Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday .... Fabulous

Further work on my room at school has resulted in kind of an Internet/Work station feeling and atmosphere. Monday and other days we don't get out the laptops, the desks turn around to face inward, but while they are working, it is more helpful to be able to see over their shoulders and help them from behind the monitors. I bought some new posters on Ebay... Juliet Binoche, Paris, French stuff... And see my new little Eiffel Tower lamp? Only 11.99 from Collections. I love it.
Found these cute b/w folders from Current. and the holder, too. The box houses my little jumble necessities like stapes, clips, three hold punch, tape, etc.

Anyone for the clearest glass of iced tea in the world? I know I'm in trouble when I start to crave it about 11 p.m. Even the napkins smell terrific from our little drive through coffee shop, JavaSmith.
See the corner of my Chocolat poster? And the little red lampshade was rescued from a dumpster and covered with the rips of an old skirt... Trash to treasure? Morning sunshine tries its best to enter, but my little moles always pull the shades.
I have always been a huge fan of Lady Liberty... although I've never been to New York. I love the photo of her head in Paris... I'll have to look for that one.
Oh... guess this isn't it... huh? It's MY head in Paris though... Is that a start? Bon jour!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Another Great Book!

I am into books this winter. Actually, books have always been "my thing." I have never looked back after my introduction to Sally, Dick, and Jane (yes, I did learn to read with those classics!!!!! I'm THAT old, Katie Scarlett!). Right now I have far too many books started. Somewhere in the eighties I started a rather horrible practice of reading four or five books at the same time... It is kind of like conversations begun and put on hold for a later time. The simultaneous system works out in the final analysis quite well, but sometimes I feel like a hussie "cheatin' on one love to spend time with another!" Now for this book. Marianne Williamson is a peaceful soul. Some of her books haven't been my cup of tea, but I adored Illuminata and several that deal with relationships.

THIS ONE is GREAT!!!!! It speaks to the midlife in my bones... haha.. (Is that where it lies?). One line in this new treasure says something like, "So what if your arms are not as firm as they used to be. You finally truly know what is worth holding on to." (paraphrase). She embraces the aspects of growing "up" or older with such a gentle, calming spirit. I needed that. I have heard she was on Oprah today, and if all went well, I have her sitting across the room on my TIVO. Hallelujah. That will beat the Oprah sessions last week with blue man and the people who eat out of dumpsters. I'm happy for fast forward button some days... and others, like the day Oprah let her camera man meet Carol Burnett... and he cried... ------priceless!

Ramble. ramble. And I'm lucky to be able to do that. Today was simple frantic. I rearranged my classroom into kind of a computer/tech based station. I call it an Internet Cafe, and the kids loved it. It looks so wonderful and seemed to cut down on the fooling around a bit... I so wished for the mocha lattes to go with the Internet cafe thing, but they didn't seem to notice! Further into the day came Meetings with principal and faculty, and an errant printer repairmen who disappeared without rendering full service. The lad then WENT home while my printer still spontaneously prints 40-50 sheets of paper with nothing on them except one line of symbols per page. I call it "mother ship" language, and that just wasn't what I envisioned when I assigned foldables book projects due next week. I want my PRINTER!!! (sob!) just the general stuff usually reserved for Manic Mondays or Frantic Fridays... but it was supposed to be Tranquil Thursday... Ugh.... I like to have Wistful Wednesdays and Turn-To Tuesdays!

Also took my mom to her hairdresser's, had dinner out, and made a huge flying trip to Wally World for groceries for Mom and me.... Earlier I lost my car at work cause the garage repairmen parked it a block away.... (But I later learned he gave me three good tires, so I shouldn't and won't complain!). I finally fell asleep holding a glass of water and talking to Mom... (She wasn't too flattered, of course.) But if my little eyes will stay open, I'm watching Marianne W. on Oprah....

If you're into midlife stuff, this book is a nice mental Rx.... Some of you are just too young! haha.. Aw..... don't expect my pity!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sasha and the Red Carpet

Move Over, Joan Rivers... Where was she? I kind of missed her tonight... Regis? since when? Anyway, here's my little starlet... My friend came out and watched the Oscars with Mom and me. She and her dog Sasha were really dressed up for the event! These aren't the best photos because by the time I thought to take them, Sasha was totally "over" wearing this coat!!! haha...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Link back to win...

There are some wonderful contests going on right now... has a great one for some faux cupcakes that look like they could put ten pounds on!!! SO CUTE.
And you might win one of her spectacular Easter banners at this address. She is a wizard with prettiness.

Also here's another one at this beautiful blog. She has several wonderful prizes. ANd a beautiful blog and spirit.

And has a contest for a beautiful hand made ceramic shelf... so clever that girl! Do you guys feel lucky?


This is a charming/sleepy little village town near the Mark Twain Lake. At the end of one of the streets was my favorite shop in the town, Lake Country Charms.
Cute, huh?
It was cuter than this inside because the motif was more subtle and springlike. But I enjoyed looking.... AND the cat was delightful.

Morning News

On Saturdays when we can, Mom and I love to just get in the car and take a little joy ride. Neither of us walks too well or too far, but we can sure "drive" and look. Today, after the usual twenty minutes of persuasion, she agreed to get ready to go "somewhere." (She usually takes a little time to try to get me to do something for myself, but why do that when this is fun... and no guilty pleasure...)... Today we set our sights on Perry, Missouri, a sleepy little town near the Mark Twain Lake Region. Lovely antique store and we thought a restaurant... Our main stop was this little gift shop called Lake Country Charms. It was delightful.. In one window was a little goat cart full of Easter bunnies decorated eggs, and faux straw... A beautiful young black and white cat named Dixie met me at the door and accompanied me throughout the stay there. I bought a cute frame for my cousin and a birthday card... But I filed the adorable store away in my memory/mind for a future trip. It held a lot of possiblities.. We ended the day by eating closer to home at Americana Grill.... where their specialty of onion rings makes you have to try an appetizer... Then we were "good" and had salads for the remainder of the meal. (Good if you don't count the dressing and croutons! haha... home made croutons.... to die for). Now it's back home again to watch the snow melt a bit and think about Sunday's big night, the Oscars. What are you wearing to the Red Carpet? I am out of the loop this year on the movies. I used to have a goal to have seen all the major movies before the Oscars. It sure didn't happen this year... Oh, well... Hope to have the snow gone by sundown since it's 40 degrees... That will be a "winner is..." category in my book! Take care.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Obsession.... Total Obsession...

Okay... so I admit that I am slightly prone to addiction... I have been fortunate to miss the big two as in drugs and booze.... but yet, there are many areas of my life that are obsessive-compulsive, yeah, even addictive... and for the past two weeks I have been having a torrid and obsessive affair... Yeah, even in the midst of Missouri in the winter a person can have a fling that won't quit. I am living and breathing, going through the motions of being in class, watching tv with Mom, attending school ball games and functions... BUT... my mind is all the time secretly doing something MUCH more amazing...

Nope.. Sad to say, not this... I only could dream about having a special romantic fling by an ocean... Nope.. No new man...Nope... Definitely not this... I can't get into cleaning at my mom's house as much as I did at home... I am not secretly stashing and rearranging closets, drawers.... creating vignettes, doing amazing things with the tapestries of a home.. And I so miss that...

But.... it is this.... The Pillars of the Earth.

I am so mesmerized with this book. 970 pages of pure page turning obsession. And I didn't think I'd like it since it was about building a cathedral.... but oh, it is so nice.... Take care... I'll see you in oh, about two hundred pages.. That's all I have left. So. I'm. reading. much. slower.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Casserole Monday

This is a super easy and delicious recipe for Chicken Casserole. I made two smaller ones and shared one with my son... He pronounced it "super!"...

No Peek-Chicken Casserole

2-3 c. cubed chicken (I used chicken breast)
1 1/2 c. rice (any kind)
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded cheese or a few slices American cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. frozen green peas
1 pkg. dry Lipton onion soup mix

Cut up chicken into one inch pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper. (I used Paula Deen House Seasoning blend). Brown in a small amount of oil and butter until barely brown.

In large bowl mix soups, milk, and rice. Add any butter and chicken juices from pan... (within reason)...

Spray a 13 by 9 pan (or use two smaller ones).

Layer rice mixture with chicken, ending with a small amount of rice mixture on top. Sprinkle top with dry soup mix and cover with grated cheese or sliced American cheese. Cover tightly with foil and at 350 degrees, bake for 1 1/2 hours WITHOUT looking.

Nice texture to the chicken because it steams, I guess... It was delicious with some buttermilk biscuits

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Beatin' the Blahs....

Well, it has just been "forever" since I posted anything to my blog... I have been reading all of yours, commenting here and there, looking at mine from time to time and thinking... "Where are you, oh Oatmeal and Whimsy Inspiration?".... and to no avail. I have had such a case of the "flu" that it isn't even human... The sick to death with aches and chills and then flushed and fevery kind, the cough until you are absolutely so sick of coughing you wish you could be shot and thrown in the snow in a ditch kind, the cough some more until you do something awful to your tummy muscle that feels like you have been stabbed kind... the oooooh, eeewww kind of snuffy and hack ack cough that makes all your friends kind of smile sickly and decide to "see you later kind." THE FEEL SO VERY SORRY FOR YOURSELF KIND.

So, today after the 19th day I've had this and yet another night of no sleep due to coughing... I decided to do what anyone would do..... go to Super Wal-Mart and get beauty stuff.... And Heaven and all my friends know that is a good thing. I have neglected myself for several years now.... and it soooo shows... I love pretty clothes and jewelry, but as far as pampering the real me, uh, nah... not so much. I just shower every morning and go... maybe rim my eyes half heartedly with some old eye pencil... maybe spritz on some kind of hair thickener or shaper, but no styling, no pampering... no class.... I even cut my own hair without a mirror during my break at school the last time it was cut.... ( and do I think it doesn't look it?) That ordeal is kind of like the shoes I bragged to mom about... I have worn basically the same pair of Lands End sandals for eight years.... They have lasted so well, and they don't hurt.... When I "shared that with my mother," she looked me squarely in the eyes and said, "AND do you think they DON'T LOOK IT?" hahahahah... Oh, Mom... You old ego builder, you.

And it has been Valentine's Day until I think I am about to puke little pink hearts, actually.. I have never in my life seen such an over abundance of shows dedicated to little chocolate romantical dinners and what not... E-freakin-nuff already. I tried to be enthusiastic for all the rest of you love birds out there. I truly gave it a shot... and even was inspired by a few single bloggers to still "keep the faith." But honestly, haven't we all had enough raspberries and chocolate and creating that glamour dinner for two and ... red and pink heart shaped sunglasses... and even dogs with glittery bandanas... Oh, come on... beauh.... agh.... bah humbug.

Well, I have been stumbling around at the pit bottom for way too long... I am starting tonight with kind of a pamper me spa... Yeah, I think maybe I overkilled it.... but at any rate, I'll never be accused of just sitting here and not throwing something at it.... If you see me, don't actually look for any outward signs of all this beauty regime... it may take a while to "soak" in...

But I'm checking in on my blog and beginning to feel as if it may be possible to beat this flu in the next few weeks at least... In the meantime, enjoy the wintry mix.... I'm headed for a hot shower some 15x mirror and tweezer time (eeek!) and some add that body mousse to your damp hair time........and some delicious Hemp Orange lotion (not pictured! haha) .... and to watch two or more hours of American Idol I have taped from this week... Oh, Simon... you remind me of someone I know and love..... You'd be the first to tell me my shoes look old, wouldn't you, honey?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chocolate Paradise

Whether it's this delicious little chocolate brown hat created by my dear auntie.... or the scrumptious bars that just came out of my oven, chocolate reigns supreme (as they say in Kitchen Stadium).... Allez Cuisine??? Is that the rest of it?? Today was a wild blast of student flurry match the snow pelting outside. We had called off yesterday a bit prematurely since temps never really slid below freezing despite the forecast. So today, come you know what or high water we went. I actually needed a day with my kiddos since I'd been gone. Tomorrow (actually later today) is parent teacher conferences for mid term. Think of me from 1 until 6.... I actually enjoy them... I have taught in this same system since 1975... so most of the parents I had as students.... It makes me feel so grounded (no, not old... just grounded... haha...)

German Chocolate Bars (actually another variation of Ooey Gooey Cakes)

Mix together:
2 eggs
1 pkg. German Chocolate cake mix
1 stick butter

Pat into 9 x 13 pan.

Sprinkle over top of this:
1/2 c. toasted cocoanut
1/2 c. toasted pecans
1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Top layer: Mix together

1 stick melted butter
1 pkg. 8 oz. cream cheese
1 egg
2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

Spread over top and bake at 350 until lightly brown (about 50 minutes).

Let cool and YUM-O

Have a delicious day...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Groundhog Breakfast

Before you settle in and read this, you may want to pop over to Garden Goose. She's hosting a Valentine Giveaway, and it looks mighty tempting! She has a wonderful blog... Just be sure to come back soon!!!
Hello there! It's that day again. Our town is preparing for a Sesquicentennial Celebration next autumn, and they've been having money makers every month since August, I think. Today's was a very special breakfast called Groundhog... (Sausage, get it?) They made sausage breakfast casserole, had the traditional sausage biscuits and gravy, had fruit, cinnamon rolls, coffees, tea, juices.... Sounded delicious. I have managed to add my mother to the list of those in our home inflicted with the flu.... so needless to say, we stayed home and recuperated. She made up a pot of soupbeans and ham and some homemade cornbread, so don't feel too sorry for us stay-at-homes.

My cough medicine is a delicious thing that puts me right to sleep... It is flavored with orange, and I honestly think I could drizzle it on ice cream. It's that good. A codeine cicle.... very good idea, huh? Since I've been off school I have spent time reading, dozing, watching back episodes of Oprah Shows, and generally dreaming of a little more healthy time ahead.

I went shopping on the Internet and found some great bargains at Closeouts. I re-arranged (mentally) my room here, and I love the new ideas... ---- Look out, Son!----- I re-vamped my plans for school and also bought some new decor for my room... plus the most darling file folders from Current and from Rose Lane Cottage. I had already ordered some new stuff last week, so now it will be a more authentic place to work. I'm on the lookout for a caddy to corral my desk junk.

Move to number... (what number am I on? Did I not tell you the cough syrup is strong?).... I'm planning some healthier lunches to pack for school... and then I'll have to either go shopping or beg my son to do so..

He is mounting a huge World of Warcraft Assault, a seige he calls it, on a huge castle with players from all over the world.... Hmmm... That is what happens when a young man becomes s computer programmer.... Armchair warriors on Superbowl Weekend... Does that mean I am watching it alone? That is probably due to the fact I'm the only one who likes football PLUS the flu... I am going to make some kind of dramatic snack, but not sure what... I may patrol some blogs and get some ideas. My dad and I were the football buddies, and he had a huge Never to be lit football candle... I probably will not be getting it out tomorrow, but I'm so glad he took the time when I was little to sit me down and teach me the ins and outs of watching the game. I can remember who we were watching, actually... and it was a college game featuring O.J. Simpson..... how long ago was that? How sad Orenthal James turned into such a creep. He sure was brilliant as a young college player.

On a different note, and how many notes have I been hitting? aren't we getting a little tired of campaigning already??? We have been getting so many phonecalls.... I am not ready for the long haul to November.... And I'm not EVEN going there on who I'm voting for... My sweet gramma, the one with all the sayings, used to say of politicians, "Oh, I think if you took 'em all and shook 'em up in a huge burlap sack, you'd be hard pressed to guess which one would crawl out first." haha... Good saying, Gramma....

Take care all and have a SUPER SUNDAY.