Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Note of Thanks

Dear Cats,

I just want to express my heart-felt thoughts regarding your considerate behavior today. Tired and hungry after being out of the house for nearly twelve hours between work and class, I was planning on coming home, eating a quick dinner, and doing some schoolwork. But you had other thoughts.

Yes, those cloth napkins and tea towels I had carelessly piled on the kitchen counter were dirty, but that doesn't mean I wanted them strewn about the kitchen and dining room.

I appreciate your attempt to clean the kitchen floor with the paper towels, but for future reference they work better when not shredded into confetti sized pieces.

And I know I was just saying last night how I need to do some laundry, but I'd really meant clothes not blankets. Having said that, I most certainly will be doing at least two loads of laundry tonight in order to wash the vomit from my crocheted-by-me couch blanket. You're right though, the living room does look refreshing with a different blanket warming my legs. It's almost spring-like with this floral comforter from my youth.

It was also thoughtful of you to knock the vomited-on blanket behind the couch and onto the electric baseboard heater. Not only did it dry some of the voluminous vomit so that I had a chance to pick it off with my bare hands, but I completely agree that the house would have been much warmer when I arrived home if only the blanket had caught fire. So sorry to disappoint you.

I must say that although I appreciate all you have done for me today, I don't want you to go out of your way tomorrow. Please feel free to relax and take it easy. After all, you are much loved and prized in this household.

With Love,
The One Who Feeds You

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bullets of no time for anything but

  • Along with a partner, I am preparing to teach a 30 minute lesson on habitats to elementary school students. Said partner and I met at the library this morning to hash out the initial details. I insisted on meeting at the library at Small Green School because the Hometown University library intimidates me. I wish I could go there more regularly to get work done as I have difficulty focusing when I'm at home (TV to watch! food to eat! blogs to read!), but I don't condone driving an hour round trip unless it's absolutely necessary.
  • After our meeting, I went to my office and worked for three hours. Between that and the meeting at the library, I felt better about the drive. I also got free lunch since there was office pizza to munch on.
  • I met my host teacher on Thursday morning. There will be no more details forthcoming.
  • Other than the fact that I will have the opportunity to teach in the second half of the unit on plants and the first half of the unit on animals. Plants! Yay!
  • I will be writing my first ever lesson plan soon. To be included in my first ever unit plan.
  • In fact, I should be working on that right now instead of blogging.
  • I put lotion on my hands every night before bed and yet they are painfully dry.
  • My hair has been getting so full of static that it's driving me to the point of distraction. I mean full-fledged freak-out status. I have long, straight, super-fine hair. I don't blow dry or style it. Does anyone have any suggestions to curb the static? (Preferably before I shave my head?)
  • That's all. Time to go eat some soup for dinner. Hopefully that will warm me up. Brrrrrh.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Only Nine

I had initially registered for 12 credits for the spring semester. Yes, I know that's insane, but I was really trying to stay on schedule with my program. I was already one class behind from having only taken 9 credits in the fall. And as I'm sure you recall from the latter stages of last semester, I didn't cope all that well with 9 credits and a full-time job. I'm sure my grades suffered a little as well. I must fess up to some jealousy of my classmates who are full-time students with no jobs. Of course, I love owning my own home, so that's not worth dwelling on.

After the first meeting of my one elective, I promptly dropped the class. I knew from reading the syllabus and sitting through three hours of a rather dull lecture that the class had to go. I just wouldn't be able to handle all of the work, and clearly the elective was the weak link.

I don't know what the ramifications of this decision will be yet. My graduation may be delayed one semester. Hopefully, my student teaching won't get knocked back. But whatever the consequences, I'm sure I will be better able to deal with them than if I'd gotten so burned out I dropped the whole program.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Solar Power

It's in the teens outside with an arctic blast of wind. The tree branches are waving and the house is rattling, but it's nice and toasty inside. The sun has been shining all day, which means the solar panels have been cranking. They'll be shutting off momentarily, but for now I'm enjoying the 70 degrees they've blessed me with. My solar panels have the power to improve any winter day just by turning on the heat.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Must. Sleep. Now.

Classes started today.

I took advantage of my last day of freedom yesterday to do some recreational reading. I only made it a bit over halfway through The Lady and the Panda by Vicki Constantine Croke. I only hope I'll remember what's going on when I pick it up in May after the semester ends. I also vegged in front of some bad TV, which I won't be able to do much of now.

I finally went to the grocery store around 9pm. Wouldn't you know I'd see two people I know when I hadn't showered or even brushed my hair. Note to self, apparently Sunday night is a happening place at the grocery store. Look in the mirror before leaving the house next time.

Today was a hectic day. I am going to sleep the very second after this post is published. In fact, why wait?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The times they are a changin'

"Look at this!"

One of my temps stopped me in the hall and aimed her cell phone at me. The screen read: I got my period. Her daughter had texted her from school to tell her the big news.

I feel old.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tree be gone

When I got home from work this evening and found yet another spot of cat vomit filled with Christmas tree needles, I decided it was time for the tree to go. I'd been planning on taking it down this weekend (truthfully, I meant to take it down last weekend but apparently laziness overpowered me), but I couldn't face more throw up on the carpet. Why is it that the cats never vomit on the linoleum or tile?

I hadn't realized how dry the tree had gotten. Frankly, I'm surprised it didn't catch fire. There was plenty of water in the stand but the tree was light as a feather and completely dry. Now I'm doubly glad I didn't wait another day.

Normally I am sad to see my tree go, but tonight I was just desperate for it to no longer be in my house. Maybe that should be my new tactic- leave it up just a little too long and my motivation will eventually kick into high gear.

It will be strange not to have to check first thing every morning to see whether the cats knocked the tree over during their nightly rampages.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Day 11

The Amish Friendship Bread is in the oven. I hope it's edible.

It certainly proves to me yet again that cooking is not my cup of tea. After two visits to the best grocery store in the world I was still unable to locate the craisins I'd hope to add to one of the two loafs. I am not an accurate measurer when it comes to cooking or baking. Some of this, some of that. This time I mixed up the baking soda and baking powder. And the last of the oil didn't quite equal one cup. I also don't have two regular loaf pans, so I figured one big and two little would work fine. Except I forgot to grease the third pan.


It smells absolutely scrumptious though.

I resisted eating any of the batter, even though that looked and smelled tasty too. And it wasn't the three eggs I was worried about, it was the bag of goo that had been fermenting on my counter for eleven days. And the portion of that which had been fermenting on Wealthy Co-Worker's counter for ten days before that. And the portion of that which had been fermenting on her neighbor's counter for ten days before that. You see my problem or am I out of line worrying about such details? Because I really like to eat batter.

I waited an extra day to bake the bread because of the heat wave we were experiencing yesterday. I wanted to wait until the cooler weather arrived to take advantage of the oven running for an hour. Besides, after the bag of goo sat around so long, what's one more day?

If this batch doesn't turn out well I still have another starter for myself and three for my friends.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


While attempting to do some blogging, I was presented with a challenge. My dog decided this was exactly when he wanted to play fetch with his new stuffed alligator toy. I tried to continue with the blogging, but I finally had to give up when I started to be concerned about the slime transferring from my fingers to the touch pad. From my living room I can throw in four entertaining directions: into the kitchen and into the dining room, both of which result in some sliding on the linoleum, and up towards the bedrooms and down into the family room, both of which result in bounding madly upon the stairs. As is typical, I tired of the sport long before Mr. Dog. Even now he is keeping one eye on me from where he is curled upon his dogbed just in case I might decide to spring up from the couch to fling the damp fleecy alligator into the air.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Friendship Bread

One of my co-workers brought in three big ziploc bags and left them on the table in the kitchen with photocopied instructions. The bags contain starter batter for Amish Friendship Bread. It involves 10 days of mushing the ingredients inside the bag and then splitting the batter to share with three friends. Not having any friends in the area I was reluctant to take one of the bags initially, but I like the idea. So I went back and took one. Tomorrow will be day six, the first day that I'll get to do something other than mush the slop around. The part that I don't really understand is the recipe calls for vanilla pudding mix. This is supposed to be an Amish tradition. Did they use pudding mix? It seems out of place. I'm also trying to ignore the whole chain letter feel.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2007: The Year in Books

Last year BerryBird ended her year with a list of books she'd read in 2006. I tried to follow her lead, but I had not kept an accurate list. This year I kept a spread sheet mainly for this purpose, but then I started school and recreational reading became a thing of the past. Here is my somewhat limited list peppered by quite a few rereads (rr), something I tend to do when I feel the need for the comfort of an old friend.

Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent
My Latest Grievance by Elinor Lipman
My Life in France by Julia Child
Dragon's Fire by Anne & Todd McCaffrey
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Angels by Marian Keyes
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (rr)
Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston
The Jasmine Moon Murder by Laura Childs
Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
Love in Provence by Yvonne Lenard
The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg
A Midwife's Story by Penny Armstrong & Sheryl Feldman>
The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
The Lady in the Palazzo by Marlena de Blasi
Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery (rr)
Summer of Glorious Madness by Christy Yorke
A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle (rr)
The Summer of the Great-Grandmother by Madeleine L'Engle (rr)
Two-Part Invention by Madeleine L'Engle (rr)
Three Women by Marge Piercy
To Ride Pegasus by Anne McCaffrey (rr)

What did you read in 2007?