Monday, April 30, 2007

JUST GET 'ER DONE

As you may know, if you've read this blog for any length of time, I sometimes take a JUST GET 'ER DONE approach to cooking. I'm a fairly decent cook (someone who has eaten what I've made, please speak up for me here!), but I don't always have the patience for it. For instance, I really feel there is a large market for a COOKING WITH A BLOW TORCH show. Seriously! Why isn't the Food Network all over this one?

I came home from school today with that weird feeling that maybe ... perhaps ... not sure, but possibly, I was coming down with something. My throat was ever so sore. Now, I am an allergy sufferer. So, often times, the "coming down with something" is just allergies kicking me in my butt. Either way, I was exhausted, so I thought I would take a little nap.

An hour or so later, and it's dinner time. I'd planned for sloppy joes, and so I set the giant, glob of frozen beef to "brown." Now, in order to brown said giant, glob of frozen beef, I figured, why not the HIGH setting? Right? I mean, it will brown much faster ... this is ALWAYS my line of thinking.

Beyond allergies, I am pretty sure that I suffer from some form or fashion of ADD or ADHD. I get easily distracted. This is made ten times worse when my brain is already a teeny, tiny bit ... umm ... how shall I say it, FOGGY!

Something, not sure what, distracted me. I was standing in the middle of my living room, staring off into space, when it occurred to me that entire lower portion of my townhouse was filling up with a thick, gray cloud of smoke.

And here is where it gets bad, folks. I think to myself, "What the heck is on fire!?"

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I forgot that I had meat "browning" on high on my stove.

Here's another market that I think Rachel Ray and Company are missing the boat on ...

Turn-out gear and oxygen masks for the modern female cook ...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

THE HEALING POWERS OF STARBUCKS

I have a LOVE AFFAIR with coffee. Some might even say that it verges on a sick obsession. Okay, yes, for a few, there might be a tendency toward ... oh, how should I say it, an addiction perhaps? I mean, why else would I make the time to write entire blog entries on the subject? Yes, an addiction, but let's face it, folks. In the whole grand scheme of things ... in the vast field of addictions, an addiction to caffeine is not really all that bad. It's one I'm willing to take a bullet for, okay?

Because of my affection for all things Java, friends and family are quick to give me gift cards to Starbucks. As a small hint, YOU CAN NEVER GO WRONG GIVING ME GIFT CARDS TO STARBUCKS. In fact, the barista that helped me out today told me that, should I need to, I could put up to $500 on a gift card. Folks, if you gave me a $500 gift card to Starbucks AND massaged my head and neck, I would be putty in your hands! Seriously!

But I digress ... this really isn't completely about coffee ...

So, today, I was at Starbucks, and I decided I would give the old, SMILE, DARN YA, SMILE trick a try (refer to yesterday's blog if you are slightly confused on this particular reference). I smiled at the guy making my Venti Cappuccino with a shot of sugar-free Hazelnut. He was dorky, and probably 12-years old, but I figured, what the heck! I need to practice on someone.

It worked, folks! He says to me, with all the boldness his voice-changing-self could muster, "This will be the BEST Venti, Cap. with sugar-free Hazelnut you've ever tasted." Then he winked.

I smiled and replied, "Fabulous! This is what I'm going for!" ... and then ever so sweetly, I said, "have a great day!"

Oh yeah! It worked!

As I was walking out the door, I noticed a KDOT crew getting ready to paint lines on the road.

Now, I must digress a bit here and insert a little known fact about me ... I LOVE men in uniform! It is bad, folks.

  • Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines? It doesn't matter ... I'm a goner.
  • A police officer? Pull your service revolver out and put me out of my misery!
  • A firefighter in turn-out gear ... where's the fire extinguisher?
  • A man in a hard hat and welding a hammer? Seriously, do I need to explain this one?

I have almost caused accidents over men in the bright yellow traffic vests standing on the side of the road. This IS a sickness, and I do probably need therapy for this one.

So, I'm walking out of Starbucks, and I notice this crew. In amongst the crew is a guy, in the cursed yellow vest, arm muscles rippling as he gripped the STOP sign. Here's the kicker, though. He noticed me, too!

I smiled.

He kept staring!

So, I decided that I would have to go through his intersection as I made my way to church ... just so I could get a better look.

He was cute, oh yeah! So, I smiled again. I can't be completely certain, but I thought it looked like he almost dropped the stop sign he was holding.

Okay, so I drove the rest of the way to church feeling pretty good about myself. Yep, I said to myself, this smiling stuff works. Amazing!

Fast forward to an hour later and a mile or so down the road. Dag-gone if I didn't see Mr. McHotty Sign Holder again!

Ladies and gentlemen, he almost stepped out in traffic when I smiled at him AGAIN!

Somewhere in my history, I've been misled into thinking that I just don't have what men want. I'm not sure when or how it happened, but it did. As a result, I think I've missed out on a lot of opportunities because of that sort of thinking. Today, though, I realized in brilliant, vivid color, that I've got it! Oh boy do I have it! Perhaps it's in the smile ... okay, it might be the "girls" in a tight t-shirt (ALL my t-shirts are tight ... the curse of big boobs). Whatever it is, I've got it.

WAHHHOOOO!!! It's amazing what the healing powers of a little Starbucks can do for a girl!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

101 WAYS TO FLIRT

It's the Year of Love, dang it all!

I seem to have forgotten that, what with trying to find my Zen over Spring Break and all.

Today, while wandering around the Half Price Bookstore in Hamburg Place (God LOVE the person that created the concept of a Half-Price Bookstore!!!), I ran across a little book called 101 WAYS TO FLIRT. That book jogged my memory that I was, after all, in the midst of the Year of Love, and, so, just for kicks and giggles, and because I seemed, at the time, to be under the misconception that I had more money than God, I decided to buy it.

One of the first lessons (you know you are in trouble when the book's chapters are broken down into lessons) is "SMILE, DARN YA, SMILE!" According to this lesson, when you're of the female persuasion, and you grin like the big cheese ball you know you are, you will attract men to you like flies to fly paper.

Hmmm ...

This causes me to wonder ...

Wondering can be a dangerous undertaking for me ...

But, I bought the book, so I might as well go all the way with this whole wondering thing ...

I plan to conduct a little experiment ...

I plan to slap the biggest, toothiest grin on this face I can possibly muster, and we'll just see how many boys I attract to my slightly out-of-date, sort-of-lint-covered fly paper.

Let the experiment begin!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

HISSY-FIT

I had me a big, ole hissy-fit this morning, because I could find nothing to fit my flabby butt! Oh it got ugly! So ugly, I rolled into school at 7:30 a.m. ... I think that's when I'm supposed to report to school, but it was late for me!

I am going to conquer the gym. I am going to defeat it, in fact. The gym will be mine! I will not be defeated. I will be fit. I will get rid of flab. I will overcome this severe HATE I have for all parts flabby!

I AM WOMAN! HEAR ME ROAR!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

WHEN I DIE IT'S NOT GOING TO BE IN A BLAZE OF GLORY

All names have been changed to protect ... me.

I lost my Zen for a moment last Thursday. It was brief, and, thankfully, it did return awfully quickly.

Due to the recent shootings at Virginia Tech, our principal thought it would be a good idea to practice our lock-down procedures. While we were at it, why not practice a tornado drill, right?

Oh sure! Why not?

Because I did something horrible as a child, these drills were planned during my third block. This is significant because my third block tries their level best to get my head to explode in tiny, little, bloody pieces on a daily basis.

Picture this ... our Principal's voice comes over the PA announcing the lock-down. All of my third blockers go to the appropriate location, except for Peter and Greg, who decide it would be way more fun to belly flop and slide across the classroom floor and under my desk. This gets uproarious applause and laughter, and, had it been a real situation, it would have been the gunman's golden invitation to enter my room.

To say I was not happy in the least, is to utter the understatement of the century.

After I finished unloading on them all of the appropriate/inappropriate ways to deal with a lock-down, our principal announces our tornado drill.

The entire sixth grade makes their way, none to quietly, to the lower level and begins the process of shoving themselves into tornado mode like sardines in the smallest tin can you could possibly conjure up in your creative, imaginative mind. Seriously!

There was much crying and gnashing of the teeth, mainly because so and so's butt was in so and so's face, and "I can't stay down here for that long ... something smells funky!"

It was at this point, after using all the Zen I could muster and attempting to get Allen to get into tornado mode, that I lost it. Christy said that my voice went into this scary, other-worldly state. I'm guessing it sounded like a possible demon-possession, as I roared:

"ALLEN WHITCOMB, SIT YOUR BUTT DOWN ON THAT FLOOR AND TUCK YOUR HEAD TO YOUR KNEES!"

I have pretty much come to the understanding -- resigned myself, in fact, to the notion that I will not die in a blaze of glory. Rather, someone, somewhere in North Carolina will find my bruised and battered body hanging upside down in a tree ... right where the tornado deposited me. The lasting impression I will leave all my colleagues and students with will be my satanic voice from the vortex of the tornado, screaming:

"I DON'T CARE WHOSE BUTT IS IN YOUR FACE! JUST GET YOUR HEAD DOWN!"

Monday, April 23, 2007

PLEASE PUT IT BACK WHEN YOU'RE DONE WITH IT

So I was talking to my good buddy, Carrie, the other day. Carrie is the mommy to little Jack Monster, who, if I've counted on my fingers correctly, is somewhere in the vicinity of 4 months old.

As is usually the case, our conversations run the gammit, mainly, because my ADHD brain doesn't stay on anything more than five seconds. During the course of my disjointed monologue, Carrie says to me:

"Dude, I've lost all the baby weight plus 15 pounds, and I STILL can't get into my pre-pregnancy jeans."

I was all like, "Dude! That's awesome!"

Carrie replied, "Yeah, but I still can't get into my jeans."

Later on, I was chatting with my workout buddy, Lori, who has (again, if I've counted on my fingers correctly) a 13-month old Ella. Lori looked at me, while I'm telling the story, and nodded her head in sad agreement.

"Yep, it's true. Things just don't go back in the same location they were before you pushed that precious little bundle out." She sighed heavily. "Yep, I finally gave my jeans away to my younger sister. It was just too depressing."

I then made the mistake of telling my book club. With the exception of Christy and Erin, EVERYONE there had given birth at least once, and they all nodded solemnly. "Yep, it's a fact," they all seemed to say in unison.

Okay, uummmm ...THIS IS NOT A PRETTY PICTURE YOU ARE PAINTING FOR THIS SINGLE, CHILDLESS CHIC HERE!!! I mean, seriously! Let's not all push and shove our way to the front of that line!

Good glory ... things aren't in the right spot on my body to begin with, but at least I have a snowball's chance in H E double hockey sticks of at least getting them in close proximity to where they USED to be!

I DON'T WANNA BE FRIENDS ANYMORE

Tonight, the gym is not my friend! I'm not sure I want it to be my friend!

I don't wanna go!! Don't make me go!

Okay, yes, I'm whining, and, yes, I do understand that by going, those measurements will continue to go down. The thing is, I'm tired. I'm not sure why ... I slept like a rock last night. I don't know ... maybe it's the weather (gray and cloudy all day) ... maybe it's my allergies. The thought of hot, sweaty guys isn't even making me look forward to my trip tonight.

If it weren't for my workout buddy, Lori, my big ole' butt would be asleep on the sofa with the rest of my big ole' body ... ahhhhh! That sounds good right now!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

CHRISTOPHER PAUL CURTIS



I had the absolute privilege of going to Lexington, last night, to listen to their One Book, One Lexington author, Christopher Paul Curtis.

For those of you that don't know, he wrote the book THE WATSON'S GO TO BIRMINGHAM, 1963. This is a WONDERFUL book, full of witty and poignant writing. I fell in love with the characters, and I found myself laughing right along with them and crying when they cried.

I assigned this book to my 6th graders back in our first semester, and they all loved it! That is a feat in and of itself, if you know the 6th grade mind at all!

Curtis is a gifted, talented writer, who happens to be from my home state, Michigan! I found myself tearing up as I listened to him last night because I realized, despite our differences (African-American man versus white female), within our very being, beats a writer's heart. I was inspired by his passion for the written word, and I was shamed into spending more time with my one, true passion ... WRITING!

I was honored to have him sign a few books last night, and in the book for myself, he wrote:
To Megan: I am a real fan of teachers!

He also signed one of our classroom copies. My kids are going to be thrilled!

What a wonderful way to spend an evening ... and, by the way, if you EVER get the chance to visit the Lexington Central Library, you MUST. It is one of the most beautiful libraries I have ever been in. This bibliophile was in awe!

www.onebookonelexington.org
http://www.lexpublib.org/central/ (view the photos on this site ... AMAZING!)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

PUT IT IN THE PATHETIC CATEGORY

I have been living here in Kentucky since July 31, 2006. I have been living here in Frankfort since August 10, 2006.

By my calculations, that is eight months. Count them, E.I.G.H.T.

Today, I just noticed a little cemetary that I, literally, have passed by EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. since I've moved here.

Go ahead ... it's okay ... put that in the Pathetic Category!

Monday, April 16, 2007

THERE ARE NEVER ANY WORDS

I just got off the phone with my mom.

My cousin, a professor at Virginia Tech, is safe. Thank God. It was in his building, I am told, that a portion of the shooting took place.

This is the real irony ...

For no reason at all (or so I thought), this morning, I was driving to work and this thought passed through my head: "You never know when it could all end. You don't have a timeline ... it's not set in stone ... it can all wash away tomorrow. Live this moment like it is your last."

Seven and a half hours later, and I was reminded once again, this life I live is on loan ... Sobering ...

It makes me wonder about the stupid things I say on a daily basis that have no real significance to the life I am suppose to lead.

It makes me question whether I've told those I hold close that I love them more than they will ever know.

Have I laughed at myself today?

Have I laughed, period?

Do I appreciate the beauty in every day life?

Do I value the magic in the ordinary?

Did I take time to smell the roses?

Will I let the worry go?

Will I be willing to turn the other cheek?

Do I celebrate often?

There are never any words that take the sting from a gaping wound like the one that was violently ripped open today in Virginia. I'm not sure I would want to invent words for such a situation.

Many of you know that I consider myself a Christ-follower. I have a faith that is deep and a relationship with a God that is unimaginable. However, so often, at times like this, I want to question the God of my Universe ... I want to demand answers to questions I don't even know how to formulate ...

That isn't my job, though, no matter how many questions I'm left with and really no matter how much I feel I have a right to know.

This morning was a reminder ... a sweet whisper, really, that this life is fragile. The lives of those I love are fragile ...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS

A project that I plan to undertake as soon as the weather is warmer is that of painting my TV cabinet. It's currently some sort of funky blue, and I've decided I want it some sort of funky red.
That's as far as the decisions have gotten.

What do you think?



Should I go with this one ...



This one ...


This one ....



This one ...



Or this one ....

VERY ROMANTIC ...

... that is what I am trying to go for in my bedroom. To that end, found this vintage coverlet and a set of vintage rose pillowcases while out antiquing with the sister and parental units last weekend. I think it's a very nice look. What do you think?

SUNDAY'S DAILY PHOTO


CHOLESTEROL KITTY

Years from now, when Maddie the Cat finally lands in Cat Purgatory -- I say years from now because she is so crusty and cussed, she's going to do her all level best to live forever, just to try to cook my goose ...

Years from now, when Maddie the Cat finally lands in Cat Purgatory, it will be discovered that she lived with and died from HIGH cholesterol. The emphasis on the word high was intentional, I assure you, ladies and gentlemen.

In my time as a pet owner, I pride myself on NOT feeding my animals table scraps. When Sadie the Dog was alive, she received only healthy table scraps like lettuce ribs and the butt-end of carrots. To her dying days, she would KILL for lettuce ribs. It was my father that turned her on to the finer points of the dining table, much to the rest of the family's annoyance. But that's a story for another time ...

Maddie, beyond kitty treats, really hasn't ever received anything other than a tiny piece of cheese here or there, and because of this fact, she ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY REFUSES to lick out any tuna fish can I've EVER opened ... OUT-RIGHT REFUSAL, ladies and gentlemen. If you have ever been a cat owner, you understand how truly remarkable (and not in a good way), this really is.

However, Maddie will mow over even the strongest, sturdiest beast to get her paws upon a bit of grease. The cat loses her mind! She goes to a higher plane of obnoxious wonder. It is a sight to behold, I'm telling you!

The very first time I brought McDonald's french fries into my home was the day I unleashed the Pandora's Box of ugly where my cat and cholesterol are concerned. She practically beat Sadie back for rights to the fry container, and every time I lifted a fry to my lips, she would take her paw and try to pull my fingers toward her mouth, and then, as it got closer, snatch it out of my fingers with her bared-kitten teeth! I ended up tearing off bits of fry and handing to her. That cat could, and still does, EAT. HER. WEIGHT. IN. FRIES.

This obsession with grease extends to potato chips, and she is a connoisseur. Pringles are her favorite, and, really, who can blame her. I've got to hand it to the feline, she knows a good chip!

The other day, I was eating a handful of chips left over from a dinner with the parental units. I don't usually have chips in the house, because if I did, I would eat them all in one sitting ....

That or I would fight my cat for the right to eat them all in one sitting ...

So, there I sat, contentedly eating chips in front of the TV, and Maddie sprinted toward me, full speed ahead, from out of no where! I had to put my body between her and the chips, just to keep them from being pummeled at full cat-trample!

There were a few tense moments, but I can assure everyone reading this, the chips were saved!
So, there we sat, contentedly nibbling on chips in front of the TV, and somehow, I wondered if it was a good idea to perhaps mention this little issue with her vet the next time we were visiting him ...

Probably not ...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

HEFF THE HERO

*Name has been changed to protect the not-so innocent.

Monday was the start of our fourth and final quarter, and I had the kids hit the ground running.

We began our persuasive writing unit this past week with a journey through a webquest. I have given the kids two major projects. They are to choose one person that they think would be a good HERO OF THE CENTURY. Then they are to research that person, write a persuasive essay convincing me that their choice would be a good one for HERO OF THE CENTURY. Finally, they will create a PowerPoint presentation to show the rest of the class.

The other day, we were choosing our heroes. I told the kids that they were not to choose a celebrity or a sports figure. I wanted them to find someone they didn't necessarily know much about ... I explained that I was stretching them ... challenging them to work a little bit harder. If they absolutely, positively couldn't find anyone else but a celebrity or a sports figure, they would have to do A LOT of research and then argue their point to me ... convincing me that the individual has done much to further mankind.

Allen* changed his mind three different times! Each time I came to his computer, he had a new name he was searching and 18 different reasons why he decided to change. After the third time, I said to Allen, "listen, you have about 10 minutes before third block is done. You had better have a name to me by 3:15 p.m., or I will choose someone for you. Do you understand?"

"Yes, ma'am," was the reply.

I busied myself with a few more student questions, and then made a bee-line to Allen's computer.

To my astonishment, I witnessed Allen type HUGH HEFFNER into the serach field of the KY Virtual Library site.

"Absolutely not," I roared.

"But, he's done a lot to further mankind!"

"No! Go back to the drawing board."

"But ..."

"Keep searching!"

Knowing Allen, he had as many reasons as Carter has liver pills for why Heff has furthered mankind, and I wasn't sure how I would ever explain that to my principal!

ANSWER TO A DAILY PHOTO

What is this?






Answer: The bark of a tree on the Capitol lawn!

TAKING A HIT OFF THE MENTAL BONG

I talked with my friend Carrie yesterday afternoon.

I can't speak for Carrie, but I miss her to pieces. Carrie and I are crazy, insane, teaching fiends, and the funny thing is, we are almost exactly alike. We are stubborn and pig-headed and willful and insanely driven at times, and usually, at NUMEROUS points during the school year, we've got to be talked off our ledges.

Carrie is the very first colleague I crumbled into tears in front of when I was overwhelmed about a situation with one of my students. Being Carrie, she was totally cool with my blubbering, listened to it all, and then suggested we go eat sour cream and chive fries. I LOVE this about Carrie! Carries gets that Charlie's Sour Cream and Chive Fries will cure just about anything.

Carrie also gets me, and let's face it, that, in itself, can be a full-time job. Things that come out of my mouth, that most folks would just be horrified or confused about, Carrie just laughs in that awesome belly-laugh of hers, and it's her way of telling me, "dude, it's all good!"

So, today, I was telling Carrie that I have turned over a new leaf. I am much more calm ... much more mellow ... I am cool ... I am serene ... I've gone to a new level in my ability to teach children.

The conversation went something like this ...

"I've decided I'm not going to get stressed about stuff I can no longer control. So, I've turned over a new leaf. I am cool ... I am calm ... I am collected. Shoot! I am almost Zen like!"

Carrie started laughing. I LOVE her laugh.

"Oh, yeah, it's like I've taken a hit on a mental bong!"

There is a pause in the conversation, when I think Carrie is thinking, 'Oh my gosh, she's actually cracked!' But really, it was just Carrie winding up with one of the biggest laughs I've heard her have ... I. MISS. THAT. LAUGH.

"I think I need a hit on your mental bong, dude!" Carrie stammers when she finally catches her breath.

"Oh it's the greatest, Carrie. For instance, today, I dealt with two kids that were intent on killing each other at walk n talk. Now, the one kid got popped in the eye by the other kid. I got him some ice to put on it, and he shouts at me 'I DON'T WANT THAT!' Now, see, the old me would have yelled right back. But the new, Zen me, leaned over, got right in his face, and in the sweetest voice, I said, 'Now, see, if that had been me, I would have said, thanks but no thanks. That would have been the most appropriate response,' to which the kid shouted back, 'I DON'T WANT IT, THANK YOU!' Meanwhile, our secretary was staring at me like I had a third eye."

Carrie started laughing again. "She hasn't met the new Zen you, then?"

Friday, April 13, 2007

THE NEW WAY OF DOING THINGS

Women are a catty lot. Really, we are. We are overly sensitive, blow things waaay out of proportion, and can be absolutely hateful to each other with the words we use and actions we create. This is sad, when you think about it, because we've fought so hard to be considered useful in the ranks of a man's society. Not to get all Gloria Steinem on all of you, but we should be supporting each other, right?

Yes, I've fallen into that category more times than I care to imagine.

I have gotten highly offended over silly things said to me, that, really, were nothing more than me reading too much into something ... or perhaps not reading enough into something. I would over-analyze the comment in question ... fret about it for days ... worry if that person was upset with me ... mad at me ... trying to be mean to me ... you name it, I wondered it.

It drove me CRAZY!

Not too long ago, I had a fellow female in the ranks say and do some things that, in the past, I would have immediately "gotten my back up" about.

But I've decided to roll with the punches ... be calm, cool, and collected. I've decided not to stress about the minutiae in my life.

So, I stepped back from the situation. Perhaps she was having a bad day ... a bad week ... a bad year. Perhaps she meant nothing by any of it. Perhaps, I was the one having a bad day. Maybe she just isn't very self-confident, and so her comments were made out lack of confidence. Perhaps I was truly bugging her, and I need to just give her room to breathe. Maybe she just didn't know how to approach me and tell me I'd hurt her somehow. It could have been all of these things or none of these things.

Man! How freeing to just let that go! I suppose, one day, she'll tell me if there was something I've done. Perhaps she won't. Either way, I am letting it slide.

Life is just too short, and I've got so many things I still want to do. Holding a grudge isn't one of them.

I release the grudges ... I let them go ... that's baggage I don't want to carry around with me anymore, thank you very much!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

THURSDAY'S DAILY PHOTO


Sittin' a spell ...
Gravel Switch, KY -- Penn's Store


HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTEST

As I type this, the parental units are packing up their luggage and getting ready to head back to the land of COLD and SNOW, otherwise known as Michigan. Snow in April ... gotta love that!

We've all had a great visit! I always enjoy being able to hang with my sister and parents. Call me weird, call me crazy, but I think they are all a riot and a load of fun to hang with!

My mother kept saying the she felt like they were messing with my routine ... in my way ... bothering my way of doing things.

NO WAY! I love having house guests! I wish I had more of them (hint, hint, hint, my dear friends!). The only one whose life was at all altered by the parental units presence was Maddie the Cat, and she really doesn't count.

She's the Hostess with the Mostest, baby! Oh yeah, she walked around for an entire week and a half with a look that was a sort of cross between having a corn cob rammed up her rear and what she might have looked like after tasting something terribly horrible. She was a real treat. There was much hissing and gnashing of cat teeth, but the three humans in the group just ignored her.

Safe travels, mom and dad! It was fun. Can't wait for you guys to come down and visit again!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

JUST CHILLIN'

Okay, so after my three-week Spring Break, I've come to a conclusion. Life is just too short to get all hot and bothered over stuff that really is beyond my control. During the last three weeks, I've been more mellow ... more calm ... more serene ... than I have been in I. DON'T. KNOW. HOW. LONG.

Life is just too short to allow my panties to get into a bundle all of the time.

So, I've decided that I will roll with the punches ...

Go with the flow ...

Ride the waves ...

Move with the movers ...

Shake with the shakers ...

I'm going to be mellow, man ...

Your kid doesn't like working in the group with the rest of the students? Oh, you want her to have projects on her own? Okay, sure. I'm down with that!

What? You're son doesn't like following the rules that everyone else is expected to follow? You want me to give him an entirely new set of rules ... just for him? I'm soooooo over the old set of rules.

You don't want to follow the rules of the road like millions of people before you have been required to follow? Okay, I'm catching your vibe. Do what makes you feel good, dude!

You desire to cut me off at every other turn and then slow down obnoxiously in front of me? Why not!? Right? Like, I'll get there eventually.

Oh, wait, you don't care that your grocery cart is in EVERY ONE'S way ... parked in the MIDDLE of every grocery aisle I've entered? Dude! I totally understand. Park away. In fact, stand there for 20 minutes playing EENY-MEENY-MINY-MOE with the Great Value brands of peanut butter. I LOVE this place. I want my ashes buried here ...

Now, I realize this new-found sense of self-awareness may backfire on me, now that I've publicly declared that I'm mellow. I may need a reminder that I'm rolling with the punches on those days that I'm out on my ledge and need talking down. Would you mind serving as the negotiator that will talk me down off of my ledge before I take that giant leap into the hopeless void of "being wound tighter than an eight-day clock?"

I would be ever so grateful.

TUESDAY'S DAILY PHOTO


Cove Springs -- Frankfort, Kentucky

Monday, April 09, 2007

TAXES ARE DONE!

This is the latest I've EVER been on taxes. Today, April 9th, I am finally finished with them ... done ... finito ... stick a fork in them, they are done!

I need to celebrate ... oh wait! I think I'd better wait until I have the refund checks in my hand!

It's just a crying shame I can't do something wild and crazy with the money ... like a cruise in the Mediterranean ... or a stay in Cancun ... would that ever be nice!

Instead, I am going to do the responsible, sensible, adult thing. I am going to pay some bills.

Sometimes being a big girl just really blows ...

MONDAY'S DAILY PHOTO






Sunday, April 08, 2007

BEMOANING

I have to go back to work tomorrow. I should be happy, but I am sad to see my vacation end.

I know, I know. I am very spoiled to get three weeks off. However, I just always hate to see a good thing end.

It doesn't feel like I've been very productive, but really, I have been.

My house was cleaned, top to bottom. Closets were organized ... cupboards were cleaned out. Two bags and a box FULL of stuff were taken to Goodwill ... I've done A LOT of playing.

All good things must come to an end, right?

I suppose so ... insert my heavy sigh here.

SUNDAY'S DAILY PHOTO


Any guesses on what this photo is?? You guess correctly, and I might just give you a ....
GIGANTIC PAT ON THE BACK!

Friday, April 06, 2007

MORE KEENELAND PHOTOS

8 minutes to post ... race #6


This horse was the winner of Race 5 (see below). Isn't he/she beautiful?

The winner of the race, #2, is the rump at the right of the photo. My camera has a bit of a hesitation. I missed the finish line by a hair ...

KEENELAND RACE TRACK

Trying not to look like they're freezing, but they are!

It was opening day at Keeneland. I, for one, was really excited because I'd never been to an honest to goodness horse race. I'm not counting the harness races at the Calhoun County Fair as real horse races, sorry harness fans.
And they're off!
It would have been a blast, too, had it not been so HORRIBLY cold. From all accounts, sitting in the grandstands at Keeneland is much like sitting in a wind tunnel on good day. I'm not sure about the good day, because we picked the day that it decided to snow ... yes, I said SNOW ... with a capital S ... a capital N ... a capital O ... a capital W. SNOW!!! Needless to say, this particular day was not a good one ... period ... end of story. Sadly, we lasted through two races before we decided it was too cold. The good news is none of us received any sort of frostbite, and I got some good photos in the process.








FRIDAY'S DAILY PHOTO


Thursday, April 05, 2007

THURSDAY'S DAILY PHOTO


GRAVEL SWITCH, KENTUCKY

Today, I stepped back in time.

No, I didn't use a time machine.

There was no hypnosis involved.

I merely drove Little Red, with parental units in tow, due south, with twists and turns heading north, and then east, and then west, and then southwest, and then east again ... and, well, if you've driven the back roads of Kentucky, you know what I'm talking about ...

Our destination was a little general store ... Penn's Store (http://www.pennsstore.com/). It's been around since the 1850s, and it is the "oldest country store being run continuously by the same family," according to their website. I believe it! It was, by far, THE coolest thing I've ever seen!

I stepped through the doors, and, quite literally, stepped into a simpler time ... into the days of yesteryear, to wax poetic.

In the dimly lit space, I could almost hear the voices of the generations that have paved the way for myself and my modern counterparts echo against the rafters of the little general store. "If these walls could talk" took on a meaning far greater than anything my imagination could conjure, as I listened to the store owner, Jeanne Penn Lane, tell about the memories she had of the store and the years her mother had it. As a writer, I could have stayed there all afternoon and listened to her talk as the characters in my head started pushing and shoving inside my mind's eye.

I couldn't have created a better setting if I'd spent an entire lifetime trying to come up with adequate descriptors! This is a DEFINITE must-see!






CONVERSATION IN THE CAR ON THE WAY HOME FROM DANVILLE, KY

Dad: "Hmmm ... Carpentar's Christian Church. Wonder if they have a Mason's, Plumber's, and Electrician's Christian Church. You suppose?"

Mom: "DAVID! Jesus was a carpentar! Good heavens!"

Dad: "Oh, that's right -- I forgot."

Me: Giggling uncontrollably while trying to keep my truck on the road!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

CONGRATULATIONS!!

I wanted to give a shout out to my dear friend, Debbie. She became a grandma to a precious baby boy on March 30th.

So, congratulations Grandma!! Or as they say down here in Kentucky, Mamaw! Although, I think Deb would smack me if I called her Mamaw, so I will just say Grandma! You were made for this role!

Hugs to you, Debbie!

BRRRRR!

Okay, it's it FREEZING with a capital f - r- e ... well, you get the point. FREEZING!!! I refuse to turn on the heat, so as I type this, the parental units are downstairs wrapped up in blankets watching TV. I am QUITE the hostess, am I not?

I have felt a bit grouchy about the significantly lowered temperatures, and I've done my best to voice my opinion on the subject as much as I possibly could throughout the day!

Apparently, God is unmoved by my rants and raves, because He's got 40s scheduled for the rest of the week.

The next daily photo could be the icicles hanging from my nose!

CALM AFTER THE STORM

The parental units made it down to the land of bourban and bluegrass yesterday afternoon. They hooked to their back bumper, Michigan's cold weather ... grumble, grumble, grumble.

For the past two weeks, we've had weather in the 70s and 80s. It's been WONDERFUL! All the days of windows open ... flip flops ... capri pants and short-sleeved shirts, I've been in heaven.

The parental units come to town, and our first major thunderstorm of the season -- complete with tornado warnings -- come with them. I'm not drawing any conclusions here, folks, but it doesn't seem coincidental either!

We had a lovely afternoon touring downtown Frankfort, taking photos at the Capitol (the tulips, flowering cherry trees, the red buds, the dogwoods ...), and then to Cove Springs. Wow! That place is amazing, and I think we're planning a return trip.

Today on the docket? More playing! I always love to play!

Photos to come ...

WEDNESDAY'S DAILY PHOTO


A bird's thoughts on government?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A WEEK MAKES

This is pretty typical of me. I think about doing something, but I don't always put thoughts to actions.

It occurred to me, when I started this gym journey, that perhaps I needed to measure all the offensive parts of my body to actually prove the gym was working. I use the word occur, because, until last Tuesday (when thoughts became actions), that was as far as it went ... just occurring to me.

Today, I measured myself again, pre-coffee (I want only the most accurate measurements, ladies and gentlemen!), and here are the results. Very exciting if I do say so myself!

Hips: -1.5"
Thighs: -0.5 "
Chest: -0.5" (the "girls" are reluctant to change)
Arms: -1"
And here's the really exciting part ... Tummy: -2.5"

Girl's got back, but she's soon to have a whole lot less!

TUESDAY'S DAILY PHOTO



Hmmm ... what doesn't fit in this picture?

Monday, April 02, 2007

THE 'HOOD POST SCRIPT

Because I guess he didn't get enough of the boys in blue earlier, my neighbor on the cul-de-sac is getting a repeat performance! Four more officers down in my 'hood! Do I know how to entertain, or do I know how to entertain!

IF SOMEONE HAD BEEN LISTENING TO OUR CONVERSATION

Christy has a blog. http://inonepiece.blogspot.com/index.html You will notice that one of her most recent blog entries is about her creepy neighbor and the fact that he is MIA.

Now, being the macabre individual I am, I told her I thought she should let her landlord know, and then I asked her this very key question, "Do you smell anything funny? Because that's a dead give away that he's ... well, dead."

Fast-forward a couple of hours. Christy and I were driving around Frankfort when we were assaulted by the most vile smell imaginable.

"OH! DECOMP!" I yelled. This is a direct result of too many CSI episodes burned into my brain!

After a few moments of coughing and gagging, I turn to Christy and say, "That's the smell you need to be wary of coming from your MIA neighbor's apartment!"

LIVING IN THE 'HOOD

Apparently, I live in the 'hood. I didn't know this when I moved in. It seemed like a nice place ... quiet ... a lot of young professionals with families mixed in with blue collar workers. A diverse group of folks. I liked that.

In the last three weeks, I've seen no less than FOUR police contacts in my little neck of the woods. Usually with two or three police cruisers visiting at one time.

Today was a banner day! We had four boys in blue here on my little cul-de-sac, and, at one point, they had guns drawn to their sides. Nothing like stepping out of your home to walk down and get the mail ... and seeing the police attempting to gain entry into an apartment!

From what I can gather, it was your typical domestic dispute. A couple broke up ... the lady wanted to get her things ... the guy in the failed relationship wouldn't let her in. It's a law enforcement officer's favorite call (said with tongue in cheek).

Ah! They don't make neighborhoods like they used to ...

My dad said to me the other day, "I'm not sure what it is with you the police. Where ever you live, you manage to be at the heart of some sort of police action!"

You know, he's right! Perhaps it's my magnetic personality ... hmmm ... how does one translate that into DATING PROSPECTS?

WHY THEY CALL THIS PLACE "HORSE COUNTRY"







MONDAY'S DAILY PHOTO



A road that leads to no-where and everywhere all at the same time ...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

SUNDAY'S DAILY PHOTO

I'm going to try to put up daily photos ... I'm really practicing my photographer's eye. I've been VERY out of practice, so this is my attempt to get back into that artistic mindset. My dad and sister have a better eye than I when it comes to photographic renderings. I do better with close-ups of kids. Anyway, here's Sunday's Daily Photo ...


DO YOU REMEMBER DALLAS?

BLOG PREFACE: I forget that there is an age difference between myself and my good buddy Christy. In my mind's eye, I am still 25 years old, so, Christy is, theoretically, older than me. This works for me. Although, I'm not altogether sure how well it works for Christy ...

FAST-FORWARD TO THIS PAST FRIDAY: Christy and I were feeling a little restless. Two single girls on a Friday night ... we needed to find something to do! Okay, yes, perhaps we were a little bit on the prowl.

So, we went to our favorite pizza buffet place, and, I, (speaking completely for myself) ate my weight in pizza. Christy took me to some incredibly ADORABLE neighborhoods in Frankfort that I didn't even know existed! That's a blog for another day, and we then decided to go back to my place and watch a movie.

I let Christy go through my movies and decide which one she wanted to watch.

"I want to watch something funny," Christy said.

"Okay," was my reply. "There are funny ones in there. Just ask me."

"What about SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS? Is that one funny?"

"Yeah, I think it's a cute movie. It stars Jane Powell and Howard Keel. Do you remember Miss Ellie's second husband on Dallas? That's Howard Keel."

Christy sat silently in front of my cabinet, smiling. Finally, she said, "Umm, no I don't remember Dallas. I'm mean, I know who JR Ewing is, but that's about it. Sorry."

I stood there thinking, How can you not remember Dallas?? Then it occured to me ... it's because, in the words of my kind and generous sister, I'm an old fart!