Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summertime Goals

I would say sorry for not blogging more, but 1) I think I might be one of two people who read this, and 2) this summer has been so nice and laid back I haven't really felt the impetus to blog! Anyways...

The dog days of summer are in full swing here in Texas. This means plenty of time in doors, and plenty of jumps in the electric and water bills :-P. But other than the heat and money being tight, it's been a wonderful 3 1/2 weeks since school got out. I can't believe it's already July! I had several goals for this summer, and I feel like I'm just starting to make some progress on them.

My first goal was to learn to cook more than just spaghetti. And I succeeded! Before my husband and I married, my mom's side of the family (mostly women) compiled a cookbook for me of all of their favorite recipes, and my mother-in-law did the same for some of the primary recipes from my in-laws. So, I used one of my grandmother's recipes and made a really good meatloaf! How good?, you may ask. Well, good enough that my hubby was happy to eat it for dinner, and then again for lunch AND dinner the next day! I count that as a complete success! I also made a greenbean casserole that came from his mom's recipe book, and it turned out yummy as well! As for dessert, I made a strawberry layer cake, which required making my own cornstarch/sugar gelatin to mix with strawberry jello for the second layer! I even got creative and decorated it like the American flag (it was for the 4th)! So now, my goal in the coming weeks (once I get paid and can afford to go by foodstuffs just for cooking elaborate meals again) is to try a few more of the recipes out of the cookbooks!

My second goal was to get the gardens in order. My man and I have made a great start on that! I've decided to wait until the spring to plant anything new, BUT we have successfully remulched approximately half of the gardens in the backyard so far! It took nine whole bags of mulch and a lot of backbreaking weeding. Now, we've just got the rest of the back, and then the front to go! We're using a red cedar mulch that looks amazing, even when dried out, smells wonderful, and helps keep the bug population down.

A third goal was to find an exterminator. We ended up going with OnDuty, because they had already installed the in-wall bug system while this house was constructed, and they were the most bang for our buck. I was a bit skeptical about the effectiveness of the in-wall system, but since they've come out, the only bugs I've seen in the house are DEAD bugs! YAY!!! And the spray they used outside was highly effective as well. The only really sad part is that they put poison sheets in the garage and one of our hoppy toads from the garden found his way inside and onto a sheet. He died. I cried...he was a very cute hoppy toad. Hubby was going to bury him for me, but he was stuck tight to the poison sheet, so his grave went from garden to trash can. I'm glad there are no more (or at least fewer) bugs, but I'm still sad about the hoppy toad.

A fourth goal had three parts: 1) get back into a workout routine, 2) eat healthier, and 3) lose weight. The first part has met with partial success, since there was a hiatus of about a week. The second part I feel has been achieved, but there's always room for improvement! The third part I have seen some success the tune of about 5 lbs! Which, granted, I had been hoping for more, but this time, since I'm making a lifestyle change and not just doing a quick diet, I'm ok with slow progress. It makes me hope that I'm adjusting my lifestyle and metabolism enough that whatever weight I lose will actually stay off instead of yo-yoing.

The fifth goal was to paint the garage. HAHAHAHAHA. Yeah, that hasn't happened, and probably won't this summer. 1) Paint is freaking EXPENSIVE and 2) it is freaking HOT in that garage right now! So, maybe, that will be a project for next spring or (maybe) next summer.

Another goal that has been ongoing is the accumulation of furniture for the downstairs of our home. It has almost been achieved!!! We have the couch, coffee and end tables, a kitchen table, and a dining room table! The china cabinet will come next week! So all that leaves for downstairs is the entertainment center! And a new gun safe! And the way we're doing it--saving up the money and THEN purchasing the items--means we will have fully outfitted the main living areas in our house within a year of moving in WITHOU accumulating any more debt or adding an extra bill to our monthly budget (financing). WHOOP! As far as the upstairs goes, my talented husband is working on building the rest of the bookshelves this fall, and then wants to build a Dixie Chicken domino/card/game table for the upstairs game room. We want to get sky chairs and a stand hammock for the library (it totally makes sense if you could see the theme we're developing in there!!!), and I need to finish assembling the furniture/decorating the guest bedroom. So the end is in sight! Or at least it is, as long as we're not talking about decorating the rest of the house lol. I'm gonna try my hand at interior decorating according to our tastes and see how it goes! But that will wait probably til next summer.

Apart from goals, this summer has had a lot of fun times too! There was our 1 year anniversary (not technically summer, but I still count it!), the new grill from my parents as an anniversary gift and all the meals with family and friends cooked upon it, the visits to and from friends who live further away, exciting news (one of my best friends is engaged!!!!), lots of movies watched, video games played, books read, and lots of wonderfully long and alternately active and lazy weekend days with my husband! It truly has been a great summer. I can feel the stirrings of teacherness in me, and I think I'll be ready for school when it starts and even for the professional development at the end of this month and the beginning of next, but for now I intend to continue to enjoy this wondeful, relaxing summer!

And right now, that's absolutely all I'm thinking. ;-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

This phrase has always been interesting to me. It refers to the hottest and most humid days of the year. I'm sure in some other parts of the world this phrase refers to a short period during the summer months. Then, there's Houston. Born and raised here, I can tell you the dog days of summer can stretch from late May to late August. They says everything's bigger in Texas (it's true!) so I guess that can translate to everything's longer too---yay summertime! Lol.

Of course, I always interpreted this phrase a bit differently. While we were growing up, my parents would always look at our dogs and say "Oh, to be a dog for a day!" meaning of course that dogs have everything provided for them and get to sleep in the cool AC or the warm sun and play to their hearts' content. So to me, the dog days of summer referred to those days during the summer where nothing was required of me. I could lay in bed, on the couch, the floor, or in the fort outside. Read a book, or watch TV, or go on a bike ride. When I was thirsty I grabbed a drink; when hungry a snack (almost always an apple).

Now, though I refuse to surrender entirely, I am a legal adult. The food, the water, the electricity to keep the house cool and run the TV and refrigerator...that all costs money. Money that my husband and I work to earn, and which sometimes it seems that there's just enough to keep everything going. The "real world" as my friends and I call it is far from relaxing at times, and you're responsible for your own issues, provisions, etc. So, it looks like the dog days of summer ended at some point.

Or did they? I prefer to think that they morphed. I'm a teacher, so I don't have to work at the school this summer. I still have to go to professional development, and of course, I'm taking back up the roll of full-time housewife, so there is definitely still work...just not teaching! I still get my paycheck (the district I work for spreads the salary out over a 12-month period), which is a very good thing lol. So, there's still responsibilities...but within those, I still exercise when I want, watch TV, play video games, read, eat, and even sleep! when I choose.

So, my new definition of "dog days of summer": they're more like the vacation days of a well-trained hunting or herding dog. The dog knows how to work and still fulfills its duties...but during the summer it can do it on its own schedule...creating a rewarding and earned freedom instead of an expected one. I like these days best.

Anyway, I was just thinking.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kids Today: Whining

Wow, it sure has been a long while since my last post. I guess that's just what happens when life gets super busy! Anyway, due to several observations and conversations I've had at school within the past couple of weeks, I finally have a subject worth posting about.

***Let me preface this post by saying that I am not talking about ALL parents of high school students (my aunts, for example, are great parents). Nor am I talking about ALL high school students (I have some students that are absolutely wonderful). I'm just exploring a disturbing trend I'm seeing in my students and what I think might be the cause. Also, no, I am not yet a parent, BUT there are some parenting issues that seem pretty commonsense to me. Anyways, here we go!***

I truly think something went a bit wrong with the generation of parents that came after my parents--those whose children are now high school age. I've been noticing extremely disturbing behavior patterns in the teenagers I teach. Two in particular were extremely aggravating today: whining, and talking back. In this post, I'm going to talk about the whining incident. I'll deal with the talking back in a separate post.

I hate whining...HATE it. The high nasal pitch, the facial expressions, all of it. They grate against my nerves. But what bothers me more is what is IMPLIED by the whining. Whining to someone says one of two things: either "I'm too tired to control my voice when I'm having a bad day" OR "my problem is now your problem and I expect you to fix it". The first is only acceptable in children ages 5 and below, and occasionally for the rest of us. The second puts the winer in the enviable position of having no responsibility for the events or responsibilities in their lives that they do not like NOR for doing something about said events or responsibilities.

Let's look at today's prime whining example. We'll call the student, Student W1 (for Whiner #1). Well, we started our last project of the year in class yesterday. It is a foldable, on which the students must write down the grammar notes I give them. That's right, I'm making a freaking copying exercise into a major grade. Why? So that they WILL copy down all the info they need for the final, AND to help their averages. Well, Student W1 spent most of yesterday talking with her neighbor, so she did not finish. I've made it clear that each day's notes must be finished by the end of THAT class to get full credit. Failure to do so results in a 50, unless the notes are completed the following day, at which point the grade is a 75. Today, at the beginning of class, I reminded Student W1 that she needed to finish. And what do you think happened?

That's right, she didn't. She ended up staying after class (which I graciously allowed AND wrote her a pass) and WHINED the WHOLE TIME about how she did not have enough time, and how she's a slow writer, and how she can't see the board well (by the way, she forgot her glasses AND refused to move closer--instead she was copying off another student's already finished notes). This student has been a talker most of the year, and like the times before this, here is what she was saying: "I can't believe you expected ME to FINISH. I had more important things to do than YOUR assignment." Then, when I take her to task, the whining starts, which says, "I can't believe you're taking ME to task. I shouldn't have to be accountable! I didn't like the assignment and didn't do it and don't want the consequences, so YOU should give ME more time/the grade anyway and stop insisting I be responsible."

Needless to say, I am out of patience with Student W1, and let her know that I was done listening to her whining, that she had two WHOLE CLASSES to finish when everyone else easily finished in ONE, and that if she didn't get her crap together, she would continue to fail. Keep in mind, Student W1 is just today's example. Granted, she's one of my worst whiners, but there are plenty of others ranging from only an occasional whine to almost daily.

So, why did I talk about the parental side first off in this post? Because I think that, if we are looking for the reason WHY these kids are whiners and WHY they see no problem with whining, we can find that reason at home. Let's start with the mentality behind the whine.

The parents of many of my kids don't seem to see the need to hold there children accountable for their educational success or lack thereof. If a student is failing, well, the subject is too hard, or the teacher just "doesn't like" their kids. The fact that a student does not turn in assignments, take notes, study at home, and bombs every quiz and test they take is never mentioned. Because, of COURSE, their wonderful child would NEVER fail at anything he/she CAN'T be their fault...something else must be to blame (ie, the teacher, the material, some sort of disorder, etc.) These parents are raising a generation of individuals who take no personal responsibilities for mistakes and shortcomings, but instead look around for someone or something to blame. And that's just plain scary. And admittedly it's worse than whining. But let's look at the parent's roll in NOT raising a whiner.

When I was young, and I would indulge in the occasional whine, my mother would calmly look at me and say, "I can't understand you. You're whining" and then turn around and get on with whatever she was doing. I got the message quick, fast, and in a hurry that if I wanted to have a conversation with my mother, I had better cut the whining and address whatever the issue was in a normal and calm tone of voice. The amazing thing? I've tried this technique with some of my infrequent whiners, and it's worked wonders!!!

But apparently parents today don't do this. Nor do they apparently simply tell their child to stop whining. I can only infer through what my students seem to expect, that when they whine, their parents capitulate to their wants so as to stop the whining. After all, why would they be whining to me (at the age of FIFTEEN no less!) if it did not work at home? This parental procedure leads to kids who think whining is acceptable, and also gives the "go ahead!" to the mentality behind the whining. Not to mention, the parents don't use the whining as an opportunity to teach their children to control their behavior even when frustrated or upset.

Anyway, to bring this post to an end, I guess I'm just frustrated with most of the parents of the generation I am teaching. Whining is only the first behavior I'm addressing--I'll write about the talking back, the throwing fits (FITS!!! at FIFTEEN!!!), and the ever-ready excuses later. But my observation of my kids this year has led me to a disturbing conclusion---apparently, when the time comes to teach their children important behavioral lessons, many parents are checking out. They're either too busy, or too busy trying to be the "friend", and the lessons don't get taught. And that has led, and is leading to, a whole generation who knows jackshit about personal accountability, proper interpersonal interactions, and how to interact with those placed in a position of authority over them. Ladies and gents, that paints a pretty frightening picture of the type of societal members these kids are becoming.

***Once again, I would like to point out I am talking about SOME of my students. I do have a select few who are hard-working, respectful, and demonstrate daily that they have a deep sense of personal accountability and discipline. It's just frightening to me that, out of the almost 150 kids I see everyday in my classroom, these good ones are by far the minority.***

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


But I'll get to that later. I'd like to first add on to yesterday's brevity. I'm pretty proud of myself for my productivity level yesterday! After gardening, it's true I did come in and shower and lounge around for a bit. But THEN I cleaned the kitchen! And changed out the laundry! Then the hubby came home, and I cooked dinner. Hubby got dessert, and then I cleaned the kitchen again :-P. I finished up the laundry--empty washer and dryer yay! Of course, NOT empty hamper, but I'll work on that later. After THAT I went to the garage and painted the trim for the bookshelf the hubby has built and put in the library. Now he can finish it! Then I played moving man--well, woman anyway lol. Hubby and I moved all the furniture from the living room downstairs to the gameroom upstairs! I was very happy to find I could really help! We took the coffee table up first, then the futon inner-spring mattress and the futon, then the recliner and then the end tables!

And the hubby thought he would need to call one of his best friends. Psssh. :-P

I'm happy that the coffee table and end tables are still in good repair--and going to a good home! The Aggie who was our "little fish" last school year is now going into her junior year and moving into her own apartment! So our furniture is returning to College Station! We're also going to get her to take our old chest of drawers (also in fairly good condition) if she needs/wants it! Which will mean room in the gameroom for whenever we get around to outfitting it, and mean a start to the cleaning out of the "crap room" that I will TRY to complete this summer (though if I don't it's no big thing--we won't need it for another 4 years, when it will become the nursery ;-) ).

Anyway, on to the title! As can be concluded by previous statements, the living room is now empty except for the TV, entertainment center, speakers and DVD tower. Why did we do all of this you may ask (assuming anyone actually reads this)? OUR NEW LIVING ROOM FURNITURE IS COMING TODAY BETWEEN NOW (4PM) AND 8 PM TONIGHT!!!

Can you tell I'm excited?!? :-D

The couch is a sectional, with a queen sleeper and power recliner and is a pretty "cactus" green. The end tables and coffee table are wood with slate inlays. They are preeeetty! On that note, I'm going to clean up a bit more...and see what the hell the dogs are barking at upstairs! Oh wait, here they come.

Anyways, I was just thinking!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


This is going to be a very brief entry--TAKS testing makes me tired. The "accountability" I mention is in regards to both my gardening resolution and my workout resolution! I spent 30 minutes pulling weeds in the front flowerbeds (and got ate up by mosquitoes in the process)! I worked up a good sweat too! I'm glad the ground was wet...otherwise those weeds would have been freaking hard to pull out. So anyway, yay for holding myself accountable!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Funky Town

Well, funky mood anyway. I'm content, but definitely in an odd mood. The hubby keeps asking me if I'm sad about something today--and I'm not. I'm just feeling a bit off. I think it's because this weekend triggered a series of reminiscent conversations covering former friends and the motivations behind people distancing themselves from friends. As often happens, delving back into memories of the past leaves me feeling frustrated with those former friends, and frustrated with the lack of closure in those relationships due to my own decision to leave certain things unsaid. I don't regret that decision--it was the right and mature route to take--but the lack of having had my "final word" said/heard always results in lingering frustration when the past comes back up. Well, that's enough about that. The good news is that the husband and I renewed a friendship from college this Spring, and that friend came down to hang out this weekend. It was great! It feels as if we've hit restart on our friendship, and that the drama and hurt that was involved is truly water under the bridge (though I'm still not sure what exactly I did, other than prioritize my relationship with my then boyfriend-soon-to-be-fiance, and my now husband).

Speaking of the hubby, yesterday we helped one of our couple friends move into a new apartment. Today, it's a "lazy Sunday" for us: which means we're relaxing and working around the house instead of going anywhere. The hubby is working on finishing the third bookshelf for our library, and I'm puttering with the laundry and kitchen, and really want to vacuum the living room here in a bit. I also got out in the backyard and weeded the flower bed for awhile--but then my back started hurting, and it was really hot, so I came back inside. I think I shall set a new goal: work on weeding the garden 15-30 minutes a day for the next two weeks. That way, by the weekend after next, the flowerbeds will hopefully be ready for remulching! And I'll work towards late afternoon/early evening so that it isn't too hot.

For now, we're watching Happy Gilmore, and I'm trying to shake this funk. I'll get up here in a minute and change out the laundry, and empty/load the dishwasher. Tomorrow I'm going to a conference with several other department members, and I'm looking forward to that--especially because I won't have a "normal" classroom day next week! Tomorrow was the only normal schedule day--the rest is TAKS. Which means test administration, not actual teaching--yay for a mindless, if tiring, week! Wednesday our living room set will be delivered, and this weekend we're flying to Wisconsin for another couple friend's wedding (the hubby is a groomsman--yay for seeing my handsome man in a tux!!!). So, I've got a great week coming up, and today is a wonderful day too...I've just gotta get out of this mood. So, here I go! Wish me luck lol

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day Off

I burned today--doctor's appointment and all this morning. They're running all the blood tests, like they do every 2 months. And this time they're running a test to exclude gout. Woo. Not that the doctor thinks I have gout (and I'm about 99% sure I don't--I'm classic RA), but my kidney stone in December made him want to rule out that possibility. Apparently, gout can increase the uric acid (spelling?) which in turn can lead to kidney stones. I think mine were caused by a build up of the calcium supplements that I was on, but I appreciate him ruling out the possibility.

After all, gout is an "old people's" disease! (And only old people have RA, right? lol)

So I got home from that, and have been watching movies--Merlin (which I LOVE) and Merlin's Apprentice. The latter is an "alternate time line" plot from Merlin, and enjoyable, if not quite as awesome as Merlin. But that's ok--it's entertaining! After it ends, I'm going to go clean the kitchen, and probably go putter in the garden for a bit. Then I'll shower, because a college friend is coming into town tonight and I think we're going to get dinner! Of course, I'd shower anyway after working in the garden.

I've started rereading the Twilight series again--mostly because I can't get enough of it! I've even watched the commentary on the DVD of the movie, which I've never ever done before. I just love the way the author develops the story, and the characters. I love the was she sets the tone and the atmosphere, and I enjoy the twists she's put in traditional vampire mythology (though I have a friend at work who has completely renounced the series--without having read it by the way--because of those very twists). I can't wait for the next movie (this coming Fall!)!!! And I can't wait to finish this reread :-).

Oh I had a thought. I might leave garden-puttering until tomorrow when the hubby is working on the bookshelf...and today I'll work out with the Wii Fit! I like that idea! My mama-in-law was in town for the past week (up until yesterday) and since she's a message therapist and had clients/friends coming in and out (she was working out of our upstairs) I felt it would be inappropriate for me to be working out in my usual attire, so I just didn't work out. It was wonderful having her here though, completely worth the postponement of a workout routine. We got to chat and catch up, and spend time together, and it was all around wonderful! I really do love my mother-in-law (all of my in-laws really, but she's the one I haven't seen in the longest lol). So today, I think I might make a start again. Especially since my lunch was a bowl of salsa with cheese (otherwise it's too spicy). The rest of my food today has been a thing of yogurt and an apple, so I haven't done too horribly. But I need to get active!

Or I might read/nap. Lol. I'm feeling lazy. We'll see after the movie ends and the kitchen is clean. It'll probably either be Wii or garden...I want to feel like I've been somewhat productive today, and all I've done is go to the doctor, watch movies and surf the internet. Anyway, I'm gonna wrap up this ramble and finish my movie! Yay movie!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Me Time

I have enjoyed this evening! Well, most of it. After work I ran by Babies-R-Us to pick up a couple of shower gifts for one of my mentors at school and for the wife of a fellow Spanish teacher. I'm actually in charge of throwing the latter a shower--on Thursday after school. So tomorrow, I will buy some decorations and hopefully some bottles...and I want to play a "guess the number" game with a bottle full of candy!!! And I'll call H-E-B either tomorrow on go by during 1st on Thursday to set up for the cake!!! Others in the department are pitching in other things (this whole shower coincides with our monthly department meeting so everyone should be there) so I'm hoping it all turns out fun.

One thing the Babies-R-Us trip drove home: Yes, I want a kid...but I'm perfectly fine waiting the four years the hubby and I have agreed on!!! Lol.

After that, I came home and played with the 3 puppies---that's right, I said 3. My "fuzzy nephew" Tiberius stayed with us from Friday night til this evening when his mama came and got him. He's a very good chocolate lab puppy :-) and he and our girls had a ball playing together--especially on Saturday while it was shit-storming.

After his mama picked him up, I cleaned the kitchen and Swiffered! And started some laundry! In other words I've been nicely domestic. When the hubby got home, we went grocery shopping. I picked dinner tonight--sushi! And my amazing husband (who is not fond of sushi) went along with it and tried a type that he actually didn't hate. We had a nice dinner, and then he left for a friend's bachelor party tonight.

Which = Me Time.

It's been nice--I've kept the laundry going, showered and cleaned the shower. And now I'm watching Twighlight, which is the perfect "me time" movie, since the hubby won't watch it with me :-P lol. I've also fed and played with the pups and taken them outside.

Like I said, nice. Except I'll head to bed within the next 30 mins...alone. It's not the first time, even since we've been married---work and work travel sometimes conspire to keep my husband from our bed. But I still don't get used to it. I get to where I can sleep---and I'm hoping I'll sleep well tonight though I'll probably be half-listening for him to come home until he's beside me. I know he's having a ton of fun right now (or at least I hope)--there's probably lots of drinking and a strip club of some sort involved (knowing the bachelor lol). I'm fine with the strip club thing (except for the slightly jealous/insecure part of me that doesn't want him seeing other women naked--but hey, what girl doesn't have that? lol), so that's no big deal. I just wish he was coming to bed with me :-). Oh well, I'll cuddle my teddy bear! And on that note, I'm going to finish watching Twighlight for a bit, and then go to sleep!

I slept like crap until the hubby got home around 3 am. Then I slept amazingly for the next 3 hours until the alarm went off! And there were wonderful cuddles :-). Yay! Lol.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sail on, sail on sailor

Gotta love that Jimmy Buffett! His songs always bring to mind being out on the open water, traveling from place to place, taking life as it comes at you and refusing to play it too safe. I really need to pull out my Far Side of the World CD, and listen to said song, and find the Southern Cross song on the other CD. Hearing Buffett always brings back wonderful lake and beach memories from college...after all, the sailing club required at least some Buffett music! And of course there was Great Big Sea, and the Corsairs, and several others. Ah the good old days lol. Though some were less good than others--but then, thats where jerry-rigging came in. I swear, we could fix just about any minor (and some major) problems on those sailboats with a spare ring or shackle, duck tape, and (of course!) rum. Or beer. Or whisky. Lol, and don't forget the requisite bad language...after all, we were sailors damn it!

Well, those days are past, but the hubby and I are going to get to embark upon some newer sailing adventures ourselves! We bought a boat!!!!! She's a '73 Chrysler 22. And before you give me that look, let me point out that Chrysler made some damn fine boats before the government forced them to do away with that part of their operation in order to save the car portion. Anyway, the individual who designed this particular hull designed/built she's a pretty sturdy vessel, to say the least! Her name is Sophia (yes, boats have names). I find it interesting that her name means wisdom--I'm definitely interpreting that as a plea for wisdom, instead of a claim. ;-) She's fairly beamy, but we definitely don't need a super-fast boat. Just one that we can get out on and fish, or go for a weekend sailing trip, and other such adventures.

Husband and friend are moving her from the slip she was in to the slip we're renting for (get this) $75 a month! A steal, I tell you, a steal!!! And it's in a beautiful and beautifully quiet marina (unlike the original one which had more hustle and bustle than we enjoy). So, we're going to get to spend some time cleaning her up--a good deck scrub, fresh deck paint, a new main sail cover and canopy, washing the seat cushions, figuring out how to hook up a music player of some sort, and many other fun little mini-projects. I'm so excited!!! I can't WAIT to get on the water again!

And my new cousin comes in about a week and a half! Yay baby Joseph Max!!!

Also exciting, our living room set comes in at the end of this month, and we should be able to order our dining set by the end of June!!! Then we'll save up for the entertainment center (that'll take about a month) and then the downstairs of our house will be fully furnished!!! THEN I can start putting the furniture money back into savings, and hopefully rathole enough that when we want to have a kid (we're talking years here folks lol) the financial part won't be quite as difficult. And we'll be able to finish up some other small projects around the house--the bookshelves and chairs for the library, the various items for the gameroom, replacing some of the lesser-liked curtains, etc.

And in the beginning of May, we're flying to Wisconsin for our friends' wedding! Hubby's standing as a groomsman, so I get to see him all decked out in a tux again *swoon*. Lol. And on Saturday I'm going out with the bride-to-be and a group of her friends (one of whom is also one of my friends) for a bachelorette celebration involving drinks, appetizers, and who knows what other kinds of fun!

AND THEN SUMMER!!!! I sure do feel blessed lol. Anyway, I was just thinking about all the wonderful events coming up in our immediate future.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Well, expletive

This is sort of an addendum to the whole "Battle of the Bulge" series I started posting awhile back. I hate to admit it, but I fell off the metaphorical wagon with a splat. I was doing so well too! Gah. Long story short, over the holidays I fell completely out of the work out routine. Sad. And then the Spring semester of school started. Folks told me that the Spring would be a lot harder than the Fall, and I didn't believe them. Silly me. Even though I'm not a TAKS subject, there's so much more to do, and it's a lot harder to motivate the kids when they see the end in sight.

Anyway, according to the Wii Fit, I've gained about another pound since my last post on this topic in January (at which I was back up to 165). Which really isn't a very big deal. BUT I realized the other day when I set up my Wii Fit profile, I put 5'9" in for my height, not 5'8". So, basically, my whole BMI calculation has been off this whole time. With the correction, I'm a little bummed/peeved at myself about that, because that meant I actually let myself cross over the "normal BMI" line into the overweight line. Crap.

But, it's not like me to dwell too much on those kinda things (lol or at least not too much). There is a positive! I started working out again last week! And trying to do a better job of watching what I eat! And so far, it's payed off! I've lots about a pound (a little more) in the last week. And yes, I'm fully aware it was prolly pure water weight coming off from starting a new exercise routine AND it being "that time of the month". But hey, it's a start. The trick will be sticking with my routine to reach my goal.

Speaking of, my goal is not as ambitious as last time. I simply want to lose 5 pounds in a month. That's not overachieving at all. So, basically, I have another 3 weeks to lose about 4 pounds. And since it's reasonable to expect about a 1-2 pound a week loss with a regular exercise program and good eating habits, I'm optimistic about my success! So hopefully, at the beginning of May, I will be back down to a consistent 160. Then the next goal will be to get down to 155 by the end of June...and since that will be summer time, I'll have more time to go on walks, and use the Wii Fit, and work in the yard! And hubby and I will still be playing (though, in my case, the term "play" does not always mean "play well" lol) softball so there's another source of activity!

So, at my goal weight of 5 pounds a month (only a little over 1 pound a week), I'm hoping to be down to 145 by the end of August. The trick then is going to be keeping it off!!! Lol. Seriously though, I'll settle for being in the 145-150 range by the end of the summer. That's where I generally feel/look my best. I'd love to get down to 140-145, but I do want to keep my ass and my boobs (and my hubby wants me to keep them too lol), and the last time I was down to that, they went away lol. Looking at general BMI charts, they mostly say that, for my height and age range, I should be around 145...that said, I have a medium-to-large frame, and I've always carried weight well (as in, I don't necessarily look like I weigh as much as I do).

On a different health note, I'm going to have to remember to be careful and not push it too hard to quickly. With the RA, I have to confine my workouts to low impact exercises. AND my joints can't take heavy weight lifting. That said, I have already started adding light hand weights (3 lbs a piece) to my aerobics and strength training. I WANT TONE BACK!!! lol I might work up to 10 lbs eventually, but I don't want to go too much beyond that for fear of overstressing the joints.

All that said, I have my goal! 145-ish by the end of August. That said, I'm going to approach my goal in 5-pound increments. I really just want to feel good and feel like I look good again, instead of just ok.

Anyways, I'm going to try to recapture my accountability on this really helped last time. Time to go from just thinking about it, to actually pursuing this goal!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


*RAWR means I love you in dinosaur. <3

I saw that on a T-shirt on Friday, and absolutely love it! I'm thinking about trying to track that shirt down and buy it online somewhere.

Other than that, I don't have a lot of deep thoughts today. It has been a wonderful weekend though. Yesterday, hubby and I worked in the yard. I picked up all the dog shit before he mowed, and then weeded one of the side flowerbeds. We really need to get some ant poison...the fire ants are getting ridiculous! And don't tell me "It's Texas, what do you expect?" I've lived in Texas my whole life, and the fire ant infestation we have in our yard is ridiculous. Other than that, we also bought some citrus spikes for my baby orange tree :-). Thanks to the stakes and line hubby but up and around the tree (in the dark, as it was raining no less...he sure does love me!!!), it no longer is growing horizontally! It's actually starting to straighten and strengthen its little baby tree trunk! And it's recovering from the underwatering I inflicted upon it :-(. The leaves are all a nice green color again! Last night, hubby cooked a wonderful meal: marinated venison steaks, green beans, hominy and wine! I made sour dough rolls (I used the bread starter mix and yeast pack, added water, and actually MADE bread--dough kneading and the whole nine yards--it was fun!). We had a wonderful dinner and watched a movie, then went to bed.

Today we rolled out of bed and went to see the new Fast and Furious movie...and it was AWESOME!!! They definitely did not disappoint, and I love how the wove enough details from the other movies into this one to make the entire series a cohesive unit!!! I'm going to have to eventually buy the other movies in the series--except for Tokyo Drift. We already own that one ;-).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dirty Hands

I worked out in the garden for about an hour today. I pulled up stupid trailing weeds, stubborn crab grass, and (accidentally) a couple of trailing roots from my bushes. Oooops! But it was really a good time! My hands slowly turned black as the dirt ingrained itself into my pores. My nails became useless for prying up root systems--their was too much mulch and mud underneath. The air was cool, but the evening sun was soothingly warm. My joints weren't exactly happy with a lengthy session of kneeling awkwardly under bushes, but I shifted position enough to keep their complaints to a minimum. There are many religions that espouse the benefits of trying to be closer to hour in the garden left me feeling at peace and calm. And it makes me happy that the army of not-wanted green things trying to take over my garden has been reduced drastically in size!

I had a lot I wanted to blog about when I started typing. My thoughts generally revolved around what I want to accomplish this weekend, how ready I am for summer, etc. There were a few other thoughts--mostly regarding our beagle's misadventure this morning (she moved the bricks blocking the fence and dug into the neighbor's yard), and an article I read about online RPGs and marital fidelity (apparently some people don't think having online game sexual relationships with avatars of people other than their spouse is cheating---yeah, pretty sure the "forsaking ALL others" part of the marriage vows does NOT differentiate between real people and virtual ones, but anywho). So, after my calming reflection on my gardening activities, I was all geared to go into a full recounting of my main thoughts of the day.

Of course, then I stopped, took a shower, shaved, lounged in my fluffy and cheerful bathrobe (fluffly b/c it's terry cloth, and cheerful b/c it's a bright yellow lol) painting my toenails, and then dried my hair. So now I'm clean, warm, and have pretty toes. I'm cuddled in the recliner with a fuzzy blanket and a good action flick on the TV. In other words, I think my brief overview will suffice for the moment. Maybe later I'll delve further into today's thoughts, maybe not.

Anyways, I was just thinking.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Love Green Tea!

Wow, my last post was kind of vehement, wasn't it? Lol. To clarify, it was inspired by comments made directed at a friend of mine which (wisely) went unanswered. Granted, I'm sure most of us have had similar situations and felt all those feelings. I just felt, in the wake of said incident, like fleshing them out a bit. So anyway...moving on!

Interesting happening at school today: and by interesting I mean slightly scary and saddening. One of my 4th period kids was yanked out of class by an AP. A friend of his, also in 4th, knew what was going on. I offered to listen, she mimed firing a gun. Grrrrreat.

So, I'm thinking there's a possibility that he had a gun in my class (which would have surprised the heck out of me...he's not a BAD kid...and he has tons of friends in 4th period lol). During lunch I head to the AP's office and knock on the door. A ISD officer answers. There was another officer in the room, plus the AP and my student. The AP came out when he saw me. I questioned about a weapon and he looked like he thought I was going to have a panic attack over the idea of a gun (those of you who know me know why this was amusing). Turns out, there was an accusation--proven false--but due to an incident yesterday (which I'll get to in a minute) they were worried about the student's safety.

So the incident: Yesterday a car (driven by another of my students from 7th) circled an apartment complex twice (once with music, once without). The passenger then proceeded to pull a gun, point it out the window, and fire (supposedly) 5 shots into a crowd of people (including one of my other students from 7th). I don't know if my 4th period kid was in the car or in the crowd...I'm hoping in the crowd, for obvious reasons. Neither of my 7th kids were in class today--the driver b/c he was pulled out earlier in the day, and the other because she started losing it today (hmm...wonder why? couldn't POSSIBLY be because she was shot at from a car driven by a classmate :-P). So yay my students. Sigh.

Now I know what they meant when they said that teaching could be disheartening. I'm disheartened because my students were involved...and I'm disheartened that a large part of me simply thinks "dumbasses...damn stupid decisions". That said, the two potentially involved were two of my characters in class...always smiling, always energetic (if unfocused and off-task), always entertaining. I hope they haven't just screwed up their lives. Again, sigh.

On to the title of today's post--I came home to relax with a cup or three of nice green tea. I steep my tea bag (pomegranate green tea even!) in hot water, dunk it several times to ensure a darker tea, then add a teaspoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey. Yum! And very nice and soothing after a day of teaching. And there's my NCIS back-to-back-to-back shows on USAHD (yay pretty new TV!!!). Hubby is working on the bookcases with his new toys in the garage/man cave. He got started this weekend while I worked in my garden (and we planted an orange tree in the back yard!). I'll help with the staining and painting once the shelves get to that point, but for now, I'm kicking back! I'll start dinner soon, perhaps read a bit and spend a pleasant evening relaxing. Tomorrow's going to be super busy and stressful--I forgot to put my quiz in the copy room before I left today...I'll just have to get there super early tomorrow and put it in...and hope it's done by 2nd period. Plus there's the projects to grade, the quizzes to grade, etc. Sigh.

OK, not thinking about tomorrow anymore! Just about the nice evening ahead.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Unsaid

Have you ever really really wanted to say something to some one? You know the comment--the type that burns in your throat as you swallow it down. You swallow it anyway knowing that saying it would bring you down to their level and just all around bring on bad consequences.

Including the guilt you would feel for being petty and (as already stated) sinking down to their level.

But even knowing that you chose the high road, the unsaid sticks in your head for a while. Time goes by, and it gets tucked into the back of your memory, and doesn't irritate anymore. And then, something brings it back to the forefront. And it irritates all over again. And you think of other things that could have been/could be said (depending on the situation). And those irritate you, because you still choose not to say them. Partly for the reasons above, and partly because the initial incident has already come and gone, and saying anything now would be akin to being the person who doesn't get the joke until three days after it was told. In other words, you'll look quite ridiculous.

So what do you do? You swallow the burning comment once again, along with all it's new fiery friends, and hope they get tucked away quickly. The frustrating thing is, when another event triggers the fire-eating trick, it can bring all the other things you wish you had said in all the other unsaid situations. And suddenly, instead of swallowing a lit match, you're swallowing a great flaming, pitch-soaked torch.

Anyways, I was just thinking. And now I'm going to get a nice big glass of water.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Where I Stand: Forgiveness

I was reading a random post earlier today. The person was worrying over their inability to "forgive and forget". They were linking it to a Christian belief structure which, in their interpretation, requires that "good Christians" (what does that even mean anyway?) completely forgive those who have wronged them and to put the deeds against them out of mind. In other words forgive and forget. I honestly think that's a load of malarky.

First, to deal with the forgiveness part. I do believe that humans can truly forgive one another. That said, I think that there are two "main" types of forgiveness: forgiveness after repentance, and repentance-less forgiveness. Now the first type is by far the easier of the two. When the person(s) who wronged us truly feels bad AND tries to make amends (remember, repentance is as much an ACTION as a frame of mind), then it is easier to forgive. It can still take a lot of time, and a lot of soul searching, but knowing that the other party truly regrets their actions/the hurt they caused you, helps. The second kind of forgiveness is a much more difficult and self-oriented thing. If the person(s) doing the harming don't repent--or even acknowledge that they did things to/that hurt you--it become much more difficult to feel forgiving towards them. I think this type of forgiving takes a lot longer, and is done more for a personal benefit than for any other reason. Not forgiving someone who hurt you means those hurt and angry feelings stay...which eventually will hurt your life and growth as a person. So at that point forgiveness is much more a self-oriented thing than an outward expression.

Now to my issues with "forgive and forget". Don't get me wrong. Christianity does put a great emphasis on forgiving others' "trespasses against us" as Christ/God forgive us for ours. But the only place in the Bible that I (in my admittedly non-extensive Biblical knowledge) remember dealing with trespasses (aka sins, wrongs) and memory is where it talks about God putting our sins as far as east is from west once we truly repent. I can only think that this is where people get the "forgive and forget" stuff from. And a bit understandably, because let's face it, East from West is just about as far a distance as you can get in the world of metaphor and conceptualized distances. However, nowhere in all of that is "forgetting" mentioned.

So, here's my issue with the expectation of "forgive and forget" as expressed by certain interpretation of Christian doctrine, argued from the point of view of one who is an atypical Christian. God is the ultimate, perfect being. And (according to the Bible) we were created in His image. Humans have memory, albeit imperfect. We do forget things...but generally not in the purposeful way. So, if we are imperfect mirrors of God, then it stands to reason that God is the perfect image we reflect. So, take our imperfect memory--presumably, God has a perfect memory (which He'd have to to accomplish a variety of other actions attributed to Him and His abilities). Which means, that He CANNOT forget. Even with the whole East from West thing, nowhere does it say "God accepts your repentance, forgives you, and forgets about it." He just puts it far away.

So transpose that onto humanity. God, with His infinite mind, has the ability to mentally push things as far as East is from West. Yeah, humans, we ain't got that (:-P). Which means, for the really big hurts and wrongs, we won't ever truly be able to forget them. We can not dwell on them, we can not think about the often, etc. But they never truly go away. Big hurts leave marks on our soul, pysche, heart, etc. They are a huge part of the process that makes us who we are (of course a bigger part of that process is how we react to those hurts, but that discussion is for another time). Which means that while we might be able to forgive the person(s) who cause these wrongs and hurts, we'll never forget that they hurt us.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why "forgive and forget" is such a load of crap. Forgive, definitely. Don't expect it to be an overnight process, and don't beat yourself up if it takes time. But forget? Don't expect to forget about the big hurts and don't beat yourself up about not being able to. Especially since no one is actually asking it of you.

Anyways, I was just thinking :-).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Feeling Domestic

And pleasantly so. Which is something, when I was younger, I never thought I'd say! Lol. I was never one for cooking/cleaning/etc. In other words, the practical sides of keeping a house in working order. But now that hubby and I have our own home (ps I LOVE our house), I'm finding that I really do enjoy keeping it nice. Apartments were fun, but they were literally "playing house"--houses take so much more work!

Anyway, today, after a relatively easy but unfulfilling day at school (details later), I came home and got the HELL out of my work clothes. Then I puttered around the kitchen, doing the dishes, making tea for my throat (again details in a bit), and generally cleaning up. Next, I got some laundry going and drank my tea while reading my book. Then I fixed another cup of tea and turned on NCIS while I'm waiting for my towel load to dry, and my darks/jeans to finish washing.

As far as the school day went, I reviewed the activity in the workbook the kids did yesterday while the substitute was there. Then we did a listening exercise. And all that took approximately 20 minutes lol. My voice was still completely shot today (until the amazing TEA!) so after we got through those activities I gave them a free day. Oh! But the one super-awesome and pretty damn fulfilling part happened during 7th period. They were ANGELS! I told them that if they screwed up their "trial week" of group seating this time, they would be in rows for the rest of the school year! They still chatted a bit, but came back to order when necessary. They were actually better than some of my other classes! It was a definite first! Now, we'll see how long it will last lol.

In health news, I have my voice back!!! Well, mostly. My throat's still really sore, and when I talk my voice rasps and fades at unpredictable intervals, but I'm hoping by tomorrow morning it will be good enough to let me actually TEACH the new vocabulary unit to my students! After that, it's up to them to learn it.
Speaking of, I found an AMAZING quote online today:

"Responsibility for learning belongs to the student, regardless of age." ~Robert Martin

Couldn't be more true. I do my best to provide information and motivation, but when it comes down to it, it's up to the student to study the material, practice, and LEARN. It's really too damn bad that so much of society puts the failure of the student on the teacher's shoulders. That's not to say that a shitty teacher can't screw up a students' learning progress OR the students' love for a subject. But when a teacher does everything he or she can think of--teaching, reteaching, breaking down concepts to their most basic units, trying different approaches to the subject, offering tutoring, etc--and the student STILL does not learn...then it's a lack of effort on the student's part, not on the teacher's. Getting parents involved definitely helps, but once you get kids at the high school age there's only so much a parent can do with a teenager determined to get in their own way. Anyway, I'm done with that rant lol.

On a more somber note, we have a guest this week. Not that that's somber--it's really good to see her and spend time with her--but the reason for her visit is sad. One of her dearest friends--her brother in everything but blood--died this past week in a horrendous car wreck. She's crashing with us during the funeral arrangements and occasions. I'm hoping staying with us, instead of with some of the other deeply affected, gives her a place to take a break from the overwhelming crush of sadness...but I know that that sadness is inside of her as well as coming from people around her. Hopefully here, she won't have as many external reminders, though there's nothing we can do to ease the internal pain other than being there for her. Her dad might come stay with us this weekend too--same reason--so it will be good to see him, even though (again) the circumstances suck.

So anyway, why am I sitting here typing a book? lol Well the hubby is at the archery range with a coworker, and I WAS waiting on laundry. Our friend isn't back yet, so it's just me and the pups, who are sleeping. Anyway, now that the laundry's done and we're in between episodes of NCIS, I'm gonna go be domestic some more, before relaxing some more! And that's about all that I'm thinking at the moment.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Being Sick is No Fun

Mostly because today I burned a sick day I wanted to save up:-(. I've got some sort of sinus/head/upper respiratory thing going, and it took away my voice. I went to work yesterday, wanting to prepare for my PDAS, and it made everything so much worse that today I stayed home, rescheduled my PDAS, and missed a professional development meeting. That said, I did clean the house up a bit...more straightening than anything, except in the kitchen. And I'm completing my defensive driving crap for the ticket I got in December. Still waiting on my driving record, but once that and this certificate comes in, I'll run them to the the courthouse and get this whole thing taken care of THIS month, instead of March when it's technically due. Which is a good thing. Other than that, today I have put a new MySpace layout up (it's a bit busier than I'd normally like, but it's made up of amazing tropical beach pictures, so hey), actually tagged some people to a note a wrote on Facebook (until my silly computer stopped letting the tagging function work), read a couple of online stories, and even read the book I'm reading (Fortune's Fool by Mercedes Lackey...a really enjoyable read). The hubby is stopping by Wal-Mart on his way home, and then we're going out to eat with a couple-friends for the first time since they've been engaged, so that should be fun!

Other than that, my PDAS is now NEXT Tuesday, and I think I shall teach a grammar lesson...always a few more options for lesson formatting than with vocabulary lessons (at least for me). Here's hoping my voice comes back waay before then. I am going back to work tomorrow---as I already mentioned, I really hate burning sick days. As of right now, I have 4 left, one of which will be a week from Friday for a rheumatologist appointment (yay MRI day...:-P). So really, 3 left. 1 will go to another appointment in April, and one to the Monday after Spring Break (Rodeo is that Sunday night...I'm not gonna want to get up the next morning lol). So really I have 1 sick day to get me through this semester (thought the rodeo one is flexible if it needs to be). I'll either save that sick day for next year, or burn it sometime in early May (if I don't get sick).

Anyway, I've enjoyed this brief ramble. It's hard for me not being able to talk all day. That said, I did have a wonderful conversation with the lady at the vet clinic who is working on a teaching certificate now. And the random salesman who came to the door...but that was a bit more awkward...he was very determined with his spin, but went away soon enough since I was sick, and my dogs were trying to get past me lol. So I'm gonna go get presentable for dinner tonight. And that's just what I was thinking. :-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Train of Thought...choo choo

Life is good. My students are lazy. My husband is sick, but took really good care of my while I was sick and had a baaad RA flare. Puppies are getting used to the house, which means they are increasingly pains in the ass. My PDAS observation with my principal is next Tuesday and I am nervous as crap...but strangely excited too. I found out I'd have to teach til I'm 58 to get my full TRS retirement potential. Yay :-P. I'm really looking forward to Feb. 20th, March 15th-23rd, April somethingth, another day as yet to be determined, Memorial Day, and June 5th. All of those but the last are days I have off...and the last is the last day with students! woohoo! Anyway, dinner was great (hubby made it...yumm) and I'm buzzing on a Shiner Celebrator. Laters!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Historic Day

For the record, I did not vote in the 2008 presidential election. Both candidates had positions with which I agreed, and positions to which I am utterly opposed. My DeeDee always said that voting was choosing the lesser of two evils--and this past fall, I simply couldn't see which of the two candidates fit that description. That's not to say I think McCain or Obama are evil...just that I'm still not sure which one would do the least harm. Granted, at this particular point, I don't know how much harm can be done to the present situation lol.

All that said, I am cautiously optimistic about Obama as president. I was impressed with the way he conducted himself at today's inauguration, and impressed with his family's conduct as well. I can only hope that being in the White House fishbowl doesn't change those two seemingly-sweet girls into spoiled holy terrors. I got the impression that Obama and his wife are basically nice, good people who truly want to do good by the nation. Of course, they were in front of hundreds of cameras all day long, so I must take that impression with a grain of salt.

Anyway, on to Obama. I thought his speech was well-worded, if emblematic of my reasons for caution. He has big dreams for our nation, some of which I agree with. He seems very driven, and optimistic, as well as seeming to grasp the challenges ahead. That said, I am highly skeptical of how far his idealism will get him along his path to his dreams. I think if he had a time frame extending for more than 4 (or even 8) years, that he could well accomplish his goals. However, he really only has 2 years until a mid-term congressional election, and then he has to get reelected two years after that. IF he gets elected then, there might be a better chance of progress.

That said, I'm not meaning to imply that I think NO progress will be made. I just feel that, with the economy being what it is and the international scene being what it is, Obama has plenty on his plate at the get-go without following up on medical care reform, education reform, immigration reform, etc. Also, I think so many people have pinned their hopes for economic salvation on him, when Congress actually controls the purse strings. Granted, the President has quite a bit of sway, but still.

So, I hope for the best, and realize thee reality will actually fall somewhere in between the best and worse case scenarios. I just hope its closer to the best case :-).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Warning: This is my whine time

I miss my husband.
I made it through his two week work trip in October much better. I think it's because this has been a holiday weekend for me, which means I don't have as much to fill my time. Also, we didn't get to spend much "us" time right before he left, whereas in October we did get time to ourselves. Also, as much as I LOVE our new house, it's bigger than anything I've ever lived in before. And since it's a new environment for me, I'm not accustomed to all the little settling sounds a house makes at night. In an apartment, I could always chuck unfamiliar sounds up to the neighbors. I lived in my parents' house for my life up until I was I was accustomed to those noises. Here, I have to identify the noises at least in categorical if not specific fashion to be able to be comfortable with them. Not to mention, my husband is my best friend and the love of my life. I'm used to the luxury of having him around, and in our bed at night. I miss his presence.

I don't want to go back to work tomorrow.
The whole "end of the semester" testing AFTER Christmas was an asinine idea. Here's why. The week before Christmas Break was a wash. Then the kids had two weeks off. THEN the week AFTER they come back is a wash because we teachers HAVE to review the test material or face a catastrophic failure rate (which I had on the test, but not on my semester averages). Then the second week they're back (last week) is a wash because of testing. So, effectively my students have had FIVE WEEKS without having to bend their minds to the task of learning new information. That's more than a month. And tomorrow, I wade back into the fray, and have to remind them how we behave when the classroom is primarily a LEARNING environment, versus a holiday/review/testing environment. I predict 2nd, 3rd, and (hopefully) 5th will be mostly fine, whereas 4th and 7th will be distracted verging on chaotic. While it will be nice to have something to focus on in regards to the first issue discussed, I'm not looking forward to reestablishing order in my classes.

My dogs are driving me crazy.
They are being particularly obstinate today. When I wanted to nap, they wanted to either play or be in my lap. When I was up and mobile, they wanted to sleep. I think it's because their daddy's gone. I'm the only human they have left right now, so they are especially affectionate and needy. Now they've calmed down, so that's nice. Also, I have to go outside with them and keep an eye on them. Since they've never had a backyard, they have no backyard etiquette, and we don't trust them not to dig out/dig up the flowerbeds. I can't WAIT until we install the in-ground electrical wire that will cut off the sides of the yard, keep the dogs away from the fences, and keep them out of my flowerbeds! I love them bunches, but they really have been ridiculous this weekend.

My abs hurt.
I started an every-other-day belly dancing routine. Don't laugh! The video I bought is actually pretty good--as long as you've already had some instruction in the style of dance. Luckily, I had that semester class back in college! Thanks to that, I already have been exposed to most of the moves used, and get a good workout. I also played Wii tennis for 30 mins yesterday, and while that has nothing to do with abs, it was still a nice workout. This one isn't really a whine, seeing as I'm pretty happy that I've been working out over the past couple of days!

Whining aside, my life is pretty damn good, and I am fully cognizant of that fact. I'm even content bordering on completely happy (except for the first and second things on my whine list lol). But, hey, everyone needs to vent a bit sometimes, and this is, after all, my storage space. :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Battle of the Bulge, cont.'d

I realized I haven't updated this particular topic in a while. Ooops! So much for accountability right? Lol. Well, I did actually get down to 161 lbs before the holidays. Woohoo! Of course, then came Thanksgiving AND Christmas. And all the food.

That said, I'm at 165 and holding! I haven't lost any lately (cuz, yeah, I haven't been working out...again, oops) but I haven't gained any either!!! Sure, I do the whole couple of pounds of fluctuation up and down, depending on what I eat for dinner, when I eat it, water retention, etc. but that's normal.

I'm making a concentrated effort to start being more active and start working out again. This past month I haven't wanted to push it...I haven't been able to take my RA meds, so I've been pretty flared up. BUT I bought a belly dancing workout video (HEY! don't laugh...I took a class in college for a semester and lost a good amount of wait, and really firmed up my stomach...and its SO MUCH FUN!)! And we've got the TV and Wii set up at the new I'm thinking as soon as my meds kick in (took my shots last night) and the flare goes down, I'll get back into a regular exercise routine. My next goal is the same as before: 160. Get down to it, and keep it off. After I make that, I'll go for 155, then 150, then 145! And then we'll see. I'm hoping to make the 155 by Spring Break, and the 145-150 by summer. That way I'll feel better about wearing my swimsuit at the neighborhood pool ;-).

Anyway, today I feel body is not liking the side effects (i.e. extreme fatigue and nausea) of my shots after a month without. So for today, I'm taking it easy. I'll do a bit of cleaning, but mostly I'm gonna read, and watch TV and movies. If I'm feeling better, I might break out the belly dancing video tonight...but we'll see. So, back to my lazy Saturday!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Just Me and the Dogs

The hubby is actually in DC this week...I'm so excited for him about this trip! That said, I'm gonna really miss him...he won't be back til the 22nd. Til then it's just me and the pups. And he's going to be gone over my holiday weekend too! Grrr. Again, really excited for him...just wish I could go too lol. Except it's going to be in the teens temperature-wise and that's too damn cold for this Texas girl.

Anyway, on to life. We signed on the house on the 30th, and as of this last weekend, we are completely moved in! It's starting to feel more like our home every day. We've still got lots of boxes to go through and unpack. I'll be getting quite a bit of that done over my holiday weekend. I thought about heading up to Waco to see a friend...but I really don't feel up to the drive. Remember that whole RA thing? Yeah, due to one thing and another, I haven't taken my shots in about a month. So I'm achy and flared up, and long drives aren't my favorite thing in this condition.

Anyway, I am going to get my hair cut on Friday...don't know quite what I'll do differently, if anything. This is starting to be a tradition--last time the hubby went on a work trip, I colored my hair, this time I'm cutting it lol. The stylist is also one of my good friends AND I have her last hair appointment, so we'll probably go do something after. Saturday, another friend is supposed to be coming into town...I haven't heard anything since last weekend though, so I'm not really sure what the plan is there. Honestly, I'm looking forward to a chill weekend...the past few have been crazy busy with house stuff and moving. I'd be looking forward to it more if the hubby was going to be here to share it with me, but oh well. I guess one can't always have everything lol.

As for school, the kids are taking their semester exams this week. Yes, I know what you're thinking. "Didn't the semester already end?" Yes, yes it did. But because the state of Texas mandates a late August start date, the "Fall semester" and the "Spring semester" are unequal in regards to number of weeks. So, we had one week after the break for "review" and this one for testing. Which is foolish. My kids are apathetic right now, and the break has not helped their retention. In short, having the exams now is a great way to even up the semesters from a bureaucratic standpoint and a crappy one from a student-oriented standpoint. As I've been told several times since I've started teaching: Welcome to the world of public education.

Anyways, I love our new home. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that (if all goes according to our loosely configured plan) we're going to be here for the next 30+ years. Don't get me wrong, it sounds WONDERFUL! I've just never been anywhere that long. And for the past several years it's been a move a year, if not a move every less-than-one-year. It's wonderful to look far into the future and see my husband and I together in our home. Of course, our home will be anywhere we're together. But I sure do like the one we're setting up at this house!!! And so do the pups...they run up and down the stairs, wrestle in the gameroom and living room, and love the backyard.

So that's a life update.

As far as introspection and contemplation--the original purpose for this blog--I've done a bit lately. School and house stuff has occupied the majority of my mind, but there's still been deeper processes going on. One of the particular trains of thought had to do with the people we are during everyday life versus the people we are in the crucible. A certain conversation with a friend brought up a time I've mentioned previously, when my world was upside down and inside out all at once. I started thinking about the person I was in all that mess, and the person I am now in my day-to-day life.

The person I was then: There were very few constants in my life at that point in terms of routine and (I felt--wrongly or rightly--at the time) relationships. All I had that was constant was my conviction about a certain belief, and my knowledge of the kind of person I did NOT want to be (coming both from personal belief and from observation of the actions of a particular person). During the beginning, I was extremely fragile emotionally and everything in my head was all jumbled, but these things shone through. I started following those beacons, and my actions were guided by them.

The person I am now: There is a lot more consistency in my life: relationship-wise and routine-wise. I am stronger emotionally and mentally, and in terms of self-knowledge and identity. That said, it is easier now to lose my beacons among all the other, lesser lights that are in my life right now.

It's interesting how when everything is falling apart , it's easy to pick out the critical elements in your life to focus on and let the rest all fade into a dark haze. And it's interesting how good things and positive additions to your life accumulate can cast a glow that can cause the critical elements to seem to blend in with the rest of the light. But thanks to that turbulent time, I am fully aware of the risk of the "glow effect" and can make sure that my beacons get the attention and focus they deserve.

That said, the light analogy is fitting: my life has never been brighter or happier!

Anyways, I was just thinking.


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