Productive Day

I had quite a productive day yesterday.  Maybe I should say I had a productive morning instead.  I had 2 of the dogs in the park for a walk around 6:15.  Laika did pretty well for her first "big" walk in the park.  There were a couple of times that she just sat down, but with a little coaxing she was right back with me.
I followed that up with eating breakfast on the porch while reading blog posts.  I love that time of day:  It's not hot yet, and the birds are waking up and getting busy.
Here is what else I did:
I sprayed the weeds (yes, I'm a bit embarrassed that it's as tall as my butterfly bush!):
 Cleaned the hummingbird feeders and filled them up:
 And put some new flowers in the front porch planter:
 Did you notice the spider webs in the above picture?  No?  That's because I knocked all of them down!
The finale of the day was dinner.  Chinese 5-spice Steak, rice, and Asian Veggies:

 CH & I had one of these Monday and Tuesday nights:
If you've never had an Italian Margarita, you're missing out!   I didn't look at the recipe very closely and ended up putting in twice as much limeade as I was suppose to.  So, I ended up making a double batch, then putting the rest of it in the freezer.  Let me just throw this out:  Somebody needs to figure out how to make a freezer bag with a spout.  Wouldn't that be the most perfect thing for leftover drinks?
Don't expect today to be quite so productive.  I just have a couple of things on my "to do" list today:  I'm going to Curves for the first time since my sciatica, so keep your fingers crossed that I don't end up at the chiropractor this afternoon!  MS' car's "check engine" light is on, so I need to take it to get the code read and reset.  Because regardless of what he says, it's NOT okay to ride around with that light on.  Oh, and it needs gas, too.  (Of course!)  And, that's pretty much it.  I'm sure an afternoon nap will be in there!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What can the average citizen do to honor a military veteran and/or those currently serving?
Not take our freedom for granted.
2. Besides a flag what is something you own that is red, white and blue?
I have a pair of earrings that are red, white, and blue.  I wear them on the 4th of July...when I remember!
3. Does love really conquer all?
I know that when I'm really feeling the love, there's not much that will get me down.
4. Strawberry shortcake or blueberry pie?
Strawberry shortcake.  Not a big fan of blueberries.
5. Do you share personal stuff with your hairdresser?
My hairdresser is also a friend; we were band moms together and worked the hamburger stand at football games together.  So, yes, I share some personal stuff with her.
6. Does money lead to selfishness?
I don't know, but I'd like to give it a try!  
7. What piece of furniture in your home most needs replacing or refinishing?
Our dining room table and chairs.  I don't even know how to begin refinishing it.  We got it for a really good price when we moved in the house.
8. Insert your own random here.
I had a semi-productive day yesterday:  I cleaned a few windows, then took a nap.  You've gotta love summer!  I'm almost to the point of being tired of resting up and catching up on tv shows that are about to start back up.  Time to start walking/going to Curves. 

Because I Know...

Because I know you all need a Laika fix, here's a video of her and Pepper finally getting along:

How is it that puppies can sleep in any position?

Take a close look at where her tongue was in the above picture:

Now that you've had a Laika Fix, feel free to go back to what you were doing before! 

Memorial Day

This was a post on FB by a man named Jim Higgins re:  Memorial Day:

  • I am going to say this as gently as possible; please accept it in the spirit that it is offered.

    Please do not thank a veteran this weekend. We have our day in November. This weekend is for our friends, our brothers and sisters who paid the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives in the cause of freedom.

    When you thank us, as sincere as it is, it reminds us that we came home, while they did not. Somehow, for us, it lessens the solemnity of the day and heightens our survivor guilt.

    We appreciate your gratitude. We are embarrassed by it, but we appreciate it. But please, please, this weekend, remember it is not about service, it is about sacrifice.

    And while willing, we did not make that sacrifice. . .

Friday Frags & Follow

Mommy's Idea

~  Wow.  I've done great with getting back into the blogging swing of things.  I skipped yesterday.  Yay, me.

~  Laika went to her 2nd puppy training class last night.  We ventured out into the store with her, and she did quite well.  Especially with all of the smells that are in that store!  

~  I manage to waste an hour or two every morning playing Gardens of Time AND Blackwood & Bell Mysteries.  If you like hidden objects games, then this is for you.  Just beware:  they are completing addicting.  I'm just about to have to walk away.  

~  I need to start reading some of the books I have on my tablet.  I've got some good ones on there, so I need to get cracking!

~  Have you seen the USA series, "Suits"?  Oh. my.  There's just something about that Harvey Specter!  I'm ready for 14 June when the new season starts.  USA has really brought some good series to tv.   There's a new series that just started a couple of weeks ago that's worth watching:  "Common Law".   Good tv + good books = a great summer!
(This was the teaser for this summer)

~  I went to the vet 2 times this week:  once for Laika, and the next day for Ally's yearly checkup.  She's got a fatty mass on her belly, but the vet said it's not worth putting her under for.  She's amazed at what good shape she's in for being 16 years old.  At least we think that's how hold she is.  We have a picture of her as a puppy, and the date stamp is Jan., 1997.  She was born in April, which would put her as being born in 1996, which would make her 16.  Here's hoping Laika doesn't give her a heart attack or stroke!  

~  Have a wonderful, safe Memorial Day Weekend!  Please don't forget all of the fallen service members who gave their lives so we can enjoy the freedoms we have!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 It's Wednesday, which means it's time for another Hodgepodge!

1. What's something you miss about the 1980's? If you're too young to miss the 80's how about the 90's?
My 20's!  College, newly married, and having OS.  I had some great time in the 80's!
2. Do you have a library card? If so, how often do you visit?
I have one, but the only time I use it is in the summer.  I have about a gazillion books on my tablet that need to be read, so I don't think I'll be using it this summer!
3. What's the secret to success?
Loving what you do.  It doesn't matter how much money you make (although it is nice to be able to make a living!), as long as you love what you do.
4. This is National Backyard Games week...what's your favorite backyard game?
When I was little, neighborhood kids used to come to our house to play games during summer evenings.  We played fruit basket turn-over, hide and seek, and rolly-bats.  I don't think many people have even heard of rolly bats.  Our front yard had a slope to it, which was perfect for it.  One person pitches the ball to the batter, and the batter (hopefully) hits the ball.  After that, everyone (besides the batter & pitcher) runs to the ball to be the first one to get the ball.  The batter has the bat, and swings it like a pendulum until whoever has the ball gets as close as the batter wants them to.  When the batter drops the bat, the runner has to stop, then he gets to roll the ball to try to hit the bat.  If the bat is hit, that person gets to be the batter.   Best backyard game EVER!
5. If I dropped by today what would I find on your coffee table?
At this second, I have a few candles, a picture of 3 of my sisters & I , my work iPad, and our shutterfly book from our London trip.
6. Do you own a bicycle? When was the last time you rode a bicycle? Is that something you enjoy?
I have a bicycle.  The last time I rode a bicycle was in October...through Kensington Gardens in London.  I couldn't believe that I actually rode a bike through Kensington Gardens!  
7. What's your favorite cheese?
I'm not a cheese connoisseur by any means!  I haven't tried that many different cheeses, so I can't say that I have a favorite.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I knew I was forgetting something in my yesterday's post!  Last Wednesday, some of us from my "mountain" school went to Trivia Night. Good food and great company!  We always have a good time when we get together.  And they have some amazing cucumber martinis!  I never really cared for martinis, but this tastes almost like lemonade with just a hint of cucumber.  We went into the final round of trivia with points, but our motto is "go big or go home", so we wagered all the points on the last question...and lost.  Oh well.  We came with nothing; we left with nothing.  Except a good time!

Catching Up Part II

It's nice to finally have a chance to breathe.  Things get so crazy at the end of the school year; it seems like there's always some kind of drama that happens.  Everybody is under a lot of stress, and the smallest thing can blow up into something big.  I managed to stay out of the drama this year, thank goodness!  I guess I had too many other things going on to get sucked in!

Mother's Day was nice.  I told the boys that I just wanted them to fix dinner.  CH went to the store and bought everything, and  OS grilled steaks, cooked corn on the cob, and plated dinner.  MS set the table and got the food in its place.  YS was on clean-up duty.  I think that's the best Mother's Day I've ever had.

Tuesday was the last full day of school.  Tuesday night the Kindergarteners at one of my school had their graduation, so they practiced Tuesday morning...and afternoon.  The ceremony ends with the teachers coming out for recognition:
That morning, I went into one of the 2nd grade classrooms.  One of my students is all about Komodo Dragons.  When I walked in, she asked if I wanted to see some pictures she had drawn, and if I wanted to see the nice one or the mean one first.  After she showed me the pictures, she said, "Now I'm going to draw one pooping!" 
My room at that school is off of the auditorium, so I got to see bits and pieces of the Kindergarten Graduation Program.  The kids perform a couple of songs, then get their "diploma" as their names are called.  After the program, the kids were walking off the stage when I heard one of the TA's say, "Why are your shoelaces tied together?"  Have you ever seen Kindergarten Cop?  The things that the kids say in that movie are spot on. 

Tuesday night, CH, YS, and I went to see The Starlifters, who are part of the US Air Force Band of Mid-America.  If you ever get the chance to see this group, or any other groups associated with them, go.  They were just amazing!  Last year, the Hot Brass group came to town. They have this incredible tuba player that just blew us away.  The Starlifters are more of a rock band; they played everything from Boston, to Dave Matthews, to Gladys Knight.  The best part about the concert was that it was free, but I would've gladly paid to see them.  YS chose our seats:  on the 2nd row.  CH was convinced that the woman kept looking at him and smiling.

Laika (pronounced "like a") is settling in nicely.  Pepper & Ally are getting used to her, and Pepper has even started to play with her.  She had her first vet visit yesterday, and she greeted the vet with kisses.  Here's a short video of her first encounter with a rawhide chew:

Who knew a puppy had to be shown what to do with a chew?  After watching ally & Pepper, she finally got the hang of it:

Did you notice the size of the paws?  As the vet said, "those are some substantial paws"!

That's pretty much it in a nutshell.  Now all I have to do is catch up on what everybody is doing, and it will all be good!

Catching Up Part I

I have been a terrible blogger lately.  Not only haven't I been a faithful poster, but I haven't kept up with my usual blogs.  I'm really going to make an effort to get back on track.

On Friday, CH & I went out to eat for our anniversary, just like we always do.  We usually go to a local restaurant and use a "dinner for 2" coupon that Ms. Principal gives us every Christmas.  That was our plan last Friday.  I went into our room and looked where I usually keep the coupon, and it wasn't there!  Talk about panic!  I thought we were going to have to actually pay for our Anniversary Dinner!  After looking a couple of different places, CH checked, too, but it wasn't there.  I looked one last place...with the coupons, and found it!  Halleluiah!  With the coupon, we got 2 appetizers, 2 main courses, and 2 desserts.  When I go to this restaurant for lunch, I usually just order an appetizer and do well to finish it.  One of the waiters came by, saw the coupon, and mentioned that we had hit the jackpot.  He said that anytime someone comes in with the coupon, he sees them leaving with in plural.  It's quite a deal, and the waiter/waitress ends up with a hefty tip.

Wednesday was our last day of school.  It was a half-day for the students, and most of the schools follow up with a lunch.  At one of my schools, Mr. Principal has sandwiches brought in.  After we ate, he recognized one of the teachers who had retired last year and one who was retiring this year.  He then recognized a couple of people who were interim teachers for maternity leaves.  Then, he said he thought that was it, but the bookkeeper opened her big mouth and said my name.  He looked at her and said, "What about her?"  She mentioned that I was leaving, and he said, "Well, what do you want me to say?" Then he proceeded to tell the staff that I had been reassigned, and it wasn't my choice.  I told everyone that I couldn't talk just then, but that I would send an e-mail.   I've worked at a lot of schools, and I've never been emotional when I left...until now.  I don't know if it was the hormones talking, or what.  When I finished with a preschool student last Friday, I teared up.  This student has come such a long way in the 2 years that I had him.  From the second I walked into that school, I felt at home.  It's such a neat thing when you click with a faculty, and even neater when you build relationships with the kids and their parents. I kept putting off packing up.  One of the SLPs was at the school the week before for a meeting, and she was giving me a hard time about not having anything packed up.  Tuesday she called me at my other school and asked me why I wasn't at the other school packing up.  Talk about adding to the stress of the end of the year!  I spent Wednesday packing up, then on Thursday OS packed up the car with the boxes and we distributed them to both of my next year's schools.

This post is longer than I expected, so I'll continue tomorrow!  I hope to get caught up with everybody very soon!

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

~"Fragmented" is a good way to describe how I feel right now.  It's the end of the school year and I won't be at one of my schools next year.

~  Bus duty today...and Monday, then that's IT!  I'm leaving this school with a bang!

~  I'm trying not to think about leaving one of my schools...I told the bookkeeper that we weren't going to talk about it:  if we don't talk about it, it's not going to happen!

~  I did get a bit freaked out on Wed. when another SLP came to my school for a meeting.  She looked at all of my materials and told me I'd better get packing.  She kept commenting on how much stuff I had.  Thanks, speech bestie.  You've just added more stress to the end of the year!

~  Did I mention we have NO MORE Thursdays and Fridays left???  Our last day is Wed., and it's a half-day, so you know what that means:  Hardly any of the kids will show up.  Today is my last day of speech therapy, and 2nd-4th grade is having field day.

~  Laika is an extremely hard headed little girl.  Training her is definitely going to be a challenge; it's a good thing I've got the summer to do it!  We can't have a big dog that won't listen.  She sure is cute, though!

~  Have a wonderful weekend!


Exciting Weekend Part II

I thought I posted this on Tuesday, but I guess I forgot to hit "Publish"!

The 2nd part of our weekend was pretty exciting.  We have a new member of our family.  Everyone, meet Laika:
She appears to have chosen YS as her boy.  YS wanted to name her Laika in honor of the first dog in space.
She is such a "cuddle bug"!  Our other 2 dogs aren't real sure what to make of her:  at this point they pretty much run from her.  She has been trying to play with Pepper (our Jack Russell mix), but Pepper isn't that comfortable with her  yet.  In fact, Pepper has started growling at her when she's near.  I guess she's getting paid back for all of those times she gave it to Ally.
 I told CH that she couldn't go through life as "Thong".
Her paws are HUGE, so she's going to be a big girl.  We haven't had a big dog in about 8 years, so it may get some getting used to. 
Here are the girls being introduced to each other:
And Laika getting her first bath:
A few months ago, one of my coworkers mentioned that she thought her dog was pregnant.  We had been throwing around the possibility of getting another dog since we really don't expect Ally to be with us a lot longer.  The timing was "almost" perfect:  I only have a week and a half of school left, then I'll be at home during the day.  So, we decided to go ahead and take the plunge.  I think we made a pretty good choice!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What is a pet peeve you have when vacationing?
People who just stand around, chatting with the front desk people when we're trying to check in.  That's the best I've got.

2. Would you describe yourself as a light packer or do you need everything in your closet plus the kitchen sink?
CH would say I'm not a light packer, but I'm learning.  When we went to London in October, he fussed at me because I took a pair of pants/day.  I just have a problem with wearing pants more than 1 day.  Other than that, I'm definitely a light packer.

3. What's the best lesson a child ever taught you?
Be patient, especially with children.  Children are fragile, and they remember how they're treated.  Also, they are children and shouldn't be exposed to grown-up drama, although many are.

4. Share one piece of advice you'd give a recent graduate as they attempt to enter the job market?
Start looking early and don't lose sight of your dreams.

5. What's your favorite lemon something?
Lemon cake.  Duuuuh!

6. Flat sandal, wedge, heel...your favorite footwear?
Definitely flat sandal.  I don't do heels or wedges.

7. What do you like best about a beach holiday? If you're not a beach lover (GASP!!) what do you dislike the least?
Sitting under an umbrella on the beach, listening to the waves and the seagulls. *sigh*

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I had a post written for yesterday, but I guess I never hit "publish".  I thought I had, but apparently not because it's not showing up!  Oh well, I guess I have a post written for tomorrow! 
This is our last full week of school; then it will be a matter of packing up my stuff at one of my schools and trying to finagle one of the boys to do the lifting for me.  I have a whole classroom at the school I'm moving from, so most of my materials is housed there.  Monday I get to go to my new school and see how much room I'm going to have there.  Exciting times! 

Exciting Weekend

Saturday morning, we got to witness this:
That's OS walking across the stage at his university, receiving his degree!  Yes, he has on chacos, his footwear of choice.  After the ceremony, we realized that he had done some paintball playing the day before...he had red paint on his legs!    There were times when we weren't 100% sure that he would finish college, but he persevered and did it!  While I watched him amongst the rest of the graduating class who were receiving degrees that morning, I thought back to the day we moved him in the dorm his freshman year.  He experienced so much in those 5 years; some good, some bad.  I'm so very proud that he stuck with it!
It was interesting to people watch.  There was the lady sitting behind us who wore this:
Then there was the footwear that other kids were wearing:
The green shoes:

And the cowboy boots:
There was the photographer who brought her baby along for the ride:
OS with the information about actually getting his "sheepskin":
(He had already taken his gown off & wouldn't put it back on for me!)
After the ceremony, we were invited over to his Fraternity Big Sister's for barbecue.  It was just us and her family, but it was perfect for an after graduation meal! 
CH's brother was nice enough to come up so he could witness the big day!
 And to think we almost missed it!  I talked to OS on Friday morning, and asked him what he was going to do on Saturday.  He said he was going to get up and go to graduation.  I said, "but it's at 2:00", to which he replied:  "no, mom, it's at 10:00."  He sent me a text later and said that it would've been funny if we had missed it, so I replied back, "no, it would NOT!"  We left the house on Saturday around 7:00 a.m. and had to drive through some really bad rain to get there.  We actually got there in plenty of time.  CH's aunt and uncle who live in the area were also there.  Now the fun starts for him:  finding a job so he can start his grown up life.  Anybody know someone looking to hire someone with a degree in Marketing Management?

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