Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Week in History

Well, it's not really a whole week. I haven't wanted to write anything, mostly because not much has occurred. So here's the exciting (at least to me) and the boring (most definitely to me).

Friday: exciting -- C called from Korea. Technically, he "skyped." (If you are not familiar with Skype, it is a communication tool you use from your computer (or iPhone or iPod whichever the case). You can chat (instant message), use voice (talk like you would on the telephone), or use audio (actually see each other on your computer screen--webcam is required for this feature).) We have been using the audio. It is fun to see each other as we talk. He has held up some of the drinks he's had (cola and water) and has showed us some of the Korean money. Isn't technology great?

also exciting -- N pitched and did a great job. The Jaxx were tied when he went in, then at their next at bats, they went ahead and stayed ahead to win the game. That meant N was recorded with the win.

Saturday: boring -- We painted the garage...two coats. And it was hot! I could not wait to get my sweat-wet clothes off and take a shower! First time in a loooonnnnng time that I took a lukewarm shower on purpose. We did go out to eat. The restaurant was a BBQ place and guess what? They don't have air conditioning! It wasn't hot because they had ceiling fans, but it was warm. Then we went to Lowe's because we ran out of paint and hadn't done the trim. And guess what? It was hot. Can you image their cooling bill if they had air conditioning? Couldn't wait to get back into the car to run the a/c.

Sunday: boring -- We both slept late which unusual for L. But we had to get up and get the rest of the painting done. And it was hot! I didn't work as hard as I had the day before but my clothes were still wet. L cooked out some steaks for us that evening. When I looked at the outside temperature it read 101!!! Yet he still grilled out. What a man!

Monday: exciting (at least to me) -- Workshop on the TI Nspire. I didn't really learn a whole lot of new things but made some new contacts so I hope I can make some more presentations. I really enjoy doing that. The workshop was held at a local company's lodge in a mountainous area. As I was leaving, my co-worker who attended also pointed to a part of the parking lot beyond my car. I walked over and saw a deer, very oblivious to us. It was certainly use to humans.

Tuesday (yesterday): boring -- I don't even remember what I did. Oh yeah, I cleaned "my" room. Actually, it is the extra bedroom or guest room. I use it to store my scrapbooking supplies and school work. When we have an overnight guest, I throw my junk that is laying around the room into 2 or 3 boxes and move them to my bedroom. I wonder, if we had more overnight guests more often would the room stay neater? Oh well, I guess we'll never know.

Wednesday: exciting -- the Jaxx are playing a five game series with the Tennessee Smokies in Sevierville. That means I'll be seeing N again!

Also exciting, I received an email that had these two links:

Check them out! They are amazing (and a little scary that technology has come this far)! If we aren't in the Jetson era, then we are definitely on the fringe! Isn't technology great!

I hope your week has been filled with exciting memories!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Flashback Friday

Today's Flashback Friday is about family meals.

I remember we ate supper together just about every night. Mom was a good cook although she told me Dad had to teach her. (I seriously wonder if that is true. Dad does a lot of cooking now so maybe it is.)

Mom and Dad sat at either end of the table. There were four chairs on one side of the table and a bench on the other side. No one really liked to sit next to Dad because if we got out of line, he'd hit the wall above our heads. (I'm surprised there isn't a dent in the wall!)

Being practicing Catholics, we always had fish on Friday nights. Mostly, I remember fish sticks with macaroni and cheese or a tuna casserole. I have on occasion craved the tuna casserole; however, I'm the only one in my house that likes it so I don't fix it.

Another dish I have sometimes craved is what Mom called "hash." It was just left over roast beef cut into bite size pieces warmed up in the gravy with any other meat that was left over. Mom would fix biscuits (made from scratch) to go with it.

I also remember Mom's "fried" chicken was actually baked. She did use a lot of butter and shortening, but she did it in the oven.

Saturday mornings was usually pancakes or maybe waffles. And for Saturday lunch, many times it was hot dogs. Sunday we would usually have brunch, eating between first and second mass. (Mom played the organ at both masses.) Sometimes, the priest would join us. It was usually scrambled eggs, sausage and toast. I remember one Sunday, I was smelling the sausage. I must have been really hungry. My brother smacked me and told me to quit breathing on the sausage!

I don't remember ever going out to eat when I was smaller. Mom cooked just about everything from scratch. On occasion, Dad would work late and not be able to eat with the rest of the family. Being such a daddy's girl, I would eat, again, with Dad because I didn't want him to eat by himself.

When we made our first communion we were allowed to choose the menu. The only thing I remember choosing is lima beans (funny, I don't like them now) and "graham cracker pie" (cheesecake...I didn't know it was called cheesecake until I was a teenager.)

Mom always made us a birthday cake. I think we got to choose the flavor. If we did, mine was probably always chocolate.

As I got older and many of the older siblings had moved out, Dad changed jobs to shift supervisor of security. That meant his schedule changed every week. When he worked the 2nd shift, meaning he wasn't home for supper, we'd have pizza (usually homemade) or something like that that Dad wasn't too keen on having for supper.

Now, Mom and Dad eat out a bit more than we did growing up (I wonder why?). My husband and I have taken our kids out certainly much more than I did growing up. (Let's see--10 kids vs 2's a no brainer as to why.) Most of what I fix for supper is easy to fix. When the boys were little we ate a lot of hamburger helper. But one thing was the same: We always ate together. It's amazing to me, now, how L and I will eat in the den in front of the tv but the boys will still eat at the kitchen table when they are home.

Something that is different is that Mom always fixed our lunch for school. I did get to buy my lunch when they were serving chili. However, I maybe fixed school lunches the first week N went to school. Then L found out I was sending pretty much the same thing and didn't like that so the boys pretty much always bought their lunch. (Summer was different. They went to daycare and we had to send their lunch with them. But by that time, they were old enough to help and tell me what they wanted.)

I hope you enjoyed learning about how my family shared our meals. What about your family? Head over to Mocha with Linda and link up to tell us your story.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Makeover

There are two weeks left before I return to work. So I've been thinking about what I want my students to do when they write notes. When I was attending a large retail store that is very popular all over the country (you know the place...I haven't heard of anyone who hasn't been there before), I saw the composition books for 25 cents! (They're regularly $1.00 or 2/$1.00 at "back-to-school" time.)

I thought, "This would be perfect!" and the cost was definitely worth it.
But to me, those books are so ho-hum and, even though the covers may vary slightly, they still look so much alike. So I made over a book for each course I'll be teaching:

Integrated Math II
(sorry about the blurry title)

I sent in a proposal to teach this course but haven't heard anything yet so I'll be ready just in case:

(Sabermetrics is the
Science of Baseball Statistics)

I thought they turned out pretty well! And they are so easy to do! Just cover the front and back with thick scrapbook paper (I used double sided tape), trim the paper, and embellish! Du-Dah!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Not Pictured

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But what happens when you forget your camera, or you misplace your camera, or you simply couldn't get to the picture fast enough? We can't go around with the camera permanently held to our eye (if you use the eye piece) or with our arms held out so we can view the screen. So what happens when we have that "Kodak moment" but don't have the Kodak? We have...

Snapshots of My Heart

The love in your eyes
When our first child was born
Can never be captured on film.

The surprise on your face
When your unborn brother
Kicked you when you were
Trying to squeeze in between Dad and me.

A cuter ghost was never seen
Wearing your dad's white t-shirt
Your face powdered and
Brown eye shadow around your eyes
Giving you a more ghostly pale.

You screamed and couldn't believe
Your team had won and was going
To Nashville to participate in the state's
Odyssey of the Mind.

That leap of enjoyment when
Your team beat Kingsport in the
District tournament.

Determination on your face as
You and your fellow Scouts drove
Your Klondike sled through the
Streets of Bristol.

Round bicycle helmet perched atop your head
Cowboy pistols on each hip
Toy rifle in hand
Pacing the deck, keeping guard
So no more NASCAR fans took
a shortcut through our backyard.

Images unable to be captured on film
But will always be scrapbooked on my heart.

The above poem was written in 2005 and published in our community college's literary magazine. Do you have any images scrapbooked in your heart?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Another Award

My sister, in true nepotism spirit, has bestowed upon me another award. (Now, really, as many blogs that she follows, she couldn't find someone new to give it to? Maybe she just likes me, she really, really likes me.)
Sis believes that my blogs embrace a variety of subjects. And, yes, I think she's right to some extent. Any way....

The rules for this award are:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award...Thanks Mary! (Just remember, what goes around comes around! You know--"You'll get yours, my pret-ty!")

2. List 7 things that people may not know about you...

This one is easy since I'm so new to blogging I still have some secrets up my sleeve. So here goes:
  1. After 2-1/2 years, I dropped out of college.
  2. One year later, I graduated from a junior college with an Associate degree in Secretarial Science. (You figure the acronym.)
  3. Six years later, I went back to college...going at night...while being a wife and mother of a toddler and working 40 hours a week.
  4. I graduated six years later with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Operations Management. (After #2, I decided there would be no BS for me!)
  5. Some time during those six years, I received the Certified Professional Secretary rating.
  6. Ten years after the BBA, I went back to school to take the necessary classes to get my teacher certification and begin a Masters in Education (MEd) program at a local college.
  7. Then, after 18 months, I received my MEd.

3. Pass it on to other bloggers who deserve the award.

Everyone on my list deserves this reward! That list you see on the right? That's not all of them. I have a few more bookmarked in my favorites list. And since the rules don't say how many, if you are reading this, Congratulations, you have been bestowed the "Versatile Blogger Award." If you choose to accept the award, please follow the above rules and let everyone know.

Happy Blogging!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I See a Bar! Whar? Over Thar!

Today and yesterday I attended the 18th annual Northeast Tennessee Special Education Conference in Gatlinburg, TN. It was a good conference with plenty of good presentations (especially the one on the TI Nspire--he,he because I was the presenter :D ).

The keynote speaker was Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott who was the first student killed in the Columbine H.S. shootings in 1999. What a presentation! I now know why we were given a box of tissues in our goody bag! The presentation was so powerful. Three of Rachel's diaries were published, so now I can add three more books to my reading list. The Scotts have created a nonprofit organization called Rachel's Challenge in memory of Rachel. Very positive! Please check out the website when you get a chance.

After Tuesday's sessions were over, I went to dinner with 3 co-workers. We met up with one of the co-workers' son and his girlfriend. It was very enjoyable. We then headed to Cades Cove but decided we were running out of time so we just drove past our hotel to check out an education center on up the mountain (we are teachers after all).

While there, this is what we saw:

We were all trying to take pictures with our cell phones, hence the quality of the photos. We had an opportunity, albeit very short opportunity, to get a really good shot but the bear took one look at us and headed into the woods.

I can't tell you how exciting that is! It has been years since I have seen a bear in the Smokey Mountains. (I know, I know. They are pretty prevalent now.)

One of my co-workers said that when we returned to the hotel, he was standing out on the balcony talking on the phone when he saw another bear at the property next door. Wonder if that was the same bear just wanting to check up on us?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why, Why, Tell me Why!

Please help me understand why...

  • ...bride's dresses are strapless. Everywhere I look, in the display window, on a bride, the dress is strapless. Some are pretty, the bride is pretty wearing it, but some are not. Honey, if you are a size 18 or over, you may want to rethink the strapless dress.
  • with flabby stomachs want to show them off. Come on people--please don't encourage them. They are not funny!
  • fans who grab a foul ball after it has bounced around in the bleachers a couple of times want the rest of us to cheer for them as if they caught the ball!
  • ...eighteen wheelers want to suddenly change lanes. I almost gave one the finger the other day.
  • ...drivers put on their brakes, then turn on their turn signals. You are suppose to "indicate" that you are turning before you put on your brakes. That helps the people behind you know what you are doing.
  • ...drivers in the left lane put on their brakes when the driver in the right puts on their brakes. You're in the left lane so you can pass the person in the right lane for goodness sake!
  • ...drivers slow down when they see a police car hiding with radar. Sugar, when you've seen it, its too late. He's done got you!
  • ...drivers slow down when they see a police car in the same lane (or next to them). That police car is going to go the speed limit, or faster. You do know you can be pulled over for going slower than the speed limit, don't you.
Thanks for your help!

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's Nepotism, pure and simple

I'm behind on my blogs, mostly because I went to see my son over the weekend.

Anyway, on Wednesday, I received a blog award:

I know in my mind what "substance" means, but I really needed to look it up anyway. From 2 a : ultimate reality that underlies all outward manifestations and change b : practical importance : meaning, usefulness. When I check the thesaurus on MSWord, I get "matter."

So, my blog has meaning or usefulness or you could say it matters. Well, mostly it matters to me. I'm not real sure how meaningful or useful it is. It's probably useful if you want to know what is going on in my life or how I feel about certain subjects.

Anyway, I haven't received many awards as an adult. Even attempting to receive an award is few and far between. So I am honored and humbled to receive this award, particularly since I have only been blogging since April of this year.

But then again, maybe it's just nepotism, pure and simple since I received the award from my sister.

Now, the hard part. My blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience--in 5 words:


Now, the other hard part: bestowing the award on 5 other bloggers who I feel have blogs of substance (it's hard for me because (1) I don't read that many blogs (2) half of them my sister has already given the award to and (3) I don't read anything that isn't useful or matters or "has substance"...I don't have the time.):

Mocha with Linda
Sweet Tea
Tempo and Speed
Mountain Woman at Heart
Living Brightly

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I See the Moon and the Moon Sees Me

I know it sounds corny, but it is comforting to me that the same moon I see is the same moon my sons see. I am missing them a little more than I care to admit.

N hasn't called, but they have been playing out of town. They are back at their home stadium today through the weekend. We are planning to go see him this weekend.

C hasn't had a chance to call until last night. I was so excited to get his postcard last week and even more excited to hear his voice. He sounded good. He said he was doing well. But he gave us, at least in my opinion, a shocker: He will not be coming home as originally planned. He was given the option to job shadow an officer in Korea! I know this is a great opportunity for him; and I'm very proud of him! But I was so looking forward to having him back home next week...and now I have to wait another four weeks.

So, when I see the moon I know that my boys are seeing the same moon and that is a little comforting.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July = Family

My brother and sister-in-law hosted a pool party for the Fourth of July. Most of my brothers and sisters, with their spouses, came, as well as some of their kids. Some of my sister-in-law's family were there also. It was really nice to see and get to chat with everyone.

This was the first time I'd seen my great-niece, who will be turning 1 in August.

It had been two years since I'd seen one of my great-nephews and couldn't believe how he had grown! The last time I saw him he was in a baby carrier!

Everyone enjoyed the pool...from the oldest to the youngest!

The squirt guns were a big hit!

Basically, I just enjoyed the day!

I hope you all had a great Fourth!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Birthday USA!

To celebrate our Independence Day, I've looked up some trivia and facts about the holiday.
What is your Independence Day IQ? Take the following test and find out. Answers follow the questions, so don't cheat!

1. What was the colonists' major objection to British rule?

2. Name three of the five committee members who composed the Declaration of Independence.

3. The first celebration of Independence Day was celebrated in what city on July 8, 1776.

4. On July 8, 1776, the Liberty Bell sounded from what building calling all citizens to the first reading of the Declaration of Independence.

5. The Continental Congress adopted the national flag on what date?

6. Who sewed the first American flag?

7. When was the first public Fourth of July event held at the White House?

8. How many men signed the Declaration of Independence?

9. When did Congress declare July 4th a federal legal holiday?

10. Does England have a fourth of July?

1. taxation without representation
2. Thomas Jefferson headed the committee. Other members were Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Philip Livingston, and Roger Sherman.
3. Philadelphia
4. Independence Hall
5. June 14, 1777
6. Betsy Ross
7. 1805
8. 56...and they didn't all sign on the same day. Fifty men signed the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776.
9. 1941...165 years after the creation of the Declaration of Independence.
10. Trick question...every country has a fourth of July (July 4)...they don't celebrate it as a holiday.

Have a great (but safe) holiday!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

That's Ridiculous

I'm cleaning/organizing the attic. Last January, I had asked N to get all the empty boxes together (he needed something to do). Today, I took 4! count them...4 boxes filled with broken down boxes to the recycle center. Then, later, I found enough empty boxes to fill another box! That's ridiculous!

My boys played with Legos. I knew there was one tub in the attic. I did not know there was another box plus two shoe box sized boxes filled with legos plus a small Bath & Body bag with legos! That's ridiculous!

Note: I will not sell them...this is one thing I'm saving for my grandchildren.

L had 3 boxes plus a suitcase (tote size) plus a foot locker filled with clothes that he didn't even know was in the attic. He opened one box and pulled out a dark orange and black shirt with a short zipper in the front...his high school basketball warm up shirt! That's ridiculous!

With the stuff (yes, I mean stuff) from the attic plus everything else I no longer feel we need or need to keep, we are having a second! yard sale this Saturday. That is sad enough to make a grown man cry! Now that is ridiculous!!!