Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge (Because I'm Averaging One a Month)


1. Setting aside the real March Madness (NCAA Basketball) describe something happening at your house this month that might earn the title 'March Madness'?

I put on a musical with about 70 or so kids participating and it happens to end right at the end of the month.  This year we are doing Beauty and the Beast and the music is difficult and the costumes are elaborate, and did I mention all the children??  Pretty much everything about my life right now is madness.


2. What's a favorite made up word from your childhood or a favorite from your children's childhood? Does your family still use the word today? If there's a story behind the origin please share.


I don't really recall one from my own childhood.  I was a dramatic kid, but I'm not sure that I ever had a made up word.


3. Will you be doing any spring cleaning now that the season is upon us? I read here a list of 15 quick (under one hour) spring cleaning tasks. They were-

clean out a drawer, vacuum furniture, whiten tile grout, dust the nooks and crannies you don't get to year round, degrease kitchen cabinets, wipe down walls, go behind furniture, wipe down ceiling fans, vacuum the mattress, clean the range hood, wash baseboards, shine the stainless steel, clean out vents, tackle the windows, and wipe down gadgets

Of the fifteen 'quick' tasks listed which two most need doing at your house? Will you do them?


Oh, Joyce, I need to do all 15 of these.  But, all of them will have to wait until I get to spring break.  I have several home improvement/cleaning projects that I'm hoping to get done during that time off. To answer the question, I will go with dusting the nooks and crannies and cleaning out drawers.  


4. A favorite movie set in Paris or New York?


I really had to think about this one, but I finally settled on the first (and only good) Sex In The City movie.  I don't think it gets much more New York City than that.  If I really went digging, I'm sure I could come up with a few more.


5. What's put a spring in your step this month?


The fact that it feels like spring again for the most part.  It warmed up early in February, but then we had a cold snap and even some brief snows before it warmed up again in the last week or so.  I'm ready for it to feel like spring, but the summer heat can take its time.  


6. Did you ever want to be a teacher? Why or why not?


I spent all of high school and one and half years of college saying that I didn't want to be a teacher.  My mom taught kindergarten most of my life and my dad teaches high school vocational classes (auto body and repair).  I couldn't imagine going into education until I did AmeriCorps.  I worked with at-risk kids and loved it, and after that there wasn't really any doubt what I was going to be.  I've been teaching for 14 years now and I can't imagine loving anything else.



7.  What's your favorite floral scent? Do you have this somewhere in your home or maybe in a perfume? How do you feel about florals in food? How about wines with floral notes-yay or nay?

I like the smell of real flowers, but I don't enjoy floral candles or anything like that.  I'm more of a vanilla or coconut type of girl.  And as much as I enjoy wine, I'm never good at determining what notes are in them.  If it doesn't taste like the bottom of an oak barrel, I'll probably drink it.


8. Insert your own random thought here.


I've been having weird dreams for the last week or so.  They wake me up and then I go back to sleep and have a different weird dream and I pretty much do this all night.  I'm not sure what's causing it, but I would really like for it to stop.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hodgepodge 2/15

1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it's something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you're a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

I called both sets of grandparents Grandma and Grandpa, then just added their first names.  However, the great-grandkids call my two living grandmothers Gigi and Granny Jo, so that's what I call them the most these days.


2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what's one attraction you'd have on your must-see list?


I have never been to California.  I would be happy to see any of it,  Obviously, the iconic figures like the Golden Gate Bridge would be on my list.  


3. What are three things you don't know how to do?


Knit, Sew, Crochet.  Many have tried to teach me.  All have failed.


4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, 'Celebrate what you want to see more of.' If that's true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?


I'm trying very hard to celebrate love and the lifting up of others.  This is easier some days than others.  Yesterday, for instance, instead of being bitter about Valentine's Day, I donated to a couple of causes I believe deeply in, and did some not-so-random acts of kindness.  I'm celebrating small victories, every single day.


5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What's something you make that calls for almonds?


I love almonds.  I will eat them in anything or raw.  I don't like salted almonds, though.  


6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?


If things go well, I'm cozy in my pajamas watching a little television or reading a book.


7. Share with us a favorite book you've read this winter.


I haven't made much progress on my book goal for the month, but my favorite book of the winter so far is definitely Forward by Abby Wambach.  I basically read it in one sitting.  It's well-written and a great look at what gives someone the drive to work toward that level of greatness and the toll it can take, as well.


8.  Insert your own random thought here.


This is one of my busiest weeks of the winter.  I'm booked every night with some school obligation or the other and I'm just tired.  But next week looks tame by comparison.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Quote of the Day

In my classroom, students record a quote and then tell me what it means as their bellwork, a quick assignment they complete before class actually begins.  These quote lists were made years ago, and are simply numbered by day.  I say all that to share today's quote:

"There is no greatness where simplicity, goodness, and truth are absent."  Leo Tolstoy

Seems fitting for the times we live in, doesn't it?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Blah

Am I the only one who has been feeling especially blah lately?  And I'm not just talking about the political arena, though there's certainly enough going on there.  I hesitate to call what I'm feeling pessimism, because I don't really feel that everyone and everything is bad.  It just feels like every area in my life is part of some emotional rollercoaster I did not get in line to ride.  And yet, here I am in the stupid car with nothing but my faith in God and razor sharp wit to keep me secured.

A student the other day was talking about how "grown" they were.  I pounced as soon as the words came out of their mouth.  "Do not be in a hurry to become an adult.  Being an adult is a trap.  Stay a kid with a magic refrigerator and occasional laundry service for as long as your parents are cool with it."  And I say that somewhat jokingly, but also not.  Because this being an adult thing is way harder than they tell you it's going to be.  And I have extremely supportive parents who do things like go out and get me a hot water heater because mine is leaking and I have no clue A) how to get the right kind/size of water heater for my aged house and B) when I would actually go get one as ballgame season is still happening and on the few nights I'm home I pretty much collapse in a pile.

I've been living on my own for nearly 15 years, and I still have no clue what I'm doing 90% of the time.  And while I'm doing that 10% I think I have a handle on, someone is bound to tell me I'm not doing it to their satisfaction.  Yeah, yeah, we aren't supposed to let other people's opinions get us down, but have you figured out how to actually do that?  Because I'm a habitual people pleaser, and knowing someone doesn't like me or something I've been a part of is kind of devastating to me, even when I try to pretend that's not true.  Part of that is probably that I live and work in the same community that raised me, so interpersonal relationships can get complicated.  But even if I lived and worked elsewhere, I'd still want people to like me and the work I do.  It's just who I am.

I don't really know that I have an actual point outside of thinking maybe getting this all down will be cathartic or something.  Maybe all of this ennui is seasonal and a result of a lack of snow days, paired with a full moon.  Maybe the world really is a dumpster fire.  And yet, for whatever reason here we are.  And despite the rollercoaster, I still find things daily that bring me hope or make me smile or remind me that maybe no one really knows what they're doing.  Maybe we really are all just winging it and hoping someone slightly more competent comes along side us to keep us afloat.  I don't know. But maybe that's okay, too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 2/1

1. Can you believe it's the end of January? What was the best day of January 2017 for you, and why?

I just saw Miranda Lambert for the third time and it was easily the best of her shows. The openers are great, and she is just musically in the best place she's ever been in.  Singing and dancing at that show was one of the few moments of pure and absolute joy I felt this month.  If the Highway Vagabond tour comes your way, I strongly suggest going!


2. What sounds make up the background noise in your life?

The sound of relentless junior high chatter.  It's Spirit Week in these parts and it is noisy.  


3. I read on the Power of Positivity website a list of ten things to drop from your life right now. They are-

anger outbursts, people who put you down, regret, negative self talk, being a people pleaser, the notion you need to be perfect, the past (but keep the lessons learned!), gossip and judgment, comparing yourself to others, and the word hate (focus on what you love instead)

Which thing on the list do you most need to drop? Are you trying or will you try?

I am a people pleaser at my very root.  I talk a lot of stuff, but I care what people think about me and I don't like conflict.  And if people aren't okay with me, I fret.  I'd be okay with dropping some of that.


4. What is sacred to you?

My time.  Don't waste it.  Don't take advantage of my willingness to help.  Don't expect more of me than you are willing to give yourself.  Also, don't ask me to get up really early on Saturdays.  I may do it, but I will whine.  


5. January is National Oatmeal month. Are you a fan, and if so how do you like it?


For a long time, I couldn't stand it.  Now, if I have time to make it, I like to add brown sugar, apples and a little bit of peanut butter.  So basically, I make a cookie.


6. What feelings does twilight stir up in you?

I love a good sunset.  I'm assuming that you mean time of day and not a poorly written YA series.  Of course, that stirs up some feelings too.



7. Something you're looking forward to next month?

I'm looking forward to hanging out with my bestie a little later this month.  We don't get to see each other as often anymore, so any time we get to spend together is pretty special.  



8. Insert your own random thought here.


I'm a little sad that is doesn't look like we will really have any snow days here this year.  Winter has been warmer and wetter than normal, which happens here some years.  While this means we will get out of school a little earlier, there's something fun about getting an unplanned day off now and again.  Plus, no snow makes for a very long February and March.  But such is the life of a teacher, I suppose.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge (On a Thursday)

1. ASAP typically stands for 'as soon as possible'. What else could it stand for in your life right now? 

All Songs And Performances.  I'm in the middle of three days of auditions for the school musical.


2. Are you the last person to speak up in a group or the first to have an idea? Why do you suppose that is? Is it a good thing or no?

I'm typically the first person to speak up.  I have the gift of administration (we used to call it being bossy), so I'm perfectly fine sharing what I think.  It's typically a good thing, but I think that because I have a loud speaking voice and a passion for what I'm talking about, it sometimes comes across as being pushy, even if I'm not.



3. What do you remember best about being 12? 

When I was 12, I was starting the 8th grade, and I remember being surrounded by a fun group of friends.  That year, the HS boys baseball team played at Busch Stadium and all of my friends and their parents went up and stayed over night and we just had the best time.  Every time I hear the song "Cheap Seats" by Alabama, I think of that weekend.



4. January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. Which character do you relate to the most, and why?

Apparently, I'm Rabbit, which honestly, seems about right.



5. What's an app you use that helps simplify or make life easier for you in some way? 

I'm still learning how to work my iPhone after always having a Droid.  I'm loving having a Podcast app that I can download my favorites straight to.  The Popcast is my favorite and has gotten me through a few long drives recently!



6. San Francisco (CA), San Diego (CA), San Juan (PR) San Antonio (TX) Sanibel (FL)...you have an all expenses paid long weekend to one of these destinations. Which one do you choose and why?

Those are all pretty fabulous!  My immediate response is San Juan, PR because it is so incredibly beautiful and I didn't get to experience near as much of it as I wanted to when I was there years ago.  But I would also love going to San Antonio so that I could see my great aunt who lives there and really can't travel anymore.  I keep saying I'm going to go down there again to see her, but I haven't had the chance.


7. Share with us a song that makes you feel nostalgic? For what? 

Oh, I'm such a music person.  I can connect a song with just about every big moment in my life.  The first one that came to mind was "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack.  I heard that song for the first time in my living room in college because Crys worked for the radio station and had a preview track.  A bunch of us were together toward the end of our first or second year of college and I just remember how happy I was to be listening to that song with all these friends I loved so dearly.  But I could probably pick a dozen or more others in this category.


8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

I haven't done the Hodgepodge in ages but in an effort to blog more, I couldn't resist!  It was always one of my favorite blogs, and even though I'm late to the party this week, I'm going to try to join in more again!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Once Upon A Time

It's been a really long time since I kept this blog up regularly.  I don't really know why I stopped to be honest, other than just not really taking the time.  And that's unfortunate, because I have "met" some of the best people because of this little corner of the internet.  My goal for 2017 is to try to come here a little more often.  I've set some personal goals for this year, so maybe I will come here to discuss them.

Those goals include:

  • Reading two books a month that aren't for school purposes
  • Taking some steps (baby though they may be) to improve my personal health
  • To find ways to put love, peace, and goodness into the world by my actions and my finances (and by any other ways I can contribute)
  • To focus on the joy, even when my default setting is worst-case scenario
These are seemingly small things, but I'm good with that.  I'm old enough to know that I'm not good with sweeping change.  I get really into for a minute and then I get frustrated or bored or whatever and stop trying.  I'm focusing on achieving the small things, because enough small things can turn into something bigger.  I think that part of that may be coming by here and sharing again.  Even if no reads it, I think it's something I'd like to do for myself.  So, I'll see you soon!