Windy Wednesday Hodgepodge

How impressive is this?  Joyce had the whereabouts to make sure she didn't let us down this week.  Hurricane and all, she managed to make sure we had some questions to answer before Sandy hit.

1. What creeps you out?
Cats.  Seriously.  Sure, they're all cute when they're babies, but their eyes really creep me out.

2. What's your least favorite candy?
Circus peanuts.  They give me a headache.

3. Are you a fan of scary movies?  What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?
I abhor scary movies.  I don't even have to see the movie to be scared of it...if someone just tells me about it, I'll get myself worked up.  I watched "The Ring" a few years ago because I was stupid enough to volunteer to chaperone for something at the middle school.  Not a good thing for me at all.
YS & I were talking about scary movies a couple of days ago, and I told him that when I was in college, my roomie & I watched "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" at the student center.  I made her sleep with a light on for weeks!

4. What part of life confuses you the most?
What part doesn't?

5. Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, poppy...what's your favorite seed?
To eat?  Sunflower.

6. Imagine your life ten years from today...what's changed?
Oh, wow.  The kids are all out of college and living their own lives, I more than likely have grandkids, and hopefully will be looking forward to retirement in a couple of years.

7.  What do you a) love the most and b) like the least about the Hodgepodge? 
I love reading everybody's responses.  Sometimes the questions are a little too thought provoking!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Well, yesterday didn't start out much better than Monday.  No upchucking kids, but I did manage to do something I've never done before in my life:  lock my keys in the car.  I got to school, opened the back door, locked the door, put the keys in my pocketbook, set it down on the seat, and looked for a water bottle that had fallen.  I didn't see it on the driver's side, so I shut the door to walk around and check the passenger's side.  As soon as I shut it and saw the lights blink, I thought, "I did NOT do what I think I just did."  But yes, I did.  I called CH, and he drove the 20 minutes to unlock my door.  Luckily I didn't have any students until 8:30, because everything was in my car.  I could've winged it, I guess, but I hate doing that!  CH is my hero!

Another Weekend Wrap-up

~  Thursday night was the band's Halloween Half-time show.  Well, it was their usual show, only they dressed up.  If you caught up with me during the Hodgepodge on Wednesday, I mentioned that the band dressed up with a "Braveheart" Theme.  I found a couple of pictures on Facebook, courtesy of the football booster page:
I wondered where he got the blue & green plaid from...until I saw the remnants of some pj bottoms on the floor of his room!  Even the band director got in on it:
~  As I drove between schools on Friday, I snapped a few shots.  I'm disappointed that the colors didn't come through...the drive was gorgeous.  I had the windows down and thoroughly enjoyed my 20 minute drive!

But, these 2 pictures are my favorites.  I love how just half of the tree has turned in the first one, and I just like the way the other one looks, with the leaves changing in the background.

My sister came down Friday evening.  We had a nice late dinner at Chili's, then went back to the house and talked some more and watched a movie.  Saturday morning, I finished up getting the food together for the band competition.  We were there around 9:45 a.m..  I lost my sister at one point, until she texted me to let me know she found a spot to work...outside.  Oops, sorry!  I ended up inside doing the prep for the condiment table and concession stand.  Once that was done, it was a matter of keeping an eye on concessions to see if anybody needed anything.

At 4:00, my sister & I were suppose to take over the upper gate, only her relief didn't show up.  Someone finally took over for her around 5:00, so we then took over the gate.  It's amazing what people will do so they don't have to pay $6.  This one man came in and said that he forgot his wallet, and his grandson (who was marching in one of the bands) would pay us later.  I was talking to one of the police officers, and he said that man told him that he had a housekeeper who was stealing from him.  He told him to come down to the station on Monday and file a complaint, so I told him that if the man came, to get our $6!  When that man came through, there were a couple of men who said this was the first competition they've gone to that they've had to pay.  I told them I wanted to know where they've been, because I've never been to a competition where you didn't have to pay.  They mentioned a couple of schools, but then they slipped up because they said another school that we had been to last week. I told them that I knew for a fact that you had to pay there because we were there last week & I had to pay to get in.  And, we had to check that people who came in had marks, and one lady was really ugly because we asked to see her mark.  THEN, there was one person who came in and flashed a press badge.  I should've gone after her and gotten our money.  There were even a couple of girls who stayed outside of the gate on the hill and watched our rival school's band.  They even had the gall to yell while they were watching.  It's just amazing.

Before my sister got up to the gate, I noticed a couple coming out of the gym door, holding a bill up to the light.  It turned out that they said they had found the bill on the driveway, then started looking at it.  They took it to the police officer who confirmed that it was counterfeit.  The lady asked if she could have it back and the officer said, "uh, no."  Then she said that she wanted to take it to the police, and he said, "Who do you think I am?"  Guess she thought he was a "rent-a-cop"!

The temperatures dropped during the day, and it misted for a while.  I was nice & warm in my new jacket!  I never got cold.  All in all, it was a good day, and I think we made a good bit of money.  The highlight of my day was getting to see my awesome band director that I had until my sophomore year, and his wife.  We talked just long enough to catch up with what our kids are doing, then he was ready to get out of there before it got too crazy. After we got home, we indulged in hot chocolate (with steamed milk from my espresso machine) with a tad bit of peppermint schnapps.

~Sunday was spend resting, catching up on blog-reading, and doing laundry.  With the cold weather, I figured I'd better get my cold-weather clothes out.  It took a little longer than usual because there were several things I wanted to try on the make sure that either they weren't too big, or that I could get into them again.  I'm halfway to my weight loss goal!!!  It was a nasty, cold day, capped off by an episode of "Call the Midwife".

~  I'm finally getting a breather on meetings at my new school, so I feel like a giant weight has been lifted!  Check out our 7-day forecast:
Hope everyone in Sandy's way stays safe!

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

~  Small Town High won their football game last night by 3 points, so they're District Champs!  That just means that there's a high likelihood that we'll get to play that same team again in 3 weeks, but at least it will be a home game.

~  Flute choir is going well.  It's so much fun to play beautiful music!  Our concert is Dec. 9th...just around the corner!

~  Speaking of concerts:  the community band concert is Nov. 8th.  YIKES!!!  There is one part in one of the pieces that is a little "hairy", and I started to stress over it until I realized:  This is the first time that no one is depending on me to play that part.  So...I decided I just wouldn't play that little part, until the director decided to slow it down just a tad.  That was all I needed!  It was a big sense of accomplishment! 

~  Busy weekend:  my sister is coming in this evening and is going to spend tonight & Saturday night with me.  I've got to make Mexican Trifle Salad, brownies, puppy chow, and get a salad together to take for the bake sale/hospitality room for our band competition tomorrow.  This is our major fundraiser, and it's exhausting!  I will probably be at the school from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (at the earliest).  The band director who taught me to play the flute is going to be one of the judges.  I haven't seen him in at least 20 years!  This man is AWESOME.  

~  I've never heard this one before:  I asked a 1st grader what he wanted to be when he grows up, and he said a food inspector.  Then we talked about how important it is that he be able to say his sounds correctly, because he would have to talk to people and they would have to be able to understand him.  Always looking for that "teachable moment"! 

~  The weather is supposed to be "unseasonably cool" next week.   Yesterday I received my new jacket from Land's End!  Here's the thing:  I rarely wear a coat/jacket unless I'm going to be outside for an extended amount of time.  The only warm weather outerwear I have is a wool coat that one of my sisters (the one that gives me stuff!) gave me a few years ago.  I love that coat.  It falls just above the ankle, and it's kept me warm at many football games.  But, I needed something a little more casual.

~ Have a great weekend, and, get ready for the chilly weather next week if you're in the U.S.A.!

99 Hodgepodges

1.  So, do you like beer? 
I actually prefer beer to any other alcoholic beverage.  Just give me a cold one & I'm good to go!  
Actually, I think I like beer because it's me rebelling:  my daddy didn't think women should drink beer.  When CH & I were at my parents' house visiting, daddy would always ask CH if he wanted a beer, but would never ask me.  Yep, I'm a rebel that way!

2.  What's your least favorite repetitive task? 
Cleaning the bathroom.  I think it's because that was my chore to do when I was growing up.

3.  When was the last time you rode a bus?  Where was it headed? 
Last October when CH & I were in London.  We went to the Marble Arch to take pictures of it and the Tyburn Tree plaque.

4.  What song from your childhood or from your own children's childhood could make a parent's nerves stand on end? 
The diarrhea song?  Yeah, that's it! 

5.  The US Presidential election cycle is drawing to a close (can I get an AMEN??), and the third and final debate was held last night...what was the last thing you 'debated about'?
AMEN!  I'm a horrible debater..I avoid it.

6.  Can a person make too much money?  How much is too much?
You would think so.  I mean, you can only have so many houses and cars. What would you do with all that money?

7.  Pop-soda-coke-something else...what's it called where you live?
It's called "coke" around here, but I catch myself saying "soda" for some odd reason.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
We have a weird week around here:  the football game is on Thursday night this week.  It's the last regular season home game; playoffs start next week.  The game should be pretty good; at least there's a lot of hype around it.  We're playing the team that knocked us out of playoffs last year.  The game is for the top spot for playoffs:  this week we're #1 in the state, and they're #2.  Last week we were tied at #1, before that they were #1.  They're undefeated; our only loss was to Rival High School (who is a 6A school...we're 3A).   AND, it's the "Halloween Game".  When we play at home the week of/before Halloween, the band dresses up and does a fun show.  This year, they're using a Braveheart theme.  I hate that I'm going to miss it:  I have flute choir practice, and if there's somebody who doesn't need to miss practice, it's me!

Weekends Leftovers

This picture is actually from 2 weekends ago, when we went camping on the lake.  
Pepper & Ally stayed close to me when I was working the Friday of Fall Break:
You'll never believe what CH bought for me over the weekend:
Don't's a lot better (and cheaper) than this:
AND, he also bought this for me:
So...if it's late at night and nature calls, the utility room will be attached to the side of the camper, and I can go in there and use the luggable loo.  My hope is that eventually we'll get a solar shower for when we're in the national park (where there is no shower).  I don't think CH thought he'd ever see the day when I would be excited about a bucket with a toilet lid on it!

Hazy Weekend Wrapup

As I was driving between schools on Friday, I noticed a weird haze going on.  The fall colors are at their peak, and I was expecting some spectacular views of the mountains.  Here's an example of what I saw:
For picture credit, click on picture
Weird, right?  Turns out there was a dust storm in Oklahoma on Thursday, and it managed to reach us on Friday.  So, if you live in Ok., thanks, but no thanks.  You can keep the dust to yourself!

Friday night was a great night for a good high school football game.  CH & I went into the big city for Small Town's football game.  Both teams have been known for their defense this year:  Opposing team was averaging 44.3 points and 246 yards rushing per game.  Small Town's average points was around 41.  In 8 games, our defense has given up 68 points, and 42 of those were to Rival HS.  Opposing team has only given up 57 points.  It looked to be a barn-burner.  We led at the half 3-0.  Small Town's team doesn't give up a whole lot yardage with penalties, but the flags were flying Friday night.  Crazy.  Those boys fought for everything they got.  The final score:  30-7.  It's always good when we win and there are no injuries!  I snapped a shot of the Opposing Team's stands with 5 minutes left to play:
The sad thing is that those people who left missed their touchdown.  Small Town's fans were out in full force.  We completely filled up the visitors' was a little difficult to find a seat.  These ladies are (and have been for years) at every game, rain or shine, home or away:
Just in case you couldn't see their glasses:
Saturday morning, CH ran some errands and came home with this:
Pumpkin Spice Latte with soy!  My absolute favorite until the gingerbread comes out!

There was a big game at the nearby university on Saturday.  CH's brother came up with a friend and his son to go to it.  I can't believe this was in my driveway:
After they left to go to the game, CH & I treated ourselves to this:
There's a great Cuban sandwich shop not far from us.  Their food is amazing.  They just opened another shop on the other end of town, but honestly, the original one is better.  We don't get over there too often, which is probably a good thing!

Saturday evening was YS' last band competition.  I have to admit, it was a little emotional for me.  It wasn't that emotional when OS & MS had their last football game, but then again, I knew it wasn't "over" for me (and isn't that what it's all about?).  This is my favorite picture of OS' last year of football:
That was taken just after Small Town won their 3rd straight State Championship, and OS said that was the moment that he realized it was all over.  LOVE that picture!
MS stayed busy after football season with soccer, so I had soccer games to go to in the spring.  Since he only played his junior & senior year, I didn't get that "into" it.
So, here we are with YS.  The band got straight "1s", and YS also received a "1".  Good way to go out!  After they performed, one of the sophomore trumpets was just bawling.  I looked at YS and asked why the boy was crying, and he said that it was because the seniors are leaving.  He (the boy) just looked over and nodded his head.  Oh. My.  That got me going; I had to walk away.  Talk about a great, close-knit group of kids!  Here's a video of their performance.  Don't feel compelled to watch the whole thing, but they had a fun ending.  If you start at right around 9:05 you should be able to catch all of it. you know Small Town's real name, if you didn't already!  Honestly, if you wanted to know that badly, you could've figured it out way before now!

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

~ Yay for Fridays!

~  YS has made his decision for college.  I had a feeling that he would choose this one.  It's about 1.5 hours from our house, and it's where the high school band went for band camp.  He's familiar with campus, so I think it'll be a good fit.  The good thing for CH & I is that there's an excellent Italian restaurant not too far from campus.

~  Yesterday was YS' last band practice.  It's hard to believe that his high school days are numbered.
~  No camping this weekend...YS' last band competition is Saturday.

~  The Small Town's football game tonight is at the place where the "Sink Hole Bowl" took place in 2009.  There was a sink hole on the football field, and the game was called with a little over 6 minutes left.  Small Town was ahead by a bunch, but for some reason the game had to be completed.  So, the game was moved to Small Town and the 6 minutes was finished.

~  I'm so ready for this Election to be over.  Absolutely ridiculous.

The Workplace

Hold onto your seatbelts, because this is going to be one exciting post!  (Yes, Sheldon...that's sarcasm!)  I
took some pictures of my therapy rooms in both of my schools this week.
Standing in the doorway of my new school:

From the back corner:

And from my desk:

As you can tell, it's a good-sized room by Speech standards. you notice anything missing?  Well, besides a window!  (I've gotten very spoiled the past 9 years...every room I've had...well, except 1... has had a window, and the school that I was at last year also had an outside door AND a sink!)  There are NO cabinets in the room.  A brand new school, and they forgot to put in cabinets!  The classrooms have very nice ones, but they didn't put anything in the speech room.  In fact, the art teacher donated the file cabinet, and a black cabinet was brought in last year.  The special ed coordinator was nice enough to get a bookcase for me at the beginning of the school year.  I decorated the big tote with frog peel-ons to hold my preschool materials since I had no where to put them.
And, that big white board?  That's a SmartBoard.  Every room in the school has one...even music, library, and art.  I'll have to let you know when I have the time to figure out how to use it!

Now for my mountain school.
Standing in the doorway, you can see my "off limits" space:
Standing at my desk:
Standing at the file cabinets:
As you can see, this room is a bit smaller than my new school, but I honestly love this room.  It's just off the auditorium, so no one bothers me.  One of the Kindergarten teachers found a very inexpensive shower curtain to put up over her bookshelves.  I think I'm going to see if I can find a couple to replace the sheers that I have.  Since I lost a lot of storage when I had to leave my old school, I store most of my games here.  It gets a little distracting to little ones when they see the games.  Did you notice in the second picture that I have a window?  In fact, I have 2!  As you can see, it's pitch dark outside...that's because I've been getting to school at the butt-crack of dawn for meetings.

Here's the source of many happy Speech/Language Pathologists:
I had Christmas in July  October on Monday!  I had forgotten what I had ordered, so I was pleasantly surprised!  With all of the budget cuts going on, we were very fortunate that we were able to place an order. I love seeing those smiling faces on that box!

So, there you have it.  Now you've seen where I spend the majority of my days.  If you work outside the home, how does it compare to where you work?

Wednesday Hodgepodge

These questions aren't too easy this week, especially since I'm pretty tired!  Well, here goes:

1. Noah Webster was born this week back in 1758....besides the online version, do you own a dictionary?  Do you ever use the hardback copy or is your hunt for a definition strictly online these days? 
We have a dictionary, but my laziness makes me look online.

2.  Should public schools ban Halloween celebrations?  What about other holiday celebrations currently under fire?  
Absolutely NOT.  These poor kids these days; they just don't know what they're missing out on!  And, what is it with their parents?  Do they not want their kids to have the same enjoyment with Halloween that they did?

3.  What's your favorite 'dog' movie?  
I found a list of dog movies here.  Honestly, there haven't been too many bad dog movies!  "Turner & Hooch" is a good one, but so is "Marley".  We watched "My Dog Skip" as a family one night when YS was around 6 years old.  At one part of the movie, he left the room, went into the breakfast nook, put his little head on his arm and just bawled.

4.  When were you last somewhere you'd describe as 'too quiet'?
I often think Laika is too quiet when she's not under my feet; especially when I find a shoe in the living room.

5.  Are you a neat cook or a messy cook?  In other words do you clean as you go or make a big mess and then deal with it later? 
Messy.  But then I get cranky because I'm tired from cooking and I still have to clean up.

6.  Did you hear about Felix Baumgartner, the skydiver who broke the sound barrier via parachute?  Was your first thought  COOL! or was your first thought CRAZY!  Are you adventurous? 
My first thought was "amazing".  I'm not adventurous at all, but OS is.  You may remember this picture:

7.  What's not a word but should be? 
Bazinga.  That's all I've got. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I'm really, really tired of having to be at school for 7:15 meetings.  I'm really starting to get a little discouraged.  I thought after fall break I'd get some relief, but the meetings just switched from one school to the other.  Talk about feeling overwhelmed.

Weekend Wrap Up Part 2

I forgot to mention what I did during the day on Friday.  My work area looked like this:
I spent almost all of the day catching up on work:  IEPs, to be exact.  7 of them to be more exact.  IEPs aren't that time consuming, unless it's an initial placement...or a transfer, which half of them were.  I can usually whip one out in no time.  Unless it's an initial placement or a transfer.

There is a campground that CH had heard of, about an hour from where we live.  We decided to check it out and spend Sat. night camping. (You knew this was coming, didn't you?)  We also decided to try camping with 2 dogs:  Pepper & Laika.  Pepper has been camping before, when we went to a few motorcycle rallies.  She did great...once we got there.  On the way down, she was on my lap, panting like crazy, and sticking her head out of the window every few miles.  This was the first trip that we didn't have a dog barfing in the car, so they did pretty well.
(Don't forget: you can click on a picture to make it bigger!)
The view from our campsite:

Sunset was gorgeous:

Some views around the campground:

We walked around the campground, and, honestly, we didn't see a bad site as far as the view goes.  The sites were a good size with plenty of space between them.  

CH fixed breakfast the next morning:
There was suppose to be egg on the biscuit, but "someone" had a little mishap:
(That would be egg on the back of the stove, where most of it slid after CH put it on the griddle.  Guess the stove wasn't even!)  As I was getting the biscuits out of the DO (remember, that's "Dutch Oven"!), the parchment paper tore and all but 2 biscuits landed on the ground.  A little dirt never hurt anyone, right?  

This is hard to see, but there was a humongous gaggle of geese flying over the lake:  Oops... I just looked it up.  Did you know that if the geese are in flight they aren't called a "gaggle"?  They're called a "skein".  Learn something new every day!
Here are the camping dogs at the site:

Out in the middle of the lake, there was this:
For you northerners:  no, it's not a iceshack (or icehouse...not sure what you would call it!).  I asked the owner of the campground, and she said that she had never seen it before.  It definitely looks like it was on dry land at some point.  She thought maybe it was a duck blind.  Who knows!

The campground wasn't too far from this, which was in the news about 3 years ago for an ash spill.  We saw no remnants from it, but maybe we didn't know what to look for.

On the way home, we saw this on the hill:

Just in case you can't see it, there's a "Power T" right in the middle.  Orange blood runs deep around here!
We had an excellent weekend, which is becoming the norm for our house!  Thanks for taking the time to keep up with us!

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