Saturday, January 30, 2010

I dunno... What do YOU want to do?

Pssst! What do you want to do?
Today dawned cold and beautifully clear, and Mom elected to stay in where it's warm! I was agreeable with that, having had a lovely week with lovely company on Wednesday----dear friends who always make us thankful for the good graces we experienced to find them. Then last night I went out to a favorite restaurant with two more dear friends who then came home with me... I'm in the hot fudge cherry brownie making mood, so all four of my friends were treated to a pretty plate of homemade hot fudge sauce (recipe to follow in later post), cherry chocolate cake, and vanilla bean ice cream... topped with pecans, of course... Pretty fun to make. I get carried away on the chocolate sashays back and forth.... THAT is fun!
Been looking for a box filled with a Birthday gift for my cousin... Ummm... we can't find the thing. Blameful thoughts were shared between me and my mom. We both not-so-secretly believe someone else to be at fault in the mislocation of the said gift. So far, no luck... Grrrr... I helped her in her closet a bit since she has trouble with clothes hanging and a walker.. Her rod was obviously installed by my six foot daddy... for a tiny daughter... No matter. HANG 'EM HIGH, was his motto.... and strong enough to hold an elephant... So that's good.
I am baking a blackberry-pecan pie, and if it's pretty, I'll take a photo for later... It was in the cutest jar you've ever seen, and all I did was flute the crust and add three eggs and a couple tablespoons melted butter... and a few whole pecans for "looks." It smells quite lovely.
My attitude wobbles today from quite singsong to kind of grumpy/grumbly... I attribute this to someone else, but I know not who... hahaha... I gave a huge diatribe of gripe to Mom and announced I was coming downstairs to do some Bible studying... (which we both added, "It's needed!) HAHA.. You bet...
My son borrowed the car. He's on a mission to find a new to him vehicle... Such a big decision, especially for a car/truck guy like he is..
Have a great weekend... Hugs to all...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lots of Giveaway Opportunities

I think it's time for giveaways to beat the blahs. Hurry over to HERE and sign up for this cute Valentine Sack! She also has a lot of cool giveaways throughout blogland featured on her side bar. I think I'm going to do one for my 500th post if I can figure out what would be fun! In the meantime, enjoy these great offers.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Winter wondering. . .

House in the Roses Show Off Your Cottage Monday
One space. One little area in my whole room is spiffed and ready for Winter.... But it's sure cute, and motivating.... Let's hope for more to come!

Short... Breezy... Crisp... Cool... That's how my posts have been lately... little substance and less interesting... It seems that's how my world has been lately, as well. I have the winter blahs, I suppose. We saw the sun today, briefly... And this week promises wind chills in the negative degrees again. It's wintertime in Missouri, for Pete's Sake!!!

I spent a lovely Saturday night with friends. Great friends that stand the test of time. We once taught together, and now only I remain in the profession. One beautiful mother is still a teacher as she home schools her children and teaches piano. Two are retired. I think perhaps I should be, as well. I witnessed tonight the results of someone who isn't ready to retire... I imagine Brett Favre would LOVE to pull that pass back and reel in his ambition and many Vikings would agree. However, having been a Packer fan/turned Favre fan, I would have to argue the Vikings wouldn't have ever made it that far without the "old man."

Why don't I retire? I love teaching, but I know in my heart I can't keep this up forever. I love my kids, and everything I see is instantly filtered through my "Could I use this in a lesson?" brainwave... Can I make the change? Surely my identity is not tied up completely with teaching? Can I make a partial living doing a part time job as something else????

Well... time for bed. Great querying must wait if I'm to get up in four hours and meet/greet the day.

Take care and have a good week. Snuggle in and keep warm!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Such hard work in the kitchen!!!!

Ha ha... Today, with the advent of c-c-c-c0old weather and a blotch of sunshine amidst the soupy mud.. we decided to have the Colonel cook our Sunday dinner... This, a little baked beans and a batch of monster cookies... three young men and a heavy duty Spinner match.... What a blessing! Good day... I'm approaching my 500th post... It's very hard to believe!!! Have a good week.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A beautiful Giveaway Opportunity

You must want to check out this giveaway on A Gift Wrapped Life. Amazing!

Thursday!!! Yay!!

Happy Thursday....

Dartha was right by the car on Monday... I love her feathers in winter, and she fluffed her wings to show white underwing feathers... What kind of goose is she/he? Anybody know??? I know she's mean... boy, is she mean to the others, and she. has. no. friends!!! except me, of course!!!!

Since Monday was a day off, the week seems to be going faster, which is always a good thing. We decided to go with a light, airy mantel for a bit. These dolls are all from a Missouri artist named Dianna Effner. They are part of a nursery rhyme series, l. to r.: The Curl with a Curl, What are Little Boys Made of, Mary Mary, Quite Contrary, and Curly Locks. --- oops, it's after 2 a.m. Morning is coming pretty fast. This teacher needs more than four hours of beauty sleep. That's for SURE!!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Comfort Food Sunday

Warmest Sunday aroma drifted through the house... I slipped into the kitchen about 3:30 a.m. and pared, chopped, and prepped a juicy roast beef for the slow cooker. I love to add loads of carrots, onions, potatoes in the bottom. Then I layer on the roast and top with a can of cream of mushroom soup, a package of Lipton Onion soup, a quarter cup of ketchup, and a can of Coke or fruit juice such as cranberry cocktail... Water will also do... I used Coke yesterday. Then I made a casserole that was two cups frozen, grated zucchini, thawed. Add it water and all to one package of Stove Top Stuffing mix and top with grated cheese. Bake 30 minutes at 350. The final touch was just a can of whole wheat biscuits... The slam-on- the-counter kind.. Pillsbury Grands Whole Wheat... Mmmmmm..... Follow that with a lovely dinner with family and a hearty game of Spinner.... and it's comfort at its finest...

Frozen Duckie Delight...

Frozen solid!
Dartha's way out on the ice!

Looking for handouts!
Whew... the water is wide when it's hard!!! These guys were tired! They fell and slid and scooted all the way to shore...
Quack!! Quack!!! I spent a lovely Saturday morning at the lake, and I watched the ducks and geese scoot about on the ice... I think I finally spotted my Dartha right out in the middle with everyone... She definitely has a "waddle when she walks" and that red head??? Have a lovely Monday!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Okay... So I'm an Ice Princess... yeah, right!

I wish I had been doing something productive... or even exciting, but no, I've just been moving along at school, going home through the icy snow, and generally hanging in there. Today is a partial day at school and then a computer workshop for the teachers in the cafeteria. I decided to just give a little hoot out to everyone. Today because our deep drift problem is finally melting, people are tolerating me a bit better. I can tell you right now, it isn't popular to love snow when it has debilitated the countryside this much.
We used to have a teacher who was really, really REALLY brilliant "at one time." Unfortunately, she taught a few years too many, and sometimes she had those days I call "Ms. Red days." She thought she'd assigned work but she hadn't. She forgot when she did assign something huge, so kids were frustrated with some finished assignments that never got checked. She would head up the stairs and then I'd see her stop, look very confused/sad, and shake her head. Then she'd sigh and go back where she came from to try to re-think why she was headed upstairs to begin with... It was okay because she actually did a good job in spite of it all... Yeah, well sometimes I have definite great days, but occasionally there comes a period of Ms. Red days... I think this was a week of those kind of days.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Stuck Truck...

Stuck truck
Cold truck...

Well, one truck is stuck off the road... and one truck would easily go through anything this snow has to offer, except it's deisel, and the temperature's too cold to start without some kind of a heater for the battery... So, looks like we have been invaded by the army and surrounded by the mini pickups... It's finally 9 degrees! I was up until after 3 a.m. doing little projects, packing away some Christmas decorations, and fiddling around with the dining room table... Needless to say, I could use a nap.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One perfect gift. . .

Next to nothing in my book is the perfect gift of a snow day. I have never been able to explain how absolutely blessed I feel when that phone rings about six a.m. or earlier, and it's my dear friend and coworker telling me we are cancelled at school today for snow... I know. We have to make it up, and that's a bummer. But that's tomorrow or tomorrow's story. Today. is. mine!!!! I feel as if I've been gifted with the grace of 24 unexpected free hours. Today I needed to satisfy two of the three or four pressing needs I was feeling.. I wanted to read more this year. New eyes thanks to surgery and new glasses have made reading once again simply wonderful.... Finding the time and making it a part again of my days... a little harder since I'm living here and since I became more "addicted" to the computer. But reading and buying new books from Amazon... delicious. Now to the second desire: staying in a safer price range. My new status a a full time teacher with no retirement package has decreased my buying power (aka bank account)... That with the predictable redline of Christmas makes this month a definite "eek" when it comes to big Amazon bills.

So what happened? Today I signed on Amazon and was amazed at the hundreds, did I say HUNDREDS? of free books for the Kindle. I have a Kindle, one of those wireless reading devices... I bought twelve books lickety split, and all are safely and whispernet delivered to my Kindle, which is happily charging in the hall. All for free.... all on a snow day.... Blessings fall like the snowflakes on me today!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Not for the faint of heart

Okay... So I AM the faint of heart. You. bet. First, unless you are caught in the middle of the US right now in this deep freeze, you have no idea what it is taking to get out and get going... The temps are hovering below freezing, and the wind chills rival the old story, "To Build a Fire" by Jack London... I teach that story to sophomores, and the man DIES in the cold... I wish I'd quit thinking about that!!!

Add to that the fact I'm sharing a car with my son who still hasn't fixed his blown motor.... and he runs habitually tardy... It's a tossup between feeling a bit irritated that I'm about five minutes late every morning (because the school docks me fifteen minutes for even one minute late).... and feeling so pampered with my car warm, windows scratched.... aaaaah... It's debatable how I feel about that one, so I usually just smile and let it ride... Today, I realized I was blessed. I arrived at school while the intercom was still blaring the daily bulletin.... and screams were echoing down the hall from where???? ahhh... My room, of course!!!

And why? Well, a few weeks ago I had a girl staying after school who insisted she saw a HUGE mouse... She named him George, and since I teach in the Midwest, I had a host of "trapper Johns" who stomped in at all times of the day to check the trap lines they set in my furnace closet... THE furnace closet that attaches to a book/coat closet that lies directly behind my desk without a door, thank you very much... I hung a pretty shower curtain, but NO protection from said mousey.. Before the holidays we caught a tiny little waif mouse, and we all teased Jillie for thinking he was HUGE... She was shocked to discover George was only an infant mouse...

Today, thank you, LORD! before I arrived the boys (resplendent with fur flapped hats and parkas) evidently checked their latest contraption, a set of two traps rigged to go off simultaneously. Lo!~ and behold. According to the principal, who isn't prone to tall tales, they caught an eight-inch RAT with a long, long tail... There was Jillie's George, and he was caught by the mouth in one trap and the middle in the other. Thus, today, January 5th, 2010, a legend was born that will be retold with awe and wonder the rest of those boys' lives... And I think the rat is "growing" while we speak. I heard them wishing they'd had it taxidermied as I left school... Sheesh! As my favorite line goes in RUNAWAY BRIDE, "God, give me the strength to live in a small town!"

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Last day-itis...

Today is the final day (barring some snow-act of God) of our vacation. I found these pictures online. That bottom one is adorable, found it on PBS, but couldn't find the person who took it! I'm the cat in the top photo... in disguise. I'z hypnotized by the moments that are falling through the hourglass, ticking off the final seconds of my vacation. My son is coming over for a hot casserole, and I'm hoping my mother can come out to eat and play a little spinner. Our road is icy slick, so we've discouraged everyone from visiting... It thawed right before this arctic freeze..... making a moosh of icy ripples that are hard to navigate.
Everyone in blogland either made resolutions or kept a few. I was kind of nebulous with mine. I made a few, but some I make every year... I have decided to embrace grace, peace, charm, coziness, and heart... Blessings to all! Grades are due, so this procrastinating, "charming and graceful" teacher has to get busy.... Need I ever criticize my students for pulling those all-nighters when they "knew" the assignment was upon us?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Could there be a worse daughter?

As this holiday vacation winds itself down, and I find myself thinking it's about time to average those grades due Monday morning, I just had to share the latest in "the worse daughter ever" saga I've been starring in since 2007.... I've been out of the house exactly four times over the holidays: One with Mom to finish grocery shopping for our guests, one to attend the Italian party, one to take Mom to the doc and hospital for some tests, and then today... Wanna know why I was out today with a wind chill of 25 below? Because. On the day I took Mom to the doctor, she had heard through the grapevine (not blaming anyone but my cousin told her this, and Mom believes everything my cousin says)... we took ALL Mom's medicines in their bottles in a Wal-Mart bag to the doc... All, being a two-month supply she orders from Texas. Ummm. Doc didn't need her meds. Mom, being a freakazoid cleaner, tucked them into the Sonic bag in my car for me to bring in and GO THROUGH. Ummmm.. Me, NOT being a cleaner in any form of the word, left the whole mess in the car thinking the meds were in a plastic bag and all would be well. Ummmm. My son, having a little date and borrowing my car since his is Kaput, pitched the whole thing somewhere he knows not where in town to clean up the car for Tootsie Sue... So, I called the doc's personal cell phone, which I'm sure he regrets giving me the number for, and I left a message recounting all of this even though this particular doctor hates chit chat.... He called me late last night on his way home from working at the Emergency Room in Columbia, "Could there be a worse daughter?" he laughs... called in an emergency supply, and I picked it up today... Still have to deal with Texas.... Still have to do my grades.... but a nap is sure sounding better and better... Negative 25 wind chill!!!! whew!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Last night's magical "blue" moon illuminated our snowfall, and it was simply amazing. Surprisingly, I couldn't find the setting for my handy little camera, so my photo is grainy and actually bad. I am a MOON princess, so the Heavens gave me the best gift imaginable, a night with my family nearby and great company on the tv (Beth Moore), and the moon outside my window..

Today is better for Mom, and I am ready to fix some shrimp and steaks... sounds terrific to me. It's snowing again, and my son is "on the way." Naturally, that means any time in the next hour or so! Here is a New Year's Poem from my favorite Anam Cara... This man was a sainted genius, I believe... Have a great day!~ May your team win!

1 January 2010
From John O'Donohue (1956-2008), a blessing for your New Year:


On the day when

the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes

freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays

in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,

may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.