Monday, December 31, 2007

BITTERSWEET

Well, another great vacation in Michigan has come to a close.

It's always a bittersweet time. I hate to leave ... I miss my family and friends up here. And I always feel guilty that I couldn't make it to see everyone while I was here.

But I'm also looking forward to getting back ... I hate living out of a suitcase ... I worry about my cat -- did she survive the vacation alone ... did the massive amount of kitty food last ... furthermore, what has she managed to get into while I was away!?!?

There's always a tug in my heart to stay, but really, there isn't a lot here for me anymore.

I love my Michigan friends and my family and miss them a lot, but thanks to modern technology i.e., cell phones, email, and instant messaging, I can talk to them all the time, and that somehow makes it feel that I'm not so far away.

So, good-bye Michigan ....

Good-bye to another Christmas and all the magic it holds ...

Good-bye to 2007 for that matter.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm eager to see what 2008 has in store!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

MY NEW COLLECTION


I've started a new collection ... vintage bottle brush trees, like these picture above. The ones I picked up at my favorite antique shop AMAZING GRACE ANTIQUES (Marshall, MI) are green and flocked, and two of them have red berries with tinsel.
I just love these trees! I envision getting a whole wad of them as I wander through antique malls.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

NO HOLIDAY BLUES THIS YEAR

I can actually say that this is the first year in a very, very, very long time, I've not awoken, on the day after Christmas, feeling depressed and blue.

This is a moment to celebrate!

My parents have always done Christmas BIG, even in the lean years. It's always been every bit of Christmas build-up leading up to the big day, and I've loved every minute of it. But for me, the build-up leads to a giant sigh of ... I don't know ... maybe, "oh-no-it's-all-over-with."

This year, I purposed to really relax during the season, and, in doing so, I made a couple of goals for myself:
  1. I wasn't going to stress about money and spending. I would set a goal, get some ideas gathered for gifts for everyone, and set out to find what I could with the money I had available to me. Low and behold, I was able to get all of my shopping done in a few hours time, AND I got everything I went into the store looking for ... wahoo!!!
  2. I wasn't going to spend my time "wishing away" my holiday season. I wanted to absorb all I could. I didn't want to stress about a dirty house or silly superficial stuff like that. I wanted to take it all in, whatever I could. Yes, I missed a couple of Christmas programs along the way, but I enjoyed what I was able to take in.
  3. I was going to look forward to going home and not put a lot of undue stress on myself at trying to do it all or see everyone. I may miss hanging out with some folks, but you know what, I'm spending some amazing quality time with my family, and I am enjoying them thoroughly.
  4. I didn't have a lot of expectations for gifts this year ... not that I do any year, but this year was a year where I couldn't really come up with an answer to my mother's question; "So, what would you like for Christmas this year?" I've ALWAYS been able to more than amply answer that question. This year, all I could come up with was, "ummm ... steak knives." It made the gifts that I did receive even more of a surprise because I wasn't anticipating anything, if that makes sense ...
  5. I really tried to keep the true meaning of the reason for celebrating alive in my heart. For me, Christmas is important because it is the celebration of the birth of my Saviour. Focusing on that made the season that much sweeter.

What revolutionary concepts, right? And yet, up to this point, I've never been able to master/meet these goals.

I am very proud that this year, I've met each one! It certainly has made the holiday season much more enjoyable.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

TRAVELING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

Yesterday, I arrived in Michigan to spend Christmas with my family. It was an uneventful trip which is just how I like those sorts of road trips.

A few thoughts about my travels ...

1. If you are handing out gold stars, I deserve one! I managed to get ALL the way through Indianapolis without any wrong veers off onto random exits. Yeah for me!

2. To the girl driving the electric blue Ion on I-69 ... Could I introduce you to a little object we all like to call CRUISE CONTROL? It's a brilliant invention, really. You set your cruise at a desired speed, and, this is going to blow your mind ... your car actually STAYS at that speed ... indefinitely! Amazing right? Seriously, get with the program. Cuz, the whole 60 to 85 to 45 to 72 to 56 to 80 thing, I wasn't vibin' it!

3. God bless the person that invented Starbucks! Seriously! That coffee makes me sane during those trips ... or at the very least, it helps make the 6-hour drive do-able.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

MODERN CONVENIENCES

I've hesitated blogging about this because my mother will, inevitably, read this entry, look at her computer screen with that motherly "look," and say in disgust, "That has to be height of laziness, Meg!"

However, I was never more excited than the day the BP Gas Station opened up at the entrance to my subdivision. From that moment on, I needed merely to roll out of my parking space, travel around a few curves, and screech to a halt at the gas pumps, having only spent a total of 2 minutes in my vehicle.

Okay, for some of you, I realize this seems silly. However, I grew up in a tiny little town. For a small, small town girl, traveling 15 minutes across town to Walmart, is a much appreciated treat, as opposed to the journey across every hill and dale to the closest Walmart, 25 minutes away! Okay, yes, I've blogged on many occasions that Frankfort's Walmart is pretty much be what I consider hell to be like. Still, it's the convenience factor.

Having a gas station at the entrance to my subdivision also helps me answer the Dad Question, "What's gas running in your area?" It's a question I get a lot, and one I typically answered, "Oh, I think the last time I actually looked at the sign, it was like in the $2.90s." Now, I can answer this question with authority.

Because I know he will ask when next I speak to him, gas today, Papa, is $2.89.

The BP station is also very convenient when a certain fourth grade teacher is running late because she slept through her alarm (which is usually the normal time, normal people get up, but is late for me when one is used to landing in her room at 6:30 a.m.), and she runs out of the door without water or any thought to breakfast.

One Pop Tart and a bottled water later ... she is on her way to tackle the second to last day of school before Christmas break!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

INAUGURATION DAY IN KENTUCKY

No school today.


It's Inauguration Day in the Capitol city, and, being that my school is in the very immediate area of the capitol, and all the streets in downtown Frankfort were going to be shut down, the powers that be decided to just not have classes.

It was a beautiful day for a parade ... balmy and sunny. I love a parade!

Photos will follow.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

LOST IN THE CHEESE

I have attempted to get into the Christmas spirit by watching as many Christmas movies as I possibly can ...

Okay, maybe what I'm really doing is masking the fact that I don't actually have much of a life beyond work these days, and so I spend a few TOO many hours each night burying myself in a fantasy-land veiled in Christmas themes ...

Either way you look at it, I've got myself a real Cheesy Christmas happening here.

The plots are all predictable ... the girl wakes up one morning and realizes her life isn't at all what she thought it would be so she wishes upon a star, BANG, travels back in time, meets her prince charming, falls in love, and lives happily ever after beginning on Christmas Eve night!

Or what about the guy that follows his heart and a hunch to a town he's never been, meets a beautiful girl, only to find out she's betrothed to another, falls in love with her anyway, BANG, The Kiss happens, they pledge their undying love to each other, and they live happily ever after beginning on Christmas Eve night!

Ick ... it's all so sugary sweet I'm almost gagging on the words I'm typing ...

And yet I fall for it ... every. single. time.

No wonder Lifetime makes a killing! Me and every other "30-something wanted it all, sacrificed it all, living a life teetering on the edge of crazy mundane and frenetic insanity, single girl" out there watches one of those saccharine infused, gag-provoking tear fests and thinks, for a brief moment in time, that they will walk out of their front door, head-long into a wintry wonderland and the arms of Mr. Right.

If only it were so ... back in the beginning of 2007, my friend Christy declared it the Year of Love. I embraced the concept whole-hearted. I wanted to believe in the Year of Love. I was going to find IT in the Year of Love.

Well, the year is almost over with ... I've found nothing but a pile of dirty socks I didn't know I had and a massive lint ball in the left pocket of my jeans.

To quote an 80s big hair band, "Love bites!"

Maybe they are on to something ...

Or maybe I'm just coming down off of my syrupy sugar high ...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

GIRL'S GOTTA KEEP UP WITH HER NEWS


I swear to you, she was watching the news!

REJECT FAMILY PORTRAITS




I'm always trying to come up with new ways to make my Christmas greeting different and unique. This year I somehow decided it would be fun to do a "family" portrait in front of the Christmas tree. Maddie the Cat was less than thrilled, as you will be able to tell almost immediately from the following FAMILY PORTRAIT REJECTS.


My life is so full, right? I mean, I'm now taking portraits of myself and my cat. What, exactly, is wrong with this picture?


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A CONVERSATION BETWEEN A DAD AND HIS DAUGHTER

Dad: Are the hunting seasons all done in Kentucky?

Daughter: I don't know.

Dad: Why not?

Daughter: Because I don't keep up with that sort of stuff.

Dad: You need to get yourself a hunter and then you would be up on all of it.

Daughter: And where does a girl like me go to meet a hunter?

Dad: A gun shop.

Daughter: Oh yeah! Cuz I wouldn't look at all out of place at a gun shop! I can see it now: "Can I help you ma'am?" "Nope, I'm just looking." Yeah, that would work out well!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

TEAM MEETING CONVERSATION

"What are you doing to help us get 100 % on our academic index in reading?

Me: "Ummm ... praying? Hard?"

"No, seriously. What are you doing?"

Me: "Everything I can. I guess that's why I'm not dating ... I'm here at 6:30 a.m., and I leave at 6:30 p.m. How do you meet men doing that? They aren't crawling out of the word-work around here."

"I just wanted to know how you were coming on the reading preparation for the standardized tests."

Me: "Oh."

Monday, December 03, 2007

A MINOR MISCALCULATION IN TIME

Western Kentucky is in a different time zone than the rest of the Eastern Seaboard.

I discovered this little Kentucky factoid at 10 o'clock this morning, when, after sitting and complaining for an hour at the audacity of everyone else that was late to this professional development I'd traveled two and a half hours to, I realized that all of the clocks in the room we were sitting in were actually set an hour behind the time on my cell phone!

I was an hour early to the conference!!! This meant that I was hour late getting home from the conference, which is only somewhat problematic when one considers I drove the school van that I was forced to sign out in order to go to this conference ... sign out with a time to be checked back in ...

Oops ... minor miscalculation ....

Sunday, December 02, 2007

OVERHEARD CONVERSATION IN AN UNDISCLOSED PARKING LOT

Me: Hey! Was that a snowflake I just felt on my head?!

Christy: No!

Me: Yes it was! Ouch! There was another one.

Christy: It wasn't a snowflake.

Me: Yes, it was. It's snowing!

Christy: Geez, Murray! You act like you're from Kentucky!

I'M SORRY. WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?

Is it just a little weird when the president of the school board suggests that I should sign up for Match.com?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

TO SCRUNCH OR NOT TO SCRUNCH

Yesterday, I attended the Frankfort High vs. Beechwood High football game. This just wasn't any old game. Frankfort High was working toward their first state championship since 1990, which isn't all that long ago ... I mean, it was the year I graduated from high school ...

Not that long ago ... until you start doing the math. Then you realize, it's actually 17 years ago, and most of the boys on the field weren't even BORN in 1990! Oh my gosh ... someone please pass me a paper bag!!! I need to breathe in it!

When I entered the football stadium, I was summarily handed a spirit pom-pom emblazoned with the Frankfort Orange and Blue. I immediately started scrunching it.

"What are you doing with that pom-pom?" one of my colleagues asked me.

"I'm scrunching my pom-pom!"

"Why?"

"Seriously!? You are asking me why? You can't shake a pom-pom without scrunching it. That's just ... that's just ... well, that's just wrong! We ALWAYS scrunched our pom-poms before we used them. Didn't everyone?"

"Huh ..." she said. Apparently, this too is a "northern thing."

I finished scrunching mine, and she looks at me and my pom-pom with envy. "Hey, yours does look a lot nicer than mine now! Much fuller."

"Do mine!"

Before it was said and done, I'd scrunched four people's pom-poms, everyone was exceedingly pleased.

Seriously?! Were we 80s girls in Michigan the ONLY ONES that scrunched their pom-poms?