Tuesday, March 23, 2010

things i'm loving right now...

i decided i need some more moments of positivity in my life. so, here goes...

snow melt and colorful little pansies...

writing posts without capital letters. it feels strangely dangerous and liberating.

post-it pockets. they stick anywhere and (supposedly) can be removed cleanly. we'll see. for now they're saving my counter from the endless piles.

my sewing machine. had you told me three years ago that sewing/quilting would be a hobby of mine, i would have laughed. in your face. but it's fun. after a very productive spring break, all i have to do for my quilt - remember the thing i started in july - is piece the blocks and border to finish the top, quilt it (need a project, Grandma Lu?! seriously, e-mail me if your quilting frame is empty...), and sew on the binding. woo hoo - i might really finish it by my next birthday (with some help, of course).

my grocery savings. yep - that's 35%. i didn't think i would ever be one of the bloggers that posts all about saving money and grocery shopping, but i have to admit that the last three weeks (since i got serious about sticking to a specific weekly budget and checking the ads before making my list) have been fun. brad admits it, too, so i'm not crazy. not totally, anyway. and this will probably be the only post about the whole grocery shopping thing. other people do it much better than i do.

and speaking of food - chicken parmesan. and strawberries and pineapple. one of the best meals my husband has ever cooked. (and, incidentally, i am also loving that when i get home from track practice, supper is in the oven.) yum, yum, yum.

this room is pretty awesome - the quilt, the flowers, the wall hanging... and how could anyone not love the orange wall? seriously... a year later and i still don't question that spur-of-the-moment decision.

track. it's pretty much the best sport out there. kids are great this year. fun, fun stuff.

i'm reading this book right now. it's making me seriously rethink the ways i teach reading - and the ways i've always been taught reading. not that the methods are terrible, just not the most effective, according to a lot of research. i like the ideas. i'm still restricted by some district requirements, but i see that i obviously have lots of room for improvement. i'm working it all out in my head... slowly.

my new, free (after mail-in rebate, with a contract extension) phone - it's 40% corn. don't ask me how. that's just what sprint told me. brad likes to make fun of it, but i think that's because he's jealous that is phone is not cool enough to be called the "reclaim."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Wait

School resumes tomorrow. The past week has been a refuge, a place in time for me to forget the uncertainties and the stress, from all facets of my life, that surround and overwhelm me right now. I originally wrote this on 4/4/08, when I struggled to find the "perfect ending" to my first real job search (edited it today). I thought I had. Time will tell.

(p.s. just so you know. putting what i write - that which reveals a "private" part of me - out there in the great big world makes me feel really vulnerable. i feel like i should be a much better writer than this. that's why i don't do this poetry post thing very often.)

Simple tasks fall by the wayside
as I wait
to hear any news
(good or bad).

I pause in moments of
gathering doom
and tears
(of frustration, anger, hurt, confusion)
slip silently down my face.

I hold my breath in moments
of unbearable hope
and dream
(of the perfect endings).

But still I wait.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

25: The List, Update #5

I am on a roll this week...

7. plant a tree (we actually planted two)

And actually, Brad and Jeff did all this work. I worked on the garden beds... it only takes two to plant a tree.

We got a birch clump and a cottonless cottonwood. Cottonwoods are my favorite; I love how the leaves sound in the wind.

Yes, I'm in denial about what the yard looks like today...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

25: The List, Update #4

24. plan and go on a Kansas day trip 

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Monday we headed north to the Council Grove/Strong City area. Jeff and Justin joined us for the 2-mile hike. Back when I was in middle school, our league included Council Grove. So, on the way to games there, we would pass by this beautiful limestone house and barn. I would always wonder what lucky people live there?

Well, as it turns out, no one. Anymore. It's now a historic preserve, designed to save and restore a valuable piece of North America - Tallgrass Prairie, which used to cover 140 million acres. Less than 4% is left, mostly in the Flint Hills. It was not plowed for farm land because of the abundance of limestone.

We would like to head back, sometime later in the spring or in early summer, to catch the flowers in bloom and to check out the 6 mile loop, so watch for the "Update #4, Part 2" post.

p.s. our neighbors are getting a new roof. for the second time since we moved in... maybe we should take note of the company that's installing?!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

25: The List, Update #3

22. get my African violets to bloom 

"25: The List" Meets "From Donna, With Love"

To be completely honest, I don't have many memories of Grandma Donna, the gardener. (That was more Grandma Lu and mom's thing.) But I do remember Grandma having a foam pad that she knelt on to weed her little patch of veggies behind the shed. I remember Grandma paying us by the bucket to pick up pinecones from the shelter belt and to pull dandelions up from the yard.

And I do remember her cart of house plants in the sun room, soaking up the light from the (almost) floor-to-ceiling south windows. I picked these two up in July, separated and repotted them (mom has half of the lighter one), tried several different locations in my house. And after eight long months, they have finally bloomed. For as long as I can remember, my mom has had her grandmother's African violets blooming on the dining room windowsills. And now, on my kitchen windowsill, I have some of my grandmother's African violets blooming.

Friday, March 12, 2010

First Thing

Think quickly. What would be your first spring break act if you were me? Eating lunch? Changing into comfy sweats? A nap? Veg out in front of the TV? Get started on the book  I just bought?


Try: clean behind the stove. Before changing. Before sitting down on the couch. Before eating lunch (we got out at 11:30). It seemed innocent enough.

Just for future reference, I would recommend doing this right away when you move into a new house, preferably when your mom and mom-in-law are both there helping clean. I'm not quite sure how we completely overlooked this on our cleaning detail, but we did.

So, for the first time ever, I moved the stove.

Yuck. I'm pretty sure that there was some dried dog poop - I guess  the smell goes away when it dries, but when it gets wet again, it smells? Yep. I suppose I can't be positive that that's what it was, but if it looks the part and it smells the part..... That was when I really wished for my mom. You saw how the dogs destroyed our carpet, right? So this whole concept of not cleaning up after the dogs if it's inconvenient really doesn't surprise me.

But now...... So I swept and scrubbed and bleached. It was worth it.

 I feel better. But for my next break "first thing," I might try the sweats and a book.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nothing New

There's really nothing new happening around here. But I'm going to post, anyway. Because I haven't yet this month. And the in-laws are getting restless.

(pause for completely unrelated picture)

-I almost have another update on the list. I'm waiting until I remember to take pictures during daylight hours. And spring break starts Friday afternoon, so there is definitely something in the works for that....

-VBS planning is fantastic. The women on the committee are so easy to work with. Things are moving right along.

-There's no new news on the my-job-is-in-danger-of-being-cut front. Except that it's a 1 FTE cut, instead of .5. But my principal keeps saying he would rather cut two teachers to .5 than one to 0. Wish I knew something more solid, like whether or not it's my position - I'd take about anything right now. They did officially approve the cuts by position. They'll approve the actual people at the April board meeting.

-I'm working on a job application. It sucks. 'Cause I am darn good at the job I have now. (That's not just my inflated ego talking. I had my evaluation conference this morning, and I was told that I'm darn good.) They always ask "reason for leaving." Umm... the legislature refuses to even acknowledge that they are irreparably damaging K-12 education with their cuts and lack of revenue-raising ideas. Do you think that will work?

-Tomorrow is the last day of state assessments. Yikes. Not sure how to feel... so...... during our lunch/plan, one of my coworkers and I are ordering pizza and watching the KU game.

-We're eight days into track practice. I've been working out, too, doing the warm-up with the team. And lest you think that doesn't count, may I just tell you that our warm-up is a good 45-plus minutes long, two laps and tons of active stretching. Yep. True story. I forget how much I love track - maybe because, for the past two years I've coached distance and didn't really feel confident about it. I love coaching sprinters. 

-Brad is baking peanut butter cup brownies. Yum. Better go unwrap the peanut butter cups.