Monday, May 31, 2010

a day to remember . . .

**i deleted this post this morning after reading diandra's comment explaining memorial day, because i felt kind of dumb. but tonight i decided to let it stand.

so today
. . . is memorial day.

i admit that i am a little confused by this holiday. i always thought it was a day to remember those we love who are no longer with us. but it seems that everyone who is making any mention of celebrating this day is talking exclusively about people in the military. i thought that was what veteran's day was about. so now i am confused . . .

please don't misunderstand me. i absolutely think that anyone who is brave enough and selfless enough to enlist and serve in the military deserves every honor and prayer we can send their way. there are people in my life who have made that choice, and while it scares me to think of them in combat, it also makes me proud of them for being willing to make the sacrifices necessary to serve our country and make the world a safer place.

but i think it is good to have a day to reflect on the people we love that are gone now--a day when we can take some time to remember those we have lost, whether in the military or not.

there are three people that i think about every year on memorial day--my grandma, a special little girl named angela, and my friend nancy. every year i take a few minutes to just remember them--how they looked, how they sounded, what they meant in my life, how much i miss them . . . and this year i added my uncle jim, and my friend jim, to that list.

my list is short now, and i am grateful for that. i am very grateful that, even though this is apparently a day to focus on those who have died in service to their country, i don't know anyone like that. and i hope i never do.

i do know that as i get older, my list is going to get longer. but that is ok. i know i can't live my life continually mourning these losses, but i don't want to forget. these are people i love, and i miss them. each one of them was important to me and had an impact on my life. i want to honor them and remember them and keep them always alive in my heart.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


so today . . . i got new shoes!

i don't remember a lot about my childhood (maybe because it was so long ago,) but one vivid memory i have is brand new white patent leather shoes in my easter basket. (this picture is not from the year i remember--it is a couple of years earlier. but notice the white patent leather shoes?) i don't know that brand new white patent leather shoes showed up in my easter basket every year, but i specifically remember one year when they did. i think i was in kindergarten. i don't remember the easter dress, even though i am sure there was one, but those white patent leather shoes sitting in my easter basket on the kitchen table pop into my head every year in late february when the cadbury eggs show up at walmart.

today i bought new shoes, and i love them. but i am afraid to wear them.

there, i've said it. i am always afraid to wear new shoes. this fear comes from knowing that once i wear them out of the house, they are non-returnable.

you know i am indecisive. you know if i see something i like, i tend to buy two. you know i don't like to spend more than $20 for anything. so for me, shopping is an extreme sport, because i might like something now, but what if i see something i like better tomorrow? or what if i get it home, and it doesn't look good with anything else i have? or what if i change my mind? it could happen. it has happened. and so i need the security of knowing i can return an item if i want to--for any reason.

but shoes are not like any other type of clothing. they need to fit perfectly in order to be comfortable, and sometimes you cannot tell that by putting them on your feet and walking around the store for a few minutes. they may feel perfectly fine in the store, but then at 10:00 a.m. at school they might be killing my feet! and yet, there is no way to know if that is what will happen until i wear them to school--at which point i cannot return them because i have worn them.

a terrible catch-22.

i have had to donate several pairs of barely worn shoes to charity. shoes that were so cute that either i talked myself into thinking they were comfortable, or they really were--until i wore them for more than 15 minutes. sometimes i hang onto them with a hope that one day, i will put them on and they will magically feel great. but this never happens . . .

which brings us to today. i saw these shoes a few days ago online, but they were $30--too expensive for school. then yesterday we went to the skechers outlet, and they had them for $20 AND buy one pair, get the second pair half off--which works great for me, since i like to buy two of everything. but i couldn't make a decision, and rollie was with me and had already looked around the store and said, "i'll meet you at the car." so i came home without them.

but i thought about them, and this morning i went back. i was there for an hour! and i already knew what i wanted!! these are not regular tennis shoes. they don't tie--they are slip-ons, and so they felt different on my feet. i texted my friend jessica, who has a similar style shoe (although, without the lovely sparkly toes,) and asked her about how they should fit. taking her advice, i bought the smaller pair.

but now i am sitting here at home, looking at my cute new shoes, and wondering if they are the right size. because they are kind of tight, and i'm worried they will hurt my feet if i wear them for a long time. but jessica said they will loosen up. she said i just need to wear them. but i can't wiggle my toes--and my feet tend to be claustrophobic if i can't wiggle my toes. but then, i look at the sparkly toes and think i don't care how they feel! i'm keeping them!! they are too beautiful! my feet can just deal with it! but if they are too uncomfortable, i won't wear them, and that will be $10 down the drain! and then i think, JULIE! IT IS JUST $10! WEAR THE SHOES!!! but in these difficult economic times, i think $10 is a lot--especially since it is almost summer.

(aren't you glad you don't live in my head.)

so i guess i will put them on and wear them around the house this weekend, and see what happens. i could always go back and get the larger size . . .

but not if i wear them to church tomorrow :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

maybe i need a refresher course ... or maybe just new glasses.

so today . . . elvis wore this shirt to school.usually i don't take that much note of what the kids are wearing, but sometimes they are more stylish than me--even the boys! (i think that is because their mother's dress them.) sometimes i can look at a tiny little tot dressed head to toe from the gap, and i think, "did their mom realize those cute clothes would only fit them for a couple of months as she was signing a second mortgage to pay for them?" it seems like such a waste, because most of the time, the boys don't even care what they are wearing. as long as there is an action figure on the front of their shirt, they are happy.

but little girls are a different story. they care. they have opinions. (i know this, because i raised a little girl.) i can usually tell which little girls choose their own outfits and which ones have moms who are still making those clothing choices for them. (ok, maybe this little girl had some say in her ensemble--even i admit that is an awful lot of sparkles!)(and you may have your doubts about that last one, but trust me, i am pretty sure that was mom's idea.)

but i digress. back to elvis and his shirt.

so today . . . elvis came to me and said, "look at my shirt! do you know how many eyes are on it?" i was sorting papers at my desk, so i quickly glanced at the eyes, mentally grouped and added them, and said, "eight."

"no," he said, "there are seven."

"no," i said, "i just counted them, there are eight." and i was thinking to myself two on top, three in the middle, two on the bottom--eight. two groups of two, one group of three--eight. you do the math . . .

. . . yeah, i was wrong. because while my eyes were seeing 2-3-2, my brain was thinking 3-2-3.

i have no explanation for why my brain lies to me sometimes, but it does. it tells me brownies are good for me. it tells me i can stay up until midnight on a school night. it tells me i can never have too many shoes. (oh wait, that last one is true.)

but i'm the teacher. i've been counting for a long, long time. and usually they believe whatever i tell them. but clearly elvis had counted those eyes more than once. he knew how many there were. "no," he said for the third time, "there are seven. look."

and then he made my kindergarten teacher's heart do a little dance, because he looked at his shirt, and he counted, "two, four, six, seven!"

yessss!!! the boy counted by twos!! without being prompted or convinced that it would save him time. he counted by twos, and then added the odd one!!! it was all i could do to keep from leaping up and squeezing him to death!

and so, it is clear to me that my work here is done. these kindergarteners are ready to move on to first grade. they can count by twos. they don't need me anymore.

(except to tie their highly fasionable shoes . . .
. . . in double knots.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

who is in charge here, anyway?!?

so today . . . i'm an idiot. sadly, this is not the first time . . .

this may come as a surprise to some of you, but i am not in charge of the world. sometimes i think i should be, but i'm not. stuff happens, the kaleidoscope shifts, and everything changes.

i hate it when that happens.

here is a blog i wrote a couple of years ago when we were going through some major changes in our family. it was originally posted on myspace on may 26, 2008.

apparently there are a few of you who notice when i go for a while without blogging! i appreciate that-i didn't know you cared here's the thing--sometimes life throws unexpected circumstances into your life, and suddenly it seems as though everything has changed. sometimes that change is for the better and sometimes it is not, but regardless of how you feel about it, adjustments have to be made. there are times when these changes happen as a result of choices we have made, but there are other times when it is a result of the choices of others. as i've considered this, i've decided it doesn't really matter who bears the responsibility for the circumstances--they are what they are and we must adjust. i'm not saying that people shouldn't take responsibility for their own choices and how they have affected the people around them. i'm just saying that those choices have been made, the circumstances are what they are, and we have to deal with them. yes, there are times when it would be nice to have a time machine that would allow us to try again without having to live with the consequences of our actions, but that is only found in science fiction. we have to live with the consequences. we can't go back. things that have been said and done cannot be unsaid and undone--and so we have to figure out how to deal with today. i haven't been blogging lately because i have been busy dealing with some circumstances. it occupies my mind much of the time, so i'm not thinking about other more entertaining things. i'm sure as these new circumstances become more normal, my brain will go off on its odd little tangents again. in fact, just today i was thinking about fish tacos . . .

unexpected circumstances can be complicated. today it was pointed out to me that i always look on the dark side. i don't think of myself that way, so it was shocking to hear, but sadly i think it might be true. i always expect the worst, and that affects my reactions--i make decisions based on the worst case scenarios rather than looking ahead to wonderful possibilities.

today, that almost destroyed a relationship that is important to me. i was reacting based on what i thought other people would think, rather than looking for the good in the situation. the good was definitely there, i just chose to look instead at the impending doom of public opinion--or rather, what i thought public opinion might be. i was an idiot, and i was headed back to my black hole to set up residence.

and then, inexplicably the light started to go on. i began to realize that the serenity prayer is true, and that my problem was, i didn't know the difference between the things i could change and the things i couldn't. or shouldn't. and that the relationships with the people in my life are so much more important than public opinion--because really, public opinion never has all the facts anyway!

i turned away from the black hole and made a decision to try to be more positive. that's really why i started this blog--i wanted to shift my perspective from the mundane stuff i deal with every day to things that were funny. but lately it's been a struggle.

the truth is, my life is good, and it is time that i smack myself up 'side the head and remember that! i have a husband who loves me and thinks i am amazing (i was going to make a snarky comment about myself here, but that wouldn't fit in very well with my being more positive, now would it . . . ) i have an awesome daughter who is smart, funny, talented, strong, and unafraid (i wish i was more like her sometimes.) and two goofy dogs.

my life will never be perfect--i know that. it will just be what it will be. as much as i would like to be, i am NOT in charge of the world. my control is limited, which is probably a good thing. we are all just doing the best we can here, trying to make good choices as we take the next step in our lives. it is hard enough to figure it out, without worrying about what people will think. people will think what people will think. i can't change that. and i don't need the added stress of trying to make everyone think i am perfect . . .

. . . because if you have read very many of my blogs, you already know that i'm not.

Monday, May 24, 2010

oh where, oh where has my funny bone gone?

so today . . . i can't blog.

i'm fine. i'm not sad or gloomy or mad or sick. it just isn't happening today. sadly, the funny isn't flowing.

i think it is because i am tired and busy. i did not get caught up on my sleep this weekend. in fact, i am probably in worse shape tonight than i was on friday! and i've got a lot to do right now.

i'm not complaining, because i am actually feeling better than i have in a long time. this is how i looked a few months ago when i was in urgent care.(yes, we take pictures in urgent care. and ambulances. hey, we didn't get to go on a cruise this year--we have to take pictures of something!!!)

i kind of think (and hope) that i am on my way back out of my black hole. but as i've said before, sometimes it takes a lot of effort to be funny and hopefully entertaining. which is usually ok, because i really like to write stuff that makes you laugh.

but not today.

this is the third blog i've started. the other two were good ideas, but as i was writing them i found i was just recounting events, which wasn't as funny as it could have been. and i hate to waste a good story just because i am too tired to be funny.

so i am going to go eat some jello and then go to bed.

yes, jello. orange jello. with lots and lots and lots of cool whip. :)

you know you are jealous!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

even when i lose, i win . . .

so today . . . kohl's wins. and so do i. sort of . . .

every few weeks, kohl's sends out a $10 gift card to everyone. this gift card can be spent on anything in the store, and no minimum purchase is necessary. i view my $10 kohl's gift card like found money! and if i don't spend it, i feel like i have thrown $10 away. there are times when the days get away from me and the card will expire before i have spent it, but that counts as a loss for my team.

i know that this is just a marketing ploy. (some of these department stores have evil geniuses for marketing directors--i'll write about new york and company's evil genius marketing department another day. theirs is incredible!) i know that they are just trying to get me into their store. they think that if i come in and start browsing their merchandise, i will walk out with more than $10 worth of stuff.

they don't know me very well.

because for me, this is the challenge: go into kohl's before the expiration date on the card, find something that costs $10, pay the stupid sales tax, and get out. that is my mission.

last weekend, rollie sat at rubios reading his kindle and drinking soda while i went into kohl's to spend my gift card. (kohl's is right by rubios--could it be more convenient?!?) he sat there for about an hour and a half while i shopped. i finally returned to rubios, but i was empty handed. no purchase had been made. i tried on several things, but nothing met my criteria of only costing $10.

now i am not totally unreasonable. i know that sometimes i might have to spend a few more dollars to get something that i will actually use. but my limit is usually $10. i figure that if they are going to give me $10 for free, i can spend $10 if i need to. it isn't as satisfying as just paying the tax, but it is acceptable to me. i just wasn't ready to make a decision last weekend . . .

when i realized that the gift card expired today, i made a mad dash to kohl's. by myself. usually, this is the fastest way to meet my goal. so i shopped for an hour, took an armload of stuff into a dressing room, and found nothing to buy--nothing i liked well enough to bring home, even with $10 off! everything was either too short, or too long, or too big, or too tight, or too embellished or too ruffly. i did find a pair of leggings on sale that fit my criteria, but i wasn't sure they were really workable for me, and diandra wasn't there to give me her opinion. but the gift card expired TODAY! so i tossed the leggings over my arm--just in case--and moved on to fashion jewelry.

i don't buy a lot of fashion jewelry. i feel like my jewelry should have some intrinsic value to it. (i think that is how i rationalize my purchases.) if i think that i could sell it in an emergency and recoup my investment, then i feel good about it. but i am pretty sure no one on ebay is going to pay me $20 for a purple dyed mother of pearl shell necklace. and yet still i look . . . and today i was rewarded. i found a pair of very sparkly, dangly "gold" earrings! the perfect fashion jewelry! because really, am i going to wear that style in ten years? probably not. (although one never knows . . . ) so do i want to spend more than $10 for something like that? definitely not.

they were on sale, and when i scanned them at the conveniently located scanners (which, btw, i think every store should be required by law to have,) i found that they cost $10.32! yessss!!! perfect!! the perfect prize for today's $10 gift card challenge.

i went straight to the cash register. i did not pass go. i did not collect $200 (sadly.) i didn't look at any other merchandise. (of course it was almost 9:00, so they were probably going to kick me out soon anyway.) i figured it would cost me less than $1.50 for the earrings. the cashier rang up the sale, scanned my gift card, i swiped my debit card to pay the extra, and then headed out of the store. with $20 less in my pocket.

yeah, i bought the leggings too . . .

evil genius marketing directors score again.

Friday, May 21, 2010

a few funny stories

so today . . . i want to share some funny kid stories with you.

this morning i had been at school for about half an hour, when rollie appeared in my doorway with a diet lemon cokesi! i did not expect it at all, but i was feeling the need for one, so i was very excited. i jumped up from my desk, took the soda from him, hugged him and kissed him quick, and said thank you. this is not the first time this has happened, so it shouldn't have been a big deal. but one little girl was just speechless, so i jumped into my explanation of kissing being for our families, and as i always do, i said, "doesn't your mommy kiss your daddy sometimes?" which usually gets a positive response. but she said, "no, my daddy was really mean to my mommy." then she paused, while i was standing there thinking, "uh oh, now what do i say?" and then she said, "but now she has a boyfriend!"

suddenly i was the one who was speechless.

it is funny how kids make the connection between home and school. if parents only knew the stuff their precious darling children tell us! one day for handwriting, the kindergarteners were given a list of "special sounds," and their job was to complete the words. but to do it, they had to think of words that began with combinations like ch, th, sh, and fr. i explained how to do it, and then sat down at my desk while they worked. a few minutes passed, when i looked up and saw elvis standing next to me. "teacher," he whispered, "i shouldn't write sh** should i? because that is a bad word!" "um, no elvis, it is probably not a good idea to write that particular word--even if it does start with sh," i replied. clearly he had heard it somewhere, but at least he knew he shouldn't say it at school . . .

it was soon time for music, and i was sitting with two of the challenging dumplings next to me. there are days when they want to sing, and there are days when they don't. and on the days that they don't want to sing? well, we have found the best solution is if they come and sit by me. otherwise they create chaos all around them. so we were sitting there listening to the other kids sing, when luke said, "teacher, come here. i have to tell you a secret!" so i leaned toward him, and he whispered into my ear, "i love you."

yeah, go ahead and say it, "awwwwww."

sarah, who was on the other side of me, didn't want to be left out. so she said, "i have a secret too!" and then she said, "do you want to come to my house?" she did not whisper, so her voice was audible. but luke, who was standing on the other side of my head, looked amazed. and said, "teacher! i can hear her!!"

yes, apparently my brain had gone awol, and my head was just one big empty megaphone--at least according to luke!

sarah is a funny girl. a few weeks ago one of the little girls in her class was telling one of the teachers about how her grandma had taken her to chinatown over the weekend. sarah was listening. and not one to be outdone, she said, "oh yeah? well, over the weekend MY grandma took me to spanish world!"

spanish world. really.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

two, two, two blogs in one!

so today . . . i am soooo frustrated!

i just spent the last half hour writing a quick blog about being frustrated. then in an instant, i somehow hit a key that highlighted all the text and replaced it with the letter "c." i tried to go back to the place where i had saved it last, but instead hit the button TO PUBLISH IT!!! thus, i was left with a blog that looked like this:


yep. that is what posted. everything i had written was gone. deleted. swept off my computer screen and out into oblivion.

and it was a really good blog too.

so now i am starting over. this new version will not be as perfect as the one i deleted, and now i have to stay up longer. and i was just ready to crawl under the covers with my book! but i will try to retrieve as much as i can from the quagmire i like to call my brain . . .

so today . . . i am soooo frustrated!

i have been trying to post video on my blog for the last week. i just can't make it happen! and i don't understand why, because i have successfully done it before. well, maybe not successfully, because the audio was way ahead of the video. but i think i can blame that on my computer, since the video was taken with my webcam.

the video i posted a few months ago had just the opposite problem--the audio was behind the video. of course, that video was shot with my phone. but that is not my biggest problem. my biggest problem is that now i can't get any video at all to post!

i don't understand it. i have checked and double checked my videos, and they fall into the time and format parameters allowed by blogger. they just will not load. i have tried everything i can think of. it is starting to really annoy me . . .

. . . because here is what is happening. i find myself thinking, "oh that would make a cute video for my blog . . . " and then i remember that i can't post video. it is very odd. i am having trouble thinking bloggy thoughts without also thinking video thoughts.

and i don't understand that either, because i hate it when bloggers post video. really, seriously hate it! i read a lot of blogs--in fact, sometimes i get sucked into the muddy pit of clicking and reading everything that is hyper-linked. it can take days to get back to where i started, if i am not careful! but if i run into a video, i am immediately stopped in my tracks. usually i am catching up on my blog reading when i have a few free minutes at school, or while i am watching tv, so i am reading with the sound off. (which should not be a problem, since blogs are meant to be read!) and you know, a blog video without the sound is usually meaningless. this messes up my whole system! i either have to wait until i can turn the sound on to proceed, or (gasp!) skip it. neither of these is a good option for someone who seems to have mildly ocd tendencies. and yet, now that i can't do it, all i can think about is posting videos!

i need to just stop it! this is not a vlog, after all--it is a blog. that means writing and reading, not talking and video. and besides, i am fairly sure that with my perverse nature, once i figure out how to post video, my need to do it will disappear. yes, i am sorry to say, i am that person . . .

but the truth is, there are some things that just cannot be conveyed accurately in words alone. for example, my school kids singing. i can tell you all about it, but until you hear their little voices and watch their goofy antics, you will not understand why they make me laugh.

so i will keep working on it. maybe this weekend i will get it figured out. there must be a trick to it that is eluding me . . .

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

not the expected response . . .

so today . . . i had a terrible headache.

i used to get headaches quite often, but now i only get them occasionally. this one was a doozy! i was going to try to go home early, but there were staffing issues, so i decided to stay and tough it out.

i was seriously, truly, dreading recess. we are still confined to the gym, because of the construction on the new building, and when you let those kids loose after a morning of sitting and listening and working, they really know how to release all that pent-up energy! generally there is a lot of running, chasing, bike riding, and laughing, but it is LOUD running, chasing, bike riding, and laughing. and it isn't out of the ordinary to also hear some screaming (sometimes accompanied by smiles and sometimes not,) and crying. i did not know how my headache and i were going to cope . . .

i stationed myself by the sunny window, and prepared to manage my pain. all i wanted was for calm to reign, which of course was not going to happen. but i would have settled for just being left alone--no fights to break up, no arguments to referee, no bandaids to apply--just peaceful playing. and as luck would have it, things seemed to be progressing fairly smoothly . . .

. . . and then, a small body with two long brown braids came running across the room toward me. usually when this particular little body comes running toward me, it is to tattle on someone or complain about something. usually. but today, susannah* just sort of stood next to me and played with my chain belt.

i love the difficult kids. i can't explain it. they make my job harder, but i love them. i spend more one on one time with them, because i have to. we can have several days filled with turmoil and conflict (which can make me think one or the other of us needs drugs!) and then have a day where they are calm and kind and loving and helpful. of course that never lasts, but it is so sweet, because it is so rare. and yet those days happen often enough to remind me that beneath their difficult behavior is someone's precious, darling child.

susannah* is one of those kids. she likes to push the boundaries. she likes to ignore her teachers. she likes to do what she wants, when she wants, in the way she wants. but she also likes to straighten things up, and help her teachers, and wishes desperately that the other kids liked to play with her. today as she was standing next to me playing with my chain belt while i was trying to keep my head from popping off my body, i said to her, "i am really going to miss you when you go to another school next year." i was feeling all warm and fuzzy--headaches do that to me sometimes. i was kind of expecting a hug and an "i'll miss you too." but what she said was, "yeah, i'll really miss this belt."


"and," she continued, "the chain watch." (the chain watch is a watch locket that a student gave me. i've worn it the last couple of days, and she is fascinated by the way it opens and closes.) "won't you miss me?" i asked. (i know it is kind of pathetic, but as i said, i was feeling all warm and fuzzy.) "no," she said, "just this belt."

ok, well, maybe my love for difficult kids is unrequited. maybe they just love my accessories. i guess my impact isn't nearly as important as i thought it was.

because apparently i am expendable, but my chain belt? apparently it is unforgettable!
*i changed the name. i don't always do that, but just in case a parent happens to stumble across this blog . . . although, the truth is, any parent who reads this is going to know exactly who i am talking about. but still . . .

Monday, May 17, 2010

too bad i am a reeboks fan . . .

so today . . . it's time to confess. i am famous, apparently. and nike wants me.

about a month ago, i received this comment from new jordans: "Your high quality articles are so great, and can we buy some ads from you? If you agree, just email me the ad type and fee per month. If you own some other high quality related blogs, selling ads would be welcomed."

now i am thinking, "wait a minute! what is this?" so i clicked on the link (which i have not included here, because they haven't paid me a penny. yet.) and i see ads for the new air jordan shoes. and i realize that if i post their comment, my millions of readers might just click on their link (which is why i haven't included it here, because, again, they haven't paid me anything. yet.) and why would they pay me, if all of my millions of readers have already viewed their page and purchased ridiculously expensive athletic shoes.

yes, i am not an air jordans fan. i'm not saying that i couldn't be bought, but the price would be very, very high. the shoes are, after all, named after my arch enemy, michael jordan. i'm sure michael jordan is a perfectly nice man, and in another place and time, i might think he was wonderful. but he had the terrible misfortune to play basketball for the chicago bulls while my beloved clyde drexler was leading my basketball team, the portland trailblazers. sadly, he was not leading them to an nba championship, because michael jordan had all the referees in his pocket, so they would make crucial calls in his favor in a certain game 7 of a certain playoff series . . .

and no, i can't let it go!!!!! we were robbed!!!!!

so really, nike is wasting their time on me. i will not subject my loyal readers to their air jordan propaganda. you are all much too important to me! in that spirit, this is what i posted on facebook: Nike wants to buy ads on my blog for their new shoes because "my high quality articles are so great!" I'm not sure they can afford me...

i thought it would be obvious that it was too ridiculous to be true, but i got a message from my dad wanting to know when the checks would start arriving in the mailbox. i guess my dad believes my blog is worthy of nike advertising. i like that. it's totally impossible, but i think it is nice that my dad thinks it could happen.

diandra just told me she thinks she might audition for survivor. i all but laughed in her face. i said to her, "diandra, think about the bugs. you hate bugs!!" i just cannot see my daughter in a remote location with bugs, no bathroom, and did i mention bugs?!?!? but she looked at me with that look she gets when i know she is thinking "i'll show her!" and said, "i think i could do it." and at that point i realized i should not be pointing out the obstacles--she will find those herself, soon enough. i should be encouraging her. because even at her advanced age (she will be a quarter of a century old in a month, you know,) i still want her to know that i think she can do anything. the impossible should still be an option for her. she should be dreaming big dreams, and then working to make them happen. and i should be cheering her on, louder than anyone else!

so you go for it, diandra. and if you make it, i will even be your "loved one" who comes to help you win a challenge, because i am sure you would pick me!

and dad, thanks for thinking that nike would be interested in advertising on my blog. because even though i know that my days of dreaming big dreams are pretty much gone, it is nice to know that you think it is totally possible.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

another day at the o.c. swap meet

so today . . . we went to the orange county swap meet.

the planets have to align in just the right way in order for us to make this happen, because usually our family scatters on saturday mornings--rollie plays basketball, diandra usually has plans, and i generally sleep in.

but today, rollie did not play basketball, because they are laying new carpeting in the gym. and diandra was home, because there were no weddings and javier is training in kansas. and i, well, i agreed to get up at 7:30 so we could go to the swap meet!

we had a time deadline today, so we skipped mcdonald's and headed straight to the fairgrounds. once again, we each had goals--rollie needed a new belt, some folding scissors, and maybe some cherries. i was looking for the ever elusive perfect handbag and some sunglasses. and diandra? well, i am not sure what she was looking for . . .

at our first stop there were hairclips, earrings, headbands on sale at 3/$5. diandra found two pair of earrings and i found a hairclip. as diandra was pulling out her money to pay, i opened my bag and said, "i think i have a dollar in here . . . no, wait. i guess i left my dollar in my other purse!" diandra looked and me, and then she laughed. "you left your dollar in your other purse?!?" for some reason, she found this to be hilarious . . . maybe because i did have birthday and mother's day money to spend. but i didn't have a single dollar!

diandra soon decided she might want a sparkly cell phone cover. she considered having the crystals applied directly to the phone, but eventually decided on a jewelled snap-on cover.

we moved on. and i saw this:
this is daisy. you never know what to expect at the swap meet, but a dog in a stroller was definitely a surprise! i've seen dogs in handbags and back packs and front packs, but this was my first sighting of a dog in a stroller. and if ever you wanted to be bitten by a dog, you want to be bitten by this dog. this dog has a $3,000,000 liability insurance policy. yes, you read that right. three million dollars. daisy is a therapy dog for a local hospital. and the reason she is in a stroller is that they have to be very careful where she walks. she could pick something up on her feet that would be toxic to the patients she visits. so when she goes to the swap meet, daisy rides.

(i petted her, but she refused to bite me. which is kind of too bad, because i could use three million dollars.)

i was still thinking about daisy in the stroller, when i saw this:
yes, those are doggie sunglasses. and while they are currently on a fake dog, they were being sold to people for their real, live pets! i don't have a problem with dogs wearing sunglasses, but i'm pretty sure my dogs are not going to wait to go outside until i position their shades correctly . . . and, if my dogs are going to wear sunglasses, they are going to have to come up with something a little less goggle-like . . .

and speaking of dogs, look at this hat!
really? who would put this on a child?!? it looks like the husky is having diandra for lunch! (well, it would if she had tied the thing under her chin. but doesn't she look cute? even with a dog on her head?? she is such a good sport when we are at the swap meet, and i say "stand there! hold that! put this on your head!")

i had to backtrack to the bathrooms, because even though we didn't stop at mcdonald's this morning, i did bring a drink . . . and when i got back to rollie and diandra, they were standing just where i had left them--in front of a cookie stand! and they were both holding bags which i soon discovered held cookies and fruit. for some reason, we were going backwards today and had started with the food row, which is where we usually end our day. they looked pretty happy about it. sadly, i did not take a picture . . .

rollie's quest for a belt started out a little rocky. at first all we could find were studded and embellished belts, and after seeing these sunglasses, i was a little worried about finding what i was looking for too!

but we continued on. rollie got sidetracked at a booth with stuff for laker fans, and diandra was trying to discourage him from making a purchase. we told the vendor that we were blazer fans, because you can take the girls out of oregon, but you can't make them cheer for the enemy. rollie gave the vendor his most heart-wrenching "see what i have to put up with" look as he was eyeing the beverage containers. diandra pulled him away and said, "dad! those are beer mugs!" to which rollie replied, "no, it is just a mug. it isn't a beer mug unless you put beer in it."

as all this was going on, i was still looking for that perfect handbag. after our search last week, i think diandra had sort of given up on me finding one and had just given me money for mother's day. so i had cash, and there were several booths with lots of choices . . . you would think it would be easy. but it was not. there were so many choices! and it isn't like you can buy a bag, take it home and put your stuff in it, and then return it if you change your mind. so we looked, and discussed, and looked some more . . .

rollie said, "why don't they ever put the places selling couches next to the places selling purses!" i think he was maybe getting a little tired of standing around while we debated the merits of one strap or two, zippered openings or magnetic, colorful or neutral . . .

but rollie was finally rewarded when he found the splatting tomatoes.
and yes, i have video, but you know i am having trouble getting my videos to post. maybe tomorrow i can make it happen.

as is usually the case, rollie finished up before diandra and i did, but we weren't too far behind him. all of us had found some of the things we were hoping to find, and we had a great time together. on the way to the car, i made diandra pose for one last picture in front of some beautiful bougainvilla plants.
the sun finally came out, and it turned out to be a beautiful day. we went home with some treasures, but the good news is, we didn't find everything we were looking for.

and that is good news, because it means that we will have to go back to the o.c. swap meet again. of course, we will have to wait for those pesky planets to align . . .

Thursday, May 13, 2010

maybe the boy has a dog . . .

so today . . . i handed out the seatwork to my kindergarten students, and then went back to my desk to give them time to do a little bit of work before we started reading groups. soon eugene was standing in front of me with one of his papers. "yes?" i asked him. "can i help you?"

"this is weird," he said. "why is he wearing shoes in the house?"

huh? "i don't understand. what do you mean? who?"

"look! he is wearing shoes in the house!" so i looked at the paper he was holding, and sure enough, the little boy was wearing shoes. in the house.

this is the seventh year i have taught kindergarten at my current school using this particular curriculum, and this is the first time anyone has noticed that the boy is wearing shoes in the house--probably because that really isn't the focus of the picture. we have had discussions about his choice of toys, we have had discussions about him smiling while picking up his toys, we have even had discussions about if they should use crayons or markers to color it. but no one has ever noticed the shoe thing before.

"yes he is," i said. "some people do."

eugene persisted--"but why?" so i replied with the only logical answer i could think of. "to keep their feet warm," i said. eugene thought for a minute and then told me, "we don't--do you?"

now i am not quite sure what to say. because we do wear our shoes in the house, but clearly at eugene's house they don't, and that seems normal to him. if i tell him that i keep my shoes on when i am inside, will it be the beginning of a rebellion in his five year old mind? will he go home and refuse to remove his shoes, because "teacher ms. julie wears her shoes in the house."

(you may think i have a somewhat inflated view of my importance, but trust me, i don't. it is almost scary how these kids remember things that i have said, and then act on them. i try to use my powers only for good--like telling them that i don't watch scary movies and that peas are delicious and that i always feel better after i take a nap--implying that they should avoid scary movies, eat their peas, and sleep during naptime. but they seem to be more influenced by the fact that my favorite color changes every day, and that i like taylor swift songs, and that i wear skechers.)

so i sort of hedge my bets--"yes, i wear shoes in my house, but i have dogs."

eugene has fish, not dogs, so he accepts that explanation and heads back to his seat.

the truth is, we tried the shoes off thing after we had our carpets cleaned last time. we have really light cream colored carpeting in our house, and when they were done cleaning it, it looked so good! so we decided that if we would just take off our shoes in the house, it would stay nice looking longer. which may be true, but we didn't find out. because it wasn't long until we were back to wearing our shoes again. for us, it was just too much of a hassle. it seemed like usually when we came into the house, we were carrying books or computers or food. and that made it hard to stop and take off our shoes. and if we did, then we had to carry them upstairs to put them away, and then carry them back downstairs to put them on. and then we realized that the dogs weren't wiping their feet before they came in. and while their feet are small, between the two of them they have eight--and yes, there are more dog feet than people feet here!! so eventually we just stopped doing it.

i think if you have dogs, you have to wear your shoes in the house--especially if you also have a doggie door--because you never know what surprises may be lurking just around the corner. and there are some things you just don't want to find with your bare foot--even if it is wearing a sock! there are sticks. and leaves. and the water splashes from their water bowl. and milk bone crumbs. and bits of chewed up toilet paper tube. and plastic eyeballs they have removed from their stuffed animals. and the stuffing from the stuffed animals. and the occasional, but inevitable result of eating grass. and sometimes, when milo is really stressed, we will even find a dirty sock that he has liberated through the mesh of the laundry basket.

and then, of course, there is the dog hair.
times two!!

i am guessing that if you have fish, you do not have these issues. and so at eugene's house, they don't wear their shoes inside.

but i do. because unexpectedly stepping on a soggy chewed up toilet paper tube in your bare feet is not something you want to experience more than once. or ever!

trust me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

tired of waiting . . .

so today . . .  i tried to blog.  really, i did. but i wanted to use some video, and it is taking FOREVER to download.  i don't know if the problem is the internet or blogger or my computer or the size of the file.  rollie took the video with his slick little pocket-sized video camera, but it records in high-definition.  and since it CAN record in high-def, i am pretty sure that he did.  because, you know, why would you record in a lower resolution when you have the capabilty to record in high-def.  in your pocket!  so it may be the size of the file that is taking so long . . .

but it is really late, and i am soooo tired.  i even fell asleep today at school.  after the kids had their rest time, my four little kindergarteners were playing with legos, and i just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer!  so i leaned my head back against the wall, and took a little catnap.  the kids were so funny.  when they saw me with my eyes shut, they got very quiet . . .  and then without moving or opening my eyes, i said, "i'm not asleep.  i'm just resting my eyes."  they were so surprised that chaos ensued for the next couple of minutes.  (and for those of you who are worried, no, i didn't really sleep.  but it sure felt good to close my eyes for ten minutes or so . . . )

so today's blog is not going to appear today, because i cannot stay awake any longer waiting for those crazy videos to load.  i am going to sleep.  but i will keep trying to make it work.

maybe they will be done by tomorrow.  or thursday.

ah, technology.  some days i love it.  some days i want to rip it's face off.  today, i am not loving it, so i leave you to draw your own conclusions . . .

Monday, May 10, 2010

another year older . . .

so today . . .  is rollie's birthday.  but it was not a happy birthday . . .

it was monday.  and he had to work.  and mother's day was yesterday.  all these things conspired to make his special day less than wonderful.

diandra tried to save it--she took him out to lunch.  i tried to save it--i called him at lunch time and had my whole class sing happy birthday to him.  he had a church board meeting tonight, and the people that were there tried to save it--they brought him a peach pie (his favorite!)  of course, they ate most of it, but still . . .  he did manage to bring a couple of pieces home.

and yet, it wasn't a happy day.  it didn't feel like a birthday.  no special dinner (there was no time--he had that meeting,) no presents, really (well, because we are all giving him money to replace his lost ipod touch, which he doesn't have yet, because we are just now giving him the moolah,) but mostly it was work, work, work.

i think rollie's ideal birthday celebration would be a whole day with nothing that he had to do, no phone calls, no agenda, just a day to goof off.  during the course of the day he would probably like to go to a movie or the beach.  he would like to eat at wood ranch where they serve the best barbeque tri-tip anywhere!  and, if it could be legally arranged, he would like to drive really fast on a curvy road somewhere in his car with the top down--maybe pch--because of course the weather would be perfect too!  and then he would come home and eat a huge bowl of perfectly ripe cherries--he lives for cherry season!

if anybody deserves to have a wonderful birthday like that, it is rollie.  he has been working some long days in the last several months, with very few real breaks.  he has had some very stressful situations to deal with, and many times he is the calming oil poured on some very stormy waters.  he deals with all our financial issues, which can get a little complicated sometimes with the house rental in oregon and a wife who doesn't get a paycheck in the summer and unexpected household repairs and maintenance to be done.  he is juggling a lot of balls, and there has been very little resting lately . . .

yesterday i was talking to diandra, and i told her that she is the joy in our family.  whenever she is around, the mood lifts.  we have fun.  she and her dad get goofy together.  she is the joy.

but if diandra is the joy, rollie is the anchor.  he is the one who keeps our family steady.  he keeps us from going off the deep end.  he keeps our heads above water and our feet on the ground.  (i know, i know, i am mixing my metaphors . . . )  he deals with the hard things, when he can, so that we don't have to.  he is the anchor.

so rollie, on your birthday, i just want to thank you for all you do for us, to make our lives better and easier, even though sometimes that makes your life harder and more frustrating.  without you, our ship would be tossing about--and probably mortgaged to the hilt :-)

i love you.  you are the best!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

the search for perfection

so today . . .  is mother's day.

but yesterday i realized that since i write late at night, you don't get to read it until the following day. and that results in all of my holiday blogs popping up the day after.  but i wanted the blog about my mom to show up on the right day, so i wrote it yesterday.  and now, i am going to write about my mother's day.

when i got up, i saw this:
hmmm--this looked very odd to me.  so i opened it up, and this was what was inside:
o kaaaaay.  i am thinking this is starting to look like a very odd mother's day card.  and it has to be a mother's day card, right? because it is mother's day.  what else could it be?  i opened it up and saw:
and then i laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed.

my husband is so funny!  because i am pretty sure that he helped mia with this.  (yeah, she looks so innocent, but you notice how she sort of threw milo under the bus and took all the credit herself!)
after church we went to lunch, and we were talking about birthdays and holidays and cards and how i don't buy cards for rollie very often anymore, because he just throws them away.  "i don't just throw them away," he said, somewhat indignantly.  "i read them first!"  see, i told you he is funny. 

diandra and i then headed off in search of the perfect handbag--yes, that is what she had decided i should have for mother's day this year.  she was going to choose one and give it to me today, but as she looked around (and read my blogs,) she thought that maybe we should go look together--since i had requirements and she wasn't sure she could meet them.

we started at the mall.  big mistake.  because, you know, there are a lot of other things at the mall and we are easily distracted.  we were there for a couple of hours, and when we left, i was still handbagless.  but each of us had found the perfect pair of denim leggings--so while the perfect handbag eluded us, we did score some perfection in the form of stretchy denim!

our next destination was burlington coat factory, where the score became perfect handbag-0, perfect shoes for diandra-1.  i happened to mention the perfect turquoise guess handbag that comes to our cell group every week, and she said, "why didn't we look at the guess store?!?"  i don't know--we walked right past it.  so we went back to the mall, where the score became perfect handbag-0, cinnabon-4!  (although they were mini-sized . . . )  we made a quick run through target, and then went on to t.j. maxx.  and when we left, the score was perfect handbag-0, perfect wallet for diandra-1.  we tried marshalls, which did not affect the score at all.  and our final stop at ross did not cough up the perfect bag either.  that's right, we shopped all afternoon, and i came home without a new handbag.

but i had a great mother's day.  diandra is a lot of fun to be with.  and funny.  in one store as we were sorting through piles of handbags, she said, "look for the ones with alarms--they are nicer!"

presents are nice.  i like presents.  and eventually we will find that handbag, and she will get it for my mother's day gift.  and i will enjoy it for a long time and remember our search.  and smile. 

but today, spending time with the only one on the planet who calls me mom, was even better than finding the perfect anything.  as mother's days go, this one was perfect!
(hey, it was the 80's . . . )

Saturday, May 8, 2010

a mother's day rant

so today . . . is mother's day eve. but you will probably be reading this on mother's day--unless you are too busy celebrating . . .

i am going to write a proper mother's day blog tomorrow, but tonight i just wanted to take a minute to say that i have the best mom! she didn't try to be my friend when i was growing up--she was my mom! we enjoyed being together, i think, but she made sound decisions about what was best for me without worrying if i was going to be happy about it or not. she was the mom! she didn't try to be my best friend--that wasn't her job. she made me dust the house and clean my room. she didn't let me ride my bike to the mall (she knew i would fall over and get hit by a car--i'm not a very good bike rider. but my friends were going . . . ) she wouldn't let me watch m*a*s*h*. i'm sure there were times when she would have liked to wimp out and just be my friend. but she didn't. because she was the mom. and she was a good one.

i look around me today, and i realize that quality is lacking in alot of families. parents are so worried that their kids will get mad or be upset, that they wimp out. i see it every morning at school when parents are bribing their preschoolers with toys and snacks to get them to stay at school. i mean really? if i hear one more parent of a four year old say, "but they won't let me . . . " there may be casualties. seriously. i see it at the mall when pre-teens pitch a fit to get what they want until their parents finally give in--which really only postpones the battle, because just wait until your ten-year-old tries to wear that outfit out of the house . . . i see it in college age kids who take advantage of their parents generosity without a second thought.

it isn't always fun to be the mom.

but . . .

there comes a day when it is. that day when your child realizes all that you have done for them, and the sacrifices you have made for them, and how the times you said no really were for their good. because you love them more than anyone else ever will. and they look at you with adult eyes, and they finally get it.

and THAT is the day that you finally get to be their friend.

so thanks, mom, for saying no when you had to, saying yes when you could, and always, always looking out for what was best for me--whether i knew it or not!

i'm glad that you were the mom when you needed to be, so that now you can be my friend.

i love you. lots.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

a hectic day ends with a sweet boy . . .

so today . . . i haven't had time to think of a blog. school was hectic, because ms. martha is on vacation. this means that a certain little boy from her room spent the day with me. which is fine, except it drastically raises the energy quotient in my classroom--and yet, my energy stays the same!

after school i went straight to our church. today was the national day of prayer and our church had a special event set up which i didn't want to miss. but i am on three different medications right now that all say "may cause drowsiness." i think i'm doing pretty well to remain upright and conscious, considering . . . but i admit that sitting quietly in the darkened sanctuary of our church, i dozed off. twice. sitting up.

then it was on to chuck e. cheese, because our school was hosting a fundraiser there tonight.

i was doing a lot of driving back and forth over the same roads, but sometimes the best part of my day is driving around with the top down on my car. today was shaping up to be one of those days. then i was sitting at a red light waiting to turn left, i saw rollie coming through the interection toward me. he was on his way to the church to teach a class tonight. we saw each other and waved as our cars passed.

that was the only time i saw him today :(

when i got to chuck e. cheese, there were only a few people there. i love chuck e. cheese under normal circumstances, but i especially like fundraiser night! it is just so much fun to see all the school kids in a different environment. they can talk and laugh and run around with abandon--and i am not responsible for any of them! kids who normally pick at each other will ride the rides together and help each other out. it is amazing.

i was working the room as i was leaving, when i saw elvis for the first time. he was standing at a game machine with a cup full of tokens while his dad (whose hands were full of tickets) was watching. his little face lit up when he saw me (another reason i love chuck e. cheese night,) and he proceeded to tell me what he had been doing. i told him i was going home, and he said, "wait a minute!" he turned to his dad, grabbed about half of his tickets and with the biggest smile on his face said, "here, these are for you!"

awwww, how sweet is that! of course, i declined. he insisted. and i declined two more times before i finally convinced him that he should keep them.

but with that attitude, he will make someone a good husband someday . . .

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

picture day: spring 2010

so today . . . was picture day at school.

i have issues with having my picture taken. and yet, because i am a teacher, i am subjected to this ordeal twice a year. i never expect much from the fall photos, but in the spring, i am always hopeful that my picture will turn out ok. yes, that is the best i can hope for--ok.

if you read yesterday's blog, you know that getting to school in a decent outfit for picture day was going to be a challenge. but in an odd turn of events, it was actually made easier by my current situation. i only kept one really great necklace out of hiding, so i knew i was going to wear that--which considerably narrowed my wardrobe choices.

in honor of the inevitable photo, i put mascara on. i wear makeup most days, but it is the mineral kind which i can apply in about three minutes (allowing more sleep time,) and i never, ever put on eye makeup to go to work. because really, do my five and six year olds care? or even notice?? no they do not. but the camera does! so i added eyeliner and mascara to my upper lashes, and then stared into the mirror, knowing it was time for the big decision--to line and mascara the lower lashes or not. this was a school picture--i was not going for smokey and sultry here (ok, people, you can stop laughing now!!!) but i did want my eyes to show up through my glasses . . . i looked at the clock. i had time. but my eyes didn't look too bad as they were, and if i messed it up . . .

of course, you know i decided to go for it. i pulled out the eyeliner and started. i soon wished i had left well enough alone. but it was too late.

usually i use a liquid eyeliner. but the last time i was at ulta, they had these pencil-type liners on sale and i thought i might try one. and it worked great on the upper lashes. but the story was completely different on the lower ones. i couldn't make a thin line! the eyeliner was too thick and dark. ok, don't panic. yes, the clock is ticking, but you can fix it. just get a q-tip and gently wipe some away . . . ok, that didn't work very well. now it is just all smudgy and messy looking. you have to get a little more off! ok, maybe that isn't too bad, but now you have to do the other eye. oh dear. use less, slow down, smudge some off. ok. look at the clock. yikes!! well now you have to put mascara on those lashes as well--just be careful. oh no! now is not a good time for this mascara to finally do it's job of lengthening! these are lower lashes here! and now they look like spider legs!!! let's see, what to do, what to do. ok, maybe if i put a tissue under them, then i can wipe some off without making a bigger mess. ok, maybe not. sheesh. there is no way to do this . . .

i finally just took my face and dashed to work, arriving only five minutes late. i noticed lots of curls and gelled spiky hair on my little dumplings. they were excited for picture day! (of course, none of them had to apply mascara and eyeliner.) and my class didn't even have to wear fancy, uncomfortable clothes, because they get their pictures taken in their graduation caps and gowns. and while i am not a fan of the whole preschool/kindergarten graduation thing, it does make picture day easier . . . the kids said, "yay! it's picture day! we get to wear nightgowns!!" yeah, they don't really get the significance of a graduation gown either . . .

we waited and waited for our turn. usually we get to go first, but i was still missing three kids at 9:30! so i guess they started with the classes at the other end of the hallway, which made us the last one. at 11:00, we were still waiting for our turn. ms. jessica came in relieve me for my break. i stood at the door for a couple of minutes in indecision. i really wanted to go to 7-11, but i wasn't sure i would have time. ms. jessica said, "oh you should have time. the class across the hall just went for their pictures." the class across the hall is a BIG class, with some challenging kids, so i thought, "oh yeah, plenty of time."

famous last words . . .

as i buzzed the door buzzer to get back into the building with my newly acquired soda and brownies (and chips, because i needed some carbs!) there was my class, on their way to the gym for pictures! yes, i almost missed it! i still don't know how the photographer finished that whole class full of wiggly kids before us in 15 minutes!

but it all worked out fine--i think. my class was photographed in record time. all the children smiled this year. and the photographer lied to me--as he always does--and said, "oh, your picture is good, good." (he is asian--that's how he talks. and he smiles when he says it, so i want to believe him. but i know the odds . . .)

and so, another picture day is history. and we survived. now we can just relax . . .

. . . until fall.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

defined by sparkle?

so today . . . i got the laundry folded. did you know that it takes twice as long to fold two week's worth of laundry than it does to fold one? i'm not kidding you--it's true!

i've been working on cleaning out my closet--i mean really cleaning it out. i can't work on it for more than a couple of hours at a time or i cease to be ruthless. and i am not really all that ruthless to begin with. but tonight, when i was making room for black sleeveless top #12, i thought to myself, "my clothes are really boring." this is a strong statement from a woman who has outlawed the word boring both at home and at school (just like my mother before me!)

i started to suspect this a few weeks ago, when we experienced "the great earthquake scare." as part of my earthquake preparations, i put 98% of my jewelry collection into very sturdy containers and packed them in a safe place. (you see how cleverly i kept from disclosing exactly where my jewels now rest? that's because i know some of you . . . ) i kept out just a few things that would be easy to replace or that have no sentimental value to me. but now, my clothes all look the same.

this is partly by design. my thinking is this--clothes wear out (or get ruined or go out of style or cease to fit,) but jewelry is forever :) so as my jewelry collection has slowly grown over the years, i am a major bargain shopper when it comes to my clothes. if it costs much more than $10 or $15 on sale, odds are that it is not coming home with me. and that works for me, because i will certainly have a necklace or bracelet that will make my cheap outfit look totally awesome!

but now that my jewels are all in hiding, my daily wardrobe for work pretty much consists of two outfits--either a knit dress with a cardigan sweater, or a skirt with a tank top and a cardigan sweater. (i like cardigan sweaters, ok?!?!) oh, and tights. i have these items in numerous colors, (with an unusually large concentration in black, brown and white,) but no matter how i mix them up, i pretty much look the same every day.

i guess that is ok. i am comfortable. i am clean. i am classic.

i am boring.

i need my big turquoise necklace or my interchangeable cuff bracelet or my gold dangly earrings to turn my clothes into an outfit. i need my mom's jaguar pin to keep my jacket from looking ho-hum. i've been trying to fill the gap with scarves, but most of my scarves don't sparkle at all!

and there it is. i am missing my sparkle.

my sparkle is what makes me unique. i wear sparkle more than anyone else i know--i even wear it when i am at home alone all day. it is beautiful, it is interesting, and it tells a story. i can look at my collection and see when i was in the gemstone phase and when i was in the 'it has to be real gold' phase and when i was in the 'bigger is better' phase. i can look at my collection and remember holidays when sparkly gifts were received and vacations where all other souveniers were rejected until the perfect piece of jewelry was found. i look at my collection and see the "if i have to move to california" ring and the july jewels and my grandma's faux pearls. i look at my collection and remember summer days when my mom said, "we should clean out my jewelry box" and i said, "yes, we should!" because i knew anything she was getting rid of would find a home with me. if it sparkles, i think it should be mine!

so i think i am going to have to liberate some more of my jewelry--because at this point, my only other option is going to be buying tops with stitched on beads and sequins. i know they are out there--i was at new york & co last weekend. but they will probably have to be hand washed and line dried, which means they will spend a good portion of their time in the laundry room waiting for my attention.

and i am guessing they will cost more than $10 . . .

Monday, May 3, 2010

NOT a top ten list

so today . . . did i tell you last week that some of my kids were blowing their noses again? yes, well, they were. and do you know what that means? yes, i think the evil germs are after me. again.

i am fighting them with every weapon i have, but tonight i am congested and soooo tired. i am actually hoping for allergies, because i have meds for that . . .

but i wanted to blog something tonight, so here are a few random things i realized today.

1. i can eat at jack-in-the-box two times in one day. yes, it is possible. as you may remember, i usually eat at chick-fil-a with my book on mondays. but we had a teacher out sick today, so staffing had to be shifted, resulting in the demise of my hour-long lunch. then, rollie had a meeting tonight, so we had to grab something quick if we were going to eat together. and no, i did not order the same thing for both meals--that would be ridiculous!!

2. a quiet voice spoken in the ear of a little boy having a melt-down can sometimes accomplish the miraculous. sometimes. i say sometimes, because it worked brilliantly the first time, and i was thinking, "yeah, i am an awesome teacher. look at me dealing with this explosive situation by just using a very quiet voice. i rock!" which may have been true. but the next time, it didn't work nearly as well. or at all. apparently there are no absolutes when you are five and your regular teacher is home sick . . .

3. the laundry isn't really done if it is still sitting in the laundry basket in the garage. even if it is clean. especially if it has been sitting there for a week and a half. it is a good thing we have lots of underwear.

4. my handbag apparently has a life that doesn't include me--and it is there right now. saturday night we went out, so i put my wallet and keys in a smaller bag to take with me. and that has been fine for the last couple of days, but today i needed my sunglasses, which are in my bigger bag. and it is gone. gone, i tell you! it is not where i left it, and it is not anywhere else in this house. either the dogs have buried it in the back yard, or it has gone to the mall to visit it's rich relatives at the coach store . . .

5. for small children, what they want trumps everything else! ok, i knew this, but it seems as though i ran up against this particular thinking more than the usual amount of times today. it's like they think that if they say, "but i WANT to!" i will say, "oh, ok. i didn't realize that you WANTED to! i guess it is ok then." and no, this has no bearing at all on #8! don't even try to connect them!! i am not five!!!

6. tights are hot--and i don't mean in the "wow, those are HOTT" way. (besides, i have been banned from using that particular phrase by my darling daughter--not that i ever would anyway.) but here is the thing that confuses me: tights=fall and winter, and leggings=spring and summer. it seems to me that leggings would feel way hotter than tights, since they are a bit thicker. and yet, look at the spring fashion--leggings are everywhere. i just don't get it. but i guess i had better get some leggings, because it is already may, so i can't continue to wear my tights much longer. and yet, my legs are not quite ready to be let out on their own.

7. when i sit in my car, i cannot see the outside of it. which is good, because my car is really dirty right now. my car had an adventure (without me--again, the darling daughter,) this weekend and hasn't had it's bath yet. so i just cleaned the windshield, and now i can pretend it is clean until it actually is!

8. i want to be in charge of the world! ok, maybe not the whole world, but my world. i am coping with a lot of stuff right now that is causing me stress. and as i was thinking about it today, i realized that i have control over very little of it. which doesn't make it any easier, because i still have to deal with it. and i thought, "if i could just sit everyone down, and tell them what is on my mind and how i think we should do things, and if they would respond positively, then we could all smile and live happily ever after!" why can't things work that way? i am sure everyone would be happier if they would just do things my way. really. i know i would . . .

9. sometimes, when leaving a tiny tot at preschool for the first time, it is harder for the dad than for the child. really.

and that is the end. nothing else comes to my mind tonight. which is kind of too bad, because if i could just think of one more thing, then i could have a top ten list . . .

darn these evil germs!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

a disclaimer

so today . . .  funny julie is not here.  and i am pretty sure you don't want to hear from the one who is.  but i am hopeful that she will return soon.