Thursday, January 31, 2008

AN INVITATION

My friend Erin's husband, Joe, is an avid hunter. He's got dead crap all over the walls in their house. My dad pretty much thinks Joe rocks, and he wants to know when I might meet someone like Joe ... basically, because my dad wants to hang out with someone like that ... not get me married off or anything ...

Whatever ...

Last night, I was talking on the phone with Erin and channel surfing ... my entire evening's activities, by the way. I'm surprised I didn't suffer carpal tunnel-like symptoms from it. At any rate, I see that on the Outdoor Channel, two turkey hunters are hunting in Michigan. Despite what Erin thinks, what caught my attention was the fact that they were in Michigan.

"Tell Joe there are two guys luring a poor Tom into a death trap in the U.P. of Michigan ... it's on the Outdoor Channel."

"What are you doing watching the Outdoor Channel? You're an idiot!"

"They're in Michigan!"

"You're still an idiot."

"Oh! They're going to kill him! Don't kill him!"

It's at this point that Joe extends an invitation to join him the next time he goes turkey hunting. And because I don't have a filter on my mouth, I think I've accepted!

Only, I'm not not taking a shower that day ... do turkey's have noses??? I know my dad never took a shower when he went deer hunting ... something about them smelling him. Ummm ... I hate to tell him this, but WE CAN ALL SMELL HIM WHEN HE DOESN'T SHOWER!!!

Anyway, if I go, I'm showering, and I may be forced to bring a book, cuz I'm pretty sure I might get bored ... especially if Joe doesn't let me talk ...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

MY'N

A conversation between myself and a student ...

"Miss Murray? I'm typing the word mine, and I'm spelling it M-Y'N. The computer says I'm spelling it wrong."

"Yes."

"Well?"

"Well, you're spelling it wrong."

"No, I'm not."

"What grade are you in?"

"Fourth grade."

"What does mine rhyme with?"

"Line and fine."

"How do you spell mine then?"

"M-I-N-E?"

"Do you think?"

"Yeah, I guess M-Y'N is wrong, huh?"

"Ummmm .... yes!"

HAVE YOU EVER HAD ONE OF THOSE DAYS?

We had a freakishly warm day yesterday, which meant that at some point, disastrous weather was going to come crashing down upon us.

Yeah, like, at about 8:35 p.m., give or take, when the winds of change starting whipping at my townhouse, going 70 miles per hour ... I swear to you. I wouldn't lie about this stuff!

I was completely stressed because today our school was getting audited by the people in the Great White Ivory Tower. Because I am a one-man band when it comes to science in fourth grade, and because it's my first year teaching science in a new state, with new state standards, I was on high alert. I wanted to make sure what I had planned went off with out a hitch.

My kids are studying plants, and I wanted to take some time for them to actually see and physically touch a tap root (carrot) and a fibrous root (the roots on a green onion) and check out root hairs. I made a mad dash in one of the 18 million torrential down-pours we had yesterday -- before it turned freakishly cold on us -- to buy a bag of carrots. I already had the green onions in my fridge.

The day dawned bright, earlier, and seriously windy this morning, and, if I'd said it once, I said a thousand times to myself, "DON'T FORGET THE FREAKIN' FIBROUS ROOTS!"

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I climbed into my truck and realized I'd forgotten the fibrous roots. So, I braved the wind shears one more time to go back into the house to get them ... only, guess what!

In the straight-line winds and rains we had yesterday evening, and then in the subsequent arctic circle afterward, every lock leading into my house froze ... i.e., I could no longer get a key into the key hole, i.e., I could no longer gain entrance into my house ... i.e., no green onions ... i.e., sucky science lesson.

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

Monday, January 28, 2008

YOU KNOW YOU ARE OUT OF SHAPE WHEN ...

You know you are hopelessly out of shape when you attempt to shoot as many free throws in 2 minutes as you possibly can, and you throw your shoulder out.

UGH!

Off to ice it down now ...

Friday, January 25, 2008

AND THAT, LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, IS THE ANSWER TO LIFE!

I have said the same five boys' names over and over and over and over again ... ALL. DAY. LONG.

We are standing in line at dismissal, and those same five boys are STILL acting like ding-dongs. Cassie* looks up at me and sighs, "Miss Murray? Will boys ever stop being idiots?"

"No, honey, I'm afraid not."

"That's what I thought, Miss Murray. " And she shakes her head sadly ...



*Names have been changed.

AND TO SUM IT ALL UP ...

One of our second grade teachers just told me this ...

"One of my boys stood up during class today and shouted, 'Stop everything! I can't find my glasses!'

All my kids looked at him and said, 'That's cuz you're wearing them on your head.'

That's how my day has been."

Sadly, I gotta say, that's pretty much how my day has gone as well ...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

THIS IS WHAT A SNOW DAY IN CENTRAL KENTUCKY LOOKS LIKE

We had a snow day today, and my district NEVER calls snow days. So, I pretty much think the world is coming to an end.


WHAT SHE DOES WHILE I'M AT WORK


Activity really isn't her thing ...

IT'S A THING OF BEAUTY


When I first started working post-college-degree-now-you-can-do-anything-EXCEPT-find-a-job, I took a position (and I use that term loosely, more like "torturous 8 hours of hell") at a newspaper writing obits, engagement announcements, wedding announcements, and anniversary announcements. It was a horrible job, but I suppose it helped shape the ME that I am today ... don't ask how ... I don't have the answer to that question ...

A bright spot in my otherwise dreary life of a gainfully employed individual was going, on Fridays, to a little place a few blocks away from the newspaper. I don't remember the name of the place ... it's no longer in existence. However, they made the BEST gourmet salads imaginable, and for $6.00, I could have my choice of 4 ... and they had the most amazing choices!
A week or so ago, I decided to make my own version of this ADULT HAPPY MEAL. I must admit, it's a thing of beauty, is it not?
It tasted even better!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I HEARD THE FUNNIEST THNG THE OTHER DAY

I was talking to some colleagues before school, and we were bemoaning the fact that it was getting bitterly cold.

"Yeah," one of them complained. "We're supposed to be in the teens on Saturday."

"Oh! I've got one better for you." I grumbled. "I'd heard it's suppose to be zero by Saturday night."

"Great!" He said. "Keep your faucets running through the night then."

I must have given him an odd look, because he added, "to keep your pipes from freezing."

"I think you'll be fine," I said. "Just keep your heat on. They won't freeze if the heat is on."

"Yeah, I'll have to run it full throttle then."

Have you ever heard of such a thing? I mean, up until almost two years ago, I'd lived in Michigan, where, in January it has been known to get down to BELOW ZERO. Unless you had turned off the heat entirely, or your heat was down so low combined with the fact that your plumbing was on an outside wall and not insulated one bit, no one ever had pipes freeze.

I never would have dreamed to keep my faucet running all night long!

What the heck!

Monday, January 14, 2008

A SAD TESTAMENT

Well, it's a sad testament, folks, to the amount of time people spend paying attention to me. That's all I've got to say ... I mean, if someone HAD been paying attention to me, they might have alerted me to the fact that I had a GIANT glob of chocolate (from my protein bar) SMEARED all over one side of my mouth.

I guess that would explain why the mentor advocate lady from a community agency in town looked at my mouth funny while we were talking today. Yeah. I looked like a completely put together person on that visit, I am certain of it!

A LOVE NOTE FROM A STUDENT

I received the note below from one of my little girls today, and it just made my day! I actually laughed out loud at the adorable cuteness of it all!

Dear Miss Murray,
I just want to say that you are the best teacher I ever had. I hope that I never move to the country. I don't care if I don't get a pony.
Love,
Amy*

Now is that not just the most precious thing in the world, or what?


*Name has been changed.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

GETTING SERIOUS

There's a song out right now that has some lyrics that have really resonated with me lately ...

"There's a place in your heart, that no body's been, take me there.
Things nobody knows, not even your friends, take me there ....
Tell me what your story is ..."

-- From TAKE ME THERE lyrics by Kenny Chesney, Wendell Mobley, and Neil Thrasher

I don't know why, but there are certain parts of me that are hidden. I suppose that is the way of things for everyone. But I've spent a long time guarding those parts of me ... of my heart. In the past, my life has been an open book. What you see is what you get. To a certain extent, the same is true today. But that part that's hidden away ... that's in the secret compartment away from the general public, that's not on view for anyone.

There's also another part of me that's an over-achiever. I really am driven. I try to make sure that I am always doing the very best in my profession. I want to prove to some sort of unknown entity that I can do this.

Perhaps, somewhere back in time, someone voiced their doubts that I could actually do something and that is why I spend countless hours proving everyone wrong. Who knows. All I do know is that I've spent an awful lot of my adult life in FINDING MYSELF MODE and then in the coinciding PROVING MYSELF MODE.

In that breadth of time, I lost out on so many life experiences that have passed me by. Yes, I know, the old adage, no use crying over spilt milk. And I'm not. I am panicked, though.

I'm scared to death that in that span of time I've wasted insulating myself from the outside world, attempting to figure out who I was, I've forgotten how to get into the game. Maybe I never knew how the game worked in the first place. So, I'm fearful that the rules have changed, and I'm no longer in possession of the resources that will equip me to find the rules.

Most of all, I'm terrified that I've spent too much time selfishly looking for answers that were within me to begin with, and therefore, I've missed out on that one person that has the fortitude ... the sheer guts it's going to take to get to the inner depths to find those hidden parts of me ...

So, why am I publicly displaying this particular nugget of an otherwise very personal struggle?

I'm not sure ...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

WOULDN'T BELIEVE IT UNLESS YOU SAW IT WITH YOUR OWN EYES

I still have my Christmas tree up. Yes. It's true.

I haven't screwed up the motivation to drag every single box of stuff out (and ladies and gentlemen I have a BUNCH OF BOXES) and take it all down. It's an all night job!

So, there it sits. Still up. And shoot! Why not plug it in every night since it's up? So, I do.

I still have the garland up ... it's lit as well.

It's January 10th, in case you were frantically looking for a calendar right now, and, yes, it's been exactly two weeks and two days since Christmas.

I prefer to call it motivationally challenged and not lazy, thank you very much.



In other news, my cat is lactose intolerant.

I know, it sounds crazy, but it's true.

How did I come to this diagnosis? Well, it all started innocently enough. A small piece of cheese fell on the floor one day, and she was sitting at my feet begging. So, I let her have it. Within minutes, she'd thrown up that and the rest of the contents of her stomach. Nice!

Every time after that, when she ate cheese, a similar reaction occurred. I thought it was just that she was being a colossal sow and wasn't chewing it properly, thus inducing the gag reflex.

That was until yesterday ...

Yesterday, I had a little bowl of ice cream, and I somehow managed to flip a small, tiny dollop out onto the floor. She LOVES ice cream. So, I let her have it. Within minutes, again with the puking!

Yep, Maddie the Cat is lactose intolerant.

Wow! I lead an exciting life, do I not?

Monday, January 07, 2008

COOKING FOR AN ARMY

So, I made a pot of veggie chili that could feed an army!

And before you go and say it, no, I didn't go back to Panera and invite the boys in uniform back to the old swinging bachelorette pad.

I didn't mean to cook up a batch to feed that many. I guess I just conjured up the ghost of Martha Stewart or something ... which, when you think about it, really doesn't make any sense since Martha is still with us. So, I conjured up the spirit of some sort of cooking saint ... perhaps it was Cookie, the wild west cowboy horse wrangler cook that always rustled up grub on a cattle drive.

At any rate, my freezer looks like I'm "putting up stores for the winter," which, really, when you think about that one, is pretty silly considering "putting up stores" in Kentucky means, running frantically through Kroger grabbing at bread loaves and milk.

Whatever.

At last count, I had seven containers of chili, three containers of beef stew, and four containers of chicken stew all happily residing in my freezer. This means that, should I choose, I could have 14 days of dinners without lifting a finger other than to punch the defrost button my microwave.

I probably ought to space out the chili, though, as that could cause some jet propulsion that really isn't all that attractive when one is on the search for a date or two.

Still, I love this cooking in bulk thing. Why didn't I think about this before?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

UNIFORMS, UNIFORMS, EVERYWHERE I LOOK, UNIFORMS!

My stomach growled OBNOXIOUSLY the entire length of the sermon today at church. And by obnoxiously, I mean you could hear it growling two rows back.

I ate breakfast for heaven's sake! I nursed my Starbucks the entire service for crying out loud (have I mention how in love I am with Starbucks????). It was so bad that, at one point, my friend turned to me and whispered, "you're not hungry, are you?"

Good grief!

As I was pulling out of the church's parking lot, I knew what I had to do. All the items in my pantry right now are items that must be cooked. It was going to take too long, and I knew if something wasn't put into the endless pit called my stomach, there would be devastating consequences. We live on a major fault line ... these growls were getting so loud, I feared something registering on the Rictor scale.

Panera was my choice ... it was close ... it would be relatively fast ...

I walked in and almost had a poor spell. Everywhere I looked there were uniforms ... Army uniforms.

If I didn't know better, I would have thought I'd died and gone to heaven ... man heaven ...

I didn't find the man of my dreams ... there wasn't time. But what fun scenery ...

This brings me to another mind wandering item ... something I've been mulling over the last few days.

I plan to date this year. There! I said it.

Here's the problem, and this is embarrassing to admit. I don't have the first clue where to go to meet men ... keeping in mind that bars just aren't that much fun for me ... icky! Can we all say MEAT MARKET? Can we all say BOOZY, WASTED MEAT MARKET?

It's okay. You can say it. I'm a lost cause. It's okay. Nothing I've not speculated about myself on numerous occasions.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

SOMEONE PASS ME THE ASPIRIN ... A SLEDGE HAMMER ... ANYTHING!

I've been blessed with many things in my life ... some of these things are what I would consider actual blessings. Others, not so much ...

Big thighs and a rather large behind ... see, I don't consider these things "blessings."

Sensitive skin ... again, not a blessing.

Abnormally, abnormal sinuses ... sooooo NOT a blessing!

January tends to be one of the worst months on record for me, sinus-wise. I'm not sure what it is ... a major switch in weather patterns ... no sun for what seems like 8 months ... constant, ever-present furnace dust ... whatever the cause, I generally get a migraine headache the hangs out with me from January 1st through sometime in mid-February.

The year 2008 is proving to be no exception.

As long as I stay seated and unmoving, I am perfectly fine. The minute I choose to take in a breath, allowing my chest to move ever so slightly, I become dizzy and headachy. Sometimes, this blows up into a full-fledged pain-in-my-head migraine. Other times, I'm just plain sick.

So far, with all of our modern technological advancements, no one has come up with something that can effectively render me headache-free. Well, with the exception of STRONG LIQUOR. But with enough of that, I'd still be headachy and sick the next day ... so what's the point!

So, I raise my glass of water and Excedrin Migraine to the Year 2008. I should be out of my headache-funk by the time I turn 36 and ready to face the world again.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE UNIVERSE!?!?

Something is not right in our world.

The planets are out of alignment.

The Apocalypse MUST be coming.

That's the only reason I have to explain why I just spent the last hour ironing.

Ironing is against my religion. In fact, I am surprised a big, giant thunder bolt hasn't already spontaneously shot from the sky and hit me squarely between the eyes.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

SOME REVIEWS

Okay, so in my effort to enjoy myself more, I've managed to read three books ... so far, and see one movie. Below are my reviews of said books and movie. Bear in mind, the books ... not recent publishing. I'm WAAAAAY behind on my reading lists ...

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
I LOVED this book! It was the sweetest, non-sappy Christmas story I'd read in a good, long while, and it made me laugh ... out loud, in many instances. And let's face it, lately, I've not been that entertained by books. Call it ADHD, but I've just not been all that "held" by books, which, for a bibliophile, is a tragedy. This book held me the entire time; so, yay for John Grisham! I give it an A-.

Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella
It was an entertaining book ... one I didn't have to think through, which is a good thing. I just wasn't in the mood for thinking. I will say, however, that I skipped a whole, entire section of the book, which isn't necessarily a good thing. So, I will tell you this had a somewhat predictable plot. I mean, if you can skip 50 to 100 pages and STILL know what's going on ... well, I think you get the picture. Yet, it was entertaining, and I did like the ending. I give it a B-.

Honeymoon by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
Okay, I got burned on James Patterson novels. The first couple I read were decently good. However, I picked up one that was so disturbing in its sexual deviance, I've not wanted to read another one! This book, Honeymoon, found its way into my hands via a colleague. I just couldn't refuse her. She said it was a good beach read. Well! Let me just tell you, it was a good "sofa-curled-up-under-a-quilt-read" too! Wow! It kept me "into it" the entire time. I think Patterson is overly obsessed with sex, but he's a man, and what man isn't at one point or another in his life. I give this book a B+, only because they failed to tie up a significant loose end, in my estimation, at the book's conclusion. Otherwise, it would have been an A for sure!

My movie review for the week ... I actually went out and spent a TON of money at a theatre in Lexington (larger cities do have the priciest movies), but I've got to tell you, this movie was worth it!

P.S. I LOVE YOU ... Ladies, (and gentlemen, for that matter) bring your Kleenexes! But you won't need Kleenexes for the sappy, sweetness of it all. No, no! You will need Kleenexes because it hits you at the very depth of yourself. It is an amazing story of love, and love lost, and love found again, and the crazy, upside down world we call LIFE. It touched me deeply, and I LOVE when a movie does that. There was even a plot twist I didn't see coming, and I ALWAYS see plot twists coming. I cried in numerous parts of the film ... I laughed during even more parts ... and I was contemplative throughout. I give this movie two thumbs WAAAAAY up, and an A+ to boot! And by the way, Erin feels my new approach to finding love is to just take a trip to Ireland. "They don't have those in America!" ... great line from the movie!

Last footnote ... I've fallen completely in love with Gerard Butler, who plays Gerry. Again, "they don't have those in America!"

RESOLVING RESOLUTIONS

I'm sitting here listening to the soundtrack of A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (picked up at Starbucks for half-off, thank you very much), because, well, I'm an idiot. There's no other reason to explain this one ... what with Christmas being over with and me sitting here listening to a GREAT jazzy Christmas CD on this, the second day of 2008.

Yes, welcome 2008! Yesterday, I meant to properly welcome it to the blogosphere, but I ended up nursing a migraine all day, which meant me, prone on the sofa, praying for God to put me out of my misery ... that or make the Excedrin Migraine work faster.

I had so many things I wanted to write about too. Resolutiony-type things ...

Instead, I vaguely remember dreaming about myself and Mike Rowe, the host of Dirty Jobs. Mainly, the dream consisted of me rubbing my hands up and down his very muscular chest, which, when one dwells on that, isn't all that bad of a way to spend one's time in dreamland.

Okay, so if you wanted to analyze it, I think this dream had more to do with the fact that, before I became too sick to see straight, I tried to watch an all-day DIRTY JOBS marathon, and that at some point, Mike Rowe was shirtless, and let's face it, ladies, he's got a great chest! Yeah, I think there really isn't anything to analyze, but, it was a great way to spend a few hours ... insert big, cheesy grin here.

So, yeah, 2008. Big deal, right?

Yeah, I sort of think it is a big deal. I mean, I still have the rest of my life spread out in a giant sheet of blank paper in front of me. There's still so much I want to do. This past year, I allowed myself to once again be defined by my job. I can't do that anymore! This was made so much more clear to me over my Christmas vacation back home.

I spent a great majority of my time reading ... a perfect vacation in my mind's eye. It was absolutely delicious to sit and read and actually enjoy what I was reading! I want to do more of that this year. So, here it is ... my resolution for the Year 2008!

I want to live my best life and not be defined by my job. It is, after all, just a job. Okay, yes, an important job, but it's a job. I only get this one life.

I want to read more ... love more ... savor every movie ... laugh more and feel every single one of them ... fight less ... be a better friend, a better sister, a better daughter, a better woman ... flirt more and worry less ... save more, spend less ... travel more ... be more content ... remember the small moments ... worry less about the big milestones ...

So, there you have it. My resolution in the Year 2008. Will it be my best year yet? I hope so! Or I will at least have fun trying to make it so!