this evening. 

Tomorrow I’m also going to mail Josh my old iPhone since his phone is cracked and he still has another year to go before he can get another one. 

I’m glad we only have one more week of school before Thanksgiving break.  We are looking forward to going to Albuquerque.  I just found out that my sister is going to be moving to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in the next month or two.  That will make it nice for visiting and going to ride roller coasters. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My 1 minute of fame

The local news came to our school today and filmed a story about my Scrabble club.  I think my principal was very pleased that we got some positive news footage for once.  My students were very excited about it.  They had to bring permission slips to be filmed, but I had almost 20 students in the library when they came to film.  If you want to see the story here’s the link: Scrabble Story.  I had to leave school early to watch it as it aired on the 4:00 newscast. 

I have to go to band rehearsal tonight and I really don’t want to go.  With the time change, it’s dark by the time I leave and I’d rather just put on my pajamas and get comfortable.  But I guess I better get my clarinet and head out so I won’t be late. 

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me (And Josh)

Well, it’s not quite our birthday yet – but just a few more hours and I’ll officially be 44 (yes, I feel somewhat old) and Josh will be 23.  I celebrated tonight by buying Matt and I new iPhones.  I got the 5s and Matt got a 5c.  Josh will get my old iPhone 4 since both of his phones are currently broken.  He has another year on his contract so this will give him something to get him by until then.  I tried going to the AT&T store to get the phones but the ones we wanted were out of stock so we headed to the Apple store instead.  Luckily, they had what I wanted so it was fairly quick and easy to get everything.  We had dinner at the mall at an Italian restaurant.  The food was very good and I brought some leftovers home for lunch tomorrow.  I also went to Victoria’s Secret and got a new bra.  Maybe that’s too much information, but you have to understand that I wear them until they practically fall apart.  I figured it was a birthday present to myself. 

We have no plans for tomorrow other than Matt will take me out to dinner tomorrow night.  I plan to sleep in for as long as I want tomorrow morning.  We may wait to go to late church around 1:00 pm.  I already sent Josh an Amazon Gift card for his birthday since I wouldn’t be seeing him this weekend.  Though he is somewhat close by, he is busy with school right now.  Besides, we’ll see him in a couple of weeks when we head to Albuquerque for Thanksgiving. 

I think I’m going to go play with my new phone some more and then read until I fall asleep. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

New Books!

Even though I work in middle school library, I order a lot of cool books.  Today I got half of an order in and I spent time processing the books, but that also means I take time to sit and look at some of them.  I made a commitment on GoodReads this year to read 50 books and I’m behind at the moment.  I am reading a library book on my Kindle, but I have about 20 books to go before the end of the year.  Maybe with my new books, I’ll find several that I can read quickly and add them to my list.  I still have a few more Rick Riordan books to finish so I should be good if I read some every night.

I skipped band yesterday.  We had a late faculty meeting after school and I didn’t feel like rushing over to rehearsal.  It was nice to stay home and do nothing.  Matt and I were going to go to Wurstfest in New Braufels this evening, but the weather is kind of cool and windy.  I was already feeling cold from being in my library all day so we decided to just stay home.  I made some fish, pasta, corn, and salad for dinner. 

We are going to a Spurs game this Friday.  My birthday is Sunday so Matt will take me out to dinner.  Other than that, we have no plans.  Josh is in Houston so I guess we’ll have our birthday dinner some other time. 

We’re heading to Albuquerque for Thanksgiving this year.  We were going to drive, but my aunt and uncle paid for us to fly there instead.  We will fly out of Houston to make it easier on Josh since he still has school the day we’re leaving. 

Monday, November 04, 2013

Happy Anniversary to Us

Can you believe that it was two years ago that I had my first date with Matt (aka “Library Guy”)?  We communicated online for a few weeks first and then he called me up one night and asked me out.  We went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant in town and I guess the rest is history.  If you remember, he was very slow in making the moves, but it turned out well.  We are still very happy with each other and he says he’s going to make an honest women of me some day. 

We didn’t go out tonight since we were gone all weekend.  Matt had jury duty today and then came to my school after he was finished.  We went to the store and picked up some steaks for him to grill for supper.  They were really good.  Now we’re just sitting on the couch.  Matt is reading a book and I’m obviously blogging.  I just borrowed a book for my Kindle from the library so I’ll start reading it soon.

As far as the Scrabble tournament goes, I did ok.  I ended up 6th overall out of 13 in my division.  I won more games than I was expected to win which means my rating went up a little bit.  Matt did very well.  He won his division and won $190.

Today was a better day at school compared to last Friday, but of course I’m so far behind, I’ll never catch up.  Luckily, no babysitting today.  Tomorrow I have to focus on cleaning up the mess that seems to be growing in the library. 

Well, I think I’m going to go read my book and call it an early night.  Hopefully I’ll sleep better without the constant beeping of one of the smoke detectors in the house signaling that the battery is low (missing).  We got batteries tonight and that’s taken care of. 

Saturday, November 02, 2013

I'm a bad blogger

I know, I know. I haven't blogged in forever. I feel bad, but life just seems to get in the way these days. I don't know if anyone is still reading out there, but I'll try to give you a few updates.
Class reunion
Matt and I headed back to Cayon a few weeks ago to attend my 25th class reunion. We drove halfway on Thursday evening and then the rest of the way on Friday. We had lunch at The Plaza with a retired speech teacher friend of mine and then we checked into our hotel. After that, we headed to Walmart to pick up some things - a hat and sweatshirt for Matt because it was colder than we expected. Friday evening at the tailgate party before the game was pretty miserable. It was about 35 degrees with 30 mph winds. The class turnout was ok, but a lot of people didn't want to brave the weather. Our team won handily and after the game we went to an after party.
Saturday morning the committee had to decorate the dinner area so we had to get up early. We took care of that and then picked up Taco Villa for lunch. We were supposed to have a picnic at Conner Park, but only about a dozen classmates showed because it was still windy and cool (and a few might have been hungover from the night before). The party Saturday evening was successful but we must be getting old. Most people left by 10:30 and we had the venue cleaned up before midnight.
We went to church on Sunday morning and were able to visit with my good friend Carol for a little while. We stopped at Taco Villa (again) for lunch before heading back home to San Antonio.
If you asked me about school this past Friday, I would tell you that it is horrible and that I need to look for another job. In general, it has been ok. Scrabble club is still going strong. I still have a million things to do every day and I never have enough time to finishe them. Now, I'm teaching a "flex" period class for 30 minutes every day and I usually don't get the "lessons" until the morning of. That is frustrating and irritating. Friday royally sucked. I had to be a "substitute teacher" on Friday because we had 10 teachers out and only 2 subs on campus. So I got Mr. Limon's English classes. I had them to a research assignment in my lab, but that meant that I had to stay in there the entire time and didn't get any work done in the library. I didn't get to eat lunch at all that day. On top of that, we had a school assembly and at the last minute they came to tell me that they needed a projector and laptop set up in the auditorium ASAP. Someone else had to take the class down while I took care of the equipment. The assembly was about bullying and wouldn't you know that at the end of it two guys broke into an actual fight. It was embarassing. I was so frustrated by the end of the day that I came home mad and hungry. I just felt overwhelmingly emotional that I never really calmed down until I finally went to sleep after taking a benadryl.
I had to get up dark and early this morning (5:30 a.m.) so that we could head to Waco for the Texas State Scrabble Championship. I didn't really want to come, but I know Matt wanted me to play (and he paid my entry) so I came. I decided to have the attitude that whatever happens, happens. I don't care whether I win or lose. I'm just going to play. I guess that attitude is working because I played fairly well today. It doesn't mean I'll still do well tomorrow - but again, it doesn't matter. I've already won my expected number of wins so my rating shouldn't drop any. After the rounds were done today, Matt took me Kohl's and I bought a new pair of jeans and a shirt. We went to The Elite Cafe for dinner. Food was ok, but not outstanding. Now we're back at the hotel and I'm looking forward to getting to sleep in with the time change tomorrow. I guess that's all the excitement in my world at the moment. I'll try to post more often this month. Maybe I'll participate in one of the daily meme things going around.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

On the mend

The cold kicked my butt this week.  Every day that I went to school I regretted it.  I would think that I was feeling ok and then I would get to school and have a sneezing fit or just feel blah.  On Thursday I finally decided that I wasn’t been productive in any way and that I should just go get some rest, so I left school around 2:30.  I had to go to the grocery store which was exhausting but I had to get dog food.  I also got some soup and stuff for grilled cheese sandwiches.  That always sounds good when I’m sick.  I got home and got in bed.  Matt got home a little after 5:00.  He headed out to a library meeting that I decided not to attend.  I stayed in bed and watched The Big Bang Theory and was asleep by 10:00.  I was coughing in the middle of the night so by the next morning I still felt exhausted.  I talked myself into taking the day off to get more rest.  I’m glad I did.  I ended up sleeping until almost 11:00 a.m.  I just stayed in bed most of the day.  I started having some coughing fits yesterday evening, but I took a Mucinex and that seemed to help.  Matt cooked burgers on the grill and then we had to get the bed set up in Josh’s room since he was going to come home for the weekend.  I still felt tired and weak so I stayed in bed most of the evening.  I got up to visit with Josh when he got home and then went to bed around 11:30.  I slept in this morning until about 10:00 and am feeling much better.  Still not 100% but I think I’m on the mend at least. 

I have a band concert at 2:00 today.  I’ll be glad to get that over with.  I’m not sure what we’re going to do about Matt’s desk that is in Josh’s room.  It has fallen apart in the move and I’m not sure we can put it back together without some kind of professional help.  Neither of us are very handy when it comes to stuff like that.  I think it might be easier to just buy him a new desk.  Well, I guess I should get up and going.  I probably shouldn’t stay in bed all weekend. 

Monday, October 07, 2013

Jinxed by Matt

So yesterday after church Matt was asking if my work pays for flu shots and I said I wasn’t sure but that I never get a flu shot because I haven’t gotten the flu in several years.  I said that I thought I had a pretty good immunity by working in schools.  So of course today I have to eat those words.  I went to school today and knew that I was feeling “off.”  I started getting a headache this morning and tried to call Matt to bring me tylenol.  Of course he left his phone in the car.  When he did get there, he headed back out to get me tylenol.  It took a long while for my headache to subside.  I took tylenol around 11 this morning and my head was still hurting around lunch time at 2:00.  I took two more pills and the headache finally went away.  I left school at 4:15 which was maybe a first for me all year.  I picked up some dinner and took a benadryl when I got home.  It knocked me out before I finished watching Big Bang Theory around 5:45.  I went to bed and slept until around 8:30.  I’ve decided that I either have a cold or major allergies.  I don’t think it is the flu – no fever, not really feeling achy.  All I know is that I’m feeling a bit miserable at the moment and now I’m waiting for the second benadryl to kick in.  Matt has been very good to me.  He went to the store at got me some ginger ale. 

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Same Old Stuff

Can’t say that anything exciting is going on here.  Matt has moved in and there’s boxes all over the place again.  Eventually we’ll get it sorted with much of it stored in the attic.  I finally ordered a dresser for Matt since I wouldn’t allow his ugly 70’s dresser in the bedroom. 

Last week was extremely busy at school and it keeps piling up.  I’ve been asked to create a template for library websites for all the secondary schools in the district based on my own website.  I guess I have to stop being so awesome.  My Scrabble club is still growing.  I  have 30-40 students that come in before school.  I have students during all three lunches and some that even stay after school.  I finalized my major book orders and got those submitted.  The book fair was in the library so I had deal with that as well.  I’ll be glad to get my library back to somewhat normal functions this next week. 

My class reunion is coming up and so I’ve been working on that this weekend.  I’m trying to get the t-shirt order finalized.  I also have to print the name tags for the reunion as well. It’s not for another two weeks but it will get here before I know it.  I booked a hotel in Abilene because  we’ll be leaving here Thursday evening and drive halfway. 

I’ve actually done some reading lately. I finished Sue Grafton’s “W is for Wasted” which I enjoyed.   I also read “Cuckoo’s Calling” by JK Rowling written under a pseudonym.  Today I didn’t do much of anything.  I actually changed into my pajamas a little while ago.  I figured I wouldn’t be going out this evening so I might as well be comfortable.  Matt just called and is on his way home from playing Scrabble.  I ordered a pizza online and he is going to pick it up.  I’m fighting a headache right now so I think I’ll just take it easy this evening. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Got a Roomie

Well, all of Matt’s stuff has been moved in so we’ve got boxes all over the place.  I spent last week doing housecleaning in preparation so now it’s a mess again.  It seems that Matt is a bit of a hoarder.  I think he got rid of about 10% of the excess stuff before moving, but there’s still some purging to do.  I’ve been trying to integrate some of his stuff into the house, but we may need some creative thinking.  I still don’t know where to put the giant mounted fish that he has.  They are sentimental since he caught one of them while fishing with his dad and the other was one that his dad caught.  I still need to buy a new chest of drawers for him.  His is so ugly that I won’t allow it in the bedroom. It’s going in Josh’s room/Matt’s office for now.  I may try to paint it at some point. 

School has been crazy this week.  I’m continually behind on getting things done it seems.  I did get my grant book order finished.  I submitted two other orders and will slowly work on a few others.  I’m supposed to be working on the school calendar but that has been put on the back burner for now.  My Scrabble club is still huge.  I had to adjust my layout on Friday because of the book fair getting set up.  I have over fifty students that are playing Scrabble.  Luckily I don’t have to run the book fair.  It’s handled by the PTA. I get some donated books from it.

It was great to sleep in today. I am enjoying my Saturday off.  I guess I could be sorting through some of Matt’s stuff, but there’s no rush.  I’m probably going to finish my Sue Grafton book instead. And perhaps take a nap.  I need to reserve some energy so that I can help Matt clean his apartment that hasn’t been cleaned since he moved in 12 years ago.  Matt said that instead of finding “dust bunnies” that they were more like the giant killer rabbit from The Holy Grail. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

It was a Monday

I was really upset when I got to school this morning.  Today was officially Scrabble club day (yay) but when I walked into my library, there was 20+ boxes of workbooks left all over my tables. I got to school early so that I could get ready for the club today, but I spent the morning moving boxes out of the way.  What’s worse is that these were boxes of workbooks that I had already received – so they were duplicates.  I only needed some algebra workbooks and they sent those along with everything else.  My club was so full this morning that I had to turn students away.  Club went ok, but I had my hands full as always. 

I wrote a terse email to textbook person and explained the situation with workbooks.  Thankfully she has some people that came and picked them up today so I didn’t have to store them.  Matt was there this morning so helped with club and then shelved books for me.  I spent most of the day working on an orientation lesson for one of the English classes.  I’m  also trying to finish my $5000 Laura Bush Grant book order which is harder than it seems. I actually have to order 10-15% over that amount because they may not be able to actually send all the books on my list. 

Matt has to get moved in this week. I tried to help him at his apartment, but it’s a nightmare.  Remember that he has lived as a bachelor for many, many years.  It seems that he has saved every scrap of paper and piece of mail over the past 13 years or so.  I found a receipt dated 2000.  Since a bunch of the stuff is old bills and whatnot, I can’t really sort through it very well so I haven’t been much help.  I’ve been doing some work here at the house instead.  I’ve been cleaning out things, moving furniture around, and making room for Matt’s stuff. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Working in an inner city district

When I got hired at my district I was a little concerned because I’d be working at what you’d consider an urban inner city school.  It has a high ratio of low socio-economic students and borders some “iffy” neighborhoods.  Living in a big city certainly means more crime.  That part made me nervous about moving here.  In the small town I came from there was a murder maybe every five or six years.  There are almost one or two a week here. But when I moved here, I found a neighborhood that I felt comfortable in.  The students at school where I teach are a little rough but a good number of them are great kids.  

We had a tragedy befall our school this weekend.  One of our students was shot in a drive-by shooting early Sunday morning.  He was only 13 years old.  I didn’t know the student.  He was fairly new to the school, but it is something you hope you never have to deal with.  The library became the grief headquarters today.  The district sent over several counselors to talk to students as needed.  Some of the students were truly broken up, but there were a lot of others that took advantage of the tragedy just to get out of class.  Many of them, however, wrote messages on a banner that I assume will be given to the family. 

On a positive note, I got quite a bit done today.  I was able to catalog several magazines and accomplished many things on my to-do list since we didn’t have Scrabble club today.  Matt brought me lunch and shelved books for me as well.  I also talked to the deputy superintendent who seemed very impressed by my Scrabble club.  I think I’m starting to make a name for myself in this district. 

Yesterday I created two new websites.  I found a very easy, but very nice online web creation program called weebly that I used to create my own library lesson page.  It’s going to be a work in progress for a while, but I hope to share it with others in a few weeks.  I also created a San Antonio Scrabble website for Matt. I mentioned that I was going to do it last year, but never found the time.  Once I found weebly, however, it was easier to do.    I’ll pay for my own domain name after payday in a few weeks.  Money is tight at the moment.  Luckily Matt will be moved in by the end of the month and I’ll start getting some money from him to help with the bills and such. 

Well, I’m going to eat some leftover pizza for dinner soon.  (Sausage, pepperoni, and onion) and then read for a bit. Maybe I’ll talk myself into doing a little more laundry.  Probably not, but there’s always hope.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Another week down

Things are off and running at school.  I opened the library on Wednesday and have already had three classes in there this week.  I think there’s going to be a lot of students interested Scrabble club.  I’ll know for sure on Monday when we have our first meeting.  Someone from the district communications office is going to come out to write a story about the club.  This week I worked on some lessons for the digital citizenship lessons that have to be taught to all the students in the school.  I’m having all the teachers present it this year and that will take off about two weeks of work that I normally have to do.  Maybe I’ll be able to finish cleaning out my back rooms by the end of next week then. 

Matt has the day off today so we’re going to go pack some of the stuff in his apartment.  It was great to sleep in today – especially after taking two benadryl last night.  I had some allergies hit me around dinner time last night.  We went to Cheddars for dinner and on the way home I sneezed quite a bit.  I took the first benadryl around 8:20 but it didn’t seem to work much an hour later so I took another one. I guess that did the trick as it knocked me out.  I had a lot of weird dreams last night.  I didn’t get out of bed until after 10 this morning.  I woke up the first time around 7:45 when I had to go to the bathroom and Lucy insisted on food.  I went back to bed and slept until around 9:30.  I still stayed in bed and read for a little bit before I managed to get up and about. 

Now I’m having my coffee and some french toast sticks which aren’t that great.  Oh well, at least it is something for breakfast which is more than I usually eat.  Not sure when we’ll head to Matt’s apartment.  The nice thing about weekends is that I can make my own schedule.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Opening the library

Well, my library is ready to open tomorrow.  I already have classes scheduled.  I still have a lot of work to do, but the library and lab areas are clean and clear for the moment.  There’s still a lot of “stuff” to go through, but most of it has been moved to back rooms.  I have some lesson plans to put together for teachers to go over with their classes next week.  I also need to finish my grant book order. 

The Scrabble tournament was a bust for me this weekend.  My last game was for the potential of placing 3rd and I blew it.  I had some great tiles but just couldn’t see the words and used up too much time.  As soon as the last game was done, I rushed out of there.  I just needed to get away and not think about Scrabble for a while. 

I was glad to have Monday off so I didn’t have to do much of anything.  Matt and I went to half priced books.  I got a jigsaw puzzle and a book for Josh.  Matt found two books.  After that I went to Michaels, but didn’t get much.  Matt went and played Scrabble the rest of the afternoon and I just vegged at home. 

Tonight I  picked up some Chinese food takeout and didn’t do much of anything again.  I probably should have done some laundry.  I haven’t run out of underwear yet so I have a few more days.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Survived the first week

It’s been an exhausting, but productive first week of school.  I finally got some hired help for the past two days and my library almost looks like a library again.  On Monday I pulled textbooks and cleaned.  I continued this throughout the week.  Once I got some hired help and a lot of boxes, I started packing up discontinued textbooks.  My circulation desk area is now clean and clear.  I still have a few things to get done on Tuesday and should be able to open the library by Wednesday.  This will be the earliest that I’ve been able to open the library.  It makes a difference having some hired help.  Matt also came to school today because he got the day off.  He had some “use it or lose it” vacation time that he needed to take. 

Josh started grad school this week and he discovered that Houston traffic is horrible.  One day he made it to class barely in time.  He discovered that he needed to leave by 6:45 a.m. to get to campus in time for his 8:00 class where he is an assistant.  I think he’s enjoying it so far.  I’m glad he has a roommate.  He took Felix (the cat) with him and I’m actually missing the little shit.  He was a pain, but made me laugh.  Of course I miss Josh, but I’m just proud that he’s getting his master’s degree.

I’m competing in a Scrabble tournament this weekend.  There’s only six players in my division but I’m still not very confident.  There’s some good prize money attached, but we’ll see how it goes.  I haven’t studied since before nationals and I feel like I’ve lost everything that I thought I learned.  I’m going to cram a little tonight and hope for the best.  I’ll do ok if I draw well.  I played Matt at club last night and had a very good game.  I beat him about 445 to 415.  I had three bingos in that game alone. 

I got to shake hands with our superintendent of schools today.  He dropped in our campus for a surprise visit.  Luckily he didn’t stop in the library – I met him in the hall while I was monitoring between passing periods.  It’s kind of strange working in such a large district.  My last district only had one high school so the superintendent sort of knew who I was – especially when I started dating the business manager.  But here there are 10 high schools, 14 middle schools and a lot more elementary schools.  I still get frustrated with the way some things are run, but I like the fact that I kind of stand out because I’m good at what I do. 

Matt’s friend, Cesar, is staying here tonight.  He is a Scrabble player that is running our tournament for us.  They’re watching a college football game on tv.  Since that’s not my thing, I just brought my laptop upstairs to my bedroom.  I’m going to listen to music for a little while and study some cards.  Then I’ll read a little Harry Potter and call it a night.  Luckily I don’t have to get up quite as earlier as I have to for school. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013


I got an email last week that stated that I was going to be recognized at Friday’s convocation as a district “champion” and would have special seating at the event.  At first I thought it was just because I had received the foundation grant and that they would be recognizing all those people.  When I got there on Friday though, it was just about 20 people that were being recognized and none of them seem to have been grant winners.  So I had no idea why I was being recognized.  It was kind of awkward sitting there since I didn’t know anyone else around me.  When they finally announced the “champions” it seemed they were announcing people that were nominated or won some district awards during the year.  I thought that it might have been a mistake – maybe they emailed me by accident.  Finally at the end of the teachers they announced my name and mentioned that I had started an innovative Scrabble program and competed at the Scrabble nationals.  I didn’t think that was quite noteworthy, but at least my school cheered loudly for me. 

Students come back Monday.  My library isn’t ready, but it will be closed the first week anyway.  Matt will come in to help on Monday and I may have some hired help as well.  It will be a busy week as always, but a good kind of busy. 

My air conditioner is finally fixed.  It went out again on Wednesday night.  I had someone come out on Thursday to look at it but the price they quoted was fairly expensive.  The air condenser motor was shot and needed to be replaced.  The company wanted $586 for that and tried to talk me into an “overhaul” for $1500.  I told the guy that I’d think about it but I’d have to get more estimates.  I called a friend from Scrabble club who owns rental houses and got the name of another guy to call.  He came out yesterday and said he could replace the motor for $325.  I thought that was a better deal though maybe still a little high.  But to get it fixed right then would be worth it.  He ended up having to put in some Freon which added to the cost, but at least it is up and running.  It was really hot in here night before last.  It was 89 degrees in the house and probably 10 degrees hotter upstairs since the heat rose. 

Well, Matt sent a letter to his mother asking her if she would be interested in us visiting during Thanksgiving.  He finally got her reply:

“I already have plans for Thanksgiving.  Don’t you think you’re about 25 years too late to be bringing someone home?  Can you really have a future with a divorced person?” 

Well, I guess that’s enough.  He won’t try any more and I won’t push him to do so.  I really couldn’t believe that she would be that judgmental about someone she had never met.  So I guess we’ll head to Albquerque for Thanksgiving instead.  At least we will be with family that loves and appreciates us. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Not as tired today

Of course I didn’t work quite as hard.  I got the equipment in all the classrooms by lunchtime today.  I spent my lunch working on my book order.  After lunch I pulled textbooks for teachers.  Tomorrow we have more inservice meetings.  At least it is with other librarians so it should be more relevant to me.  When it is with other teachers they often go over things that don’t apply to me like grade book information and such.  Friday is the convocation for the entire district.  I got an email today that I have special seating at the event.  I’m sure it is because of the grant I received.  The students return to school on Monday.  My library won’t be ready for another week, but hopefully I’ll get it done. 

Matt is working late again tonight.  I made some roast beef, pasta, and had some leftover salad for dinner.  It was pretty yummy.  I’m having some chocolate oreos for dessert.  Not sure what else I’m going to do tonight.  I “should” do some cleaning and/or laundry, but I think I’ll save that for the weekend. 

The temperatures are dropping – under 100 degrees for the first time.   Luckily the air conditioner still seems to be working so I’m hopeful that it was just a one time issue and that it needed to rest a bit.  It was working hard this year.  My bill last month was the highest it’s ever been.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Worked my Tail off Today

I came home thoroughly exhausted today.  It was a work day for me and that’s all I did.  I moved equipment back to classrooms, pulled textbooks, and made a start on my large book order.  I also lost my school ID badge in the process.  I was in so many places that I couldn’t really backtrack very well.  I sent out an email to the staff to see if landed in someone’s classroom, but haven’t heard from anyone yet.  Tomorrow I have to deliver the rest of the equipment and pull more textbooks.  Yeah, I’m still doing textbooks.  The librarians were told at the end of last school year that we wouldn’t have to do it again, but that didn’t happen.  They did tell us (on Friday no less) that we could hire subs to help us at the beginning and end of the school year.  Of course that was too late for me to get anyone in to work this week. 

We got Josh moved to Houston this weekend.  We loaded the truck on Friday after work and headed out around 7:30.  We got to his apartment by 10:30 and unloaded it.  Matt and I stayed with some of his friends that live there for the evening.  Even though I could have slept in, I was awake at 6:30 of course.  We went to breakfast with his friends and Josh then went to get the truck to return to the rental place.  When I got there, it showed that I drove 900 miles over the amount I was supposed to.  I told them that it was impossible as I drove straight from San Antonio to Houston.  Yeah, I’m going to go joy riding in a large gas guzzling rental truck.  Luckily the agent just gave me unlimited miles so I wouldn’t be charged. 

On Saturday evening we met some friends of mine from Amarillo that were in town and went to dinner.  We ate at a restaurant called the Iron Cactus.  Food and drinks were decent, but the service was slow.  I finally got to sleep in on Sunday.  Matt had to work since he took off on Saturday for moving Josh.  I didn’t do much of anything on Sunday.  I did some laundry and that’s it. 

So today was busy at work and I’m tired and sore.  I think I may go take a hot bath in a little bit.  I did have a bit of a scare last night.  When I got home from the store the air conditioner wasn’t working.  I troubleshot the issue and determined it wasn’t the blower or power to the outside unit.  I finally just turned it off and slept with fans in my room last night.  I turned it back on this morning and it seemed to work and was still working when I got home this evening.  I picked up dinner and now I’m contemplating going to bed extremely early tonight. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Comment Replies

It seems strange that I get a comment on a post I wrote in 2007 complaining about being poor. 

“37k, and you have a kid?!? Jesus christ 37k is almost poverty. Did you flunk school or something? I hope you can at least feed and clothe your kid properly!”

Of course this random person was not a regular reader and had no idea that I’ve lived off far less.  One year when I was on welfare receiving food stamps, I made less than $5000 a year.  My first teaching job I only earned $13000 a year.  Before I went back to teaching in 2006, I only made $26,000 a year.  At the time of this post in 2007, I was making 37K, but that was the most I had ever made in my life.  I had enough to pay the bills.  My house payment was only around 650 a month.  Before leaving Hereford, I was making around 42,000 a year.  When I moved to San Antonio, I got a raise of over $10,000.  Of course I also had to start paying back my student loans from school.  I don’t think that making 37k is really poverty.  I know poverty.  It may not have allowed me to do a lot of extra things, but the key is that I survived and pulled myself out the financial ruin brought from my divorce.  Rest assured, even in 2007, Josh was well fed and had plenty of clothes.  And no, I didn’t flunk school – I graduated with my bachelor’s degree with a 3.82 GPA in 1995.  I was making 37k in a professional job as a teacher. 

Now that Matt is going to move it, I’m going to have more financial freedom.  I hope I don’t go completely crazy.  We’ll have to watch ourselves when we go to home depot.  We talk about stuff we want to buy for the house whenever we go.  By moving in, he will save about $300 a month and I’ll gain about that much as well when he starts paying some of the house expenses.  That’s why I was able to go ahead and get a car for Josh.  I think we’ll do more traveling when we can on probably play in more Scrabble tournaments from time to time.  We are trying to plan a trip to St. Louis for Thanksgiving to visit his mom.  I don’t know if she will allow that or not.  He’s going to send her a not with his monthly obligation that he sends her.  If not, we’ll go to Albuquerque and see my aunt and uncle.  They’re buying a new house that I’d like to see. 

Today was exhausting.  I went to bed late and didn’t sleep well so I was tired this morning.  I’m definitely going to bed early tonight.  I need to get to school early to make sure everything is ready for our meeting in the library tomorrow.   

Monday, August 12, 2013

Back to work

Today was the first day back to work for me.  I really tried to make the most of the weekend by being completely lazy.  I was able to sell Josh’s car on Friday to another deal for $150 more than what I was offered at Car Max.  I did that and then had them drop me off at the library downtown where Matt works so he could take me home.  I found a couple of books to read while there.  I’ve started reading Rick Riordan’s adult mystery novels that are set in San Antonio.  (He’s the author of the Percy Jackson series.) 

I intended for Saturday to be an all day pajama day, but I had to get out to deposit the check for the car.  I knew it would take a few days to post and thought it would be in my account by now.  I still goofed off most of the day, however.

Matt and I tried a new church on Sunday but I didn’t like it much.  It was supposed to be and English service which technically it was, but the choir sang all the mass parts in Spanish.  The priest was also hard to understand even though he was speaking English because he had a thick Spanish accent.  After church we took Felix to the vet to get fixed so that Josh can take him to Houston when he moves this weekend.  After that we headed to the store to get groceries since I was out of pet food and soap among other items.  The rest of the day was spent doing laundry. 

I took a sleeping pill last night to force myself to go to bed early.  I had been staying up past midnight.  It seemed to help.  I was able to get up before 7:00 this morning with no problem.  I even had to wait for the secretary to get there because I didn’t have any keys to get in the building. 

I was busy all day today.  I worked on getting equipment ready for teachers to check out.  I didn’t quite get finished, but I’m close.  I should have that done by mid-morning tomorrow.  Then I can work on cleaning and moving other equipment out as needed.  I also have to work on my Scrabble presentation that I’m doing for librarians on Friday.  I talked to the foundation that awarded me my Scrabble grant today and they really want to push Scrabble clubs so I’m going to really talk it up in my session. 

After work today, Matt and I went to eat at a burger place in town as a social gathering for librarians in our district.  It was nice to see them again.  Now I’m home and I’m exhausted.  It’s hard to work all day when you’ve been mostly lazy during the summer.  I need to do a little more laundry and them I’m going to call it an early night again.  I need to get back into normal sleep and wake times.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Josh has a new car

I think I made a good deal today.  After yesterday’s excursion, we decided to focus our search on an Altima.  We looked at the one I posted about yesterday this morning and it seemed to be in good condition.  Josh took it for a test drive.  The company wasn’t a big dealership – it was a smaller used car company.  There wasn’t any haggling with the “let me see what my manager says” crap that usually happens when buying a car.  I thought the price of the car was reasonable as it was.  It was about $1500 below the Kelly Blue Book value.  I got them down another $1000 just by pointing out that there was another car a year newer at that price available at another dealership.  I probably would have bought the car for just a few hundred less than their listed price, but was happy to have a lower monthly payment than I expected.  I’m going to have Josh take it to the Nissan dealership tomorrow and have them take a look at it since it is still under warranty.  So I feel better about him moving to Houston in two weeks with a reliable car. 

I couldn’t sell Josh’s old car to Car Max until his registration sticker came in the mail.  Luckily it came today so I’ll be able to go do that this week.  I’m going to use that money to pay off my credit card.  Matt and I have been talking about living together for a while now.  He is here most of the time and it seems pointless for him to spend rent on an apartment that he rarely uses.  When his lease came up in March he only renewed it for six months.  His original plan was to extend it for another 3 months after that and move in at the end of the year, but he’s going to go ahead and move here in September.  It seems more practical and it would be easier to save money that way.  That’s the reason why I went ahead and bought a car for Josh. 

My vacation is coming to a close too fast.  I went to the the local library today because I had some books due.  I found two more books to read.  Hopefully I can finish them before I go back to work.  Luckily I found out today that I don’t have to do one of the workshops that I was originally going to do.  I have to make some adjustments to my Scrabble workshop that I am doing, but fortunately most of it is already done. 

Food, Friends, Car Shopping

There’s nothing like having company come over that gets me to clean my house.  My friend Brent from Austin came over this weekend so we could go out to dinner.  He hadn’t seen my new place so I at least tidied up some before he came over.  We went to eat at La Gloria and had a great time.  He really enjoyed the food and the margaritas were nice and strong.  I’m so glad that I moved down south so that we can hang out.  Here’s a picture of us while waiting for a table:

lagloriagroup Can you believe that my hair is getting long again?  I think I’ve decided to grow it out, but you know me, I could change my mind at any time. 

So Josh and I went car shopping yesterday.  His car is falling apart – literally.  When he took us to the airport in July to go to nationals, his back window broke where it would not roll up.  So now it’s duct taped.  It would cost about $400 to fix, but there’s still a lot of other issues that need to be addressed and I don’t think it is worth it on a 14 year old car.  We took it to Car Max yesterday and they offered us $1200 for it.  I might get as much or more as a trade-in, but I think I’d rather just get the money from Car Max.  That way I can pay off my credit card and then hopefully I can afford a car payment.  I was pre-approved for a loan by my bank but I may use that information to negotiate a better interest rate with a dealer if I can.  The rate is actually pretty good – 2.44% for a used car at 60 or 72 months.  I’m trying to keep the payment down to about $200.  I’m going to pay for the car while Josh is in school, but he will take over payments when he gets his first job as a music professor. 

We looked at cars while at Car Max but I thought they were a bit overpriced.  We stopped at a Nissan dealership up the road, but nobody even came out to talk to us.  They didn’t have any prices listed on their used cars and we didn’t see anything that interested us so we left.  We went up to a Hyundai dealership next.  Josh test drove a Hyundai Accent which was ok, but it was very simple and again overpriced.  He then test drove an Altima which is what he ultimately wants and loved it.  We talked to the salesman about it and he couldn’t get the payments down to where I needed them so I told him we’d think about it.  At least I think that narrowed down the search to finding an Altima because that is what Josh really liked. 

So last night I searched for Altimas on cars.com.  I think I’ve found one that is a good deal.  It’s $1000 less than the best price we got yesterday and it has lower mileage and is two years newer.  If they will work out a deal where I do not finance more than $15,000 with everything included (taxes, fees, etc) then we’ll seriously look at that car.  We have an appointment to see it around 11:00 this morning.  I have a list of other Altimas available in town as well as several others within a 200 mile radius. 

This is the car we are going to look at first today:


Friday, August 02, 2013


I went tubing for the first time yesterday.  What’s tubing, you ask?  Basically it’s floating in an inner tub down a river.  You can rent a tube at a local place and then you relax as you float down the river for a couple of hours.  I went with some friends to the Comal river in New Braunfels.  Though I put on lots of sunscreen, I did get burned on my arms in patchy spots yesterday.  I think I missed some spots when I reapplied lotion after our first go around and some of it rubbed off.  I stayed in the water for most of the second trip but my arms were exposed from holding on to the tube.  We were going to go out to eat after we got back, but I wasn’t feeling up to it.  I think the excessive heat caused me to get dehydrated and I just wanted to head home to shower and eat.  I sent Josh for food while I showered and put aloe vera on my arms.  I felt better after eating but it was too late for me to head to Scrabble practice so I just read my book instead.  I set a goal to read 50 books this year on GoodReads so I’m trying to catch up.  I’m about 7 books behind schedule at this point, but I still have plenty of books to read. 

I was planning on not doing much today, but I have to get dressed at some point and turn in some equipment at the school.  I guess since I have to get out, I’ll head to the library to return my books.  Just a little more than a week of summer left.  It’s going to go by way too fast. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A pajama kind of day

I only have a week and a half of summer break left.  Today I was a total vegetable.  Well, not totally.  I finished reading a book.  I played Words with Friends, checked class reunion discussions on Facebook, watched t.v., and sat on the couch.  In other words, it was a completely lazy day.  I even refused to do something about supper.  I gave Josh my card and he has gone to pick up food from Whataburger.  I’m trying to decide if I’m going to go help weed a school library tomorrow afternoon.  I’ve been invited to go tubing on Thursday.  I’ll probably go do that since I’ve never done it.  I might go to the public library tomorrow to return my books.  I think I’ll try to enjoy myself the next few days before I start working on school stuff.  After all it is summer vacation and I earn the time off during the school year.  Well, I think I’ll get back to doing nothing. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back from Nationals

Yesterday started off well; I won my first game, but then proceeded to lose the next two.  I didn’t just lose – I lost by a bunch of points in both games.  But in the end I won almost half my games with a 15-16 record.  I was seeded 81st and ended up in 61st place out of 95.  My rating increased from a 647 to 755, so I’m pleased overall.  I realize that my vocabulary is still woefully short.  So if Matt and I go to Nationals in Buffalo, NY next year, I’ll need to start studying much more in advance. 

It was a nice trip anyway.  I was surprised that I wasn’t as mentally exhausted as I thought I would be.  The problem, however, is that I’m now on Vegas time.  I slept in until almost noon today.  I think that I’m going to take it easy for a few days.  I still have a lot of things to get done this summer before I go back to work in a few weeks.  I have a presentation to plan and need to get started on it soon.  I also have some class reunion stuff to work on. 

But for now, I’m watching the Monk marathon on tv.  I’m already thinking about taking a nap.  I’m meeting Matt for dinner at 5:30 and then we have Scrabble tonight. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nationals Day 4

It's been a long day.  It's almost midnight here in Vegas which means it's more like 2:00 a.m. in Texas.  I had a pretty good game day today.  I won more than I lost today with a record of 4-3 and I'm dead even with both 14 wins and losses overall.  Most of the games were very well played and for the most part, the ones I lost were good games.  The last game kind of sucked because my opponent simply outdrew me.  She got both blanks and almost all of the power tiles.  I got two esses and that's it.  She beat me by 80 points or so.  I did get some great satisfaction challenging one of her plays off the board though.  She tried to play "sealions" which is invalid as it is two words "sea lions."  Her play should have been "anisole" in a different spot on the board, but she obviously didn't know that.  I realized later that I missed an out bingo in that game and I might have won if I played it.  Oh well, such is life. 

Tonight we saw Penn & Teller.  It's the third time I've seen them.  We went with another couple of Scrabble friends and had a nice time.  Matt really seemed to enjoy it.  I got a picture of him standing next to Penn.  It's kind of ironic because the first time I saw the show, I got a picture of my ex-husband (who I was married to at the time) with Penn as well. 

Tomorrow we have three games and then the awards.  If I won all three of my games I could be eligible for a prize, but I doubt that will happen.  I would be ecstatic to win at least 2 of the 3 tomorrow, but will settle for one.  I've already won more than I was projected to win and my overall rating has increased so I'm pretty happy with how things have turned out.  Well, I need to get some sleep as it will be a very long day tomorrow. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nationals Day Three

Well there's good and bad news about today's events.  Good news:  I won more games than I lost today.  I had a record of 4-3.  Bad news, in two games that I lost, they were both over 140 points each.  So when I lose, I REALLY lose.  I've discovered that if I play first, then I win.  If I play second, I lose.  I've discovered that some of my studying has paid off - I'm playing several words that I didn't know before that I've learned.  I also know that I need more word knowledge.  I haven't decided how much of an effort I'm going to make at studying, but I think I can hold my own to some degree now - at least in the bottom division. 

Matt had a better day today.  I guess his lucky penny that I got him came through for him.  He won some good games and feels ok about the ones he lost because he played well.  I was a bit moody at lunch today because it was right after my first big loss for the day.  Matt and I walked down to the Stratosphere for dinner and it was a lengthy walk.  I ordered a drink called "Pain in the Ass"  (sorry for my more conservative readers) which was actually quite yummy.  I had a nice buzz going and then I had to walk FOREVER back to the hotel. 

Matt wanted to attend the Town Hall meeting about Scrabble information for the year regarding rule changes, membership, and other stuff.  I'm sure most everyone is interested/concerned about the fact that Hasbro is no longer financially supporting competive Scrabble.  I stayed for about 30 minutes before I was totally bored and I came back to the room.  I'll be calling it a night shortly as I took a sleeping pill  My hours are still mixed up with the time change.  I still wake around 6:30 which is 4:30 Vegas time. 

Tomorrow is another full day of seven rounds.   We might go see Penn and Teller tomorrow night.  We'll try to get tickets at lunch tomorrow.  We leave out on Wednesday.  (Hey Jan - message me on facebook and let me know when you're getting into Vegas - we might at least be in the airport at the same time and we can say a quick hello/good-bye.)  Well, I think I'm going to watch a little tv until I'm too tired. 

Nationals Day Two

I won three and lost four games again today.  My overall record is six and eight, but I'm ok with that.  I had an amazing play in one of my games that I'm really proud of.  I was behind by over 100 points and I didn't think I had any hope of playing a bingo to catch up.  I figured I needed to score as many points as could, however, so the loss wouldn't be too great.  I played the word "hic" keeping another "c" in my rack so that I could play "chic" with another word in the out play.  I thought I was doomed when the other player put down the word "kata" on the board parallel to the spot I wanted to use.  It worked out better for me, however, as I was able to play the word "pluckier" in the final play of the game which netted me 91 points.  After getting the points for the tiles left on my opponent's rack I ended up winning by 17 points. 

Before the tournament began this morning, Matt and I went to church.  Luckily there is a cathedral just a couple of blocks over and they had a service starting at 8:00.  We had to leave right after communion but we made it just in time for announcements.

Matt was in a really bad mood after today's rounds.  He lost six games in a row, winning only his first game today.  He needed some alone time so I left for about 45 minutes and went shopping.  I brought him back some beer and a lucky keychain in hopes that he'll have more luck.  He is discouraged because he has been studying really hard and other people are winning in spite of making stupid plays and challenges. 

After I got back, we headed to Freemont street with a Scrabble friend he calls "Dr. Bob" who is an actual medical doctor.  We watched the light show on the Freemont street canopy and then had a buffet dinner down there.  At least Matt was in a better mood by the end of the evening.  I hope he has a better day tomorrow.  I would be happy to keep the same streak I've had.   Of course I'd like to win more than I lose, but I'll take what I can get.  I have to win my expected number of games (11.6) in order for my rating to increase.  We'll see how it goes. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Scrabble Nationals Day One

Well it started off pretty well - I went up and down - ending up winning three out of seven games today.  I opened with a bingo in my first game against the fourth highest ranked player in my division.  I tanked in the last game where my opponent (ranked 9th) outdrew me and beat me by over 200 points. Overall it wasn't terrible.  I just hate that when I lose, I lost by large margins except for one game. 

In case you're interested, there is an article about the San Antonio Scrabble players going to nationals including Matt and me.  Yes, my real name is in the article so I hope none of my remaining three or four readers are stalkers that want to find me and beat me at Scrabble or do something worse. 

I'm glad that the first day is over.  It wasn't as exhausting as I thought it would be, but I was ready for the last game to end since it sucked so bad.  Matt and I are going to the bar to have a drink (or two) and then maybe do some of the social activities going on this evening. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Made it to Vegas

Matt and I made it to Vegas yesterday.  We got to the airport early enough to have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants that recently opened within the terminal.  Security still takes forever, but we had plenty of time.  The only negative was the fact that we didn't get drinks on the plane.  I ordered a bloody mary, but turbulence kept the staff from being able to serve anything and it was a 2+ hour flight.  We took a shuttle from the airport to our hotel which cost about half the price of a cab.  It wasn't too bad because we were the first stop.  Once we got here, however, registration at the hotel took about 45 minutes because there were a lot of people in line.  Turns out they are having a cat show here along with Scrabble nationals.  I wondered why a guy had a cat on the shuttle bus.  We settled into our room and then we headed out to find food.  We walked down to the fashion show mall and ate burgers at Johnny Rockets.  It was kind of expensive but very filling.  After that we got but passes and headed to downtown so that Matt could see the Freemont Street Experience where they have a cool light show on an arced ceiling that is 90 feet high and 4 blocks long.  We got back around midnight Texas time (10:00 Vegas time).  We were so exhausted from all the walking we just crashed.  Now we're up early Vegas time.  We register for the tournament at 10:00 a.m. and it's only 8:00 here.  We'll go have some breakfast shortly, then register.  After that, we're going to hop on the bus and head down the strip for sight-seeing.  Matt has not been to Vegas since 1987 and it has changed considerably since then.  Well, I'm going to go get dressed and get ready for another long day of walking. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Just a few more days

Matt and I are gearing up for our big trip to Vegas in a few days.  We head out on Thursday afternoon.  Registration is on Friday and we start playing on Saturday.  I’ve been trying to get some studying done and I’m making progress but it feels like it is slow going.  I don’t know if I’m just not as focused as I need to be or if it is just more difficult for things to stick these days.  I’ve always thought that I was good at memorizing things but the words seem more difficult to retain – even with some of my creative mnemonic devices. 

I worked all of last week and today helping with summer testing for the district.  It will be a nice boost to my August paycheck, but I wish I had the money to take with me to Vegas.  Tomorrow I need to do laundry and start packing.  I’ve been able to do a little bit of reading here and there.  I finished a couple of books so far and have another one started.  I’ll probably do some reading in Vegas during down time. 

I went to the local library on Saturday to study and I think it helped some.  I think I’ll go back for a few hours tomorrow.  It’s nice to get away from the distractions of being home. 

You’d think that having the summer off I’d blog more – the problem is that there’s just not much going on around here.  I spend most of my days studying, goofing off online (playing this new addicting word game on facebook), watching t.v. and reading.  Not a bad way to spend a summer.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Shopping & Crafting

I decided to get out of the house today.  Yesterday I didn’t even change out of my pajamas all day.  I can’t find my Scrabble dictionary so I went to Barnes & Noble to pick another one up.  After that I went to Hobby Lobby and Michael’s to get some craft items to make some new Scrabble racks to take with me to Vegas.  I also picked up more beads for rosaries.  Tonight I’m going to work on some crafts and continue reading my Scrabble dictionary and studying some of my word lists. 

I finally finished reading Word Freak.  While it was interesting to read about the world of competitive Scrabble, it took a while to get through it.  I just know that I’m not destined to become an expert player.  I have several other books that I can start reading but I need to save some to take with me to Vegas. 

Monday, July 01, 2013

Scrabble Nightmares

Well, the Scrabble nightmares have started.  The other night I dreamed that I was at the national tournament and it was round two but I couldn’t find postings as to where and who I was supposed to play.  Someone told me that I was supposed to play them and so we sat down at a table but didn’t have a clock.  (Each player has 25 minutes of playing time.)  We finally got a clock but we couldn’t get set at 25 minutes.  It was stuck on 30 minutes.  I didn’t know what to do at that point and then I woke up.  Then last night I was dreaming about words.  I couldn’t remember the bingo stems for TISANE plus the letter T (Instate & Satinet).  I’ve made lots of study cards but haven’t really focused as much as I should.  It’s fairly overwhelming.  I’m probably trying to focus on too much – but that’s par for me – cramming at the last minute.  Maybe I should set some smaller daily goals - like focusing on a certain number of words or certain lists each day. 

I need to play more but my problem is that I get frustrated playing Matt.  We only have practice on Thursdays.  I guess I can just keep playing on my phone, but it’s not the same.  Well, I guess I’ll just do my best on all fronts and she how things go in Vegas.  I just hope I don’t play too badly and have a miserable time there. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Break has commenced…

…therefore I’ve been staying up later than normal and enjoying the benefits of sleeping in.  I can’t make this a habit though.  I’m going to be a test administrator for seven days in July and I have to be there by 8:00 every day.  Luckily I’ll be done by 2:00 each day.  Then immediately after that, I’ll be heading to play in the National Scrabble tournament in Vegas.  I played some games against Matt the other night and I was feeling very discouraged.  I felt like I couldn’t remember anything I had studied and I lost all three games.  I went to Scrabble practice last night and felt a little better.  I only won 2 of 4 games, but I beat Matt and one of the other better players only beat me by 9 points.  I consistently played in the high 300 range in 3 of the 4 games.  I played five bingos – two of which were phonies that went unchallenged.  I also challenged a blatantly false play.  One of my problems is sometimes not recognizing phonies.  The other is my lack of word knowledge.  I just don’t know how people retain the 1000’s of strange words.  I’ve made study cards, but I don’t have many of them down.  I’m going to work on some of that today.  I also need to learn the words that do and don’t take an “S” on the end. 

Well, I think I’ll fix something for lunch and then try to talk myself into studying. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Another trip back to the Panhandle

I left on Friday morning to head back to Canyon.  I enjoyed my customary Taco Villa for dinner Friday evening.  I actually overdid it a little by having a meat burrito grande and two crispy tacos, but they were delicious.  On Saturday, I slept in and then went to Braum’s for lunch.   I conquered the bacon cheeseburger that I couldn’t eat for years after Josh was born.  I had a bad experience with one while I was pregnant. 

On Saturday afternoon, I went to the planning meeting for our upcoming 25th class reunion.  Can you believe that I’m that old?  This time it is going to be in the fall at the actual homecoming football game.  It’s not going to as big of a deal as we did on the 20th, but it should still be fun.  It will be nice that I can take Matt with me. 

After the meeting, I picked up my friend Pam and we ran some errands and then had dinner.  After that, I went to my brother’s house to visit with him and his family.  I made rosaries for all his kids.  Two just graduated from high school (one last year and one this year) and the younger two were just Baptized a few months ago. 

Sunday I went to church and then had Taco Villa for lunch.  I worked on some study cards for Scrabble for a while.  I went to my friend’s baby’s first birthday party that afternoon.  I then met Mike (the old boyfriend) for dinner that evening.  We had a nice visit and he paid for my dinner.  I worked on more Scrabble cards and organizing them for study. 

I planned to leave shortly after getting up this morning, but I didn’t really expect to be awake at 4:30 a.m.  I tried going back to sleep but gave up around 6:00.  I left Canyon around 6:30 after picking up donuts from the Donut Stop.  I made good time on the trip home.  Even with my stops, I made it back in 7 1/2 hours. 

Now I’m watching Big Bang Theory.  Matt is out playing Scrabble with his friend.  I’m going to continue reading Word Freak.  Most people would think I’ve read that book by now, but I’m kind of glad that I waited to read it.  I think that I understand it more now that I’ve experienced the competitive world of Scrabble.  I’ll never be as dedicated as some of the top players mentioned in the book, but it is an interesting read and it has given me some study ideas. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Slow Going

Well, I haven’t been completely lazy this week, but I’ve still come close.  Today is the first day I actually got on the treadmill.  I watched the first episode of Big Bang.  Maybe if I finish the series, I’ll lose some weight.  I’ve been making study cards for Scrabble.  I know all my two letter words and I’m working on the threes.  Of the 1015 three letter words, I’m down to about 150 that I don’t readily know.  I’m also working on four pages of unusual four letter words.  I made some bingo stem lists and a variety of other random word lists such as names that are acceptable words, vowel dumps, and unfamiliar q,x,j,z words.  It’s a lot to try to conquer in less than a month, but surely a few words will stick with me. 

As far as house cleaning goes – well, I cleaned and organized two kitchen cabinets – does that count?  I started some work that I’ve needed to do as secretary of the community band I’m in, but didn’t work on it today.  I’ve been making some rosaries but they are for my brother’s kids.  I spent much of today reading though.  I’ve almost finished one of my books. 

I agreed to be a test proctor for a week and a half in July.  It will be boring and tedious, but I’ll get paid $25 an hour for six hours a day.  That translates into about $1200.  That could pay for a cruise I’m interested in going on next year. Or I could pay off my visa bill.  I won’t get the money in time for Vegas, but it would still be nice to have. 

Tomorrow I have to go to a training session for the test proctoring.  The Spurs are playing the final game tomorrow and I don’t think I can watch it.  The last game was too stressful for me.  They had it in their hands and lost it.  It was very frustrating.  I guess this is why I’ve never been a sports fan.  I’m taking the loss personally and it ticks me off. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer To Do List

I want to make sure that I actually get some things done this summer and don’t sit like a slug on the couch all day.  So far I’m not succeeding, but it’s only day 3 of summer vacation.  What better way to procrastinate but to blog about it? 

Exercising: I no longer have the “time” excuse for not exercising.  I bought a $600 treadmill months ago and installed a mini television in front of it.  I also bought the first three seasons of Big Bang Theory and all the Columbo episodes to watch.  So my vow is to walk a minimum of 30 minutes a day. 

Reading: I have a ton of books waiting to be read so I’m going to try to squeeze in some reading every day.  My problem will be once I get into a book, that’s all I will want to do.

House cleaning:  Not my favorite thing, but I need to stay on top of it so I’ll try to focus on something small every day – like laundry.  Andrew posted a comment on my Facebook page about the garage.  I don’t know if I’ll get to that this summer.  With much of it full with Josh’s items, there’s not a lot I can do.  There’s a lot of Matt’s stuff in there that probably needs to go into the attic, but it’s not a priority right now.

School work:  I have to prepare for a session that I’ll be teaching in the fall so I do need to work on that some this summer.  I also need to work on updating the school website.  I probably won’t work on this on a daily basis, but I do need to do some work throughout the summer and not do it at the last minute like I tend to do. 

Scrabble Studying:  Since I’m now committed to playing in the National tournament, I really need to do some word study before we head out to Vegas next month.  I’m going to try to commit to at least 30 minutes a day.  Matt bought me some index cards and a special new pen with purple ink so I’ll get started on those today. 

House organization:  I don’t know if I’ll get to this, but I still have closets with stuff that needs to be put away and organized. 

Start an etsy shop:  I have a bunch of rosaries that I need to sell and beads for several more that I need to make.  I think I should start an etsy shop to sell them. 

Well, I guess that’s enough to get me started this summer.  Now if I could just get myself off this couch and actually start doing some of these things!  I think I should have lunch first.  I need that energy to get going.