Monday, January 31, 2011

It is something other. . .

I am with all the Great Plains dwellers...  and we wait for the biggest predicted snowstorm in my life...  I have rarely (and I think never) seen the words Blizzard Warning......Winter Storm, yeah....  My students, young and full of that unquenchable spirit, were pumped....  We came home at noon, and so....  we wait.  Life and these storms are so different when we are older, in charge of someone elderly, or parenting those who will have to navigate the roads even when school is called.   I doubt I go in tomorrow even if they have school....  It will be beautiful, I am sure....  but sometimes beauty can be dangerous.   Hugs and prayers for cozy safety for all...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Okay....  I found this quiz....  And I thought since today wasn't all that busy, I would take it.  Feel free to join in and leave a link!

What curse words do you use the most?

 I really try not to use any....  But unfortunately the one I use most is probably "hell." 

Do you own an i-pod?
I own a Zune, which is a version of MP3 player.  I love it for playing downloaded Beth Moore videos.

What time is your alarm clock set to?

My alarm plays music at 4:30 a.m.  My phone alarm wakes me at 6:01 on weekdays and 8:20 on weekends.  Unless it is a snow day... then no alarm

Would you rather take the picture or be in the picture?
 Take it.   I hate my pictures taken

What was the last movie you watched?

What cd is currently in your player?

Do you prefer regular or chocolate milk?  
Chocolate milk actually

Has anyone told you a secret this week?
People always tell me secrets and I never tell.

When was the last time you had Starcrack Starbucks?
When my mom was taking radiation treatments in Columbia two summers ago.

Can you whistle?
I can definitely whistle.

What are you looking forward to?
Green Bay in the Super Bowl.  Celebrating Chinese New Year with my family.  Cousins Night.  A snow day again.  Talking on the phone to my sweetie. 

Did you watch cartoons when you were little?
I did.  I watched Mighty Mouse.

Do you own any band t-shirts?

What will you be doing in an hour?
Watching "Worst Cooks in America" on the Food Channel.

What was the last song you heard?
It was "Fairy Tale" by Enya

Last time you cried?
Oh, really cried hard?  Oh....  I dunno....  all the time.   Watching tv, commercials, talking about insulators with some friends of Daddy's....  talking to a classmate about sad things.....  dunno....  I am tender-hearted.

Desktop or laptop?

Both, thank you.... as long as there is a mouse!

What’s the weather like?
Really bad winter storm warning for freezing rain and 10-14 inches of snow, winds up to 35 mph and wind chills at minus 7.....  delightful!

What were you doing an hour ago?
Talking to my cousin!

How many hours of sleep do you need to function?

4 is fine....

Do you eat breakfast daily? Yeah...  toast and something protein and Diet Coke.

What did you do last night?  Worked on Valentine gifts, watched Oprah, talked on the phone, read a book, listened to Beth Moore simulcast download.

Do you use sarcasm?
Never.....  hahahahah.....

Do you like mustard?
I love all kinds of mustard.  Mom hates it.

Do you sleep on your side/back/stomach?
sides and back......

Do you watch the news? 

If something big is happening, I look for Anderson Cooper.  Otherwise, no.  My last news watching was the rescue of the miners in Chile.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hint of spring

Today we took a little field trip to discover a hint of spring waiting for us around the corner at my favorite store, Randolph Mercantile.  Lovely!  Good to know since we have predictions of 6-10 to even 14 inches of definitely NOT spring on Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lavendar Fog. Dilly dilly....

This morning as I drove to school, the fog lay frozen, skimming over the ground and caught in a kind of pinkish/lavendar haze.  It. was. gorgeous.  I was not able to stop along the way to capture any more shots than this because the visibility was just too poor... It didn't seem a safe thing to do as the traffic just might not expect a car slightly off to the shoulder with its driver snapping photos... 

I have finally emerged for the duration of the week.  I stayed home on Monday with some kind of a bug, and the whole week has slipped by in a haze something like a pink fog...  So today was a fitting moment.  January is known as the grim season at times.  Students are restless and eager to just get it over with...  Don't know where that is coming from as we are barely into the third quarter.  It's hardly time to be thinking about being finished with anything.

I did find time to straighten and clean my room this week.  Several bags of trash and old clothes left this house, and the extra space is wonderful.  You know, I was sorting through some skirts that had hung on a little over-the-door rack looking quite junky.  I decided that I might not wear them much.  I thought, "Do I want to save them for fabric in case I want to make something?"  I was sitting there thinking the fabric wasn't pretty enough to cut up into anything and I had one of Oprah's AHA moments...  If the fabric is ugly enough to not want to keep, why in the world did I think I might EVER wear it?  Duh...  When, oh when will I cultivate that classy "less=more" mentality? 

I am reading Sarah Ban Breathnacht's new book called PEACE AND PLENTY.  It is wonderful, as always.  She is one of my favorite authors.  So honest.  I think her book, SIMPLE ABUNDANCE, resonates as one of my all-time favorites.  I have worked through it for many, many years, and now I have it on my Kindle.  Nobody quite like Sarah for a year dedicated to authenticity, huh?

So, it's time to get some sleep or watch some television. Last night I should have snapped a picture of my toasty little cup of steaming hot apple cider.  Oh, it's cozy around here all right...  Warm booties and all!  Have a wonderful final week of January... 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mixed bag

62.  That's the magic number.  For one of my assignments today, the students are going to teach something to anyone they choose.  They are to be the "Miracle Worker" in keeping with Annie Sullivan of Helen Keller fame.  For an added spark, if the person they teach will write a couple paragraphs about the experience, I will offer them an additional 20 bonus points.

One boy told me, "I was going to teach my dad to upload a picture on Facebook but you probably can't read his  writing.   I just smiled and said quietly, "Well, Aaron, I read your dad's handwriting in 1980, I think I can read it now!"  I went on at their insistence to identify most of their parents as former studnts.  One boy whose dad has passed away was touched to learn I could still quote a poem his dad wrote in my first freshman English class.  He looked down at his desk and looked like he might cry, but he softly said, "My dad wrote a poem?" Yeah, it was a moment.  I later counted and discovered I have taught 62 of their parents total...  a little over half of my kids!!!

Later in a different class communication broke down and one student's temper flared.  Words that should never be spoken from a student came out in class and eventually the principal sent him home.   That was a different kind of moment...  an uncomfortsble one that leaves me still wishing I had thought of some other way to handle the situation...  Teachers always have these kinds of days.  We rise up the mountain and slip down the ravines.   Sometimes our little chickies get along and sometimes we do NOT!

Tonight the snow falls outside and we wonder about the status of tomorrow...  Will we meet another snow day?  Or will we be forced to slide on into school!  *Update:   No school!  Thus goeth our Easter vacation.

Monday, January 17, 2011


It's funny...  I could swear every single book I am reading is hounding me about having a dream, a vision, a plan, a goal...  something concrete.  Create a dream board; make a vision mapping, dream big...  what can you expect if you don't have a vision...  If I have learned anything during this time on our beautiful earth, it's that whenever all things point to something, I'd better listen...  So, true to my portents, I am considering what indeed are my dreams...  and I'm coming up shy.  I dream at night...  but during the day I am lost in thought and full of ideas, imaginations, happy moments...  but few dreams...  That isn't like me.  I must have quieted them down at some point when they were yammering at me in some language that didn't seem comfortable.  I suppose it is time to listen...

What's your dream?  I would love to hear your comments on this...  Leave me a note and let me know your dreams.... 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Delicious Winter Cookie Bar

 During the break, I decided to try these delicious bars from a program I saw over the holidays.  I love to watch Giada cook!  She's so light and fun and beautiful...  I am certain that eating these yummy bars will do the same for anyone....  So help yourself.  Besides, they are very good.   I used some black walnuts from our cousins in Kansas...  but any kind of good nut and probably any kind of jam would work.  I like the combination of jam and chopped, dried fruit...  Don't bake them as long as you think...  This way they are soft and buttery, crumbly...  I think they could get hard without too much trouble..  

Pour a cup of spiced coffee or hot peach tea...  you have yourself a respite from the cold and snow..  My dear cousin/sister and her man came down to clean out my driveway right after these finished, and they said they liked them, too!

Apricot Oat Bars

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Prep Time:
12 min
Inactive Prep Time:
1 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
35 min
24 bars


  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • Filling
  • 1 (13-ounce) jar apricot jam or preserves (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 8 dried apricots, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/3 cup)
  • Crust
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 packed cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 13 by 2-inch metal baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with vegetable oil cooking spray and set aside.
Filling: In a small bowl, mix together the jam and the apricots. Set aside.
Crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Stir in the oats and walnuts. Add the butter, egg and vanilla and stir until incorporated.
Using a fork or clean fingers, lightly press half of the crust mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Using a spatula, spread the filling over the crust leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the pan. Cover the filling with the remaining crust mixture and gently press to flatten. Bake until light golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 1 hour. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter's gift...

 For any of you who are NOT in the midwest and NOT in the East and evidently NOT in the South and NOT in the Northwest....  It is probably warm and balmy...  But in all those places I think it's snowing or has snowed...  or something like that.  We had about six inches and now have sub-zero wind chills and 25 mile/hr winds...  and NO SCHOOL tomorrow or today...  I slid home in a tizzy on Monday.  It was simply horrible for my tires and car.  The semi-trucks passed the whole row of us and left us all in a blinding flurry of white for more than 60 seconds of pure panic...  I was really upset and tense, but once inside decided to call in and not go if we had school.  Luckily, we have called off for two days so I didn't even have to use a personal day...

I told Dexter here to get busy, but so far...  he's taking a personal day, too...
This doesn't look like I'm going anywhere any time soon, does it?  Nope...  snug as a bug, so they say...  Have fun wherever you are.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cold... and good weather for a snuggly down comforter...

I have been known to impulse buy..  (no!  Those of you who know me are probably shocked by this! haha...)...  But I have, on occasion, bought things I regret.  However, a couple of years ago while watching a Home Shopping Network ad for down comforters, I decided I needed one.  Well, I did.  I have NEVER regretted my sweet down comforter.  Not one night...  It IS, in fact, cool in the summer and warm, I mean toasty warm, in the winter.  Take tonight, for example.  It is blustery, snowy, and downright miserable.  The room is solidly cold..  When I snuggle in under my sweet comforter, I will be so warm and happy...  I think everyone needs one... 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Walking on Water. . .

 I posted these photos from my new phone on Facebook, and my son's lady love told me I had "godly" ducks who were walking on water!  She's right!  I took a morning during Mom's hair appointment to relocate myself at my favorite park in Moberly, Rothwell.  I didn't get very close to the ducks that morning because I was just too early.  Most of them began by snoozing with heads under wings...  A few soared overhead, and many were out on the frozen lake.  It was calm, serene, and just plain amazing to watch them slide and abandon that waddle for a little winter fun... 
I didn't spy my Dartha, but I imagine she would be one of the last to appear from her cozy nest or wherever ducks sleep...  She's enough like me to enjoy that last wink on a wintry morning.  Tuesday was back to class.  Nobody seemed too upset by it.  One of my coworkers came in and talked about retirement.  I think she's considering it, and the lovely lull (aka Christmas Vacation) enhanced her idea of what it might be like to go on permanent holiday...  I told her when I was home, I thought it would be fun to retire...   However, most of the time, when I am at school, I'm so glad I'm there....  I am NOT going to start that see-saw decision YET...  Plenty of time in March to do the pro/con thing...  Right now we are reading classics, reading Of Mice and Men, reading The Miracle Worker, reading Out of the Dust, and getting ready to read The Pigman.  Yep...  January must be book month...