Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Application is IN THE MAIL

I just thought I'd let you know some good news. My student teaching application is in the mail my friends. It's IN THE MAIL. After all these classes and test-taking...I have applied to student teach! Woo-hoo!

Please pray that I'll get a fan-tab-u-lous placement and supervising teacher.

Thanks for all your support and encouragement!


Monday, July 28, 2008

The 7-Year Itch

Today is the day. Jeff and I have been married for SEVEN years :) and I live to tell about it. On our anniversary, everyday life continues. I'll work, go to class and drive home and be tired. My garbage disposal has been broken all weekend, I have more Praxis tests to study for (that I haven't signed up to take yet) and I have a research paper to write for my Urban Ed. class.

On the plus side...I read three books this weekend (2 were juvenille lit. and one was a Christian Romance novel by Francine Rivers) and I started a fourth book called "Austenland" by Shannon Hale (after Jane Austen). It's about a single gal in her early 30's who goes on this rich person's 3-week interactive fantasy vacation to a place where actors portray people from Austen's time period, and you participate in the fantasy! It's been a very entertaining read so far. This girl, Jane, has a thing for Mr. Darcy, and her estranged Aunt found out about it at a lunch encounter, and left her this vacation in her will. I cannot stop laughing when I'm reading this book. It's wonderful! And it's especially wonderful if you're an Austen fan and also have had a thing for Colin Firth in the BBC version of Pride and Predjudice. Hale dedicates her book this way:

"For Colin Firth
You're a really great guy, but I'm married, so I think we should be just friends."

I love to read and this was a magical, fantabulous weekend for reading.

On Friday, I had a half-day of work so I hung out with my girl Rachy-Rach and we went out to eat at the new Chipotle Restaurant at Airport Square Mall. It was yummy and the restaurant was clean, and the staff very friendly. I had a vegetarian burrito that later, and to my great regret, made me flatulent. (Yeah, black beans!) Then we headed for Borders Bookstore where I purchased my stack of books. We each bought a book we both wanted to read so we can swap later (I love having a book friend). Then she bought me coffee because she's generous like that. Thanks Rachy babe!

Jeff bought me a cute little shoulder bag for our anniversary...nothing expensive, but it showed thought...it's pink and white with brown pleather handles and bottom. I'm never going to keep it clean, but it's very me! I like it!

Overall, it was a marvelous weekend.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I don't think I spilled the beans to my general audience yet so here goes! ...I passed my Elementary Ed. praxis 2 exams! That's right...as soon as I complete my student teaching in the spring...I'm on the market baby. And between now and then...I'm studying for my middle school and high school English licensing exams. I want to be well-rounded when I finally hit the job market.

So in my immediate future, I must concentrate on completeing my student teaching application, acquiring my faculty references and praying about where I might be placed, that my placement would be where the Lord wants me to be, where He can best use me and where I can grow and learn as a teacher. I pray that he will give me a good cooperating teacher and that I would gain some good experience and be afforded opportunities to find a wonderful teaching job or at least a long term sub opportunity. I'm really interested in a foot in the door in a good district.

One step at a time!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Pros and Cons of Group-Work

Right now, I'm experiencing the "cons" part of the "pros and cons." I'm having trouble getting in touch with one of my group members. Today we are supposed to present a book, as a group, to the rest of our graduate studies class in Urban Education.

I'm putting together the hand out, and I don't have a phone number for one of my members that elected to try and send her part of the presentation in to me in the wee hours of Sunday morning (the presentation is today, Monday afternoon) when I had asked her to send it in on Friday. I say "she tried" because the biggest problem right now is that she thought she emailed her part of the presentation to me as an attachment and there was no attachment.

Now, I like this girl. I just can't get ahold of her, and because she emailed me past deadline on Friday (when I able to work on the presentation with the appropriate software at work), I don't have time to fix this. Part of me is really tempted to fill in the powerpoint presentation on my own, but that is akin to doing the work for her, and there is a big part of me that doesn't want to do that on principal.

I have emailed this gal (several times) to let her know the attachment didn't come through between yesterday (when I got her erroneous email) and today. I emailed the group, asking if anyone knows her number (which they probably don't). I have emailed the professor to let her know (she won't get my email in time) and I even tried calling my professor (and I can't get through to her where she works). All very responsible things to do, and none of them are helping right now.

Argh! Please pray!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sibling Rivalry

What's the worst thing you ever remember doing to your sister or brother when you were little?

My sister and I were born 14 months apart. We had a great childhood together, both good times and bad. I remember a few times I was particularly mean to her, for which I have since made restitution.

As I look back at some of my worst moments as an older sister, I wonder what my Mom thought about my behavior. My husband and I haven't been blessed with children yet, but if they Lord does bestow those blessings, (hopefully three, but no less than two) our comeuppance will manifest itself in bodily form.

Although I can't specifically recall my mother saying this to me, I know I've heard other parents say it, "You just wait. God's going to give you a child just like you and then YOU'LL SEE!" and then they would laugh evilly and manically, nodding their heads and smiling their mischievous smiles.

It was like some curse they were pronouncing. "You'll see."

My sister and I were not immune to the wily lures of sibling rivalry and we could not avoid deliberately pushing each other's buttons when the mood struck us.

As a six-year-old, I spray painted my five-year-old sister's pink Big Wheel black with the help of my playmate from across the street as retribution for Cari not allowing my friend to ride it. While we were at it, we spray painted the side of my parents' house too.

Several years down the road, sitting next to Cari at the supper table, in a random act of violence I picked up a tofu meat ball of the plate and smashed it on top of her head. 'Just to see what it would be like.' Chaos ensued. I ran screaming down the hall followed closely by my irate sister.

In retribution, when she couldn't break down the door to my room, Cari drew male anatomy between the forelegs of my favorite horse poster hanging on the OUTSIDE of my locked door. The horse was a mare, standing next to her foal.

To get back at her, I smeared petroleum jelly all over the French door handle of her room, laughed and ran away. This was the most vivid fight I can remember from our childhood.

Thankfully, we didn't stay immature and selfish. We actually grew up to respect and love one another.

When we got older and a little more responsible in high school, we did good and meaningful things, like volunteering at soup kitchens, raking leaves for neighbors, taking care of the family pets and getting jobs and drivers licenses. We became more helpful, less...harmful... and it was good.

Now as adults, the rivalry part is all but gone. We're friends! We just live 5 hours apart. We're both married, and she has a kid named Gabby, (my niece that's turning three on Halloween). She doesn't have a sibling yet, but I'm sure the cycle of love will repeat itself. I have to get Cari and Mike to work on that.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Little "Potty Humor"

This weekend, I went shopping at our local Wal-Mart store, and I had to go to the bathroom. I was reminded once again just how much I really dislike public toilets. They are almost certainly dirty and uncomfortable to use.

I won't go into the old comparison about how men have it SO much easier than women when it comes to going number 1, but I will generalize about the public potty experience for women so that men can begin to appreciate an experience that women have been dealing with from the time their mothers drug them into the stall with them as small children.

If you're a man and you've ever wondered what takes women so long in the bathroom...allow me to explain...

In anticipation of the inevitable filth we will find forthwith, we mentally prepare ourselves for this distasteful, yet necessary endeavor.

There are two situations most women find when arriving at the public restroom: either they find a line, or they don't. Most of the time, it's the former.

Depending on the urgency of the call of nature, women may:

A. Wait in line
B. Throw themselves at the mercy of the equally impatient person in front of them and ask to move ahead in line
C. Drive to another bathroom
D. Use the Men's restroom

If you choose to stand in line, it's like Russian roulette when the next toilet that becomes available. You may even find yourself praying out loud..."Please let it be clean, please let it be clean!"

Once you glance inside the stall you may find:

A. A toilet clogged with various assumdries and unmentionables.
B. No toilet paper
C. No lock on the stall (in which case, you may try and find another stall, or say "The hell with this" and try and hold it shut while hovering over the seat (if there are no available seat covers).
D. Urine all over the seat
E. No place to put your purse or handbag.

When the former occupant emerges from the stall, it's usually a bad sign when they won't make eye contact with you and you begin to wonder just what they left behind.

Sometimes your predecessor will give you a heads up on what to expect...

For example:
"It's clogged. Don't use that one." OR

"There isn't any toilet paper left." OR my favorite...

"Sorry!" This comment usually doesn't bode well.

All this to say, if there are seat covers, a lock on the door and toilet paper available you feel like you've just hit the Public Restroom Lottery and you're the Grand Prize Winner!

Other things women must deal with in the public restroom...

1. Peek-a-book youngsters of various ages, some of them boys, looking under the stall partition at you or through the crack in the door.
2. No sanitary napkin receptacles. (Particularly heinous in the midst of a period).
3. Noxious clouds of vapor left behind by the previous stall occupant.
4. Urine spray all over the floor and seat (from a "hovering occupant") mixed with left over toilet paper from a yet another person who was too lazy to properly dispose of their homemade seat cover.
5. Accidentally exiting the stall with TP attached to your shoe, or having tucked your skirt into the back of your pantyhose so that everyone sees you butt when you leave the bathroom.

So gentlemen, please rejoice in the blessing of your male anatomy and wait patiently for your lady when she attends the ladies room. It may have been a rough experience for her.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"I Want to Cut His Nuts Off" -Jesse Jackson

Oh how we open our mouths sometimes and say the darndest things we wish we could take back...

Most of us however, don't have the misfortune of saying something reproachable on NATIONAL TELEVISION.

Jesse Jackson recently had such an occasion. He was caught saying he wants (in so many words) to castrate Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama. He thought his mic was off, he didn't know others were hearing his private opinion, and so whatever the excuse...here it is on YouTube:


and if that link doesn't work...try this one:

News Too Important to Miss-- In Case You Missed It

From "Thursdays With Jim"
A private blog list
Posted With Permission

"News Too Important To Miss-- In Case You Missed It

In your much too busy world, you almost surely have missed some of the more important news stories of the week. Fortunately, I've got your back and in 7-8 minutes you can be literate, urbane, suave, knowledgeable, and current.
You're welcome.

> No further analyses, polls, or debates will be necessary going forward in the race for the Presidency. 'AP-Yahoo! News' has focused a poll on the only meaningful measure of the public's interest and clearly determined that pet owners prefer John McCain by a wide margin over Barack Obama. The margin-- 42% to 37%-- exceeds the "margin-of-error" fluff factor built into every poll, so this is legit and compelling news.
The only thing left to do is to ensure that every American registers to vote... and has a dog, cat, or bird.
I feel so much better.

> It appears that our African-American friends have found yet another thing to be pissed about, and undoubtedly, legislate. A black (or is it person-of-color) congresswoman from Florida has complained that the names of hurricanes are all Caucasian-sounding names. She would prefer names that reflect African-American (or is it person-of-color) culture such as Chamiqua, Tanisha. Woeisha, Shaqueal, and Jamal.

I am not making this up.

She would also like the weather reports to be broadcast in language (we call that Ebonics) that "street people" can understand, because one of the problems happening during Katrina was that black people (or is it people-of-color) couldn't understand the seriousness of the situation, due to racially-biased language of the weather report. (Huh?)

Anyway, we can speculate on the weather reports of the future out of Miami or New Orleans...

"Wazzup, mutha-fukkas! Hehr-i-cane Chamiqua be headin' fo' yo ass like Leroy on a crotch rocket! Bitch be a category fo! Tha's one less than fi an one mo than tree. So grab yo' chirren, yo' ho, be leavin yo crib, and head fo' da nearest guv'ment office fo yo FREE shit!

(Okay, so I totally plagiarized the above, and it is vulgar, insensitive, and profane.
But it was just too, too good not to pass along.)

> Some of my favorite people?-- those in the airline business-- have found another way to drive us crazy. On Tuesday this week, a United flight from Denver to Des Moines was "delayed" when a passenger, upon debarking the plane on its in-bound leg from Washington, D.C. to Denver, discovered and reported a tick near her seat. So, ever-vigilant United delayed the flight FOR 6 HOURS while they flew another plane from Colorado Springs to take the passengers to Des Moines.

A few observations, in no particular order:

(1) It took 6 hours to get the replacement plane from Colorado Springs??? I could walk from Colorado Springs to Denver in less than 6 hours;

(2) c'mon, people-- these are ticks, not rattle snakes or mountain lions; ticks you get walking in your garden out back for 10 minutes. Yes, they can occasionally/remotely carry diseases-- but so can flies, mosquitos, or your snively, snotty little kid with a bad cold. You wanna give up 6 hours on the remote possibility one of the ticks might bite and infect you? Not me! Get me where I wanna go and I'll keep my eyes open for TICKS;

(3) after a diligent search, United found "between one and three ticks" on the aborted plane. Well, was it one, two, or three ticks? Can't they count-- or aren't they used to higher math?
Does anyone want to bet this delay doesn't get counted in United's "on-time departure" statistics? Hey, just like flight controller-delays or weather-related delays, it ain't the airlines' fault them critter ticks delayed the flight!!

> This is a true story that is so bizarre that it sounds totally contrived. Nobody could replicate this complete "happening" ever again:

A man in Santa Ana, CA, kidnapped his 9-year-old son 8 days ago from his estranged wife who had legal custody. The guy-- a recent convert to Mormonism-- felt the son wasn't being raised properly (read: not in the Mormon faith). He took the son to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico-- then had second thoughts about his illegal act. He called his father in Washington, D.C. to tell him what he'd done, and that "they" could find the boy in a Mormon church in Ciudad Juarez where he'd left him for safekeeping. The guy then starts to make his escape-- runs across a city street, gets hit-- and killed-- by a bus. The bus driver panics-- thinks he'll get arrested for hitting and killing the guy, and runs away to "escape"; they capture him and charge him with hit-and-run. The boy is eventually found and returned home.

Did you get all that?

> And unlike the last story, this one is simple and straightforward...

A Pakistani Muslim, living in Atlanta, GA, killed his daughter this week because she refused to honor an arranged marriage into which the father had forced her.

That's a fundamental tenet of the Muslim faith... Mom and Dad-- or, at least Dad-- gets to tell you who to marry. If you don't, or if you object, you may die at the hands of those parents. Estimates are (by the United Nations Population Fund that spends its time making this kind of estimate) that 5000 Muslims are killed by parents each year for not honoring Mom and Dad's arranged marriages.

And we're suppose to think that the Muslim faith is based on tolerance, compassion, and love--and can take its place comfortably in our world?

> Perhaps the best for last???
Seems all the while we have this saber-rattling going back and forth with Iran (we'll "nuke" them... they'll "set our ships on fire"), the business people of both nations have found substantial capitalist motives to "get along".

We (the U.S.A.) have a flourishing export business affair going on with the Iranis. We sell $BILLIONS to these archenemies, in cigarettes, brassieres, cosmetics, fur clothing, sculptures, musical instruments, agricultural commodities, medicines and weapons... yes, weapons!
But the stand-out item we sell them is bull semen. That's BULL SEMEN.

Now, I have no idea what makes our bull semen superior to the Irani bull semen-- or the bull semen of any other country. But soon enough the Irani herds will be speaking English with a Texas accent.

And now don't you feel literate, urbane, suave, knowledgeable and current... all over your body.
You're welcome."


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Know This Is Morbid, But THINK About It

If you died today, how would you want to be remembered? Have you considered your funeral arrangements? Do you have a life insurance policy? Do you have a will?

I have been pondering these questions with the deaths of my friends. I need a will. I need to purchase life insurance and I want to tell my husband where to bury my ashes in my Chock-Full-O-Nuts Can. Do you even HAVE a Bucket List?

But seriously...it's time for me to be a grown up and make these plans. I don't have any kids yet, but I do have a husband and a mortgage and it would be nice to make sure he is taken care of if something mortally unfortunate happens to me.

I've reached another oh-so-awful milestone in my life where more things on my body have started hurting and I'm feeling my own mortality. I have passed the point (just this year in fact) where I have cannot eat after 9 pm without dire consequences. I wake up with wicked, and I mean WICKED heartburn/indigestion etc. if I eat late at night.

But I digress...

I want a will so Uncle Sam doesn't get my assets. I want life insurance so that if something happens to me, Jeff won't lose the house, and I want to tell my loving husband how I would prefer things go after I die so that people won't be left guessing what I "would have wanted."

Do you want to be buried or cremated?
What songs do you want sung at your funeral?
What outfit do you want to be buried in?
How heavy a burden do I want to leave for my pall bearers if I do elect to be buried instead of cremated?

That got me thinking about getting serious about losing weight and about how I lack self-discipline.

I was watching the Hell's Kitchen finale with Jeff last night and these people are disciplined! We really like that show. I know it's awful, but I really live vicariously through Gordon Ramsay when he goes off on his chef's. It's just something I could never do in life because I don't have the power or the position, and it's just so wrong!

I always love the anticipation when the two finalists are behind those frosted glass doors and they have to turn the handle and see which one gets the job and the $250 Million dollar paycheck at one of Gordon's restaurants. What an amazing reward for all your hard work. I always feel a twinge of sympathy for the runner up. So close, yet no cigar.

So questions to ponder:

Do you have a Bucket List?
Do you have a will, life insurance etc.?
Do you think Gordon Ramsay has one of the best jobs in the world?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Getting Back on the Horse

I gained four pounds and I'm back in my size 14s. Ugh. I haven't been exercising and I've been grieving. Well, it's time to get back on the horse, strap myself to the saddle, and ride! I have started a food journal and I'm going to count points.

I want to lose 30 pounds. Encourage me. I need it.

I've started my second summer class...Urban Education at 10th and Spring Garden in the city. I'm going to carpool to try and save on gas and to preserve my sanity.

Good times!

I also need to get back out on the trail and do some walking and jogging. I may be downgraded to wogging at this point. I seem to have lost the endurance I built up when I was losing weight before. I am a backslidden jogger. The shame!

Oh well! I just have to get back at it again.

Are you exercising and trying to lose weight? What's worked/is working for you?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pieces of Flair

My 10 favorite pieces of Chuck Norris Flair from my Facebook "Pieces of Flair" application are:

10. Ninjas only exist because Chuck Norris lets them.

9. Chuck Norris sleeps with pillows under his gun.

8. Chuck Norris beat the sun in a staring contest.

7. Death once had a near-Chuck Norris experience.

6. Chuck Norris only has two speeds: "walk" and "kill."

5. Chuck Norris ordered a Big Mac at Burger King and got one.

4. Chuck Norris doesn't go to the bathroom, it comes to him.

3. Chuck Norris is the reason that Waldo is hiding.

2. Chuck Norris knows the last digit of Pi.

1. Chuck Norris can strangle you with a cordless phone.


Losing someone you love is never easy; especially when you've known them all your life. When someone like that dies, there is a part of you, at your very core that is crushed and you never feel the same, not ever.

My world has been rocked for the second time in six months. December 31st I lost a 28-year-old friend. Yesterday, I lost my Sharon. But she wasn't just my Sharon.

She was Keith's wife, and Mindy and Keith Jr.'s Mom, Barbara's mother-in-law and a grandmother to her 14-month-old grandson. She was Sandy's twin sister, and my Mom's bosom friend and so much more to so many others and now she's with her saviour in heaven and she's free. For her, there is no more heart ache. It is those of us left behind that mourn our loss but those in heaven, get to celebrate her arrival and homecoming.

One day, we will all make the journey that our ancestors have made before us...the final journey that we must all make alone, crossing death's threshold. It's strange how we strive to be happy all our lives, and then when all is stripped away, friends, family, wealth and poverty, it's just down to us, and our relationship with Jesus Christ, or the lack thereof.

I cannot imagine making that journey without Christ; without some assurance of salvation, but one can only believe and trust, having faith that God will fulfill his promise to us, to take us to himself for eternity if we have acknowledged our need for his son's sacrifice on the cross and have accepted him as saviour.

God is once again, using the death of one of his saints to draw me to himself and remind me of our corporate, and final destination. Sharon lived her life like a comet, blazing across the sky, a living, loving representation of Jesus' love to everyone she came in contact with.

I cannot wrap my mind around it that she's gone. I miss her terribly, loved her dearly, and I can hardly wait to hug her again some day.

Gone Home

My Friends,

I am back home in Western New York for the funeral of a beloved friend. Sharon Foxton went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, July 1, 2008. She was a loving wife and mother of my two friends, Mindy and Keith Jr., and wife to her husband Keith. She was one of my Mom's best girlfriends. Sharon always took care of others first and made you feel like family. She was God's love to those around her and she will be missed.

Sharon had open heart surgery the day of my D and C (June 9). She went back into the hospital on Saturday, June 28 with complications from Pneumonia and fluid retention around her lungs. She was a giver to the end. As an organ donor, she was able to give life to people she didn't even know.

I'll be sure to post when I can.