Wednesday, April 29, 2009

TOILET SNIFFER AND OTHER DISGUSTING THINGS

My kitten ... sweet, precious, innocent little furry ball of energy and love ... my little kitten Emmy, loves nothing better than to sit next to the toilet with her nose pressed up against the crack where the toilet seat and the actual toilet meet and ... are you ready for this??? She loves to sit there and sniff away, while you sit there and do your thing.

I know! Right? SICK! DISGUSTING! I haven't a clue why she does this, and the only reason I am mentioning it now is to ...
  1. Warn anyone that might be visiting me about this possible assault on your privacy, and
  2. To solidify the long-held belief that we Murray's do not know how to own NORMAL animals!

In other disgusting news, I think I'm going to lose my left big toe nail ... a causality of my mini-marathoning last weekend. After much research, I have been assuaged and assured that it will grow back. However, in the meantime, summer sandal season will be less that attractive this year. As an added bonus, currently, I'm in serious pain! Yes, pain! My big toe throbs constantly. Well, isn't this nice!?

This getting into good health and fitness is tough work and certainly not for the faint of heart. Because just know this, when that thing finally does fall off, I've planned to throw up and pass out, not necessarily in that order!

TEAM FRANKFORT

Frankfort Independent Schools' Mini-Marathoners!


Don't we all look like super-athletes!?

Photo taken by Erin Peach by way of Susan Riddell's (staff reporter for Kentucky Teacher) camera.
By the way, I'm really not that tall. Just couldn't find a place to stand ... so was standing on an extra step.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

RAIN, RAIN, AND MORE RAIN

The parental units are landing in town on Thursday. So, it stands to reason that they are calling for rain today ... tomorrow ... Friday ... Saturday ... Monday ... that's as far as the weather map went.

It doesn't matter. They somehow manage to hook the bad weather on their back bumper and drag it down here with them. I'm not sure how, but they do.

COME ON, MOTHER NATURE! Cut us a break, please!

Monday, April 27, 2009

THINGS I'LL KNOW TO DO DIFFERENTLY FOR NEXT YEAR

Some things I learned from my first mini marathon experience ...

  1. I definitely will be more committed to stiffer training regimes. When a mini marathon is concerned, it's all about your training.
  2. Spend the money to get the fancy racing socks that wick wetness. Your feet will love you if you don't cause them awful blisters in the end with the regular cotton ones. Trust me on this one!
  3. You can never be prepared for just how beat up you feel after 13.1 miles. It's Monday, and the muscles around my rib cage STILL hurt .... rib cage, folks! Who knew you used those for walking?!?! Or maybe my leg muscles gave out midway through the race, and so those ribcage muscles had to take over .... who knows!
  4. Drink, drink, drink, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!! I was smart and pre-hydrated, and I think that made ALL the difference in the world.
  5. Watch those shoes and make sure they are in good shape waaaay before the race. Mine were broken down. A definite no-no on 13.1 miles
  6. Make achievable goals for yourself.
  7. Don't worry about breaking your arm patting yourself on the back. Dude! 13.1 miles!! Not everyone can say they could do that!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I DID KICK ASPHALT!!!

Chip time: 3:52:52
Finish line time: 4:01:05

I SURVIVED MY FIRST MINI MARATHON!!!!!

Can I tell you how happy I am? Extremely happy!! I was so pumped yesterday when we piled out of the car at 5:45 a.m. at the Galt House and headed toward the lines to the shuttle buses. Amazingly, all of us from our district, with the exception of six, end up parking in exactly the same location and boarding the exact same shuttle bus! It was so cool to see our superintendent of schools along with our principal and a host of others, come together, wish each other luck and good runs and walks, and hit the pavement for a cause ... that of health ... all of us wearing our WE KICK ASPHALT tees.

The sea of humanity that you saw at the start ... I was maybe a mile away from the start line, that's how many people were there! A sea of humanity ... that's what I kept calling it ... it was amazing, mind-boggling.

I'm not going to say that I was strong-willed all the way through the mini. My team mate, Ann, would tell you that I started whining at about mile 9. They're right when people say that it's all in your head. If you're going to take on something like this, you've got to be mentally up for it! It's a head game .... man, was it ever!

When I crossed the finish line, I got emotional ... emotional because I'd done it ... emotional because I couldn't believe I'd done it ... emotional because I'm sure there was a lack of oxygen to the brain!

Today, I am tired ... sore (oh so very sore), but so proud of myself! I set out to accomplish a goal, and I did it.

I KICKED ASPHALT!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

WE KICK ASPHALT!

So, many of you know that I've signed up for the Kentucky Derby Mini-Marathon.

In case you aren't really sure about the whole Derby timeline, let me clue you in ... the mini is THIS WEEKEND cuz well, the Kentucky Derby is happening NEXT WEEKEND!

Am I ready?

Oh, who the heck knows! But I'm going to expect the worse and be pleasantly surprised when I come out of it without a lame (or permanently damaged) something or another.

There are 15 of us from the school district walking, running, walking and running, or, in my case, crawling, this mini. So, as a team, we decided to have t-shirts printed that say "WE KICK ASPHALT! FRANKFORT INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS"

The following is a conversation I had this morning with two of my colleagues regarding said tees.

Stacey: "Did you get one of those t-shirts?"

Me: "Yep."

Stacey: "Oh, I didn't. I didn't want to embarrass the district by being the last one to come in at the end of the race. I'm not kicking anything."

Me: "Oh honey! The asphalt is totally kicking me! I did it purely for body identification purposes! I figure if it says FRANKFORT INDEPENDENT on the shirt, they have a better chance of narrowing down the search for next of kin that way!"

Stephanie: "You crack me up!"

Me: "I'm being serious."

MOCK ICE CREAM SUNDAES

I'm a horrible sweet tooth that tends to gnosh on said sweets when my mood is less than pleasant ... or when I'm bored ... or when I'm stressed ... or sad ... or just breathing ...

The other day, I was craving an ice cream sundae ... knew I needed it in order to survive ... my very existence depended on it.

Since I'm trying to be more disciplined with my spending habits, running out to buy one wasn't an option for me, and honestly, my body didn't need it. Then I had an idea!

I had, in my possession, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and nuts (the good kind you bake with ... not from the can). What I needed was the ice cream part ... then it hit me. Apples!

So, without further ado, MOCK ICE CREAM SUNDAES

One apple of your choosing. Cut it up into chunks and put into a bowl.
Squeeze some chocolate syrup on the apples.
Sprinkle your favorite nuts (I've tried cashews, walnuts and now almonds ... walnuts and almonds are my favorite so far).
Top with whip cream (from can ... no polysaturated fats!).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

ROCKING SOME BANGS

If I go any shorter, I'll be ready for Basic Training, I do believe.

Look at Emmy ... she just loves getting in on the photo ops ...


TAMING THE WINGS

I've decided this week that I'm tired of fighting with my hair. You see, the shorter it gets, the more my wings come to life. I must dry them into submission with not so cute results.

Case in point ... tamed wings ... I use the word "tamed" loosely here ...


Untamed wings ....


It's just a good thing I don't care anymore, or this untamed business would really annoy the crap out of me!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

DOING A LITTLE DAMAGE CONTROL

On Friday, I took my kids on a little field trip. We walked over to our public library to pick out chapter books for our cereal box book reports we're going to be doing in a few weeks. The plan was to head over right after lunch. So, just before lunch, I did the "behavior rules and consequences" lecture that they always hear me roll out for field trips.

The end of the lecture went something like this: "You know, guys. If we can really behave, and Mr. Harley gets a good report about how awesome our behavior was, he'd be soooo proud, if he were wearing a button down shirt today, those buttons would fly right off!"

"EEEEEWWWWW!" The kids all squealed.

"I know, I know. No one wants to see that, but I'm just saying, it could happen."

I sent them on to lunch, ate my lunch, and at the appointed time, I went down to collect them from lunch.

Our principal was down there, on lunch duty, and I thought he might get a kick out of the story. So, I told him. When I'd finished, he started cracking up, which I thought was a little odd, because the story wasn't THAT funny.

"Well, let me tell you what Abigail* said. She came up to me and said, Mr. Harley. Miss Murray told that class that she wanted you to wear a button-down shirt so all your buttons could pop off. Then she walked off."

I gasped in horror, and he laughed and proceeded to say ...

"I thought to myself, 'hmmm, springtime is really getting to Miss Murray, and DANG! I'm the man!"

"NOOOOO!! That's not what I said!"

He just walked away laughing at me ....


*Names have been changed to protect those that tell stories like they write ... missing LOTS of important details!!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

ON BEING ANNOYED AND FRIDAYS

I've been annoyed this week. Every thing and anything has set me off. The least little thing ... for instance, like the elderly lady that gaped at me, whilst I put six red bell peppers in my grocery cart yesterday. I'm sorry, but they were $0.71 a piece, and that's practically unheard of around here! I'm striking while the iron is hot is all I'm saying.

I really had to fight the urge to look at her and say, "What are ya lookin' at? I'll be more regular than you will, you nosey bag!"

Yeah, it's pretty bad. I can unequivocally say it's not tied to PMS. Although, reverse PMS may be playing a hand in my mood. Still, as I stepped on the scale and watch the needle go back up this morning, I realized that I've fallen off the carb over loaders anonymous wagon, and that the weight is creeping back up. That madness has got to stop NOW!

Carbs do bad things to my body ...
  1. Weight gain
  2. Brain cell death
  3. and, apparently, nasty mood swings.

So, today, I'm officially back on the carb over loaders reformation wagon. It just has to happen ... period ... end of story ... or, I will end up killing some innocent nosey old lady in the produce department of Kroger.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

ON BECOMING A LOCAL

Yesterday, I really needed to get to three places, all at the same time, and the car I was following slowly behind wasn't helping me get there (okay, yes, I admit that I was probably being a touch on the obnoxious side and maybe was ... oh I don't know ... tail-gating a bit). Of course, all three places were on different sides of town, with like 10 minutes travel time between each one! OF COURSE, right!? So, slow man up ahead, quickly rode my last nerve.

"Come on, dude!" I shouted at the car with a Washington State license plate. "It's freakin' 55 miles an hour down through here, not 35!"

Then I realized he would slow down even more as a slight bend appeared in the road.

"DUDE! It's not even curvy on this road!"

And I guess that's where a healthy dose of perspective and three years of living in the land of hills and curves have helped me get properly annoyed at the out-of-towners, because come on ... unless we're talking switch-back, kiss-your-a$$ curves sprinkled throughout that road, for all intents and purposes, that road is straight!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

HIGHLY QUALIFIED

My bathroom sink is still clogged, and I suppose it's time to call the maintenance man since the Liquid Plumber is currently sitting in my sink, going no where.

See, the thing is, I saw my maintenance man tonight. He lives in my neighborhood. I saw him working on his car, which, when you see this car, you understand the urgent need to work on it. It's a disaster. But any way, there he is ... has the hood up and his engine on. The car is running like a champ, and there is my maintenance man, cigarette hanging out of his mouth, smoke curling up from what I can only assume was a recently long drag ... and he's leaning into the engine block to inspect something, just inches away from what I can only imagine is something extremely flammable ... you know, like an oil pan or fuel lines or some such silliness ...

Well, I think you can see why I'm using him as my very last resort, can't you?

FOURTH GRADERS KNOW HOW TO BUILD UP ONE'S SELF ESTEEM

Today, our 5th and 6th grade science teacher announced a recycling competition that will run from now until Earth Day, next Wednesday. Whichever homeroom can recycle the most pounds of recyclable stuff wins a pizza party for the class!

Please remember that I have the Phantom Cupcake Licker amongst the hungry throngs I teach. This sort of thing is right up their alley!

During indoor recess (because it was yet again rainy and gross out), I decided to continue with OPERATION ORGANIZE THE MESS, and I had kids help me recycle a bunch of old papers I'd been hanging onto and am now purging from my file cabinets (it's at this point Carrie is thinking, "Wait a second! I made her pitch all that crap before she moved down there! WHAT THE HECK!?!?!?" Yes, Carrie, I've accumulated more. I'm sorry, did you forget who you were friends with????).

David*, one of my helpers, announces loudly, between trips to the recycling bin, "Boy Miss Murray! It's just a good thing you don't keep this place clean! We could actually win this competition."


*Names have been changed to protect those little demons that remind me everyday there isn't any such thing as perfect, least of all me!

PERHAPS KEEPING MY MOUTH SHUT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE

It's because I spoke out against Mondays that my particular Monday ended on such a sour note.

It wasn't enough that I had a headache that grew in proportion to the size of the Chrysler Building. It wasn't enough that when children opened their mouths yesterday, my brain would start pulsing at such rates, I really felt like industrial solvents couldn't clean the mess that would occur post-brain explosion. And it wasn't enough that a cold front decided to rest directly above the school building only adding to the vice-like feel on my head and, as a result, my emotions, all day.

No, no. None of that was enough.

No, fate had to stick it to me one more time by allowing some sort of smallish troll with lots of unruly hair to take up residence in my bathroom sink ... the one I use to brush my teeth in ... and get ready in front of each morning ... yeah, that one. That stupid troll lives on despite T.H.R.E.E. applications of liquid plumber and an application of baking soda and vinegar, just because, well, I figured I'd really get that chemical reaction and ensuing breathing hazardous chemicals incident really rolling.

No, that insipid troll continues to live in the bowels of my upstairs plumbing despite the fact that I managed to capture at least three of its small children, judging by the size of unrecognizable hairball/congealed nastiness I kept pulling up with my make-shift rotor-rooter tool, i.e., wire hanger. My father is rolling his eyes right now as he envisions me poking holes in rotting pipes as I jab and stab with my wire hanger device.

Nope. Mr. Troll decided to fight for his territory beginning at 10:30 last night ... near as I can tell, he's still dominating the land-ownership arena this morning based on the standing water in the sink, despite the boiling water I poured into it.

But not even plumbing trolls were enough to show who was boss in the Day of the Week category, however. Nope, knowing that I never rested my head upon my pillow until sometime around 11:45 p.m., about an hour and a half PAST my bedtime, my body decided to stage a coupe. That's the only reason I can explain why the muscles in my left leg decided to riot in protest in the form of the world's worst Charlie horse, causing me to sit up in bed, crying out in pain, as my poor cat, flew off the bed in a panic, right out of a dead sleep.

Then, an hour and a half later, my alarm went off, and, well, wouldn't you know it, I've got another headache!

Monday, April 13, 2009

HANGING OUT ON THE KITTY APARTMENT


Emmy doesn't sit still ... at all ... with the small exception of sleep. She will be still ... occasionally ... for sleep. Although, I'm amazed at the amount of movement that actually occurs when she's sleeping. I swear her body is incapable of actual stillness!

Emmy also refuses to cooperate for photo ops. I'm convinced that it's because she's super smart, and she knows that when I come at her with the camera, she's going to be blinded by the flash. And let's face it, who wants that to happen?

This is the best picture I could get of her sitting still ... in non-movement ... with a full on frontal view of her pretty face ... admittedly, she sort of looks annoyed here.

This photo is also nod to Papa, and his fine craftsmanship with regard to THE KITTY APARTMENT. I commissioned this piece when Maddie the Cat was small, and while she liked hanging out on it, she did not fully appreciate it's "coolness" like Emmy does. This is, by far, one of Emmy's favorite spots to cat nap ... besides the guest bed.

THE REASON I MUST NOW CAREFULLY CHECK THE DRYER BEFORE SHUTTING IT

YAY FOR BABIES

A shout out to Carrie who, along with hubby, Tom and little man, Jack, welcomed Ryan Scott into the world yesterday. Talk about a cool Easter present! By all the photos I received, he is a handsome little dude!

YAY FOR BABIES!!!

I continue to live vicariously through all my baby-bearing friends as I've decided to give up on men. Therefore, any hopes and dreams anyone had for me of reproducing off-spring ... well, they can kiss that good-bye as well.

The upside to this decision is that I can maintain my girlish figure. Now, who doesn't love that!?

MONDAY ... ICK! JUST PLAIN ICK!

It was a perfectly, lovely weekend, and someone had to go and ruin it by sending Monday on in.

Have I mentioned before that I HATE Mondays!?

I do!

Mondays just have a way of putting a magnifying glass over top all the crappiness that I can normally just shove under the proverbial carpet.

I look forward to the day that I can happily greet Mondays ... scream out at it, "BRING IT ON! I'M READY FOR YOUR TYPE OF CRAZY!"

Right now, though? I grumble and complain my way through the day and think to myself, "You suck, Monday!"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

20,000 EGGS + 2,500 OR MORE PEOPLE + 1 HELICOPTER = EASTER AT POINT COMMUNITY CHURCH

My church, THE POINT COMMUNITY CHURCH, did their annual Egg Drop event yesterday. They took 20,000 plastic Easter eggs, filled with candies, and they threw them from a helicopter. I've never been to witness the fun, but I hear it's an amazing sight!

Yesterday, they had over 2,500 people there on campus, gathering eggs, eating hot dogs, and hearing the gospel story.

What a cool day!

http://www.easterinfrankfort.com/

Thursday, April 09, 2009

UH-OH!

You know you must seek out more adult companionship immediately when ...

A.) You find yourselt singing and dancing in front of the mirror to your own composition entitled THE CHICKEN NUGGET DAY SONG.

B.) Even your kitten looks at you, while you dance and sing, like you've lost your mind!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

ROCKING THE CULINARY WORLD


I know it doesn't look like much, but this photo? This photo is photographic evidence of the amazing, brilliant, genius, really, creation that was my Chicken and Dumplings last night. They were ... in a word ... PERFECTION.

It is an absolute wonder that I've not yet been snapped up by the Food Network, that's all I'm saying!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

CRABBY

It was 75 degrees on Sunday ... a heavenly 75 degrees.

Yesterday, it started out in the 50s, but by the time I headed for home, it was a bone-chilling 37 degrees. The high today has been hovering around 43 degrees, and we've had snow flurries on and off all day.

SERIOUSLY!?!?!?

Someone please bring Spring and make it stay! I'm getting very crabby!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

THE BOOKSHELVES I'D LOVE TO HAVE IN MY LIVING ROOM


You just gotta love Pottery Barn!!!!

6 DOWN, 44 MORE TO GO

THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Many, many, many months ago (I don't care to calculate the exact number of months, because it's been long enough ago that I'm thoroughly embarrassed), my friend Christy told me I had to read this book. She said it was the sweetest little story, and I would love it.

Today, I curled up with Edward and a cup of coffee and spent an hour reading this lovely little book. And Christy was right! It is a precious story! It's a story of love, loss, and love renewed, and I was hanging on every word Kate DiCamillo wrote!

Bagram Ibatoulline's illustrations were breathtaking! I would love to have one of his prints in my home, that's just how amazing he is.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you have children. There is such a moral to this story ... of truly loving someone ... of never taking a person for granted ... it's deep and beautiful and stirring and inspiring all in one gigantic breath!

Friday, April 03, 2009

4 & 5 DOWN, 45 MORE TO GO

#4 .... KEY LIME PIE MURDER by Joanna Fluke

I wasn't sure what I was expecting with this book, but I guess I wasn't expecting what I got. It's simplistic in nature, and it's almost unbelievable as far as plot goes. However, it seems to nod to the Nancy Drew series of my youth. Plus, it's filled with all sorts of amazing dessert recipes. So, who can take issue with those two items?

I tried one of the many recipes sprinkled through out the book, the Cappuccino Royales, and I must tell you, they were ALL they were cracked up to be and then some! Of course, anything with chocolate and coffee in it must be good, right?

So, the premise of this novel, and the rest in the series, is that a small town Minnesota baker, that owns her own bakery called The Cookie Jar, is also an unofficial sleuth. She's described as a sort of chubby girl with unruly hair ... not someone you'd normally categorize as HOT, and yet, in this book, she has two very eligible, HOT bachelors chasing after her at every turn. And therein lies my problem with this book, and what really screams fiction, because I've not known any HOT man, that eligible, that chases after a chubby girl with unruly hair, and I speak from personal experience on this one!

I also had trouble with the amount of coffee Hannah, the main character, consumed throughout the story, and that's saying a lot, because, for those that know me well, they know I consume A LOT of coffee. However, with the amount this girl drank, she was two steps away from a massive coronary!

I'd recommend these as good, easy beach reads. Nothing too taxing on the brain, and more than enough recipes to make the baker in you go, "Hmmmmm ...."


#5 .... THE NANNY DIARIES by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
I picked this book up at the Half Off Bookstore for .... drum roll, please ... $1.00. Yay for me! I'd heard all the buzz about the book when it first came out, but as usual, I'm extremely slow on the uptake ... so all these many years later, I'm just now putting my hands on it.

This was a quick read, but a good one. It was annoying at times because it dealt with a mother that should only be called mother for scientific terms. She was a disaster otherwise. I cheered for the main character, "Nanny," because she was the only one that showed Grayer X unconditional love, and I wept silently for a little boy that would probably grow up to be as heartless and screwed up as his parents.

Despite it's chick-lit wrap, I think there are a lot of societal conversations to be had about this book. It makes you think about the Haves and Have Not's of the world, and it makes you ask the question, is having everything really worth it all?

I found myself doing a lot of that evaluation while reading it. I'd recommend it, for sure!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

FAMILY PORTRAIT -- SPRING 2009

SOMETIMES A GIRL JUST NEEDS TO SIT IN THE TUB!


Emmy's newest "thing" is to hop into the tub as I am drying off from a shower. Today, like every other day this week, she hopped in to the tub as I was getting ready to step out. She doesn't really drink any water ... she just sort of ... I don't know ... hangs out there.

Usually, she's in for a few minutes and then hops right back out. Today, however, she stayed in the tub for quite a while. On my way through to the guest bedroom, I discovered, she was actually CURLED UP IN THE TUB ... water and all! What a crazy cat!

IT'S A FREE COUNTRY, LADY!

I've been in a mood. Not necessarily a bad mood, but necessarily a good, cheery mood. I suppose I'm just easily annoyed these days.

Yesterday, I was in Old Navy, and it was a slow morning because it was a Wednesday, and the only people in Oxmoor were moms with strollers or retired folks with grandkids. So, Nosy Old Navy clerk followed Erin and I around the entire store, and she must have asked us five times if we were doing all right.

Now, honestly, I can't stand when clerks do this! I will tell you when I'm not doing all right, okay? When I say I'm fine, I'm F.I.N.E. Go straighten a shelf or something and leave me alone.

Erin and I were looking at dresses, and I found a particularly ugly one mixed in with all of the pretty ones. It just so happened that it was this clerk's twelve millionth time circling like a vulture around us.

"Erin! Look at this!" I hold up the offending dress. "This looks like the exact same thing my grandmother wore to bed! YUCK!"

Nosy Clerk wheels in toward us, gets her hackles up, and says to me, snottily, "Well! It's a very popular dress."

She doesn't know how close she came to me retorting, "Then everyone wearing it looks like my Grandmother Murray on her way to bed!"

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

WASHING MY HANDS OF THE WHOLE AFFAIR

Carrie told me that her mom always says, "You've gotta kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince."

She's probably right, but, well, here's the deal ... I'm sick of dealing with frogs, and at the age of 37, there are a heck of a lot more frogs in the pond than there are princes.

So, I'm over it. I'm declaring a freeze on actively looking for Mr. Right because, as I see him, he does not exist. Instead, I am now looking for a few great, single friends that will be willing to be spontaneous and head to the hills with me when I get the itch to head to the hills ... or mountains or house boat or whatever it is I'm itching to do.

I'm kissing the frogs, warts and all, good-bye and good riddance!