Wednesday, December 31, 2008

THE OFFICIAL CHRISTMAS CARD PHOTO -- 2008


For those that, for whatever reason, did not receive a Christmas card from me, here is the official 2008 Christmas Card Photo ... my new tradition ... to apparently make a mockery of everything that's festive.

BOOK REVIEW

MISS JULIA SPEAKS HER MIND by Ann B. Ross

I got to meet Ann B. Ross at the 2007 Kentucky Book Fair, and I was able to purchase her first book, Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind and have Ms. Ross sign it. Then I lost mine and stopped reading anything that related to words for grown-ups. So, I took her home to Michigan, and I read her in a day and a half!

Miss Julia is a wonderfully funny southern, genteel lady, and her wit is every thing you'd expect from a North Carolina lady. She rails on her church and its hypocritical ways -- she bucks southern traditionalists, even though she considers herself one.

Is this a life-altering book? Will my views on this world change significantly after reading it?

No, but it's entertaining and funny and enjoyable, and I loved every minute I spent reading it.

At the 2008 Kentucky Book Fair, I was again able to meet Ann B. Ross and have her sign the next two books in the series. I'm planning on spending my day tomorrow digging into book 2.

I recommend the entire series! They sure are fun!

MY BRAIN ON SIX HOURS OF DRIVING

MY BRAIN ON THOUGHTS OF FINALLY GETTING OUT OF THE TRUCK

THE FASHIONISTA IN ME

I HATE the craze called Crocs ... I hate the shoes, hate the tacky colors ... I hate the stupid little thingy-ma-jigs you can stick in those silly holes ... I hate, hate, hate them.

I swore I'd never own a pair.

Then I discovered that the company has other sorts of shoes. In fact, let's just call them styles ... actual shoe styles. Cute shoes ... shoes I'd wear out in public let alone in the comfort of my own home. Combined with the fact that my plantar fasciitis is NOT healing like it should, and that every shoe I wear is only making matters worse, I decided to bite the bullet, pay the incredible cost, and buy some Crocs, Megan-style.


Never say never ... why can I not learn this lesson?! When I say never, I end up doing the exact thing I swore I'd never do. What the heck!?

Oh well! The cool thing about these babies is that they will go from winter to spring to summer to fall and back again, cuz I can wear them with or without socks. Now, how amazingly brilliant is that? Now, tell me these aren't cute ... at least a little cute ...

ANOTHER VIEW OF NEW CROCS

Monday, December 29, 2008

LAST DAY IN MICHIGAN

Well, I've done it again. I've managed to have an incredibly relaxing time in Michigan, and I find myself thinking, "WAIT! I was going to call this person or visit that person ...."

For all of you that I said I wanted to see and didn't, I am sorry! There isn't enough time in my days when I come home to Michigan. There's too much to do ... too much not to do ...

My main goal, which has been my main goal every time I make it up this way lately, was to sit, relax, not think about work, read my brains out, eat, eat, and eat some more, diet and exercise program be damned!

So, let's review my check list a moment,

Read my brains out? Check! I've read a total of 7 magazines, cover to cover, and one and a half books. Book reviews are forthcoming!

Sit? Check! I've sat A.L.O.T. So much so that I think my butt has permanently molded to the Lazy Boy chair in my parents' living room.

Not think about work? CHECK! I've checked my email, only because the person watching my cat only has my work email, but other than that, I've not thought about work one little bit. Well, I take that back. I had one moment this morning when I thought, "oh crap! I'm going to have to go back soon ... and Spring Break's a long way off!"

Eat, eat, and eat some more? Triple check! Thankfully, the scales said that I've only gained 2.5 lbs. I think I've fallen in love with my parents' scales, so they may be coming home with me in my suitcase! At any rate, 2.5 lbs, I can live with. I will be back into a routine the moment I hit the border of Kentucky, and I will fight to keep my life in some sort of routine, so help me!

Which leads me to another topic ... New Year's Resolutions ...

I hate them! I never keep them! Mainly, because I'm bad at keeping unattainable goals. However, this last year, I decided to put into place things that I thought would be easy to manage. I will blog more about that later on, but I've been thinking, and I believe I'm ready to unveil some new ones for 2009 ... Megan-style.

Be watching for them ...

Also, I will be reviewing my list of THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE I'M 40. I won't share all my items, but I will reveal some of the things I want to do ... and see what things I might have already accomplished ... although, I doubt it is very many.

To tie this all up, this rambling stream of consciousness, I want to say that while I'm sad to say good-bye to another Christmas season, I'm not sad (that makes a whole lot of sense, doesn't it?). No holiday blues ... no feelings of tension or strife. This has been an amazing time of beauty for me, to get all sappy on my readers ... all 8 of you. I've had one of the Christmases in recent memories, and I will travel home tomorrow with all sorts of warm and fuzzy memories of my time with family and friends here in Michigan.

Happy Holidays one and all!

Post Script ... Photos to come ... random at best ...

Friday, December 26, 2008

POST-CHRISTMAS GLOW

Ahhhh ... it's icy and nasty. That means I'm stuck indoors, and honestly, I can say that I'm totally okay with that. This is the first time, I can honestly say that I'm not suffering from after-Christmas blues. It's been a low-key day of sipping hot coffee or gingerbread tea, reading, blogging, Internet browsing, eating left-overs, and watching my sister bake cookies. It's been thoroughly wonderful in its simplicity. I am, for the first time ever, eagerly looking forward to the New Year and all that it has to offer. I've got a swelling feeling of great anticipation and excitement. I can't wait!! 2009 ... bring it on!!!

Part of the whole feeling of peace and calm, I think, is due in part to the fact that I didn't place a lot of expectations on my Christmas season. I just let it happen ... unfold as it wanted. I was just the happy recipient of all that it had to offer. No expectations ... no room for disappointments. It was fantastic. If only I'd purposed to do that years and years ago. How many new years would have started off so differently ...

I was , and continue to be, pleased with the overall affect of "not anticipating" and how wonderful it feels to just live in the moment ... enjoying the happy little moments ...

It had been a New Years Resolution of mine to really live in the moment in 2008, and while, I sometimes lost track of that, for much of this year, it was accomplished. Again, if only I'd understood this beautiful little tidbit in my twenties. Life would have been so much sweeter. Good thing I've got the rest of my life to enjoy the sweetness ...

So, as I bask in the glow of the Christmas spirit and the waning days of 2008, I look forward to the little surprises of 2009.

Merry Christmas, and God bless us everyone!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

I'm sitting here sipping eggnog flavored coffee and watching the snow come down. It's a WHITE CHRISTMAS!!!

I hope everyone is enjoying their day and is feeling blessed, loved, and ready for the new year.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

TO QUOTE THE BOY SCOUTS, ALWAYS BE PREPARED

I'd forgotten about the planning involved in dealing with snow.

I've spent three winters in Kentucky, and I've already forgotten the planning involved.

What planning, you might ask? P.L.A.N.N.I.N.G.

You see, when you drive around Michigan in the winter time, you must be prepared for the fact that, in all likelihood, you could hit an icy patch and land yourself in the ditch. With that in mind, you need to be prepared. You need warm clothes on, preferably in layers. You need a heavy, warm coat, mittens, a hat, and a scarf. You should also have a good pair of winter boots. You can just never be too prepared.

Today, I drove my happy butt over to Homer to get my oil changed, and I left with the thinnest possibly mittens on my hands and a very thin shirt under my coat.

OH. MY. GOSH. I've lost my mind!!!

You can take the girl out of Michigan, but you can't take Michigan out of the girl ... you just make her forget a little bit.

Excuse me ... I need to warm up with another cup of piping, hot decaf coffee ... please pass the Eggnog Creamer ... YUM-YUM!!!!




Saturday, December 20, 2008

AND THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER TYPE A CHRISTMAS LETTER WHEN YOU'RE TIRED

Because when you do type a Christmas letter when you're tired, you type MANGER with an extra A so that it now reads "the baby lying in a manager."

Yeah, that looks classy.

Even classier?

Sending the aforementioned letter out to a blue bazillion recipients.

Fan-freakin'-tastic!

ENCOURAGING ARTERY BLOCKAGES EVERY WHERE

As a teacher, you get a certain amount of lovely gifts each year from your students. Sometimes, it's the Year of the Candle. Sometimes, it's the Year of the Christmas Tree Ornament. And sometimes, as it was this year, you have the Year of Miss Murray Looks Skinnier, Gotta Fatten Her Up With Lots of Sweet and Yummy Treats.

Take for instance the container of fudge you see here. This, ladies and gentlemen, was presented to me on a dinner plate! Near as I can tell, it's Rocky Road Fudge as it has marshmallows AND walnuts, and it's divine, which means my future as a heart patient has been secured!



Just to gain some perspective on the shear volume of fudge, I also took a shot of the container I placed it ALL in with the rest of my stove included. Again, perspective is everything!

My mother called last night to see if I'd survived the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL BEFORE CHRISTMAS BREAK (survival is always some what questionable on those days), and I announced that I was bringing home the two container of cookies and large container of fudge.

With what can only be described as a disgusted tone to her voice, my mother said, "Oh Meg. You did this to us last year!"

"Oh what I brought home last year doesn't compare to what I will be sharing this year!"

"Great ..." she grumbled.

So, mother, here's a sneak preview. I figure if I spread the wealth, I'm also spreading the overall weight gain out as well. I'm relatively sure that is how this sort of stuff works ...


IT'S BETTER TO GIVE THAN RECEIVE

A couple of years ago, when I was still teaching in Michigan, I devised a plan regarding my class Christmas party.

As a child, I soooo looked forward to those class Christmas parties. Oh man! I was so excited ... until I opened the Christmas gift I got in the class Christmas drawing. Growing up, we never had a lot of money, but my mother and I always spent a good deal of time choosing an appropriately priced gift that everyone might like. As child, I always felt like I put a lot of thought into it. However, I don't remember ever getting a gift that I actually liked in return. It was always such a disappointment.


Because I taught in a district (and still do, for that matter) where most kids didn't even have the means I had growing up, I didn't want them to go through the same thing I had. I wanted the party to have a purpose as well as to be a fun time.

So, I cooked up the IT'S BETTER TO GIVE THAN RECEIVE party. I did it for two years in Michigan, and I've done it for two years here in Kentucky. Every year, it's an overwhelming success, and every single year, I'm humbled by the generosity of my kids and their parents.

For the last two years, my class has adopted the Franklin County Women's Shelter. We've donated gifts for kids that come into the shelter with their mothers. It's a great organization that does an amazing amount of good, and I am thrilled to be able to help them out each and every year.

This is the stack of presents we collected with a little help from our staff, who is always so willing to help out.

This year we wrapped the boxes all the presents went into -- I'm not even going to estimate the amount of tape involved in this venture, but who cares! My students had a blast! They worked in teams, and I'm telling you, they all were angels! It's amazing what doing for other people will do for your spirit!

I wish I could show you photos of my students all working together, but I would need to get permission from their parents to post them on the web. So, instead, I will show you a photo of Mr. Harley, our principal, reading TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS to my kids. They LOVED it!

My heart feels all warm and fuzzy inside, and I feel like my Christmas season has fallen on the right feet! Merry Christmas to all ... it is, after all, better to give than receive. Please look for ways that you can give back to your community. Even the smallest of gestures are precious to those on the receiving end.





Thursday, December 18, 2008

CAN IT BE THIS CLOSE?

So, according to the countdown I currently have on my white board at school, we've got seven more days until Christmas! Can it be this close? Wasn't it just last week you all were celebrating Thanksgiving while I was bowing down to the porcelain god? Gotta love a little food poisoning ...

There are only two more days of school until Christmas break. That, I know, is coming to me! I deserve every single bit of this break! My kids have been C.R.A.Z.Y., but I remind myself every single day that they are so excited they don't know how to handle themselves. Being crazy is their only outlet, and oh yeah, I was pretty insane when I was that age too.

Today, we head to Gattitown for a little rewards party ... I've got my Excedrin migraine conveniently packed in my pocket, and I've got a bottle of Spiced Apple Wine waiting for me when I get home. I'm good!

Happy Holidays one and all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

GETTING THE SNOW DAY CALL

My alarm went off at 5 a.m., and by 5:10 a.m., I knew that we would have a snow day today. However, my principal called me at 5:30 a.m., getting the staff calling tree started. Here's how the conversation went this morning:

My principal: "Good morning, Miss Murray? Are you already at work?" [insert his laughter here]

Okay, so I'm thinking this is a sad commentary on my life .... I can't be certain, but I feel relatively sure that Carrie will be commenting that, "Yes, dude, this is a pretty sorry commentary on your life ... GO HOME!"


Saturday, December 13, 2008

CHRISTMAS AT SECOND STREET

My principal hosted a Christmas breakfast at our school this morning for all of the staff and their families. Santa Claus even made an appearance! My friends Joe and Erin brought their little guy Ben for his first visit with Santa, which he loved! The photo below is of Ben and I after his visit with Santa and right after he loaded his britches with poopy episode #2 of four or five that day! :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

CHAPERONING THE TRAIN WRECK THAT IS A MIDDLE SCHOOL DANCE

Tonight was the "big" 5th and 6th grade dance. From 7 to 9 p.m., I sat and watched prepubescents do the worm, gorge themselves on pizza and pop, create drama with every flip of their stringy hair, and was transfixed by the gaggle of girls that wore tracks in the hallway that led to and from the bathroom. I also wondered at the footwear of some of these girls. Considering I wasn't allowed to wear actual heels until at was in 9th grade, it seemed somewhat odd to me, that these little girls were running around in heels that would mock my sensible shoes.

Highlights of the evening? Besides my ringing ears?
  • Witnessing my boss make farting sounds into the microphone, then laughing hysterically at himself for the ingenuity of the idea in the first place.
  • Being a party to Christy's pole dance on the door jam of the front office ... was it AC/DC playing in the background?
  • Hearing old school hard rock and playing my air guitar to the horror of my former students witnessing said display.
  • Girl drama, almost perfectly timed at 7:45 p.m. ... exactly 45 minutes into the dance and right about the time everyone has had their first saturation of sugary drinks.
  • Seeing them all leave at 9ish p.m.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

SLEEP, WHERE ART THOU?

Sleep has been an elusive beast in my life. Even when I get it, I wake up feeling horribly exhausted. It's bad ... to the point that it plays out in my interactions with other human beings ... all the time.

Last night, I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to go to bed ... I brought two bags of work home, and I couldn't do it. I was exhausted ... mentally and physically. So, at 9 p.m., I went to bed.

I was asleep almost immediately.

I think I would have awakened this morning refreshed if I hadn't have gotten up at 2:30 a.m. to use the little girls room, but still, I've decided something.

I can't do work at home and get to bed at a decent hour. So, now, I'm wondering how I get the work done. It's not doing itself.

I've not been to the gym in weeks. I have more meetings than I ever dreamed of having, and they're not voluntary meetings. These are meetings I've got to go to.

What is going to give?

The more I try to find a personal life, the more work life comes crashing down on top of me. I can't get out from under it.

I'm drowning ... slowly, suffocatingly drowning ...


Monday, December 08, 2008

COSMIC FORCES OF NATURE ARE AGAINST ME

It's as if some cosmic force has it in for me ... if I believed in such things, which I don't. But anyway, supposing I did, I would believe that some fate-like force has heard my haughty declaration and has decided to screw with my head.

What haughty declaration is that, you might ask?

Well, the one in which I said, "I will not allow my schedule to stress me out!"

Yeah ... that one. The same one that came and bit me in my hind end this afternoon, after I very nicely plotted out what I was going to accomplish immediately following my hour long meeting ... the same meeting that actually took almost two hours ... the very same meeting where people discussed things that weren't germane to the purpose of said meeting in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think, sometimes, cocktails should be served at meetings ... strong ones. It would make my life a whole lot easier ... or at the very least, it would deaden the pain.

Note to self ... next time make sure to bring a sharpened pencil ... I will need it to poke my eyes out with ...





Saturday, December 06, 2008

AND THIS WOULD BE WHY I LEAVE THESE SORTS OF THINGS UP TO THE PROFESSIONALS

I got a bug up my butt about this growing mustache and goatee that hitting middle 30s seems to have encouraged on my face.

"Why don't you try waxing your upper lip and chin?" My stylist Susan said. She and I are the same age. "I do, and it doesn't come back in stubbly or anything."

Today, I'd had it! I was sick of looking at the dark hairs, and so I got out the "store-bought" wax and nuked it in the microwave, hell-bent on fixing these unwanted facial hairs.

I should have known I was heading for trouble when I spilled a modicum of the hot wax on my antique, enamel cabinet top. The glob of goop dried immediately, and it doesn't seem to have a mind to ever come up off the cabinet.

It just went down hill from there.

The directions clearly said NOT to get the wax on your lips. Well, I'm not sure how that's accomplished because I managed to wax one half of the left side of my mouth! I'm sure, with a bit of strategic maneuvering, I can get food into that right side of my mouth. It'll just look like I've suffered a mini-stroke for a few more days.

From there, I got a thick coating of wax on my upper lip, but then I couldn't get it off! I ripped and tugged, and after having the feeling pretty much leave my lip, I managed to get most of it off, with the minor exception of the little beads of wax intertwined in the very hairs I was trying to wax off! Rubbing alcohol seemed appropriate at that juncture, but a little warning about rubbing alcohol, it stings when you rub it vigorously on the layer below the one you just ripped off. The analgesic lotion they provide didn't give me much relief after that.

On top of it all, I got six out of my ten fingers stuck together with that glue they pass off as wax, and it was nothing short of finger nail polish and a small miracle that got that hot mess off.

I would like to report that my upper lip and chin are hair-free and looking good. However, I have a fine, line of hair just at my lip line that is still there ... refuses to come off, and on closer inspection, the chin hair I wanted plucked in the first place, still rests happily from the over-large pore there.

And men think they have it rough ...





FINDING MY SLEEP MOJO

I'm having trouble sleeping.

Honestly, I couldn't begin to calculate when the last time was that I slept soundly OR woke up not feeling more exhausted than when I went to bed or woke up AFTER the roosters did. Usually I beat them to the breaking dawn.

Two years? Three? Ten? When I was an infant?

I was complaining to my mom last night, and her very motherly comment was, "You don't do a good job of preparing your body for rest."

"Don't sugar-coat it or anything. mother."

"Oh, I don't plan to."

She then preceded to list all the things I do wrong in order to sabotage my being able to get a decent, restful night's sleep. Mother's are fantastic for lists, aren't they? All my friends that have procreated? Yep! They are list people too. It's sickening. It's like they pop out the kid and are handed THE GIANT BIBLE OF EVERY LIST KNOW TO HUMANKIND, ENSURING THE ANNOYANCE OF THE OFFSPRING.

So, here's ....
Jan Murray's List of Why Megan Isn't Sleeping
  1. "You drink way too much caffeine." (my mother is hitting me where I live with this one).
  2. "You don't prepare your body for rest ... you go and go and go."
  3. "You don't have a set bedtime."
  4. "You probably don't eat as well as you should."
  5. "You drink way too much caffeine." (have I mentioned this one already?)
  6. "You don't allow yourself to relax. Get into bed and read and relax."
  7. "You fight sleep, and then end up falling asleep on the couch or something."
  8. "Your bedroom is not set up for relaxing and resting."
Okay, so it's going to be my goal today and in the coming days, but mainly today, to figure out how to make my bedroom my Sleeping Sanctuary. If you've got some great ideas, please leave me a comment.

I wonder ... that oil infuser I have in my room. It's a citrus blend ... aromatherapy being what it is, I wonder if that's impeding my neurons from relaxing by making them hypersensitive and overstimulated ... hmmmm ....



Friday, December 05, 2008

CHANGING MY NAME AND GOING INTO WITNESS PROTECTION

I hated my name today. Absolutely hated it. Hearing it said over and over and over and over and over again ... well, it had the same effect on me as, say, finger nails on the chalkboard.

I think I'm changing my name ... just for the weekend ... just until the whining stops ... and the bickering ... and the whining, have I mentioned the whining?

THE CASE OF THE STOLEN DONUTS ... PART 2

My class won donuts again for HIGH ATTENDANCE.

I swear, I'm hiding the ding dang left-overs this time.

Miss Murray is on the case!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO "HUH?"

Here's something you don't hear every morning at 6:15 in a local gas station as you head through the doors to your car ... UNLESS you live where I live:

<said by man with slow drawl and cowboy hat perched on head> "Excuse me, ma'am, I'm looking for Jim Beam?"

What I wanted to say, but didn't: "Just follow the scent of the sour mash, buddy!"

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

PERHAPS I SHOULD JUST GET A PUPPY

Tonight was trash night.

I hate trash night.

It requires me to wrestle my two, very over-stuffed recycling bins out of my very, not-at-all-roomy shed, schlep them through my house (because that's more convenient than walking them AROUND the building), and then fighting the warped lids on them and then dragging them to the side of the road. Then, I get to start the schlepping process all over again with the garbage can. It's a good time.

It's always at times like these that I lament the fact that I don't have a husband. "This would be his job," I whine.

But then I hear my mother in my head saying, "Ummm. Need I remind you who does the trash collecting in my house!? ME! That's who."

Then there's Carrie, who called me tonight to vent. "I knew you would listen to me and just let me vent."

"Oh sure, dude, whatever. Vent away."

"Well, Tom's on vacation. So, last night, I reminded him that we have 10 diapers left, and that he'd need to go to the store and get some more today. He was all 'Okay. Sure'. Then I suggested that while he was at the store, he might want to pick up some grocery for dinner tonight, since they really didn't have anything left in the house."

Fast-forward to Carrie getting in the car to drive home, when she found out that ...
a.) Tom didn't get any diapers
b.) No groceries were procured from the aforementioned grocery
c.) No dinner was planned, let alone prepared.

Yeah, and I want one these why?

Perhaps, I'm better off just getting a puppy ...




Tuesday, December 02, 2008

TEACHING THE ESSENTIAL LIFE SKILLS

During indoor recess today (because the playground is a mud hole right now), I noticed that three of my boys had planted themselves, and my PAYDAY board game, right down next to me and my computer. They were playing very nicely, handing out money, reviewing rules, and generally having a good time. I wasn't all that concerned until I heard the word POKER come out of one of the boys' mouths.

I whipped around to witness each boy throw a stack of "play" bills into the middle of the board, roll the dice, and then either get super excited about the result, or lose everything!

I can only surmise that they were playing some hybridized version or mixture of Craps and Poker.

I must go on record as saying these games were NOT taught in my classroom. I have difficulty grasping the finer points of Yahtzee ... Poker is certainly out of my particular realm of possibility.

This leads me to a very obvious conclusion ... someone at home has taught them?

I shudder to think about it ... considering many of them are still stuck on their 6s in multiplication ...



Monday, December 01, 2008

CARBON FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND

I've been thinking a lot lately about my carbon footprint. What can I do to be a better steward of this land that God has let me live in?

I recycle.

I grew up with a mom that recycled before recycling was cool.

I was powerfully impacted by the commercial of the Native American Indian chief standing next to the busy highway looking at all the trash. I remember crying with him as that one, lone tear rolled down his cheek. http://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=12047196

I've really been trying very hard to throw whatever I can into my recycling bins. As I type this, my two little bins are overflowing with items ready to head out in Thursday's trash and recycling day.

Today, I got onto the Nature Conservancy's website and calculated my carbon footprint. http://www.nature.org/initiatives/climatechange/calculator/

Yikes! I'm leaving a whopper of a footprint. A lot of that has to do with the vehicle I'm driving, but that can't change for a while. So, I've got to look at other ways of making sure I'm investing in the future of my world.

For instance, did you know that by unplugging appliances that you don't use all the time, you're saving yourself a ton in energy costs?

I should be eating more locally grown produce, and I could be consuming products that aren't pre-packaged. Do I really need to put every ounce of produce in a plastic bag? And if I do, am I recycling those plastic bags?

I can be replacing all light bulbs with more energy efficient bulbs, and I should be researching ways to dispose of those newer, more energy efficient bulbs so they, too, don't find their way to the landfill.

I could strive to be more paperless here at home. I use a ton of paper, and while I recycle it all, I could still keep the use down to a bare minimum, if at all.

There are tons of other ideas out there, and I plan to look at each one of them.

My goal is to make my carbon footprint less like Big Foot and more like a newborn's print.

Here's to being green in 2009!






IT COULDN'T BE MORE RANDOM

I use cloth napkins.

On the surface, this little tidbit of information has done nothing to help you further this day along any faster. However, there is a point, and I do plan on getting to it shortly.

I use cloth napkins for a simple reason. I can't recycle paper ones, and I feel like I am better off spending money and water resources laundering cloth napkins than I am filling land fills with paper ones.

So there you have it.

I was in Pier 1 Imports the other day, and while I was wandering about, trying desperately to keep all items in front of my face from blurring horribly with the rest of the world due to the now three-day dizzy spell I seem to be suffering from, I happened upon a basket of cloth napkins.

Yes, a completely benign basket of napkins ... until I spied a tag clipped to a certain funky but cool paisley napkin that read $0.58. I brought said napkin up closer to my face, and realized that, yes, this was not a figment of my hazy mind. Rather, those napkins were, in fact, $0.58 a piece!

Well, I speedily dug through the basket until I'd uncovered eight of all the same variety. The grand total, ladies and gentlemen, $4.64. Yes, that is correct. I said, $4.64.

I'm sitting here very pleased with myself, thank you very much.






Saturday, November 29, 2008

$3.69 FOR KHAKIS

I walked into a Steve and Barry's empty-handed ... one that's going out of business ... and I walked out with a pair of khakis for $3.69. I never find clearanced, clearanced, clearance that actually fit me. Never!

This is amazingly awesome!

Freakishly thrilling!

A pair of khakis for under $4!?

If you have somehow missed the significance, allow me to explain. I am the Queen of Khakis. I'd live in them ALL THE TIME, if I could find enough to outfit my closet with (and if I didn't think someone would sic Clinton and Stacy on me). To be able to manage a pair for this price .... well, let's just say I'm doing the happy dance ... all over the place!

Monday, November 24, 2008

"WORKAHOLIC, ALWAYS AT SCHOOL"

I received the paper copy of my formative review today. Typically, a teacher, upon completion of the observational report by their principal, has a sit down-meeting with the aforementioned principal, and they discuss the report. Then, after said discussion, the teacher signs the paper copy and goes on his or her merry way.

My principal and I had the sit-down, but he'd not had time to finish the paper copy. I told him it was okay ... "get it to me when you can."

Today, after school, he came in and handed it to me. Here's a direct quote:

"Strengths: Workaholic, always at school, planning, researching, reflecting, communicating, refining ..."

The word that stood out to me was WORKAHOLIC.

I said to a colleague, "Hey Lisa, if your boss uses the word workaholic in your formative review, is that a good thing or a bad thing?"

"I think it's a good thing. As long as the word starts with a WORK... and not an ALCO..., I think you're good."

So, I guess I'm good ... although, I'm wondering if he is asking me to read between the lines ... WORKAHOLIC, sic, doesn't have a life of her own and that's why her house looks like a pig-sty and why she's still not married or at the very least in some sort of relationship."




Sunday, November 23, 2008

HEART ATTACK GRILL DIET CENTER

This place was highlighted on my favorite Sunday morning program, CBS SUNDAY MORNING. Caught it while I was organizing the GIANT STACK OF PAPER.

http://www.heartattackgrill.com/

While I don't believe it will ever be a place I will step into, I couldn't help watching the segment with horrified fascination.

OPERATION THROW OUT THE CRAP

For months, I've been complaining that I live like a pig ... in filth and disorganization. This morning, at 6 a.m., for some inexplicable reason, I'd had enough, and I started purging ... right through the 9 a.m. hour ... that golden hour when I need to jump in the shower and get ready for church. Yeah ... worked right through church. Actually, I'm still working ... just taking a break right now to clear the dust from my nose and eyes ... and possibly grab a quick shower.

So far, I have one garbage bag full and another one on its way to being filled ... five more ready to be filled with Goodwill items, and a guest bedroom that will, hopefully by this evening, be cleaned, organized, and looking more like a room and less like a repository for all things useless.

Here's a photo of my master bedroom "suite" with all the bills I've let stack up over at least an 8-month period. In this photo, they are all in their respective piles and are ready to be filed. Yes, it's shameful, and somewhere out there my mother has developed a nervous tic and my sister has an unexplained rash ... just because they viewed this disaster.





Friday, November 21, 2008

REALLY GRILLING MY CHEESE

One of my students stole from me today.

It wasn't so much what she stole (a glazed donut from the box of donuts that my class won for great attendance this week ... YAY FOR MISS MURRAY'S ROOM!).

No, what really grilled my cheese, as Carrie put it when I was relaying the story to her earlier ... the thing that really grilled my cheese was that she hid in the bathroom while we went out to recess, snuck back into my room after we'd left, grabbed the donut, left HUGE chunks of it all over my floor, and then came outside COVERED in glazed crumbs, including all over her mouth, and LIED TO MY FACE. What chapped my butt was that fact that she thought I was stupid enough to NOT notice glazed donut all over her body and the fact that before we went out to recess there were three donuts, and after recess, there were only two.

That, my dear friends, is what grilled my cheese.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

I CAN NAME THAT TUNE IN THREE NOTES

The title of the entry has nothing to do with the actual content ... other than to serve as a visual aid for how my brain is feeling right now.

Three words for you, oh faithful blogosphere ...

PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES
Is it necessary for me to say more?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

HOLIDAY DAZE ... IT'S HOVERING

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent ... or not so innocent.

Every year, I'm amazed how quickly my students' behavior deteriorates the closer we get to the holidays. I think, because of the over-marketing that occurs each year and especially this year, my kids have decided to lose their minds earlier than usual.

That's the only way to explain Simon's* decision yesterday.

I am desperately trying to get reading levels on all of my kids before parent teacher conferences, which occur tomorrow, by the way. Yesterday, I gave them three tasks that would require them to work quietly -- that way I could work on the reading assessments.

I look up, at one point in the morning, to witness Simon, desk wide open, and his head ALL THE WAY in the desk. On further inspection, I discovered all contents of said desk were on the floor.

"SIMON! What are you doing?"

"Cleaning my desk," with a look of complete and total confusion as to why I could possibly be fussing at him for this.

"Where does CLEAN YOUR DESK fit into a list that starts with FINISH YOUR READING ASSIGNMENT and ends with WORK ON YOUR FEATURE ARTICLE!?!?"

He shrugs his shoulders. Considering he'd not finished either, he was powerless to come up with a good explanation for this.

So, I jam my finger toward the tab chart, and he dejectedly walks over to flip yet another tab.

Seriously!?!? The Holiday Daze has settled over my fourth grade classroom.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BEST QUOTE OF THE DAY

As five middle school girls were gearing up/winding up for another annoying round of cheers in the middle school science room, our middle school science teacher said, "Ummm, girls. Remember the rules?"

"Yes," they all replied in cheerleading cheeriness and unison.
"No cheering before 10 a.m., and no cheers after 5 p.m."

I laughed my butt off ... right after I showed two thumbs up in support of those beautiful, beautiful rules!



Monday, November 17, 2008

CHECKING OUT THE CONSTRUCTION IN HEAVEN

My grandpa passed away today.

He's in a better place now ... reunited with Grandma and Uncle Tim.

My grandfather was an excellent woodworker. That's where my dad gets it from, I suppose ... in the genes. Grandpa checked out the workmanship of everything! Always commenting on things he thought were exceptional examples of good workmanship and as well as on things that were just plain crap.

I expect Grandpa is up there right now, inspecting the workmanship ... tapping things with his foot ... looking them over with his eagle eye ... declaring it all good.




Saturday, November 15, 2008

SOPPY, CLOUDY, COLD SATURDAY ... GOOD FOR A BOOK CURL-UP

Well, the hearty brown rice and kielbasa soup is on the stove (my own creation) bubbling away. The coffee has been warmed, and the laundry is happily humming away in the washer. I'm ready for an evening in ... surrounded by the coziness of books and magazines and music and wine and a blanket. Ahhhh ... it sounds heavenly.


Friday, November 14, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DENISE

My dear friend, Denise, celebrated her birthday on Thursday. Now, I was ahead of the game this year (and really, really behind for last year), and brought her birthday present up in October when I was home. However, I never called or emailed her birthday wishes on her special day.

It's not that I forgot, but I spent my night ... the part I would use to do things like, oh, I don't know, make personal calls and conduct personal grooming and push the vacuum around ... I spent that part at school, at an after-school, and into the evening activity, and besides the fact that it was a fantastic form of birth control for me, it was an evening that addled my brain.

So, I forgot.

I love you, though, Denise, and it was only temporary insanity!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!!


T.G.I.F.

It's Friday!!

Wahoo!!

I rocked my teacher observation!!

DOUBLE Wahoo!!

I celebrated with a horribly, outrageously calorie-filled coffee drink.

Triple Espresso and triple WAHOO!!!

I'm going to fill my brain with lots and lots of garbage in just a moment when I curl up with my latest GLAMOUR magazine.

T.G.I.F.!

WAHOO to infinity!!



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

USING LOGIC ... WAIT! I DON'T HAVE ANY!

There's a factional group of my friends that love to play board games. We've been known to have game nights centered around wild, uproarious matches. There's trash talk, under the table deals ... it can get dirty ... it can get ugly.

One of most every one's favorite games is a board game called Settlers of Catan. I say most everyone, because, frankly, I hate it. It requires you to build strategies and see several scenarios all at once. It requires you to think beyond the play in front of you and look at every angle in order to garner those elusive ten points. It requires you to think.

Now, I'm sorry, but if I see one scenario at a given moment, I'm doing well. I can't imagine twelve at one time. It's impossible for my brain to do that! Building strategies is not my forte. It's not even really in my language, and it requires logical, mathematical thinking, of which, I have none.

Zip.

Zero.

Nada.

Frankly, I think you have to be obsessed with Excel spreadsheets in order to enjoy this game. I'm not fond of spreadsheets. They cramp my style.

Last night, one of my friends was celebrating a birthday. So, the rest of the group decided it'd be "awesome" to have a game night playing Settlers. One of the girls brought a birthday cake, and promptly set it down in front of me as the rest set up the two boards we would be running simultaneously.

"Are we going to have cake?" I asked.

"Yep," someone answered while excitedly yammering about their strategy.

No one made a move to cut the cake, and, seriously, the singing of Happy Birthday had occurred a full ten minutes before this.

"So, cake? We're going to have some, right?" I asked again.

"Yeah. Sure."

I'm sorry! What is wrong with you freakin' people!??!? IT'S CAKE!!!

As people were eagerly jockeying for teammates, I decided to build my own strategy.

"Now, listen," I shouted. "This cake is the only bright spot in my evening! If you're going to make me play this stupid game, I want to eat cake while doing it."

The cake was promptly cut.

I mean, let's get some priorities straight, people.





Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I HATE PAPER WORK!!!!

My life would be so much easier if I didn't have to deal with paper work and that includes "paperless" paper work.

Man! I'm so tired of things not working correctly. I'm weary of error messages and frozen links. I'm sick of filling things out in triplicate and saving more times than Carter has liver pills.

My mind reels with the endless possibilities of things to be accomplished if only I didn't have to slog through the mire that is PAPERWORK!

Monday, November 10, 2008

KNOTS ON TOP OF THE KNOTS

I must be stressed. That's the only reason for my shoulders being so knotted up. I've got knots on top of the knots!

Christy suggested I have one of the custodians run the floor buffer up and down my back. Another one of my teammates said that I really needed a man to help me out with that particular problem.

Either way, I need to get some sort of relief. So, here's the plan ...

I'm working here to get grading, lesson plans, and copying done.

I'm not taking ANYTHING HOME. I'm making dinner ... I'm pouring myself a glass of wine ... I'm digging out my GIGANTIC pile of magazines ... and I'm enjoying an evening without work and some seriously fluff reading materials!

BRING IT ON!!!!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

MORE POETRY

I was going back over some old journals, and I uncovered something my sister wrote to me a number of years ago. Basically, it was a quote from a book explaining how girls tend to just throw their hearts at men, rather than keep them close and hand them over when the timing is right. The quote was germane at the time ... taken out of context now, it seems slightly random. However, rereading the quote got me thinking, and before I knew what was happening, a poem started spilling out. Here it is ...

A HEART UNWRAPPED

Layers
Protected and insulated
Beating
Alive with hopes and fears,
dreams and desires
Pulsing soul,
Hanging in delicate balance somewhere
between absolute love and complete despair
My heart -- please be careful with it
A gift given only to the one most deserving of it



DO OVERS

I feel like I need a do-over. I'm having one of those days where I'm really jsut feeling like I goofed up, and if I go back and just restart, circumstances might just turn out differently.

If only ...

I suppose I could ask what if until I was blue in the face or the cows come home, which ever happens first, but the fact remains that I'm stuck with the consequences, however good or bad they may be.

If only things would go my way ... but then would I really want it my way?

Probably not ...

Saturday, November 08, 2008

NO ENERGY TO CLEAN

I just spent the day shopping/antiquing with my sister in one of our favorite little towns to the west of me, and now, inexplicably, I am energy-less ... rendering me in capable of cleaning my house, and it seriously needs it. Perhaps if I just take a quick nap ... nothing too out of control ... perhaps I feel more capable of handling a vacuum and a dust rag ... maybe ... hopefully ...

A WALKIE TALKIE CONVERSATION

ME: "Mr. H., this is Miss Murray. I'm sorry to disturb your meeting, but I was wondering if you had made arrangements for my students for gym? We're waiting up here at the gym."

Long pause ...

MY PRINCIPAL: "Ah, yes. They're to walk to the Capitol barefoot."

ME: Not able to talk because laughing, but managed to press the button so am now laughing into the radio ...

MY PRINCIPAL: "Miss Murray, someone will be right up."

ME: Still laughing ... "Thank you."

Later on in the day ...

ME: "So, Mr. H. I was just wondering. Is the Walking to the Capitol Barefoot part of the PE Core Curriculum? Or does that fall under the 'Sometimes there's gonna be things I ask you to do that you aren't gonna want to do' category you were talking about at the team building exercise? I'm just wonderin' ..."

MY PRINCIPAL: "Very funny."


Friday, November 07, 2008

POETRY FRIDAYS

Some poetry for all of you discerning blog readers out there ... enjoy ... or not ... the choice is yours ....


DON'T THINK SO MUCH

Don't think so much
Act on impulse, savoring the adventure

Don't over-analyze so often
Sometimes you've got to walk blindly

Don't schedule it all
Live for moments that are supremely spontaneous

Don't always say no
Embrace those instances of magic so rare

Just take the notion by its tail
Grab the idea swiftly
Ride this life, the only one given you,
with reckless abandon.
Just have fun!


A LAKE

Dancing on the ripples
Dazzling sunlit ribbons
sparkling in evening's fading glow
Corals seeping across nature's canvas

It is the sunsets I love the best
Brilliance spreading before me in multi-color stereo sound ...




PLEASE PASS THE BONG

I had an epiphany last night ... a startling discovery ... a scary realization.

I am living like a frat boy sans pony keg in the middle of my living room floor.

In talking with my mother on the phone last night, I realized that I couldn't remember when the last time was that I'd washed a bathroom sink. "I know I scrubbed toilets after my stomach flu incident."

"Well," my mother calculated on the other line. "That would be just before you came up to visit us on your Fall Break."

SERIOUSLY!?!?!? I've not done anything to my bathrooms since Fall Break? That's like one, two, ten ... like weeks!

GROSS!

So, in other words, my townhouse is a breeding ground for sickness and disease ... a biome of disgustingness just boiling and festering in its toxic juices.

That does it. It's been decided. I must clean my house ... before the CDC swoops in to study the 52 new strains of human flesh eating diseases that have cropped up on my kitchen floor.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

NOT A BUTTON WAS LOST IN THIS EPISODE OF "DRESS THE TEACHER"

I have a very cute, very chic jacket that I bought at Goodwill, of all places. It's a LIMITED jacket, and I think I paid like $3.00 for it. It was an incredibly good buy, if I do say so myself, and typically, I do!

There was only one problem with the jacket at the time. I couldn't button it. The Girls, my hips, and that Junk in my Trunk sort of impeded the buttoning process.

As memory serves, this jacket was purchased last winter, while home for the holidays, and I believe my attitude was, "well, I'll just wear it with a turtle neck sweater anyway ... so no big deal if it doesn't button."

Fast-forward to this morning, when, for whatever reason, I thought, just for kicks and giggles, I'd button the thing. Wonder of wonders, it buttons!

Apparently, the Girls have gotten smaller and so have the hips. We won't talk about the Junk in my Trunk.

How excited am I? Ummmm .... VERY, thank you very much. Fun, funky hair and smaller Girls. That, ladies and gentlemen, makes for a fantastic Thursday. Now, if I could just find someone else to do my grocery shopping for me, life would be down-right brilliant!



Wednesday, November 05, 2008

FUN, FUNKY HAIR -- PART TWO

Per Denise's request, a front view of FUN, FUNKY hair, wherein you will see every second of my 36 years written all over my face, a messy head of hair, a shiny forehead, and possibly, some gray hairs. Oh, and the ironing board and iron. Let's not forget that modern art sculpture, which isn't quite as mobile as the piece of modern art I currently move around my downstairs area, entitled VACUUM CLEANER.

WATCHING HISTORY BEING MADE

The people have spoken, and, for the first time in American history, we will have someone of color leading this country. For the first time in American history, a greater population of people will have someone that actually looks and sounds like them serving as their leader. It doesn't matter how you cut it or what side of the fence you happen to sit on, that's historically relevant, folks!

It became crystal clear for me on Monday when, as my class and I sat and discussed how amazing this year's elections were going to be ... how they were sitting on the cusp of history being made, one of my students raised her hand and asked, "So Miss Murray, does that mean if I wanted to become president one day, I could run?"

You see, this little girl isn't only a little girl, she's a black little girl, born in another country, but living here in America, a fabled land of dreams, and for the first time in her lifetime, she's seeing a dream being born.

"Yes, baby, that means, one day, you could run for president."

The light that burst from her face was amazing, and I fought back tears. You see, for a lot of my students, being president is something they could see themselves attaining, because presidents have always looked like them. For a lot of my students, though, it's a dream not worth dreaming.

Today, the day after some pretty monumental election results, I have students who are now dreaming really big dreams.

For this apathetic political participator, watching my little student light up as the dream took hold ... well, let's just say, it did my heart well. She is, after all, my future ...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

SUSAN, THE MIRACLE WORKER

Susan, my stylist, is A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

"Okay, Miss Megan, what are we doin' today?" [She always calls me Miss Megan ... it's like I live in the south or something ...]

"I'm lookin' bushy, Susan, and I don't like bushy. I want fun and funky."

So, away she went with the scissors to the back of my head. The whole time, the guy across the hall kept saying, "I just love her hair. I just love her hair."

Seriously! How sweet was he?

Meanwhile, Susan was all, "OH Megan! This is soooooooooo cute! Oh I love it."


A handful of goop and a blow-dryer job later, and, well, you be the judge.



Seems like such a waste for just the cat to enjoy cuz, really, she could care less if I were bald. Long as I come carrying kitty kibble ...


SURVIVING THE TEAM BUILDING EXPERIENCE

I'm out of the woods and safely home and no damage done to this 36-year old body.

Team Building with the Second Street Team? Let's call it a success!

Thankfully, the good Lord knew which team to put me on, and I didn't end up on the team that did the trust fall. I'm not that trusting, I guess.

I was in a group of all women, and there was this one time that we had to balance on a board ... the whole wad of us ... well, let's just say, we all got to know each other much more than any of us thought we would.

Joe hooked Erin up with some sort of headlamp device so that she could maneuver in the woods. Apparently, the Great White Hunter uses it for hunting. Seriously!? If the turkey hoodie thing isn't ridiculous enough, you're going to slap that headlight thing on your head?

Whatever!

It did come in handy for making our way around the area, so I guess I've got to give Joe props!

The highlight, for me, was the bonfire. There is nothing better in this world than a bonfire ... okay, well, maybe there's stuff better, but I sure do love a bonfire. The only thing missing were the S'mores, oh, and my hot dog wasn't nearly black enough, but hey! It was fun!

Travis, our boss, had us go around the fire and tell something about ourselves that no one knew. This was hard because those things I keep very close to me are kept there for a reason. You've got to be a pretty special person to be able to look deeply at those items. But for the most part, I'm an open book. So, my sharing was rather lame. Travis' whole purpose was to have us do things we really didn't want to do, which can be likened to stuff at work. Someone is going to ask you to do stuff you may not want to do. That's life.

The message was good, and loud and clear. We gotta work as a team.

Right about now, Carrie is cursing me for managing to land in such an awesome position, and you know what, Shanny, I count my lucky stars every single day for managing to land here in Kentucky.

As I said last night, if ANYONE would have said five years ago that I'd be living in Kentucky and loving it, I would have laughed in their faces. But here I am, livin' it, lovin' it, and feeling very, very blessed.






Monday, November 03, 2008

GETTING MY AFFAIRS IN ORDER

My principal decided it would be fun to do some team building exercises this evening since we don't have school tomorrow (no one has school during elections). I was all for it ... until I found out what we'd be doing.

We're doing some sort of balancing thing. Not sure what it is, but I can't manage to hurt myself too badly on that.

Then we're doing a zip line. Yeah ... just shoot me now. I HATE heights. I'm scared to death of them. The idea of swinging on a rope, that in all likelihood could snap, across a chasm of nothingness ... well, let's just say, I've now broken out in a cold sweat just thinking about it.

Finally, if zipping through air wasn't bad enough, our boss plans on dumping us off in the middle of the woods, in the dark, and trusting we all make it back safe and sound.

Okay, so you all know I LOVE hiking, but this is in the dark, and my track record for staying upright on flat surfaces isn't all that great. Managing tougher terrain in the dark, well, let's just say, the degree to which I might do bodily harm to myself is very, very high.

I plan to smuggle a mini Maglite and Swiss Army Knife. I figure I have a good chance at winning the fight with a rabid raccoon should I never find my way back.

In the meantime, my affairs are all in order ... I hope ...

Sunday, November 02, 2008

FALLING BACK

Daylight Savings Time has officially ended which means my body's inner clock is ALL FREAKIN' SCREWED UP! That would explain the reason for being up at 4 a.m.

Oh yeah! FOUR FREAKIN' O'CLOCK in the morning!

Who does laundry at 4:00 a.m.?

Ummm ... I do.

Who eats breakfast and drinks their morning coffee at 4:00 a.m.?

Ummm ... I do.

By the way, no one else in my neighborhood was stirring this morning. N.O. O.N.E.

Everyone else was enjoying an extra hour of sleep.

Nope. Not me.

Nothing good can come from this.



Friday, October 31, 2008

GETTIN' FELT UP

Ben's daddy has facial hair, and Erin told me that he likes to feel his daddy's facial hair. As a result, Ben likes to feel everyone's face. The day we all went TRICK OR TREATING, he was feeling my face for signs of facial hair. Here I am explaining to Ben that I don't have facial hair, and the minute I do find even the hint of some, it gets plucked ... immediately.

As you can see, I'm a hit with the UNDER 1 crowd. Ben thought I was hysterical.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

HELIUM HAND

My BFF Denise says she has a bad case of Helium Hand. You know, the hand that shoots up in the air whenever anyone asks for any help whatsoever?

Yeah, well, I've never had a problem with it before this year, but, now, inexplicably, I can't say no. Ever.

Take for instance the $12 candle I purchased from one of my former students yesterday. $12 for a candle, people! WHAT!?

Or the fact that I've somehow managed to volunteer for Trunk or Treat at our high school football game tonight.

What is that all about?

I can count on my hands how many times I've handed out candy since living on my own. That's like three times!

It's not a philosophical thing or a religious denial or anything like that. I just HATE paying all that money for crap that's going to encourage cavities! Call me crazy.

So, as I sit here and write this, I can not, for the life of me, figure out what possessed me to say that I would hang out on the tail gate of my truck passing out pure sugar to the masses.

MORAL OF THIS STORY: Sit on the stinkin' hand!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

WHIPPED CREAM IN MY PURSE

So, I had a meeting to go to on Tuesday evening, and I had to bring a dessert. Because it's been so cold out lately, homemade gingerbread sounded really good.

I didn't have any whipped cream to serve with it. So, on the way to the meeting, I stopped to buy some, except they only had the kind in the can that you spray.

As I walked out of the store, I kept getting this look from a man, which is another story entirely.

After the meeting was over with, I was having trouble juggling everything and decided to shove my can of whipped cream in my purse, where I promptly forgot it!

Fast-forward to the part where I squeezed my purse, and the can starting spraying whipped cream (thankfully, just in the cap), and I squealed, "Oh crap! The whipped cream just went off in my purse."

The quote is way better than the story, right?


PANTHER PRIDE

Tonight, the educational foundation for my district held its first-ever telethon on the local cable channel. From 5 to 10 p.m., they highlighted teachers, students, alumni, friends, all of whom sang Frankfort Independent Schools' praises.

I've never been so proud to say I worked anywhere!

Are you ready for this?

At sign off time, they'd raised somewhere in the vicinity of $11,000.

YAY, FIS!!!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

BEST QUOTE OF THE EVENING

"Oh crap! The whipped cream just went off in my purse!"
--Said by yours truly

LOST AND FOUND

I'm losing my voice.

This isn't the best development for someone that uses her voice for her job.

[Insert heavy sigh here]

When's Christmas break again?

Monday, October 27, 2008

FIELD TRIP DAY

Picture this ...

Coldest day on record, thus far ...

Wind ...

Clouds ...

One kid in Capri's and flip-flops ...

Five kids with only sweat shirts as "coats" ...

And one very, stressed teacher that lost her voice more and more, each time she opened her mouth ...

That was my FIELD TRIP DAY!

The fourth grade team took our kids to the Old Fort Harrod State Park, where everything on the premises was OUTDOORS. Never mind that it's going to be in the 60s Halloween night. Nope. Today, it was close to snow flurries.

As my father pointed out in an email to me earlier, I failed to look at my crystal ball.

The good news is that the kids had an absolute BLAST!! They loved every part of the day, despite the cold weather. They even loved the part when I was told to put my camera away because the flash ruins the archived items in the Mansion Museum. See, I knew this, but my brain went the way of my voice!

So, now, I'm heading home ... to get hot tea ... to find a quilt to wrap up in ... to sit and do NOTHING all night long!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'M SORRY ... HOW CUTE IS THIS KID?!?!

I hung out with Joe, Erin, and Ben yesterday, as Ben trick-or-treated through a local nature preserve.

Seriously! How cute is he?



Saturday, October 25, 2008

BLACK CAT CHASE RESULTS

Result time from 2007 Black Cat Chase: 49:57.78
Result time from 2008 Black Cat Chase: 49:51.41

I'll take it! YIPPEE!!! And, I came out of it, without bodily injury, no pain that I feel the need to ignore today. Nothing.

Now, I will say, Christy was watching the time, and she said, I'd actually shaved a minute off of my time last year. I would be inclined to believe her more as the ladies taking our tear-offs off of our bibs were screwing everything up. So ... there you have it.

Here are some before and after shots that Christy and I took. You will notice that I'm bulked up ... two layers under my fleece due to a head cold I came down with middle of this week (thank you, report cards!).


Took this at the school parking lot. See the fantastic view of my truck in the background.
I'm rocking the stocking cap and my three layers of shirts!


Christy looks super official in her running grab.



Here we both are pre-race. We are ready! We are stretched out! We are going to beat the Black Cat!



Here I am, after the Chase, flexing my muscles and feelin' good!



Here we both are ... sweaty ... cold ... tired ... but lookin' hot ... YAY!


My next thing I'm really going to start training for is the Derby Mini-Marathon in April! We've got quite a HUGE team from school going over to Louisville -- it should be a great time.


Friday, October 24, 2008

BLACK CAT CHASE ... TONIGHT!!!

It's here, ladies and gentlemen!

The Black Cat Chase.

It's tonight.

It's been raining like a freakin' leaky faucet all day long. It's damp. It's chilly, and I've got a cold.

My father is convinced that I'm going to end up with pneumonia, but dag-gone it! I paid $15 bucks to do this thing, and I've been walking on my foot that is SCREAMING ... S.C.R.E.A.M.I.N.G. due to my plantar fasciatis. I'm walking it!

I plan on before and after photos to share with the blogosphere after the event. So, be looking for them!

In the meantime, if you are downtown Frankfort and want to cheer all 900+ runners and walkers on, it's going to be a good time!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

BACK TO SCHOOL

Tomorrow, I head back to school. I went to school today just to clean things up, make sure I had all the copies made that I would need for tomorrow, and just generally double check and make sure that I've got all the small things ready:
  • lunch sticks out and in order
  • lunch menu out
  • bell work on each desk
  • desks sanitized
  • all the necessary info on the board
  • October calendar displayed
It's all set and ready to go. I'm sure, tomorrow, I'll realize that I've forgotten something, but school moves on anyway. If that happens, we'll make do.

I caught myself thinking about my kids and thinking, "Oh! I've missed him or her. I can't wait to see them."

I guess that means I'm ready to head back ...