Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Bliss

When summer hits, I lose the will to blog.  I get caught up in recreational stuff, and somehow being on the computer loses its appeal.  But I'm really going to try to check in more often this summer than I have for previous ones, because I hate it that all of those memories go unrecorded. 

So here is my first attempt to check in when I feel no drive whatsoever for blogging....don't expect stellar writing skills or doses of witticism in this post, because, at the moment, I really have none.  I'm actually already thinking about the book I was reading that's beckoning for me to come back, so I'm probably going to rush through this. 

Summer is off to a fantastic start!  Friday and Saturday I pretty much spent all day--off and on-- at the movies.  Not watching movies, unfortunately.  That would've been a lot of fun.  But no, we were there because the dojo was doing karate demos all day, and Trin was one of the demonstration participants.  The demos were very cool.  Before every showing of Kung Fu Panda (which was a lot, since there were four theaters playing the movie), the demo team would pop out from beneath the stage curtains, much to the surprise of the audience, and do an energetic skit involving cool music, ninja moves, and Po the panda.  I loved being in the audience right before the demo started, because I knew that no one had any idea what was about to happen.  It's always fun to see their reactions.  This is the third time that the dojo has done this (Tron and Karate Kid were the previous ones), and we've gone to every one, but this was the first time Trin was invited to participate.  She had a blast during both days and took up residence at the theater quite confortably, since, let's face it, she practically lived there.  I, meanwhile, tried not to cringe too much at the fact that her diet for two days straight consisted of hotdogs, popcorn, and soda.

On Sunday we went to church, out to lunch, and then tore out the carpet from our new (but not-so-new) RV.  My parents recently gave us their motorhome, and I'm so thrilled about it, although with current gas prices, I'm not sure how often we will actually be able to use it.  The RV is old...an '84, I believe, but not as ugly as it could be for that vintage.  It actually looks very clean and almost new on the outside.  The inside is also very clean, but dated.  We decided right away that the old, brown carpeting had to go.  So we went to Home Depot and found a remnant of brand new Berber carpet for $75.  The remnant is enough to do two RVs.  It came out to about thirty-some cents a square foot--ridiculously cheap!  So on Sunday we tore out the old carpet, and yesterday Clint installed the new.  I was there to keep his iced-tea full and to lounge around on the grass and holler at him what a good job he was doing--you know, moral support.  ;-)  At any rate, the carpet brightened up the entire motorhome...I love it.  We also ordered a futon cover for the old worn-looking couch, and I bought some new throw pillows.  The last thing I want to do is change out the curtains, but Clint likes the ones that are there, so we'll see.  We're planning to take the RV out on a weekend retreat soon to Soledad Canyon, just to try it out, so I'll be sure to post about it.

Today Teri picked up the kids at 8:00 this morning for some learning activities at her house, so I took advantage of my alone time and sunbathed outside while reading.  I completely ran out of books to read the other day (I've finished seven now from my booklist), so I ordered several more from Amazon.  In the meantime, I had nothing to read.  In my desperation I went through Trin's library (the girl owns bu cu books) and found The Neverending Story.  It is a wonderful story so far--so much more in depth than the movie--but the only thing that confuses me is the book has 396 pages, yet the conflict is resolved by page 185.  This is also the about the same place the movie ends.  What exactly does the author intend to do with the remaining 200-and-some pages?  Anyway, after sunbathing and picking up the kids, I took them out to lunch, and then we went to the library.  Our city's library is awesome.  It used to be this tiny little structure with unsightly metal racks full of exhausted paperbacks.  But a few years ago they moved to a new location and completely reconceived the whole thing into this gleaming, modern utopia for book-lovers.  The kids and I chose several books each and sat at a table, reading, for who knows how long.  Then we each checked out our books.  I was worried we had too many (eleven between the three of us), but the lady informed me we could have up to thirty on one card.  Thirty!  Wow.  And Trin has her own card, so that's sixty!  Plus Elijah is getting his own card next week, so that's ninety!  Can you imagine?  There's no way I'll ever check out even thirty.  Honestly, I'd be perfectly content with just two at a time.  But Elijah reads much smaller books at his age, so he's the one driving my total up.

Teri is keeping my kids four days a week from 8:00 to noon for learning activities the first two weeks of summer (bless this woman!), so tomorrow I'm going to go to the movies and see Bridesmaids.  I've only been to the movies one other time completely alone, and I really enjoyed the experience, so I'm excited to do it again.  On Thursday, while the kids are gone, I'm going to sit at Starbucks for an hour or two and read.  I've always wanted to do that, but never could, because...well...kids don't like it when you plop your ass down in a coffee house for two hours.  But now I can!  I feel like I have this whole bucket list of kid-free things I need to accomplish these next ten days.
Considering I have no motivation for blogging, I am really rambling out of control, so I'm going to get back to my Neverending Story now before this becomes the Neverending Blog.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Meet Me Halfway

My sis introduced me to this song, and I love love LOVE it (I know, I love love LOVE every song, but this time I really mean it.  For a little while, anyway).  I can't believe it's been out for over a year-and-a-half, yet our radio stations never play it.  Desert radio stations suck.  I'd normally embed the you tube video directly on this post, but to appreciate the graphics, you almost have to view it on a larger screen (for some reason I can't get blogger to enlarge the screen).  If you decide to watch it, I have to warn you:  This video is ridiculous.  Black Eyed Peas must have been like children as they vied for their parts--
"I want to levitate on a desert planet!"
"Well I call dibs on riding an elephant on the moon!"
"I'm gonna wear a space suit and touch the sun!"
"Hmmm...think I'll be some sort of sexy goddess, lying around in a jungle...." 
That being said, I now have to confess...I can't stop watching this stupid video.  It's nearly obnoxious in its corniness, but so entertaining (except for the part where the levitating guy's voice gets all deep, like he's demon-possessed or something).  I just love the gorgeous space-scenery.  Plus Fergie pulls her role off with so much emotion, and looks breathtakingly beautiful.  I actually like the dude touching the sun too (are you marveling at how good I am with their names?)...the expression playing across his face just looks more convincing than the others. 

So, preposterously garish space-themed music videos...apparently my new-found guilty pleasure.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Onto Summer

Yesterday I concluded my last day of the school year!  I'm sure I say this every time, but the very last day of school always brings on a sort of bittersweet feeling.  On the one hand, it is an enormous sigh of relief,  knowing you no longer have to wake up at the break of dawn, plan lessons, grade papers, fight to capture and maintain the students' attention, etc., etc.  But on the other hand, it makes me feel sad that I will never be these kids' teacher again.  We bond with each other throughout the year and they start to feel like family to me.  Even the little crap heads that drive me nuts start to feel like family (ironically, it's always these same ones that end up visiting me three years later, too).

I started class yesterday by having an end-of-the-year raffle.  After that, we all sat down and watched a photo story of pictures I took throughout the year; everything from "Pajama Day" to "Crazy Hat Day."  I make one of these every year and set it to music; it always ends up making the kids cry.  After the photo story, we played games.  I ended up playing Uno, Scattergories, Twister (that one was pretty funny), and some charade's game in which you had to act out and sound out two completely unrelated things (the first time, I had to sing like a fairytale princess while creating a sculpture, the second time I had to toast a marshmallow while giving my Miss America acceptance speech).  Seventh period asked if we could do one big giant group-hug outside, so that's exactly what we did.  I know it's corny, but it was awesome.  It was the perfect way to end the year.

After cleaning up my classroom, turning in my grades and relinquishing my keys, I went to La Casita with Niecy and three other teachers to enjoy a few margaritas in celebration of the end of the school year.  The hostess, who happens to be the mom of one of my students, treated us to a round of shots.  I'm not sure what it was a shot of (pretty much burned all the way down), but that, along with my two margaritas, left me feeling very relaxed and pleasant.  When I got home later, no one was there, and I was feeling way too happy to be alone.  I finally found them at the dojo, where I stayed for awhile, just cheerfully chatting with people.  Today I was hoping that it wasn't too obvious that I was a tiny bit inebriated (doesn't "inebriated" sound so much better than "drunk"?).

Now onto summer!  I have lots of plans, but I don't want to list them because I don't want to set myself up for failure.  Gotta love that unwavering confidence.  I'll just write about things as they come and go.        

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Safe to Land

What a fun, busy three-day weekend!  But I'm too lazy to write about it, so here's another pretty song.  This one is too obscure to have a music video, so unfortunately, it's lyrics only.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Melatonin: A Cure for Mania

Since I am such an insomniac, I tried a little experiment where I took sleeping pills for two full weeks.  I just wanted to see if actually getting eight to nine hours of sleep every night for a two-week period would improve my overall quality of life.  To clarify, it wasn't actually hard-core sleeping pills.  It was Melatonin, which is some kind of natural herb, I guess.  From what I understand, the human body is supposed to naturally produce melatonin on its own, but the herbal supplement is available for those who seem to not be producing optimal levels in the evening, thus suffering from sleep-deprivation.

Okay, so two full weeks of taking these pills, and here are the results:

On the upside, I got between eight to nine hours of sleep every single night.  I slept very heavily and uninterrupted.  Dogs barking (or sheep bahhhing) never stirred me awake.  My first time opening my eyes was always when my alarm went off in the morning.  Amazing.  I never thought that kind of sleep was possible for me.  Furthermore, the good nights of sleep seemed to make my moods more level during the day.

On the downside,  I had strange dreams every night.  When I awoke each morning, I was more tired than usual.  It took me longer to get going, when usually I can just jump right out of bed.  Some days I experienced very vague, slight headaches.  And even though my moods were more level during the day, I felt more "blah."  Yes, I didn't have any spurts of moodiness these last two weeks, but I didn't have any of my manic highs either; my insane spurts of unsolicited happiness which I have come to love.  I just felt so...normal and there

So last night, for the first time in two weeks, I decided to ditch the sleeping pill.  And of course, as a result, I was up all night.  But I jumped right out of bed this morning, instantly awake.  I had no headache, and went to work in a ridiculously good mood.  I came home from work and chided Clint because he was so tired and boring.  "Look at me," I bragged, "I've only had a few hours of sleep and I'm still going.  I'm not even close to being tired"  About fifteen minutes later I crashed on the couch.  I think Clint was in the middle of a sentence, but I couldn't even tell you what he was talking about.

Now I'm wondering if I should take the sleeping pills or not.  On the one hand, it's guaranteed sleep.  I need that so bad.  On the other hand, I feel like the pills actually mellow me out...they take my manic personality away. And I don't know if I want that. If I can't feel ridiculously hyper and silly one second and come crashing down the next, what's the point of that? I like extremes because we only have this one little life to live and I like to feel stuff.

Sorry if that was too deep.  Blame it on Melatonin withdrawals.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Should've Got a Warranty

Lily is the worst weed-wacker ever.  She discovered that dog food tastes much better than weeds, so has been happily gorging on that instead.  To deal with this problem, Clint moved the dogs' food into the side yard last night.  The dogs are small enough to shimmy their way into the side yard between the gate and the wall, but Lily is too big, so it was a perfect solution.  Or so we thought.  Clint was coughing in his sleep last night, so I took my pillow and curled up in the office.  Just when I was falling asleep, I heard Lily bleating angrily.  She wouldn't stop, and I was worried that something was wrong.  So I woke up Clint and told him I thought something might be wrong with the lamb.  He went outside to check on her (I'm sure you can imagine how thrilled he was about this). Lo and behold, the stupid lamb was stuck.  She had somehow managed to get into the side yard (we have NO idea how), and she ate ALL the dogs' food (again).  But she couldn't get out, and was absolutely miserable. 

Here is a not-so-great picture I took of Lily earlier tonight (lighting was terrible and door is dirty).  Her and Kalzaghi were begging to come into the house, but I couldn't let them in because we just had our carpets cleaned.  That, plus the fact that she's livestock.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Last Weekend: Part 2

Blogger has been out of commission for the last few days, which has been sort of a pain.  Not so much for me personally...I've been completely entertained in the evenings reading yet another new book.  But I use Blogger for my students, and this week many of them were unable to finish their online assignment because of all the maintenance issues.

At any rate, Blogger's back online, and I'm stuck in our office right now because our carpet is being cleaned, so I thought I'd finish talking about Mother's Day weekend.

Where did I leave off again?  Hold on, let me check....

Oh yeah, so we left the bar and returned to Shannon and Jeremy's house right after 1:00 a.m.  Shan and I were famished, so Jeremy made us grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.  After eating and chattering for awhile, we all went to bed.  I slept in the downstairs family room on the couch, and I think I must have gone unconscious as soon as my head hit the pillow.  Sometime a few hours later, I woke up feeling incredibly thirsty.  I fumbled my way to the bathroom, but didn't want to turn on any lights because I'm weird about that.  I feel like turning on lights in the middle of the night shocks my system awake, so I like to keep things as dark as possible so I can go back to sleep right away.  Plus I was worried that the light would wake up the kids.  So I reached across the bathroom counter in the dark, and my fingers touched a nice, heavy-duty glass tumbler.  Convenient, I thought as I filled it up with water and guzzled it down.  I then refilled it about half-way and took it back with me to the couch, just in case I wanted more water later.  The rest of the night passed uneventfully, other than the fact that Charlotte (the pig) started squealing through the window like some insane demon-possessed banshee at about five or six in the morning because she was hungry.  Madi ran outside and fed her pretty quick though, so all was quiet again.

At around 8:00 in the morning, I woke up to the smell of good food cooking.  I crawled off of the couch and reached down to take a drink from the glass tumbler, but it was no longer there.  Instead, there was a candle.  In a jar.  Half-filled with water.  That's when I realized that there never was a tumbler.  I had drank water from a candle.  With a wick and everything.  Yeah.  Remind me to never quench my thirst, partially hung-over, in the dark, ever again.  Or better yet, just tell me to get over my weird paranoia of flicking on switches at night.

When I went upstairs, Jeremy was up cooking breakfast.  He came up to me and gave me a giant hug and told me Happy Mother's Day.  Then he continued to make Shannon and I a delicious breakfast.  It was awesome.  With Clint gone for the entire weekend (karate tournament in Oregon), it felt good to have a surrogate husband around, making me feel special on what would have otherwise been sort of a lonely day.  During breakfast, the kids all woke up and came tearing up the stairs.  Trinity and Elijah gave me big squeezes since their gifts were at home.  I was planning on driving home after breakfast, but it started to rain, and the fog around the lake was getting so thick, so I ended up staying until late afternoon.  Sometime around 4:00, we all drove down to the desert to meet my parents at Red Robin for dinner.  The dinner was okay.  I had a good time, but my mom told us this really sad story that left me feeling pretty depressed.  I won't get into that.

That night, after being gone for four days, Clint finally came home.  He won two third-place medals during his tournament, so he was feeling pretty upbeat.  The first one was for a nunchucks routine, and the second one was for sparring. 

In other news, one of my students swallowed a thumb tack yesterday in class.  He was sent to the doctors for an x-ray, but it was already "too far" for anything to be done.  The doctors gave him some medicine, and he was instructed to stay home today and wait for it to pass.  Not that this really changes anything, but this was one of my honor students.  He was very upbeat about the whole thing, and doesn't seem to be in any pain...yet.  I, on the other hand, can barely keep a straight face typing about it.  Middle schoolers truly are a unique species.  I'm surprised they aren't endangered by now.

Video doesn't do much for me, but this song makes me feel silly and happy..."like a fool." 

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Untraditional Mother's Day: Part 1

I have only three more weeks left of work before summer break!  I am really excited.  This will be the first summer ever in my entire teaching career that I have nothing to do--no more classes to take, no papers to write, no obligations/deadlines to meet.  I am sure I will be painfully bored, but boredom sounds really nice right now.

On Saturday night I went out with Shannon, Jeremy, and Sarah to the Iron Boar or Hog or whatever that place is called.  Sarah and I arrived at Shannon's house shortly after 8:00, and we headed out right around 9:00.  The first three hours or so were a lot of fun.  We enjoyed some awesome karaoke, and danced and talked and laughed about who knows what.  Everything just seemed so hysterical that night.  I remember at one point, I leaned toward Shan's bar stool, and she stated out of the blue, "Wow, your hair smells really good."  Wanting to return the favor, I grabbed a lock of her hair, sniffed it, and said, "Wow, your hair smells so...neutral."  She started giggling, flipped her hair, and announced, "I use Pantene."  I think I was actually crying over that statement, thinking how much Pantene would appreciate my sister's brilliant marketing.

Sometime between 12:00 and 1:00 a.m., the atmosphere of the place seemed to change and it got a little nerve-wracking.  I don't know if the guy-to-girl ratio was just WAY off that night, but Shannon and I felt like live bait in the middle of a piranha tank (her simile, not mine).  Shan and I kept trying to dance with each other but were constantly being yanked onto the dance floor by this guy or that, and my butt was fondled so many times that I was beginning to forget that it was actually mine.  Oh yeah, the "I'm married" card meant absolutely nothing.  A mob of them would even follow us to the restrooms.  At one point, as I was exiting the ladies room, a man standing out in the hall grabbed my hand, thrust it up into the air, and shouted, "Back off guys, she's taken!"  But he seemed to be the only one to care, because I could barely get through the mob.  It was shortly after this that Shan made the executive decision that it was time to leave.  I mean, a little attention from the opposite-sex is always flattering, but this was so beyond over-kill that it was actually raising our blood pressure (I'm guessing. It's not like I had a blood pressure cuff handy).  So we snuck behind the bar to close our tabs at about 1:00 a.m., and did our best to slip out, unnoticed.  We still had four or five of them follow us out, hollering stuff about our "hotness" and what-not, but we were able to get out of there pretty quickly.  Jeremy was shocked by the whole thing.  He was trying really hard to be a good sport, but he just couldn't believe the level of disrespect that Shan and I were experiencing. 

One other strange thing happened that night.  At one point in the evening, a man came up and introduced himself to me and Shan.  His name was Pat.  He was wearing what looked a lot like hunting clothes (camouflage shirt, etc.), so Shannon asked him if he liked to hunt.  He said yes, he loves hunting, and he told us that he made a "mean venison stew."  I made some joking comment about the stew, saying something to the effect of "Ooh, I bet that really attracts the ladies."  He laughed and said "Not really, but the pot does."  I thought he was joking, but somehow the conversation evolved into me telling him how I had never once in my life actually tried pot.  He said "Here," and dropped this little spiky green ball into my hand.  It seemed to have appeared out of nowhere; I don't even know how he got it out so fast.  I swear the guy's a magician.  At any rate, if I had been sober, I might have had the presence of mind to say "No thank you" and give it back.  But instead, I was fascinated by that smelly little ball, and I just sat there and oohed and ahhhed over it.  Shan, on the other hand, said "Oh shit Jodi!  Hide that!" and I shoved it in my purse.  She told Pat something to the effect of, "My sister doesn't do that stuff.  She'll never know what to do with it."  So what does Pat do?  Out of nowhere he produces this pretty, multi-colored, glass smoker-thingie, and shoves it into my hands.  Now, again, a presence of mind here would have been a really good thing.  Maybe I would have told Pat to get lost or something.  But nooooo, instead I beam from ear-to-ear, put my hands on Pat's cheeks, and say "You are so sweet!  Thank you!" as if he just gave me a brand new vase for Mother's Day (and technically, by this point, it was Mother's Day).  I mean, I honestly remembering feeling sincerely touched by his wonderful, thoughtful gift.  Wow.  No more tequila for me. 

So that was the end of that.  Good job, Jodi.  You're a thirty-two year old woman accepting pot from a complete stranger in a bar.  On Mother's Day.  Niiiiiice.  You should know, though, that I did flush the pot down the toilet.  I kept the glass thingie though, because it's pretty.  Maybe I can use it to grow an herb or something.  Not THAT herb; I meant like parsley.  Or mint.

I have more to write about the weekend (including more warm, traditional Mother's Day stuff), but I will have to save it for my next entry, as this one is already way too long.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Optimism in the Shower

Clint and I were showering together two nights ago (sorry if that's TMI) when he accidentally dropped the economy-sized shampoo bottle right on my little toe.  This is the third or fourth time he's done this.  The last time it happened, I actually lost the entire toe-nail.  This time, as usual, I yowled at the top of my lungs and began smacking him loudly while simultaneously trying to nurse my poor, throbbing appendage.  He, of course, had a big, goofy, guilty grin on his face as he declared, "Come on, the bottle is practically empty.  It's not THAT heavy. "  I grabbed the bottle and shoved it under his nose, demanding, "See?!  Look!  It's half-full!"  With a perfectly straight face, he says, "Awww honey, even when your toe is in pain, at least you're still optimistic."

Pretty sure me and my optimistic-self will be showering by ourselves for awhile.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lily the Lost Sheep

Okay, so Lily's cute little nuance of following the dogs around everywhere is quickly turning into a monstrous obsession.  Every time I let the dogs into the house, she stands on the patio and bahhhs pitifully, staring forlornly through the French door.  Then today, I came home from work and let the dogs in, and before I could stop her, she followed them right into the house.  I can be a little slow on the uptake, so it took several moments for me to realize, there is a friggen' SHEEP in my house.  And since she was having all sorts of fun following the dogs around the various bedrooms, it took me an additional ten minutes to get her out.  Initially I tried herding her out the door, but every time we got close to the open door, she would stubbornly veer the other direction.  Ultimately I had to wrap my arms around her body and half lift, half drag her out the door.  A few days ago, Clint and I were discussing the possibility of installing a doggy door, now that we no longer have Moses (that's a whole 'nother story).  We both really want to put one in, but Clint expressed his concern that if we do, Lily will come right on through anytime she wants.  I pointed out to him that in a month or two, she will have outgrown the doggy door, so no worries.  He replied with,  "It's all fun and games until you wake up at the ass-crack of dawn every morning to a sheep's head sticking out from the wall, bahhhing at you."  Hmmm.  Out of my top hundred ways to wake up every morning, that particular one doesn't even make the list.

So unto other things.  As far as who had to stay home with Elijah on Tuesday, fate wound up making the decision for me.  I went to work on Tuesday morning and made it through a staff meeting and about half of homeroom when I got sick.  I ended up coming home, where Elijah and I were joined by Trinity as well, who also got sick.  Clint was the only semi-healthy person who managed to go to work that day.  The kids and I were comatose on the couch from 10:00 that morning until bedtime.  I don't remember much about that day.  I slept almost the entire day, and the few times I was awake, I was in pain and I couldn't eat or drink anything.  The next day, I dragged my butt to work, but only because it was the first day of our school's spelling bee.  Not only was I supposed to help MC the event, but my fifteen student participants had studied hard, and I knew it would be confusing for a sub to get all of my classes to the gym and deal with the confusing schedule.  I still did not eat a thing yesterday, except for two bites of potato soup and two crackers at dinnertime.  By the end of last night, I had lost 4.2 pounds.

Today, I woke up this morning feeling ridiculously healthy and hyper and starving.  I shoved down some peanut butter crackers after only being awake for a few minutes this morning, and continued to snack for the rest of the day, but never quite able to fill up the bottomless pit that had taken over my stomach.  I just now ate a bowl of spaghettios, and currently Clint is on his way home with a big fat juicy whopper, because I asked him to pick me up something that is "really fatty and high in calories."  I'm hoping this will do the trick and I finally feel un-hungry.  As of fifteen minutes ago, I had gained back 1.6 pounds of the 4 that I lost.  Maybe I should quit while I'm ahead.

This weekend should be pleasantly busy.  Saturday night I'm going out with Shannon, Jeremy, and Sarah, so I'm really looking forward to that.  I don't plan on drinking more than two or three.  I don't want to get drunk (especially since Clint can't go with us); I just want to drink barely enough to give me an excuse to dance and get silly.  I would do those things sober anyway, but the liquor provides a nice scapegoat, and then no one questions it.  Sunday evening I'm meeting my parents at Red Robin for an early Mother's Day dinner.  I love spending time with my parents, so again, I'm realling looking forward to this weekend overall. 

I have lots more to talk about, but Clint just pulled up, and a whopper definitely takes precedence in my life right now over anything else.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dramatic Performance of Poe

Today was fun!  We had a professional actor on our campus (we'll call him DH) who did a special presentation for our GATE kids, a dramatic performance of Edgar Allen Poe.  The teacher who organized this event asked if I minded meeting with DH before his performance to go over some general procedures and such with him, introducing him to the audience, and staying for the performance to watch over (and ultimately dismiss) the students.  Of course I agreed; not only did this get me out of part of third and all of fourth period, but I've always enjoyed Poe's poetry.  It wound up being an awesome performance.  DH's rendition of The Tell-Tale Heart was so intense that my arms were breaking out into goosebumps.  At one point, I thought the actor was going to break the wooden chair he was using as a stage prop, and you could hear all of the students draw in their breath.  After the performance, I escorted DH to the staff cafeteria for lunch and introduced him to several different teachers.  Six of us sat together and had a pleasant time chatting over some good, hometown cooking (aka: cafeteria food).

After lunch, I went back to my classroom, where I discovered the vase pictured above sitting on my desk.  My door was locked during lunch, so whoever snuck this into my classroom either had a campus assistant let them in, or has a master key.  Attached to the vase was a little note, decorated as a journal, and on the inside, the note reads:
Gratitude never takes anything for granted.
Thanks for everything.
I'm sure it was ASB students who put the vase on my desk.  A few students I didn't recognize were in my classroom last week, asking me random questions such as "What's your favorite flower?" and  "What's your favorite color?"  This week is staff appreciation week, so I think they're doing something special for the teachers.  Still, I loved the personal nature of the little gift (the journal, the sunflowers)...it was a really sweet gesture.

Arghhh...between the last paragraph and this one, Elijah threw up all over the place.  Clint and I just finished cleaning everything up and getting him settled back into bed.  Not sure what's going to happen now for tomorrow.  I really don't want to stay home from work, but Clint is getting docked pay now for his absences. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Back into the Blogisphere

I already posted today, but this one is going to be short.  Shannon's back!  To clarify, Shan physically didn't go anywhere.  In fact, I just saw her yesterday and had an awesome time at her house.  And I saw her the day before Easter.  And I'm seeing her again next Saturday.  So I'm not currently experiencing any real Shannon-shortages.  But in the vast world of blogging, she fell off the radar for a while, which has been tough for me, because...hmmm...because...well, I'm not sure, actually.  I just know that when her blog disappeared, I felt like I lost that little window into her life.  I guess one could argue that we were still able to talk on the phone, or visit each other, but it takes time and coordination of two very busy schedules to do that kind of stuff.  And I love reading about the nuances of her life.  That sort of ironic humor is something that doesn't always translate through quick phone conversations.

So, the update has been made to my blogroll, and I am now going to collapse in bed.  Shan, your damn blog better still be there when I wake up in the morning!  ;-)

Operation Front Yard Complete

We painted the fence today, and at last our yard is done!  Front yard, that is.  The backyard is a project for another time (although the lamb is currently working on it).  I wish I had "before" pics of our front yard.  When we moved into this house two years ago, it was literally nothing but dirt and weeds.  We slaved over it last summer.  I remember at one point I was shoveling rocks in my dreams.  But now I finally get to relax and enjoy the results. 

With the exception of the arbor, painting the fence today went really quick.  I don't think we were out there for more than an hour, although somehow I still ended up with a nasty little sunburn on my shoulders and back.  I guess I still have my wussy, winter skin right now.  Once we finished the fence, I went inside the house to grade papers while Clint worked on the arbor.  Because of all of its nooks and crannies, it took him about two hours to finish.  I love the final result!  Before, the golden rocks just sort of ended near the street and poured out into the dirt.  Now, with that little fence, the property feels more defined.

That last picture has nothing to do with the fence; it was just funny to turn around to find Elijah splashing around in the pond.  Little sneak.