Wednesday, July 29, 2009

MISS MURRAY HAS A HICKEY!

I have a lovely little red mark and bruise where Ned the Nodule was biopsied. I've not been very self-conscious about it until just before Readifest last night (our version of meet the teacher) when one of my friends said, "Hey it just looks like you've gotten yourself a hickey."

Nice! Exactly what I want this new crop of parents to think, thank you very much!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

IT'S AS IF A LUAU PUKED ALL OVER THE PLACE IN THERE



MORE CLASSROOM PHOTOS


The bulletin boards have all been cleared since I took these photos, and they will be different. However, everything is as it will be next Monday morning ... minus the two bags of crap at the door way that you see. Those will be making their way to Goodwill in the very near future!


STILL MORE PHOTOS OF MY CLASSROOM





Friday, July 24, 2009

9 DOWN, 41 MORE TO GO


THE BEAN TREES
By Barbara Kingsolver


This was an excellent book! I can't stop talking about it, almost a week after I've finished it, too.


Barbara Kingsolver, a native Kentuckian, has such a way of telling a story ... before you know what's happening, she has drawn you into the plot, and you feel as though you are standing side by side with Taylor, Lou Ann, Turtle, Estevan, Esperanza, and the rest of the crew.


She is a lyrical writer; a writer that has a golden touch where imagery is concerned. My favorite imagery was the scene in the desert as the rain storm comes in. It's a powerful scene, and one in which I actually smelled what she was describing. Brilliant!


A book about the power of redemption and grace, and the power of the mother bond, it is a must read!

IT ALL STARTED WITH TWO LITTLE OLE BEACH TOWELS

I've been reading Debbie Diller's SPACES AND PLACES this summer, and she suggests creating a defined whole group space with area rugs.

I don't like area rugs in the classroom.

They get disgusting almost immediately, and then you can't wash them.

I trip on them throughout the day, increasing my chances of breaking my neck.

They just don't hold up to the rough and tumble 4th grade set.

Then I had a HUGE brain explosion in the middle of Big Lots ... CLEAN UP IN AISLE 4, PLEASE! They had large beach towels on sale, and I thought, "hey, these would be perfect for an area rug. When they get grubby, I can take them home and wash them. Perfect!"

I was so excited that I immediately called Erin and Carrie. It was Carrie's turn to have the HUGE brain explosion. "You know," she says. "You always have a theme in your room. Why not this year have a beach theme?"

Fast forward to today ... my room looks like a Luau puked all over my room and outside of my door.

I left my camera at home, but will try to get photos taken this weekend to post. The good news is that, other than a few stray items here and there that I will be finding homes for as soon as I post this, my room is DONE! D.O.N.E.

YAY for me!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

SHE BRINGS NEW MEANING TO THE PHRASE "DEVOURING WHAT YOU READ"


NED THE NODULE

I've decided to name the thing currently taking up residence on my thyroid.

Ned the Nodule.

I mean, why not? Right?

Today, Ned and I were to be getting a biopsy to see just how nasty he really is. But Ned really didn't want to cooperate. He kept moving around whenever the doctor was pressing and nudging him, and seeing as he is very near my artery ... a major artery that feeds my brain and stuff ... my doctor decided it would be better if I had the needle biopsy done at the hospital with finer-tuned instruments than what he had in his office.

So, Ned and I will be heading to the hospital to be poked and prodded once more. And considering I won't be able to eat or drink anything after midnight prior to the needle biopsy, I'm not sure about Ned, but I will be SERIOUSLY crabby without my coffee.

Stand back, folks. That's all I've got to say!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

DON'T EVER ALLOW ME TO BUY ANOTHER ONE!!!

I've spent the better part of the afternoon organizing the hell that is my storage closet in my classroom.
Please, please, PLEASE, P.L.E.A.S.E. ... if I ever, ever mention I need to purchase spiral bound notebooks, please ... run me over with a MACK TRUCK! I've discovered hundreds of them in various sundry nooks and crannies around my room. I am stocked ... for quite some time ... one might even say for quite a few years! I NEED NO MORE SPIRAL BOUND NOTEBOOKS!

Carrie would have made me throw them all away, but my mother would have made me fish them all out of the garbage.

So, they are neatly stacked in piles ... BIG PILES ... in my storage space, awaiting some crazy project ... or idea ... or some sort of nonsense.

HEAVEN HELP ME!

Monday, July 20, 2009

SO SORRY TO HAVE INCONVENIENCED YOU

I have to have my thyroid biopsied. More to the point, I have to have the thingy-ma-gig that has currently taken up residency on my thyroid biopsied.

Yes, I had a freak out moment or two. Who wouldn't, right?

But then I calmed down. It's not in my control so why freak out about it. It is what it is, and I will deal with whatever it is when I find out what it is. The risk of cancer is low ... 1 to 1,000 according to the doctor. However, there is still a risk, so everyone is taking it seriously.

But what this blog is really about is the office staff at the doctor's office. Apparently, I really inconvenienced them this morning. Imagine that!

I called first thing this morning, after the doctor's nurse left me a message Friday afternoon to call her first thing.

The receptionist was rather irritated and said, "well, I'm not even sure she's here right now."

I wanted to retort, "Too bad, check anyway." But instead, I just gave her the silent treatment and waited for her to check. Checking must not be in her job description?

The nurse wasn't there yet, but she said she would have her call me back. So, I sat around in my pajamas for three hours waiting, because it's the law of gravity and nature and any other law you can think of to call someone immediately upon them entering the shower.

When she didn't call after three hours, I called back. Doggone it! I have stuff to do, and I'm tired of waiting around to do it!

The receptionist audibly huffed into the phone when I called back ... it might have been that I mentioned that I was ready to start my day and really wanted to talk to the nurse ... who knows.

Wouldn't you know that the nurse came on the line and was snippy as well.

Here's the deal ... handing people news that there is some sort of what not and so forth on their thyroid and they must now have a biopsy might be common, everyday stuff to them. It is not, however, for me! Is it too much to ask for that you use some common courtesy and kindness where the patients are concerned? Or is this too much to ask?

At any rate, however this plays out, this particular medical group has lost a patient. I am heading over to a practice that just added a new female, family practitioner. I'm going to talk to them about adding me on as a patient.

If I'm paying all that money out, I want to feel like I matter and my feelings matter, and, more to the point, I want to feel like I've not inconvenienced everyone in the office that day, Monday or otherwise.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

NOWTHAT'S JUST PURE IRONY

I find it highly ironic -- and very funny, might I add -- that the pimped out piece of crap automobile with the steel bull testicles hanging from the back bumper stalled in the middle of Richmond Road, causing all sorts of traffic havoc.

Sometimes karma just bites, doesn't it?

Friday, July 17, 2009

RANDOM SHOTS OF THE TOWNHOUSE



It's a good thing that I took these photos. There are some things I need to change around ... mainly, I need to find a good place for the blankets currently stashed in a giant wad in my papasan chair. Also, what's up with those photos on the book case?!?! Gotta do something about those guys ...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

RE-ORGANIZING CUPBOARDS IN THE KITCHEN





Picked up my little version of the "Tea Caddy" today at an antiques mall here in Frankfort -- Old Bridgeport School Antiques. I've moved all my coffee mugs over to a smaller cupboard, and then I rearranged the bigger cupboard to accommodate all my plates and what not. Of course, my "coffee station" is still on the opposite side of the kitchen than my mugs, but at least things are a bit more organized now.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT STUPID THING MY HUSBAND WANTED ME TO DO?

You know it's going to be a good story when a friend calls you, and immediately upon answering the phone, she says, "Do you want to know what stupid thing my husband wanted me to do?"

I love conversations that start out like that because it validates my single-hood in bright, shining, neon letters!

Erin started out just such a conversation with me earlier today.

It seems that whenever Joe, her husband, goes to the dentist, the staff always tells him that they wished his teeth could look like Erin's. This rankles Joe's feathers just a tad, and so this time, he asked them what they suggested he do.

Buy a Sonic toothbrush. It's the most like getting a cleaning from the dentist.

So, Erin, who was out being PRODUCTIVE GIRL today, was commissioned by her husband to purchase a Sonic toothbrush, the toothbrush that will apparently create miracles with one's teeth.

Mind you, Erin assures me that all she uses is a plain old toothbrush. However, Joe will not be dissuaded. So, a Sonic toothbrush it is.

"Do you know how much a rechargeable Sonic toothbrush is?" She screeches into the phone. "One hundred and fifteen dollars! For a toothbrush!"

"Why didn't you just buy him a Crest Spin Brush? That's what I use, and it gets my teeth super clean."

"Cuz I knew he'd fuss. So, I bought him the $30 battery-operated one, but that one still costs $20 for three batteries! Good grief! This thing better make his teeth look damn good!"

IT'S BEEN WAY TOO LONG ... SO GET READY TO HEAR SOME OF MY GRIPES!

Carrie left me a voice mail today. It went something like this: "I've been checking your blog faithfully, because it's part of my daily routine, and you've not updated in quite a while. Get on that, please!"

Well, you've asked for it ... settle in and get ready to get an ear-full from me today!

First things first .... the reason why I've been so silent ... A couple of weeks ago, I found a lump in my neck, more specifically, in my thyroid region. I immediately thought cancer, and after freaking out about it for a while, I made a doctor's appointment. He suspects hypothyroidism, which would explain why I've been so dog-tired for like EVER, and why I've suddenly started gaining weight uncontrollably! I've got an ultrasound tomorrow to check and make sure that the lump is only an enlarged thyroid and nothing more.

The silence? Because I've been so dog-tired. I just can't seem to function, and because I know I've got time on my hands, I've been napping ... A LOT! This doesn't leave me a lot of time for things like, say, laundry and housecleaning and dinner preparations. Thus the reason I've been eating lots of cereal for dinner.

So, my very first gripe is this ... I got a call today from the hospital. They wanted to preregister me, which is quite alright because I hope this will allow me to just sail in, get my thyroid ultra-sounded (or whatever they do), and then zip back out again. So, the girl is going through a standard set of questions, and I'm answering them, not a problem. Then she says, "May I ask what religious affiliation you are?"

"Ummmm ... I'm just going for an ultrasound."

"Yes. What religious affiliation are you?"

"It's an ultrasound. I don't really think it's necessary to ask me to what religious affiliation I belong."

"Okay, well it says here that I don't have to put an answer down for that one."

Gripe #2 ... in aforementioned conversation, the girl says, "Well, ma'am, it looks here like you have a 20% co-pay for this, and that will total $101.94."

"OH GOOD GRIEF!" I squeak into the phone.

"However, we are offering a discount -- you'd only have to pay $84.83 -- if you pay at the door when you arrive tomorrow."

This begs the question, in order to offer a discount like that, one must wonder, is the hospital over-charging to begin with???

Things that make you go HMMMMMMMM ....

The third gripe ... my neighbor's kid. He's a polite young man, but he doesn't always use his head. For instance, standing on the threshold of your back door and tossing fire crackers out on your patio ... not your sun-shiniest moment, son.

Fourth gripe ... the clerk at Dollar Tree that kept telling me about all the cool teacher stuff coming into the store in the coming weeks, and then, after me telling her repeatedly that I COULD BUY NO MORE, she says to me with her sly little grin, "Hope to see you back here soon!" She knows a sucker when she sees one!

Gripe #5 ... South Frankfort is a disastrous mess .... streets are torn up and you can't get from here to there without an act of Congress or God. And the crew they've got working it ... I don't know where they pulled them from, but they are the worst road crew EVER!!! And I come from a state where roads are being torn up ALL. THE. TIME. I know road crews!!!!!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

I THINK SHE'S GIFTED .... I'M JUST SAYIN'





SCOTTY THE BABY ELEPHANT

THE CATS AT THE LOUISVILLE ZOO




MORE CINCINNATI REDS PHOTOS




My attempts at some action shots ... the only other action shots would have been watching Sam fill out some sort of weird paper with all sorts of baseball hieroglyphics. Who really knows what he was doing ...

Personally, I really enjoyed the GIGANTIC freeze pop I bought myself midway through the game. Yum, yum ... that and watching a bunch of boys run around a bunch of bases! Also yum, yum!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

WE INTERRUPT THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM TO BRING YOU ANOTHER TRUCK CRISIS

Last Tuesday, when the Porter's arrived, I suggested a tour of Frankfort. We all piled into my little truck (which seems much smaller when you pile 5 people in it, I might add) and headed down town. Midway through the tour, I started hearing this high-pitched sound every time I turned my wheels. I just knew it was "not right," but I didn't drive my truck the rest of the time the Porter's were here (including Sam ... gotta get his name into the blog where and when I can!), and, quite frankly, I forgot about it.

Fast forward to yesterday, when I drove over to Lexington to get birthday gifts for my sister and my dad. Never heard the noise the whole time I was bulleting down the highway at 70 miles an hour, mind you! Nope, it wasn't until I'd pulled into the parking lot that I started hearing the noise again, and this time it seemed my steering wheel was grinding. Insert GIGANTIC RED FLAG HERE!

I immediately called my auto mechanic, who got me an appointment for this morning, but who also suggested that I stop somewhere and look to see how much fluid I had left. Good thing he suggested that because there was barely any left! I was an inch away from seizing up my power steering and causing all sorts of dollar signs to start racking up!

The girl at the Richmond Road Auto Zone is my new hero. She poured what she could in the little tank thingy and sent me on my way. Amazing what a bit of power steering fluid can do! My steering wheel worked so much better!

I'm now in my classroom, getting ready to work on some things and awaiting a call from my mechanic to hear what the grand total of this latest repair. Thank goodness for the emergency fund in my bank account, that's all I'm going to say!

Seven year old truck + wear and tear = blown hoses and more maintenance costs

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

CINCINNATI REDS GAME




























This was the first time for me visiting the Great American Ball Park and only the third major league baseball game I've viewed in person. My major league baseball viewing record is pretty consistent ... the games are usually boring as crap, and they will usually go into extra innings and be even more boring after that. I was pleasantly surprised with this game. Of course, it didn't seem to bode well when I got there and had already sucked down my $4.50 hot dog before the game had even started!

For those tweens and teens in the audience (and a few grown women, too), Mario Lopez threw out the first pitch ... or flipped a coin, or did something ceremonial. You'll see him in my photos as well.

Monday, July 06, 2009

SAM DOESN'T WANT ME MENTIONING HIS NAME SO I'M GOING TO

The house is quiet now ... company is all gone. The only thing I hear is the chug-chug of the washing machine ... and my growling stomach. Emmy and I are on our own once again after a super fun 5 or 6 days of trooping around Kentucky with the Porter family!

The itinerary was long and varied, but serious fun, and I can not believe how many miles we covered! I think Sam will have to get Denise's mini-van new tires after all of our travels here and there. If my camera is any indication, I have 348 shots that I took over the course of the week, and yes, they will be dutifully loaded onto this here blog for public viewing -- well, not all 348, of course. I don't have that kind of time!

Sam was adamant that he not be mentioned in the blog ... so I'm mentioning him as much as I possibly can in this, and the coming blogs! It's the least I could do for listening to him pontificate on any number of subjects [insert evil, sadistic laugh/smile here].

I will be providing here, for my readers, a run-down of our scheduled activities. As you view the forthcoming photos, you can refer back to said schedule to get the whirlwind straight in your mind!

Tuesday evening: Arrival and tour of Frankfort
Wednesday: Louisville Slugger Museum, lunch at Boomers, and Louisville Zoo
Thursday: Day at the Cincinnati Reds Game and then dinner in Lexington at Max and Erma's
Friday: Woodford Reserve and the Dollhouse Museum in Danville.
Saturday: Flea Market and shopping Georgetown, and fireworks and Spoons Tourney at my house!
Sunday: A day at the Kentucky Horse Park, a visit to the Half-Off Book Store and then chillin' at my house.

Be watching for updates on each day ... more opportunities for me to mention Sam's name in my blogs!