Monday, December 31, 2012

On the Eve of a New Year!

Well, here we are again, facing a new year.  This means that I need to file through oodles of blog posts to find the one where I posted 2012's New Years Resolution. 

I have to admit.  I surprised myself.  I really thought that I'd written some long, lofty goals (clearly, I've not revisited them very much -- or at all -- over the past year), but happily, I did not.

My 2012 Resolutions in review:
  1. Get this place (i.e., house) organized
  2. Have a plan for more exercise
  3. Eat more veggies
  4. Entertain more
  5. Get out of the house more
Now, here is how I did:
  1. Get this place (i.e., house) organized  -- there is always room for improvement in this area.  My "room" for improvement is my office.  As I organized, what didn't have a place found its way into my office.  Therefore, one of my 2013 resolutions should be to organize my office.
  2. Have a plan for more exercise -- Boy did I!  On June 21st, I started walking with my friend, Vivian.  We started out walking just a couple of miles, and it soon bloomed into 3 miles every single day.  Over the Christmas holidays, I've had a really hard time keeping that habit up, but after the New Year, I am back to it!  I have to.  My body feels so much better, and I've been so much healthier because of it.
  3. Eat more veggies -- I've done okay with this.  Fits and spells, fits and spells.  I do believe there is more to add to my plate in the veggie department.
  4. Entertain more -- I've failed miserably at this one.  So, I might roll this one over to 2013.
  5. Get out of the house more -- in some ways, I did an okay job of this.  In other ways, not so much.  I think I need to maybe roll this one over as well.
So, here we are, on the Eve of a New Year, and I've been thinking about what I'd like to tackle this year. 

  1. I want to FINALLY organize/redo my office. I'd like to make it a space that I can create in ... both writing as well as my home decor "stuff."
  2. I want to commit to increasing my exercise regime.  Perhaps add another mile as well as doing some strength training.
  3. I want to be more creative, and I want to carve out more time to do so. I also want to make some extra money doing so.
  4. I want to be more fiscally responsible.
  5. I want to be more social ... more dinner parties ... more get togethers with friends ... more times to socialize and enjoy the company of others.
  6. I want to find free ways to be more creative in my yard ... free landscaping ... free landscaping design ...
There it is.  My 2013 in six little resolutions. Life is what happens when you're busy making plans.  I know this new year has a lot of great things in store for me.  I can't wait to see how it all unfolds! 

Join me as I blog about all the craziness that will be sure to ensue!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Government is Bungling Around with My Feng Shui

Everyone has heard about the Fiscal Cliff, right?  Right!  If you haven't, well, I want to know what rock you just crawled out from under, and, by the way, you might just want to crawl right back under it.  The fiscal cliff looks like a gnarly ride, and I am not sure you want to be around for that train wreck.

I am not naive enough to think for one minute that two groups of supposedly educated individuals that were hired, as it were, to have OUR best interests at heart, might actually PUT our interests at heart and solve this conundrum.  Nope.  Not naive at all.  When I first heard about this conflagration of hot mess, I knew this would be a tit for tat sort of issue where no one would want to get a long in the sandbox together.  I mean really. My fourth graders get along better on the playground.  Just sayin'.

But now I hear something that has rocked me to my very core.

Am I to understand that the Congress, a giant group of idiots, is now messing around with a Farm Bill? And that said Farm Bill, if not passed or worked on or tweaked, will cause the cost of milk and cheese to double in price?

REALLY!?   Congress, really!?!?!  Now you are making me really angry.  You're going to mess with one of my favorite food groups?  Chocolate milk and cheese?  I keep these diary farmers in business, folks.  Seriously!

I know I am not the only one tired ... weary .... plain sick and tired of this political tussling that occurs with every. single. thing. that they try to solve.  And let's just use the word solve loosely.  Because, really, they don't solve much of anything. 

Bungle?  Yes.
Creators of chaos?  Most certainly.
Media whores?  Ummm ... ever any doubt!?
Solvers of anything ... yeeaaaaaahhhh, not so much.

Yesterday, I purchased a gallon of chocolate milk for nearly $4 ... I can not imagine spending $8 for said milk.  And cheese? 

Listen!  Who ever you are.  You'd better do something!  And you better do something fast!  You aer messing with my dairy Feng Shui!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Christmas Prayer

I found this piece by Max Lucado and felt it summed up my thoughts on the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I would expect nothing less than a beautifully written piece by such an amazing author.  (Link to the letter:

Dear Jesus,

It's a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.

These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.

The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?

Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod's jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.

Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.

Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won't you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.

This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.


Your Children

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Socially Awkward!

It's not a secret that I oftentimes have difficulty introducing myself to new people, depending on the situation.  While I can be extroverted, I just sometimes don't feel like I have the finesse for those first introductions.  I prefer when someone introduces me to an individual, and I can run with that. 

Passive aggressive? 


Who knows. 

It just seems more comfortable for me, and we can all agree that I am not necessarily the most socially graceful person around.  I have tons of stories I could roll out here on my social graces (but mostly pitfalls), and one story would top the next.

But as I've entered my 40s, I've really tried to make a concerted effort to be more "out of my comfort zone" where initial introductions are concerned.  So far, I've failed miserably.  However, the good news is that I have 9 more years to get it right!

So, there I was, recently, in a situation that required me to introduce myself ... or more over, required me to reintroduce myself.  I stuck my hand out, and it the victim of my reintroduction, attempted a getaway, only to realize that they'd waited a second or two longer than they needed to, and must commit to said reintroduction.  Rather than be gracious, this social moron stuck their hand in front of me, half-heartedly grabbed it, and then, with the speed of a Roadrunner, jetted off as fast as they could. 

I don't believe I stunk.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I'd bathed that morning.  Yet, there I was ... standing there ... ahnd still extended ... choking on the dust left behind by the rapidly retreating indivudual. 

Not going to lie.  That behavior made me mad.  I wasn't trying to throw myself at this individual.  I was attempting to be nice ... kind ... friendly ... all of these things are NOT what most people see when the first meet me, I am told.  Most see reserved ... closed off ... guarded.  All of THESE things I will agree on.  I really do have to warm up to you. 

So, I fumed about the Retreating Social Moron all the rest of that day.  Was annoyed about it that evening.  Even dreamt about it.  Granted, I took THAT a bit too far, but I'm claiming temporary insanity due to too much Christmas Cheer at school.  It's a real issue.  I swear.

**FINALLY** I had a break-through.  Monday morning dawned bright and clear, and it suddenly occured to me.  I am not the socially awkward one.  Nope. I, in fact, did my part to spread generosity and friednliness.  Nope.  Not I.  Rather, the idiot that couldn't run away fast enough from me ... that person was the socially awkward one.

Score 1 for me, and 0 for Socially Awkward Dufus.

I don't know about you, but I am off to spread more Christmas cheer ...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Score

Puke 1
Me 0

When you consider becoming a teacher, all those involved in the profession tell you about all the wonderful, amazing, flowery things that they are privy to witness. 

The light bulb moments ...
The moments of self-discovery ...
The unadulterated joy in seeing new learning occur ...
The unmitigated laughter of a child ...

Then, when you commit to the career ... when you are so invested there is no looking back ... that's when those sadists begin to roll out The Stories ... they tell you about all the crazy stuff you deal with on a daily basis ... the things that normal, rational-thinking adults wouldn't dream of subjecting themselves to and who would run screaming in the other direction, "HELL TO THE NO!!!!"

Yeah, I think you have to be some sort of crazy ... or some sort of left of center to do this job. Seriously.

Today, for instance, I was happily monitoring a test when out of the blue, one of my dears up-chucked on said test. 

Insert heavy sigh here.

It happens.  It's part of the job.  I don't like it, but when you are dealing with children, it just happens, because they are humans, and, well, humans, as you might not be aware, are unpredictable little devils.  They do things that you would have NEVER expected them to do.  That's the nature of the humanity beast.

There's also getting sneezed on ... I once had a child sneeze ALL. OVER. MY. COFFEE. MUG.  It was still relatively full of coffee too.  A sad day when I had to pour that all out, that's for darn sure.

Coughed on?  Oh yeah.  I get coughed on. 

And lest we forget the living epitaphs on the bathroom stalls.  You haven't quite reached the pinnacle of your success until someone has scrawled, MISS MURRAY IS A BITH on the bathroom stall.  It looks as though I need to work on some letter families, no?

Still, at the end of the year, when I think back over the time spent with each class, I always manage to block out the "bad" stuff ... the puke, the coughs, the sneezes, the epitaphs (okay, maybe not the epitaphs ... those are priceless) ... and I always manage to find a few things that made my year fun and enjoyable and worth the valleys.  Those peaks can oftentimes be few and far between, but when they happen, man!  Are they ever worth it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Well, we're still here.  So, I guess those that thought the world would end are feeling a slight bit of embarrassment this morning, no? 

I have to admit.  I wasn't necessarily looking for the world to end, but I would have been completely okay with say, a delay in normal operating procedures.  Yes, I realize, that I am looking at the short end of the 2nd quarter, which means I am also within reach of a nice little break.  Once again, I am more than ready for it.  I am super tired and not very tolerant of the silliness that seems to swirl around me.  If only the world revolved around my way of thinking ...

Instead, 12-12-12 dawned bright and beautiful, and I was greated with a lovely migraine.  AWESOME! 

Instead, I received an email from "Koffi Anan" (spelling was intentional, as that's how it was spelled in the address line).  It was urgent, and he wanted me to read it immediately.  But here's the thing, Koffi -- can I call you Koffi?  Since we're on a first name basis and sending emails to each other and everything ...

The thing is, Koffi, that I don't have time to deal with foreign issues this week.  I've got Common Assessments to get ready for ... and report cards to get together ... and Christmas presents to craft ... and Christmas letters to get around ... and Christmas gifts to buy ... and laundry to finish ... and baking to do ... and a house to clean ... and while I would love to help with world peace, it's just not in the books this week.  Nope. Not happening.  Not this week.  Probably not next week either.  Just saying ...