Monday, November 30, 2009

THE FOUR LETTER WORD COMETH

According to weather reports today, the four letter word is suppose to blanket Frankfort in the over night hours of Wednesday/Thursday.

Yippee skippy.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A GLIMPSE OF CHRISTMAS IN THE TOWNHOUSE




Before the cat completely demolishes the place with her frenetic Christmas cheer, I thought it best to show a few shots of my decorating handiwork. My townhouse won't make it onto HGTV ... a Design Star, I'm not. But it is my attempt at Christmas coziness and cheer ...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

DEAL OF THE WEEK!!

I'm slowly revamping my closet. I've been noticing, recently, that I'm in a bit of a slump, clothing-wise .... it's called too many t-shirts.

Ann discovered a great consignment boutique in Lexington called Sassy Fox. It is rivaled only by Between Friends in Georgetown. I got a great cord jacket (as she pointed out, I'm obsessed with jackets), this amazing pink, black, and white blouse that, as Ann put it, is "A MUST," and two great scarves, since they are all the rage right now.

My deal of the week? A black cashmere Elizabeth Gillett scarf for $3.00! A quick check of her website indicates that most of her designs go for $48 to $58!

Yay to me!!!

THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE AND ALL THE WONDERS IT HOLDS


Thursday, November 26, 2009

THE FINAL TOM UPDATE

Post-all day bake, but pre-gravy. Sooooo good!!!



This is my oven after I'd done a first dissection of Tom Turkey. Ann did the rest of the dissection later, and Mom, she would have done you proud!



Here we are (Ann, Amy, and Deb ... minus the photographer -- me) as we sit down to give thanks and eat. Ann looks so thrilled.



I could totally give up Pumpkin Pie after one bite of this Pear and Cranberry Pie. Only Vanilla ice cream could make it better than it already was!

THE TOM UPDATE


Ready ahead of time ... what could I possibly be forgetting? Oh yeah ... a shower!!!!

THE TOM UPDATE

On the menu for today, besides this homemade Cranberry Sauce?

Tom Turkey
Homemade Stuffing
Fresh Green Beans
Garlic seasoned mashed potatoes
Sunshine Carrots
Spring Mix Greens with Megan's Vinaigrette
Yams ... (because I just love them!)
Homemade Bread
And a yet to be named dessert


Exhausted from all the food prep, she collapses with the remote ...

THE TOM UPDATE

Here is Tom Turkey just minutes before he was popped into the oven, and just seconds before I realized that I'd run out of tin foil!

So I used my PHONE A FRIEND, and phoned the Mom!

Who knew there was such a thing as tenting?

Well, there is, and Tom is currently hanging out under one.

Awesome!

Let the fun begin ...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

THE TOM UPDATE

My mother called me after reading my last post and insisted I get the wire thingy-ma-bob out. Something about burning myself and e. coli ... I don't know. Anyway, I worked some more at it, and it came out. Tom again is resting peacefully in my refrigerator, which is currently busting at the seams with all sorts of food for tomorrow.

The alarm clock as been set for 6 a.m. ... that will be when Tom is rubbed and stuffed and popped into the oven for his long day of baking.

I just have to keep reminding myself ... water and cover .... water and cover .... water and cover.

THE TOM UPDATE

Well, Tom Turkey is nicely bathed and happily (it would seem) resting in the roasting pan in the fridge.

Are you suppose to get those wire thingy-ma-bobs out?

I couldn't, and so I'm using it as a convenient handle. I figure, the oven will kill any bacteria that may be hanging around on it tomorrow anyway.

And whose bright idea was it to shove the giblets up his butt!?

I was completely grossed out because ...
  1. I was digging around in his butt, and
  2. It looked like I was yanking toilet paper out of his butt.
So not cool ...

He's still pretty cold, but at least I've gotten all the "stuff" out of his insides. That should help him thaw some more over night.

T-minus 14 hours ....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

THE TOM UPDATE

I poked Tom this morning as I was grabbing my chocolate milk out of the fridge.

He still seems frozen.

Really? Will he really be thawed by Thursday morning?

THE FOUR LETTER WORD

I told my fourth graders that, in my book, snow was nothing but a four letter word.

Of course, this has caused them to use that four letter word in my presence as much as they possibly can. One little girl has even pulled out every shirt she owns with the word SNOW on it (and she's got a lot, folks), and wear them proudly in my presence each and every day.

Yesterday, the meteorologist announced that it's very likely we'll see snow on Thanksgiving Day, but more likely on Black Friday. Oh goody!

Well, that was all the ammunition my kiddos needed. They came into the classroom, en masse, yesterday sing-songing the fact that it's suppose to snow. GACK!

Granted, these kids haven't ever seen a hard snow, and by hard snow, I mean more than a dusting. So the prospect of snow is ever so exciting to them. Me? Well, I've shoveled my fair of snow and could care less if I ever saw it in person again. And I'm being demure in my description of snow, folks. I dislike it that much.

So, I suppose I'd better get my running shoes on and beat the crowd to Kroger on Friday morning so I can buy my share of bread and milk ... it's that time of year once again.

Monday, November 23, 2009

TURKEY COUNT DOWN BEGAN THIS MORNING

So, I crazily suggested to my sister that we host an "orphans Thanksgiving" this year ... for all those folks that can't get home for the holidays. I was super excited about the idea of opening my home, humble and small and cat hair covered as it may be, to others to share the holiday.

Well, my excitement is waning ever so slightly as I think about the pressure related to preparing a bird ... the bird. My mother swears it's simple to prepare ... just seven hours of cooking, and the turkey is done and delicious ... but this is my first time cooking a whole turkey and there are people coming that I don't know and my house isn't big enough, it would seem, and there's an expectation to do more than just sit around and wait ... wait for the main dish to finish cooking.

Good grief!

So, I stuck the bird, hereto known as Tom, into the refrigerator this morning to begin the thawing process that my mother assures me will be complete by Thursday morning ... at the crack of dawn ... before the crack, really ... when I will have to stick the recently rinsed and rubbed Tom into the oven for the "day of cooking."

The countdown is on ... cross your fingers ...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

WALK AWAY QUIETLY

Recently, I've been really working on not getting so uptight or upset by other's foibles. It just isn't conducive to my state of mind or my ability to just enjoy life.

This weekend, that effort was tested rather heartily with a number of people that said some stuff to me that was very hurtful.

I doubt they cared about what they said or thought about it past what it did for them and their state of mind, but it was hurtful to me none the less.

Lest you think that I'm dwelling on it, let me assure you that I am not. In fact, it occurred to me today that I might actually be turning the corner on this struggle of mine in that it hardly crossed my mind ... other than to say to myself, "wait a second! That really didn't bother me past the initial sting of the words ... yay for small blessings."

So, maybe, at the age of 37 (almost 38), I'm growing! Wouldn't that be a nifty thing?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

FINDING A PART OF MY CHILDHOOD

Ann and I were at an antique store a few weeks back, and we discovered a box in the shape of a Dickens' Village house. It made us stop and think about the paper village we had as children, and we both agreed it would be fun to find that again.
I remember getting it when I was very young, and I remember my dad punching out all the cardboard pieces for me, as well as assembling them ... and I remember them sitting on the coffee table and underneath the Christmas tree ... and I remember having an absolute blast playing with all the people and houses as Christmas music compilation records (handed out every Christmas by Southeastern Michigan Gas Company or Corning Glass or one of those companies) played on the stereo turntable.


Welcome to my warm fuzzy feelings of Christmas!

And then I'm jet-propelled, head-long into Christmases past with mom's glittery snowflakes and giraffes on the tree along side glass baubles that, for those that have survived the years and moves, still hang on their more recent trees. And I remember green Christmas wreath cookies on Christmas Eve, and houses filled with family and Christmas cooking smells and presents and just warm and happy feelings. I remember fruit cake, that I still don't like, and Liebkooken (sure I didn't spell that correctly) and garland and fires in the fire place and snowy days and toasty nights and skiing and hot chocolate and the anticipation of a merry surprise from Santa on Christmas morning!

I just love Christmas!



BACK ROAD SCENES -- FALL 2009


Friday, November 20, 2009

MISS MURRAY'S M&Ms

LATE BREAKING NEWS!!! These are shots of our FIRST PLACE AWARD WINNING door ... just announced this afternoon. My class designed the door in class with me and the ceiling tile in Art with Mrs. Jaques. I've got some super creative kiddos, and I'm soooo proud of them! Yay to Murray's M&Ms!!!!!










Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MUST THE ECONOMY RAIN ON EVERY PARADE

I've been pondering ... spending lots of time ruminating over this ... I wonder if the reason why Christmas seemed to start back in September is that perhaps, just maybe, people were trying desperately to put something good and sweet and lovely and cheery and joyous out there in our otherwise depressed social consciousness.

I am sure it had absolutely nothing to do with greed ... right? Christmas isn't about greed, right?

Stupid consumerism!

Monday, November 16, 2009

BECAUSE I KNOW THIS WILL ANNOY THE MATERNAL HALF OF THE PARENTAL UNITS

I spent my weekend (when not running all over the place) sipping Egg Nog and listening to Christmas music on the radio.

Yes, it's sick, but at least I've not put up the Christmas tree. That is strictly forbidden until the day after Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 13, 2009

HAUNTED

I took these pictures on my last week of Fall Break in October. I thought I'd post them on Halloween ... sort of my nod to all things haunted and spooky. Except that I forgot. Oops!

So what if it's now two weeks past Halloween!? I figure with all the Christmas stuff that started going up in September, I'm allowed a little delayed posting ... it evens out in the end, I think.

Behold ... the spooky remains of the Old Taylor Distillery on Glenn's Creek Road.








Wednesday, November 11, 2009

ALL HAIL TO THOSE THAT SERVE(D)

A number of months back ... quite possibly, close to a year ago ... my father got word from Veteran's Affairs, that my grandfather would be receiving the Bronze Star posthumously. Then he got another confirmation that perhaps it wouldn't be the Bronze Star, but some other honor bestowed upon my grandfather for valor in combat or meritorious service ... it was all so confusing.

Then, about a month ago, my dad got the call that he could go to the Veteran's Affairs office in Battle Creek, Michigan, that the award was there. He could pick it up any time.

Guess what?

It was, indeed, the Bronze Star!

We don't know, at this point, why the Bronze Star was given to Grandpa ... the records are sketchy, and it takes months and months and months to get the slightest bit of confirmation as to the reasons for such an award. All we know at this point is that he was awarded it, and we're all very proud of him for it.

Grandpa never talked about his 18 months in the Pacific Campaign. In my lifetime, he'd only mentioned it in passing ... a snippet here, a quick Camp Roberts story there. But to discuss, for any length of time, his tour in the Philippines and Japan (his company was one of the first to land in Japan post-atomic bomb), he just wouldn't ... ever.

As an adult, I asked my grandmother if I could see the letters Grandpa wrote her when he was over there ... surely she'd saved them. They might make an amazing story I could write. "Your grandfather made me burn them when he got home," she said quietly.

"Grandpa!" I was sad and shocked by this. "Why did you do that? What a legacy to have?"

He got agitated and replied, "Why would I want that crap as a reminder lying around. Not much of a legacy."

I never asked him again. Clearly, some wounds never really heal ...

As I remember my grandfather during my childhood, I remember him as a quiet, reserved man. He kept his feelings in check for the most part. What I didn't realize was that he was a living hero in our midst, and he never let on to any of us. Not once ... More than likely, he didn't think of himself as one nor would he have cared to take that title on ...

This Veterans Day, while our entire fourth grade leads the attendees at the Veterans Day Ceremony here in Frankfort in the Pledge of Allegiance, I will be thinking of my grandpa and his unwavering service to this country ... I will be thinking about all of our servicemen and women around the world right now, sacrificing for the freedoms I enjoy every single day of my life ... I will be quietly thanking them all ...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

BEING THE 18-HOUR BRA TYPE

My friend and co-worker, Jody, saw me at church today and said the nicest thing to me.

"I don't see you at school, working until all hours of the night and day, and since you have decided to stop that, I've noticed that you seem happier ... more content."

You know what? She's right! Since the day that I decided that I couldn't be the Wonderbra Teacher anymore, my life has been calmer ... more serene.

I'm allowing myself to take a breath ... to drink it all in ... to really embrace life. It's sounds cheesy, I know, but seriously, I'm shedding my workaholic skin.

Ahhhh ... I'm embracing my inner-18 hour ...

Thursday, November 05, 2009

HAIR CUT

I went to the salon last night and got my hair cut. I'm going for a Michelle Williams sort of thing with my hair. But I swear, every time I walk out, I get that much closer to having the same hair cut as an average 10-year old American boy!

Whatever! I like it. Photos to come later ...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

FOURTH GRADE QUOTES

Question on math homework:
"Suppose thre are 12 squares. Explain how to find the total number of sides withouth counting."

4th Grade answer to question on math homework:
"17; Think really hard."

What 4th grade teacher muttered as she graded the paper after school:
"Not nearly hard enough."

Clearly, we have some reteach to do here tomorrow.

FRESH GROUND BUTT

I couldn't figure out why my coffee tasted like butt yesterday morning. I sometimes leave the small amount leftover from the day before in the pot because, well, I'm lazy, but that doesn't usually make stuff taste like butt, and dag-gone, my three cups of coffee tasted like butt.

But drank, I did, and I ended up with a splitting headache that seemed very much like a caffeine withdrawal headache.

Couldn't figure it out ...

Until I opened up the area where one puts coffee filters and coffee grounds last night, to get it ready for this morning. That's when I discovered that I'd put the filter in ... and ... well, ... that's where I stopped.

I had three fresh cups of terribly watered-down coffee-like liquid yesterday ... i.e., freshly ground butt.

This time change is killing me slowly ...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

HAPPY ELECTION DAY!!!

This year has been a quiet one in the political elections front here in Frankfort, and quite honestly, it's been heaven.

No ugly yard signs.

No constant news segments raging against one candidate or another.

No glad-handing at public events.

No ridiculous politics, period.

I couldn't figure it out, but I didn't question it either. In fact, quite the opposite. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

I found out today what the problem (not a problem for me) was. A few years back, the Commonwealth of Kentucky decided to lay off of the silliness every fourth year.

Wow! Really? Politicians came up with that one? Seriously? Because, that's like, progressive and stuff.

I'm not sure whose brainchild this really was, but I don't care. I bow at their feet and bring offerings of good tidings and great joy!