Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I'm pretty sure mine are still in my chest, but I'm not entirely positive. It's quite possible one might have flopped out onto my living room floor during one of my many coughing fits earlier in the ... what do you call this time of day? The time before even God, himself, wakes up?

I went to the doctor's Tuesday (if today, is in fact, Wednesday). I'd determined I was going to knock this without antibiotics just because part of the reason we're getting such seriously weird strains of crap is due to the fact that we are getting antibiotic-resistant strains of what not and so forth. Well, that lofty goal went out the window when I started coughing up blood! I became seriously freaked out.

After the doctor determined that I wasn't a smoker, he didn't seem all that concerned about the blood. "That can be a sign of bronchitis." Oh goody! But, just for kicks and giggles, and because in this day and age of legal wrangling doctors must cover their malpracticed hind-ends, he gave me a TB test and ordered chest x-rays.

The spot where the TB test was given is nothing more than bruised. So, I think we can safely rule out that ... and perhaps the bubonic plague. However, the chest x-ray is later on this morning, when I will be good and loopy from lack of sleep and must operate the heavy machinery known as my vehicle to get from the east side to the west side to get the x-ray ... where I will inevitably be asked if there is any possibility of me being pregnant, reminding me yet again that, unless it was miraculous conception, no, nary a man within a 50-mile radius of me or my fallopian tubes ... further solidifying the fact that birthday #36 has been just plain crap!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Are you familiar with those annoying mucous balls that dance around the lung living room in the Mucinex TV ads? Well, apparently, they've taken up residence in my chest, and by the sounds of things, they are having one heck of a party!

In case anyone is keeping track, this would be week 3 of some sort of compromised immune system funk.

Stupid winter! Get over yourself already!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Smudge the Cat is one my parents' boys. He's one of the funniest cats I've ever met. He's a Maine Coon, a breed of cat that has personality in spades!

One of the things that is so funny about him is that he actually THINKS he's suppose to be doing the same thing as a human. FOr instance, he feels that when lunch or dinner is being served, there's a standing invitation for him as well. Without being asked, he bellies up to the bar and sits there with this expectant look, as if he's saying, "Um ... hello!? I'm here. Where's my plate?"

These photos were taken while I was home over Christmas break ... and while I was trying to eat some lunch.


I can't say as I had the best birthday ever. It wasn't the worst, but I've certainly had better.

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to be here on Earth another year, relatively healthy and happy.

It's just ... well, deep down inside, I'm an eight year old little girl that wakes up on the day of her birthday, giddy with excitement at the prospect of just being special for one day.

So I woke up on the day of my 36th birthday, excited for the opportunity of sharing a birthday dinner with friends and just being PRINCESS FOR THE DAY.

Mother Nature quickly peed on that parade.

An ice storm hit Central Kentucky sending us home from school early and prompting the cancellation of my birthday dinner.

I spent my birthday nursing a sore throat ... AGAIN. My birthday dinner was a cold pizza, delivered two hours after I'd ordered.


Of course, it wasn't like the birthday when I was in sixth or seventh grade, and I'd invited 7 or 8 girls to an overnight at my house. My mom even made an ice cream cake for me, which, I guess is no small feat when you do that from scratch. No one showed up. I tried not to let it show, but I was heartbroken that no one wanted to come to my sleep over.

No, this wasn't the same.

Well, so what! At some point, the world stops revolving around us. We grow up and realize that life is bigger than the boundaries of our little lives. Still, it's nice to feel special for just one day ...

I did receive a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Cindy, which was a complete surprise and most gratefully appreciated. Thank you for the serenade, Cindy. You and Caroline should take that act on the road!

Erin, got me a coffee mug, a Starbucks card, and Starbucks chocolates. Does that girl know me or what?

Dad and Mom, the khakis came today, and I love them! I think they will look great ... I might have to exchange sizes though.

Denise, thank you so much for the card. You are a dear! You are always so thoughtful with cards at all the best times. I love ya, girl!

36 ... well, it definitely came in with a bang. I do know this ... despite the ice, I am loved and am Princess in the eyes of those that love me most!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


The silence has been deafening, hasn't it?

It couldn't be helped. My body decided to stage a coupe.

It all started last Monday afternoon. I started feeling that oddly familiar "sore throat" feeling. Aches and pains followed close behind. By Wednesday night/Thursday morning, I was running to the bathroom every other second for what can only be described as a governmental conspiracy to kill every last inch of my intestine by way of the MONUMENTAL STOMACH FLU BUG -- the likes of which never left my system until yesterday. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I said Y.E.S.T.E.R.D.A.Y.

As you can imagine, I've got loads and loads to run my mouth about ... take a seat, grab a mug of your favorite liquid beverage, get comfy. It's going to be a while.

  • 20 lbs. That is the amount of weight I lost due to the DEATH FLU OF THE CENTURY. While I don't reccommend this particular form of weight loss, it really has lit a fire under the butt of my weight loss program. The good news is that I no longer crave sweets as a result of the germ-imposed detox I received. As far as I can tell, this weight loss can only be viewed as a "good thing."
  • I'm in a period of mourning ... coffee hasn't sounded good to me since last Wednesday. Do you realize the ramifications of this altered state of my liquid consciousness? In case you are sitting on the fence about this, THIS IS MAJOR!!! I nearly gagged walking down the coffee aisle in Kroger the other day. And just in case you are having trouble wrapping your mind around this particular nugget of information, in the past, I'm pretty sure I could have gotten high from free-basing coffee dust! I'm not sure if this is a permanent side effect of the DEATH FLU OF THE CENTURY, but I am planning on a LAYING ON OF HANDS ceremony in the near future.
  • I'm pretty sure a portion of the aforementioned weight loss was part brain matter. That is the only rationale I have for why I would go to the dollar store and purchase party hats and PARTY HORNS for each of my kids in honor of my birthday tomorrow. What on earth would possess a normal, sane, logically-thinking individual to put into the hands of fourth graders, party horns? Sit down, Carrie. Have Dar or Tuohy fan you with your Four Blocks for Upper Grades ... cuz I know you're having a case of the vapors over this one!
  • AT&T ... I HATE you! I had AT&T back in Michigan, and I dumped them like a slimy, rotting potato. My cell phone carrier down here is AT&T ... not by choice. My old guys were bought out [stupid corporate take-overs]. We have an AT&T store here in town. So, I save a stamp and drop the bill off there every month. Each time I've gone, they've tried to push me to use their payment kiosk. Each time, I say no. My reasoning is that I've got to enter all my vital data into that thing, and in the age of identity thefty, I don't feel it's a safe form of bill payment. DUH! Today, as I hand the guy the bill, he again pushes me to use the dang kiosk. I again decline, stating the above reason. His reply? "Well, ma'am. I need to tell you that after March 11th, we will be charging you a fee to pay your bill here at the cash register." EXCUSE ME!?!??!? YOU ARE GOING TO CHARGE ME TO BE A GOOD CUSTOMER AND PAY MY BILL ON TIME THE OLD FASHIONED WAY? SERIOUSLY?!?! HOW STUPID ARE YOU PEOPLE? YOU WILL NOT FORCE ME TO DO THINGS YOUR STUPID WAY. IDIOTS!
  • Anyone that has followed my six year job odyssey will love this one. My district will more than likely be looking at job cuts. Are you laughing yet? Oh I don't care any more! I have no clue what this means for me and my job. I'm just soooooo sick of worrying about it. I'm here in Kentucky for a reason. No doubt about it. So, I'm going to do my job and do it the best way I can and to heck with the dummies [for those unsure, DUMMIES would refer to the "brain surgeons" that think it's a requirement to check brains at the door of houses and senates around this country] that can't seem to figure out that cutting education budgets down to nothing isn't helping anyone. They'll figure it out ... when it's too late.
  • UN-Birthday Present ... my dear friend Denise P. has had a birthday present here at my house since November ... that would be the month of her birthday. I forgot to send it to her. Then I forgot to bring it home at Christmas time ... then aliens stole what few brain cells I had left, and memory of needing to send it just vanished. So, I've decided I'm sending her an Un-birthday gift. Get ready, Denise. You just never know when that Un-birthday gift will be winging its way to you! For sure, though, it will be a surprise when it does.
  • I received this message on my answering machine yesterday. "Yes, this is _____ from the Frankfort Plant Board. We have a little problem with the bill you dropped off last Friday. Could you please give us a call at your earliest convenience?" Well, last Friday, if you will please quickly reference above, was one of the day that I was in the throes of the DEATH FLU. I managed to get the date and PAY TO line filled out. I even managed to write the amount in the amount box. That was as far as it went. NICE! I had a good laugh over it, and so did __________ at the Plant Board, after I explained what had happened. Today, I went and finished filling out the check. OOPS! My teammate, Monica, offered to let me sit in with my class the day she teaches my kids how to write checks. I thought that was very nice of her!
  • Tomorrow I turn 36! We've had a guessing contest in my classroom. I promised the winners a prize. Dog-gone it if four of my kids didn't guess the correct number. I'm not sure if I'm starting to look my age, or if they should all get hired at CEDAR POINT as one of those carnival age guessers this summer ...

There you have it ... rambling drivel that I'm sure is thoroughly thought-provoking.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I've been sick since last Tuesday ... more to come later. Just wanted to explain the silence ... just in case the eight people that read this were wondering.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I ran out immediately following the completion of the school day today for two reasons:
  1. I haven't been feeling well, and I felt like I just needed to get home, drink something hot, and relax.
  2. I had an alteration appointment that I knew I HAD to make.

For those two reasons, I actually got home at a decent hour. I was sitting in my living room, sipping s/f hot chocolate, and thoroughly enjoying myself, when I was startled out of my revery by a police siren going off RIGHT. IN. FRONT. of my kitchen window. This was somewhat odd because all that was out there was a small, Saturn station wagon, full of men. This fact alone got me off the sofa, and as I was trying to seem rather inconspicuous in front of my kitchen window, I witnessed two clean-cut men, pull my neighbor out of the front seat of the car. My neighbor, let's call him Brian, had a coat draped over his wrists, and his arms were held together in such a way, you could tell he was handcuffed!

Now, this fact was slightly startling, because a few months back, he asked if he could submit my name and number to a local law enforcement agency because he was applying for an officer's position.

A small part of me thought maybe this was all a joke ... a training exercise perhaps. That thought stayed with me until Brian was escorted out of his townhouse, this time, with his hands behind him and the handcuffs very clearly visible sans coat!

It has been said that I have what might be termed an over-active imagination. I consider it my writer's mind working through various plot lines. The sobering truth is that usually I'm not all that far from the reality of situation.

Take, for instance, the time I announced to my family that the man I was living next to, back in Michigan, was growing pot in his basement. I had nothing more to go on than a few suspicious visitors and some hunches. Almost two years later, it was discovered that he was, in fact, into drug-related stuff at that house. I KNEW IT!

So, the conspiracy theory? Well, this is what I'm thinking. The car had an OHIO license plate. The two men escorting my neighbor were plain-clothed police officers (packing heat because I saw the guns on the gun belts concealed under coats) that were clean cut and had air of "college" about them. Since most of the law enforcement agencies in this area here have paramilitary hair styles, I'm guessing these guys were feds, probably out of Cincinnati, and that my neighbor, Brian, was into some pretty funky stuff ...

Life in my world ...


SIGHT #1 ... the butt crack of a man working on the lights at a busy intersection. Nice! I think his crack smiled at me ... I can't be certain though.

SIGHT #2 ... a parking lot FULL OF SALT in the anticpation of snow. Oh boy! That's not going to help, especially when that stuff melts and then refreezes. Oh well ... we'll pretend for you.

SIGHT #3 ... seeing my neighbor being escorted into his house in handcuffs AND THEN back out again.

Good times ...

Sunday, February 10, 2008


So, here I sit, thinkin' big thoughts as I sip my venti, skinny, cinnamon dolce latte, my lastest obsession at Starbucks. I'm sorry, did I mention I want my ashes sprinkled at Starbucks? Who cares what the health department thinks!

At church this morning, I was talking to a girl that is doing her student teaching, and she was outright complaining about her cooperating teacher's piles. "She just isn't the most organized of people, and it's driving me crazy. She has piles all over her desk!"

I tried to tell her that when you teach, you don't have time to deal with piles, but she just wasn't getting it. Ahhhh! Youth ... they will learn, eventually.

She then started in on the fact that the teacher has taken on far too many after-school projects to help with finances at home. "She's over-extended herself."

"Uh huh," I replied.

"Well, how does she expect to leave at 3:30 p.m?"

"She doesn't," I say. "That's what being a teacher is all about."

She disagreed with me. I'll guess she'll find out soon enough ... I can't tell her what she doesn't want to hear ...

I've decided I'm going to become a cougar. I read an article about the trend that women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are marrying younger men. These women are called cougars. I see some definite positives about this plan.
  1. These young guys are moldable ... well, in so much as someone of the male persuasion is trainable ... the jury is still sort of out about that one according to many of my married counterparts.
  2. Setting aside the biological explanation for mating and procreation and meeting certain biological peaks, blah, blah, blah, it appears that women are still living longer than men. If I happen to find the love of my life, at least this way, we are more likely to live the remainder of our days together rather than me becoming a widow far too early ... I've just discovered color again. Why be forced back into black?
  3. Men my age tend to have a Uhaul full of baggage. Not to say that I don't have baggage of my own, but mine tends to be the junk in my trunk variety rather than emotional stuff. I'd rather not have to deal with baby-mama drama and the craziness of all that. Not to say, I wouldn't should I fall for the right one, but I think you see where I'm going with this ...

Erin and Joe had me over for dinner last night, and while Joe bounced from a televised poker tournament to NASCAR stuff to some sort of fishing show, Erin and I sat in the living room watched SIXTEEN CANDLES. I've come to an interesting conclusion regarding this cinematic brillance. The reason my dating life sucks is directly correlated to this movie -- the fact that, after viewing this movie for the very first time way too many years ago to mention, I knew that after a night in a school gymnasium dancing to really bad 80s music, I, too, could be swept off my feet by my very own Jake Ryan, taken back to an undisclosed location where we would sit on a glass-topped dining room table and share a birthday cake. Except, glass-topped tables of any sort are a decorating nightmare these days, and the amount of candles any Jake would have to put on my cake now might actually cause some serious third degree burns to the lower half of his body -- if you don't have a clue as to what I'm talking about, go rent it! Yeah, the 80s are to blame for this stagnant dating life I've got.

Friday, February 08, 2008


I have a child in my classroom; let's say his name is Andrew. I love him. He's all boy, but I love him! He's witty and funny and generally a jovial person. He always says the funniest things, and I'm usually kicking myself at the end of the day for not writing down all the stuff he says. Today, I remembered to do just that!

Scenario #1 ... This week in Reading, I've been working on story plot as well as listening to directions with them. So, today, I broke out one of my Encyclopedia Brown books, and I gave each of them a dectective's notebook. I asked them to write down:
  1. The problem or mystery in the story I was going to read.
  2. Anyone they felt were suspects.
  3. Any clues they heard while I was reading.

As I was reading, Andrew suddenly declares, "WHEW! I don't know how detectives do it! This is hard work!"

Scenario #2 ... I put in the Grammar Rocks video to review verbs. We were all singing to the VERBS! song, and Andrew turns to one of his classmates, rolls his eyes, and says: "Dude stop! [pause] You sound like a cat [another pregnant pause] DYING!"

Scenario #3 ... We are walking back from lunch, and Andrew lets out the world's largest burp.

"Andrew!" I say, as the rest of the class is reduced to giggles. "You could have covered your mouth."

"I'm sorry! I didn't feel it coming."

"Oh please! That sounded like it came from your feet up!"

"EWW! Miss Murray!"

"Exactly! Ewww!"

Scenario #4 ... We are having a Valentines Dance for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders next Friday. What this really means for those of chaperoning, i.e., me, is that we will stand around and watch all those little guys stand around and get hopped up on sugary concessions. Good times!

I announced it to the kids, and then I say, "Andrew said he'd dance with me."

"Ewwww! No I didn't. I'm not dancing with you!"

"But I thought you said you had the moves?"

"I do, but yuck. Not with you."

I just love this kid!!!!


Here's a link to area damage ... taken by the fine citizens of the Bluegrass ...


This was on the WKYT news page this morning: "The NWS also confirmed the storm damage in Frankfort was also caused by an EF1 tornado with winds around 100 mph."

I'm not sure what EF means, but I'm imagining it's something like EXTRAORDINARILY FREAKY.

All I've got to say is that when they first said they were straight line winds, I didn't believe them. Straight line winds don't sound like a train (just like every person to ever survive a tornado has said), and straight line winds do not shake a building of four townhouses like it shook mine.

I'm exceedingly grateful that I still have a roof over my head ...

Thursday, February 07, 2008


I am running a contest in my room. My birthday is in 14 days, and I've had a coffee can sitting out. They can write their guess for how old I will be on the 21st. The one who guesses correctly (or comes closest) wins a yet to be determined prize. They don't realize it yet, but I'm making a cake for my birthday!

Today, after school, I heard the following conversation concerning the guesses ...
Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Tina: I guessed that she was 28.

Anna: [sounding utterly aghast] Tina, that's entirely too young!

Me: Ummm ... that was just rude.

Tina: I was just trying to be nice.

Anna: [laughing] Well, it's true. That's too young.

Me: You both are bad seeds!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


There are certain times in one's life when one experiences a defining moment. One of those moments came for me last night ... or perhaps I should, early this morning.

Kentucky has been experiencing some freakishly warm weather. We, from the north, know what this means.
  1. This is not normal EVER in February.
  2. This will end soon.
  3. This will end badly ...

At about 1 a.m., I was awakened to the sounds of a tornado siren. Thankfully, I'd had the forethought to bring my purse, cell phone, and flashlight to bed with me. I grabbed all three, grabbed the cat, slipped on some turquiose flip-flops and headed down to my downstairs bathroom. I grabbed a bottle of water and threw that and my cat, purse and flashlight into the bathroom.

The meteorologist on the news was frantically telling those of us awake and panicky to get to a safe place in the house. I could hear the wind whipping around at this point, and it occurred to me, before entering the bathroom that :

  1. I can't be found without a bra on ...
  2. I wished I'd vacuumed the bathroom floor (loads of kitty litter on the floor in there) ...
  3. I wonder how much of the crap I currently have in my closet could come flying in on top of me here in the bathroom.

I shut the bathroom door at the precise moment the tv weather guy was saying, "Frankfort! This is on top of you NOW!" and at the precise moment my electricity flickered and went off.

I could literally feel my townhouse shake as the wind ripped at it, and my final thoughts were, "This isn't how I thought it would end ... not at all how I want to be remembered, but all the same, it will make for a great story with the rescuers the next morning, as, after digging through the rubble, they find me wrapped around my toilet, a psycho cat clinging to my head, impaled on a toilet plunger, and cat litter stuck to my butt!"

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Latest obsessions ... in case you were wondering ...

Lenny Kravitz
tall, skinny, non-fat cinnamon dolce latte (you're right, Ann--they are amazing!)
freakishly warm weather
stomach crunches
cheesey Hallmark Channel original movies
sleep, sleep, and more sleep

Monday, February 04, 2008


Is it possible to get a skin graft for your tongue?

I think I may be a candidate for one.

I think it's quite possible that I've given myself third degree burns on my tongue while slupring some sugar free hot chocolate. Apparently, I was under the misguided assumption that I was racing some unknown force to see who could gulp the boiling liquid down first. That's the only reason I could come up with for why I would fill my mouth FULL of a liquid that had gone past the boiling point.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


I'm prone to depression. It appears to be a family thing, but nonetheless, I'm prone to it.

I read somewhere once that people who have a creative bent -- artists, writers, musicians -- they are more likely to have depression-like tendencies. Nice. Not that I'm tooting my own horn, but I consider myself a writer and have been from the time I could hold writing utensils in my hand, and so, therefore, I finally understand why, as a small child, I had very deep, very dark thoughts that, quite frankly, if one of my kids shared with me now, I would sprint down to the school counselor with ... but I digress.

I'm thrilled that I've managed to keep it under control without the use of meds, not that I'm making any sort of commentary or passing judgement on anyone who happens to find the use of meds beneficial. However you make it through the day, props to you!

When I was laid off for the second time, I went into a tail spin of depression that I think sometimes I'm still trying to dig my way out of. I didn't completely drop my basket during that time, but I certainly wasn't using my entire brain ... ever. As you can imagine, I was terribly vulnerable ... not so good ...

One of the things I notice during one of these fugues is there's a shut down ... a disengage ... I don't really plug in ... I appear as though I do, and hopefully, I've played that part well. The fact remains, I leave everyone at arm's length. I doubt there's a person out there that could tell me what is really going on inside because I just don't let anyone in there.

This weekend, something has lit a fire under my rear. I'm ready to be engaged ... ready to plug in ... and man! I'd forgotten how that feels ... to flip the disengage button and let it all sort of course through my veins. It's both invigorating and deafening at the same time.

I think I got used to the slug lifestyle during my "staring at my same four walls" phase. It didn't require any work so I just continued down that pathway. This weekend, I decided to cut the crap!

First thing I did was turn off the TV and turn the radio on. I LOVE music. It's passionate and emotional and sensual, and I've realized that my wiring requires that ... passionate, emotional, sensual reactions to life. It's what makes my little world twirl on its axis.

I've rocked it all weekend, probably to the disdain of many neighbors. I'm sure I've killed ten or twelve nerve-endings in my ear canal. This means I'll be an earlier candidate for Miracle Ear ... a lot sooner than originally planned, but I could FEEL the music coursing through every fiber, and it felt good!

I pulled out my Great American Novel and wrote ... I spent five hours in front of the computer writing and rocking it out ... it felt good ... it felt right ... it felt like living.

Number 36 is staring me in the face ... in just two or three short weeks, I will be four more years closer to 40 (STOP LAUGHING, ANN!). That's scary and exciting at the same time.

I don't want it to fly by without me touching each moment ... savoring it all.


My friend Cindy sent to me an email that gave a run-down on whether or not you could tell you grew up in the 80s.

I K.N.O.W. I grew up in the 80s ... I've got the emotional scars to prove it! But geez, to have to relive the ugliness of it all in the email, AND fess up to the fact that, yes, in fact, I did wear jellies and side pony tails ... well, that's just more than my tattered self-esteem can take.

The fact that I danced like a crazed lunatic (nothing much has changed in that area) to the lyrics of Cindy Lauper's GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN with sky high bangs, I am sure has no bearing on the fact that I've not had the pleasure of male companionship in ... well, let's not talk numbers here.

And I'm quite certain that if I'd not tried to match my shoes to my belt to my earrings (the size of small dessert plates, mind you), as well as layering my socks and my polo shirts every single day for the duration of that nightmare we call a decade, I wouldn't be now, in my mid-30s, just beginning to get out of my black phase and wear cheery colors or any color, for that matter.

I am sure the 80s had nothing to do with the maladjustments I am now working through ... nothing at all ...

Saturday, February 02, 2008


I was at a meeting this morning and saw some folks I'd not seen in a while. One girl came up to me afterward and said, "I just love your hair cut! You always have the jazziest hair styles."

Then she proceeded to run her fingers through the back of it.

Another girl says, "what are you doing to her hair!? Good grief!"

To which I replied, "Don't worry. That's the most action I've gotten in a while."

I was met with stares.

I'm sorry. Should I not have mentioned that out loud?


It smelled like spring this morning when I went outside ... birds were chirping too. Sounded like spring.

Man! I am sick of cold weather ...

The sun is a soothing salve after icy days of single digits.

Is it too early to start pining away for the first signs of spring?

Yeah, probably ...