Monday, May 30, 2011

Americana

Big Mike's




If I was going to Mammoth Cave, I wasn't going to leave without visiting the TACKIEST tourist trap I could find. BIG MIKE'S didn't disappoint.

I would like to point out that no rocks that can be found to purchase at BIG MIKE'S were discovered in the depths of my travels through the Mammoth Cave system. Must have been in the Las Vegas Cave system that these were found, I guess.

I would also like to point out tacky items were purchased at BIG MIKE'S ... for my sister, Ann. She's going to LOVE it!

Miserable heat

Emmy doesn't do well in this heat ... what with all that hair and stuff. I've seen her in various locations throughout the house that are cool: Bathroom floors, flagstone fireplace, basement floors, windows, under ceiling fans ...

No matter where I've found her, though, this is the pose she's had ... and she's moaned a little for effect each and every time.


Operation TAME THE BEAST will occur later on this week

This is the next thing on the garden TO DO list ... taming the out of controlness here.





Operation KEEP IT FROM ERODING is now in full-on attack





Mammoth Cave ... this is what it looks like on the outside







Mammoth Cave ... this is what it looks like on the inside

These signatures were made by smoke and soot. Cool, eh?!


And this is what it looked like in the cave with the lights off ...



Friday, May 27, 2011

People watching

Maybe it's because the author in me is always looking for the story behind the story, but this morning, when I got behind the man in line at the Circle K, and I noticed what he had on the counter, my writer's mind went all crazy and buzzy and stuff. I was suddenly left with a strange desire to whip out my laptop and start writing.

His purchases:


  • 2 cans of Red Bull

  • 1 pack of Excedrin

  • 1 pack of gum

  • 1 small roll of Tums

He smelled like a stale cigarettes and dive bar, and he looked like he'd slept in his clothes -- his hair a salt and pepper, matted jumble of greasy morning-after locks. He can't afford to call in sick ONE MORE DAY -- what with the giant child support check he's got to write this weekend. So, he's self-medicating his way through the morning, and MAN! Does the Circle K clerk have to talk so loud? It hurts to even smile as she wishes him a good morning, in an annoyingly sing-songy way.


Which makes me wonder ... what does the rest of the world think when they see MY purchases:



  • A bottle of Fuji water

  • A 24 oz. cup of Almond Amaretto coffee

  • A Zone bar

  • A banana

She left a trailing scent of floral sweetness as her perfume wafted through the door. She looked put together: pressed khakis, crisp white tee shirt, navy blue jacket, sandals that allowed her perfectly manicured toe nails peek out, all pink and shiny. She stood quietly in line, waiting, unsmiling, her arms full of water and banana and Zone bar and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. So unapproachable ... too put-together to be human. She even eats like she's perfect. And then, on closer inspection, visible clumps of cat hair cover those crisply pressed khakis ... and her jacket ... and her hair is sticking up in unruly, spikes, randomly. She's carrying extra weight too ... more than she should. Hmmmm... perhaps there is a hint of humanity there, under that untouchable exterior ...


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You need to get married

I got dating advice today ...

... from a fourth grader.

They are 10 years old, fourth graders are -- just in case you needed a little perspective.

Therefore, you can see where receiving dating advice from a fourth grader might be, how shall I put this delicately?

ONE OF THE CRAZIEST THINGS YOU'VE EVER HEARD!

The fourth grader told me I needed to date more men. I mean, after all, she'd "gone with" 100 since first grade.

Awesome!

If I could find 100 men that were actually decent .... and had a job .... and their own teeth .... and most of their own hair .... and didn't have a wheel barrow full of trouble that they drug behind them .... and had a plan ....

Well, wouldn't that be nice?

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Monday ...


Mondays suck ... other than when it's summertime, and you've got no where in particular that you have to be. Otherwise, Mondays suck.


This is what I look like on a Monday afternoon ... after the kiddos have left ...


This is what my room looks like after they leave ... after I've hounded them to pick all the nonsense up off the floor " 'cuz Mr. Murphy is not paid to pick up after us, nor am I!"



This is what the TEACHER ZONE looks like ALL the time. It's bad, I know. Somewhere in Michigan, my mother is horrified.



This explains why I immediately turn Pandora on to a soothing station and curl up in the fetal position underneath my work station, right?








Thank you, Ding Bats of America

I saw a GIGANTIC houseboat, and by GIGANTIC, I mean, it could sleep 10 or 15 people easily ... huge ... the size of my house, HUGE. Anyway ...

I saw a GIGANTIC houseboat being towed by a tow truck yesterday. At the helm of the boat? Two rocket scientists ... their hair blowing in the breeze. Must be they were simulating being on the high seas?

I don't know. Call me crazy, but I'm relatively sure those two idiots are why I have 15 stickers on the new ladder I just bought ... warning me against all the bone-headed moves I might consider should I consume enough alcohol ... or am just plain that dumb.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Conversations that *I* had today...


I'm not sure what sort of conversations you have in a day, but mine typically go something like this ...

"I'm sorry. Please remind me what my rule is when I am out in the hallway talking to A.) another adult or B.) dealing with a student issue? If there is no gushing blood or if your hair is not on fire, you need to stay in the room. Period. End of story."

"Please do not blow into a Kleenex once and then throw it away. That is such a waste."

"What do I do on the weekends? What everyone else does on the weekends. Why?"

"Do you know how old that song is [referring to the AXEL F on our KIDS DANCE PARTY here in the classroom]? It came out when I was in middle school, so, yeah, like a bazillion years old."

"Please stop touching that ["THAT" could be any number of items, most of them disgusting]."

"No, I do not know how to ride skateboard. Yes, I do know how to ride a bike."

"Yes, I dance. Teachers can dance."

"What does it feel like to get your eyebrows waxed? It kind of hurts."

"Who cooks my dinner? I do!"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Self-portrait

After the laundry list of ailments that one suffers when one is under extreme amounts of stress, you see this photo:


This is what STRESS looks like ...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This is my new THEME SONG

This is my new THEME SONG ...

Finding Megan

So, in order to Find Megan in the midst of this insane life, I am making some changes.



  1. There may be times that I just don't answer the phone. It's not that I don't want to talk. It's just that I need some time for me. I give an awful lot of myself in a day's time, I realize, and there is nothing really left for me at the end of the day.

  2. I plan to write 3 days a week for an hour. I think it's do-able. Maybe ... maybe not. We shall see. But it's always best to start small, no?

More to come on this as I will be adding items to the list ...

Nesting

I took a quiz this afternoon after school.

It was a stress quiz.

It said: "YOU HAVE HIGH STRESS." And then it laughed at me. No, it down-right leered at me -- mocked me, I dare say.

So, I got a wild hair and cleaned and organized my classroom.

Then I went home and cleaned and organized there as well.

If I were pregnant, I would say that I'm nesting.

Alas, I am not pregnant. I HAVE HIGH STRESS. So, I do my own form of nesting. My life is in chaos, so I go and clean and organize something.

It's my way of dealing ...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bowels in an uproar

When we were kids, and we would throw a fit about something, my father was always quick with a, "Don't get your bowels in an uproar!"

I never really knew what that meant, but basically, translating the Dad Book of Terms and Little Known Facts to normal, everyday person speak, he was trying to tell us to "CHILL!"
I really should have listened harder to that "CHILL!" part. Of course, if I'd had the pocket translation companion dictionary to the Dad Book of Terns and Little Known Facts, I might have been able to understand, fully, the "CHILL!" part. Sadly, that companion translation dictionary came out in a later version ... on BETA.

As a result, I have a tad bit of difficulty dealing with things that are, how shall I put this???? Stressful.

It is truly sad, I think, when you, the person dealing with stress, fails to realize it for what it is, and must rely on others to point out the obvious:

YOU'RE UNDER LOTS AND LOTS OF STRESS.

Since the dawning of 2011, I have been dealing with digestive issues. I won't go into the gory details -- and they are gory -- but let's just say, things have not been working as they should. Then, all of a sudden, about a month ago, they started working all too well. Much too well ...

I went to my doctor ... he took blood ... lots and lots of blood. And I had to give samples ... lots and lots of samples.

The diagnosis? I'm healthy. Fat, but healthy.

So, here's the gist of things:
  • My mother received a pamphlet about women's health and how stress is the leading cause of health problems in women.
  • Within this pamphlet's pages was a laundry list of health issues associated with stress (sleeplessness, fatigue, short-tempered, digestive issues, high blood pressure, headaches, excessive alcohol use, excessive smoking,).
  • Beneath the laundry list was my photo.
Apparently, this has been a stressful year for me, and I've failed to recognize it because, what's a single girl going to do about it but pull up her big girl pants and get on with it. Apparently, my life has been in transition, and I needed my father to give me a laundry list of those things:
  1. Graduate school ... there's more that I could write, but really, Graduate School seems to say it all, no?
  2. I bought a house. Apparently, that ups the stress factor considerably.
  3. House stuff ... i.e., leaky bathrooms, leaky gutters, yard work, sky-rocketing gas bills, insanely, ridiculous amounts of minuscule tasks that add up to a FREAKIN', gigantic headache.
  4. Work ... no one seems to understand the immense pressures facing teachers. In nine years, the face of teaching has changed drastically. It's now a haggard, wrinkly shell of a face. Every ounce of life has been sucked from it ...
  5. Others personal stuff that seems to swirl around me with such a great degree of frequency and fluidity, it's down-right mind-boggling. I'm there ... I'm a friend, but I can't seem to stop myself from worrying about it for them.
  6. The cacophony of voices that seem to be non-stop these last few months, pushing their agendas and opinions on me like candy.
All of these things are adding up to ... well, my bowels being in an uproar. So, it has come to my attention that I need to do something about it. Not sure what, just yet, but I'm researching that.

Yoga?
Weekly massages?
Half hour of aroma therapy and soothing music?

I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, Operation Keep Megan Out of a Straight Jacket has been put into full-on mode.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A giant Moscato and a curly straw

Overwhelmed ...

That doesn't even begin to describe my life at the moment ...

Full-time job ... oh, who am I kidding! A MORE than full-time job.

Full-time graduate school.

A house.

A lawn.

A demanding Maine Coon.

And then, two and a half weeks ago, a crazy intestinal bug that has created NOTHING but havoc with my digestive system. As a result, I've been sleeping a lot or fighting sleep a lot.

So, it stands to reason that this morning, as I motored myself into my neighborhood Circle K ... to purchase the coffee and water that I didn't have time to get around this morning, I looked down and realized that, yes, indeed, I was wearing my ...

... are you ready for this?

... I was wearing my slippers!!

My team mates cackled loudly when I called to tell them that I might be late to work as I had to go home and change my shoes to ... well, SHOES!

If I didn't have YET ANOTHER MEETING, I would be getting a giant bottle of Moscato and a curly straw ...

Monday, May 09, 2011

The maiden voyage

I had to have some blood drawn the other day. I'm relatively sure, based on the bruising you see below, that this was the maiden voyage on the Blood Draw Ship. Four days later, and this arm STILL looks like someone has worked me over!

Scenes from a Derby Breakfast


What would a Derby Breakfast be without President and Mrs. Lincoln strolling around town or girls in Antebellum dresses being escorted by a young solider?


What would a Derby Breakfast be without a hearty helping of Bourbon Pecan French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, Country Ham, Fruit, and Coffee while sitting at a thoroughbred table and listening to some rockin' tunes?


Of course, you couldn't have Derby Breakfast without a NASCAR advertising the new race at the Kentucky Speedway! I took this last shot for my dad ... he's a big NASCAR fan, even if Dale Earnhardt, Jr., isn't his favorite driver ...

My FIRST weight loss reward!!

When I started this whole weight-loss gig, I promised myself little rewards along the way to help motivate my somewhat lazy self. On Saturday, I was able to realize my first reward ... a PEDICURE FOR 5% LOST!!!


I can't remember what the name of this color is, which is bad considering I'd probably like to get it again, but it sure does look cute on my tootsies!


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

I went there

I went there today.

Oh yes I did.

I used an age-old Mom Phrase today, and as soon as it was out of my mouth, I wanted to put it right back in ... or just throw it away ... or hide it ... or bury it ... or do anything but what I did, which was utter it out loud.

What was the offensive Mom Phrase?

"If So and So jumped off of a bridge, would you follow her? No, because that wouldn't be a good choice. So, why were you doing was So and So was just doing? And further more, why would you tell me you did just because she was doing it?"

Ugh!

Mom's, I'm convinced, have been using this same reasoning and line of questioning since the dawn of time.

"And why did you use your sling shot to hit the Colosseum wall, Spartacus? I really don't care if Caesar did it first. If Caesar ran his chariot off of Mt. Olympus, would you? No, because that wouldn't be a smart decision. Just stop it."

You see ... try as I might, I can not make myself stop morphing into my mother. The inevitable is happening, and I am powerless to stop it.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Shrinking

Slowly but surely, I'm shrinking.

To date: 13.5 lbs down.

I've officially lost 5% of weight! Time to make my pedicure appointment!

Forgetting

I had one of those weekends that started out pleasant enough, but in one wink, exploded into a thousand little pieces of chaos, and here I sit today, realizing all the STUFF I forgot to do.

Take for instance my need for cat food. I reminded myself all weekend that I needed cat food. Drove by two DIFFERENT stores that sell Emmy's brand of cat caviar -- numerous times, and STILL, I managed to forget to buy it. This morning, when she sat by her bowl and pleaded for it to be filled, and when I poured the 12 kibbles that remained in the bag into her bowl, and when she looked up at me with a look of complete and total disdain, I realized the severity of my goof!

There's currently a LARGE sign clipped to the doorway of my classroom that says: BUY CAT FOOD! My kids think the whole thing is odd. Hey! They have an odd teacher. If they are just figuring that one out, then we have bigger problems than me forgetting things.

Take, also, for instance my mortgage payment. It was due yesterday. All this morning, while getting ready, I had a nagging feeling that I was forgetting something. It wasn't until I sat down at my desk after arriving at school that it occured to me, "OOPS! I needed to pay my mortgage."

Now, they don't start sending the mortgage police out until after the 10th day, but still. I like to be prompt with the important things ... you know, like dinner time and first dates and mortgage payments and stuff like that.

This always happens when I become overwhelmed and my life teeters off the delicate ordered balance beam I set it up on.

I stop organizing things ... piles form ... I buy my breakfasts at a gas station ... I pull clothes off piles that are neither clean nor dirty but somewhere in between ... I eat jelly beans for dinner ... it's not pretty, folks.

This afternoon ... after I attend two meetings ... after I buy cat food ... after I take my mortgage payment to the post office ... this afternoon, I'm creating a list.

I will be checking it twice.

I will be organizing my piles.

I will be creating order once again.

I will be restoring my little life to its delicate balance.

My little planets will once again be realigned ...

Or you will hear of a massive convergence of wills and homework and laundry and grading and lawn work and dinner planning and grocery list-making that all swirl together to create the perfect storm that will wipe me off the face of the Earth.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

My apologies to the readers

Seems like all I write about on this blog (or Twitter or Facebook) anymore (when I write) is weather or weight loss or The Appliance Dude or how crabby I am or ... well, basically, when I'm complaining.

That's no fun to read, I can't imagine. It's barely any fun to write.

I'm not sure what the problem is ... I'm going through stuff? That seems like a rather lame argument when I look around at the people going through Stuff .. you know, the capital S sort of stuff? Their stuff is way bigger than my stuff, and, as such, seems to trump my stuff.

The lack of sun? Well, I've actually seen the sun a few times over the last few days. So, that's not it. Gotta be a better excuse than that, right?

I hate that I can't muster the motivation to celebrate ... there are soooo many things to celebrate.

  • I've hit my first 5% weight loss goal!!! I'm officially down 13.5 lbs!!! CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES!!!
  • It has been sunny this weekend. Yes, really. It has.
  • It's Derby Week.
  • Only six more weeks until summer vacation, but who's counting. Let's be honest here, I AM!
  • Memorial Day Weekend, the official start to summer, is in a few short weeks!
  • I have a deck!! I can spend my entire summer out there if I want to, and I do!
  • I have the love and support of so many people, and this knowledge just fills me up.
When there's so much to celebrate, it's hard to continue to be in a funk. So, I'm shedding the funk and leaving it behind. Bring on the sunshine. Bring on the smiles!