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 ...


Saturday, October 18, 2008

A LOVELY FALL DAY

I woke up at 8 a.m. ... that's sleeping in for me!

I didn't wake up to STUPID NEIGHBOR shouting at his dog nor did I wake up to the PTERODACTYL, which Joe thinks is actually a Great Blue Heron. Whatever ...

I slept soundly, comfortably, and happily THE. WHOLE. NIGHT. LONG.

Yay for me!

I decided to bake cookies as soon as the coffee had stopped brewing. These are cookies that my mom used to make all the time, California Rangers, and they are HEAVENLY! I'm taking the great majority of them to a meeting on Tuesday night, but I did save some back for me.

Today, I'm actually feeling Fallish ... so, I'm heading out in search of pumpkins and gourds, and I might even dig in my CLOSET FROM HELL to uncover my fall decorations. Yes, I'm a bit behind on this little decorating aspect, but seriously, folks. Who wants to slap pumpkins all over the place in one's house when it's still 80 degrees?

I surely didn't.

Ahhhhh ... fall. Welcome. I've missed you ...




Friday, October 17, 2008

WHERE'S MADDIE?

Yesterday, I cleaned out and organized my closet. I've got a HUGE pile of clothes that need to go to Goodwill now, and some of it, I'm excited to say, is stuff that's too big for me. YAY ME!!

After the completion of said CLOSET ORGANIZATION, I went to shut the closet door and then realized, "Wait a sec. I don't have the first clue where Maddie is."


You see, my cat has been known to hide in closets and then get shut there ... for hours ... sometimes a full day. I wasn't about to clean a giant kitty mess from my nice and neatly organized closet. So, I went in search of her.

I knew she was upstairs with me somewhere because I'd heard her collar, and then I spied something on the bed. Can you see it?

Look closer. Can you see it now?



Yes, that is KITTY BUTT you're seeing. She'd burrowed under a knit coat my mother made me. This is the view from the "front." She was under all of that just purring away!



REMEMBERING THE 80S ... FONDLY?

I went to dinner tonight, and it must have been that the restaurant had Sirius radio firmly fixed on 80s music, because I swear I relived my entire high school (with a bit of middle school mixed in for good measure) my whole dining experience.

I was reminded of dancing in front of my full length mirror, pink hairbrush in hand, while singing along to killer hits of the 80s. I also remember hearing my parents, in chorus, hollering up the stairs, "STOP BOUNCING AROUND UP THERE!"

It didn't matter. I was convinced I was SOLID GOLD material.

That hairbrush witnessed moving renderings of such hits as ...
  • "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley
  • "Every Breath You Take" by The Police
  • "Jack and Diane" by John Cougar Mellancamp ... now just John Mellancamp
  • "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper
  • "Daddy Don't Preach" by Madonna
  • "How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston
  • "Pink Cadillac" by Tina Turner
  • "Little Red Corvette" by Prince
Anything by the following artists could also be heard caterwauled, a my parents so kindly pointed out, from my bedroom ...
  • U2
  • R.E.M.
  • Huey Lewis and the News
  • Prince
  • Michael Jackson
My BFF lived across the street from me, and, at the time, her aunt was living in Thailand or someplace like that. She was able to get Mandy black market tapes of all the latest and greatest ... like when THRILLER hit stands here, Mandy got it from her aunt, and her aunt paid like pennies for it. The amount of times we listen to LITTLE RED CORVETTE and THRILLER ... well, let's just say, it was A LOT!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

FEELING GOOD ABOUT ME

For those of you that know and love me, you know I've been on a long, long journey toward fitness. It's hard fighting the battle of weight when you've let it get so out of hand. Today, I think I can say, with some degree of confidence, I think I'm beginning to win the battle.

Here are some photos that I think will prove that gains, and more importantly, losses are being made. I recognize that I'm always going to be a curvy girl. It's the family curse or genetic blessing, which ever way I tend to look at it. However, I can be a fit and curvy girl, and that's what I'm striving for ... working hard to get to ... GIRL POWER!

My sister and I around Christmas 2005 ...


Here I am at Carrie's wedding in March, 2006 ... this was one of the heaviest times for me, as I recall ...

January 2007 ...

Another photo of me and my rear October 2007



April 2008 ... looking a little better!

This is me, today, October 16, 2008 ... yay for me! You'll pardon the photo of me in the mirror, but I've yet to figure out the timer thingy on my camera. :)
As you can see, I'm super happy about the progress I've made so far ...


SO, SO EXCITED!

A while ago, I blogged about my awesome shower curtain I purchased. Then I publically asked my sister and my mother to buy the accessories to go with them.

Please refer to this blog post: http://teachersworld.blogspot.com/2008/04/i-did-it.html

My mother decided that she would go and find the aforementioned items for Christmas, only, horror of horrors, all of the items were pulled off the shelves! I was devastated and immediately went out to check the situation out for myself. Sure enough, all my adorable items had been pulled.

Fast forward to yesterday, when I was out doing some early Christmas shopping, and I happened to swing by the bath department in Kohl's. When what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a DISCONTINUED -- 75% sign and eight tiny reindeer ... okay, so not the reindeer. I purchased my wastebasket, curtain hooks, toothbrush holder, AND Kleenex box holder for under $25!!!

OH YEAH!!! I'm doing the happy dance!!!


BLACK CAT CHASE TRAINING UPDATE

So, I drug myself to the gym this morning, even though it's rainy and chilly and a really good day to just stay in bed cuddled up under the covers. I drug myself to the gym because I realized that the Black Cat Chase is next Friday. That's a week and a day away, and I've not "trained" for it in two weeks. And well, if I have any hope of finishing it sans injury, I'd better get my BIG OLE BUTT IN GEAR!

Can I get an amen?

So, today, I went and walked 21.57 minutes on the treadmill and walked one mile.

Then I rode 4.36 miles on a bike. I forgot to look and see how many minutes that was, but it was significantly less than the walking business. The knee feels "okay," only because I took two Motrin prior to my arrival at the gym.

Now, I walked the treadmill at a 5% incline because as my dear friend and fellow GIRL POWER gal pal, Denise, pointed out, I've got hills on the Chase route. Better make sure I'm taking that into account with my training. I settled on the 5% incline because that what Caleb the Sadist always put it on at the PT gym ... I figure, he's the expert.

If I walked, today, at 21.57 minutes, and I walked 1 mile, and a 5K is 3.11 miles, then it's going to take me 67.08 minutes to get around the Chase route. That just isn't going to do. Not when my time was 49 minutes and a bunch of seconds last year. So, I've got to step it up for the rest of my training dates.

Man! That's going to be hard since next week is the first week back at school, and it's suppose to be seriously insane with meetings and stuff. I may need to just bite the bullet and get my report cards done BEFORE school starts. Wow! That would be a novel idea, wouldn't it?

Anyway, miles to go before I'm done, but the good news is, I seem to be maintaining the latest weight loss of 4 more pounds ... WAHOOO!!! for me.




Wednesday, October 15, 2008

THINGS THAT ARE MAKING MY HEAD HURT

  • Bills ... I'm paying them ... this ALWAYS makes my head hurt. I hate dealing with money, unless, of course, I'm spending it. Then, I'm all about dealing with it. I need someone like Carrie's husband, someone who uses spreadsheets and crap like that. Actually, as my sister once pointed out, I need someone to give me an envelope with money and then tell me, "Hey, when it's all gone, that's it. Party's over."
  • Open Enrollment ... DANG IT! My insurance is changing. I HATE when this happens. Why can't they just leave well enough alone? I wasn't complaining. Now, someone in the Great Ivory Tower is making me think about this stuff, and thinking about this sort of stuff always makes me break into a cold sweat, and I've got to fight the urge to get into the fetal position. I'm suppose to ask questions, but I don't know what questions to ask. WHAT DO I DO!?!? That's the question I want to ask ...
  • I'm turning into my mother ... more and more every single day. For instance, today, while shopping, I immediately went to the handbags. That's a sickness ... a disease, really, that we both share. My father has often been heard saying that my sister has the market on shoes, and my mother and I have the market on purses. It's true. I refuse to deny it anymore. I have more purses than I can use in a year. And we won't even talk about the TEACHER BAGS I'm given in a year's time. Seriously! That's another whole blog entirely. So, today, while in Kohl's, I went running to the handbags because, ummm, HELLO!! They are 55% to 75% off! And here's where it gets seriously demented and even more MOM-like. I GO FOR THE GIANT-SIZED bags, and I hear my internal voice squeal with delight, "OOOOOOHHHHHH!! I could shove a lot of crap into that bag!" Good grief, what's happening to me?
  • My closet ... it's out of control. I need to clean it. I need to try every single piece of clothing on in there and decide what is to stay and what is to go. Please, someone, tell me why I need a pair of flowy velvet slacks? The only time they've seen the light of day in the last three years is when I moved them from my closet in Michigan to the box that traveled 300 some miles south to Kentucky! I need some sort of organizational plan too, because here I sit, the QUEEN OF THE T-SHIRT, with two dressers FULL of clothes -- most of them t-shirts -- and a closet that is puking all sorts of clothing options. I maybe need to unload the entire closet and put piece by piece back in after I've really analyzed its usefulness in my closet. But oooohhhhh, that sounds like a lot of work ...
  • My shin splints are acting up again, and, of course, the tendinitis in my heel, that I haven't had in three years, yeah, that's back. WHAT THE HECK!?!??!?!? Black Cat is in a week!! SERIOUSLY!!!!!! My body hates me!!!

Things that are making me smile ....
  • I now have two Christmas presents purchased. That's right. You know you want to be me.
  • The incredibly funny text messages I received today. Made me laugh ... out loud ... in a very quiet waiting room.
  • The sun....
  • The fact that when my friend Elly told one of her friends that she was meeting her friend, Megan Murray, for lunch, her friend said, "Why do I know that name? Oh, I know! I read about her dodge ball accomplishments in the State-Journal." Mom ... Dad, I graduated with honors in English from an elite liberal arts college, and dodge ball is how I land in the paper? Are you sooo proud or what?
  • Gas at $2.83
  • The fact that I'm wearing shorts ... in October!
  • I've purchased a witch's hat to wear on Halloween ... and I take fiendish delight in the fact that, given my mood on other non-Halloween days, I might wear it then too, just to warn my fourth graders that "Miss Murray hasn't had enough coffee today ..."


JUST ANOTHER LAZY SATURDAY AFTERNOON "DRIVE"


A CASE FOR OVER-ANALYSIS

I over-analyze everything. Absolutely E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. I mean, it's like a sickness!

What? You want examples? Hard-core proof?

Okay, here's one for you.

Last night, my friend Tabby and I are leaving a meeting together, and she's all, "Hey Megan, did you know your driver's side headlight is out?"

And I was all, "WHAT!?!? I just replaced the dang thing! Why is it out!?"

Tabby was just doing me a favor, which I appreciate, but I immediately started analyzing why the headlight went out. Forget the fact that I just took a 600+ mile round trip and any manner of crap could have flown up and rendered it "unworkable." Nope, I've got to turn it over in my head a million and one times to try to figure out why it happened ... now.

Yes, there are people starving all over this world, and I'm freakin' about a now defunct headlight. I have not missed the irony in all of this, trust me.

I've not slept all that well in probably a week and a half, and I know what it is. My mind is working through a particular situation that I've been stuck on for a while now. One of those issues that's not Earth-shattering ... it's not going to solve world peace, but it nags at me ... and as long as I internalize it, no harm - no foul. The problem is that since I seem incapable of just letting it go and working itself through to its inevitable conclusion, I've worked out a million and one impossible scenarios in my head ... improbable scenarios ... stupid as crap scenarios.

This morning, after being awakened by my inconsiderate neighbor, who I swear if he doesn't buy a leash for that stupid dog ... after being awakened from a fitful night of sleep to begin with, I had a break-through, and this is that my mind works like an author, cuz, well, like, I am one! Apparently, for me to work through the twisty-turny by-ways and highways of life, my brain has to create stories ... possible beginnings, middles, and ends. And maybe that's okay, as long as I realize, real life, it's going to run its course, on its own course, whether I like it or not.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

HMMMM ... IS THERE CREDANCE TO THESE WORDS?

Because somewhere in Michigan, Carrie will be bouncing up and down in her chair when I share these little tidbits with you -- two "prophecies" I received recently.

Bear in mind, I'm not the least bit superstitious or whatever else you have to be to believe in this sort of crap, but, considering some conversations I've had recently with both Carrie and Erin, I knew they'd appreciate these.

First, in the Fortune Cookie I got last night, I found this fortune:
Now is the best time for you to be spontaneous. Serendipity!

Then, in a horoscope I discovered in my Glamour magazine the other day:
PISCES
YOUR MONTH: Jackpot! Opportunities arrive in love and at work -- IF you take the lead.
YOUR MISSION: Channel your inner Joan of Arc/Hillary Clinton: Be bold! You could end the year with a raise, a ring or unbreakable new confidence.

Carrie's head is spinning rapidly right now. In fact, she's desperately trying to find her phone as she squeals, "DUDE! DUDE!"



BLACK CAT CHASE ... REVISITED

For those of you that have been reading this blog for any length of time (and that's like four of you), you know that I've been dealing with a long, drawn-out knee problem that went all wrong last year ... Friday, October 26, 2007 ... at approximately 7:30ish p.m.

I know this date well, because that was the night of the BLACK CAT CHASE here in Frankfort. While walking the 5k course, that I hadn't trained for, by the way, I vividly remember something popping and then feeling lots of pain, but thinking, "it'll work itself out."

Just so you know, ignorance IS NOT necessarily bliss in all situations ... this being one such situation.

A year later, I am nursing my arthritic knee back to semi-health, and I've signed myself up for the Black Cat once again. Really, I think this is a sort of rebellious manuever on my part to say,
"Hey Osteoarthritis! TAKE THIS!"
Then I take my middle finger and wave it maniacally at Osteoarthritis.

Friends and family think I'm a complete idiot to even attempt this a year after the first ugly incident, but you know what, I'm trying to prove that I can return to normal life and be stronger and in better shape for it. I really, really can! Plus, and my parents will attest to this one, I absolutely HATE being told NO!

So, check out the photo at this link http://www.frankfortymca.org/Programs/SpecialEvents/AFBBlackCatChase5K/tabid/1681/Default.aspx
I'm in the photo ... somewhere. It's like WHERE'S WALDO, only this time, it's WHERE'S MEGAN? I'm not sure ... somewhere on the right-hand side of the photo. If you find me, let me know. :)

For those of you familiar with the area, you might be interested in knowing the route. You can find that here: http://www.mapmyrun.com/run/united-states/ky/frankfort/903369117130

Michigan family and friends, while looking at the map, add about three hills, and you will understand the nature of the course ... like the hills on Superior Street and Hannah Street.

And NO!, I'm not insane. Left of center, yes. Insane, no!

My time last year, for my age group, was 49:57.78. I plan to beat that time this year ... by how much, who the heck knows, but maybe I could shave five minutes off of that time? I mean, I'm walking, for heaven's sake.

So, wish me luck, and join my mother (not to mention my health insurace company) in praying that I don't land in Physical Therapy for another year.

Good times ...

MORATORIUM ON WORK

So, I'm in my classroom today, and I have to tell you that I'm not happy about it. It's my break ... my vacation, and if you've been within shouting distance of me lately, you know that I've been going through MEGAN'S MID-LIFE CRISIS, and that means I've put a moratorium on working myself into an early grave.

The Saturday that Fall Break started, I went into work to check out the sub's notes (I'd been sick with the stomach flu, if you will remember, those of you faithful readers), and I wanted to make sure that the kids hadn't torn the place apart in my absence.

All the desks were still standing, the room was some semblance of order, and so I left. Shut the door and never looked back. I've not been back since today, which has felt good. So, good, in fact, that I forgot what key was the key that got me into the building.

What the heck!?!?

Now, I'm looking at all the stuff that needs to be done, and my brain is saying, "Dude! You've got to do it all!!!", but my heart is saying, "No! You don't! You aren't SUPER TEACHER. So, do what you can and let that be it."

So, here's the deal. I've got a list. I'm going to work through the list, and that will be it. I MIGHT come back later on in the week to do copies, but if it doesn't get done today, it doesn't get done. Period. End of story.

Ahhhh ... that feels good ... putting my foot down ... feeling the stress melt away ...



Monday, October 13, 2008

BEACH SCENES

MEMORIES OF SWEETER TIMES

As a kid, I spent two weeks of my summer at my grandparents' cottage on Carp Lake. This lake, just ten minutes south of the Mackinac Bridge in northern lower Michigan was my oasis ... my heaven on Earth. It was out in the middle of nowhere, in a spot where one might likely spy a Black Bear at dawn or dusk ... or a pair of bald eagles that nested in the isolated portions of the lake. It was this place that afforded me the opportunities of learning how to sail,to boat, to fish, to build a fort --- it allowed me the ability to run all over the place without fear of stranger danger, but most importantly, making lasting friendships with "lake friends."

My sister and I were the third generation of lake kids, and I always thought that there would be a fourth generation. But times change, kids grow up, and cottages get sold, as was the case of my grandparents' cottage.

I recently reconnected with some of the younger siblings of the lake friends I had. They are on Facebook, and they are all grown up, which blows my mind, because in my memory, they are all still little kids.

I was looking through the posted photos of one of the girls, and I realized that she had a photo with my grandparents' cottage in the background, except, it's not really our cottage anymore. The new owners gutted it and added a level, and it looks nothing like the quaint little fishing cottage that I spent 30 some summers in learning to play violent games of spoons, mastering the art of card shuffling, and eating insane amounts of black licorice and Dr. Pepper. To this day, when I drink Dr. Pepper out of one of my Spaghetti String Tumblers, just like the ones grandma had at the cottage, I'm once again transported to The Lake.

There will be new memories at a different lake, I am sure, but I will always have a sweet spot in my heart for the cottage and lake of my youth. It's where I fell in love with sunsets, bonfires, and the amazingly calming effect of water and waves.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

MORE LAKE MICHIGAN PHOTOS


These are not the most attractive photos, seeing as I was bundled up for the CHILLY day. However, just look at that blue sky ... that amazing water ... is there anything more beautiful?

DREAMS

I have some pretty insane dreams sometimes. I've often said that if someone were to crawl into my head, it'd be a scary place loaded with lots of stuff that will cause intense therapy for all who enter.

On top of it, I dream in color, which, from my limited understanding of dream analysis, is rather unusual.

What does this all mean about me?

No clue!

But a few weeks back, I had an extremely vivid, forceful dream. I awoke from it with an irrepressible desire to write it down. I just knew it was a story waiting ... no, begging to be written. Since that time, I've crafted two chapters, and, I've got to say, it's intense in it's subject matter and the feelings it stirs inside my head.

It won't let me go, and I suppose that's the sign of a good story. So, I'm trying to take every opportunity to write what I can about it. Also, because my "first reviewer," Carrie, has threatened to put me on her list if I wait as long with the other story that I'm STILL working on ... Carrie means what she threatens. So, I'm kinda working hard on this one.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

GORGEOUS SATURDAY, AND I SPENT IT INSIDE

I just got back from Louisville, where I spent the ENTIRE day, on my butt, listening to people yap about math.

I'm going to my bedroom after this to take a nap ... and it's 5:37 p.m.!

Does that give you any indication of the nature of my day?

Next time I mention that I'm going to a PD day ... on a Saturday ... a perfectly sunny, warm, fall Saturday, do me a favor, will ya?

Smack me ... HARD!


Friday, October 10, 2008

LACK OF SLEEP

If I pitch over the side of a cliff in my truck, it won't be because of reckless driving. Nope. It will be because of lack of sleep.

Why, you might ask?

Two reasons.
  1. My stupid neighbor, who insists on taking his dog out at three o'clock in the morning (who does that!?!?!?) and then SHOUTS ... LOUDLY ... at her to come to him, about a million times.
  2. The Pterodactyl that has taken up residence in my backyard.
My mother insists that the pterodactyl is actually some sort of nocturnal bird, but I've never heard anything like this. It sounds like the dinosaurs from LAND BEFORE TIME, and I realize that I'm showing some serious age by referring to that show, but honestly, folks, a Pterodactyl. I swear it.

At first I thought it was a feral cat. However, Maddie the Cat is a feral wannabe, and she never sounds like that.

Then I thought it might be a woman being murdered, but for heaven sakes, that happens once, and then it's done. Over with. This thing continues on and on and on and on and ... well, you get the point.

Then I suspected some crazed lunatic over by the Jim Beam Grand-dad plant, but really, if the crazed lunatic is slurping sour mash, I think he/she is more likely to be belly up in a gully, sleeping one off, rather than screeching and squawking at the top of his/her lungs.

So, I decided that perhaps, my mother was right ... perhaps it was a bird. A pheasant sounds similar, but they aren't really into the whole "song bird" gig, and this thing is incessant. Sleeps during the day ... is a boil on the butt of society at night.

I then thought about owls, since they are nocturnal, but really, their calls are pretty typical, and I can sleep through calls like that. Many an owl has lulled me into sleep.

No, this is something all together different.

Perhaps a bat?

A vampire bat? Coming to suck my blood? Oh! Oh! Count Dracula! Coming to suck my blood and help me learn how to count!

Hey, if it's going to help me get a good night's sleep at night, suck away!

Lest you think I'm all wet with this Pterodactyl business, allow me to refer to you the You Tube video: Pterodactyl in Texas???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl1A2xXnxpU

If nothing else, you'll get a laugh at the FREAKISH comments left by others on this video.

Seriously, it takes all kinds to make the world go 'round.


FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

BIG NIGHT ON THE TOWN

If you are looking to have a big night on the town, might I suggest the Circle K gas station in Henryville, Indiana? I stopped there this evening to gas up before heading across the Ohio River on my last leg of my trip home. Since I'd been in the car for five hours and had consumed a GIGANTIC Bigby's Blend Coffee, I felt it necessary to visit the ladies' facilities on site at the Circle K as well.

While taking care of business, I couldn't help but notice the perfume dispenser. For $0.50, one could choose from a wide variety of "designer scents" including, but not limited to, Sunflowers.

Then, turning to the other wall, you could, for $0.75, choose from two varieties of condoms "in fashion colors." (When I figure out why one needs to match one's condom with one's outfit, there'll be a blog on that as well ...)

For a brief moment, I stopped to ponder what sort of woman might choose to partake in these two amenities in the Circle K restroom. But I saw a big, toothless grin, and a lot of long, stringy hair, and decided it was best not to dwell on that particular brain mushroom cloud.






BEST QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Well, shoot. I guess we're not going to be watching a lot of TV. Going have to start reading books."

-- My father, upon realizing the power surges had destroyed some components of the TVs in their house.

BEST LAID PLANS OF MICE AND MEN ....

I was supposed to be on the road by now, making my way into Indianapolis as I write this.

Even the best laid plans often get completely fudged up!

It all started early in the morning sometime ... and by early, I mean, before God gets up. I was awakened by an incessant beeping. I didn't know what it was, and I wasn't too interested in investigating what it was, being that I was still half asleep. So, I let it beep. Except, then I was all the way awake and didn't get much sleep. I should have investigated.

By 7 a.m., my dad was in the shower, and my mother was out making coffee, doing breakfast, and being completely frustrated by the power. "It keeps flickering. The battery back up on the computer is beeping."

Solution to the beeping mystery.

It was at that point things got really crazy and awfully surreal. The lights dimmed to hardly anything, and then, well, let's just say it ended in my mother screaming, "OH NO!" and my dad screaming, "SHIT!" in stereo as appliances began to blow.

[my apologies to anyone offended by the questionable language, but, seriously, had you been there, you would have said the same thing!]

The cacophony of shouts mingled with the smell of burning electrical wires sent everyone into a flurry of running, some of us in various forms of dress and undress. I think, should a video replay of the events leading up to the "CALL 911! There are flames and smoke in my oven!" be played back, it would definitely reveal a comic scene, complete with my father running around in his BVDs.

My mother shouted that the fire department was coming, and she wasn't even wearing a bra. To which I replied, "Mother, whenever there's a crisis, that's the first thing I make sure I have on. A tornado can suck me up in its vortex, but, rest assured, there will be a bra on my lifeless body."

I think this will make her rethink how she takes her clothes off at night now.

The fire department did show up ... three volunteer guys in various pick up trucks, and the big fire truck, complete with flashing lights ... nine guys in all, decked out in their turn-out gear, ready to tromp through my parents' home, dragging all the rain-soaked crap from the driveway in on their boots.

Oh, did I mention the big fire truck's lights? Lit the whole neighborhood up like a Christmas tree. The caddy old lady down the road will be talking about this for weeks, I'm sure. For countless bridge games to come, she'll be yapping about the excitement down the road at the Murray's. Nothing gets by the folks in this small town.

My parents know how to do a trip up right. I spend a week and a half here, and they save the morning I'm to leave to unleash all the excitement.

Turns out that trees hanging on the neutral line out at the road's edge was the culprit. In its wake, the power surges killed a double oven, three TVs, a VCR or two, a CD player, and an HDTV converter box.

It could have been the whole house, so I think we're all counting ourselves lucky. Plus, as I reminded them, "this is going to make an incredible couple of blogs."

"Great," my mother mumbled disgusted.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

ROLL WITH ME

I'm fixin' to write about a country song, ya'll. So, if country music isn't your thang, you might want to stop readin' right about now.

I'll wait until you log off ... it's okay ...

Okay, for the rest of you that have decided to hang on, you know that I've been going through a mid-life crisis of sorts lately. Good or bad, I've decided that my life is more than my job, and darn it, I'm going to start living it correctly ... my life, that is, and not my job.

Imagine my surprise when I heard Montgomery Gentry's latest song, ROLL WITH ME on the radio. Man! It put into words the thoughts that have been rolling, disjointed, in my head the last few months. The most poignant part of the entire song was the refrain: So, now I'm slowing it down and I'm looking around and I'm lovin' this town and I'm doing all right ... Ain't worried 'bout nothing except the man I wanna be [in my case, woman] I'm thinking maybe it's time to be living the rhyme when I'm singing a song about nothing but right, and it'd sure be nice if you would roll with me.

So, I am going to slow it down and get to living my life! I'm going to savor the small moments and look for the little surprises.

Sure would like it if you'd roll with me ...


(My apologies to the writer(s) of this song ... I would give them props if I knew their names)

Wake up in the morning
Get to living my life
Making sure that I'm all that I can be
Went to church on Sunday
There was a moment that came
I swear it was like the Lord spoke right to me

So now I'm slowing it down and I'm looking around
And I'm lovin' this town and I'm doing alright
Aint' worried 'bout nothing except the man I wanna be
I'm thinking it's time to be livin' the rhyme
When I'm singing a song about nothing but right
And it'd sure be nice if you would roll with me

Saw a kid last winter only twenty years old
Being laid to rest while his mom stood by his side
Sure was hard to watch those tears roll down her face
Made me think how we all just have our time

So now I'm slowing it down and I'm looking around
And I'm lovin/ this town and I'm doing alright
Aint' worried 'bout nothing except the man I wanna be
I'm thinking it's time to be livin' the rhyme
When I'm singing a song about nothing but right
And it's sure be nice if you would roll with me

Who knows whats ahead I think I'd rather not know instead

So now I'm slowing it down and I'm looking around
And I'm lovin/ this town and I'm doing alright
Aint' worried 'bout nothing except the man I wanna be
I'm thinking it's time to be livin' the rhyme
When I'm singing a song about nothing but right
And it's sure be nice if you would roll with me

Monday, October 06, 2008

GETTING PROPS IN THE LOCAL PAPER

My friend Elly put this comment on my blog entry about taking one for the team: "You earned a mention in the State Journal yesterday for this. No kidding. There was a piece on Family Fun Night, and your principal says, 'I'm really proud of Megan Murray. She was the last teacher standing in the dodge ball game,' or something like that."

So, Elly, you've got to save that article for me because apparently I'm famous for taking one in the face from our very respected Dr. W., and, honestly, part of me is pretty excited at the prospect of being mentioned in a paper for something that smacks of athleticism. But part of me is slightly embarrassed as I didn't have a frickin' clue I was the last one standing to begin with!

My grandmother, rest her soul, clipped out all sorts of articles for and about us kids. Somewhere in heaven, she's smiling down on me, completely tickled that I got a mention in the State-Journal due to my dodge ball prowess.



Sunday, October 05, 2008

SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM

There is one thing that I just absolutely love ... LOVE ... L.O.V.E., and it's ice cream.

Around these parts (meaning, south-central Michigan), you can't spit without hitting a Mom and Pop Ice Cream stand. Shoot! Within a 40 mile radius, I can count at least 7 places right off-hand that I could drive to ... and that's without really thinking about it.

Down in Kentucky ... where I live now? NOT ONE MOM AND POP ICE CREAM PLACE. NOT ONE.

It is a sad acclimation that I've had to make; one that I do go through withdrawals on every now and again. However, Coldstone Creamery helps me make my way through any super difficult ice cream withdrawals.

I just finished a medium chocolate twirl in a cup from the little ice cream stand in Homer, and I've gotta tell you all, it was wonderful! I can't stand to put another thing in my mouth, but OH BOY! Am I ever a happy, happy girl ...

Now, if you'll excuse me, I am heading to the fuzzy blanket currently sitting on the guest bed. I'm so cold, I plan to curl up inside it and float away on sugar-laced dreams.


GREAT LAKES BOUND

Because you can take the girl out of the Great Lakes but you can't take the Great Lakes out of the girl, I insisted we drive the hour and a half over to THE LAKE yesterday.

It was the perfect day for it ... sunny, gorgeous blue skies, a "balmy" 62 degrees. The Lake, i.e., Lake Michigan, was very calm with very little wind coming off the lake. It was perfect.

We stayed the whole day, picnicing on the Black River, walking along the pier, getting sand in your shoes, shopping downtown, and eating the most amazing salad, THE STRAWBERRY PATCH at Clementines (http://www.ohmydarling.com/).

The best part, the part that got me a bit choked up, was the sunset at the pier. There are a lot of things I don't miss about Michigan, but being near the water ... bonfires on the beach ... watching an incredible sunset ... those are all the things I miss!

Photos to come when I get home and can download them ...

Friday, October 03, 2008

FALL MEET AT KEENELAND BEGINS TODAY!!!

This is how we roll in the Bluegrass!

http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/30263364.html

I'M SORRY ... ARE THOSE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS I SEE?

Well, it's that time of year again. The time of year when we have to put a turbo-boost on all holidays to maximize Corporate America's bottom line ... or so they will pontificate from here until December 31st.

And we ask ourselves why the youth of America are growing up with such a stilted, me-me-me attitude toward "stuff." Or why so many people in this country are in debt ... and perhaps, why, the country is currently in such dire economic straights?

Yesterday, I walked into JC Penney with my mother, and as we made our way through the store, I spotted twinkling lights and merriment.

CHRISTMAS DISPLAYS!

I'm just wrapping my mind around the idea of fall, folks. And don't get me wrong. I LOVE Christmas. I'm the freak of nature that listens to Christmas music three weeks before Thanksgiving, but seriously, folks. Considering I start school on August 1st, essentially cutting into "summertime fun," I like to hold on to that warm, cozy feeling of "end of summer, beginning of fall," as long as I can. Being jet-propelled into fall, as I have this week with 30 degree mornings, is more than I can handle, and then you plant twinkling Christmas lights and merriment on top of it? I haven't even burrowed through the piles of boxes in my closet to locate, via a sophisticated geo-thermal tracking device, I fear, my "fall decorations." Please don't push Christmas on me now as well! It's not fair.

I've not had time to prepare. I've given no thought to Christmas presents I need to scour the Bluegrass for ... for family and friends. I've not plotted and planned what homemade goodies I will be providing to friends for Christmas.

I will admit that I have procured one present the other day, but it was by a complete and total accident that I discovered this small, little gift. Forced to think about it, I might not have had such success. Of course, now, thanks to JC Penney, I'm forced to think about it, and my thoughts tell me that I need to get while the getting is good, and try to be done ... completely and totally finished BEFORE Thanksgiving ever rolls around. That way, I can enjoy the season, when it finally arrives, naturally, mind you, not by way of corporate Cesarean.

The fight for sanity continues ... where is that rainfall of Skittles when you need it?


Thursday, October 02, 2008

DAY FIVE ... I THINK I SEE BLUE SKY ... COULD THAT BE THE SUN?

Michigan weather can be fickle. It's due to being a peninsula ... surrounded by water on three sides. There are times you don't see the sun for weeks.

Oh, you think I'm kidding? I'm not!

Winter is brutal here, not always because of the cold or snow or slop, but because of the fact you don't see the sun but about five days between November and March.

Again, you think I'm kidding, but I'm not.

Today, as I type this, I am looking out at blue skies and sun! Something I've not really seen since Sunday. Oh sure, I've caught glimpses of them, mind you. Small little glances, but nothing of any consistent measure.

Today, however, I think I see both.

Of course, the moment I arrive in Albion, the weather takes a turn for the worst. All the locals have been telling me, we've been having great weather up until Monday.

Yeah, the Murray curse continues ... we drag the crap weather where ever we go.

I'm just holding out for the sweater I ordered from LL BEAN to wing its way to my parents' front door. I think for the remainder of my trip, I will live in that sweater.