Sunday, August 31, 2008

Choices - Part 2

Now, don't get me wrong. I like DAP. He's smart and funny, just frustrating. I'm not teasing or making fun of him. As a teacher, if you don't laugh at the craziness, you'd go crazy.

So, DAP joined the rest of us at music. He seemed to not dislike school as much as he thought during music time. After music we came back upstairs to our classroom and after getting settled back in, started math. After my math lesson, the students were assigned some math practice. The timer was set for 10 minutes, plenty of time. At about 5 minutes, I noticed that DAP was staring off into space. "What are you working on?" I asked him. "My math," he answered. "Great, but I want you to watch your time. There's only about 5 minutes left, and you still have a lot to do." "I don't really want to do math anymore." "I know, but I need to know that you know how to do it." He didn't say anything. "But it's your choice DAP, you can do it now and join the class at recess time, or you can sit here now, and go to Mr. Show's room at recess." He didn't answer back. "OK, watch your time. Remember, it's your choice." The timer went off, everyone else was done except for DAP. The rest of the class and I went over the math assignment and then put it away to get ready for recess. This time, DAP started putting it away immediately (can you beleive it?). "Oops, DAP, you need to go get a clip board so you can take the math and your pencil over to Mr. Show's room. You can finish there and then join us at recess." "But, but," he was surprised. "But I have a poptart." "Well, that was the choice you made." He was still in shock and absentmindedly found himself a clipboard. I lined up the class outside and told him to go next door to Mr. Show's room.

That set him off. (Now, close your eyes and imagine the sound a tea kettle makes when the water is ready. The rest of DAP's contribution to the dialogue took place in that sound.) "But IIIIIIIIIIII waaaannnntttt tooo goooo tooooooo recesssssss." "I know you do, but you made the choice to not do math during work time so now you have to do it during your time." "IIIIIIIIII haaaavvvveee aaaaa poooooooptaaaarrrrtttttt."

I didn't want the rest of the class to have to wait for this meltdown to occur and I didn't want to send him to Mr. Show's room in this state, so I told him to get in line as we walked downstairs. He thought I was giving up, but what he didn't know is that I am more stubborn than he is. He happily got into line and we walked downstairs. I quickly sent the rest of the kids out to recess, and told DAP to wait with me. The meltdown suddenly was back. "But IIIIII waaannntttt toooo goooo toooo recesssss." "DAP," I said firmly, "Your work didn't get done during worktime. That work must get done, and it's going to get done right now." Throwing his fists down, "Buuuutttt IIIIII don'ttttt waaaaannnnttttt tooooo dooooo worrrkkkkk." During this time, other 2nd grade classes walked by and he didn't care. We stood by some bushes and being upset he started pulling the leaves off the plant. "DAP, you now have two new choices, one is to come back upstairs with me and do your math, the second choice is to go see Mrs. H (our assistant principal). Which would you like to do.?" He put his face down in the bushes and whined, "I don't like school work." "I know, but that's your job here. Which choice would you like?" He didn't answer. "Alright, I'm going to go get Mrs. H." He looked up at me, "Thaaaatttttt wasn'tttt myyyyy chooooiiiice." "So what choice do you want?" "IIIIIIII don'tttt liiiiikkkkke either oooofff thoooose chooooiiices." "Well, you need to make one and right now you are showing me that you are choosing Mrs. H." "NOOOOOOOOOOO." "Then what's your choice." "Maaaaattttthhhhh." "That's a wonderful choice, let's go upstairs and get started on your math."

With some coaxing, DAP slowly followed me upstairs, several paces behind. "I am so glad that decided to do your math," I told him, "because as soon as you finish, you can bring it to me and go out and play." We walked into my classroom, grabbed his clipboard, and walked back out the door to Mr. Show's room. I walked in the the classroom, the door closed behind me and DAP wasn't inside with me. I looked at Jason and rolled my eyes, "We'll be right back." I walked back outside and there was DAP with his head against the wall, "I doooooonnnnn'ttttt waaaaannnnttttt toooooo dooooooo maaaaaaath. IIIIIItttttt'sssss toooooooo haaaarrrrddddd." "Well, come on inside with me and I will show you how to do it again." He didn't move. "Does that mean you are choosing for me to call Mrs. H?" Silence. So I walked back towards my room and opened the door to call the AP. "NOOOOOOOOOO," he jumped back and blocked the door to stop me from getting inside. Now, I was mad. This had taken up 10 of my 15 minutes of break and I had to go pee. "DAP, this is unacceptable. If you don't go in that room right now and work on your math, Mrs. H is going to come up and get you." "FIIIIINNNNNNEEEEE."

We walked back to Mr. Show's room and I opened the door and made him go in first (fool me once). I sat DAP down at a single desk in his room. "IIIII dooonnnn'tttt knnnoooowwww howwwww toooooo dooooooo itttttt." "I'll show you." I quickly showed him, again, and told him as soon as he finished the front page (that's right people I'm not that much of an ogre, so much time had passed, I just made him do the front side) he could bring it to me and go to recess. He started to meltdown again, but I cheerily said, "Come see me when you're done." I looked at Jason and whispered, "I'm sorry." He just chuckled.

I left the room and went back to my room. I still needed to pee, but I was afraid he'd meltdown again and would need me. I just sat there waiting, and I'm not kidding you, about 3 minutes later he walked in with the front page all finished. "Are you done?" I asked. "Yes," still high pitched, but not whiny. "Come show me, let me see it." He showed it to me and it was all correct. "You did great! It's all correct and I am so proud of you that you made such a good choice to finish it." As soon as I said that, the bell rang. "MMMMMMMMM," he started to pout, knowing that he missed recess, "buuuutttttt IIIIIIII haaaaaaaaddddddd aaaaaaa popppppptaaaaaaaaarrrrrtttttt."

I'll stop there for now. There is just a bit more funny to the story. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Choices, Part 1

I have written one other post about teaching and I'm kind of iffy about it, for a number of reasons...
  • So many blogs out there are written about kids, but is it appropriate for me to write stories and such about my students? They are "my" kids, but only from 8:00-2:30. They are other people's kids and I feel kind of weird about that.

  • Since so many of my readers have kids of their own, will they be offended that a teacher is writing about someone elses kids?

  • Do readers even care about my job as a teacher; is it even interesting?

Well, all of those concerns have been thrown right out the window, cuz I'm writing about a student! Teaching is something I spend the majority of my time doing and it makes up part of who I am, so I'm sharing. Today was a very frustrating, but funny day and it came just in time as I was about to quit the blog since I had nothing to write about. It's a long story, so I hope it doesn't sound like I'm rambling. I need to get it down right now, so I don't forget, but if it gets too long, I'll make it a 2-parter.

As posted about in Madness, a couple of weeks ago my 2nd grade team reorganized and some new students started in my room last Monday. It has been a trying week and half with a borderline autistic, two mutes, a new student who is showing some strange/scary behavior, oh, and have I mentioned two students who are the children of some of my colleagues at school? Yah! It's been an interesting beginning of the year.

Anyways, today's post is about my borderline autistic, I'll refer to him as DAP from here on out. Well, DAP, like any child who struggles with this disorder has had some difficulty adjusting to our classroom. I have high hopes though, since I run my classroom very structured and once students are familiar with how our classroom works, there aren't a lot of surprises. I spent the first week with these new students working on and reinforcing procedures. After the first day, when DAP had various meltdowns because he wasn't ready for a transition, I also spent that first week preparing him ahead of time about what was to come. We had a lot of "talks" about what was coming next and how he might handle each of those situations. After talking about making good decisions, I gave him some scenarios and asked him what he might do. This is howthose conversations went...

Me: OK, DAP, so when the timer goes off, what do you do?

DAP: I stop working. Did you know it's my birthday in 3 months?

Me: I didn't know that. Where do you put your work when the timer goes off?

DAP: I put it in my yellow folder.

Me: That's right!

DAP: What's that? (said looking past me and pointing at my computer)

Me: That's a clip to hang my papers. Back to your work. If you're not finished with with your work, what do you do with it?

DAP: I like lasagna. It's my favorite food.

You get the picture. DAP's just a wee bit self involved, which isn't uncommon with children like this. This self-involvement is what led today's events. DAP is always the last one ready for anything, everything. As the rest of the class has followed directions and is quietly waiting to move on or leave the classroom, DAP might still be working, or maybe leisurely getting his lunchbox out of this backpack, or dumping out 15 of his crayons while trying to put 1 of them away, or anything else except what he was asked to do. For the first week, I was patient, we waited, and waited, until he was ready before moving on. But now, I'm tired of it. Unfortunately, my classroom is very far away from the playground, the bathrooms, and the cafeteria, so I can't just let the rest of the class go without me while I wait for him and I can't just leave him unsupervised while he's STILL putting his pencil away. I have lost all patience for this dilly-dallying.

This morning we had music. About 10 minutes before music, we prepared to go downstairs. That consisted of putting one (1) math page inside a folder, and one (1) pencil inside a pencil box. That's it. I assumed 5 minutes would be plenty. Well, you know what happens when you assume (you make an ass out of you and me, ha, ha). I was wrong. At 5 minutes before music, the time when we were supposed to be leaving for music, we were still waiting for DAP to be ready. I had had it!!! I lined the rest of the class up outside and herded DAP outside telling him that from now on, if we are ready to go and he is not, he will be sent next door to Mr. Show (yes, from the Jason Show!) and that might mean he will miss library or music or recess or lunch. Mr. Show happened to be outside at the time, so I walked DAP over and introduced them. "DAP," I said, "This is Mr. Show, and you will be visiting him if you choose not to be ready with the rest of the class." Mr. Show said, "Hi DAP," and before he could say anything else, DAP threw his arms down in frustration and said in a high pitch, whiny voice, "See, this is why I don't like school." It was all Mr. Show and I could do not to laugh. "I know," I said.

Are you exhausted yet? And to think, this all happened before 9:10 am. I will stop here for now. Part 2 coming soon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Writer's Block?

Ugh! The pressure of this blogging thing. I enjoy blogging, but recently, probably since I started back to work after summer break, I have been feeling pressure to post something. Thank god for the Tasty Tuesday posts, or I would have nothing new. Recently my creativity has not been flowing in all aspects of my life, writing, drawing, painting, cards, work and therefore ideas for posts are just not coming to me. It's stressful because it's taken me a long time to build up my readership of 6 and I don't want to lose my faithful readers. Please bear with me while I come up with something to write about....

Any ideas? help....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tasty Tuesday

It's that time again...Tasty Tuesday. This is a dish I've been making for a several years now. It's very rich and cheesy. Slàinte!

Chicken Breasts Stuffed w/ Asiago Cheese in Lemon Sage Sauce

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
6 slices Asiago cheese, each about 4x1 ½ in. thick
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
3 Tbsp lemon juice (I use more cause I like it lemony)
2 Tbsp butter
12 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chicken broth

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Cut a 2 ½ in. pocket through the thicker side of each breast, stopping ½ in. from the top of the breast and ½ in. from the side. Lay the breasts on a sheet or plastic wrap with the pocket facing you and place a second sheet of plastic wrap on top. Using a meat mallet, lightly pound the thick end of the breast so the sides are of thickness.

2. Break each slice of cheese in half and place two pieces in each pocket of the chicken. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and lightly rub with 1 ½ Tbsp. of the lemon juice to moisten.

3. Divide 1 ½ Tbsp. butter in half and melt in 2, 12in. ovenproof skillets. Add the breasts, round side down, and scatter sage pieces in the skillets. Cook breasts until golden, 3 minutes: turn them and place skillets in oven until chicken is just cooked through. 5 minutes.

4. Transfer chicken to a warm plate. Add the rest of the lemon juice and chicken broth to one of the skillets over low heat, scraping up the browned bits, and transfer all to the other skillet. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the remaining butter, swirling the skillet until the sauce comes to a boil. Reduce until slightly syrupy, 2 minutes. Spoon over chicken and serve.

The chicken is good alone with cooked vegetables, but I really like the chicken and sauce served over pasta. Enjoy!

You'll notice there are only 4 chicken breasts in the picture. That's because I only have one skillet that can go in the oven and it only fits 4. I therefore adjust the recipe accordingly. :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Doesn't this look relaxing?
Today, I read the book King Bidgood in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood to my class. It's a great story about a king who won't get out of the bathtub. I know a lot of people, like King Bidgood, who like baths a lot. Baths relieve stress they say. They are relaxing I am told. To me, a bath doesn't relieve stress. It causes it. I admit, the candles, the wine, the relaxing music do have a calming effect (especially the wine), but I can do all three of those things sitting on my couch rather than sitting naked in water. A lot of people seem to really like baths. I'm not one of them.

I have tried. On cold, winter days (not that there are many here in SoCal) I have lit candles, turned on some music, grabbed a book and run a hot bath. It sounds great in theory. But once I'm in it, I ask myself, "What are you doing? You don't even like baths." First of all, I can't seem to get comfortable leaning against the ledge of the tub. I have tried rolled up towels, but I can't seem to lie against them without it bothering my neck. I also get cold from the shoulders up. Sure, I can slide down so my head is barely out of the water, but that isn't comfortable either, plus it's hard to read a book like that. Plus, after a little while the water is cools off. There's something about sitting in a luke warm pool of my own filth that creeps me out a bit. Bored out of my mind is how I describe my experiences sitting in the bath for more than five minutes. Sure, I have a book , but it's covered in water droplets because of all the sliding around trying to get comfortable. Just lying there isn't fun for me, even if it's supposed to be relaxing. If I could type on the computer, paint, or make cards in there, it might be a different story.
Yah, baths just aren't my cup of tea.

Although, I might make an exception if he were in my tub. He sure looks comfy doesn't he?
Until then, this is what I feel like in the bathtub.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tasty Tuesday

It's Tuesday, and that means it's Tasty Tuesday time. I'm not a big dessert eater - give me crunchy and salty anytime, but this is one of my favorite desserts. Both the cupcake and the frosting are delicious, but the frosting is also to die for. I posted about this awhile back (Easter Cupcakes), but never included the recipe. Here it goes...

Red Velvet Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
  4. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer.
  5. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled.
  7. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
(I halved the frosting and still had plenty left over to eat with a spoon)
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth.
  2. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.
  3. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes.

You've probably guessed by now that these aren't some low calorie desert. These are the real thing - buttery, sugary, fatty. Mmmmmm!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I haven't written about my job as a teacher yet. I don't know if I had planned on writing about it, but after this week, I need to vent!

Tuesday was my first day back to work with kids. I've been working on-and-off all summer, but Tuesday was my first official day. Before the school year started, I was told that I would have a 2nd/3rd grade combo. That's a tough one for a teacher because, even though we make "it" work all the time, I have not yet figured out how to be two teachers at the same time in order to teach two separate grade levels. I resigned myself to the fact that I would have it and tried to just shrug it off as one more thing. As the end of the school year approached, it seemed to me like the combo wouldn't happen because of the numbers, but I still remained a combo teacher.

Over the summer, I didn't do too much planning because I didn't want to waste the time on something that was bound to change. The first day of school got closer and closer without word one way or another. Then on Friday of last week, I got my class list and I had a combo. I spent the weekend doing some planning and started school on Tuesday, ready to go!!!

This entire week was spent on assessing and teaching classroom procedures. I had a nice little group, albeit two different grade levels, but it was ok. I still wasn't convinced that this combo should be happening. The numbers weren't right, but as the week went on, I started some curriculum and we were moving forward. Then Friday morning I was told that I wouldn't be having a combo anymore. My 3rd graders were to go to another 3rd grade room and I would get additional 2nd graders to fill my class. Ugh! Here we go again.

Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled to have a straight 2nd grade, but the first week of school is so, so very important and now it's come and gone, but I've got to do it all over again. I started school on Tuesday with 18 students and now I will start school on Monday with 17 students 8 of which are new to my classroom. Not to mention that among those new students are a borderline autistic child and two selective mutes. It's almost comical, and all I can do is laugh.

This is my ninth year of teaching and not one of those years has started off "normal". I work for a principal (yah, the one who grabs his neck) who likes to change things and move people around a lot. Here is a quick glance at my 9 school years...

Year 1 - Hired in October. Two second grade classrooms were too full so those teachers picked students to go into my classroom. I started that year with 18 boys, two girls, and 5 students who didn't speak any English, 2 of which had never ever been to school.

Year 2 - Given a 2/3 combo and moved out of Year 1's classroom into a classroom that was pretty much condemned a year later. My kids and I were sick all year, so sick that my principal wouldn't even come observe me because we were hacking, and coughing, and sneezing like a doctor's office.

Year 3 - Back to 2nd grade, but made into a roving teacher. I had to move, yet again, out of the sick classroom and into one rolling cabinet. That rolling cabinet made it "easier" to pick up and move from classroom to classroom each month...that's right, EACH MONTH!

Year 4 - Still in 2nd grade, but this time had to pack up that rolling cabinet and all my storage and move to a new school, literally a brand new school. We got to move in about 4 days before school started. That year I had the class from hell.

Year 5 - Still in 2nd grade and the same classroom, but I don't remember too much about it, so it must have been pretty normal.

Year 6 - Still in 2nd grade. The year started off pretty normal. Then a month into the school year another teacher was mad that she had lower kids and to appease her my principal moved 7 of my kids out to her room and 7 of her kids to my room. Did I mention how important that first week of school is? After a month had gone by it was very difficult to reteach all the classroom procedures AND keep up with curriculum. That was the worst year I have had.

Year 7 - Still in the same classroom, but back to a 2/3 combo. Plus I had back-to-back student teachers starting with day 1. They were WONDERFUL, but it's hard to get your classroom running smoothly when you have to hand it over to another person a week or two into the year.

Year 8 - Started off the year job-sharing with another teacher and doing additional tasks for my principal. Let's just say that last year is neck-in-neck with year 6 as the worst year ever.

Year 9 - See above

I know I'm just being a whiny baby, but it's my blog and I'm allowed too. I'd really like to have a normal beginning to the school year more than one out of nine times. I'm just saying.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tasty Tuesday

I'm not a food blogger, in fact, I'm not sure what kind of blogger I am. Is a "bunch of random blather" a blog niche? Anyways, I am still a foodie in the sense that I love to eat, drink, cook, and plan parties. Since my vacation ends today and my time spending hours reading and writing posts is over, I thought this would be a great time to start a weekly "culinary" post so I can share some of my favorites with you. Slàinte!

Chicken Tortilla Soup - Slow Cooker


2-3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (can be frozen)
1 (15 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chile peppers
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups water
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (10 oz) package frozen corn
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (add more if you like it like I do)
7 corn tortillas
vegetable oil

1. Put all ingredients (except tortilla and oil) into slow cooker. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours. Before serving, shred chicken using a fork - it will just fall apart.
2. Preheat oven to 400.
3. Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.
4. Bake in preheated oven until lightly brown and crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Add tortilla strips and any other toppings...serve!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sexy Appliances

As mentioned in a previous post my vacuum cleaner broke a couple weeks ago when I foolishly tried to clean my house without the supervision of my housekeeper. Who knows when she's coming back and I had dirty floors, so I had to find a new vacuum. I did some research online and asked some friends for recommendations. I have a dog and needed something that was good at sucking up dog hair. The Dyson commercials make it sound like it's the best thing out there, but my research seemed to prove quite the opposite. After a few days of looking around, I found the Sunpentown. "The what?" you ask. Yes that's right the Sunpentown; Not to be confused with Supentown and Supertown which was how I numerously tried to look it up on google. Well Sunpentown is a local (LA) small appliance company that makes one and only one vacuum. The reviews are very good and it's red (my favorite color) so I bought it. I received it from the company the next day! I opened up the box, put it together, and I have to tell you that this vacuum is HAWT!. It is candy-apple red and sparkly. It's like a sports car vacuum.

I told Jason from the Jason Show about my new purchase and after some dirty comments about vacuums (yes, he can turn anything into something dirty), he told me that his brother-in-law just purchased a red washer and dryer. He said that they are amazing and called them "sexy". It's true, these red appliances are sexy. My vacuum is sexy. I've been vacuuming all week because I just like looking at it. Some day I want to have a house full of sexy, red appliances.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tag, You're It!

I was tagged by Karen over at For the Love of Pete to do a meme. I am supposed to tell you about 6 quirks that I have. It will be difficult to narrow it down to 6. I am pretty quirky.

1. I don't do pictures. I love to take pictures, but I prefer to stay behind the camera. In fact, if I see a camera in someone else's hand I get nervous and have to leave the immediate area in fear that I might be caught on camera.

2. I hate, HATE mayonaise. I can't smell it, look at it, or even listen to it. My mom tells a story about the one and only time she had morning sickness when she was pregnant with me. She was making sandwiches for lunch and on those sandwiches she put mayo. That did it. Even from the womb, mayonaise disgusted me. BLECH!

3. I sleep with 4 pillows. When I was little I had bad allergies and asthma and it would get so bad at night time that I would weeze. My parents would stack my pillows so I could sleep sitting up which made it easier for me to breathe. Years and years later, I still sleep with 4 pillows stacked up around me and find it very difficult to sleep without them.

4. My bra and underwear must match. It doesn't matter if anyone else will see them or not. It's just important to me.

5. I love art and the act of being creative, but I don't like to share what I do. I was even accepted to art school in San Francisco, but the process of applying and then thinking about going having to show others my work freaked me out so much that I decided not to go. Instead I majored in business and then later education.

6. I love to talk, but I don't like to talk on the phone. I am a multi-tasker and it's hard to do more than one thing when you have to hold the phone to your ear. I have gotten past that a bit since July 1 when CA law requires that I buy a headset to use in the car. My bluetooth headset allows me to walk around my house and do other things while I talk on the phone. But I still find myself sitting down after awhile and just talking otherwise I don't pay attention to the person on the phone. It's funny too, because when I was growing up my parents and I always laughed at one of my grandmas who didn't like to talk on the phone either. One time I called her on her birthday and this was the conversation...
Grandma: Hello?
Me: Hi Grandam, it's Kim.
Grandma: Hi there, how are you?
Me: I'm fine, I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday.
Grandma: Thank you.
Me: Your welcome.
Grandma: Alright, thanks for calling.
Seriously, it was less than 30 seconds. That's my kind of call.

OK, now I tag...
Cortney at
Cortney Chronicles because she was recently concussed.

Grandma J at
Ask Grandma J because she's a riot and I can't wait to hear about her quirks.

Heart Shaped Hedges because she's had a 5 year milestone.

JLo at
Almost Famous because she was able to spot porn from two lanes away.

Jason from
The Jason Show because he's the man who got me into the mess in the first place.

Twenty Four At Heart because she writes great posts about Money Town and anyone who sneaks alcohol in water bottles is a good egg in my book.

Live. Love. Eat. because she invited me to her martini party and her food posts are delicious.
So, tag, you're it! (If you've already been tagged, oh well, you are again!)

And now for the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog. (Here they are.)
3. Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag six fellow bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the six blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cruel Summer

It's been an expensive summer my friends. Yes, I do enjoy shopping and have purchased quite a few shoes over the past month, but since I started summer break (when I don't get paid) unforeseen expenses have popped up. These unforeseen expenses ALWAYS seem to pop up during the summer when I don't get paid. Here's a list of what's come up...

Tree Trimming $450

Wall Repair $250

New Tires $560

Sprinkler repair/installation $540

New Vacuum - $200

So, if you're keeping score that's $2,000-unforeseen expenses, $0-paychecks.

I am not looking forward to going back to work, but I am looking forward to getting paid! In the mean time, I wonder if Heifer International will let me buy a flock of chicks for my own use - I'd even share with my fellow unpaid teachers.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

  • After visiting Live. Love. Eat. I surfed right over to and created myself a playlist of some of my favorites. Turn off your mute buttom when you visit and you'll be serenaded. If you scroll to the bottom you can see what is playing on my fancy, new RED playlist.

  • I am really annoyed. Prices all around have really been skyrocketing! I've recently been noticing it when I grocery shop. I love cheese. Really love it. If it was healthy, I would really just live off of 3 foods - cheese, bread, and coke. I could live happily if that's all I got. Anyways, so about once a month, I buy 2 packs of Sargento or Kraft sharp cheddar cheese, pre-shredded. Usually my store has a special on one or the other, 2 packs for $5.00. Well, let me just tell you, neither of those brands have been on sale in weeks and in fact, both of them are about $5.00 per pack. That's right people, 1 pack for $5.00. So I have been forced to buy the $3.00 a pack generic brand of cheese. I'm not usually a name brand snob, but this cheese sucks. It doesn't melt. I made pizza last night and the mozzerella just turned into a mushy messy blob. It was gross. And "they" keep telling us that there isn't a crisis in our economy. I think this demonstrates quite the opposite.

  • Have I mentioned the humidity. I know, I know, I shouldn't be complaining. It is worse on the East Coast or in the South. I spent 8 years in New England, and it is sweltering there. But come on. I live in Southern California, technically in the desert. It's not supposed to be humid. Every morning for the last few weeks have been hazy and damp. It's like I'm living at the beach without getting to live at the beach. Ick! I hate it.

  • I cleaned my house (kind of) all by myself today and it was fun and easy. I don't need Manuela. Psych! Just kidding. I want her to come back NOW! It was awful people. I dusted and washed the linens and remade my bed and all the stuff, well some of the stuff, that Manuela does. The one thing that I don't mind doing is vacuuming. However, today I ran over something with the vacuum and it started smoking and smelled awful. See, I am no good at this cleaning thing. Everyone keep your fingers crossed that she comes back sooner than later.

  • Yesterday, JLo and I were in the car together and as we stopped at a light JLo said, "Why are those guys there looking at porn when they're driving?" "What?" I asked, "Who?" She pointed to these guys in a white truck two lanes over. We laughed and she turned to look at them. As she made "shame" fingers she said, "Naughty, naughty." The driver laughed and punched his friend and they both laughed. As we drove away I asked her how in the heck did she know they were looking at porn. "I don't know, I just saw a naked women in the magazine they were looking at." "That's so funny," I said, "I just might have to blog about it." So I did.

Friday, August 1, 2008


This is Koho.

She is my dog. I love my dog a lot. There was recently some concern over at Grandma J's about people who love their dog just a little too much by dressing them in clothing, carrying them in their bags, and bringing them to inappropriate places like restaurants, grocery stores, and boutiques. I assure you, I don't do those things. My dog weighs about 50 pounds so she is too heavy to carry around in a handbag and those doggy clothes don't fit her, besides she's a dog and although I love her to death, she's still a dog.

But, she's the best dog ever. Here's why...
  • She's an Australian cattle dog which means she's super smart. She's so smart that she has taught me to stop trying to teach her tricks like rolling over and shaking paws. She looks at me like I'm the dummy. However, she does sit, stay, and do her business on command. Fetch and "Come here" are hit and miss. If she feels like it, she does it great, if she doesn't, she doesn't. Because she's a cattle dog, she also likes to herd things. Whether it be squirrels or small children, she's not picky. She really can't be picky living in the suburbs. I told you she is smart.

  • She's a good guard dog. If someone comes to the door, even on TV, fits of hysteria come over her and she runs around barking her head off with the hair on her neck and back standing straight up on end. When we are invited over to the houses of friends, she barks when I knock on the door. "This is their house," I have to tell her.

  • She loves routine. As soon as the alarm goes off to start our day, she has a schedule of what they day should be like. If something interrupts that schedule she is disoriented and has a hard time handling it.

  • She's cuddly. She likes to be close to me at all times. That could be sitting on my feet, curling up next to me on the couch, or snuggling next to me in bed at night. I let her sleep on the bed. It's a big bed, so there's plenty of room, but I often find myself hanging off the end of the bed because Koho is sprawled out right next to me sound asleep. When I get up in the middle of the night, she usually has made my spot her spot and falls back to sleep. I have to push her out of the way so I can get back into bed.

  • She's cute. She has brown freckles all over her legs and face. There is a black ring around the middle of her tail and the end of her tail is white, like it's been dipped in paint. Plus, when she lies down, she crosses her front paws like a princess. Some say that's a sign of intelligence.

She's just the coolest dog ever.

Here in sunny California, 104 is not only the amount it cost to fill up your gas tank, but also the temperature most days in the summer. As cute and cuddly as Koho is, all that hair sheds like a "motha" in the summer. So about June every year I have her shaved. Here she is shaved.

She sure looks funny and gets embarrassed when I laugh at her, but she seems cooler and doesn't leave white hair everywhere around the house.