Saturday, December 15, 2012

Alison's French Play 2012

Hello Again. Welcome to a blog post with horrible iPhone photos.  I forgot the camera at home.  School gets exhausting this time of the year.  I left my class to run to the middle school for this play.  So I was doing good to remember the phone for photos.  Thank you, Mrs Wolcott, for saving me a seat on the front row.

Now to the show.  And remember, crappy iPhone camera.

Setting:  Quebec, Canada during Carnival

 These girls were the narrators.  I have no idea what they were talking about as the entire play was in French.
 Alison and her friend discussing Carnival and boys and all that.  I understood that much.  Alison had a photo of Justin Bieber that made the audience in the theater laugh and clap.  Audience of a few parents and a lot of 3rd and 4th graders.
 George on the left.  (Okay, I don't know their character names.  When Alison wakes up I'll come back and insert them.    Anyway, George wants to ask Susie to Carnival but doesn't know how to impress her.  Goes to see his friend the cool dude on the right.  This was pretty funny.
 Borrows his leather jacket, shades and hat.  Does a little swagger.  Thinks it'll impress the girls.
 Susie gives him the cold shoulder.
 So he goes to his other friend, the athlete.  Finds out he needs to have big muscles to impress the girls.
The stuff his jacket with wads of paper to make him appear big and strong.  Susie is not impressed.
 So he visits his grandmother.  Finds out he just needs to be himself.  
 Super bad photos.  But he wins over the girl with flowers and just regular ole George.  Btw, the girl is not a snowman.  I don't do iphone cameras.  You can see her yellow glove.
Grand finale song and dance.  

All in French.

Good thing they pass out a playbill with the plot and characters and all that.  Which I left at school.

Alison's last French Play.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Catch Up Time

I think of this blog often.  Thoughts will zip through my mind and I'll quickly think, "I'm going to hash that out on the Red Shoes blog"  But then life happens.  And well, I'm forced to choose between cleaning the kitchen and blogging.  Or folding laundry or blogging.  Or even sleeping or blogging.  This poor blog never wins.

But right now I have time.  And I'm seizing it.  Let's catch up:

Merry Christmas!  This is our Christmas Card Photo.  I'd spend time here and there cruising pinterest looking for family photo ideas.  There are so super creatives one, touching ones, sweet ones - but they all included babies, small children, or large groups.  I couldn't find just the right one to copy for 3 teens.  (well, 2 teens and one adult)  This is what I came up with.  Basically because when they are all home at the same time, this is how it looks!

One tip I did learn from my web cruising:  the three color rule.  Choose 3 colors and everyone has to wear those 3.  So we chose orange, grey and blue.  The I.T. girl's headband is "fake".  We wove orange ribbon around her blue headband so that she would have all three colors.  Quick, easy, painless and the best part:  D.O.N.E.  I ordered the cards with this photo, addressed and stamped the envelopes, dropped them in the mail.

Here are a few things I've been thinking in my crowded head.  Yes, the following thoughts will be disjointed and may seem random but that's how I roll.

Today I had a student become a big sister.  Mom and Dad went to the hospital early this morning for a scheduled c-section.  Dad picked her up at noon and told us Mom and new baby sister are fantastic.  Another teacher said to me later that she felt sad for them.  They are here in the city alone.  No family live close by and so it's just Mom and Dad there to celebrate the new arrival.  I didn't say much.   I'm a listener.  I am a master of small talk.   Not out of arrogance, I just don't feel like exerting the effort needed to start a story about myself only to be cut off half way and ignored and so I don't even begin.  Still I couldn't quit thinking about her comment.  It's very nice to have family there to celebrate.  But it doesn't make it any less of a miracle if family is not there.  That sweet baby has a Mommy and a Daddy and a big sister that will celebrate her.  Isn't that the most important thing?

One of the custodians at work uses the term "sweetie" and "Darling" and "honey" when he addresses me.  He will say "Honey, I'm going to come by and change that lightbulb in just a few minutes."  Or "Thanks, sweetie".   I do not enjoy it.  It makes me feel.............. icky.  What is the word?  Disrespected.  I mean, is it 1950?  

I'm reading a book by Priscilla Shirer entitled RESOLUTIONS.  Wow.  The first chapter alone had me thinking a new thought.  CHOOSE to be content.  Women tend to want to rush through things.  When you are single, you want to marry.  When you marry, you want to have babies.  When the babies arrive you can't wait to be rid of the diapers.  On and on and on.  The first chapter hit me between the eyes.  CHOOSE TO BE CONTENT.  All the frustrations I've been feeling about my job stood in the forefront.  Yes, I need to choose to be content with the situation.

Ironman and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.  I cried for a couple of hours.  I just couldn't pull it together!  A few days before I.T. girl and pulled out our wedding video.  Yes, VIDEO.  Remember those?  As I watched it and laughed and remembered I realized.......... one, two, three, four, five of my bride's maids had first marriages that failed.  FIVE!  Out of SIX!  And number six didn't marry until she was over 40.  She is still married to her first husband.  How did my marriage survive?  Wow.

The faculty Christmas, oh wait.......... HOLIDAY party is next week.  I hate, hate, hate the parties.  HATE THEM.   I need to RSVP by Monday.  So I need to decide..............

For the last little event:  my jeans were loose today!!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Too Many Photos

Whoops!  Got a message that I've used all my picasso web photo storage space.  Now to figure out how to delete photos.

But before I go.......... work has been crazy.  Friday was awful.

The balance is that home has been peaceful.  Thank you, Heavenly Father.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Organizing

Leaving school on Friday before a holiday:  Relief

Putting things off until next week:  Lazy

Sunday evening with no thought of Monday morning:  PRICELESS!!

I started my Thanksgiving organization with a grocery list.  I always shop with a list.  Here is my routine:

The weekly grocery circulars come in our newspaper on Wednesdays.  I save them.
They are also online at the particular grocery store's website so it's not necessary to save them.  But I do.  Old habits die hard.

I have 3 stores that I frequent for sales:  Kroger, Brookshires and CVS.  Surprisingly, CVS has a lot of grocery sales.   We do have an Albertson's but after months of the manager telling me that particular location wasn't participating in the sale, or the shelves were cleared of sale items, plus the slow checkout lines I quit visiting.  I'm patient.  But not that patient!

Back to my routine:

I have a handy dandy grocery notebook that I bought at The Paper Source.  I label each note by the store name and I go through each circular writing down the deals including price.  

I check my coupons quickly.  It doesn't take as long as you may think.  I've been stopped before in the store and asked about time commitment.  It's just like anything else.  You get out of it what you put into it.

I shop the sales and nothing else.  

Obviously if there is something we absolutely need, I will pay full price.  But that is rare.

Yesterday I took my sales list to Brookshires and saved 40%.

Tomorrow I will go to Kroger for a few sale items.

I will also visit CVS.  The big deal sale I saw today at CVS involved iTunes gift cards.  Buy $75 worth of iTunes gift cards, get $20 CVS money in return to spend on staples such as toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, nail polish.  Those are the things I usually keep an eye on for sales at CVS.  By the way, they call them "Extra Care Bucks or ECBs"  I call them "CVS Money"  Because really, that's what they are.  They print at the bottom of your receipt.  I wish there were a way to transfer that to your shoppers reward card because I have lost my receipt once or twice.  Sad when that happens.

I have quite a stockpile of things we use regularly.  If it's on sale for a cheap price and I can drop a coupon on top of the sale I buy as many as I think we can use in 3 months.

Today I pulled all our family's favorite recipes.  Checked ingredients already on hand.
Added one or two things to my Kroger list.

I feel better when I'm organized.  Less stressed and more excited to EAT!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

First Day of Thanksgiving!

Oh the joy of waking up in a quiet house with nowhere to go.  I'm going to drink a pot of coffee and watch cooking shows all morning.  Ironman got up early and left for a race.  He'll return about 2pm.  Both daughters are asleep and I'm going to let them sleep.  They can both sleep to noon if they choose. I enjoy a quiet morning.

Look what I bought:

 Yes.  I had to go buy a video cassette recorder.  We did not own one.  

 I've often wished I had the time and energy to have these videos uploaded onto DVDs.  Uploaded?  Is that the word?  Transformed?  Metamorphsized?  Well, you know what I mean.  I did some research online.  Okay, I read the banner at Target the other day while I was having some prints done for school.  I decided I'd send one or two of them off and see what I got.  But first I wanted/needed to watch the crazy videos.  Yes, they are labeled but I'm still not sure exactly what is recorded.

I looked at my family.  "Do we have a VCR?"  They all stared at me.  Of course Dancer Girl replied, "You mean an MP3?"  I'm pretty sure she doesn't even remember what a video tape looks like or how it works.

Once I get a bee on my bonnet I can not get it out!  I went online and did a search on Amazon.  All that showed up were used VCRs.  So I just did a WWW search and found the above machine at  You know, that place I NEVER go?  I was forced to break my anti-walmart shopping streak.  I picked it up yesterday.

Now all I was searching for was a machine to play the tapes so we could watch them.  But this machine actually claims to have the power to record said video onto a DVD.  WOOP WOOP.  I haven't tried it out yet.  So I will let you know.

So glad I have a tech geek daughter who can just handle it.  "Here you go.  Your project for Thanksgiving Week"

By the way my other daughter will be building her wind project for science fair this week.  The Engineer will be home Tuesday.  I've already warned him that she'll need a little help.  Or a lot of help.

In other news:

Remember how I told you about the Revlon nail polish that boast it will not chip or fade for 11 days?

I painted my nails on Monday afternoon.  They looked like this;

And here they are day #5.  

Hmmmm.  Didn't even last a week.  So really no different than my regular nail polish would last.
We were discussing this nail polish at work Thursday and I could already tell it was chipping on the ends.  One lady was just over the top concerned.  She questioned me like this;
"Did you use a filler?"  "Did you use a bottom and top coat both?"  "Did you apply 2 coats of the revlon polish"  "You must have gotten a bad jar"  "You must have done something wrong"  "You don't know what you are doing"

Okay she didn't say those last 2 comments.  But the way she was questioning me it was as if she was sentencing me to a life with no manicures ever!  I was wondering to myself if her middle name is REVLON.  Some people are quite intense.  And narcissistic.  How dare I find HER FAVORITE NAIL POLISH inadequate.  Wow.

So this week I will  watch the family videos, complete the science fair project along with Dancer Girl and The Engineer.  I will make a list of Christmas Gifts to order.  I will take a Christmas Card Photo and design the Christmas Card for this year, have them printed, mail them out on Friday.  I will go by the Post office and purchase Christmas Stamps.  (Oh, I may just order them online this morning while my house is quiet and I have the computer to myself) I will cook and bake and watch TV, stay up late, sleep late, ENJOY MY WEEK!!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Job Evaluation, Doctor's Appointment, Shopping Spree and Basketball

What do all those things have in common?

I had to do them all yesterday.  Plus a regular work day.  And add the usual housework stuff.  And feeding the dog.  It was 9:30pm before I sat down and flipped on the television.

Let's start at the beginning and I promise I'll make it short and snappy.

I got a letter in my box that it was time for my formal evaluation.  "Please schedule a time to meet with the Director"  Good.  I've been wanting to meet with her and was thinking I'd do it after the holidays.  But now this gives me the nudge I need to get it over and done with.  So I emailed her and we decided 2pm in her office.  And so we met.  I told her I was dissatisfied with my job.  I told her that I had the skills and experience to do so much more and I felt like I was not being utilized to the best of my abilities and talent.  I also told her that although I had made no formal plans I was thinking of seeing what else was out there for me.  I felt good about our meeting and felt even better getting all of that off my shoulders.  She gave me some advise on how to handle certain situations.  I'm not sure I'll follow her advise.

I did show up at work today on time.

After work I had a doctor's appointment to discuss the reaction I've had since being on lisinopril.  I was nervous!  I decided I'd just throw myself on the mercy of the court and the nurse.  :)  I confessed that the I stopped the medication 3 weeks ago.  I confessed that I felt miserable while on it and that I feel so much better now.  Then I had to weigh.  OH MY GOSH why oh why do they weigh you and THEN take your blood pressure.  Like 5 seconds later?  (I was asking this of my hair stylist today and she said it should be like the DMV.  Just ask, "How much do you weigh?" And let the patient give you a range  We got a good laugh from that.)  To my shock and surprise I was down 8 pounds.  EIGHT!  Are you kidding?  WOOP WOOP  Then she took my bp.  I tried to take deep breaths.  What was that zen thing?  Why didn't I do some yoga before I came?  Does holding your breath help?  All these ran through my mind.  But I knew it was what it was.  I shouldn't have to do all that to have a normal range pressure  I also knew that I had been super busy at work, rushed home, rushed around the house, rushed to get to the appointment on time.  I didn't sit in the waiting room even 5 minutes before they called me back.  So I was prepared for a disapproving look from the .......... what?  Wait, what did you say my bp is?  144/78  WHAT?  I heard the marching band.  YIPPEE.  I knew I felt great.  I knew it.
Okay okay maybe the lisinopril is still in my system keeping it down......... is it?  It's been almost a month.  I left the appointment feeling happy, happy, happy.  I had a Rx for some lotion to help with the itching, a refill for my migraine medication that I really never use but when you need it, you need it.  And NO lisinopril.  He said there was no reason to continue it.  Return in 3 months for a recheck.  Well, thank you Doc.  I sure will.

The rest of my evening went like this;

Return home.
Pick up Dancer Girl.
Drop her off at Fencing.
Zip into the mall and buy some new lipgloss, under eye corrector and eyeshadow.  Look at shoes.  Don't buy any.  Look at handbags.  Don't buy any.
Go to car.  Call and order pizza.
Pick up Dancer Girl from Fencing.
Drive and pick up pizza
Eat pizza at home
Change clothes
Take Dancer Girl to the Championship Basketball Game for her school.  She is on the yearbook staff and was required to take photos.  We ended up watching the whole game.  Guess what the score was?
8 to 7.  HAHAHA  Neither team could make a basket.  All the points were from foul shots.  Dancer Girl's School Team came out the winner.  So, that was fun.
Drive Home.
Walk to the bedroom.  Put on soft pajamas.  Sit down.  Stare at the television.  Daydream of next week.

I'm tired.

Just a quick update:  Today is day #3 of my Revlon Gel Polish experiment.   The color is chipping just a little bit.

Off to cook some supper.  Toodles.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nail Polish

Yesterday at school Mrs. O asked me about my nail polish.  She said she had heard of a nail polish that was very similar to the gel polish you get at salons.   That this nail polish was guaranteed to last 10 days with no chips or fading.  Wow.  That got me to thinking.

After school I ran by CVS.   I had a 25% off your entire purchase coupon and it was expiring in one day.  I needed a few things anyway so it was my chance to look at the nail polish.

Here is what I bought:

Color:  200  Stormy Night
Pretty, huh.  Not too purple.  Not too gray.  Not too halloweenish.

I tend to lean toward the pink/purple colors.  In fact I have way too many of that same color.  I took a walk on the wild side and bought from a different section of the color wheel.  I'm a maverick.

The polish went on as smooth as any polish.  I noticed nothing different about the thickness or "paintability"  Is that a word?  What I mean is it went on my nails just like regular nail polish.

Here are my nails right after I painted them.  I took it with my phone.  I just had to.  I had wet nails!  So the photo isn't that great.  You'll understand I'm sure.

I'm going to keep track for you and test it out.  It would be nice to find nail polish that would honestly last more than a week.  And this week my nails will get a workout.  I'm a teacher so naturally I wash my hands more than the average bear.  Over and over and over again!  For supper we had shrimp so my painted nails peeled and deveined a couple of pounds.  Typing and cleaning and opening and closing and folding and clearing - this will surely be THE TEST for this nail polish.

I have to say the color is still shiny and smooth.  No chips.  Onward to tomorrow.

In other news:  I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow for my rash.  I've been off the medicine for 3 weeks.  The rash has gotten better in some places and today I noticed it breaking out in other places.  The itching is ............. well, the itching is maddening.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Well, it happened.  I've decided to get back in the swing of things and start blogging regularly.

I have a lot to blog about.

First of all, I had my annual doctor's appointment with the ole GYN in July.  Yes that was months ago. I'm just now telling you about it because it's been a looonnnggg few months.  At the time there was no news.  Which is good when you visit the GYN.  You do NOT want news.  You want NO NEWS.

I did get a little news.  My blood pressure was elevated.  And it was elevated last year.  And the year before.  The nurse would always ask me if I thought it was that white coat anxiety.  I don't think so.  She advised me to take my bp at random times over the next few weeks.  Keep track of it.  Just for my own knowledge.

And so I did.

And yes, it was elevated.  In fact more than once it was high high HIGH.

Now Ironman has been on BP medication for several years.  He told me he felt so much better.  He didn't even realize how bad he felt until lisinopril.  No more headaches.  No more afternoon drag.  He felt great.

So I made an appointment and went to my family doctor.  We talked about options and finally I left with a Rx for lisinopril.   A month later I returned for a follow up visit.  My bp was normal.  I felt tine.  Oddly I felt the same.  But I guess since the bp was normal, that's a good thing.

School started.

And now it's November.  And I am covered in a red prickly rash  It's awful.  I managed it for more than a week.  Well, I didn't actually manage it.  I just tolerated it.  I soaked in aveeno.  I dipped myself in cortisone 10.  I noticed that the rash would pop up here and disappear there only to pop up over yonder.  It began on my chest and hair line.  Cleared up but popped up on my waist and hips.  That was awful.  Finally began to clean there and popped up on the back of my arms.  I didn't know what in the world I was allergic to.  I changed my deodorant, my shampoo, my hairspray.  Nothing helped.  Then one night Ironman asked me, "Do you think it could be the lisinopril?"  Well............................ let's google it
Oh come on, everybody googles symptoms.

And there it was.  Side effects:  cough, headache, nausea, diarrhea and RASH.  As I read through the less frequent symptoms I realized I had just about all of them.  The depression.  The fatigue.  The rash

Gosh, I have been depressed.  I even talked about quitting my job.  It was all I could do to get dressed.
Yes, I was depressed.

I never really had the cough or nausea.  But oh baby did I have the rash!

So I stopped the lisinopril.  Cold Turkey.  Stopped.  Did not talk to the doctor  I wanted the rash GONE NOW.

Within a few days I noticed the fatigue had lifted.  I was feeling better and no longer depressed.

The rash is better but still irritating.   I notice I itch everywhere.  I guess the nerve endings are irritated.

I do plan to return to the doctor.  I just haven't.  Here are the reasons:

1.  I quit the medicine without doctor approval.
2.  They'll make me weigh.  (It won't be pretty)
3.  My bp will be back up  Disapproving look from nurse
4.  SO BUSY!!

And so........ I'll keep you updated.

I've also thought of a fun thing to do with this blog.  It starts tomorrow.  I'm only working a half day.  So tomorrow afternoon stay tuned for some cute stuff!!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dear Blog, How Have you Been?

Hello Blog.

I think of you often.

Life is busy, you know.

I have many, many exciting things to tell you.  Halloween was fast and furious as always.  As a preschool teacher I will let you know that this event is almost as exciting as Christmas.  The candy, the costumes, the music, the decorations -- it's a fun time.  Of course, in preschool this is our motto:

No scary ghosts or witches
No creepy crawly bugs
Just lots of Halloween Wishes
and plenty of kisses and hugs

I put that poem inside a decorative bag and fill it with, of course, Hershey's Kisses and Hugs Candy.

Everyone came to school dressed in costume.  We had a Costume Parade.  Sang some fun songs, ate a special Halloween Cookie.  Moms were there to help change from costume to play clothes and then we ran, ran, ran on the playground.  I tried to "run off the sugar".

One small piece of advice to Moms of Preschoolers:  On a special day like Trick or Treat day?  Figure out a way to leave early.  I realize it can be hard with today's hectic schedules.  But when all the children in the class leave after the party with Mom........... the 1 or 2 children that are left at school have many tears.  I do my best to make it special and I hope I succeed.  But I feel just as sad as they.

Do NOT be the last parent to pick up your child.

Day after Day I have one sweet girl who is the last child.  The late fee is $25 a MINUTE.  Yes, a minute.  But Mom is consistently late.   One by one all her friends leave happily with a loved one.  This little girl sits sullen anticipating but knowing that white van won't be there until last.


In other news:  Dancer Girl went to a party.  Yes, they went trick or treating although I wondered if 14 is too old!  I warned her:  Do NOT bring Reese's pb cups into this house!  But she did.  Oh no, she did.  So far I've managed to avoid them

I.T. girl has almost finished her college essays.

The Engineer is home for the weekend.


Things I've googled:

How to Clean a Bathroom like a Professional  (yes, I did.  And yes I learned tricks)
How to Make a Bed like a Pottery Barn Designer (wow.  I'll never make it any other way)
Lisinopril rash.  Ugh.  I've been off the med for 3 weeks.  Rash is still hanging around.  Itchy
My Dryer Is Taking Too Long to Dry.  Ironman won't look at it.

OH, should I include a link for each?  Oh my.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Aching Feet

I have always loved shoes.  Always.  They say shoes are popular with many women because you don't have to enter a dressing room to try them on.  And that usually you wear the same size for years.  And that really you can not be discriminated against by the size of your shoes.

You know what I mean.

For years I wore an 8.5.  As long as it was 8.5 I could wear any heel height, any toe shape, and style, any color, any anything.  And I did.  I had shoes from Payless to Macys to Goudchaux's.   Hey - that was all before the internet shopping days.

Last year I turned the big 50.  I didn't feel older anywhere in my body except for my feet.  It's crazy.  Suddenly my foot is wider.  What is up with that?  Also, I can no longer fit into an 8.5.  I must have a 9.5W.  Yes, WIDE!  Shoes of that size suffer in availability and the all important stylishness.

Thanks go online shopping the search has become a little bit easier.  But because my feet ache most of the time I find it hard to buy a brand with no track record.   I need to try them on first.  Take a test walk.  Have one of my teenage girls give me her opinion as to the matron-ness of the style.  We don't do matronly.

Is there a secret to buying shoes online?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dots and Spots

Ironman hit his head.  He refused to go for medical care.  So a bandaid will have to do.  (we did get the bleeding to stop)

I.T. girl got a migraine during the school day.  She managed to stay and finish the day.  She said, "I couldn't see out of my left eye"  That is the worst part of a migraine - the aura, the blind spots, the nausea.  It's almost a relief when those symptoms disappear and the vice grips your head.  I said ALMOST because migraine pain affects you from your head to your toes.

I took Dancer Girl to the dermatologist.  We have been going once a month since May.  Hold on to your hats if you are queasy.  She had warts.  Yes, warts.  I guess she had been playing with frogs.  She started with a dozen spread out on both hands.  Today it is down to 3.  The doctor told us he was sure they'd be gone within the next 5 weeks.  So we did not schedule another follow up appointment.  I put the date 5 weeks from now in my smart phone.  On that day we will look at her fingers and decide if they need to be subjected to continued treatment.  

Speaking of Dancer Girl, at her last orthodontist appointment, Dr C. was not happy at all with her gums.  He said they were irritated, swollen and her teeth were in danger of being affected by her poor brushing skills.  I wondered secretly if she was a caveman.  In fact, when we got in the car I asked her just that.  ARE YOU A CAVEMAN?   She has an appointment with the hygenist tomorrow after school.   Her next ortho appointment is in November and I'm going to be sure her teeth and gums will be healthy.

That leaves The Engineer - he is working on a Senior Design Project.  And (drum roll) he got a job offer from Halliburton!!  He told us that he is not interested in working in the oil and gas industry.  Hey, it's a J.O.B.!  Does the boy know there are few jobs in this economy?    He doesn't have to decide right now.  He doesn't graduate until May.  But it sure was exciting when he told me about the phone call.

Then here I am.  Sitting in front of the computer.  Listening to the presidential debate.  
The kitchen is clean.
The dog is fed and happy and fat
The laundry is finished for now.
The rug in the keeping room needs vacuuming.

So is life.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

I"ve asked before but I'm asking again....

Are you a listener or a "teller".

I am definitely a listener.  Maybe I should not say I'm a listener.  I should probably say I'm a quiet sitter.  I sit and enable you to talk on and on and on about yourself.
And your family.
And your dinner plans.  
And your pets.

I sit and pretend to listen.  Of course I can't help BUT listen since you are talking right at my face.

The few times I've mentioned something about myself I'm interrupted and immediately regret even trying to join the conversation.

It's torture to me.  I am bored.  And frustrated.  And, in a way, I feel used.

I run thoughts through my head before I say them aloud.  Usually that prevents me from blurting out some boring comment.  My comments, although unsaid, are just as boring or provocative as yours.  I just decide in the privacy of my thoughts to keep them inside.  I don't have the energy to compete.

Gosh I wish you would SHUT YOUR MOUTH!  I wish you would show the same courtesy toward me as I force myself to show you.

I have one colleague that would score a big fat ZERO if given a questionnaire about me.  Well, she might get 1 point for knowing my name.  But other than that she knows nothing about me.  She is too busy discussing her life.  And I listen.  Like always.

What can I do?

I can walk away.  Done that.
I can pretend to be distracted.  Done that, too.
I can just not open the door and invite a conversation.  Yep.  Done that.

I'm tired.

I miss having a back and forth conversation.

I miss having a best friend.

I miss having things in common with  another adult whom I'm not related to.

I miss being included.

I miss being noticed and considered.

I will find my place one day soon.  For now I will bloom where I'm planted.

Hugs and Kisses for today.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Things that bug me

It's Saturday morning and the house is quiet.  Finally.  Still, I'm a little cranky for some reason.
Here are a few things that are bugging me.  

My rash is back.  Yes, the doctor told me it probably will return and so he put a few refills on my medicine.  Well, unfortunately he was correct.  Nothing like chronic itching to make you cranky.

One of my brothers in law has not followed through on his end of the bargain.  It's a long complicated story, but basically he needs to make a few phone calls, pay one or two debts (which total less than $250) and the deal will be complete.  It's not the money that is involved, it's the fact that his lack of motivation is causing so much stress in the family.  And in my opinion, it's needless stress.  Why let it happen? He told Ironman that there are taxes to pay.  Ironman called and found out the taxes due are $200.  And that will be split 5 ways!  I mean, come on............... crazy stuff.

Work is frustrating.  I know it happens every October.  In October we all hit the wall.  We are tired.  The teachers are tired, the children are tired.  It's not stop go go go from Labor Day until Thanksgiving.
Many days I feel under utilized.  This is my 19th year to be a primary teacher.  But it's only my 2nd year at this school.  I"m ready for more responsibility.   I offered yesterday to do more and my offer was  - let's just say - not embraced.  It wasn't exactly shot down.  Just more like "let's just wait"  Well, how long do you want to wait to take down the summer decor and replace with some fall mums and pumpkins?  Crazy stuff.

8th grade science fair.  Oh how the word science fair sends a shiver up my spine.  We have until Friday to submit our topic.  Dancer Girl told her science teacher she had an idea to experiment which brand of potato chip had the most oil.  Science teacher's response?  "Alison!  You are in the 8th grade.  Choose something harder"  So she said, "I can measure the vividness of sunset and compare to the humidity present"  (My middle daughter won district with that project when she was in the 8th grade)  Science teacher's response, "Uh................ that sounds a little confusing and uninteresting and you have one more week.  You'll come up with something"  Ugh.

Laundry.  It never ends.

Dust.  Where does it come from?

Soap Scum.  How in the WORLD do you get if off shower doors?  I bought another product the other day.  Going to try it today with a Magic Eraser.  Maybe sand paper would work.  :)

People who do not email me back
 What is up with you?  That is RUDE.

I'll feel better when I clean the kitchen, knock out a few loads of laundry, have another cup of coffee.  Load photos onto this blog.  Take a nap.

Hugs and Kisses

Sunday, September 30, 2012

How do you find the TIME?

This is the last day of September?  You must be kidding.

Nope.  It's the last day of September alright.  Wow.  Where did this month go?  Crazy.

Let's catch up.

School began.  I have a very young class.  We have a long way to go.  I'm tired.  This year our schedules have been "updated" and I leave a noon 2 days a week.
It's a mental necessity.  A health break.  I'm so glad the school offered this new schedule and we are all much happier.  Still, Monday is Monday.  But I know Friday is coming.  And it'll be here before you know it.

Ironman has been traveling alot lately.  
We have date night on Sunday nights.  Restaurants are typically quiet and empty then.  Less traffic, less hub bub.  So it's a good night for us.  One Sunday night we went to Jason's Deli.  Neither one of us were particularly hungry, so we decided to just get soup and salad in a quiet empty establishment.  Yep,  Jason's is empty on a Sunday night at 7:30.  We sat in the back section.  Alone.  In fact, we were the ONLY humans in the back.  It was peaceful.

We had not been sitting there for 10 minutes when a couple arrives with 2 small children.  Two small children who were active and hungry.  And a mother who was unhappy with her order.  And a father who decided he needed to leave the table umpteen times.  How did I notice all this?  Because they sat at the VERY NEXT BOOTH!   Really?  There's nowhere else to sit?  In the whole section?  I looked around.  Yep.  The place is empty.  I looked at the mother.  She caught my eye.  Then she immediately looked down at her pitiful baked potato that did not have enough cheese and told her husband to take it back.  Then I looked at Ironman.  "Let's just go"  So we did.

Speaking of being invisible, which I believe I am, Dancer Girl and I went to her orthodontist appointment this week.  The waiting room was crowded as it always is with after school appointments. As D.G. went to the window to sign it, I found a seat in the back.  I like to sit in the back.  (everywhere but church.  I don't like to sit in the back at church) 
There really is no reason to sit right by the door.  I mean they will wait for you to walk additional steps when they call your name.  I picked up a magazine and decided to sit and rest a few minutes.  It had been a long day. I sat near the window.  The entire row of chairs were empty.  (what do people have with the back row?)  I had not been sitting there 3 minutes when a woman comes in and....... where does she sit?  RIGHT NEXT TO ME!! She didn't skip a seat.  She didn't ask "Is this seat taken?"  She just sat down.  I was like REALLY?  I turned and caught D.G.'s eye as she turned from the sign in computer.  I picked up my magazine and purse and moved.   In fact, I moved over to another  seat on the same row so we could sit together.  The woman never moved.  She never apologized.  She never made polite comments like "Oh gosh, I didn't realize y'all were together."  "I didn't meant to sit so close'  "I didn't even see you"  Really?

Once I was in line at a bookstore.  It was a slow moving loonnngg line.  I would have returned my books to the shelf and left but it had taken me a half an hour to locate the books I had to purchase and besides, The Engineer needed them for school on Monday.  So I took a deep breath and decided to wait it out.  Soon enough another cashier came and opened a second register.  As I stepped forward to get in her line, the couple behind me pushed right past and plopped their candy and popcorn down on the counter.  (Isn't this a bookstore?)  The cashier noticed what happened but laughed and checked them out anyway.  I returned to the original line.  When it was finally my turn I was so frustrated and angry I actually asked the lady "Can you see me"

"Ma'am?" she said a little uneasy.

"Can you see me?  Because that checker over there can not.  I just want to make sure I'm not a vapor"

Yes, I was angry.  The cashier seemed embarrassed and ready to check me out as fast as possible which was fine with me.  I never returned.

I have so many stories of my invisibility-itis.  So many.  You would be shocked.  

I'm pretty much not surprised anymore.  Oh it still bothers me.

All that being said, I'm here.  I'm not invisible.

I need to fix my school/work schedule.  I need to take a sharpie and mark out "BLOG TIME"

I will do that today.

Hugs and Kisses

Monday, September 17, 2012

What has been happening?

I haven't had any alone computer time!  When Ironman travels he takes both the iMac and the laptop.  So we have one computer to share.  Homework gets priority.

Speaking of the computer, I.T. girl had to pay several school class fees.  It's all done online now which you would THINK would be easier.  And I guess in the long run it is easier.  LONG - that's the operative word.  It takes a LONG time to figure out the website.  She loaded up all the classes and the required fees then told me she needed to pay them.

"Okay.  Take my debit card and go ahead and enter the information"

No answer.

I did not think about it again until this morning when I sat down in front of the computer and saw that she had left the webpage up for me to finish the transaction.  But it had timed out.  Ugh.  Why didn't she just finish it last night?  I had to start over.
 I didn't know the password.  Had to retrieve that.  Then the first method of payment would not go through.  I have no idea why not.  Just one of those things.  

Anyway after much frustration I finally paid her school fees online.  Let the party begin!

But it's those things that put me behind on my blog updates.

In other news real quick

I got a new phone.  WOOP!  It's speedy quick.  Who knew I had a dinosaur for so long?  I had no idea!

My rash is better.

My buddy and I discovered a new app for our "get in shape by graduation" play.  It's called "Lose It".  It has a scanner (which I enjoy)  It's quick and easy to add your calories.  You set a goal and it tells you exactly how many calories to eat daily and your weekly exercise goal.  It even told me that if I follow this plan to the best of my ability I could possibly reach my goal by March!  WOOP!

Here's hoping I have more alone computer time tonight.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Today I...........

 Today I was was tired. 

I'm sure it was the medicine I am on.  I felt like I was running in sand.  The feeling never faded.  Even when I drank a diet coke and got the day got busy, I was still feeling groggy.  I don't think I'm going to take this medicine before work anymore.  

Today was a "regular" day.

No flat tires, no forgotten choir dress, but oh yes,

left my phone at home

I hate when I do that.  I don't do it often, but yes, I've done it before and I'll probably do it again.  Mornings can be so hectic.  And I just zip out the door without my phone.  It's impossible for me to leave school just to go home and get it.   I don't ever talk on the phone at work or even use the phone for work but I have it for a connection with the outside world.

Have you ever forgotten your phone at home?  And had to spend the entire day phone-less?  How did we make it all those years without a cell phone?

By the way, my rash is better!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I've had this rash..........

Don't you just cringe upon merely hearing the word rash.

 Red, prickly, itchy, miserable RASH.  

I know.  I hate it, too.  I'd rather hear about your diarrhea or your ear infection or even your .......... well, you get the picture.

Today I finally went to the doctor about my ............. rash.  I have grown SICK of it.  It itches.  All the time, it itches.  So I called, made an appointment, and went in to see the doctor.

He said it was "neuro......... something, something, dermatitis"  Basically it started out as one condition and then morphed into something else.  So I left with rx for a lotion and an oral medication.  Good.  Maybe it'll go away now.  I'm ready to break up with it.

I also asked for a refill Rx for my migraine medication.   I don't get migraines that often, maybe two or three times a year.  But when I do get them, I need drugs.

So I took my Rx to CVS pharmacy.

Lotion - check

Oral antibiotic - check

Migraine medication - hold it ma'am.  Your insurance refuses to pay for this item.  WHAT?
Are you kidding me?
Well, I asked the young pharmacist, how much is it?
You want to just pay cash?
Well, not exactly.  I'd like my insurance to pay.  Still, I'd like to know how much it would be out of pocket.

The answer?  $289.  For 9 pills.


The pharmacist then told me that this medicine is a combination of two other medicines.  And if I could get 2 individual prescriptions for those two, they would both be covered by my insurance.  Yes, it would be 2 pills to take but it sure would be cheaper.
 "In fact, I've already checked.  And it would bring the cost down to $10 for both"  

Is insurance the craziest thing you have ever encountered?  This is covered.  This is not.  It's ridiculous.

So tomorrow I will call the doctor's office and ask for their help.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Very Best In The Whole Wide World

You can find learn anything on the internet.

I once logged onto YouTube and searched for instructions to remove a store security tag from a dress I.T. girl was going to wear.  We had 15 minutes.  No time to run back to the store and have the sales associate remove it.  Thank you, YouTube.  I watched the video twice, followed the instructions and bam the security tag removed with no damage to the dress.  I paid for the dress.  So I did not feel guilty removing it "illegally".

Just this past weekend I googled a problem I was having "My dishwasher makes a loud grinding sound during the drying cycle".  Yes, I put all those words in the search and yes, I found the information to repair the appliance.  Easy Peasy.   Ironman had called a repairman to come take a look.  A few hours before he was expected, I got a call that he was canceling.  Well, take that Mr. Repairman.  I'll fix it myself!  And I did.

But the information I searched for most is recipes.  I have an entire binder filled with internet recipes.  Search, read, print, try it out, family rates it.  If the recipe is a keeper, it slides in a page protector and into the binder.

I'm sure you've done the very same thing.  I have, however, found a little secret.  Like adding a dash of cinnamon to your brownies, or a spoonful of sour cream to your cake batter........ this little secret produces marvelous results.

Anytime you are searching for something add these little words "best in the world"  "Fabulous"  "marvelous"  Which every you prefer.

Don't just search for broccoli recipes.  Search for "THE BEST BISCUITS IN THE WORLD"

Don't search for "carrot cake".  Search for FABULOUS CARROT CAKE"

Go ahead,  Try it.

And just so you know, tonight we had The BEST BROCCOLI AND SHRIMP IN THE WORLD

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hello Again

Hello Computer!

Hello Blog!

Hello quiet time!

I've missed you.  Now I'm back.  We will catch up soon.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ahhh, it's September

Here in Louisiana Labor Day is not the end of summer.  Summer ended August 8th when I returned to work.  As for the summer heat, it'll still be around until Thanksgiving.  Maybe even Christmas.  Last "winter" we never dropped below freezing.


 Not once.  

Labor Day does signify a few things for me, however.

A.  No more white shoes/handbags/pants.  Yep.  We follow this fashion rule.  However we do NOT wait until Memorial Day to pull them out again.  Easter Sunday it's shiny white shoes for us.

B.  My true nesting tendencies rears it's head.  Not an ugly head.  All summer I am off schedule.  Even a rushed summer like I just experience is still very much unplanned.  I don't think "what's for supper" or "do all the bathrooms have tp?"  I just let it go.  But when Labor Day comes for some reason I snap back into the planner.  The figure it outter.  And the dieter.

C.  Oh, the diet.  Some people begin on January 1st.  Some people begin the day after their birthday.  For me it's Labor Day.  This year I started a few days ago so I got a jump start.  You see I have 3 graduations in May.  The Engineer will hopefully be graduating from SMU.  I.T. girl will be graduating from high school.  And Dancer Girl will be "graduating" from middle school - it's a big deal to graduate 8th grade at her school as it is the highest grade.  Next year she will change schools.  Because she attends a private school, the students in 8th grade are free to go to any high school in the parish:  private, parochial or public.  Enough about that.

Let's talk about me

I saw a photo. 

 You know the photo you see of yourself and you think WOW!  Who is that fat girl?  Oh, that's me.  And you shiver.  And you quake.  And you think THAT'S HOW I LOOK???

So the quest begins.  L.T. is doing it with me.  Here is our plan:

  No junk food or fast food which is the same thing sorta

 Lots of water and walking.  Walk, walk, walk

 Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner

  No carb after 3pm.

  No eating at all after 6pm

  Walking.  Lots of walking.  Oh, I already mentioned that

  Lean protein, whole grains, fruits and veggies, easy on the fats.  Normal food.  (I've learned how to cook and am surprised that I actually enjoy it.  So many times diets are almost too plain.  With the glorious internet I can find all kinds of recipes to spice up my meals without turning them to heart attacks on a plate)  So yes, we share recipes.  I made a delicious recipe yesterday.  The whole time I kept thinking "I should be photographing this.  It's a masterpiece"

We took out measurements:  Chest, waist, hips, upper arm, upper thigh (WOWZA)

We will weigh in every Friday.

 We will record our measurements the first day of the month.

 So, October 1 - I'll be ready.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Just a few little things....

This week I had 2 unexpected days off of work.  Our parish closed schools on Wednesday after for the duration of Hurricane Isaac.  I had that "feeling" that the school may close on Thursday, but closing BOTH days was a surprise.  A delightful surprise.  Yes, there was much dancing and rejoicing in the halls when teachers were alone.  The beginning of a new school year is grueling.  We were all looking forward to having Monday off for Labor Day so to have this unexpected time off  was exciting.  Plus we knew we would get bad weather, but being so far from the Gulf we had no real threat of danger.

What did I do with my time?

Wednesday after school I met I.T. girl at the photographer studio for her senior yearbook photo.  I don't know why they take photos this way.  Usually the photographer comes to the school.  But here, students go to the photographer.  It didn't take long and the wind was picking up.  You can feel the anxiety/excitement in the air when a hurricane is approaching.  Yes, excitement.  That may be a strange way to feel, but it happens nonetheless.  Everyone was talking about it.  Everyone.  Yes, EVERYONE.

As usual when bad weather is approaching, your attendance is required at Kroger.  So I sent the daughters on home, I gathered my courage and headed to the grocery store.  What did they have left on the shelves?  Water, ice, gatorade, pop tarts, plenty of junk food, batteries, and a few peaches.  Most of the produce area was filled with empty crates.  Water bottles on pallets were by the doors piled high next to Duracell and Energizer.  It didn't take me long to grab the few things I came for and head on home.

Once home I slept.  I was so tired.  And not having anything to prepare for the next day all I could do was sleep.  I felt much better by Thursday.

As for the hurricane, it turned to the east right before it reached my area.  We got wind and a few sprinkles.  Not enough weather to even force my dog into his doghouse.   I felt a little bit guilty spending 2 days off work for the storm that never developed here, but que sara sara.

Here are a few things I've learned while home alone with the internet:

1.  Separate bananas.  When you bring bananas home from the store, pull them apart.  They will last longer.

2.  Wrap opened cheese in aluminum foil.  It will not mold.

3.  Rubbing a bounce dryer sheet on your baseboards will prevent dust and grime from gathering there.

I also read that Guiliana and Bill Ransic welcomed a baby boy.

OH, and one last thing:  I actually watched the reality show Married To Jonas on the E! channel.  WOW!!  I don't know much about the Jonas Brothers........... except there are 3 performing brothers and one younger brother who was/is on another show?  HE doesn't sing?  Anyway what I really didn't know is that Mrs. Jonas is............... how can I put this........... DEMANDING and STUBBORN and the MIL from down under.  WOW  I had no idea.  I'm hooked!

Tomorrow I'm cooking chicken and salad.  Monday we are grilling.  Tuesday is back to school day.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Some Days I Feel Happy

I haven't posted to this blog in more than a week.  I've been busy.  School began.  The days are busy.  Home is busy.  And then the hurricane.

All is well.

Schools are closed for the rest of the week and Monday.  I have so much that needs to be done here, I need to take advantage of the time off.  But so far today all I've done is bake and print more recipes.  Bad weather makes me want to hibernate in the kitchen.

I will take photos.  I will post them tomorrow.

I needed this unexpected long weekend.  Toodles

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Quick question

How long do you wait before replying to a friend's email?

Maybe I should ask it another one.

Do you reply to emails?   

Do you even check your email?

I guess if you are a blogger you designate computer time. 

How do you feel when you email a friend and then you hear crickets?

Oh sure, we are all busy.  Busy, busy, busy.  So I'm not suggesting you reply immediately.  But within a week...... is that unreasonable?  How quickly would you return a phone call?  I know we all screen calls nowadays.  With me it's so much easier to text.  I even text my hair dresser for appointments!

It's frustrating when you reach out to someone through a phone call, email or text and there is no response.  Are you really that busy? 


In other news, yesterday was a busy day.  I worked until noon, made several phone calls to schedule appointments, ran some errands (more about that later), picked up Dancer Girl at school and delivered her safely to our doorstep.  I then zipped up to the high school for I.T. girl's dual enrollment parent registration meeting with the principal and senior guidance counselor.  If things go well, she will graduate with 15 college credits.  Wow!  Amazing what you can do in high school.

I have to tell you about the errands.  I took several college dorm furniture items to Goodwill.  The men who helped me were so appreciative and even offered me a bottled water.  I was happy to get the futon and other things out of my garage!  It was a win for all of us.

Then I had to go to WalMart.  I have not been to WallyWorld for years.  YEARS!  But I.T.'s math teacher insisted that students have an ORANGE composition book.
It must be orange.  No other color will do.  I.T. girl had already checked around town.  No orange to be found.  So I offered to venture into the wild world of craziness.  Do you dread walking into that place?  Oh gosh I dreaded it.  I think it's the junki-ness of the store.  I guess it's hard to keep things orderly when you have so many shoppers in a day.  (still, Target manages)  I did not even know which way to turn when I entered. 

 In the end:  success. 

 I found 2 orange composition books.  Bought them both.  The lady at the checkout said, "Is this all?"  Yes, I'm only buying 2 small items.  I appreciate your concern and interest.

By the way, why do checkers ask you, "Did you find everything you need?"  
"Are you ready to check out?"
"Is this all?"

I mean if I wasn't ready to check out because I was still looking for something I needed then why in the world would I be standing in front of you with all my items piled on your conveyor belt?

After the long day of work I was happy to have accomplished so much.
 So I treated us all to Chick Fil A.

That is all.  Toodles

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Weekend Summary

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Fried Catfish
French Fries
Chips and Salsa
Chicken Salad
Banana and peanut butter on Whole Grain Waffle (the only thing that is slightly healthy.  But only slightly)
Crackers and Cheese
Ice Tea
One Diet Coke

Oh yes, I'm cutting back on artificial sweeteners.

Tomorrow I'm  back on the healthy bandwagon.  I don't know what happened to me this weekend.  I have a scratchy throat and a mild headache.  Enough with the headaches, people.  I just foraged for something to cure my aches and pains all weekend.

I forgot to mention Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup.  Good for a scratchy throat.  Bad news:  I had the Healthy Choice edition.  And it's not as good.  Turns out you need all that sodium for the taste.

I'm doing laundry.  So much laundry.

How many calories does that burn off?  Gathering, sorting, adding detergent, transferring to the dryer.  Oh and the folding.  Yes, it's gotta burn off maybe 25 calories?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I'm baaack!

I've been absent from this blog for one whole week.  And what a week it has been.  The first week back at school is just plain exhausting.  It's like  going from zero to 100 in a nano second.

My migraine that lasted 2 days melted into a rebound headache and then turned to that kind of headache that is in the back of your head.  That is the only way I can describe it.  It's a dull ache in the distance.  You really only notice it when you finally sit still.

I survived the first week back at school.  I have a new schedule this year that I know is going to make time fly.

The Engineer is returning to campus today.  Let me just tell you - that guy has absolutely had a vacation this week.  He has done n.o.t.h.i.n.g.  This will be his senior year in college so I guess this summer was his last official "no responsibility" summer.  He did work as an intern all June and July.  So these months have been productive.  But the last couple of weeks?  He was off duty for sure.

I.T. girl is also a senior.  Last week began her last year of high school.  She did not get the schedule of her choice but like she said, "I just want to get out of high school."

I finally took a deep breath and looked up graduation ceremony dates.  Are you ready for this?

I.T. girl's high school graduation and The Engineer's college graduation =  SAME DATE

I guess I"ll need to cut myself in half.  I need to google the instructions

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Very Worst Thing

Is there anything worse than witnessing your child being slighted by an adult?

Maybe there is.  I'm sure there are worse things.

Still, it breaks your heart.  The Momma Bear comes roaring out.  And the adult involved better watch out because she is now on your SH** list.

It happened yesterday.

Friday was 8th grade Open House/Meet your Teacher day.  Dancer Girl and I arrived right at 12:30.  One of her friends, Maria, joins us with that new school year excitement.

How was your Summer?

Ready for school?

Who did you get for Math?

All those kind of exciting questions.  They were catching up as we walked down the hall.

Let me set the stage:

Locker lined hallway.  Because Open House ended at 1:00 we were there the last half hour.  So the crowd was sparse.  In fact, we were the only humans at the end of the hall.

The door opens.  A teacher steps out into the hall.

There's Mrs World Map, I say to Dancer Girl.

Both girls turn to see.

"Oh Maria!  My sweet girl." says an enthusiastic Mrs Geography/history teacher.  "How was your summer?  I want to hear all about your trip.  We're going to have a great 8th grade year."

Finishes all that with a big Maria Hug.

I stood quietly not interrupting the greeting.  I look at Dancer Girl's face and she's all smiles.  I can feel her anticipation that she will be next and she's happy about it.

But then.......................  Mrs World Map walks away.

 Walks right past us. 
 Not a word. 
 Not a hello. 
 Not a "get out of my way" 
 Like Dancer Girl is invisible.

Oh, the shock.  The anger.  The humiliation.  I can feel it all.  How dare an ADULT treat a child that way.  How dare a TEACHER treat a student that way.

I was gobsmacked.

Later, when we got in the car, I apologized to Dancer Girl for all the idiots in the world.  I made sure she knew that Mrs. World Map's behavior was a reflection on Mrs World Map's character, and had nothing to do with my daughter's.   And those kind of things come back to bite you in the butt.

Later I was discussing the day with a friend of mine.  I didn't name names but I had to get it off my chest.  I told her it was going to take me weeks to get over it.  It was rude and the behavior of a stupidhead.

That's my word for the year:  Stupid head

Dancer Girl knows that I'm on her side.
I will always tell her the truth
She can always tell me the WHOLE truth 
She is safe with me. 
And together we are going to survive this school year.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gratitude Journal

A teacher with whom I work every day has a birthday tomorrow.  I was stopped several times today and the question was some form of, "What can I get Susan?"

I know Susan well.

She'll be sweet and lovely toward any gift given.

Candles, lotion, baked goods and stationary.  

But I wanted to give her something simple yet meaningful.  So I bought her a journal and a pen that is just a little special treat.

Susan goes 90 miles an hour 24 hours a day.  

Her mind is thinking of a zillion things at once. 

She has a dozen projects and ideas going at the same time.

Yet she gets nothing done.  

This year I'm going to start a gratitude journal.   I want her to slow down and appreciate those little things in life.

So we're going to do it together

 (She doesn't know that yet, but we are!)

I also got her an extra large bag of M&Ms.  

My migraine was manageable today.  I made sure I did not sit in a meeting facing a window or small stripes or chevron designs.  Several ladies and I were discussing our migraine struggles.  Two of them mentioned that they take zyrtec daily even though they do not suffer from allergies.  Their doctors told them it's been found that something in zyrtec helps the blood vessels in your head remain open and not constrict.  Interesting.  

Ironman is working.  The Engineer had a presentation today in front of Halliburton executives.  He called relieved that it was over and proud that it went well.  I.T. girl has a hair appointment tomorrow so I reminded her she needs to BE THERE at 2pm.  Which will require her to get out of bed BEFORE 2pm.  Dancer Girl has decided she's going to get up for school an hour earlier than usual every day to curl her hair.  Hmmmmm  Wanna start a betting pool on this one???



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

First Day Back At School

"Why are you so nervous?"  I asked myself as I drove to school.
This is crazy!

You are not the new girl.

You know where to go and what to expect.

You know everybody who will be in that room by their first name.  And the few new people will be thankful that you introduce yourself. 

You are dressed appropriately.

What is the big deal?

I get nervous like this every single year!  

And - just like all the other years - everything was fine.  There was no awkwardness.  Preschool Faculty Members always save seats for each other and sure enough, there was a seat saved for me.

I felt like I just left.  And, in fact, I HAD JUST LEFT!!

What do teachers do that first day back?

Well, there's the full faculty meeting.  Then there's the insurance provider/benefit meeting.  Then there's the grade level meetings.  Then there's the full faculty inservice/training session.


Division Meetings.  Intragrade meetings.  Bathroom Break.  (ha)
Planning Meetings.


Today I had unexpected inconvenience of a migraine.  I haven't had a migraine since the spring.  I had gone all summer without an episode.  I could tell it was coming on.  Fifteen of us went to lunch together.  It's a tiny restaurant, you could describe it more as a tea room.  We took up more than half the restaurant.  So it was cramped.  But that wasn't the trigger.

The window.  I'm usually very careful to NOT sit directly facing a window.  Today I was thoughtless.  I just sat the first place I saw next to my buddy Melissa.  The window did have a shade but that was part of the problem.  The shade was a roller type and made out of some kind of weave.  So the sun shining through made quite a glare that hit my eyeballs like a laser.  Stripes, zigzags, tiny dots, twinkle lights - I shy away from them.  They are migraine in a bottle!

I felt the tingling in my tongue
I felt my fingertips tingle.
I had the sparkly aura in my peripheral vision.
I tried to ignore it.

I changed seats with the teacher across from me so I wasn't facing the window any longer.  I guess it was too late.

The smell of food being delivered only intensified the pre-pain symptoms.

By the time we returned to school I wasn't sure I could make it the rest of the day.  I managed to remain upright and attentive during the meetings until 2:30.  That's when they brought out a surprise birthday cake for a surprised birthday girl. The cake looked beautiful and I'm sure it was tasty but I had to make a quick exit.  I didn't even tell anybody I was leaving.  There was no time for chit chat.

When I got home I texted the Headmaster.

I feel much better now.  I take Feverfew and I'm always surprised how quickly I get relief.  Why didn't I have one with me for emergencies?   I sure have 3 of them stashed away now.

Tomorrow we will get our class lists.  I'm excited to see who will be with me this year.  Even with the anxiety and the migraine, I'm happy to be back.

In other news:  Ironman called.  He is homesick
The Engineer Called:  Tomorrow is his last day of internship and he's excited about that.
I.T. Girl and I had a nice easy conversation about being a Christian in a group of friends who can't relate.
And Dancer Girl cleaned up the kitchen for me.  And got the mail.

Now if I could just find something interesting to watch on T.V. my day would be complete!

Tell me your migraine remedy.  I need all the advice you have to give.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mind Your Manners, People

I started my day out grumpy.  Today is my last day of summer vacation and I am not happy about it.  Tomorrow I return to work.  I need some more rest.

To make matters worse, I had a very annoying day.  It seemed like I came into contact with an idiot everywhere I went!

8:00am I had a doctor's appointment.  I was there just as a followup.  I met a new nurse who checked me in.  After a short discussion (and to make a long story short) she tells me that her 9 year old daughter loves the smell of beer.  BEER!  Why does your  9 year old daughter have a beer?  I did not comment but believe me in my head I'm thinking "here's your sign,"

9:30am  I decide to treat myself to a professional carwash.  Oh how I enjoy a sparkling car with a full tank of gas.  Yes, that's the ticket.  I drop the car off at the vacuum station and walk inside to wait.  The waiting area has a television set on.  The View?  Can you maybe put on The Weather Channel?  or the Olympics for goodness sake?  The ladies of The View can be entertaining but sure enough, it wasn't long before the talk turns to raucous sex.  I was not in the mood to hear it.  So I stepped outside only to be bomblasted with bad language coming from the mouth of one of the guys drying my car.  He wasn't angry, he was kidding and talking about his *** and his ***.  I couldn't get away from the sound he was whooping it up.  There was one younger man standing there who saw me and had an embarrassed look on his face.  I didn't say anything but I did slip one of the dollar bills I had designated for his tip back into my purse.  Of course he'll never know since I chose to just get into my clean auto and leave.

10:15am  I walk into ULTA.  I don't shop there often.  Okay, I never shop there.  But I had a coupon for 50% off on one Philosophy Lotion Product.  Why not?  There is a salon in the back of the store.  (who knew?) and the lady having her hair treated was talking loudly about her love of the mommy porn book Fifty Shades of Gray.  She was giving details of the plot and some of the language and once again, I couldn't get away from her.  So I left.  I wonder if she knew the entire store could hear her.

10:29 am I walked into Marshalls.  This is one store you can visit a dozen times and not find anything appealing.  But then on visit #13 you get lucky and find just the right bowl or vase or clock.  That's most of the appeal to me.  I like to browse and look and take my time.  It was quiet and I needed the break from crazy people.

Leaving Marshalls I was almost run over by a black car.  People!  Slow down in parking lots.  And by the way, do you see that Yield sign?  That means pedestrians have the right of way.  I saw the car before I stepped out onto the pavement.  I swear he sped up.  Where are your manners?

2:00 PM Dancer Girl and I walk into Office Depot to pick up a few school supplies.  It was crowded with Moms and school children.  I wasn't looking, but I sure heard the loud SH** this and SH** that.  I turned and looked.  A woman younger than myself with very little clothes on riding in one of those motorized scooters did not know how to control it and had run into more than one Crayola Display.  A manager stepped over to assist her and he got an earful.  She was so proud of herself telling him what she thought of the markers and notebook paper being in her way.

By this time I had just about HAD IT.

Today I'm wearing these pants.

  They are very comfortable.  The best part beside the rocking color?  They go all the way up to my belly button.  I don't like low riders for obvious reasons but the biggest reason is that I sit on the floor ALL THE TIME in preschool and I don't have enough hands to always be hitchin up my britches.  Walking out of hteparking lot I actually hear a woman MY AGE say to her daughter "Man, those are some PINK PANTS!"  I turned around and just stared at her.  She pretended to look at something else.
sorry the copy/paste picture is blurry.  I just grabbed it off the website.  But you get the idea.  By the way, I bought them at J. Jill and right now they are on sale for $39.99  Several colors.  Just so you know.  Thanks. 

Was today the worst day I've ever had?  No.
Have I met rude people before?  Oh yes.

Remember the days when men cleaned up their language when a lady was around?
Ironman has a friend who actually STANDS UP when I come in the room.  Amazing.
You may say that's old fashioned but I like common courtesy.

Have Good Manners gone out of style?

On the way home I rocked out to K.C. and the Sunshine Band.  Dancer Girl and I stopped and bought Icees.

Tomorrow it's back to school day.

Monday, August 6, 2012


I went to the dentist today.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with a physician for a followup on my high blood pressure.

Talking to the doctor is not horrible.  That's not the part I dread.  I dread the waiting room.

The things I dislike about the dentist office  waiting room:

1.  The decor is early '60s and not in a good way.  Think about it, the '60s were not known for stylish furnishings.  Still the chairs are sturdy although so uncomfortable.  The carpet is industrial grade.  The "art" is the kind of pictures you'd find in a discount store.  They are not hung on the wall in any kind of artsy way.

2.  Don't even think about finding a magazine to thumb through unless you are a fan of Hunter's Weekly, Field and Stream, or Louisiana Sportsman.  There might be a Good Housekeeping left over on the rack from a year ago.

3.  When I sat down today I could hear Shania Twain singing over the intercom.   Another blast from the past.

Patients come in but exit at another door.  It's a little like
"roaches check in but they don't check out".  

But the worst part is the waiting.  Wait, wait, wait.

Today I waited 30 minutes.  It's not always that long.  Sometimes it's longer, other times it's quicker.  But there's always a wait.

 The young woman that calls my name will always say, "I'm so sorry for your wait."
I will always reply, "Oh, that's alright."  What else could I say?  It's just one of those things.

The good news is that my dentist is a no pain operator.  I've gone to him for years and I have never felt a thing.  I've had a lot of dental work but it's been easy breezy.  Until it comes time to pay.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Family and Money

Recently Ironman was given some money through an inheritance.  He calls it "our money".  But I feel better calling it "your money" since the relative he inherited it from could never quite get my name right.   I had met him many times but the family is quite large and honestly I think by the time I married into the family there were so many new people this particular uncle could not tell us apart.  He did love Ironman, though, and so when he died several years ago it was bittersweet.  You  know those times when someone is quite old (pushing 100) has lived a full life but has been suffering with bad health for years.  So when the time comes you are peaceful with the knowledge that they are no longer suffering but you feel sad for yourself having to continue on without that soft place to fall.

We found out that he had left Ironman and other family members some money.  It's enough money for us to replenish our college fund that has taken a hit paying for The Engineer's education, to add a substantial amount to our retirement and maybe take a trip.

Until just a few weeks ago, Ironman and I had not been on a trip alone for years.  YEARS I say.  We had a few days alone in Nashville.  What an easy, relaxing, sweet, fun trip we had.  I had forgotten what it was like for it to be just us.  We are always falling over ourselves to make sure the children are comfortable, fed and  enjoying the day.  That can be exhausting!  In fact, we are exhausted!

This morning he asked me where I'd like to go.  We have no plans to go anytime soon since school starts in three whole days!  Here are the two places I'd like to visit.

1.  I'd love to visit Chincoteaugue when they bring in the wild ponies.  Oh, Misty of Chincoteague how I still love you.

2.  Portland.  Don't ask me why.  Probably the weather and the adventure and the sightseeing.  I've heard there is the world's largest bookstore in Portland.  I need to google that.  I'd like to fly into Portland, rent a car and drive around and around.

Years ago Ironman and I flew to Boston, rented a car and road trip through the Northeast.  We visited Kennebunkport, Plymouth Rock, Martha's Vineyard............  all that before we had children.  By the way on that trip everywhere we went there would be at least one person who would comment on my accent.  Accent?  What accent??  I don't have an accent.  :)

Today Ironman left for a week.  When he gets back we are going to get serious about time alone.
Is it bad to be looking forward to an empty nest?  I've got years until that happens but I'm not dreading it.  We have reared these children to make wise decision.  Provided them with everything they need to set out on their own into the big, beautiful world.

One day when our last one flies the next I will turn to Ironman and say,


Happy Sunday

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Quiet House

The best time of the day is first thing in the morning.  All I can hear right now is the hum of the refrigerator.  Everyone is asleep upstairs.  So far away I can't hear the snoring.  Even our dog is asleep.

Ironman left for the golf course.  He was making so much noise in the kitchen I thought he must be remodeling.  He's a noisy fellow.

A book that I ordered arrived yesterday.  Let me back up and say I was surprised this particular book was not available in digital form.  Thus the ordering.  I saw the author on Dr. Phil.  It's not a relationship book.  Are you surprised?  It's written by one of those doctors from The Doctors.  The one that is the plastic surgeon.  I rarely if ever watch that show.  If I'm in the mood for some health advice I much prefer Dr. Oz.  But back to the book.  Each chapter has "secrets" for looking younger, healthier, brighter skin, fewer wrinkles, etc.  Hey I'm up for it.

Just yesterday I could wash my face with Lava and my skin be smooth and clean.  Now I have to do research and check labels on simple things like lotion and soap as fragrance tends to give me a rash and any other harsh additives can irritate my now dry skin.  By the way, it's the same way with shoes.  In my younger days I could wear any style, any material.  It mattered not.  I don't remember ever even getting a blister!  But now I have to have the exact fit and arch and no man made material.  They can't pinch my toes or slip on my heel or be too high or too low.  It's exhausting.

I have a story about some Clarks Shoes I owned once which explains why I never buy the Clarks brand.  I slipped them off at the back door.  Dancer Girl comes into the kitchen.  Here is the short conversation:

DG:  Is Meme here?
Me:  No.  Why do you wonder that?
DG:  I saw her shoes by the back door.

Okay folks, that was enough for me.  I refuse to wear Meme shoes.

Back to the book.  I flipped through it last night and found a recipe for a sugar scrub.  Yes, please.
Whipped it up in a jiffy.  Flew to the bathroom.  Sat on the side of the tub.  My oh  my..... heaven.  Wow.  My poor feet.  They were so, so thankful and delighted.  I can't wait to use the scrub again today.

Here's the recipe:

3 Tablespoons cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Mix.  Store in air tight container in the refrigerator.  It only takes a small scoop per foot.   I estimate this recipe will make enough scrub to last me 2 weeks easily.  I'm going to keep track.

Speaking of my feet, I'm also following a regime on my left big toe that I saw on the Dr. Oz show.
Quickly:  6 or 7 years ago......... yes, YEARS AGO....... I had a group of friends who walked 5 miles a day religiously in our neighborhood.  I got new shoes.  I noticed that they rubbed on my big toe but I was new to shoe problems and it wasn't a horrible feeling........... I just let it go.  Just those few months of wearing those shoes to do my walking regime damaged the toe.  Within a year I had a full fledged ingrown toe nail.  I tried everything.  I mean, EVERYTHING to remedy the situation.  Years passed.  Sometimes I felt like it was getting better.  Then it would hurt again.  Then the toenail turned an odd greenish awful color.  I knew I needed medical attention.

Skip forward:  After 5 years......... yes, FIVE YEARS...........we moved to a large city and with my new job came better medical insurance and fate intervened.  The job required a physical.  On my nickel.  So since I had to go to the doctor I asked her to take a look at my toe.  Yeppers.  Ingrown.  And a fungus had invaded the nail.  Ugh.  Great.

One week later I returned and she cut out the ingrown part.  WOW!  Instant relief.  She told me it would have never gotten better on its own.  I was so relieved.  I started on an oral laminal.

Lamisil, blood test, lamisil, blood test, lamisil.

The only improvement I noticed was the nail got thinner.  But so did all my other nails.  The fungus never cleared.  And the side effects of the medication were inconvenient.  Headache, bloating, dizziness.  After 6 months my insurance would no longer pay for the medication and I was tired of taking it.

Just last week I was cooking dinner with Dr. Oz.  I mean, I was cooking dinner.  The Dr. Oz show was on turned down low in the keeping room.  I ran toward the TV when a woman in the audience began describing her TOE FUNGUS.  WHAT?  Everyone!  Quiet and still!  I must hear!  What did Dr. Oz say?  VICKS VAPOR RUB. 

Within an hour I was at CVS with VVR in my hot little hand.  I've been using it faithfully now for a week.

Drum roll............. after all this time............ my toe is healing.  There is just a tiny area at the tip of the nail that is still discolored. It will soon grow out.  The rest is clear and healthy.  I've been taking photos every few days and plan to send them to my best friend in the whole world Dr. Mehmet Oz.