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. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Summer break is here

Well, I survived my second year as librarian.  My last day of work for this year was on Friday.  I actually finished by noon so I turned in my keys and checked out and then went to help the library facilitator.  I spent the afternoon scanning documents for her.  It was a pretty successful year for me though it was still overwhelming at times.  I started a library and Scrabble club this year.  I won two grants this year.  I ran a successful UIL tournament for speech events.  On top of that I still handled textbooks, placed library orders, catalogued books, dealt with technology issues, updated the school website, and did several other duties.  The job is still better than teaching by far. 

So yesterday I slept in until about 9:30.  It was pretty much a do nothing day.  I watched t.v., goofed off online, and made some apple turnovers.  Josh headed back to Canyon in the afternoon.  I met Matt for church at 5:30 and then we had our leftovers from Maggiano’s for dinner.  We ate there on Friday night and the service was incredibly slow.  We watched the movie Hope Springs last night.  It was ok, but I thought it would be funnier. 

Matt and I went to breakfast at Cracker Barrel this morning.  After that we went to Home Depot, Walmart, and Lowes.  He bought be some notecards to use for making study cards for Scrabble nationals.  My aunt and uncle is paying for most of our trip.  They booked the airfare for us and are going to pay for the hotel.  They were going to go with us, but they are buying a house and might be closing around that time.

The Spurs play again tonight and I hope they do better than what they have been.  They need to step it up and stop allowing so many turnovers.  If they don’t, they won’t win the series.  It would be exciting if they do though. 

Friday, June 07, 2013

I’m a winner

I found out a couple of weeks ago that I won a small local grant of about $545 for my Scrabble Club at school.  I’m going to purchase new boards, tiles, and dictionaries with that money.  I was gone the day that they were going to surprise me so the grant lady came yesterday.  She happened to come while I was having a pizza party for my Scrabble students and handing out awards. She stayed for the awards and seemed very impressed by everything.  She took pictures of the students and asked them questions. 

So last night I was watching the Spurs game (Go Spurs Go!) and I was thinking about the other grant I applied for this year.  All the librarians in the district were asked to apply for the Laura Bush Foundation grant earlier this year.  So I spent some time on it and submitted my application back in December.  The district librarian facilitator read through the application and narratives before we submitted and gave me some very positive comments.  She said that normally she sends a standard response to everyone but wanted to let me know that she thought my grant stood out to her and she hoped I won.  I hadn’t heard from the foundation but knew they made the awards in late May or early June so I went to the website last night to see if they posted the winners yet.  Lo and behold, I found out that I won the grant.  It turns out I also received an email but didn’t see it until after I read the press release online.  This is a $5000 grant that can be used to purchase books and magazines.  This is without any restrictions on content.  So I’m looking forward to doing some book shopping this summer. 

So that distracted me for a little while during the game, but it was great to watch the Spurs pull ahead in the 4th quarter and beat the Heat by 4 points.  I really hope that they will win another title.  That would be very exciting.  I can’t believe I’ve become a basketball fan.  It’s hard not to be in a town to that loves their team. 

Today was the last day of school for students.  I have to work all next week and then I’m off for the summer.  I guess I need to start study for the National Scrabble tournament that I’ll be competing in next month.  I’m debating about heading back to Canyon around the 22nd to go to the planning meeting for our 25th reunion.  Well, I’m very full from dinner at Pappasito’s so I’m going to head to bead even though they’re showing episodes of Monk on t.v.

Monday, June 03, 2013

A fun weekend – but I’m old

My friend Kirsten came down Thursday evening.  She had to bring her dogs because she wasn’t able to get a reservation at her usual kennel where she lives.  Luckily my pets took it in stride for the most part.  Mollie was the most irritated – she had to bark and let it be known that strange animals were invading her space.  Felix hissed and his tail grew about three sizes.  Lucy just stayed out of the way and Max could care less. 

Friday evening we went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness.  Andrew has been anxiously awaiting my review as a non-Trekkie.  Well, I wouldn’t consider myself a Trekkie per se, however, I'm I’ve watched the 2nd, 3rd, 4th (my favorite), and 5th original movies and First Contact.  I’ve also watched The Next Generation and Voyager series from time to time.  Josh had to explain part of the plot since I had not seen the film released before this one, but I did get the mirrored plot to The Wrath of Khan.  I enjoyed the movie and I’m especially fond of Benedict Cumberbatch because I enjoy watching Sherlock.  My friend, Kirsten, however is the ultimate Trekkie and she also enjoyed the movie, but she didn’t agree with the villain’s ethnicity change from the original film.  (Hopefully that doesn’t give too much away to those who haven’t seen it.)  I thought some of the characterization compared to the original characters was nicely done such as with Bones and Scotty. 

Saturday was a very long but fun day of coaster riding.  Unfortunately we got off to a rough start because my friend Kirsten was going to leave her dogs at a local kennel for the day and they were very slow.  I barely made it in time to register.  Even then, I had to wait for Kirsten and we missed the first ride of the day on Iron Rattler.  I did get into the park a little early with my Gold season pass, but we had a to wait a while for the ride on Iron Rattler.  After that we walked on to a front row seat on Superman.  It was a great ride.  It got pretty hot during the day so we rested and cooled off by going to shows.  We also got to have a walkback on Iron Rattler which means we got take pictures from within and above the track.  I got a few good shots from that.  The hospitality at the park was just amazing.  For dinner they served us fajitas (chicken and beef), rice, beans, chips and queso, and fresh fruit for desert.  They also gave us tickets for two alcoholic beverages of choice (beer or margarita), plus they had a variety of soft drinks available.  When I registered, I also got an Iron Rattler shirt.  At the end of the evening we got exclusive ride time (ERT) on Iron Rattler, Sky Screamer, and Superman.  By the end of the day I got three rides each on all the major coasters and actually got five rides on Superman.  We got back very late and I was sore, exhausted, and thoroughly sweaty and yucky.  I took a shower and fell right into bed.  I spent most of Sunday recovering by doing a lot of nothing and napping. 

Today was productive at work – mostly scanning textbooks.  Matt helped by shelving library books for me today.  Tomorrow I’m getting help.  My secretary found someone that was willing and available to get some extra work.  She also made sure that we could push the approval through so the help could start tomorrow.  That way I might actually be able to get everything done that I need before my last day.  This is the last week with students, but I work another week beyond that. 

Matt grilled some brats tonight and now we’re watching the Pacers/Heat game to see who the Spurs will play in the finals.  I probably won’t watch the entire game.  I’m going to call it an early night and get some rest because I’m feeling old and tired.