Monday, January 31, 2011

a celebration

so today . . . i fear a bug is trying to get me. i have a sore throat, a deep, scratchy voice, and now my nose is starting to run. you can thank my mom for my blog today, because i was sitting here on the couch, in a zombie-like state, thinking i should probably just go to bed, when i remembered the comment she left on yesterday's blog--she is planning to stay up tonight until my blog posts. that's how excited she is to read it.

perhaps i should not have made it sound quite so exciting...

but apparently i did, so now i guess i had better deliver.

so yesterday, after the whole camera fiasco at church, we went into the gym for our farewell dinner. i started to walk through the door, but suddenly i stopped. i thought maybe i was really asleep and was having a nightmare. because there in front of me was a sea of purple and gold. yes, purple and gold, as in laker's colors. the tables had yellow and purple tablecloths. the centerpieces were commemorative laker's water bottles with purple and yellow balloons attached.
there were bowls of purple jelly beans and yellow lemonheads on each table. my brain screamed "RUN!!" and i started thinking jack-in-the-box thoughts...

i was quickly reassured that they had set two special places, just for diandra and me. i was sort of hoping it was out on the patio, where we would be surrounded by fresh air instead of purple and gold. but as it turned out, we were right in the center of the room, in our own tiny little piece of trailblazer heaven.
and when i say tiny, i am not exaggerating. we had exactly one quarter of one table. of course, we were probably the only laker-haters in the room...
i mean, even the giant tollhouse cookie was decorated with the evil purple and gold. (they call it gold, but it looks like plain, old yellow to me!)

there were gifts. i like gifts. mine was especially nice. even the card was jeweled. and golden. with purple sparkly stones. yes, they managed to sneak those colors in yet again!
and then it was finally time for the big moment--rollie's gift. there was a lot of excitement surrounding the presentation. and when the cover was finally removed...
TA-DA!! yes, rollie is now the proud owner of a kobe bryant signed jersey from his rookie season (kobe's rookie season, not rollies.) he is ecstatic! (rollie, not kobe.) he is over the moon. he says it is the best gift EVER. he can hardly wait to hang it.

i think there is not a house big enough in the los angeles metropolitan area big enough for both of us (me and the jersey.) but i don't think today is the day to make him choose, because the way he was looking at it...

(it's a good thing he has an office.)

it is never easy to say good bye. but our church did an awesome job today of showing us how much they love and appreciate us. they are an amazing group of people, and their next pastor is going to be one very lucky guy...

...unless he happens to be a trailblazer fan.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

rollie's last sunday, part 1

so today . . . was the wildest sunday we have seen for a while. it was rollie's last sunday as a pastor.

on tuesday, rollie will start his new job as district superintendant of the anaheim district church of the nazarene. this means that he will no longer be responsible for a church--he will be responsible for about 60 churches! it is going to be interesting...

but today was about saying goodbye to the church we have been a part of for the last ten years. i knew it had the potential to be an emotional day, but i was hoping it wouldn't be too bad.

it did not get off to a good start. i was late. normally this isn't a huge deal, because i go an hour and a half early for band rehearsal. but i wasn't leading worship today, so i didn't have to be there until 10:15. and so of course i was late...

i walked in to sit next to diandra, who immediately said to me, "did you get my text?"

(this is never good. anytime anyone greets me that way, i know i am in for trouble. the problem is that when i turn the ringer off on my phone, i often forget to turn it back on. which means i miss phone calls and texts. important texts.)

"no," i said. "what did you need?" "i forgot my camera, and this is dad's last sunday!" she said.

ok, this was going to be a problem. i was going to need pictures of everything that happened today, and we didn't have a camera. after a short discussion, i got back in the car and headed home. (it's a good thing we only live a few miles away!) diandra had told me where her camera and flash were, so i zipped home, grabbed the equipment, and flew back. i made really good time! i went back into the church, sat down next to diandra, and handed her the camera. and they were still singing, so no one probably even noticed my absence. mission accomplished.

and then diandra said, "where is my shootsac?" what? her shootsac?? she didn't tell me to bring her shootsac. "yes i did," she said. well maybe she did. i heard her say shootsac, but she was whispering (we were in church, after all,) and she was whispering into my nearly deaf ear. i thought she said that is where her camera was.

i almost brought the shootsac. i had had a discussion with myself about it when i was home ("there's the shootsac. should i take it? she didn't specifically ask for it. but what if she needs something in it. but if she doesn't need it, then it is just one more thing to keep track of...") at which point i picked it up and thought, "it just has extra lenses in it. she probably isn't going to use any of those lenses." and so i had left it at home.

when will i learn to follow my instincts...

"do you need those lenses?" i asked. "no," she said, "but all my memory cards are in there. i can't shoot without a memory card." now i am thinking, "why don't you keep a memory card in your camera!" but as she later explained to me, she had just shot an everyday session on saturday, and so all of her cards were in the shootsac waiting to be dumped to her computer.

so now we had a camera, but no memory cards. "i guess i can just take pictures with my phone," she said. and off she went to the front of the church. she came back a few minutes later and said, "those are not going to be very good pictures..."

ok, houston, we had a problem. we needed a memory card. because cell phone pictures were just not going to cut it today. another short discussion ensued--the result being another mad dash, made by me, to the target down the street. yes, during church. i careened into the target parking lot, ran in and hurried to the electronics department. my plan was to grab a sales person and ask for help and get out quick. it was a great plan--except there was no one in the electronics department. no one. i went in search of a sales clerk, and when i found one, i dragged him back to the deserted department, snagged a memory card, paid for it, and headed for the exit. on the way out, it occurred to me that i might have some trouble getting the memory card out of it's secure packaging.

i veered off to the changing rooms and asked the attendant if she had scissors. she seemed a bit reluctant to answer me. i pulled the memory card out of the bag and said, "i need to get this out of the package, fast, and i don't have any scissors in the car." "oh-kaaayyy," she said, as she held out a potential weapon to a seemingly crazy woman. "it's ok," i said, "i just bought it. do you want to see the receipt?" "no," she said, but she was looking at me like she was trying to figure out how to call security without alarming me.

sadly, this would not be the first time security had been alerted about me...

i got the memory card out of it's package and zipped back to the church. i slid into the pew next to diandra and handed her the card. she snapped it into her camera and headed to the front of the church to take some photos. i settled back just in time to hear the end of rollie's sermon. yes, the end.

but it's ok. we record all his sermons, so i can go onto the website and watch it later. and it was important to get some pictures today. and i would post some of those pictures, except they are still on that memory card, which i am pretty sure is still in diandra's camera, which is around here somewhere...

but that is not the end of the story. oh no, there is more. church was followed by a farewell dinner. and since they say a picture is worth a thousand words, i am going to wait until tomorrow to blog about that. even though it happened today. because while i am pretty good with words, i am not sure i can adequately describe to you the scene that greeted me when i walked into the gym. you need to see pictures. and the pictures are in diandra's camera. somewhere...

but let's just say, the decor was a little like my own personal nightmare...

yeah, tune in tomorrow. for pictures.


Friday, January 28, 2011

i'm still a long way from triple digits!

so today . . . i suffered the consequences of not telling my school kids how old i am.

i used to tell them how old i was. every year on my birthday i would ask each one how old they thought i was, and then we would see who was the closest. the guesses always ranged from 16 to 25, with a couple of 42s mixed in. i would make a list of their answers, and then tell them how old i was, and we would laugh at all their guesses...

and then i hit a certain number and decided maybe they didn't need to know that i was now old enough to be their grandma--even if just barely. so i stopped telling them. if they asked my age, i would just say, "how old do you think i am?" and although there were a few close calls, they never guessed right.

but this year has been a little different. for some reason, this particular group of kids is obsessed with my age. they have asked me repeatedly, tried to trick me into telling them, and accused me of not being able to remember. it has been a lot of fun.

and then today, while i was serving their snack, a little boy looked at me and said, "why are you so old?"

ok, this was a different approach. i could see i needed a different sort of answer. so i said, "because i'm not dead yet."

that silenced him... but only for a minute.

"you mean you die when you get old?!?!" he said. uh oh. since small children tend to think anyone who can drive is old, now i was worried that he was going to be worried about everyone in his life dying. i had to fix it. "well," i said, "our bodies work really hard all the time. so when we get really, really, REALLY old, our bodies just get worn out, and then we die." "oh," he said. and then, "so how old are you?!"

and there it was...

i answered as i now always do, with, "it's a secret." and that is their cue to begin guessing. the first few times this happens, they guess 16, 20, maybe even 27. eventually they start talking about how old their parents are, and let me just tell you, some of their parents are OLD. when i first started teaching, it seemed as though the parents of my four and five year olds were mostly 27, 28, 32... but now i am hearing numbers like 37, 38, 45! even though the kids are still four and five!

but today, those kids were bringing their "a" game. "are you 100?" "NO! i am NOT 100!!" i said. "i'm not that old!" "well then how old are you?" they just were not giving up. "85? 90?" i just laughed and shook my head. and then, "105???"

105? really? i mean, even for five year olds, 105?!?!?!

clearly clairol and i need some alone time...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder...

so today . . . my hair is driving me craaaaazy!

my hair has always been the bane of my existence. it is baby fine which makes it hard to work with. it has been short, shorter, ridiculously short, medium length, and now finally long. it has been layered, blunt cut, permed, spiral permed, and colored red. yes, red.

i have always loved red hair. so when i was about 30, with the encouragement of my current best friend, i decided to give it a try. even though i knew gazillions of women colored their own hair, i had absolutely zero experience with it. and since i was thinking about such a drastic change, i thought maybe i should get some professional help. (my mom was not a fan of my red hair. she probably thought i should have gotten some professional help before i changed the color!)

the problem was, i didn't have a lot of extra cash just lying around waiting to throw itself at a hair coloring specialist. so i did the only thing i could think of--i went to a beauty school!

i thought this was a great solution. because even though these budding hair stylists needed guinea pigs, i was pretty sure they would be supervised by fairly competent instructors. wouldn't they? i was pretty sure they would. however, i didn't actually see any competent instructors. or incompetent ones. or any instructors at all! this made me a little uneasy, but i convinced myself that there must be some instructors somewhere who would be monitoring this procedure. surely they wouldn't leave my hair to the mercy of some untested trainee. would they?

apparently they would. apparently all the instructors were at lunch. or home sick. or in the back watching soap operas. but they were very definitely not checking up on my procedure.

i chose a color--without any help at all. the beauty school student mixed it up, and started applying it to my hair. i thought the solution looked kind of purple. i said, "that looks sort of purple to me. are you sure that is the right color?" the beauty student looked at it and said, "no, that is what it is supposed to look like." ok, well, i had never seen hair color before. maybe it was supposed to be the color of an eggplant...

i left a couple of hours later with burgundy hair. yes, burgundy.

i cried. it was awful! and i had no idea what to do. i just thought i was going to have burgundy hair until it had grown enough to be burgundy hair with long brown roots. i thought it would probably take two to three years to completely grow back out!

this was not a workable solution, in my opinion.

thankfully(?) i had a friend who had vast experience with hair coloring. yes, this is the same friend who encouraged me to go red in the first place, but apparently i was still listening to her. she said all i had to do was go to the store, buy a box of color stripper to take off the horrible burgundy color, and then recolor it myself. she proceeded to explain how to do this, but i was still kind of wrapping my brain around the fact that you could buy a solution to strip all the color off of your hair!! it sounded so drastic! but something had to be done. burgundy hair was not a look i was willing to live with. so off i went to payless...

i came home and immediately applied the stripping formula to my hair. i didn't really know what to expect, but i think i sort of thought my hair would be kind of platinum colored. isn't that what hair would look like without any color to it? again, apparently not. because when i was done stripping the color, my hair was streaked in several shades of bright red to white. it was a mess!

now i was really worried. things were going from bad to worse! i was starting to think i might have to cut my hair really, really short and wear a wig!

about this time, four-year old diandra came out of her room. "oh mommy," she said, "your hair looks so pretty!" aww, you are probably thinking, how sweet! and it was. it made me smile on a day when tears ruled.

but then i remembered how much she loved rainbow brite.

i managed to get some color on my hair--a lovely shade of red--and it turned out pretty nice. i liked it a lot. but i quickly found out that it was going to take a lot of maintenance to keep that red color looking so good. so after a few months, i went back to my normal color of brown, even though i did love the red...

...anyway, back to today. the reason my hair is driving me crazy today is not the color--it is the length! my hair has never been this long before. i didn't set out to grow it this long, it is simply the result of inattention--if you don't cut it, hair continues to grow. (i know, rocket science...) i think it is too long. i think it makes my face look horsey. but every time i talk about getting it cut, diandra and rollie go on and on about how much they like it. which is nice, but it just feels too long for me.

i admit it. i have sensory issues. i can live with the way it looks, and even the horsey face, but i cannot live with the way it feels. even when i think it looks pretty good, it feels like it is just hanging there, limply. (i am sure this is a flashback to my high school years when it did hang limply.) and so, i think i am going to have to cut it.

the only remaining question is, how short. i long for a shortish, flippy cut that will blow in the wind when i am driving and stay out of my face when i am sleeping. but then i think how nice it is to be able to gather all my hair up into a ponytail when it is really hot, and get it up off of my neck. and so i think for now, the ponytail trumps the flippy cut. maybe i will just get a couple of inches trimmed off, and see how i like that.

i wonder if there is a beauty school anywhere around here...

Monday, January 24, 2011

too much information...

so today . . . i've decided that someone in our state legislature has waaaay too much time on their hands.

we ate dinner at olive garden tonight. that is a rare treat for us, as we normally rotate between rubio's, jack in the box, subway, and occasionally el pollo loco (which translates to "the crazy chicken" for those of you who don't speak spanish--i ate there several times before i realized that. now i always wonder if the chicken i am eating is the crazy one, or if they are all crazy, or if we are just crazy for eating there...)

normally i really, really enjoy olive garden. i always eat the salmon, because their salmon is the best! rollie always eats chicken alfredo. always. but here in california, we have this new law that is threatening to destroy our dining experience, no matter where we eat.

it is now legally mandated for any type of establishment serving prepared food to list the calorie count on their menus right along with the description and price of each item. it is now impossible to convince yourself that a few fries can't possibly make that much difference to your waistline. it is now impossible to tell yourself that a bacon double cheeseburger is a healthy choice just because it has lettuce and tomato on it. it is now impossible to trick yourself into thinking that dessert is a good idea, just because you "saved room" for it.

thank you, california state legislators, for ruining my fun.

i am not a calorie counter, but i do try to make healthy food choices. well, except for brownies--they are my exception. but this 'calories on the menu' thing is killing me! seeing the calorie count right there in black and white is taking the joy out of eating out! in fact, it may force me to go back to cooking at home where i can trick myself into thinking that macaroni and cheese is a healthy food choice as long as i add a little broccoli to it.

our first encounter with this new law was, of course, at rubio's. we were standing at the cash register, ordering our usual food, when i noticed it. i quickly looked at the numbers for the chicken quesadilla, which is rollie's meal of choice, and was shocked to see that it contained 1200 calories! 1200!!!!!! and that isn't even including the sour cream and guacamole that he adds to it. i pointed out these shocking numbers to my husband (who is able to 'just say no' to subway cookies, if you can believe it) but to my surprise, he just shrugged his shoulders and ate his quesadilla...

(in his defense, he usually eats just half and saves the other half for another meal. so i guess when he does that, it isn't too bad. but still...)

and you can't get away from it. i mean, if they have to add the calorie count to the menus, at least they could put it in tiny microscopic print, or list it all on the back page, instead of printing it right after the description of how delicious each dish is. that way you could look if you want that information, but if you want to eat in ignorant bliss, you could!

tonight the calorie count worked in rollie's favor. i ordered my usual salmon and broccoli (520 calories, thank you very much!) rollie was all prepared to order his usual chicken alfredo, but then he made the mistake of looking at the menu. and that is when he realized that the beef with tortellini (which he loves, but thinks is too rich to eat very often,) was less calories than the chicken alfredo!! so he ordered it.

he was feeling pretty good about his dinner choice. and then the waiter asked if he wanted grated cheese on top, to which he replied, "of course! and don't stop until you can't see the food underneath it anymore." when the waiter left, being the thoughtful wife that i am, i said, "you realize that all that cheese on top adds to your calorie count, don't you." to which he lovingly replied, "shut up."

"shut up" is our code for "i know you are right, but i don't want to think about it right now. leave me alone in my ignorance. i am happy."

and he was. he enjoyed every bite of his beef with tortellini...

... although i am afraid he may never see chicken alfredo in quite the same way, ever again.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

the week in review

so today . . . i am going to blog, even though i have nothing to write about.

it has been a week since i last blogged! i hate that!! it isn't that i haven't had thoughts, but i just haven't been able to get my thoughts collected enough to blog them. i don't know about the rest of you, but i'm sure my mom has checked for a new blog every day. she probably thinks i have been really sick, since that is usually the only thing that keeps me from blogging for such a long time.

well, mom, i haven't been sick--except for my brain. it is fatigued.

just to sort of catch you up, here are some excerpts from my week...
--on monday i went to the doctor. and exasperated her just a little bit.
--on wednesday we went south for a meeting. i got a new phone. we went to the outlet mall. i did NOT buy a new coach purse.
--on thursday i went back to the doctor for lab work. this included an "incident" on the freeway. (don't worry mom, i wasn't in an accident.)
--on friday i played with my new phone and decided i loved it.
--on saturday i went with diandra to pick up her wedding dress. then we went to dinner with some friends, and after trying to use the gps program on my new phone, i decided i hated it.
--today i went to church and took a nap. after the week i had, i really needed one! (wait, i just read what i wrote and realized it sounded like i took a nap at church. i didn't. i never sleep at church! if i did, what would be the point of going?!? we did, however, get a late start, because several of us--who happen to be in charge--were comparing our phones, and we sort of lost track of the time... no, i'm not proud of it, but i try to tell you the truth, even when it shows me in a less than stellar light...)

there was some good blogging material in there. and i'm not quite sure how i am going to work it in, since i usually write about what happened today, but i will have to find a way...

i thought about going ahead and writing out the blogs and manipulating the dates, but then you might not find them. maybe i will just write about them like they happened this week. no one would know. it isn't like any of you are spying on me to see if what i am writing actually happened on the day i wrote about it. although, after what i just said about telling you the truth, that sounds sort of deceitful...

let's just say, if you see a blog about my doctor visit, or a freeway incident, or my new phone, or getting lost, it is a flashback... all the way back to last week... they do that on t.v. all the time, right? i think i could get away with that...

just go with me on this one.

Monday, January 17, 2011

if only i had some self-control...

so today . . . i am forced to write a quick blog. you know how that goes. i say something like, "it is late. i don't have time to blog. i have to go to bed now." and then i blog for an hour...

but not tonight, no siree, not tonight.

i had big plans for my evening. big plans. we went to dinner, and then i sat down with my computer, ready for an evening of blogging, facebook, and lesson planning. (yes, i am a party girl!!) i sat down on the couch, and rollie came into the family room with his new ipad. "i think i will just sit in here with you and work on my ipad while you watch tv," he said.

you may be saying, "awwww, how sweet," but that is not what i am saying. i am saying, "oh no! now i won't get anything done!!" because there is just something about sharing the same air with my husband that keeps me from doing anything! i can't explain it, but that is just the way it is. "it's ok," i told myself. "i sit here and surf the web all the time while we are watching tv. i can do this. i can blog while he is in the room with me. really, i can!"

and maybe i could have, if he and his evil ipad hadn't come over to where i was sitting to show me something. "look," he said. and then he proceeded to show me this very cool site that showed houses for sale in our area.

we have to buy a house. since rollie is beginning a new job next month, we can't stay in our current house. it belongs to our church, and they are going to need it for their new pastor. thankfully, they won't need it for a few months, so we have a little bit of time, but WE HAVE TO BUY A HOUSE!!

really, this is a wonderful thing. it is. and i am so thankful that we have this great opportunity. at least, i am thankful with the rational part of my brain. but the other part of my brain is screaming at me, "how will you ever find a house you can afford that you want to live in?!?! and what if you make the wrong decision?!?! what if there are hidden problems?!?!? what if the neighbors are drug-dealers in disguise?!?! what if they aren't in disguise?!?!? what if they don't like our dogs barking?!?!? how will i ever get packed and moved and unpacked while still working?!?!?" what if the taxes are more than we budgeted for?!?!? what if the utility bills are more than we budgeted for?!?!? what if i hate every house we look at?!?!? what if we choose a house, but a cat lived there and no one tells us and rollie's allergies threaten to kill him after we have already signed that mountain of papers?!?!?"

it's too bad the rational part of my brain is not the part that is the boss of me...

rollie and his evil ipad proceeded to show me houses that were for sale, in our area, in our price range. and i started looking... we looked together for a while, but he was soooo slow! he had to read every word in the description. he had to look at how the asking price compared with other homes in it's neighborhood. he studied each picture that was posted.

all i wanted to do was zip through the pictures. if i didn't like how the outside looked, i skipped it. if there were no pictures, i was not interested. if the backyard was concrete, or the carpeting was green, or the garage was detached, i was ready to move on. (why would anyone choose bright green carpeting anyway?!?!? maybe they should have put it in the back yard instead of all that concrete--it sure looked like grass!!) i admit i was somewhat impatient with rollie's methodical perusal of the facts. after about 40 minutes, he left the evil ipad with me (i know, i was shocked too!) and went to bed. "wake me up when you are done," he said, "so i can plug the ipad in and charge it." "oh, i won't have to wake you up," i said. "i won't be that long."

uh huh. famous last words.

it was addicting. it was worse than playing bejeweled! i looked at those house listings for two more hours! i looked at every house that was even remotely interesting. i compared square footage and lot size. i counted bathrooms and looked for wood floors. i checked out laundry rooms and counter tops. and i marked some as "favorites," even though i am pretty sure none of them are the house for us.

really, i don't know why i am even looking. the last time we bought a house, rollie moved months before i did, so he picked a house and was able to rent it. he could have just bought it, but i wasn't sure. i needed to look at every house that was for sale before we made a decision. thankfully it was a small town! and so we looked at every house that was for sale, and then decided to buy the house we were already renting--the one rollie had chosen without me--because then i knew that it was the best!

he could probably do it again. but he won't. because he knows that i have to shop and compare and shop some more and check everything out, before i can make a decision. he knows if i am going to be happy in whatever house we finally decide on, i have to know that i have exhausted all the possibilities--i have to know that there isn't a better house out there that we missed.

can you say ocd? it is going to be a nightmare to go house hunting with me!

so tonight, i spent my evening virtually shopping for a house. i didn't virtually buy one, but at least by looking online i am figuring out what i am looking for. hopefully this will make the actual house hunting a bit easier...

and now, i really have no time to blog, because it is late, and i am tired! house hunting is exhausting--even when it is done from the comfort of my couch!

Friday, January 14, 2011

why can't it be christmas every day???

so today . . . starbucks has played another evil holiday trick on me.

i have this love/hate relationship with starbucks--i love their peppermint white chocolate mocha drink. i hate that it is loaded with sugar and fat (because, of course, i also have to have whipped cream on top!) i hate that they call a small drink "tall" and charge more than a mcdonald's happy meal for it. but most of all, i hate that they only serve it at christmas time.

starbucks is not the only one who is guilty of this seasonal torment. just ask my mom. she has become somewhat addicted to dark chocolate peppermint jojo's--trader joe's entry into the "let's torture america with delicious goodies they can only have for one month out of the year" club. last year before we made the trip north, she called me to see if our trader joe's had any more in stock--because her trader joe's was completely out, and christmas was only two weeks away! (i kind of think her trader joe's was out, because she had already bought so many!) being the good daughter that i am, i sent rollie to trader joe's for dark chocolate peppermint jojo's, and enabled her addiction :)

and we can't have a discussion about limited holiday treats without including walmart and their peppermint sticks...

but today, i was inadvertently suckered into another seasonal food, thanks to one of my students.

it is not uncommon for at least one of my students to bring me a starbucks gift--either a gift card or a cup or a specially packaged treat--and this year was no exception. i opened a gift bag to find six biscotti sticks and a bag of christmas blend coffee from starbucks. "hmmm," i thought, "here is a gift that i will be sharing with someone, since i don't drink coffee and i don't eat biscotti." but as the days wore on, there came a day when i needed a snack. and all i could find was that gift box. i realized i was just desperate enough to give the biscotti a try...

... yes, a try! because i have never eaten biscotti before. it was not a food that even remotely appealed to me. it looks hard and dry and tasteless, like if i tried to eat it i would find myself covered in biscotti crumbs and craving a sip of coffee. which i don't drink. but apparently when i have the munchies, i will try anything.

each biscotti was individually wrapped. i took one out, opened it up, and took a bite, expecting the flavor of sawdust. instead, my tastebuds said, "what is this and why haven't we tasted it before?!?!?" it was delicious! it was crunchy, but also light and airy. did i mention how delicious it was?!? i looked at the packaging and saw that i was eating gingerbread macadamia nut biscotti. i wanted to eat another one, but i only had six and i was sure they were at least 500 calories each--yes, they were that good--so i was going to wait...

...and then i made a big mistake. i actually looked at the calorie count and found that one biscotti was only 100 calories! so i ate two more. i figured those were sort of "free," since i thought the first one was 500 calories.

and now, i have no more.
i know it is january and the red cups are gone, but i may have to cross over into enemy starbucks territory soon just to see if there are any gingerbread macadamia nut biscotti left in their big glass jar. because i didn't know how much i liked them until now, which means i didn't get a chance to stockpile any. you know, for a rainy day... and so now it is all i can think about... gingerbread macadamia nut biscotti... manna from heaven... how long until christmas????

curses, evil marketing people! you win again!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

an opportunity for growth? ok, fine...

*disclaimer--i did not actually watch the bcs national championship game last night. it was on espn, and i do not have cable. if i had cable, i would have been glued to the tv--all by myself, because the rest of my family had other commitments last night. so my blog today is my reaction to the reactions of the outcome, not the actual game itself. which i didn't get to see. because i don't have cable. stupid espn...

so today . . . oregon mourns.

the ducks lost the bcs championship game.

(to be completely honest, i'm sure that not all of oregon mourns. i know that my three nieces are probably ecstatically happy, but that is because two of them attended oregon state university.)

the ducks lost. it happens. everybody can't be the champions. somebody has to lose.

of course, i much prefer it when my team wins, but the nature of a game is that there will be a winner and a loser. and nobody wins every single time. that is kind of the point of a competition--to determine who is the best (at least on that day!) sometimes the best team doesn't win. sometimes the luckiest team wins. or the sneakiest team. or the team who got all the breaks from the referees. but that's the way it goes.

i am much happier when my team wins. and i don't care if they won because they were lucky or sneaky or good. i don't. i just want them to win. and when my team loses, i am disappointed. i admit that i have been known to trash talk the other team for a couple of days (or years) after a big loss to deal with my disappointment. i hold grudges for a looooong time against teams who have the audacity to beat my team (ahem, lakers...) but i also have unending loyalty for the teams i love (which is why i voted for clyde drexler on dancing with the stars EVERY SINGLE WEEK, even though he clearly couldn't dance.)

we have to learn how to lose, because losing is just as much a part of life as winning. in real life the best person doesn't always get the job. sometimes it is the person who is the fastest talker, or the one who knows the boss's nephew, or the one with the most seniority. in real life some of us will always be the last one picked for the softball team. always. in real life sometimes people will trash talk us. that's just the way it goes...

but if we can remember that losing doesn't have to define us, then we can go on to compete another day. we can look at the game tapes, and see where we could have made better choices and then make better choices the next time. we can realize that just because we lost doesn't mean we have to be losers--it just means we need to do something different the next time.

which all sounds really nice. but i still hate it when my team loses.

go blazers!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

a forgotton blog...

so today . . . i wanted to blog. i really did. but it was a very average monday. my school kids were wild. i was tired. (why am i always more tired on monday after my weekend, than on friday after my work week?) so i looked in my "blogs i started, but for some reason never finished" file to see if there was anything in there worth salvaging. and there was. in fact, i found a complete blog that i had never posted.

that is unusual. there are times when i start a blog, and then it just doesn't work out. so i start over. or i give it up and go to bed, blogless. in fact, my "blogs i started, but for some reason never finished" file has 53 unfinished blogs in it...

...and one totally, completely finished one.

why didn't i post it? because it happened on august 2, 2010, which is also my mom's birthday, and i wanted to write a birthday blog about my mom. and then i wrote about how the cosmos hates me. and somehow, as i wrote blog after blog, i sort of forgot about this one. so here it is
--a brand new old blog...

so today
. . . i had a lunch meeting. with my daughter.

i love lunch meetings, mostly because it means i get to go out to lunch. diandra is the youth pastor at our church, and since i lead worship in the alternative service (which is her responsibility) we occasionally need to get together and work stuff out.

we met at chick-fil-a. i love chick-fil-a. you know why . . . we ate, we discussed important issues, and then . . .

"i need to go to target before i go home," i said. diandra perked right up. she loves target! "want me to come with you?" she graciously offered. that had kind of been my evil plan--i've never known her to turn down a trip to target. "yes," i said. "we can take my car and then come back for yours." chick-fil-a is conveniently located between our house and target.

so off we went. my mission? scissors and folders on sale at back-to-school prices. diandra's mission? keep me company--at least that was her obvious mission. you and i both know that the odds of her leaving target without any money leaving her wallet were slim.

we waded into enemy territory and were immediately met with temptation. why oh why do they put the cute dresses right inside the front door?!?! we looked, but we didn't touch. for at least a minute and a half. diandra kept saying, "why are we here?" oh yeah . . . school supplies. then we would head in that direction, until we got sidetracked once again. by the time we found the scissors and folders, diandra was holding two cute tops. to which i added 12 pairs of school scissors, because i couldn't hold the scissors and pick through the folders with only two hands. and we didn't have a cart, in order to discourage unplanned purchases (which was clearly not working all that well.) i was finding that the cheap 10 cent folders were not in great shape. i wanted unbent ones in a variety of colors, so it took some sorting. diandra kept saying, "why don't you just buy the packages of 10?" it was pure economics--the folders in the package were 15 cents each instead of 10 cents! she stood there trying to keep 12 pairs of scissors from falling out of her arms while i looked for perfect 10 cent folders. but there weren't a lot of color choices, so after several minutes of searching, i just grabbed two packages of the slightly more expensive (but also more colorful) folders and moved on. i ignored the daughterly eye roll . . .

we moved on to the shoe department--not because we were going to actually buy shoes, but because we were in target and you just never know... diandra was moving purposefully toward a pair of boots. i was preparing my motherly speech about how many pairs of boots does one girl really need, when i saw someone with a handbag exactly like mine in the next row! i found this somewhat surprising, in light of the provenance of my bag. i stepped back to get a better look . . . and realized i was looking into a mirror. (ok, in my defense we were in the shoe department and the mirror was short, so my face wasn't visible.)

we escaped from the shoe department and moved on to plastics. can i tell you how much i love plastic containers?!?!?! i have a very specific storage problem i am trying to solve, and i thought ice cube trays and plastic drawers might just do the trick temporarily. i found the plastic drawers, but didn't know if ice cube trays would fit inside. so we went in search of ice cube trays.

target does not appear to stock ice cube trays.

i find this odd. i think it is a little arrogant to assume that everyone has an automatic ice cube maker in their refrigerator. not everyone does, you know. and besides, ice cube trays can be used for many things, not the least of which is making flavored ice cubes!

i decided to take my chances and get the plastic drawers anyway. i already have ice cube trays at home, and if they don't fit, i am sure i can find another use for the drawers.

before checking out, we made a quick trip through the $1 section--or at least, what used to be the $1 section. now it is apparently the $2.50 section, which was somewhat disappointing. especially when you consider that $1 would be a much better price for most of the stuff found there.

we paid for our purchases and drove home. we both had projects we were anxious to begin. i pulled my car into the driveway, and thought, "oh, diandra isn't home . . . " except she was. she was sitting right next to me in my car. which was odd, because her jeep was no where to be seen . . .

. . . because it was still sitting in the chick-fil-a parking lot.

Friday, January 7, 2011

little boys, bathrooms, and "what are they thinking?!?!"

so today . . . i realized i have had to put the toilet seat down more times in the last four months, than in all the rest of my life. no joke.

i am in a classroom full of boys this year. most of my classes over the years have been boy heavy, but this year the ratio is 10-4. this is also the first year i have been in a classroom with a bathroom in it. so many times, instead of using the grown-up bathroom down the hall, i will just quickly use the one in my room. when i went in there today, and lowered the toilet seat, AGAIN, i realized that this is something i have never really had to do before...

i know that in some households, the toilet seat is the focus of an ongoing battle. boys (and yes, sometimes even men) don't seem to understand the problem that a toilet seat left in the up position creates for the females in their household. that is probably because they have never gone into a bathroom at night and fallen into the open pit that is created when the seat is left up...

this has never happened to me at home. my husband is very considerate of the girls in the house, and he always returns the toilet seat to it's proper position. (i know, i am pretty lucky in the husband department.) but the little boys in my classroom have not been taught to do this. and i suppose an argument could be made that with a ratio of 10-4, the odds argue that the next person to go into the bathroom will be a boy anyway, so why put the toilet seat down?!?

i'll tell you why. because the teacher, who happens to be a girl, might go into the bathroom, in a hurry, in the semi-darkness, and have a near-death experience. that's why.

i know i should have turned on the light. i know this. but i was trying to sneak in quickly to use the facilities while the kids were lining up to go outside. the bathroom is a tiny room. i know where the toilet is located. i am perfectly capable of getting into the correct position without looking at what i am doing. and did i mention i was in a hurry?!? usually my assistant has the class lined up and ready to go in only a few minutes, so i didn't have a lot of time to waste on seemingly unimportant things like turning on the light...

and did i mention the fact that the toilet in our bathroom is child-sized? even when the seat is properly lowered, it is a loooong drop. my only consolation is that the fan in that bathroom is so loud that the kids didn't hear me yelp.

and do i even need to mention that next week we will be having a discussion about bathroom etiquette? again?!? because for some reason my little boys are not getting it. maybe it is because i only have a daughter--this whole boys using the bathroom thing is a little alien to me. i do not share their joy when two or three of them manage to sneak into the bathroom and all use the toilet at the same time! (if their communal use of the facilities wasn't accompanied by gales of laughter, they might still be getting away with it.) clearly they don't understand the concept of privacy. clearly i am not communicating in a meaningful way about this issue. clearly my bathroom is more like a locker room for 4 and 5 year old "guys."

and i am the mom. i am the one saying, "put the toilet seat down. only one at a time in the bathroom. remember to wash your hands. with soap! and don't dry them on your clothes--use a paper towel." because while the girls seem to intuitively know that the paper towels are for drying their hands (or maybe they just don't want to get their clothes wet,) the boys can't seem to be bothered--they are in too much of a hurry to get back to whatever they had to leave when the teacher (that would be me) said it was their turn to use the bathroom. and so they quickly wave their hands under the water, and then use their conveniently located clothing to dry them. and if two or three of them can manage to get in there together, well i guess they think we will all get done sooner and that means a few extra minutes of outside playtime.

and they are right. three little boys in the bathroom at once is time efficient. leaving the toilet seat up saves them a second or two. and if you can dry your barely wet hands on your clothing as you are walking out of the bathroom, you are way ahead of the game! playground, here we come...

i am beginning to think that this may be a losing battle...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

the saga of a non-blogging night...

so today . . . at 6:00 p.m. as i was waking up from my nap (yes, i took a nap when i got home from school! i have been staying up late this week, and my eyes were itchy and my brain refused to function, so i took a nap!) i told rollie that i had several things left to do tonight. one of those things was blogging...

at 8:30 p.m. as i was watching yet another episode of "say yes to the dress" on netflix (i find that show very entertaining--not because of the array of wedding dresses, but because of the people. tonight we thought we were going to see a terrible consultant get fired! but she didn't! at least, not yet. oh, the drama... the suspense...) i told diandra i needed to get back into the habit of blogging, which meant i needed to write a blog tonight!

at 9:30 p.m. as i was having a conversation on facebook with my mom (about the new wig dying station i "bought" for my pet society pet. it is so cool! and i was telling my mom that she could send me the wigs she has for her pet, and i could dye them a different color and send them back. just another mindless evening on facebook...) i looked at the clock and realized that i had better get a blog started soon or i would end up being awake past midnight. again.

at 10:15 p.m. when i was answering a very involved email (it was from someone i don't yet know, about rollie's new job. she needed some information from me for some sort of directory. i happened to see it on my phone earlier in the day, which is why i opened it and read it. if i had seen it on my computer, i probably would have just deleted it, because i didn't recognize the name and i have had trouble with viruses in the past. but i don't think opening it on my phone can give my computer a virus. although, maybe it can give my phone a virus, which is maybe why my phone is acting all weird...) i kept thinking "YOU CAN ANSWER THIS EMAIL TOMORROW! GO BLOG!!"

at 10:40 p.m. i finished answering the email and logged onto (but did i start my blog? no. i started reading all the blogs that i follow that posted today. some days i only have one or two blogs to catch up on, but today there were several. of course.)

at 11:13 p.m. i realized that you were not going to get a blog today.

(you see, these are the kinds of distractions i have to fight my way through if i want to blog. most days i manage to get it done anyway, but today... it is just not happening...)

so, i'll see you tomorrow. good night.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

how much is enough? part 2

so today... i have ten minutes to blog. TEN MINUTES!!!

i have never written a blog in ten minutes before. i think my quickest time to date is about 40 minutes. usually it takes me much longer. of course, that is because i write a bit, play facebook games, edit, check my email, write some more... you get the idea.

but i am determined to be headed to bed by 11:00 tonight, and it is already 10:48...

(ok, technically i know that is twelve minutes, but i have a picture to upload, and that will take a couple of extra minutes...)

so here it is--my ten minute blog. this isn't going to leave me much time for editing and careful word selection...

anyway, i am starting to think perhaps i have a problem. i tend to buy things in multiples. if i find a top or a sweater i like at a good price, i will buy it in black or white or gray, and then also in at least one color--sometimes two. i was going to say that the only thing i don't buy in multiples is shoes, but then i looked in my closet--two pair of "ugg" like boots, six pairs of sketchers, two pairs of identical high-heeled boots, two pairs of tone-up sandals... i could go on, but you see the problem.

this is true for food too. i like to have meat in my freezer and food in my pantry. do i cook any of it? no. but i like knowing it is there. and even when i am grocery shopping, i look at the shelf of canned chili and think, "how many should i buy?" one or two doesn't seem like enough, but what is enough? four? six? ten? they are small after all, and i can eat chili by itself, or over fritos corn chips, or in a chili dog... so how many should i get??

and whatever i decide, once i get home, it never seems like enough. i am constantly saying, "maybe i should have bought more..."

so today i was at walmart, buying toilet paper and tissues, and i decided to take a little detour through the discounted christmas stuff. because you just never know what kind of treasures you might find on the clearance racks. i looked at almost a whole aisle full of empty goody containers. they were such a buy! twelve containers for $1! i wanted to fill my cart with them! except, since i don't really bake much, i grabbed myself by the throat and quickly dragged myself to the next aisle... which was filled with bags of bows. this did not tempt me at all, and i was almost ready to head toward the cash registers, when i saw this:
these are the most delicious peppermint candies ever! diandra introduced them to me before christmas. they only cost 88 cents a box, and each stick only has 45 calories! of course, it is 45 calories of pure sugar, but still... so before christmas, we bought several boxes. and now they were on clearance!

i grabbed one box and went in search of a price scanner. when the red laser lights stopped dancing over the upc code on the box, it told me that each box only cost 22 cents!


i went back and bought them all.

i thought about only buying half. i thought about only buying $5 worth. i finally thought i should just take them all! and so i did.
when i got them home, rollie couldn't quite figure out why i bought so many peppermint sticks. of course, he hasn't tasted them--he doesn't know how delicious they are! and he is not going to taste them! because if he liked them, then we would have to share. and by my calculations, if diandra and i each eat only one peppermint stick every day, they should almost last us until walmart again puts them on the shelves for christmas 2011.

you notice i said "almost" last us. maybe tomorrow i should go to another walmart..

***(and in the interest of full disclosure, this did not turn out to be a ten minute blog after all. i am not sure that i am even capable of writing a ten minute blog. maybe someday...)

Monday, January 3, 2011

the promise of sunshine :)

so today . . . it rained. again.

i know you are probably getting tired of hearing me whine about the rain, especially if you live someplace where you are buried by snow! but seriously, enough is enough...

the ground is waterlogged. my car is a mess. i am forced to wear my big puffy coat (because it has a hood.) the parking lot at school is one big puddle. we can't go outside to play at recess. i can't walk the dogs (ok, ok, i know i haven't been walking them lately anyway, but that was one of my new year's resolutions and it is just not happening in the rain!) the pups don't even want to go out! all this rain is just not normal!

but there is good news! i just checked the weather on my phone, and it looks like things are clearing up. no more rain is in the forecast until january 17th! by my calculations, that means two weeks of sunshine!! the ground will dry out. the dogs will want to walk. the big puffy coat can go back into the hall closet. life will return to normal...

and so, to celebrate the promise of sunshine, i am thinking that perhaps tomorrow i should take my car to the car wash. with the top down. just because i can :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011


so today . . . i bought rollie a tie.

rollie doesn't wear ties much anymore unless he is officiating at a wedding or a funeral. so it has been several years since he has had a new tie. but today i bought him a new tie, because he is going to need it. he has a new job.

today is the beginning of another brand new year. usually i make resolutions on january 1. usually they are the same resolutions i made the year before and the year before that! yes, i am not so good at keeping my new year's resolutions. so this year i am only making one. this year, my new year's resolution is not to go crazy in 2011.

2011 is not going to be an easy year for me. 2011 is going to be a year of changes. and i am not a person who loves change. i like the familiar. i eat the same thing for breakfast nearly every day. i take the same route to and from the places i go. i listen to the same songs over and over again on my ipod. i play the same few games on my phone. i like the familiar.

but i have the feeling that the familiar is going to be elusive this next year. rollie is starting a new job, which sets a whole string of changes in motion. we will have to move into another house. we will have to find another house to move into. (yes, i will be a house hunter!) we will have to sort and pack all of our stuff. and diandra's stuff. and then unpack it all again. and put it away. rollie's schedule will change, which means my schedule will change. life will change.

and then there is diandra. she is getting married in march. we will be adding a son-in-law to our family. diandra will be a wife, but her husband will be thousands of miles away in the middle east for six more months. so she will continue to live with us for a while, but then the day is going to come when she is going to move out of our house and into one of her own. of course. but we will miss having her around. life will change.

and then there is my job. while finding a house and packing and moving and helping diandra with wedding stuff and adjusting to rollie's new job, i will still be teaching. i will be teaching several hours a day and trying to do all the other stuff after i get home. when i am already tired. when i should be blogging. or walking the dogs (ok, i confess--i am also making a resolution to walk the dogs at least a few days a week...) or cooking (ha! i'll bet you didn't expect that one :) it is going to be a while before i can come home, plop myself down on the couch with my computer, and spend the evening watching my favorite shows on tivo. life will change.

i am a little overwhelmed today, thinking about what the next few months are going to be like. i am thinking maybe i should just go to jamaica and come back in june. because i think that when i get through the next few months, when i have adjusted and dealt with the changes that are coming my way, my life is going to be quite different than it is today. different isn't always bad--sometimes different can be very good. but it is still different. and for a person who likes to know what each day is going to bring, that can be a little unnerving...

so my resolution for 2011 is not to go crazy. i will try to take each day as it comes. i will try not to think too far out into the future. i will work harder at finding something funny every day to laugh at. and to blog :)

because at the end of the day, the important things in my life are not going to change. i will still have a place to live. i will still have food in my refrigerator. i will still have a job. and i will still have a family who loves me.

2011, here we go...