Thursday, November 12, 2015

Job search continues….

When I left off, I had picked up a job application at a nearby Catholic School.  I have a friend who works there as a kindergarten aide.  And when I say "friend" I mean an acquaintance.  And by acquaintance I mean a lady I've talked to a half dozen times when I was subbing at  a different school.  She changed schools over the summer and I had no reason to ever run into her again.  We don't live near each other, don't go to the same church, don't work together, etc.

But she remembered me.

And she sent me a message of a job opening at her school.  She also told me she just couldn't get me off her mind.

Wow, Jesus.  Just wow.  That you would use somebody I barely know.  And she barely knows me!

And so I followed her advice and went by the school.  Talked to the headmistress/principal/bosslady.  Oh so sweet she was.  She gave me the papers required to be put on the substitute teacher list.  One of the requirements was attending a class on child abuse that is held once a month. Although it is offered free of charge, I needed to preregister.  And so I went online to register.

Guess when the class for November was being held?  The very next evening.

Once again, WOW JESUS.  Just in time.

Yes, I could have taken the class later but why wait?  So I went.  I learned a lot.  It was very well done.  2 short videos.  Group discussion.  Questions answered.  Background check information given.  I'm glad I went.

Today I need to run to the courthouse and be fingerprinted.  I'm also going to vote absentee.  We have an gubernatorial election on the 21st but I will be out of town.  When that is complete, I'm going to drop the papers off at the school office and be ready and waiting for someone to need a substitute.

I'm still waiting and praying about taking more substitute jobs at the other school.  In fact, I agreed to take a teachers' maternity leave beginning in March.  Mid March.  My heart is no longer interested.  I don't want to put her in a bind so I've set a deadline.  January 31 it is.  If I don't find a permanent position by then, I'm going to go ahead and take the maternity leave.  I figure if I talk to her before then and explain the situation she'll have plenty of time to find another sub.  Trust me, this school can find permanent substitutes in a flash.

Funny, but I mentioned that to Rosemary.  She told me, "Don't feel bad for her.  She wouldn't feel bad for you"  And you know what?  She's right.

All good things come from above.  I am waiting in anticipation for what God is going to do.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

And so it goes..

I started this blog 5 years ago when I just needed a place to type and sort out my feelings, frustrations and stress.  It was all over moving to a new city, struggling to sell my house in my old city, not being able to buy a new house in the new city until said old house sold.  It took 10 months and 13 days to sell my house.  Five offers came and then fell through.  But it finally happened.  We did sell the house.  And we did buy a new house.  Life began to improve. 

And the blog posts became few.

But now I'm back.  With more feelings, frustrations and stress.  This time it's about a job.  Since we have moved, I've had one job that I hated.  HATED.  I muddled through the best I could for 2 years.  Not as long as many people who hate a job, but it was more than long enough for me.  The job search began even before I quit.  Doors closed.  I was met with uninterested eyes.  I got a lot of "so this is what you'd like to do...."  It was kinda like those active listening crazy things you see where you just repeat what the other person says in the form of a question.  Frustrating

I'm a preschool teacher.  I'm a Kindergarten teacher.  I prefer the younger grades.  Before they learn to be sassy and obnoxious.  While they still like to pretend.  While they still are blind to race and size and hair color and singing ability.  While all they care about is "how does her voice sound"  More about that later.

Last year after much prayer and hurt feelings I was driving in town and the Lord told me to pull into that big private school and talk to someone about substituting.  I'd never even considered that before.  But I did it.  What did I have to lose?  Besides when you KNOW the Lord has told you what to do, YOU DO IT.  I met a Traci who was genuinely happy to meet a willing soul wanting to substitute.  After I completed the required fingerpring/backgroundcheck/urine sample, I began getting calls.  And calls and calls and calls!  I actually enjoyed meeting new people.  I hit it off with more than one faculty member and I totally liked being back in the classroom.  The minutes would just fly by.  By 3:15 I dragged myself to the car exhausted but feeling glad that I'd stepped up to the plate. 

Naturally, I began to want a teaching job there.  Wouldn't they hire from the pool of people they already know?  Wasn't my substituting a good way to demonstrate my skill and experience?  I thought so.  Surely if a job opening comes up, I'll be considered.   HOLD IT PATTI.  NOT SO FAST THERE SISTER.

Here's what happened.  I made friends with a special lady, Angela.  She had been teaching preschool 3 for 15 years.  And she was ready to move up to older kids.  Just ready for a change.  A first grade teacher had announced her retirement, so Angela told the administration she would like to be considered for the job.  Angela and I had it all figured out.  She would move up to first grade and I would take the K3 job.  We'd all be one happy family.  Obviously, because I'm typing this story, that is not what happened.  The administration did not even consider Angela for the first grade job.  Nope.  In fact, she interviewed only after she had bugged the Headmaster over and over again.  He was not even interested in talking to her about it.  When she finally was interviewed she got the feeling that something was up.  And it sure enough was UP.  The job had already been filled.  Already been FILLED.  What?  She was madder than a coon in a bucket.  Not only was she not considered, she was not given the courtesy and respect for an interview.  The interview she had was just a short "just so we can say we talked" kind of thing.  That was not a good day.  Without her moving up there would be no K3 for me to fill. 

But it really didn't upset me too, too much.  I was disappointed but at the same time I felt like something else was going to open up.

Angela    is teaching K3 this year. 

I'm doing nothing but substituting. 

I did not get that job.  I did not get the 3rd grade job.  I did not get the preschool enrichment job.  I did not get the Kindergarten job.  Jobs became available, I did not get them.  I began to take it personally.  What the crud?

Time to move on.

I looked for a job all summer.  I made calls, visits, dropped off my resume.  Isn't there a lack of certified teachers in Louisiana?  Yes, in high school math and science.  Not in lower elementary.  And not within 30 minutes of my house.  I hesitate to drive an hour away..................nope.  Not interested in that.  Meanwhile my son is moving to Baltimore, my daughter is moving to Waco.  I'm squeezing my job search in when I can.  But trust me, it's on my mind.

The school calls - Are you available to substitute the first few weeks of school in a Kindergarten Room.  The teacher will be out until mid-October recovering from eye surgery.  There was no reason to say NO.  So, I said yes.  Substitute pay is better than no pay.  In fact, they increased my pay a little because of the extra work I'd have.  It wasn't anything like having your own classroom - but it was fine.  The children were lovely.  The parents were supportive.  I did my best not to teach them bad habits.  Teachers know the first day of school is the most important day of the year.  Mess up then............ it'll be almost impossible to adjust.  I loved being back at school everyday.

Until the teacher returned.  She came back to work the day after Labor Day.  So my plan to stay until mid-October was cut way short.  I don't blame her for being ready to come back to work.  I'm sure she was feeling stir crazy at home.  I DO blame her for not visiting the class before her return.  She never came.  I'd ask her about it.  She wouldn't pin down a time to come by. Finally one day she texted and said she was going to come by "this afternoon"  Great!  When I told the class the first (and most often ) asked question was "How does her voice sound?" 

She never came by.

I was disgusted.  I had grown attached to these kids and I hated that the transition in teachers was going to be such a jolt.  It didn't have to be.

And so after Labor Day I was back to being the sub on call.  And hating it.  But the paycheck was a good thing.

THEN the librarian took a leave of absence.  And they called me to sub in there for one week.  In the library?  Well, yes ma'am!  I'd love to.  LOVE TO.  So I did.  And I loved it.  I saw K4- 4th grade classes..  Once a week each for 30 minutes.  LOVED IT.  In between classes I shelved books and tidied up, made displays, etc.  So much I was imagining I could do.  I even started looking through pinterest at other school libraries. Guess I got ahead of myself.  I worked in there for 2 weeks and loved it. 

At the end of the 2nd week, the headmaster came in with a woman I didn't know.  I was in the storytime circle with the preschool and so I only saw them.  At first I thought maybe she was on a tour, but she did not have a student with her.  Then I thought maybe she was............... oh, who was I kidding.  She's the new librarian.  That's right.  They had hired a long term sub.  WOW.   I was dumbfounded.  So much I didn't even tell anybody.  Not even Ironman.  I couldn't talk about it.  Talk about a kick in the stomach.

Now the story takes 2 paths.  One about me and one about the school.   I'll tell the "me" part first..  The very day I was so upset about not being considered to take the library job - girl, I just KNEW they would ask me to sub through the holidays. I just KNEW it.  Anyway, that very day Kathy walked in the library with a phone message.  (Kathy is a Kindergarten Aide)  She handed me a paper with a phone number.  "Rosemary says call her.  There's a job opening at her school."  My first reaction was "nah.  I don't feel like talking about a job."  So I left the sticky note by my phone.  About an hour later I felt bad about not returning a call.  Yes, I return calls.  And texts.  So.......... I called her.  We talked about the job.  APPLY she said.  APPLY APPLY APPLY.  She said, "I haven't been able to get you off my mind!'  The Lord told me, "Call Patti about this job.  Call Patti about this job"  So I called just so he'll quit telling me "call Patti about this job"

I wasn't interested.  My feelings were hurt.  I'd had my hand slapped for the last time.  Story of my life. Hand slaps.  Hate them.

Now to part 2 of the story.  The next day I wasn't in the library.  I was subbing in 3rd grade math.  The teacher had asked me a month before and there was no reason to cancel.  I assume they called somebody else for the library.  I like 3rd grade math.  The day was clicking right along.  Third graders are funny.  The message over the intercom actually puts dread in my stomach.  "Mrs Colwell, can you pick up the phone?"  I did.  "Hey, it's Traci.  Can you check your schedule and see if you can work in the library next week?  We've hired a long term sub but she can't start immediately.  So we need somebody (a warm body) to cover next week.  Just let me know."


Wow. Wow. Wow.

I called Rosemary.  Told her I'd be there Monday to apply.

The next day was Friday.  I had agreed to work in the library (before all this began)  I dragged  myself there.  And I mean DRAGGED.  I brought a book (seems funny to bring your own book to the library  ) I brought a LaCroix and a Luna Bar.  And I read.  When a class came in, I had a lesson and assisted them in finding a good fit book.  When they would return to their class, I sat.  I did not check in books.  I did not return books to the shelf.  I did not straighten anything.  Nothing.  I was a warm body.  Just what they wanted.

And I was embarrassed, angry. frustrated and worn out.

If you've read this far I feel obligated to tell you how things stand.   Monday I did walk into Rosemary's school and apply.  I sure did.  I returned on Tuesday morning for an interview.  They gave me a stack of papers to complete.  They gave me the fingerprint/background check papers.  They told me it's required that I complete  a safety course before I can be added and to go online and register.  It's offered once a month.  Tuesday night I went online and saw that the November class is Wednesday night.  In other words, I looked Tuesday night - class is Wednesday night.  If I had waited just one day longer I would have had to take the class in December.  I'm going to the November class.  Which is tonight. 

I'll let you know.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

July 2015

July came and went so quickly that today was the first time I sat down!  Seriously!  Brad has been working a lot.  Alison was in a production of Mary Poppins so she was busy with rehearsals and showtimes.  Brad went camping with the LaTech crew.  And then the big day:  moving Brandon to Baltimore.  Brad and I drove to Dallas on a Friday night in a U-HAUL.  Thankfully Brandon had all his stuff packed.  (By the way, this is the second time we've moved Brandon with his roommates present and not one of them even offered to help.  Whatever. )

We pulled out of the big D early Saturday morning and drove as far as Nashville.  Had lunch  in Memphis at a BBQ place that the men enjoyed and I hated.  Day 2 took us from Tennessee to Maryland.  When we got to D.C. Brandon and I were cranky and ready to stop.  But we kept on until we got to Columbia, MD.  We were tired, hungry, sweaty, irritable.  Basically we were zombies.  Irritated zombies.  That's the hotel that was a maze.  We could NOT find the room.  Ridiculous woman at the front desk just watched us....... and then said "oh yes, that room is on the other side"  It took all my maturity not to get up in her face.  She wasn't worth it.  Gosh, I'm irritated just thinking about it.

Finally it was move in day.  We made a wager as to how many loads/trips it would take us from the truck to the apartment.  Brad was cheating because he said 12.  When he started realizing it was going to be more than 12 he was doubling up.  It took 16.  So, Brandon won.  Prize:  a new apartment in Baltimore.   We spent the rest of the evening unpacking and putting furniture in place.  Brandon bought a bookcase at IKEA and it was fun fun fun putting it together.  Bring on the cake and balloons!  Basically we managed and nobody died.

The rest of the weekend was spent shopping, unpacking, riding around Federal Hill and Fort McHenry. It was just a little hot. 

Brad and I flew home Sunday.  American Airlines.  Oh how we hate you.  The following comment is politically incorrect so look away if you are sensitive:  there was a group of Air Force guys.  Obviously not officers,  Their behavior and language and STUPID HEAD NESS was so embarrassing.  I wanted to walk over and ask one of them for his mother's phone number.  "Let's call her and tell her what you've been saying"  Brad just said, "That's America's finest"  Really?  Plus the Captain was sitting right in front of us.  8am he had his first vodka tonic.  9am he had his second.  He was loud and stupid.  Did not shut up the entire flight.  How can someone talk non stop for 3 hours?  ABOUT NOTHING?  Netflix, Tom Cruise, weather, restaurants.................. I finally put my ear plugs in and went to sleep.

The story ain't over.  Our 30 minute layover in Dallas turned into FOUR HOURS.  Finally we got home.  Lauren did not forget to pick us up at the airport.  Home.  Finally.

Brandon's classes begin Friday.  Soon he'll find out where he'll be spending his internship.  I know 2 years is going to fly by.

Lauren returns to Baylor in 3 weeks.  She's moving off campus so .... you guessed it, Brad and I are moving her into her apartment.  You think it'll be in the mid 60s?  Ha

Alison completed her summer reading assignment.  AND the orthodontist told her she was D.O.N.E.  No more appointments.  WE ARE FINISHED!!  YIPPEE.  11th grade starts Tuesday.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Whole30 update

January flew by.  And I mean FLEW!  I can not believe it's already over.  I just put my Christmas decor up!  Not really.  I put that up the day after Christmas.  Yep, December 26th my house was Christmas Decor free.  Tree and all.  Down and packed away.  I told you that already, remember?

I've been called to substitute teach a LOT lately.  And by a lot I mean 4 out of 5 weekdays.  Which is good.  Very good.  We need the extra money.  I was so unhappy with my previous job at that school - this school is night and day.  I'm a rule follower so I appreciate order and planning and procedures.  I get my fill at this school.

But because I've been working so much, things around this house have fallen apart.  Okay not completely apart.  I'm exaggerating.  But gosh oh gosh….. the laundry!  It never ends now.  And the kitchen floor - when do you think was the last time it was mopped?  I told Ironman that IF I go back to work full-time next year I am MOST DEFINITELY going to hire someone to help me clean the house.  I'll pay them big time money.

Now on to my Whole30.  I'm on day 27.  Woo too! Almost done.  (I've already decided I want to continue another 30 days)

First, I feel TERRIFIC.  Tiger Blood!!

I've lost a whole pant size.  (I hate it when people say "dress size' because basically that doesn't mean a thing to me.  Dresses vary so…….)  BUt yep, it's official.  Dropped a pant size.

You are advised to not weigh or measure until your 30 days are up.  I have NOT weighed.  And I may not weigh even on day 31.  That number has such a hold on me.  Why give it so much power?  Measuring, however, doesn't seem to bother me as much.  Maybe because I don't have anything to compare it to except myself.  My before measurements to my "now" measurements.  So I grabbed that tape measure and measured.  I've lost 3 inches around my tummy.  The fat part of my tummy.  WOOP! I've lost an inch in each of my thighs, my calves and my upper arms.  I've lost 1/2 inch in my bust but that's fine.  I don't need to lose too much of the girls.  Very exciting.

Every tried Whole30?  You just gotta do it.  Commit to the entire month.  All 30 days.  Because two weeks isn't long enough.  I didn't notice any changes until about day 20.  Really!  Not kidding!  So you gotta hang in there.

Whole30 is so simple:  Eat fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken, meat and healthy fats.  That's it.  No measuring.  No portion sizes.  (it'll happen naturally  Trust me)

You do NOT eat:  processed food, grains, dairy, junk food, or artificial sweetener.  Or sugar, obviously.

I went through withdrawal symptoms for a week.   In 2014 I gave up colas for my new year's resolution.  I haven't had a coke or diet coke or any of the cousins since January 15, 2014.  I thought maybe my withdrawal symptoms would be less because I'd already eliminated a few things from my diet, but they were still significant.

Sunday night is my burger night.  Tonight:  Bacon Burger with strawberry jam .  Yep.  HAHA

Are you going to try it?  What do you have to lose?


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Just got Home and I'm STARVING

What a day I had today.  Nothing horrible happened.  There wasn't an incident.  But it was still A DAY (if you know what I mean)

Let me back up.

I may or may not have told you that I quit my job 2 years ago.  Two school years ago because I'm a classroom teacher and that's how I measure time.  By school years.  You see I'd been a teacher for decades before we moved to our new house in a new city.  I accepted a job at the same school where my youngest daughter would be attending.  Everything was fine the first year.  I didn't love it, but it was fine.  And being there with Alison made life easier for the fam.  The second year was a 180.  I was miserable.  No time to go into those details later.  I'll save that story. (stories)  In November I told the director that I was considering my resignation at the end of the school year.  Then in March I told her I was definitely quitting.  I stayed until the bitter end.  And let me tell you, it was bitter.  It was like a train wreck and the vultures were circling my beat up carcass.  Yes, it was that bad.

Again, I'll save those stories for another time.  It's in the past now.  Bitter much?

So last school year (2013-14) I was unemployed.  I did not have a job that paid money, yet I really wasn't unemployed because technically you're only unemployed if you are SEEKING a job.  And I wasn't.  I needed a break.  We could swing it financially for a while........ but I knew there was absolutely no reason for me to not be out there making money. 

And so at the first of this school year I pulled into a school year my house.  On a whim, really.  Marched right in and asked to be put on their substitute list.  I was welcomed with open arms, told to go get a drug screening and fingerprinted and whammo - I was on the list.

And let me tell you, I've been working 3 or 4 days every single week.  I've substituted in the preschool all the way up to the 7th grade.  The calendar on my phone is filled with days I've already committed to working. 

It has been so great.  I've met so many nice people.  

Then there's today.  The school secretary called me at 8:30.  This morning.  Said a teacher had gone home sick.  Already!  "Are you available to take her class today?" 

There was no reason to say no.  I need the money.  I also need the brownie points I'd get for coming to the rescue and taking the class for the day.  Oh alright, I'll do it.  But what?  It's fourth grade?  UGH.  I hate the fourth grade department schedule.  It is SO BORING!  So today was boring.  The click tick tocked slowly. I'd have one section of fourth graders come in, drop their stuff off and then go to P.E.  The next group came in, stayed for about an hour (we played Jeopardy as a class on the smartboard) then they left for lunch and spanish.  The last section of the day came in, stayed an hour then went to science lab.  Ugh.  So I sat in the classroom alone most of the time.  Why didn't I bring my knitting?  I sure will next time.

After school I stopped by the grocery store because I was starving!  I grabbed grain fed beef, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, apples, grapes, cheese crackers (for Alison), tuna and chicken.  You've probably figured it out - I'm doing Whole30.  Up until a month ago, I didn't even know what Whole30 was!  It's an eating plan you commit to for 30 days.  That's right, just 30 days.  It's so much more than just what you eat.  It's sticking to a committment.  It's reaching a goal. 

The "rules"?
You eat fruits, veggies, meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds
No grains
No dairy
No legumes
No weighing.  No cheating.

It's only 30 days.  Today is Day 12 for me.  I feel GREAT!  Except for the fact that I'm hungry. 

I'll let you know you in on some recipes I've discovered.  And some others I've invented.
But first I'm going to throw some sweet potato fries in the oven.  I'm STARVING

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Calling Dr Phil! Kate Gosselin needs an emergency intervention

Have y'all watched any of the new season of Kate Plus 8?  YES!  Can you believe she has her kids on tv again?  Whoa.

I watched it.  Same way you can't help but stare at a train wreck.

Cara and Maddie are angry and snarky and whiney.  The "little kids" are always in a group.  Do they have different interests?  Uh, yeah they do.  But they're always thrown together.  I realize it's a reality show that's edited.  So it's not for true reality.  Does Kate KNOW the camera is on her?  Oh my heavens.  Say something kind and gentle once.  Allow your kids to keep their dignity.  Did you see that time she was playing some kind of game and by golly she was going to WIN.  She does not believe in "letting kids win".  Competitive anyone?  She wasn't playing fair so she wasn't the real winner.  Her daughter was the loser.  In more ways than one.

Somebody has control issues.

Then last night without warning, Kate tells the camera that her father would kill, cook and make her eat her pet bunnies.  WHAT????!!!  GOOD.GOSH.HOLY.COW!!  I almost fell off the couch.

I just couldn't watch anymore.  Here's hoping someone will enter the lives of those kid and offer them a safe place to fall.

By the way, where is Mr. Gosselin?  Is he still around?  Doesn't he have to sign off on this show?  The kids are minors………. ugh.

Ironman was out of town last night so I watched tv alone.  There's some odd shows on that there tube.  And when there's nothing on?  It's me and netflix and Gilmore Girls.  WOOP!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Whole30 challenge

After our Walt Disney World trip I was longing for control.  Gosh, we ate so so much.  I missed how I felt when I was eating clean.  At first I thought I wanted to go paleo for the time being and I did start out that way.  However, as an avid fan of Miss Mustard Seed, I decided to join her an 1000 other people and take the Whole30 challenge.  Why not?  It's more fun to do it in a group.  A gang.  A gaggle.  Somebody needs to come up with a word for a krewe of people who join together on a blog for a greater good.  Something more interesting than "bloggers" or "followers".  You know?

Now, back to the subject.

I did some reading.  Found there are rules to doing the Whole30 challenge.  I am all about rules.  Definitely a rule-follower girl.  So that was exciting to me.  I felt like I'd found my people.

No sugar - check.  Just about already rid that from my diet.
No bread - check  My 2015 NY Resolution
No Barbie Themed Poptarts or Star Wars Eggo Waffles - check
No sweeteners - not even honey.  YIKES
No tastes, smidgens, half-a-slices.  You are only cheating yourself.

So the challenge began.  I started a trial run on the 10th.  January 10th.  I say "trial run" because my birthday was on the 14th and I knew….. I just KNEW……. and yep.  I ate a cupcake.  But Ironman made a special stop by the bakery to buy one carrot cake cupcake and dang it people, I wasn't going to be rude.  I ate the thing and it was DELICIOUS.

All that to say, I really started the Whole30 challenge on January 15th.

Before I get to the nuts and bolts of what I've been doing - both good and disastrous - I gotta tell you something.  My face is broken out like a teenager.  I've NEVER had a bad complexion.  EVER.  As it NEVER.  Not in Jr High, not in high school.  NEVER.  So this is brand new to me and quite upsetting.  In fact, yesterday I didn't leave the house.  I was hoping I'd wake up and it would be GONE or at least better but nope…… it's still there.  Red and bumpy and kinda like a rash and kinda like acne.  Somewhere in between.  I did some internets searches and even checked in on my Whole30 group on FB and there are plenty of women experiencing the same thing.  They say your body is detoxing?  Is that true?  All I can say is I haven't tried any new soap, lotion or cosmetics.  I haven't eaten anything new or weird or odd.  Just real whole foods.  So if you don't count Wednesday and the Birthday Cupcake - I've eaten clean food since January 3rd - pretty much.  I have to ease myself into stuff.

I'll let you know about  my complexion.  It's horrible.

Now……. on to the eating.   And cooking.

I have not made ghee as I don't have the right kind of butter.  However, I do plan on making some.  I'll let you know.

I did make the homemade mayo recipe.  WOW!  I couldn't believe how simple and how delicious.  Honestly………. you gotta try it.  I made mine in the food processor.  I read online that some people did not have a good outcome using their blender.  Ingredients seems to get too warm.  So use the processor or maybe a mixer.  You gotta try it.

 Ironman sat and watched as I whipped up the mayo.  I didn't know if it would turn out but I was feeling adventurous.  Except for the breakouts I have a ton of energy.  A TON.  Which is a good thing. Anyway the mayo DID turn out.  I watched it thicken before my very eyes.  I may or may not have done a happy dance.

On to the next "recipe"  Perfectly boiled eggs.  Now I've boiled eggs before.  I usually follow the Martha Stewart method which is very similar to the method I followed this morning.  The challenge with boiling eggs, as you well know, is peeling the boiled eggs.  It's pretty much hit or miss.

Want to see how mine turned out?
I decided to use these four eggs as my guinea pigs.  Because they fit perfectly in this little pot.
 The recipe said to poke a tiny hole with a pin.  I used a safety pin because that's what I had close by.  Much easier than I expected to poke a tiny hole.  So far so good.
 Fill pot with cool water.  Straight from the tap.
 Add 1/2 tsp of baking soda.  Something about the sodium carbonate………
 Bring the eggs to a boil.
 Then slide them off and let them steep for 10 minutes.  Told ya it was similar to Martha's method.
 After 10 minutes, I dropped them in an ice bath.  While the eggs are cooling, I gotta tell you about our ice maker.
 It died.  And ironman just pulled out the tray because it was in the way.  We do miss ice.

 Sonic Ice to the rescue.  Someone at work told me that the ice is $2.59 a bag.  Yes, yes it is.  And we buy it.  For now, at least.  Not sure we can go back to regular ice.  Can you be addicted to ice?
 Back to the eggs.  Uh……. yep.  That's how they looked after I attempted to peel them.  HOLY COW.  What happened?  Ugh.
 The good news is that when I sliced them they were done.  Not over done.  No odd grey color.
I'm going to use them in my tuna salad.  With my homemade mayo. So you are the only one who will know how ugly the peeling was.  Don't be spreading this all over the internet, m'kay?

And cross your fingers that my face will clear up.  I'm off to drink water.  Surely that will help.


Monday, January 12, 2015

January Organization

Everybody is gone.  The Engineer is back in Dallas.  Baylor girl went back to Baylor and my youngest daughter is back in school.  Even Ironman is back at work.  So I'm home alone today.


I wouldn't want to be alone all the time…….. but wow oh wow how I enjoy it when it happens.

I woke up bright and early.  I already knew what I was going to do but, as always, I had to make a list. My daily list.  Yes, I do it every single day.  I don't know how people manage without a list.  When I write it down I can let it go.  The paper will remember for me.  Clears my thinking, you know?

I haven't been upstairs in my house for any length of time since Thanksgiving.  That's right.  I just haven't had time.  And there were always people up there and I didn't want to bother them while they were watching a movie or playing the piano and sleeping or reading……. go on and on and on.  But today that was all going to change and I couldn't wait. Some people like to go out for drinks and a movie……I like to SORT and PURGE and CLEAN and pack and organize and WOOP.  IT's a good day for me.

I walked into my 10th grade daughter's room and I was overwhelmed.  Yes, ME.  The one who specializes in organizing.  Wow.  Thats a lot of stuff.  Shoot, I should have taken a photo.  Let me just tell you - the bed - unmade.  The suitcase from our Disneyworld vacation still on the floor with clothes piled on top.  And speaking of clothes - good heavens.  EVERYWHERE there was clothes.  I rolled up my sleeves and made a quick survey of supplies needed.  Armed with my sorting tools:  a box for goodwill, several black garbage bags and a couple of laundry baskets…. I jumped in.  It took me over an hour but her room is sorted. and tidy.  Love a tidy room.  What will she say at 4pm when she gets home this afternoon?  ha  I don't know.

I moved on to the other three bedrooms which were clean except for the linens.  I peeled the sheets off and threw them into the laundry basket.

We have a den upstairs that we sometimes call the game room.  Sometimes call the movie room.  I have my sewing and monogram machines in there.  It's a big nice room that gets a lot of action.  My middle daughter had gone in there while she was home and "cleaned' out the closet.  I almost DIED when I saw what she did.  Ugh.  I was FURIOUS but I did not want to blow up when it was her last night at home.  WOW.  Ironman said "you look like you're 500 degrees hot"  Yep.  I sure was.  I was PISSED.  So that was the first order of business in that room - putting the closet back in order.  I moved the DVDs and the video games into the other closet.  This particular closet is for ME.  Stay out.  I feel better now.

I miss the kids when they're gone.  But having one day alone at home is good for my mental health.

I'm running some errands this afternoon and tonight I have the television to myself.

Oh I love my clean, tidy house.  It's a good day.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year Resolution!

I have an announcement to make:


Ladies and Gentleman, I have fulfilled my 2014 New Year Resolution.

I have not had ONE SIP of a soda in 12 months.  That's right.  I kicked the addiction.  And I am happy.

Liquid death.  That's what I've heard soda called.  Of course, down here in Louisiana we call all sodas "coke".

So let me clarity:  NO COKES FOR A YEAR.  and that includes "diet" coke.

And I did it.

After the initial few days of withdrawal I noticed I don't have as much gassy problems.  I fact, I don't have any gassy problems.  And substituting water for the soda has made my skin clearer.

Now on to 2015.

This year my New Year's Resolution is to not eat any BREAD.  For one solid year.

I will not eat:

sandwich bread
french bread
dinner rolls
crackers of any kind
croutons (ha)
pie crust

I'm sticking to the paleo plan.

Fresh Fruits
Fresh vegetables
healthy fat
meat, fish, poultry
nuts and seeds

So far so good!

I"d also like to get myself on an exercise schedule  But let's not go TOO crazy!

Monday, January 5, 2015

25 Things About Me

Because I've neglected this blog for so long, I figured it was proper to reintroduce myself to blog land.  So here goes.  But but prepared - because not everything is in a pretty box tied with a bow!

1.  I've been married almost 30 years. I'll call him Ironman.  We have 3 children.  I've thought about using their proper names in this blog but I still kinda like the anonymity.  I may change my mind but for now I'll give them a nickname.  The Engineer is a, well, an engineer!  He was recently accepted on full scholarship to Johns Hopkins Business School in Baltimore, MD.  We are happy, humbled, excited, proud and looking forward to see where God takes him.  Our middle daughter - whom I'll call "Baylor" is a sophomore at, you guessed it, Baylor University in Waco.  And our youngest daughter, "Broadway" is 16.  And she wants to be an actress.  They are all three very different.  In every way.  But that keeps life interesting.

2.  I don't like chocolate.  And that includes white chocolate which is not really chocolate at all.  White chocolate tastes like candle wax.  And yes, I've tasted candle wax.

3.  I'm allergic to fragrance.  I run and hide from any lotion, soap, cleaner, detergent, cosmetics or gel that contains any kind of fragrance.  As a young girl I remember my mother having to special order fragrance free detergent.  yes, they had it in the 60s and 70s.  Now you can find it at CVS.
Here's a story for you:  Just last week a few days before Christmas I BOUGHT some hand soap at Marshalls.  I put it by the kitchen sink.  Yes, I did that.  The reason was that Ironman is always washing his hands at the kitchen sink and he uses my dishwashing soap that is FRAGRANCE FREE and so I was really trying to save that for me and get him something else…….. what was I thinking?  Anyway I did not touch the bottle.  I did not use the soap.  But here's what happened.  Late Christmas Evening I was cleaning up here and there and really not paying much attention to what I was doing.  I was tired.  And we were going to Walt Disney World in 2 days.  (Walk DisneyWorld)  There were a few pots and pans in the sink so I just gave them a quick scrub and left them in the sink.  The next morning the inside of my palm was itchy and red.  And just a little swollen as if an insect had bitten me.  I noticed it but it wasn't too bad.  Saturday was travel day and by now my fingers were slightly swollen.  I was trying to ignore it.  We arrive in Orlando late Saturday night.  Sunday morning my hand is very swollen and now you can plainly see a rash all over the palm and 3 of my fingers.  Great.  Just great.  But I'm in WDW and we're on vacation so I just wanted to enjoy our trip.  (more about our Disneyworld trips later)  Monday morning my hand was causing problems so I went to the clinic at the resort.  The ladies there - I'm pretty sure they are not medical professionals - gave me an ice pack and some benadryl.  The ice did make it feel better and I hoped it would help but by Tuesday morning it was serious.  Yep, I waited that long.   That afternoon Ironman and I went to Urgent Care in Orlando.  WDW has free transportation to and from the clinic.  I'm not kidding when I tell you that I saw the triage nurse even before I had finished filling out the first page of information.  I unwrapped my hand explaining to her what I thought had happened and about the fragrance allergy.  One look and she got the doctor who came in and asked the usual questions.  The nurse called Ironman in from the waiting room not because his presence was needed but because he had the papers that were yet to be filled out.  He didn't know that, though, and said later he thought they were calling him because I needed to go to the hospital.  So the doctor lanced the dead skin (yuck, sorry)  Put some burn cream on my entire hand, wrapped it up.  I got 2 injections, 3 prescriptions and strict instructions to return if there's any change for the worse.  So……. wanna see?

That, ladies and gentleman, is what a 2nd degree chemical burn looks like.   Not pretty.  And I will never, ever allow it to happen again.  If I hadn't been out of town I would have gone to the doctor much sooner.  So I'm still wrapping it up every night.  There's no swelling and no itching.  And the soap is swimming with the fishes.  ( I also bleached everything in the kitchen)  I'm sure what happened was someone washed their hands at the sink using that soap and the suds were on the few pots I scrubbed.  That's all it took.  Nothing injured my right hand because I used a little scrub brush.  So that hand didn't touch the suds.  The brush is in the landfill now.

4.  I've been to Walt Disney World in Orlando 25 times.  Please do not do the finance part of that.

5.  I've met Donny Osmond 2 times.  The first time I could not even move.  Second time was easier.  He needs the saving power of our Heavenly Father. ( I have a couple of photos……. shoot.  They're not on this computer.  A couple of years ago my computer died and I lost everything.  Still I have the "real" print out photos so I'll scan them tomorrow.  Good Old D-Man.  The mormon thing is upsetting.

6.  I've watched every single episode of "19 Kids and Counting"  

7.  I know how to sew well, knit enough to get by and crochet.  I'm learning to do upholstery.

8.  I can be quite aloof.  

9.  I am not close with my family.

10.  I can figure out recipes in my head after tasting something new.  I have a SIL that enjoys the same thing and that's always been fun for us.

11.  I once shoplifted a pack of rock-n-roll cookies from a store on a dare.

12.  In my 8th grade biology lab I sat in the back with a group of disruptive students.  We giggled, talked and passed notes.  The teacher was an old man who was b.o.r.i.n.g.  (funny, he probably wasn't that old) I made a B in the class on my report card but in the comments was the numeral 9.  9 - parent must contact teacher.  Well, that wasn't going to make it home.  No way.  So I folded the paper, put it in my jeans pocket and washed the jeans.  Washed them and dried them.  Then I rewashed them and redried them.  I casually told my mother "whoops, I washed my report card!"  She just glanced at the grades and didn't really say anything.  A few days later the biology teacher asked me if my mother had seem my report card.  I just said "yes sir" which was the truth.  The other girls in the giggly group got in trouble at home and the teacher separated all of us and that was the end of that.  To this day I've never told my mother.

13.  Ironman and I bicker about stupid stuff.

14.  I make a list every day.  And I check off items as I go.  

15.  I write everything down the old fashioned way.  On my list.  On a piece of paper.  I just recently learned to add things to my calendar phone.  It wasn't that I didn't know how, it was just that it took too long and having it on the phone wasn't in clear sight.  But I do it now.

16.  I used to teach full time.  I quit my teaching job 2 years ago because I was miserable.  That is a story in itself.  It's all behind me now and I substitute at a school near my house.  I'm not kidding when I tell you they called me 2-3 times a week.  The school is Prekindergarten through 8th grade and I've worked in every grade except for 5th.  I've even substituted for the secretary and the librarian!  Definitely makes me want to go back to work full time next year.  Besides, the money would be good.

17.  I think the sound of my typing is making Ironman irritable.

18.  My spices are on the shelf in ABC order.  

19.  My pantry is arranged by category.

20.  I don't like to be interrupted.  My worse pet peeve.  HATE IT.

21.  Because I don't like to be interrupted, many times I don't even start because I KNOW I'll be interrupted.  

22.  I like it the way I like it.

23.  I'm just a little OCD about my dental care.  Just a little.  Nothing to qualify me for an appearance on Dr. Phil.  I floss twice a day.  Every day.  Always.

24.  I've been dumped by friends.  And I mean DUMPED.  Sucks.

and now to 25.  I didn't think I'd come up with 25 things.