Friday, December 11, 2009

I lied

Remember when I said I would post every Monday?
Remember when I said not to believe a word I said?

There are five days of school until Christmas break and I so need a break. And all you full time workers can be quiet. You're just jealous and that's never pretty. I am speaking specifically to Autumn here.

A lot of teachers are saying how it feels like we just had Thanksgiving break, where does the time go, etc.

I didn't get a break over Thanksgiving. I didn't get a Thanksgiving. And I am grateful.

The week before, Mom went into the doctor where they discovered her heart was only beating 40 times a minute. It is appropriate to say yikes.
On the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I had parent teacher conferences which went to about 7:00 each night. So I couldn't help Erin out when she took Mom to the doctor's office.
So while I was teaching and conferencing Monday and Tuesday, Erin took Mom back to the doctor, and then to a cardiologist. After I was finished Tuesday I was greeted with the news that Mom needed a pace maker. Now. As in, Wednesday.

I had seizures Wednesday. This was not planned.

So Erin took Mom in for surgery, and I stayed home and watched North and South: Book One and let my brain do its thing. When I was done and Mom was out, Erin came and got me and we went to the hospital, where I fell asleep in the chair.

We brought Mom home on Thanksgiving. Erin went to be with her family for the first time that week and I stayed with Mom. We two sickies watched movies and slept. Our turkey dinner was microwaved chicken nuggets and we didn't care. Kathi and Ron and the kids brought real turkey and lots of pie later anyway.

Friday, we put up Mom's Christmas decorations so we wouldn't have to worry about it.

Saturday, I finally went shopping. All day. But it's done.

Sunday, Erin's husband Rob got sick so I stayed home from church and babysat while Erin took care of her family's health. The kids wanted to decorate for Christmas again (because it was so much fun at Mom's) so we put up our Christmas tree. It still looks like a 4 year old and a 7 year old decorated it.

Sunday night, we went to the Messiah sing-in at Abravenel Hall, and finally, finally some peace. Mom couldn't make it, so we took my dear friend, Sharlon, who had never been and kicked my butt on some of those songs.

The Messiah is powerful and singing it with the audience in Abravenel Hall was awesome, and over powering, and enriching. As always it brings in the Christmas spirit.

Mom is doing so well now that the cardiologist is talking about exercise plans. Before the surgery she couldn't answer the door without running out of breath. Erin said that all she needs are two new knees and she'll be like a 20 year old again. Her color is better, she is happier. I am very thankful for all the doctors and nurses who took care of her. I'm also thankful for Erin who did all the heavy lifting that week.

But, while I am thankful for everything that happened over Thanksgiving, except maybe the seizures, I need a break.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I'm Not Dead

So It's been many, many, MANY weeks since I last blogged. Sorry. A little thing called life interrupted my life. I promise to try and blog once a week. I assure I have been ignoring all my friends on facebook as well.

I've had so many things to blog about . . . totally useless and unimportant stuff, but still, it made me laugh at the time.

Like last Saturday, when I cleaned my room. First of all, "cleaned" is being used very loosely here. I picked stuff up, I put my overflowing laundry basket in my closet and shut the door. It looked better after I hid some stuff. But what I discovered id I have way too many books.

I, like many people have a constant pile of books I'm getting to. the bookstore is my refuge from stress. In recent weeks We've had mid terms at school, not to mention the lead up to Halloween. Plus we had UEA weekend. Of course I went to the bookstore. I think I sent the Barnes and Noble families to college all by myself.

So as I was "cleaning" my room I discovered not one pile of books I was getting to, not two pile, but three. Three piles of books. and I am reading them. There are three or four romances, a couple of New York Times Best Sellers, children's books, historical fiction, a Harry Potter book, and a couple of fantasies.

I piled up 20 books altogether.

And it's not like I suddenly stopped reading and let things get backed up! I'm almost done with The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (not as good as Da Vinci Code).

I am not allowed back into a bookstore until I get these piles under control.

Or until report card stress forces Autumn to take me there.

Now I have some reading to do.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


The time for season premiers is upon us . . . yay! We have a DVR now so you'd think that getting in all those missed programs would be easier.

Yeah, now we just have a longer list of stuff to record. Because we can.

When you have one TV, it really whittles down your list of options pretty well. Now our list not only includes both Autumn's favorites and my favorites, but some new stuff too.

So how do we prioritize? Is "So You Think You Can Dance?" more important than "Project Runway?"

And what do we do about Thursday night? Who wins, "Survivor" or "The Office?"

It's a mess.

I want to see if "Glee" is any good. Autumn wants to catch "Vampire Diaries." They both run up against other shows.

Luckily, "Smallville" moved to Fridays and so far, no conflicts.

I tell you, scheduling fall TV with a roommate is a job of work.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Goals and School Daze

The year has started and I apologize I didn't post pictures of my class before it was trashed by my 30 fourth graders. Then again, you shouldn't be surprised, I still haven't posted pictures of my "new" apartment.

At the beginning of every year, teachers are asked to reevaluate themselves and the jobs they're doing and make goals for the new year.

I hate this particular part of starting school. I never know what to write. I ruminate for hours trying to figure these goals out, you know, how do I become a better teacher, a better communicator, all that. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things I could do better. It's the choosing just a couple of things to improve out of so many that always stumps me.

Happily, I found out I could write a goal concerning my health because it directly applies to teacher attendance (the bosses like you there). Since I already want to go to the gym, I decided to write one about going to the gym. While I was at it, I wrote in a bedtime, and I said that I would stop all work at 8:00 p.m. so I could destress, like you might do with a book or playing tetris. How awesome is that?

The state of Utah is supporting my laziness! (But now there are more reasons to feel guilty about not going to the gym today . . . sigh)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Books I've Read

I was recently reminded of those long, hairy novels they assigned at the end of the year in English for you to read over the summer. I remember, I would be so excited to have my summer, and then, wham! Summer reading assignment. And it wasn't just some thin little thing I could get skim over in a few days. No, I remember my summer assignments being, The Odyssey, Grapes of Wrath, and David Copperfield.

Did the teachers really think I was going to read those books? Me? When I had all that free time to sit in the air conditioned Rosepark public library and read what ever was handy?

I perfected the fine art of scholastic procrastination over those summers. I would get my copy of the book in June, and then it sat on my nightstand until two weeks before school started. Have you ever tried to read the Grapes of Wrath in two nights?

So, I also honed the art of scholastic deception. Erin calls it cheating. I call it survival in honors English.

My cousins and my sister and I all went to West High, one year after each other, so we shared the required novels. My copy of David Copperfield looks pretty trashed. And I never finished it. The Odyssey is in two pieces. I didn't finish it either. So it certainly looked like I had read them. (Well, someone had).

Just one small way to confuse the teachers with my sneaky ways.

I also observed something else that helped me. If you listen very carefully in class, the teachers will tell you exactly what they want on a paper. For a B anyway. So I took notes, and skimmed and I am proud to say I never copied any one's work or read a Cliff's Notes version of anything.

And I got a B.

So, as I begin another school year, I think of all those kids, scrambling with their Shakespeare and their Dickens, and my heart goes out to Mrs. Barnes and Miss Fowler.

Of course they knew what I was doing. Because they are not stupid.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sam And Holly

It is usually Erin's job to report on her kids antics, but today I can't help it.

Yesterday Erin and I went shopping for my school clothes and her birthday present. In the middle of Wal-mart, Sam was behaving like a typical 4 year old, and trying every one's patience by whining "Mom, mom, mom . . . " Finally Erin said "I don't want to hear you say mom for one minute."

Sam didn't miss a beat, and whined "Erin . . ."

Holly and I went school shopping. I hadn't intended to buy anything for her yet, but when Erin went to take Sam to the bathroom, she started showing me all the cute things and pointing out which ones were in her sizes. when Erin got back, we had three outfits in the cart.

Holly SOOO has my number.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

As summer winds down . . .

If you can believe it, I have about three weeks left and I have to get back to work. The school will be open in August, but we have a really awesome principal who doesn't believe in working over vacations, so he may not let us in. I just can't think where the summer has gone. And then I think of all the reading I've done and the traveling I've done.

THAT'S where it went.

In honor of my wonderful summer, I thought I'd post a few pictures of this summer's "stuff" . . . the events that made it go so fast:

In June we went to Disneyland for Ezri's birthday. Ezri is Autumn's niece.

Sam also decided that he was "Buzz", not Sam. Who am I to argue with a child's life goals? So I got him a Buzz t-shirt in Disneyland.

Holly got a lot taller and lost a few teeth. She also learned how to ride a scooter.

Brittanie graduated so we went on a cruise to The Bahamas to celebrate. (This is what humidity does to my hair)

And Max is learned to move around and is cutting teeth . . . but he's not taking any of it very seriously:)

It's been a very busy summer. The best kind, because I was busy with family.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How I spend my summer.

Many people have the misconception that teachers are only in the biz to get three months paid vacation every year.

First of all, it's closer to 2 months when you account for meetings, workshops, faculty stuff, meetings, cleaning, conferences and meetings.

Secondly, I have plenty to keep me busy this summer. I have not been bored at all.
I organized my CDs. I play a lot of music in my class and until this year I didn't have an MP3 player or an iPod. (Which I recently learned you can plug into the microphones we use at work and play through the speakers and it's totally awesome!)
Anyway, since I now have WAY too many CDs (about 500+), I put them into alphabetical order every summer. I'm not obsessive about it. But this way, for the rest of the year, I basically know where a given CD should be. Nothing gets put back exactly right, but it doesn't get really messy until around Christmas, and I don't really do anything until summer.
See. Very busy.
Anyone who knows me, knows I adore earrings. The dangly, chandelier earrings. I believe there must be a gene for this because my Grandma Baxter loved them too.
But they are a mess. So this summer, I went through my jewelry boxes (yes, that's a plural) and clipped pairs together, and tossed out old ones that don't have pairs.

Too busy. Busy, busy, busy.

Or bored. With a dash of weird tossed in.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Bahamas with Britt

I know I haven't been as diligent as I should have been about blogging but there has been a very good reason. A couple of very good reasons. One, I have been trying to figure out how to download pictures from my new camera (oddly enough, it's labeled "easy share") and literally NOTHING has been going on. I could comment on the trouble I am having this summer finding reading material, but does anyone want to hear that again? (By the way, I just read The Last Lecture on the flight to Florida, and it was very good).

However, on the 8th I flew out to Florida with my sister Kathi and her daughter Brittanie for Britt's graduation trip. Britt decided she wanted a cruise to the Bahamas, which I just went on last year. After our trip to Hawaii last summer for Katelynn's trip, I think Kathi was trying to avoid the use of maps. We did take a lot tour buses and taxi cabs.

The trip was great. Not as fun as my first one, simply because I had seizures our first night out. they charge you just like an emergency room when you go to the infirmary. And because I have epilepsy, they wouldn't let me snorkel. That was a cruise wide policy, not the doctor's orders. I was pretty upset because I had already paid to snorkel and none of the materials we received beforehand said anything about this restriction. Worse than that, when I asked the guy at the excursions desk what other options were open to me (he was about 15) he said I could always sit on the beach and wade in the ocean.

Really? Can I?
I can fly to California in an hour and do that.

I also mentioned that I have snorkeled before, in the Bahamas and Hawaii, I own my own gear, and my neurologist recommends sights he thinks I'll like.

The 15 year old rolled his eyes.

Next time I bring a doctors note and I pack my own gear, hang the expense.

Oh well. There are idiots everywhere.

Ironically, they have no problem with letting an epileptic parasail. Maybe because it costs twice as much.

The point of the trip was to give Britt an experience of a lifetime, and I think she had it. Here are some pictures. I took about 80. I was very careful not to overwhelm everyone.

I love this picture of Kathi and Brittanie. It looks like they are sharing a joke.
Brittanie on the pool deck
This is me. Trying to make to the entry to Nassau. You can see I didn't get very far. Our ship is in the background. It was HOT! I changed into a skirt later on.
Brittanie and Kathi at Fort Fincastle. That's Nassau and Paradise Island in the background.
Brittanie and Kathi didn't want to wait for it, but I made them. I love a sunset at sea.

Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian's private island.Kathi and Brittanie getting ready to snorkel. I love how dorky they look:)
Sitting on the beach with my feet in the water, just as they told me to . . . later Kathi let me borrow her gear and I snorkeled for a bit. Take that Norwegian!

Caribbean Blue . . . way too many people

WAY cool! It was so peaceful and the water looks so blue. Really worth it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Travel Stress

I haven't had seizures since December 10th, so Yea, Me!

But . . .

Every time I travel, even to the family reunion in Oregon, I stress. and stress is a major factor in causing my seizures. (Okay, so maybe that one might be cause for more stress, not less)
This last trip to Disneyland was a fun, breezy trip. And I stressed.
My family doesn't like it, but they're used to it. Now they have MP3 players and iPods, so they can shut me out. I also notice that more and more, my family avoids me during the preparation phases.
We all cope in various ways.

However, I am supposed to go on a cruise to the Bahamas with Kathi and Brittanie and we are no where near ready to go. Kathi hasn't even picked up her passport yet, which she had to expedite.

And now I am really stressing out because yesterday, Kathi asked if I would take over planning. She's been pretty sick and doesn't know what to do for a cruise. She assumes I do because I've been on one before. I let Autumn handle all the details then, just like I do whenever I travel with Autumn. Can't do that now.

So here is my to do list for today:

Rent a car because we missed the shuttle dead line
Book a hotel in Miami
Get passport numbers (hoping Kathi has picked hers up and Brittanie finds hers) and register for our cruise

Try not to stress

Hear's hoping modern medicine does it's thing and I have a non-stressful, seizure free, vacation

I don't think the 12 pack of Diet Pepsi is going to be enough today. I am definitely going to need ice cream eventually.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Disneyland and Photograpy Drama

Autumn and I went to Disneyland with Autumn's sister Emily and Emily's husband Jason and their children Ezri and Riker (I think I spelled Riker right). It was Ezri's 4th birthday and we all had a fabulous time.
We spent three days in the park. We saw the fireworks and rode every ride Ezri would go on and managed a few adult rides. Of course, the kids' favorite place was the water park in California Adventure's A Bug's Life garden. I think this was the cleanest Riker got :)
For her birthday, Ezri went to the Princess Lunch and we got her a princess dress. What a blast!
Finally, on Monday, Riker gave up and fell asleep in my lap on a park bench. The kids hadn't slept before 10:00 for two days. That's when we figured we should leave before someone reported us for child abuse. We started home around 3:00. We got back on Tuesday morning at about 5:00 am. Since Ezri is Autumn's niece, I forwarded everything I took on to Emily and Autumn. The trip was a blast and there are many pictures and memories, but Autumn has posted most of those on her blog.
Erin has been trying to teach herself how to take a good photograph. So Saturday we went on an expedition with all three kids so Erin could practice. She also figured it was time to get one of them all together that looked nice.
This is what we learned. It is impossible to get a 6 month old, a three year old and a seven year old to look at the camera and smile at the same time.

Sam learned that boys can go to the bathroom outside.

So it was a big day all around. We all started out happy but after a lot of patience, the kids had it. The last pictures are a pretty accurate summation of how they all felt. Sam was more interested in dirt and making faces. Holly wanted to explore. And Max just wanted to be fed. Ironically, Holly and Sam are singing "We Are A Happy Family" in the picture where Max is screaming.

These are just my pictures. Erin's are much better. I spent most of the time making sure Sam didn't fall into any water or off of any walls, and holding Max.
In two weeks, I'm off to the Bahamas with Brittanie and Kathi. Then I've got to get back to my classroom and get ready for . . . wait for it . . . Fall. Where did the summer go?

Thursday, June 18, 2009


This is the week for birthdays. Holly turned 7 on the 15th, and Brittanie turned 18 on the 16th. Today is Orion's birthday, but I can't remember how old he is. I think he will be a sophomore. Maybe I'm in denial. My oldest nephew cannot be that old. Then again, Brittanie just graduated and Holly is going into the second grade, so I guess he can. Holy Mackerel.

For her birthday Holly wanted a scooter, so Erin and I took her to pick one out, and Nana and I bought it. This is her looking pretty snazzy. Sam wouldn't just let me take a picture of Holly, but he also wouldn't stop sticking out his tongue. Isn't Max a cutie?!

Every year, I also celebrate "Little Brother's Day" on Holly's birthday. I always felt left out on Erin's birthday when we were little. When you're one of two kids in a house, it's understandable. So when Sam was born, I started the tradition by celebrating "Big Sister's Day" with Holly. The idea is, when someone has a birthday, I don't forget that this is the day their siblings became brothers or sisters. So on Holly's birthday, when everyone celebrates her, I don't forget the boys. And on the boys' birthdays, I get a little something for the others.

Max is too little to care this year. But when I reminded Sam that Holly's birthday was his Little Brother's day he was pretty excited. So Holly got a pink scooter and Sam got (another) Lightning McQueen. Then Erin hung out at my place with the boys and I took Holly to the movies. Sam is pretty excited for his birthday in August. So is Holly.

Now, when I get old and infirm, I know I'll be well taken care of.
I bought their love.

Happy Birthday Everyone!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I have the title for a new folksong. "The Ballad of Modern Technology." I can hear Peter, Paul and Mary tuning up as I type it.

I mentioned that I left my digital camera at my sister's house two months ago. Since I got it back it hasn't worked. Right as the warranty ran out. Granted, Holly stepped on it in January, but really, is there a delayed reaction on these things? I highly doubt it. Since I have a vacation coming up when I will definitely want a camera, I went and got another one. (Anyone want a digital camera that works perfectly except the button to take pictures doesn't work?)

At the same time, My MP3 player keeps telling me that it's full. Even after I reformat it. There is nothing on it, nada. And yet the computer says it's full. A week ago it was only half full. I can still put music on it, but it's like having a car with a gas gauge that doesn't work. How do I know when I really am out of room?

I hate technology.

Growing up, my dad had a lot of different kinds of computers in the basement in various stages of destruction. He built and programmed computers. He was the Bluebeard of computers. I'm sure he made sure his new laptop didn't get a look in the back of the basement to see what was in store if it started giving him trouble.

He hated technology.

Mostly because it's built to breakdown. Like my camera and my MP3 player, technology seems to be built to breakdown if you look at it wrong. If dad was working on the computer at home, we couldn't run the blow dryer at the same time. Which Erin always forgot. And then we'd blow a fuse. and then Dad would blow a fuse. Because there are only so many times you can do that to a computer before it gets cranky. Granted this was 10 years ago in a house that was 100 years old. but you get the picture. Shouldn't computers be more adaptable to old technology . . . like 50 year old circuit breakers? Or fourth grade teachers?

Seriously. There should be a song. Dad really liked Joan Baez . . .

Monday, June 8, 2009


School is out and for me summer is officially here. I realize that it doesn't start until June 21st, but honestly, when I know that I can stay up til one in the morning reading if I want because I can sleep in the next day because there's no work for me, that's summer time. (I fall asleep before 10 more often than not, but the possibility is still there) When I start going crazy looking for things to do, that's summer time. Forget what the calendar says. Set your clocks by my mental state.

I get bored faster than anyone I know, even my own students. I have very few plans this summer. I am going to the Bahamas for a few days in July, but the rest of my summer break is free. And anyone who knows me knows that this is always a problem.

For example, today I am surrounded by books, music, movies, crafts and the Internet. I have nothing to do.

And then I hear my mother's voice, from summers gone by:

"How can you be bored?"
"I don't want to hear that."
"You can always do the dishes."
"Go find your sister."
"Clean your room."
"You haven't read ALL your books"
"Go outside"
"Call Sharlon"
"Why don't you do laundry and I'll watch TV?"
"Go to the library"

Wow. They say that smells bring back the most vivid memories. I disagree. I think it's my mom's voice.
I have this sudden urge to find my sister and make tents in a backyard somewhere.
I absolutely feel guilty about not doing housework.

Love and guilt trips . . . they stay with you forever!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Last Day!

Last year, on this very day, I went to school, cleaned, got all checked out, and then went home at 1:30 and moved furniture across the parking lot to our new apartment. This year, I moved two weeks early and I moved to Taylorsville. But this year, we had help from Autumn's brothers and sister, and her dad, and my brother-in-law Rob. So it went pretty smooth. Smoother than if it was just 3 girls filling boxes and dumping them on the floor and then refilling them. I am now a fan of moving vans and packed boxes.

Today our principal has listed as a "quiet day." He wants us to clean, and get ready for check out. We have to sign in keys and manuals and id badges and pay fines and return missing stuff that you didn't know you had and report damaged textbooks and damaged rooms and do a check out interview. It's a mess. Every year I hate the process. But it always seems to get done.

And my classroom set up is finished! I don't have any work days next year, so I had my kids help me this year and voile! . . . A complete room. We've covered everything with white paper so it won't fade over the summer. We've covered the books so they won't get too dusty. We've wiped down every surface and cleaned out every drawer and closet. We've stacked deskes and chairs and tables. (Seriously, how do you mom's get anything done without at least 23 ten year olds? :) )

So today, in my lesson book, I wrote "clean room" "Watch movie" and "community circle"
What do I do? 4 1/2 hours are stretching out before me like they never have before. A movie will take about half of that.
It is a little scary.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

End of the Year

I truly am sorry for not blogging sooner. I wanted to post pictures of the new place but my camera has been at my sister's since Rob graduated, and the batteries are dead anyway, and the place is still a mess, so the pictures will come later. But we're moved in and almost all unpacked. We moved Erin last week end. Hopefully everyone will stay for a while because we're all tired. Or at least I am.

Plus, it is the last week of school and I am struggling to keep the kids focused on learning. I know. I have to hold back the laughter every time I say that out loud too. It doesn't help that the CRT testing ended a month ago. We had to have almost everything taught before testing started so they could pass the test. The last few weeks have been a steady stream of social studies and novel units.

But this week is a mess. And I am already worn to a frazzle. It is Tuesday morning, and I haven't even left for work yet. But here's the schedule for the week. Maybe you'll get my drift:

Monday - regular schedule
Tuesday - Fourth Grade talent show (usually takes between 2 and 3 hours)
Wednesday - Field Day
Thursday - Awards Assembly
Friday - Quiet Day, for cleaning.

Notice that the afternoons are all open. So we get the kids all crazy and then I have to pull them together and teach math. Again, laughter.

But I imagine it has been this way since school began. I know the last week has always been this crazy. My one consolation is that on Saturday, I begin a VERY long weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Joys of Moving

So I last complained about moving . . . again. But now that I've packed everything I can until the night before, I found many, many joys in knowing that I really am just passing through here.

1. I know I am not responsible for the funky smell in the kitchen.
2. I do not have to feel guilty about the amazing growth of weeds out front.
3. Since I've been eating take out ever since I packed the dishes, I really don't feel guilty about the dirty dishes either.
4. I am not longer worried about those unorganized bills. Done, and done.
5. I can get those extra shelves I've wanted and let the guys do all the heavy lifting.

See. there's always a silver lining.

And, if you're feeling like your life could use a little more service and maybe a donut or two, we're moving this weekend. We'll start at Autumn's and work up to my place. Come one, come all. Misery loves company.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I hate moving. And yet, here I go again. Last year at this exact same time, I was packing and moving. Except last May, I was moving my junk across my parking lot and reusing Rubbermaid containers. In 14 days I am moving from Holladay to Taylorsville. I am moving in with my cousin Autumn. And the important thing here is that I can't do a casual move like last year. I have to actually pack boxes. With lids. I can't just carry them to my new place, dump their contents, and then go back and fill up again. So I have been collecting xerox boxes at work. The five I got now hold half of my books. I packed my shoes in an empty Rubbermaid container. My belts and gloves and scarves and hats are in my luggage, and my bills and crafts were straightened up and repacked. I now have about 14 packed boxes, not counting the ones in the storage closet outside. I have taken down all my pictures and stuff in the living room. I am ready to pack the dishes and DVDs as soon as I get them all back.
I am no where near ready.

While I was getting stuff from the living room, I noticed that my roommate Kendra just got a new photo frame. Kendra is fond of the signs with sayings like "Stand for Something." They are all over our house. I don't hate them, but I like to joke about them. This new frame says "It's not where you go or what you do, It's who is beside you that counts." The frame doesn't have a photo yet, so my other roommate, Jessica, found one of herself, and set it in the inset of the frame where a photo would go. Not only did it break up the boredom of packing, I laughed really hard.
Now it looks something like this (I can't find my camera. Besides the batteries are dead. This will have to do):

It's not where you go
or what you do

It's who is beside you
that counts.

That's awesome.

I am going to miss these guys.

Monday, May 4, 2009


This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. If you think that's a bit much, the NEA got specific and said that Tuesday is National Teacher Appreciation Day. The voted on it and everything. Waaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1985. So the Tuesday of the first full week of every May, tell a teacher how great they are. Every other day of the year, feel free to show us as much disrespect as you want. Isn't that why we have a Mother's and a Father's Day?

In fact, that's why my mom hates Mother's Day. She thinks every day we should be treating her like we do on Mother's Day. And on Mother's Day, she only asks for a cherry red 2009 Mustang convertible. If wishes were Mustangs . . .

Anyway, back to my appreciation . . . Someone hand wrote a bunch of signs for the halls. Most of them just say "Driggs Teachers are Great! Appreciate!" But my favorite, I like to think they started at 1:00 in the morning and got a little crazy with. I would have taken a picture of it but my camera's batteries are dead. It says something like this:

"We appreciate our teachers, secretaries, principal, aides, custodians, and lunch lady."

I think the word they were looking for is "staff."

Get out there and show how much you love your teachers, old or new. Believe me, with 22 school days left, we need can use all the encouragement we can get right now.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Spiritual Stories

Recently, in General Conference, we were all reminded about the importance of Sacrament Meeting, and that if you are not getting anything out of it, it's your fault.

And then my roommate Jessica came home with story and I had the completely WRONG reaction. But, to rationalize, so did Jessica.

Jessica was in Sacrament Meeting with her family at a cousin's homecoming. Her aunt related this story in very dramatic terms with tears. If you've heard and loved it apologize.

A six year old boy was throwing brick after brick into the road, barely missing cars. One of the bricks finally hit a car and the driver got out and started yelling at the boy. "Why are you throwing those bricks?! Look at this dent?! Who is going to pay for this?! Where are your parents?!" The boy, with tears running down his face said "Sir, I was trying to get some one's attention. My brother is in a wheelchair and he has fallen out. I need your help." The man, feeling very humbled about jumping to conclusions, helped out the grateful children. He kept the dent in his car to remind him never to jump to conclusions again.

Okay. I know what I should think. Here's what I thought . . .
"What the heck is the kid doing taking his wheelchair bound brother to a place with lose bricks lying around?! One assumes this is a construction (or destruction) site. Not the safest place."

Jessica's dad thought "How could a six year old through bricks that far into the road?"

Jessica had the best and most logical thought:
"Wasn't there a pine cone around to throw?"

I guess I know what I need to work in Sacrament Meeting.

Friday, April 24, 2009


My brother in law graduated from the Marriott school of business today. He is now an MBA. Which is great. But the actual commencement was a little depressing.

I went directly from my class of fourth graders to the Marriott Center filled with people far more educated than me. In other words, within an hour and a half, I went from being the smartest person in the room to, well, not. That's an intimidating feeling.

But I started playing with Sam, my three year old nephew, and I began to feel a little more in my element. Then the commencement speaker got up.

Everyone knows that commencement addresses are supposed to be ignored. They aren't really meant for the audience. So while the graduates are (pretending) to listen and be inspired, their families take a nap. It's a time honored tradition.

Only one thing could make these speeches more boring.


That's right. This speaker used PowerPoint. Guaranteed to put more people to sleep than Ambien.

Next time, I'll mail the card.

Congratulations Rob! That's more work than I ever want to do!

Monday, April 13, 2009


I am trying to be more diligent about blogging, because I know I hate it when everyone else forgets to keep their blogs up to date . . . Erin.

So my new goal, added to my burgeoning list (lose weight, exercise daily, scripture study . . . ), is to write at least once a week. My problem, like Autumn, is that I like to astonish. Or at least make people laugh. Unfortunately, my days are pretty mundane. Wake up, get ready, go to school, teach future leaders (or not) of the world, come home, correct papers, go to sleep. Riveting.

The last few days have been my spring break. If you're wondering why I'm not jumping and shouting, it's because this year has been a bit of a let down compared to last year's spring break. As breaks go, it's been fun, but last year, I went on a cruise to the Bahamas. This year I went to have my car's emissions done, some blood labs done, and I had Holly and Sam for a sleepover Friday night.

While both a cruise and a sleepover can be placed in the "fun" category of life, I think you will agree that a cruise is a little different than a sleepover.

We had a very rowdy time. We stayed up until midnight . . . not on purpose. We watched "Bolt" twice and "Enchanted" almost twice. I don't have kid food here so we went to McDonald's for dinner and we had boxed fruit drinks and M&Ms while we watched the movie. Remarkably, no accidents occurred.

Sam fell asleep around 9:00 in my bed. Holly was the night owl. While they were both excited about sleeping in their own sleeping bags, everyone eventually ended up in my bed to watch the movie. They both got to sleep in my bed. I got the floor. Around 4:00 Holly wanted to sleep in her sleeping bag, so I got my bed for an hour, and then I got up and showered. Which was smart because they were up and at 'em by 7:00 and I wouldn't have been able to shower until 1:00. I can hear all you moms saying you do that everyday. We had dry Lucky Charms and more juice for breakfast. Then we played on the computer and woke my roommates up. (sorry guys!) We played with our Happy Meal toys and watched Saturday cartoons until Erin came. By then they were grouchy because someone didn't get them to bed on time.

What did I learn from all of this? The floor is hard, but if you're tired enough you can sleep anywhere. Holly can talk to a brick wall. Sam talks in his sleep, just like his mom. Holly is smart . . . like scary smart . . . "This juice is better, see it is 100% juice" . . . What the heck?! It really doesn't matter how late I keep them up or what I feed them when I send them home the next day.

And sleepovers are just a different kind of fun than a cruise. Less sun and snorkeling but a whole lot more giggling.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I have pictures. Some are cute and some are just of my new hair cut which apparently is very important to see. (Settle down Sharlon.)

These first pictures are of Max, who is smiling and turned 3 months old yesterday. Erin took them and I think she did a great job.

You can tell he is a Wells. He looks just like Holly did, but he has Sammy's incredible blue eyes. What a cutie!

I have been learning new things this week. I have learned how to use a blow dryer and a round brush . . . at the same time. And I figured out how to use the timer on my camera, so I could get some pictures taken fast and post them. It is amazing how one haircut can change your life.
You may ask why I am tipping my head . . . I don't know. I really wasn't trying to be cute. Maybe I was trying to hide the open bathroom door in the back. It's more likely I am not used to bangs and I am flipping them out of the way.
I took a dozen or so pictures and these are the best of my hair cut, not of me. I took them at 5:30 in the morning, and I am not wearing makeup. I look, well, my age.
To answer your questions: No I didn't color my hair. This is my natural color. I cut out all the highlights from chemicals and the sun.
Yes, I donated to "Locks of Love."
No, I didn't cry. You should have seen how gross and damaged the cut hair was. I was glad to see it go.
Yes, I love it. It actually moves, and I no longer have headaches or neck aches from the weight of my hair.
Can you tell this has been a big deal all week? I forget that you should never do anything drastic to yourself when your teaching. The kids can't concentrate for days. The thing is, I didn't think it was that huge. I've had bigger changes. But even the teachers were a little freaked. On our field trip to Ballet West Monday, they sent people looking for me because they couldn't find me. I was standing right next to them, but they didn't recognize me. (Actually, I thought that was funny.)
So, not an exciting post, but at least the pictures of Max are cute.

Friday, March 27, 2009


We have a hair problem at our house and it is mostly my fault. Okay, it is 99% my fault.
I have a lot of hair. And recently I have been very lazy about going to get it cut. For the past 18 months I've been lazy. The longer I went without taking care of it, the more damaged the ends got, the more I shed everywhere. It's in the dryer, the quilts, the carpet. It is driving me crazy, and it's my own hair. I can't imagine how obnoxious it is for my blond room mates to find long dark hair in their laundry. (That's what the lint trap doesn't get . . . sorry guys!)

I usually wear my hair up in a twist and a clip. It's fast and easy, and I can do it in under a minute. My hair has been too long to do that for about 5 months. I have had it in buns and braids. When it's down it just gets in the way. (And any guy who tells me how gorgeous long hair is, has never had to wash it getting all the shampoo out, dry it, and make it not look like the Duggar women did your hair. . . without spending hours in the bathroom.)

Today I had a Friday off work, and I thought, in celebration of not having skin cancer yet (by the way, I had two pre-cancerous moles which were burned off) I would go tame my mane.

So, when I went to the Paul Mitchell School down the street, and I said I wanted a change.

We cut 9 inches off my hair. That's a change.
And I can still put it in a ponytail and up in a clip.

The shock is starting to set in a little. But I have just realized there is a real plus to having short hair. I can procrastinate a haircut for 3 years now.

I will post new pictures when I get someone to take them.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Doctor's Appointment

I have two doctors' appointments this week. One is with my neurologist to check my medication levels and the settings on my VNS implant. (If you don't know what that is just follow the link). Anyway, as scary and weird as that sounds, I am so used to it, that it doesn't phase me anymore. It's my second appointment that's making me a little nervous.

While I have brown hair, I have the complexion of a red head, and I have the freckles to prove it. I also sunburn, all the time. I have had no less then 5 blistering sunburns. I'm not counting the ones where there were only one or two blisters. I also have a lot of moles. Recently, with the weather changing, some of my moles started cracking and bleeding. I dismissed it as dry skin. One of my fellow teachers saw my arm and immediately gave me the name of a doctor to go to. She said I should have them looked at. So now I'm nervous.

But isn't that a little weird? One doctor wants to find out if the 6 medications I take and the implant in my chest are still working to control my epilepsy and myasthenia gravis. (By the way, this requires not a few tests).

The other doctor is going to look at my skin. As far as I know, no tests this week.

I guess it's the fear of the unknown. Like Star Trek.

That's me. Captain Kirk.

With neurological problems and cancer causing moles.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Birthday Plans

Tomorrow (March 20th) is my birthday and I turn . . . would you believe 28?

Yes, it's been ten LONG years since high school . . . all of you snickering can be quiet right now.

Maybe I am closer to 29 then 28. One tries to lose track of these things.

Anyway, the fourth grade team at school had a party for me last Thursday, because we knew we would be too crazy to do anything this week. They bought me lunch at Einstein's and Reese's Eggs and diet Coke and tulips and a gift card to Barnes and Noble.

It is spooky how well they know me.

So I now have no plans for my birthday. Unless the kids come up with something. My kids are all excited and they keep saying "I'm getting you something but I'm not telling what it is. I want it to be a surprise." What it actually means is, they have not gotten me anything yet, and they won't remember until Friday morning when they ask their parents if they can get me a diet Coke.

But those are my plans. And it's my fault. Because I got busy, and the 20th sort of crept up on me. I mean, Last Friday, it was only the 13th! I was just getting over report cards and parent teacher conferences! How can it already be the 20th!

I am literally at a loss. I feel sort of obligated to mark it in some way, but I can't think of anything to do for my birthday to make it stand out. Remember when it was easy? Your mom would invite some friends over, and you would have a sleepover and watch movies and eat lots of cake and ice cream?
Now I'm lucky if I stay up to 10:00 so I can take my medication.
(Okay, so maybe I'm closer to 30 then I've let on.)

I was going to take the day off of work, but I had to take the 24th off for a doctor's appointment and with state tests around the corner (It is March 20th tomorrow for crying out loud!) I didn't feel comfortable leaving the kids with a substitute for two days.

I think I'll leave work early, go to a bookstore, get something new, and stay up late reading. That seems like a great party to me.

Except I'll probably fall asleep before the news is over, with my glasses on, like my Grandpa Baxter.

And then it would be like every other Friday night at my house.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The toilet plunger

We have a bathroom off our living room. It's one of those deals that just has a toilet and a sink so that guest can use it but they are not subjected to your mess. My downstairs roommates use it as their bathroom. (They have a shower downstairs, but no toilet. A man designed these places.)

My roommates are very, very, neat people. Thanks goodess. Because I need to be led in that direction. Sometimes pushed kicking and screaming. But I want to be there. I want my house to be tidy and comfortable. I want to be that neat and organized person. But I've ranted about this before.

The rest of the house looks lovely. Not like my room . . . either my bedroom, or my classroom.

Anyway, I came home and there was a toilet plunger outside the bathroom door, in the living room. My first thought was, "Oh dear, the bathroom flooded." And then I went about my day, not seeing anyone drowning or even home.

The plunger has been there all week.

I'm just noticing today, because as I've stated before, I am not the neatest person. It's a goal. We should all be trying to achieve something. This is my dream.

Back to the plunger.

What are my neat, neat, roommates thinking? That the plunger is too icky to go in the guest bathroom? Thus, the perfect place is in the living room? It is just so outside of what I have come to expect.

Maybe I'll shock them this weekend and clean my room.

And maybe unicorns and leprechauns will fly me away for a weekend at a spa.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Parent Teacher Conferences

I know I just posted yesterday, and, please, feel free to scroll down and read that too. Autumn says it makes me sound like a geek so you will probably laugh.

But I had to share my preparations for SEP conferences, as we call them now. I always knew them as Parent Teacher Conferences. For the life of me, I don't know what SEP stands for, but that's what we call them.

Anyway, I have three of these conferences every year. The last ones were right around Thanksgiving. Spring SEPs bring out more decorations and student projects then any other time. Probably because we know we are not going to have to do this again until August and we are decorating. Like it is a party or celebration. You'd think the teachers were a bunch of seniors waiting to graduate.

Also this year, we have had an art special, who we have seen two times a month. In the entire year she has completed 2 art projects. I get that she only sees them a couple times a month, but she's a specialist. If she's not, they really should take that our of her title. She should be able to do better than that, right?
So not only did I hang up the quilt projects we did in our class . . . which were AWESOME, but everyone had to hang up the art specialist's stuff. In our case, we did self portraits. I am posting pictures of both so you can compare.

I did quilt blocks out of construction paper with my class. They had to use real pioneer quilt patterns, to make four 9-patch blocks. It required a lot of fractions and pattern recognition. They also had to choose colors that would work well together. Here are the results. I think most of them turned out pretty great (there's always a couple who do their own thing, like make up a pattern, or forget how to use a glue stick and scissors, etc.):

And here are their self portraits. They aren't bad but it took them 5 months to finish, and some still didn't finish. But who knows, I am not an art specialist. Maybe these are really good, and I am not trained to see it (they look nothing like my kids).

Mine are better.

Friday, March 6, 2009


I have become addicted to TV on DVD primarily for one reason . . . there are no commercials. I could really care less about the bonus features and such. There are no commercials. Honestly, that's why we buy them.

This all started about 4 or 5 years ago when I started watching reruns of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Don't laugh. I had a good reason. Among the first three episodes I ever saw was the season 2 cliffhanger. And it was on a Friday. So I had to wait all weekend to stew about everything. I happened to be in Media Play the following day (it was that long ago) and I saw season 3 on DVD so I bought it. Why wait?

Since then I have purchased the entire 7 seasons of Buffy, and all 5 seasons of Angel. then I branched out and started buying West Wing seasons, one at I time. I didn't want to look too shallow. I have all 8 now.

Now I own all the seasons for Alias, The Office, Smallville, and Lois and Clark. I have the first 3 seasons for a British show called MI5. I'm not sure if I want the others because they kill off everyone at the end of 3 . . . EVERYONE.

and I have watched everyone one of them multiple times. I can quote the Office and the West Wing, I can tell you who Rambaldi is, and which seasons of Smallville you can skip. The can draw family trees for Angel and Spike, and tell you how many times Buffy has saved the world from being sucked into some hell dimension.

But that just makes me look very very sad. And shallow.

So back to my point about commercials and how they can drive you to drink.

I watch regular T.V. on Thursdays to catch new episodes of Smallville and the Office.

Last night, I settled in to watch a rerun of Smallville that I had missed when I was using my opera tickets in January (see? Depth.) After 10 minutes I realized I had seen 3 minutes of the show and 7 minutes of commercials. I almost turned it off. The season will be out in September. I can catch the episode then. (And raise your hand if you hate Lana's new hair . . . Was she thinking this would be the new "Rachel Cut?")

But I decided to start keeping track in my mind of commercial time and show time. There were far more commercials. And Lana's hair is really annoying.

I can't help but wonder . . . is the economy getting to be so rough that the CW can't afford one hour of TV unless it 35 minutes of advertising?

I actually missed most of the show, because I was timing commercials, so if anyone knows what happened last night . . .

Thursday, February 26, 2009


For three weeks, I have been trying to mess with my room mates' heads. I have been really busy at work so this has been keeping me pretty entertained.

My room mate Kendra has a Welcome sign in our living room made of individual blocks, one for each letter of the word: W-E-L-C-O-M-E

Jessica and I thought it would be really funny to start messing with it, one letter a day, and see who would notice first.

First, we started to straighten them. Kendra had them kind of artistically staggered. Everyday, I straightened out one letter into a row rather than a zig-zag.

No one said anything and within a week, the whole word was straight as an arrow.

So, then I started jumbling the letters around, one letter a day, until I had spelled "welcome" backwards.

Seven letters, seven days.

No one said a word.

Then, I started turning them upside down, one letter a day. I got to the letter "c" (with it spelled backwards) when I found out that everyone had noticed and they were waiting to see what I would do next.

I believe the real joke was on me.

So were they laughing with me or at me?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

At BYU we used to call Valentine's Day "Single Adult Awareness Day." Because when are you, or anyone else for that matter, more aware of your marital status? It used to bother me when I was home alone, or babysitting for someone who had plans, on Valentine's Day. I used to try and make plans with friends so I could say I had plans.

And then I started teaching and let me tell you, the glamour has worn off. After a class party you don't want to do anything other than go home with your xerox box of candy and valentines and homemade goodies, and crash. Also, when you're suspicious about which little germy fingers have been on your valentine candy, it takes the fun away from eating it. In fact, I eat very little of my valentine candy. Especially when it has been taped to a valentine card with three pieces of finger-printed scotch tape. But the candy that's wrapping has been overseen by someone responsible like a parent or the FDA, and not tampered with . . . I'll eat that.

(I do, however, read all my valentine's. Those are cute.)

And this year one little girl in my class who bought me flowers with her own allowance money . . . . ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! They are on my dining room table right now.

But back to my plans.

Because our class parties were on Friday the 13th (I love celebrating any holiday at school if it's on a Friday), I actually forgot today was Valentine's Day until a friend texted me. By then I had been laying around reading for a couple of hours. So I took a shower, put on some clean pajamas, pulled on some blankets and watched T.V.

Yep. That's what I did today. I was going to go out but that got canceled, so I didn't even get into real clothes until 5:00 when I wanted my Diet Pepsi.

I have finished two books, watched two made for T.V. movies, and typed this blog. And I am not in the least upset about a lack of plans. And I will tell you why:

Both movies featured Dean Cain. As I watched him I figured, I am not an actor who once played Superman and is now making movies for Lifetime. Things could be worse.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 6, 2009


I know I just posted yesterday and I encourage you to read it. Mainly because I like to toot my own horn.

I just got finished reading my friend, Sarah's, weekly "Thankful Thursday" blog. Every Thursday she blogs about something she is thankful for. And I love to read them. Who wouldn't? It makes you feel good. I also just finished reading possibly the 100th "25 Random Things about you" list that someone was tagged with. And I got inspired. Rather than 25 random things, I choose to list 25 of my blessings. Of course I have many more. But these are the ones off the top of my head. If you want to be tagged, go ahead.
So here they are, in no particular order (how could you order blessings?):
  1. The Church
  2. The Saviour
  3. my scriptures
  4. My Dad and Mom
  5. My sister Erin (also my best friend)
  6. Katelynn, Brittanie, Mary, Lizzie, & Holly (My nieces)
  7. Orion, Raiden, Jacob, Seth, Draken, Sam, & Max (my nephews)
  8. Autumn and Emily (my favorite cousins and best friends)
  9. Kathi, Scott and Valeri
  10. a good education
  11. a job I love
  12. food to eat
  13. a house
  14. The temple
  15. books, books, books, books, books
  16. weekends
  17. clean laundry
  18. a good night's sleep
  19. a funny joke
  20. my room mates . . . all of them from BYU to now
  21. Sarah, Rebecca, Praveena, Connie and Chris . . . extraordinary teachers and colleagues
  22. my kids
  23. my health . . . that includes my medication and my VNS implant, which keeps me healthy
  24. a good movie with good company
  25. a fresh, cold, fountain, diet Pepsi

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I am an avid reader. I usually finish a book a week. But this week, after going to the bookstore with a gift card and spending more money than I should have, I can't seem to get started! I choose to blame Twilight,

I finished the Twilight series back in December, before school got back from Christmas. Then midterms and a new nephew kept me too busy to start anything new. But I was getting real antsy because that stupid story line kept going through my head.

I do that a lot too. I replay the plot of a book over and over in my head. If the book was fun to read, its a pleasure. If it was a really good book, I will just keep playing right on to that imaginary next scene, that happens after you've finished the book. (You know, "they lived happily ever after" and then they bought a dog and moved to Canada. Or something like that.) I started doing this when I was just a kid and my parents were reading the Little House books to Erin and me. It came in useful when I was a janitor at BYU, vacuuming offices from 4:00 am to 8:00 am. Anything to keep you awake.

And sometimes, I fix things I found wrong with the plot.

In the case of Twilight series, I was busy rewriting entire books. I've already mentioned my feelings about Twilight in my blog cleverly entitled "Twilight."

But still, the dumber the plot the easier you would think it would be to move on, right. Apparently not.

So, Saturday, I bought 5 books. I love bookstores and libraries. I love the smell and the quiet, and all the books! (I love bookstores just a little bit more because they let you keep your books). I can seldom wait the full drive home. There are exactly four lights between the closest bookstore and my apartment. Its the only time I pray for red lights.

I got home and started in.

Sadly, I have started all of them. I have made it to page 5 . . . of all of them. I just can't move on. They can't all be dumb and it wouldn't matter anyway because I've finished dumb books before (Breaking Dawn, for example). I finally came to the conclusion that if I reread the first book in the Twilight series, I would be over this slump. Most of the plot points that irritated me were later on in Breaking Dawn anyway.

I'm on page 5 of Twilight.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why Exercise is BAD

One of my new year's resolutions is to exercise 20 minutes everyday. Last spring I went to the Bahamas and in the summer I went to Hawaii and both times I was shocked and appalled at what I look like in a swimsuit. It had been a LONG time since I had put on a swim suit. Apparently with very good reason. It was not a pretty sight.

But I have two reasons to slim down.

I have a doctors appointment in March and they always weigh me. While I don't own a scale I do worry about this weigh in. Because my doctor has this skinny little MA who actually does the weighing and then gives me a spiel about how women "our age" have a difficult time losing weight. Like we're in some club together. (She probably wears a size 2.) Plus, I don't want to be one of those women who are classified as "our age" yet. That's what my mom says to my Aunt MaryEllen. People who talk about other people "our age" are old. Or at least older than me.

So it is discouraging on two counts. I get to hear my weight, and I get to be reminded about how I'm not getting any younger.

My second reason is that My niece, Brittanie invited me to go on cruise with her to Mexico this summer. So, once again I must pull on my swimsuit. Or not go. Yeah right.

So I am exercising. But here's the thing.

I AM one of those women who are "our age!" I know this because every time I start to exercise, things start to pop. My knees mostly, but all my joints are joining in the chorus by the time I'm cooling down. After my shower today I walked downstairs and my ankles and knees popped with every step. As I type, my wrists are popping. The vertebrae in my back pop as I sit down or stand up.

When did my body get older than my mind? I don't recall this process. It happened when I wasn't looking and I am not prepared for the consequences.

But, come hell or high water, in June I will be able to wear a swimsuit.

I'll still cover up because let's face it, the only thing scarier than my body in a swimsuit is my Utah tan uncovered.

Monday, January 19, 2009


The fineprint to this blog is, A) my room mates are AWESOME! and B) I have learned my lesson

I don't cook. I never eat anything that can't be cooked (AKA microwaved) and eaten in one dish. More often than that, I just hit the local drive through. I have terrible eating habits and it's beyond me how I am still alive. But that is another issue for another blog.

Because of my eating habits, I really never go into our kitchen. Really. Ask my room mates. They are used to this. If the garbage needs taking out, they just tell me. If they need paper towels or stuff, they tell me.

But with the new year, I thought I'd try something new, like eating regularly, and eating stuff other than junk. But I still only make easy stuff, like pasta. It requires only a couple of dishes to prepare if you do it right.

That's when I discovered the dirty dishes in my kitchen . . . meaning, I don't think anyone does them on a regular basis.

This is something I had never really noticed before. Because I only ever used one dish, I always washed and dried it by hand rather than let it sit. I figure this way, I was doing my share of the chores. This last week has been different. About four of the 50 dishes in the sink were mine. (Okay, I may be exaggerating a little, but only about my room mates' portion. I really only had four dishes in the sink. I hate dishes and will do anything, barring eating with my hands, to keep the dish count down).

Anyway, I think my room mates are secretly glad to have me in the kitchen, doing a fourth of the chores. Because the day after I started using the kitchen, and the dishes started to stack up, and I started to wonder how this particular chore was assigned . . .

They all left town.

So, after eating a meal of fettuccine, I cleaned up after fried eggs, broiled chicken, something else with pasta, something with cheese, and several bowls of cereal.

I think I have just been sent a message.

I'm glad I don't live with members of the Mafia.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Okay. So everyone in the known universe has at least read Twilight. And they all have opinions about it. Even my classroom of 10 year old children, which sort of frightens me.

I read Twilight right after my roommate did. While she was reading it she would share little tidbits with me and we would not swoon so much as laugh until tears came.

He watches her sleep? Don't they call that stalking?

He's too good looking to be a model? Has anyone seen the models these days?

He has an alabaster brow! Someone has been reading too much Anne of Green Gables.


You know. Stuff like that. So I was kind of biased when I read it by myself. And it took me a month when it took everyone else about a day.
But I saw the movie, and I didn't think it was half bad. Bella didn't whine as much. The vampires were pretty cool. It was shorter than the book, so, plus. So I thought I would try reading it again. And I now have a different opinion.

I think I would have loved Twilight . . . 20 years ago. New Moon and Eclipse were okay. Again, as a teenager, I would have probably followed Edward Cullen to the ends of the earth. However, What the heck was Breaking Dawn about?! I could have written that book better. One of my students could have written it better. They just couldn't have spelled it. It was a waste of paper, ink and my time.

Also, I don't see his attraction to Bella. If I whined like that, I would never ever have a date. My suggestion for Edward would be this: she smells so good? Eat her. You've got an eternity to find someone less annoying. And, no Breaking Dawn, so plus.

But after venting this over and over and hearing people tell me they were shocked. (They were sure that out of everyone, I was the one that was supposed to love these books. After all, I'm the one who loves books, right?) I realized that I also have some books on my shelves that are pretty stupid that I read over and over. Because I love them. And no one else would understand. These books have no brain nutritional content whatsoever. But their spines are bent and the covers are torn. So, to those of you who love Twilight and can't believe I don't, I give you my list of marshmallow books to show you I too am shallow:

  1. Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: a sequel to Pride and Prejudice - this book is so poorly written and yet, I just finished it for the third time. Who among us hasn't wondered what happened after the wedding? At least now I know which boring parts to skip (anything to do with Wickham).
  2. Prince Joe (and the rest of the Tall, Dark, and Dangerous series) - These were some Harlequins I came across years ago at a used bookstore. The author has become rather famous and I like her newer books too but these are her first and best books. They are silly and sappy and corny. They are the only Harlequin Romances I own, back when a kiss was the steamiest thing in the book. Sigh.
  3. Susanna and Caroline (and the rest of the Sunfire series) - When I was 12 I ordered Susanna from a Scholastic book order. It was a really thick book and it was about a 16 year old girl during the civil war. I ordered Caroline later. It was about a 16 year old girl who followed her brothers to the Gold Rush. There's a little romance a little of adventure and a lot of history. I read them until they were in tatters. Susanna's cover fell off and it was in two pieces. Then I ordered it on line a few years ago for $20. Yep. $20 for a paperback. People are collecting these books now. There are 32 books in this series and I own and love them all, but Susanna and Caroline are still my favorites.
  4. The Other Boleyn Girl - I know this is thought of as a very good book by some people. It is even read in book clubs and the "themes" are discussed (I ask, what themes?). But it really is just about Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII and how dysfunctional that whole place was and I love to read it. I love that Mary Boleyn gets what she deserves (land, money, family) and Anne Boleyn gets what she deserves (dead). Who can complain with a happy ending?

Maybe there was no more room in my brain for the corny and the sappy when I first read Twilight. Maybe Twilight came right when my brain had reached it's capacity.

Or maybe not.

I've been thinking I might want to pick up book one again.

Still, should heroes and pixie dust ever mix?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


As you all know from my last post, Max was born Saturday. I neglected to say that he was a healthy 8 lbs. 11 oz. and 19 inches long. And, of course, he is adorable. But so are all my nieces and nephews. I mean, have you seen the pictures?! :)

Unfortunately, Sammy had a terrible cold when Max was born so he couldn't really be near the baby. It's a hard thing trying to get a 3 year old excited about a baby brother, and then refusing to let him touch his brother. But seriously, the kid was SICK. I went down on Sunday to stay with the kids while Rob was with Erin. And Sam, who is usually hell on wheels, laid on the couch with me all day.

This was taken at the hospital when we visited Erin and Max on Saturday. Can you see the oozing? This kid just looks sick.

I took a personal day on Monday and went down again to help. Sam was a lot better. still running at the nose a little, but getting into trouble and having temper tantrums, so, situation normal. My job was to keep the 3 year old whirlwind busy and relatively quiet while Erin slept after that first night home. All you mothers know that's not the funnest experience.

After watching Kung Fu Panda for the third time in two days, I desperately pulled out my MP3 player. (There's only so much I will or can take). Sam loves music and he fell in love with the MP3 player.

And I got these shots. What you can't see is him bouncing to the music. He would say "next" when he didn't like or know the song. It had to have rhythm.

His favorite? Route 66 and Life is a Highway from the Cars soundtrack.

He looks so "cool." Such a dude.

This is Sam singing along. He knew every word.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are!

"The night Max wore his wolf suit
and made mischief of one kind and another

His mother called him "Wild Thing!"

"And now! Let the Wild Rumpus start!"

Max Robison Wells

Nephew #7
Grandkid #12