Meet Me on Monday

Every Sunday night, Java posts 5 questions  for us to answer so we can get to know each other better.  She comes up with great questions every week; I don't know how she does it!


1.  What do you put on your hot dog?
My ideal hot dog has mustard, chili, and cole slaw. 

2.  Do you play Sudoku?
So who ku?  Numbers mean nothing to me.  I will sit in meetings, and when people start talking about numbers, they have witnessed my eyes glazing over.

3.  What is your favorite vegetable?
I really don't like very many cooked vegetables, unless they're masked within a casserole, soup, or stew.  Give me raw veggies with Ranch dressing, and we're talking!

4.  Do you color your hair?
I have my hair highlighted.  I'm trusting my beautician to tell me when it's time to do the whole head.  I have a feeling it's not too far away!

5.  What is your favorite brand of clothing?
I don't really have a favorite brand of clothing.  As long as it looks good, feels good, and isn't too expensive it's for me.  For jeans, I prefer Lees because they fit my big butt and aren't too expensive!

Flashback Friday

Did you and your family watch the Olympics when you were growing up? Which was your overall favorite - summer or winter? Which individual events were your favorites? Since blogging is international, which country did you cheer for? Have you ever been to an Olympics or known anyone who competed? What are some of the hallmark memories of the Olympics that you remember? Did the Olympics ever inspire you to take a certain sport (or practice more!)? Do you prefer watching them the old way when everything was delayed in the days before 24-hour cable and internet? Do you watch them more or less today than you did when you were growing up? What about the Special Olympics? Have you ever had any involvement with them?

Oh, how I used to LOVE the Olympics!  Summer, didn't matter.  The athletes were so incredibly awesome, competing for their country.  And, they were all amateurs!  Amazing!  During the Summer Olympics, my favorite sports were gymnastics and diving.  In the Winter:  ice skating and downhill skiing.  I loved how we would spend evenings around the tv, cheering on our athletes.  I think they have lost a little bit of their luster now that they're rotating every 2 years:  Last year was the winter, in 2 years it will be the summer.  And, the professional athletes have taken away from the excitement, too.  Remember Nadia Comenici?  And Mary Lou Retton?  And Tai Babylonia and Randy Gardner?  You've gotta remember Dorothy Hamill!
I don't know anyone who has competed in the Olympics, but supposedly my MIL was on the Danish Olympic Swim Team until some kind of muscle problem kept her from training.  What an honor it must be for those athletes to be selected to represent their country.
You would think, with my profession, that I would have some involvement with Special Olympics.  I did go to a regional event when we lived in SC.  Since they are held during school hours, I don't get to go.  The special ed classes at school participate, but since most of my students are in the regular ed classroom, I have to stay back and actually do what I'm getting paid to do.
I always thought it would be so incredibly neat to hang out in the athlete's village.  I envisioned the athletes mingling and sitting around playing cards with athletes from other countries.  I realize it's not really like that, but that's just how I thought it was.  Especially for the winter olympics.
The Olympics haven't been without their tragedies, either.  The Munich Massacre in 1972.  The bombing incident in Atlanta in 1996.  And, most recently, the luger who died during a practice run last year.
Although politics shouldn't play a part in the Olympics, we all know that they have been the reason for boycotts throughout its history.  I always felt so badly for the amateur athletes who trained their whole lives to be able to compete in the Olympics, just to have that taken away from them by the leaders of their countries.  I don't think I would feel quite so badly now, since so many professional athletes are participating.
I could go on and on about the Olympics.  They definitely aren't what they were when I was growing up.

Thursday "Thangs"

Last week I had to help with "Aimsweb".  Aimsweb is a "test" that each child in the school is given to see how they are doing in literacy; it is used to determine which students require "interventions" with their reading.  This year there is a math one, too, but I'm not involved in that.  Anyway, my part with Aimsweb is to give the student a word, then they sound it out; they have 1 minute to sound out as many words as they can.  I only have to do Kindergarten and First Grades, but it pretty much takes all day.  Which means I don't get to see my speech kids for that day.  (I AM getting to the point of this... promise!)  After I tested this First Grader, she handed me this pink yarn that was all balled up.  "Here, this is for you," she said.  I asked her what it was for, and she said, "Well, I just know you like pink."  (I had on a pink shirt that day.)  The next girl I tested must've sensed I wasn't feeling well...she felt compelled to give me a hug when I finished with her.  Sweet, sweet kids, for sure!

We were promised snow yesterday.  We woke up to rain and a temperature of 46.  By 11:00 the temp had dropped and it was snowing.  Thankfully no one at the Central Office panicked, and we stayed in school for the whole day.  By the time the kids left, the roads were just wet, but there was some snow still on the ground.  Last year there were a couple of days when it snowed after we got to school, someone panicked, and we had early dismissals just to have the snow melt by the time we would've gotten out of school.  I think someone may have learned his lesson!

I watched American Idol last night.  I wasn't too sure about Steven Tyler & Jennifer Lopez, but I have to say, it worked.  Steven brought some chuckles, and Jennifer was sweet, but honest.  That first boy they had on from NC was amazing!  It's going to be interesting to see just how far he goes.

Thanks to everybody who has said prayers for my blogging friend. I got an update today, and she didn't sound very hopeful, especially with some complications she's having.  Please keep your prayers coming.    Non-bloggers just wouldn't understand the connection we feel with each other.  Y'all ROCK!

Super Duper Hodgepodge

1. Will you watch the Super Bowl? If so who will you root for? If you are outside the USA what is the 'big deal sporting event' in your own country?
I'm sure I'll watch.  I don't know who I'll want to win, but whoever I decide will lose.  In every playoff game I've watched this year, the team I've wanted to win has lost. (And, if you're wondering, I can be bought.)

2. Is ignorance bliss?
In a lot of scenarios, absolutely!

3. Which of the seven dwarfs are you? (and just in case your Disney is a little bit rusty, here they are-Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, and Sneezy)
Lately I've been Grumpy.  A little Sneezy at times, but mostly Grumpy.

4. When you are riding in the car with another couple how do you organize the seating? (Men up front? Women up front? Couples sit together?) And thanks to Lori at Mountain Woman at Heart for the question! Everyone go say hi to Lori. 
Gosh, I don't know remember the last time we rode with another couple.  I have no idea.  I guess it would depend on who it was and where we were going. 

5. What is beauty?
What's with some of these questions and making us think and be philosophical?  
Beauty in a person is someone who is caring and has a good heart. I see beauty around me every day in the smiles of children.  Also, everytime I look at the mountains my breath is taken away by the beauty.

6. If someone asks you to bring an appetizer or a dessert to a party in their home, which would you choose?
Dessert.  Definitely dessert

7. What is your crowd pleasing go-to appetizer? 
I rarely take appetizers anywhere.  I take desserts.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
Last night I had to go to a specially called band booster meeting.  I had to go because I'm the secretary so I had to be there to take the minutes.  I didn't want to go, but I knew I had to suck it up and put my big girl panties on and be responsible.  There has been quite a bit of hard feelings related to an issue that should've been taken care of at the beginning of the school year, and it's come to a head.  At last week's meeting, we had a couple of parents threaten to walk out.  Too bad they didn't, 'cause they're a big part of the problem. (I didn't say that out loud, did I?)  Now I know why my parents never got involved in boosters of any kind.
I got home and typed up the minutes, then checked my e-mail.  When I read one of them, I was in tears.  How is it possible that I can get so heartbroken to hear that someone I've never met IRL is going through a miscarriage (not her first)?  My heart is so incredibly heavy right now from her news.  I just keep thinking, "That jerk in the booster meeting doesn't want to give sports boosters who worked the concessions the money that they're expecting, while my friend is going through a miscarriage?"  Talk about putting things in perspective.  So, if you could just stop for a minute and say  a quick prayer for my friend and her husband, I would appreciate it.  I know they would, too.

It's Time

Okay, girls.  We're 3 weeks into the new year, so I decided it's time.  I've had the thought that it was time before, but, obviously it wasn't.
I got a FB message from a friend a couple of months ago, telling me that her summer interclub tennis team was looking for more players.  Was I interested?  Oh, how I chuckled.  I haven't picked up a tennis racket in over a year.  They must be desperate, because I would surely just be a warm body.
I had concerns about saying yes, the main one being my history with dehydration headaches.  If you've never had one, believe me when I tell you they are no fun.  I'll be okay while I'm playing, but about an hour after I stop, it starts.  Nothing helps it.  I used to be able to lay down and sleep, then it would be okay when I woke up.  Then that didn't work.  I have this nifty little towel that I keep in ice water when I play; it cools you down in a heartbeat.  That doesn't help.   I did discover last summer that if I drank a couple of bottles of pedialyte, the headaches weren't so severe.  I make sure I stay hydrated before, during, and after I play, but I sweat (yes, I sweat, I don't perspire) so dadgum much that I just can't hydrate enough.
So, of course I told my friend yes, I'd play, if she was sure that they wanted me.  She said they did.  Looks like I'm gonna play tennis this summer.  The good thing is that our practice time is 8:00, so we'll be done before it gets really hot.  That's one day I won't have to worry quite so much about the headaches.
One thing that I think will really, really help is if I would just get some of this weight off.  When we lived in SC, there were days during the summer that I would play 2 times a day.  I was also 30 pounds lighter.
I know there's no way I'm going to get this weight off before summer, but hopefully I can get some of it off.   I absolutely love to play tennis.  There's just something about hitting that near-perfect shot, slamming the ball down someone's throat (Letting go of a little pent-up aggression is good, right?), or hitting a serve just right.  I'm not that good, but I have such a good time when I'm out on the court.
So, yes, I've finally decided that it's time to do some serious exercise and to eat right, and to cut out the sugar.  I started the "Slim in 6" today...I could barely walk after, but it's going to get better, right?  I may not be slim in 6 weeks, but hopefully I'll be on my way to being headache free when I play tennis!  Guess I better start stocking up on pedialyte...just in case!
The first summer interclub team I was a part of after we moved to Tn.  We were together for a couple of years before everyone went their separate ways.  The lady in the back row with the straw hat is our "pro"...she's one of the top over 60's players in the country.  Good times!

**H-Mama at Family Team is having a give-away!  If you've never visited her, take a minute to go meet her and her beautiful family.  And, if you enter her give-away, I think you shouldn't miss this post.  She's a natural, isn't she?

Meet Me on Monday

After a week of feeling pretty crappy (no other way to describe it) with the crud (chest congestion, coughing, sore throat, low grade fever) I'm back in time to answer some questions for:


1.  What is your favorite kind of fudge?
I'm not particular about my fudge.  I don't think I've ever had one I didn't like.

2.  Is there snow outside your window?
Not at the moment.  After having snow on the ground for a week, we had a couple of days without it, then got another dusting.  We may get more later this week!

3.  What is your favorite meal of the day?
Supper.  It's the meal that we all eat together and talk about our day.

4.  Do you text on your cell phone?
Not very well, but yes.

5.  Waffles or pancakes?
To make:  pancakes.  And to be more specific, Danish Pancakes (crepes) with nutella, peanut butter, and mashed bananas.
To eat:  waffles. 

Well.... DUH!

Yesterday I was vacuuming the floors, and I kept thinking, "Why does this vacuum sound funny?" That was followed by, "Why isn't the vacuum sucking up all the dirt?" I knew the bag couldn't be full. Maybe something was stuck in the hose. And, that's when I found the problem:

Yes, it helps to have the hose in the hole to the vacuum and not in one of the attachments. That's right up there with the time that I called CH into the kitchen so he could figure out why the microwave wouldn't start...with the door open.
Ever have one of those "DUH" moments that you'd care to share?

Wednesday Hodgepodge

(If you're looking for Belleicious' Recipe Challenge Post, click here!)

1. Do you like your name? Were you named after someone? If you have children how did you settle on their names?
I do like my name.  I can't imagine having a different one!  I wasn't named after anyone; I'm not sure why my parents named me what they did.
As for my boys, my oldest was named for my FIL (first and middle names), my middle was named for CH's best friend (first name) and my BIL (middle name).  My youngest was named (are you ready for this?)...after our next door neighbors in Ga.  We were a very close-knit neighborhood; most of us were starting our families or were getting married.  It was almost all of our first time as being home owners.  Anyway, when YS came along, we tried out many, many names.  We were really having problems trying to figure it out.  I have kind of weird names in my family, and I just didn't like any of them for our baby.  So, one of my next door neighbors said, "I know...what about Terry Randy"  (the first names of our neighbors).  So, we started trying different combinations, and came up with using their last names (which can be used as first names).  And that's the story of how YS got his name.  Aren't you glad Joyce asked that question?

2. How do you define success?
Being happy with what you have and who you are.

3. Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy?
Oooo, that's a tough one.  It depends on my mood, really.  When CH & I were first married, they were both the only form of entertainment we had since we were poor newlyweds!

4. If you could own any single object that you don't have now, what would that object be?
 I don't know that there is anything I want...maybe one of those that would be nice!

5. What is something that inspires you? 
Reading other people's blogs.  Seriously.  You people inspire me!

6. Meatloaf-yea or nay? If its a yay how do you make yours?
Yay!  I've started making mini-meatloaves (we call them "meatloaf muffins", and they are wonderful!  Here's the recipe from Kraft:

7. Which is more admirable-the ability to organize and be methodical or the ability to adapt and make do?
I think the ability to organize.  I mean, how do people who aren't organized function?  How do they get from Point A to Point B?  I do admire people who don't have to be organized and can adapt to whatever situation and not get stressed.  (Did I even answer that question?)

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
Phase 2 of redoing the bathtub is almost complete!  One of my nephews (who is in grad school) is tackling the tile around the bathtub for us.  He has redone his parents' basement and is getting ready to redo their kitchen.  We're talking major overhaul.  Anyway, the concrete board has gone up around our bathtub, the tile is next!  We're going to do something with the'll be white when it's over and done.  Hopefully we aren't doing this backwards by doing the tiling first and then the tub!  I'll be so incredibly happy when the whole bathroom is done!  YIPPEE!

Recipe Challenge for January

This is a great idea that Belleicious came up with.  Make a new recipe every month, then post a picture and the recipe.  I don't know about you, but I'm so tired of cooking the same thing week after week.  Go over and take a peek at what other bloggers made this month and get some ideas!

I'm actually cheating this month.  This is something that YS made for us on Sunday night:
Orange-Balsamic Glazed Chicken and Lemon Risotto.  YS said he was watching the Travel Channel and clicked up one channel and voila!  Rachael Ray was fixing this on her 30 Minute Meals, so he decided to give it a go.  The only substitution he made was using spinach instead of arugula for the topping.  Our small town Kroger didn't have arugula.  The produce guy said they were out, but I'm doubting whether or not they really had it to begin with.  Oh well, it was really, really good.  FES told YS that he should cook more often.  A slight on my cooking?  Better not be!
For the recipes, click on the name and you will be taken to the how-to's on Food Network.

Orange-Balsamic Glazed Chicken
Lemon Risotto

Don't forget to see what other people cooked this month!

Tuesday This & That

Can you believe we still have spots of snow on the ground?  Those of you in the midwest or the north may be thinking, "Yeah, so what?"  Here in the south, it's very unusual for snow to stay around for more than a day and we've had quite a bit on the ground for a week.  Highly unusual.  This is what my front yard looked like yesterday:

Today it's back to work for me.  Is it bad of me to hope for snow tonight since I have bus duty tomorrow morning?  Give me an inch, and I'll definitely take a mile!

Check this out:

Last weekend I was sitting in the living room and heard this big "THUD".  When I went to investigate, I saw that a pigeon had flown into the window.  Really weird how you can see the outline of the bird.  You may have to click on the picture to enlarge it, then look just under the tennis ball for the outline.
I went to the mall in the "big city" on Saturday because FES needed to get some clothes, and he wanted to go to stores that aren't in our little mall.  So, I dropped him off, then went across the street to Bed Bath, and Beyond, then AC Moore, and then The School Box.  I completely forgot The School Box was over in that area!  And, it just so happened that I needed stickers!  YAY!  I got the neatest thing in AC Moore:

They are little discs that have adhesive on them.  You wet them, then put them on the back of a decorative plate so you can hang them up.  My sister (you know, the one who gives me "stuff"!) had given me these bowls a long, long time ago, and I couldn't figure out how to show them off:

So, I got the disc thingies; now all I have to figure out is where to put them in my kitchen.  I also thought to get one of these, too:
 It's a  peanut butter cup mold!  If you read my posts around Christmas, you may remember that I mentioned that it was time consuming to make peanut butter cups because I only had one mold.  I'm so proud of myself for remembering to buy another one!
Since we haven't had school in what seems like forever, and I go to my mountain school today, I had to find something to play with my students.  My other school has all of the storage space, so that's where I keep my materials.  I found this adorable game:

It seems "babyish", but, believe it or not, even my 4th & 5th graders will enjoy playing it!  Heck, YS even said he wanted to play it to try it out!  Of course, once he lost, he thought it was lame.  He probably would've thought it was fun if he had won!
My mantra for today:  I will have a good day.  Even with this incredibly yucky cough.

Meet Me on Monday

Every Sunday Java posts questions for us to answer so that we can get to know each other better.  I don't know how she comes up with such great questions every week, but I'm glad she does!

1.  Do you like your ice cream in a dish, waffle cone, pretzel cone, sugar cone or cake cone?
Pretzel cone?  I've never had one of those, but, MAN, it sounds good!  My favorite is a waffle cone.  Don't you just love the smell of  the waffle cones when you walk into an ice cream shop?

2.  Do you read the newspaper daily?
I look at the local paper online every day.  When I'm at school, if I have time, I'll thumb through the paper copy.

3.  Marinara or meat sauce?
Meat sauce.

4.  Last time you cried?
I tear up quite a bit when I read some blog posts, but, the last time I just out and out cried?  With tears rolling down my face?  Probably when I watched "The Family Stone" over Christmas.

5.  What word/phrase do you find really annoying?
"My bad". or "F you".  Or, just the "F" word.

Jump over to Java's to see how everybody else answered!

Don't forget to visit my friend's book club blog that she just started:  The Two Pelicans Book Club!

Book Club!

A friend/coworker and one of her friends have just started a new book club.  And it's in the form of a BLOG!  They have just started reading "The Help".  My friend is very insightful when it comes to books, and she is just about the most awesome teacher I've ever had the honor to work with.    Check out their new blog:
The Two Pelicans Book Club

Be sure to read the "About Us" section.  Sometimes friends are just meant to be!

Footprint in the Snow

Yesterday, my sister's post was titled, "Footprints in the Snow".  So, I decided to copy keep with her theme with today's title.
Last week, Joyce mentioned that she could tell that there had been some wildlife in her yard, and I suggested to her that she post pictures of the tracks and see if anybody could identify them.  Well, yesterday, when Ally was out checking out the boundaries of her yard  doing her business, I ran across this:
Here it is in the original picture so you can see just how little it is:
 Is it a raccoon?  A possum?  A skunk?  Any guesses?

Frivolous Friday

Check this out:
Yep, that's right:  I shaved my legs!  I know y'all are so happy to know that!  I called the pedi place to see if I needed to get an appointment, and he said they were there, so I could come as soon as I could get there.  I had the whole place to myself!  I guess people aren't wanting to get out still.  One of my coworkers said that her son was going to his first day of class for the semester, but didn't make it out of the subdivision.  And, she doesn't even live in the mountainous part of the county. 
Here's what my front yard looked like today when I looked out of the living room window:
The snow has been on the ground for 3 days.  In Southern talk, that means we're going to get it again.

When we had the Christmas tree up for a few days, I looked at the ornaments and realized that we were missing some of the boys' ornaments that had been given to them, mostly by CH's parents.  I went downstairs and looked through the endless sea of tubs we have, but they weren't there.  I looked in the cabinets in the man cave; they weren't there either.  We decided that either they had accidentally been thrown away, or would eventually show up.  Before OS went back to college, he cleaned out a closet in the man cave.  Guess what he found?  They were in a box, along with a very sticky candy cane.  One of MS' ornaments had broken, but I just super-glued that baby back together, and it was as good as new.  And, as an added bonus, CH found a clothes hamper that had 4 pairs of my shoes in it!  I cleaned them off, and they're ready to go!  It's perfect, because a couple of pairs are black and one pair is brown, and I wanted to get some more black and brown shoes that aren't slip-on.  PERFECT!  And, they still fit!  Maybe with the money I just saved, CH can get a surprise for me!

And, just to totally and completely randomize this post, here's a commercial that cracks me up:

So typical of little boys!

Cabin Fever? Heck No!

Snow days, snow days...when will it end?  Luckily, the school system I work for has 11 snow days built in to the calendar.  Each school day is extended by 15 minutes, giving us those days.  We've already used up 7, and it's only the middle of January.  I sure do hope the rest of winter is mild, but it doesn't look like it will be.
We've had a casualty from the snow.
Apparently when the snow plow came through on Monday, he got enough of our mailbox to make it lean.  I called the "city" yesterday, but I haven't heard what they're going to do about it.  They probably have a lot more pressing things to deal with right now.  (CH told me that he had tried to stand it back up before he left for work yesterday morning.)
I had a pretty productive day on Tuesday.  CH worked from home, so I tried to stay busy to stay out of his way.  So, I spent some time on the treadmill.  Then, I cleaned up our bathroom.  There is a company who provides free online CEUs, so I did one of those.  My school system says we have to have so many inservice hours, but they don't provide all of them.  It's up to each employee to make sure that we have extra hours on our own.  And, here's the kicker:  if you go to a conference but it's on a regular school day, it doesn't count as your extra inservice hours.  You can take a personal day and it will, but if you take a professional day, it won't.  I'm not sure I understand the logic in that; when they ask me I'll be sure to tell them!
Back to my day.  I tackled the pantry.  One side of it, anyway.  I feel so much better when the pantry is organized!

Yesterday I walked down to my parents' house.  I stopped in my next-door-neighbor's driveway to take a picture of my house from a different angle.  I was standing on ice, and, as I took off my glove, down I went.  At least I gave the people in the cars that were coming something to laugh at!  My parents live just down the side-street, and when I looked down their street, I thought it would be better to tackle the trail in the park instead.  I don't think that was the right decision, because I slid a couple of times, but the scenery was worth it.

Mom needed a picture scanned to send to one of my cousins' wife, and, apparently, they have no idea how to use their scanner.  She made me some hot Friendship Tea and daddy cracked some pecans for me while I worked on the picture.  (I love how my parents take care of me, no matter how old I am!)  I also helped mom order something online that she couldn't figure out.  (Guess the taking care part works both ways!)  After a short visit, I headed back up the hill to my house.  One of the houses had this sweet snowman in their front yard:

Back inside, I did another CEU online.  (I did mention they're free, right?)  I drank a cup of Via coffee while I was watching the presentation.  There may have been a splash of Bailey's involved in it.  (Now that's the way to do CEUs!)  Then, I was going to settle down with a book, but decided to dust in the bedroom.  While I did that, I told YS & FES they needed to clean their bathroom.  That ended up being a little more time consuming than I thought it was going to be:  apparently FES had never cleaned a bathtub, and had no idea how to do it.  I'm not sure if he thought I was going to do it for him if he told me he didn't know how to do it, but he was in for a big surprise.  I got everything out for him and gave him instructions.  And, he only messed up the shower door in the process; it got off track.    As I was dusting, I ran across a couple of pictures of YS' t-ball days that I just had to scan:

I could get used to not working but still getting paid.  All good things must come to an end.  We'll just see when.

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Snowy Edition

Joyce gives us a few questions to ponder every Tuesday so we can post our answers, link back to her, and see how everybody else answered on Wednesday.

1. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English. Words may be banished due to mis-use, over-use or just general uselessness and they receive over 1000 nominations. Here are the fourteen words/phrases they'd like to see banished in 2011-viral, epic, fail, wow factor, a-ha moment, back story, BFF, man up, refudiate, Mama Grizzlies, The American People, facebook/google when used as verbs, I'm just sayin', and Live life to the fullest.

What word or phrase would you like to see banished from our everyday vocabulary in 2011? You can choose one from the 'official list' or you can get creative and come up with your own. 
How about the "F" word.  I absolutely loathe that word.  Or, how about "My bad"?  Why do people say that?  Is it because they're so lazy they can't say, "I'm sorry.  I made a mistake."?  

2. Do you consider opportunity something that comes to you or something you create for yourself?
I think it's a little bit of both, depending on the situation.  I do believe in "being at the right place at the right time", but I also believe that it's God's hand.

3. Since we're all eating healthy this month, ahem, what's included in your favorite salad? Is there dressing?
Fried chicken (so much for healthy, huh?), lettuce, tomato, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, red onion, mushrooms, cheese, and, to top it off, honey mustard dressing.

4. The fourth Monday in January is said to be Blue Monday...aka the most depressing day of the year. The date was calculated using many factors including weather, debt level, time since Christmas, time since we've failed at our new year resolutions, low motivation and feeling a need to take action. Do you get the blues this time of year and if so what is something you do to lift your spirits?
Nah, I like winter.

5. Do you wear a watch? Any other everyday jewelry essentials? 
No, I don't wear a watch.  I always, always have my diamond studs in the top hole of my ears.  Sometimes I switch out the bottom earrings, depends on how lazy I'm being!  I also always wear my wedding rings...both of them.  I have a band that I got when I got married that I wear on my right hand, and the set that CH got me a few years later on my left hand.

6. What is something useful you learned in high school? 
I learned some Spanish that actually comes in useful at work every now and then.  I guess I should say that I began to learn Spanish; it was my minor in college, so high school was just the beginning!

7. Do you use an accountant when completing and filing your income tax returns or do you attempt to muddle through all by yourself?
You'd have to ask CH; he takes care of that stuff.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Today is Day 3 of our snow vacation.  We had 4 1/2 inches Sunday night, and it has snowed on and off since.  I don't foresee the school district where I work having school until Friday, if then, since it's suppose to not get above freezing until this weekend.  The kids go an extra 15 minutes every day, so there are some snow days built in.  I think we have 6 or 7 days built in.  After that, I don't know if we'll have to start making them up.  In SC, the legislature would forgive some days that we couldn't make up, but I'm not sure what Tn. does.  Looks like we're going to find out
One of my sisters sent this e-mail to me.  I thought it was very fitting with all of the snow!
"I just got off the phone with a friend.
She said that since early last night the snow has been falling and is nearly knee high and is still falling. The temperature is dropping  and some frozen rain and wind is increasing.  Her husband has done nothing but look through the living room window. 
She says that if it gets much worse, she may have to let him in."

Snow Night

This is my most favorite time of a snow day:
Nighttime.  All of the kids are in from sledding, there are tracks in the snow, and everything is still.  There are very few cars on the road because of ice after dark.  The house is warm and cozy, and the outside lights are shining in the snow.  The hot chocolate has been drunk and the snow clothes are hanging up to dry, ready to go tomorrow.  When school has already been called off for the next day, it's like a weekend during the week.  No worries about having to get up early.
And, maybe the best part about having a snow day on 11 January is that it's the day after the National Championship Game!  Why do they do that, anyway?  Why not have it on a Saturday night so people don't have to worry about getting up for work the next day?  I don't know about other football fans, but by the time the championship comes around, I'm just about over the bowl games.  The game was everything a National Championship Game should be:  the refs let them play and didn't get involved, the score went back and forth through the game, and someone won in the last couple of seconds.  What a game!  And, the best thing:  An SEC team won, and not just any SEC team, one that I like!  Hey, if the Vols couldn't be there, Auburn would be my 2nd choice!

Meet Me on Monday

Before I get to this week's questions, I wanted to show you what I woke up to this morning:

The bowl that YS put out last night so we can make snow cream today.  It will be FES' first taste of snow cream.
The birdhouse on our back porch:
A couple of pictures from the front porch:
No school for anybody this morning!  I may not be at work until Thursday or Friday.  (Waaaa....NOT!)
Okay, here are the questions:

1.  Have you (only you..not a group) ever won first place in anything?
I was the Spelling Bee champion at my elementary school for a couple of years.  When I went to the county Spelling Bee...I froze.  Never made it beyond the 2nd round.

2.  Are your toes always painted (sorry guys...this question for girls only)?
Not in the winter.  But, I'm getting ready to get a pedi (as soon as I get off my keester and shave my legs).

3.  What color eyes do you have?
Blue.  CH and all of our boys also have blue eyes.

4.  Look to your left....what do you see?
My little Pepper (Jack Russell Mix) curled up on a blanket.
She doesn't quite know what to do about the snow.  When I let her out this morning, she didn't even get off of the concrete porch...she peed right next to the steps on the porch!  Ally, on the other hand, knows all about the snow.  I think she likes it...she stayed out for a few minutes walking around in it.

5.  Soft cookies or crunchy cookies?
Soft.  No indecision on this at all.
Wanna play along?  Just go to Java's and link up and see how everybody else answered the questions!

Laziness, Snow, and College

Am I incredibly lazy or what? For Christmas,  CH gave me 3 (yes, 3!) certificates for pedis!  I had my first and only one at the beginning of the summer, and loved it.  I'm excited about going back, but...that means I have to shave my legs.  I know, I know.  L-A-Z-Y.  I abhor shaving my legs.  Really.  If plucking the hairs out one by one would cause them to never come back, I would do it.  If I were rich, I'd laser those suckers away.  I'm just talking about the bottom part of my legs.  The bikini area is a whole different story.  Even if I've only worn a 2 piece bathing suit one time in my life and never plan on wearing one again.  At some point, hair removal has to be done.  I don't want anybody waxing me there:  I find it hard to believe that the waxers don't talk amongst themselves.  Do they have to sign a "confidentiality clause"?  And then the Kardashian girls go and get waxed on tv.
Sorry... got off track.  I got the Christmas decorations put away on Saturday and got the house back to normal.  Friday I had an unexpected day off because of an expected snow storm that never came.  We got a cold rain after 3:00, but that was it until Friday night/Saturday morning.  The weather models are showing a big disturbance coming in that will affect the south...we may be stuck in our house for days!   If you're not from the south, what they say about us is true:  We run to the store at the mere threat of snow for bread and milk.  I'm not sure why.  What can you make with bread and milk?  Why don't we go get other stuff?  I can't answer that, but I did tell CH that we needed to go to the store for bread and milk.  And cheese. 
OS & MS are anxious to get back to their colleges and get ready for the new semester.  OS doesn't start classes until Thursday, but with the snow coming in, he wanted to make sure he could get to school.  Since MS is just 15 minutes away, it's not as big of a deal for him; he just wants to get back to see his friends.  So, they both will be gone Sunday afternoon.  I had started to get used to our new "normal". And I miss it.  But when they're gone, I miss them.  It's a vicious cycle.  And I bet it will never end.

First FFF for 2011

Let's see if I can think of 5 favorite things that happened this week.  I've been such a bear lately; hopefully this will go well!

1.  NO SCHOOL TODAY!  My favorite meteorologist predicted snow last night.  I woke up at 5:30 and...nothing.  I should be used to it; this happens every winter.  I guess weather predicting is a little tricky in the valley.  Anyway, I got up this morning, let the girls out, and decided to hop on the 'puter.  While I was on FB, I got a message that the school system I work for called off school.  We're suppose to get some snow today, so I guess the powers that be decided it would be easier to just call off school than have us get there, then have the monotony and confusion of leaving early;  making sure the kids get home, as well as the staff.  We have some pretty curvy, tricky roads here when the weather is bad.  So glad I got Dexter: Season 4 yesterday!  I have that and a good book to read today, so I'm all set.

2.  Back to school.  I realize that statement totally contradicts #1, but it was good to get back into a routine.  

3.  Keeping with the "back to school" theme:  I had a couple of kids say their /r/ this week!  I couldn't believe it!  (/r/ is the hardest sound in the English language to make.  Say 'er' and think about what your tongue is's a pretty complex sound!)  I had just about given up hope on these kids...they are at the end of their speech therapy stint!  I give each student 2 years:  if they don't progress at all, then I dismiss them.  One of these students is in 4th grade, the other is in 3rd.  The 4th grader has worked so incredibly hard to get this sound, and, when we left for break, he was close to getting it, but didn't have it.  The 3rd grader had just started working on /r/ in nonsense syllables.  Sometimes all it takes is a little break!  The happy dance may have been involved on Wednesday!

4.  Meeting a new student yesterday.  I have a student who was placed with me before Thanksgiving, but, due to some illnesses with him and his family, I hadn't met.  Yesterday was the day.  What a cutie pie!  I can't wait to see what he can do!

5.  This was waiting for me in my box at my school yesterday:
My "Lunch Buddy" gave me a Starbucks Gift Card!  He's the best!  This is also the teacher of "Skunk Ape" and "The Poop Book" fame.  He's a riot!

What was the highlight of your week?

Wicked Witch of the South

I've really had a hard time trying to get in the mood to post lately.  Things have been a little stressful around the house.  Not really being on a schedule has made it crazy.  And, the "honeymoon" phase with FES being over hasn't helped.  I'm a complete bear if I don't get my full night's sleep.  I had about 3 full nights' sleep during the break.  ME + waking up at night and not being able to go back to sleep = 1 grouchy woman.  Add to that crazy hormones, and, well, I guess you get the picture.  A total and complete witch.
And you know what?  I'm completely okay with it.

Auld Lang Hodgepodge

Anybody else having a hard time getting in the "blogging mood" after the holidays?  Thank goodness we have Joyce to get us going!

1. What three words would you use to describe 2010?
    Exciting, fast, interesting.

2. If fear were not an issue what is something you'd like to try?
   Riding a motorcycle.

3. What do you add to your coffee or tea?
    The better question would be "What coffee or tea do I add to my creamer?" 
 I really like the flavor creamer, especially the gingerbread or hazelnut.

4. What historical sporting event would you like to witness?
    The "Miracle on Ice":  When the USA Hockey Team beat the Russians in the 1980 Olympics.  How incredible would it have been to have actually been there?

5. What is one piece of advice you would like to give your sixteen year old self?
  Believe in yourself and be comfortable with who you are.

6. Are you a planner or do you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants?
   A planner.  Definitely.

7. What is one thing you are looking forward to in 2011?
    Getting our bathrooms remodeled!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
   I saw this really cool wine decanter; I think it's the neatest one I've ever seen:
Like it?  It's on sale for $339.95 at the Kraft Store.  I'm not sure I like it that much at that price!

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