yes, sir.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

i have probably watched this video at least a dozen times in the last year. sir ken robinson rocked in 2006...ken robinson says schools kill creativity | video on 

and he rocked in 2010...sir ken robinson: bring on the learning revolution! | video on

i wonder where he'll show up next.

if you have just under 20 minutes to spare, take a peek at the creativity one. i bet you'll take a peek at the other one, too.....he's a full-fledged, totally fabulous rock star.

plus he has a cool accent and funny stories. enjoy (if you feel so inclined)!!


mediocrity meets fabulosity

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

today was one of those odd, odd days where nothing really specifically went wrong, but nothing exactly went right. it was just kind of mediocre and blah. my glass was definitely half empty today.

until i got home.

it was trash and recycle day in my 'hood, and i turned onto my street just after the recycle truck.

as my recycle container was hoisted over the edge of the truck, i was shocked to hear the clinking and clanking and shattering...did i have that many wine bottles in there? that would have been the perfect ending to the kind of day i had: another problem....a potential trip to the betty.

i pulled into my garage and got out of my car just in time to hear the next bin being emptied...more clinking and clanking and shattering.

and more and increasingly more from each house after mine.

music to my ears!!!

on a day like i had, it feels good to know that i'm not alone in my bottle collecting activities. my neighbors apparently consume much more "bottled" products than i do, and i quickly put my worries to rest.

sometimes all it takes is something small to turn a mediocre day into a half full kind of day.

click for photo credit

and since then, things are much better. for instance, rocky horror picture show (glee version) is on, i have one more assignment to do for my class, and it's my favorite time of year!! and i'm going to bed early. see? muy better!

peace and production possibilities...

pumpkins for my pumpkins

Saturday, October 22, 2011

it's pumpkin time! my town has the most fabulous, quintessential pumpkin patch, and when we moved here eight years ago, i didn't think it would be such a cool outing to take the girls there year after year.

but year after year, we go back. it's been fun watching them grow up there...

i always tell them they can't get a pumpkin they can't lift. in a few more years, that's going to put a dent in my cash flow, and i hope they never outgrow our trips there.

last night they carved their pumpkins and we roasted pumpkin seeds. mmmmm, mmmmm, yumminess!

tomorrow we are going costume shopping. jay wants to be dorothy, and cee wants to be...a zombie. i'm not 100% comfortable with her dressing up as a zombie, and when i tried to reason with her, here's the answer i got:

mom. it's halloween. you have to bring the full package. i'm talking full glitz. otherwise you won't get any candy. if you don't bring your 'a' game, they're just gonna look at you and say - 'hit the road, buzz kill.'



thus the reason i'm worried that she might outgrow the pumpkin patch tradition soon. hopefully when we're actually shopping for costumes, something fluffy and magical will catch her eye and spur a change of heart. they're both growing up way too fast.

the girls have big plans for tonight, so we're off to prepare for the madness ahead. i hope you and yours have a wonderful fall weekend!!



Friday, October 21, 2011

cheese - the other, other white meat.

i love cheese.

it started in my younger days with a wicked velveeta obsession, and now it's morphed into something real and mature and deep and profound.

cheese and i have had our ups and downs as we've aged. the more i fell in love with cheese, the more i wanted to know about it. cheese doesn't have a poetic story to back up its greatness.

'the poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.' ~g.k. chesterton

tidbits like this are quite the opposite of sexy...'eyes (holes) in cheese develop during the curing process when gas formed in the fermentation stage expands. the release of this gas causes air pockets to form and eventually pop, leaving behind the holes.'


science and facts aside, i still have plenty of room in my heart for a good plate of cheese. serve it with bread, serve it with crackers, serve it with fruit, or serve it with deli meats. just don't serve it from a can (please?).

here are a few of my faves...

nancy's hudson valley camembert - sheep's milk and cow's milk. tame and delicious. grate it and plop it in mashed potatoes...i double dog dare you.

triple creme brie (french marin) - you may have to give your arm a pinch so you don't think you've died and gone to heaven. not even kidding.

murray's cave aged cabot clothbound cheddar - it's a mouthful...produced by the likes of this cutie pie...

from wiki
pure luck goat cheese - i'm not a big believer in luck as much as i am blessings, but it's hard to tell the difference between the two when you sink your chops into this deliciousness.

oh my gosh. i just realized that i am completely incapable of finishing this conversation with you because of some dude named troy johnson. he has his own show called crave.

the episode on t.v. right now is entirely dedicated to cheese!!!

check it out when you get a'll be doing yourself a favor.

i promise.

peace and pasteurization....

chicken nostalgia

Sunday, October 16, 2011

i have been missing two things a whole bunch lately:
-my chickens
-farm fresh eggs

isn't she a beauty?

yeah, i know...a face only a mother could love.

when i was married, we lived on three acres, which was great and all, but more importantly, we lived in an area with no land/livestock restrictions. over five years, we had about 10 chickens. it took me six chickens to figure out how to raise them, and after we went through those unfortunate six, we ended up with four champs.

we had dora, boots, big red, and diet coke. the one in the picture is dora.

when i bought my new house, one of the first things i checked was the livestock restrictions. yup - you guessed it: most home owners' associations tend to frown upon egg-laying fowl. mine included.

if you've never had chickens, i know you're probably thinking that i'm kinda crazy right now, but you're just going to have to trust my self-inflicted sanity claim. they were so tame and friendly, and we could hold them and pet them...and call them george if we wanted to. they weren't picky about their names.

if you've never had fresh chicken eggs, you should totally find some. i'm really not an egg eater anymore since i don't have fresh eggs.

there's something alluring about the deep golden color of fresh eggs when compared to the less-golden-pale-mucky color of grocery store eggs.

did you know chickens only lay one egg per day? it must be very hard work for them. ours got to the point where they would lay them on the grill, which happened to be right next to our back door. when i lived there, we always cooked muffins and pancakes for breakfast. it was not unusual to say, 'girls, go get an egg for me.'

and they would toddle to the back porch, reach up on the grill, and get a brand spankin' new egg. :)

redneck? maybe a little.

good? you betcha.

a friend of mine has recently given thought to buying some land and building a house. she wanted to ask me about chickens. and raising them.

i instantly got so excited for her - maybe a little too excited. and at the same time, i found sad. about chickens.

i really do miss my chickens. i miss them so much that my next house will definitely not have livestock restrictions.

it's been a pretty great weekend - i caught up with some dear friends, got lots done at home, and i'm completely ready for whatever this week has to offer.

peace and poultry...

the daily chuckle

Thursday, October 13, 2011

i sure do miss my babies on tuesday and wednesday nights.

a lot.

therefore, i look extraordinarily forward to my thursday nights with them.

tonight, like all thursdays, did not disappoint.

scene 1

me: cee, how was your field trip today?

cee: it was so spot-on.

me: did you just say spot-on?

cee: yup. why?

me: just if there was one part in the play that you could have, what would it be?

cee: the goose.

me: why?

cee: because she got to go to the very edge of the stage, turn around, and shake her booty to the whole entire audience. in a tutu. who gets to do that? it's every girl's dream.

scene 2

jay: mom, you gotta see what i did in my room.

me: (bristling whilst simultaneously holding my breath - because usually this involves a sharpie) oh god. what?

jay: look! (pointing to stickers plastered on her door frame) do you know what these mean?

me: no, what?

jay: this is how tall i was when i was a teeny tiny baby (at the level of my ankles), and this is how tall i'm gonna be when i grow up (at the level of five inches above my head), and thiiiisssss is how tall i'm gonna be when i can google inappropriate things (really? the level is entirely insignificant in this context).

scene 3:

i had their annual teacher conferences earlier this week. usually i smile and nod at the kind compliments and politely say thank you.

this year was not usual. i was seriously so overwhelmed with all of the sweet things their teachers shared with me that one of them offered me a box of tissues. my head and my heart swelled entire dress sizes this year.

the older they get - and the closer they get to the age of students i teach - the more i appreciate the feedback and feel like what i'm doing with them really is paying off.

sometimes i feel like super grinch mom. sometimes i feel like chronic fun-ruiner mom. sometimes i feel like world's worst mom.

but getting such genuine, positive feedback on their ability and behavior and demeanor makes me realize that being a parent really is a hard job. nobody ever told me we wouldn't always get along; nobody ever told me we wouldn't always be smiling and laughing; and nobody ever told me it was okay to have bad days.

it's just the way that our lives have unfolded, and it's reassuring to know that i'm doing something right in the big mess of day-to-day life. it feels really great to discover that the things i'm teaching them are  sticking and paying off.

happy hearts make happy homes.

alright - it's bedtime.

peace out and sweet dreams.

worms. everywhere.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

as a teacher, some things strike a chord with me more than others... especially when those things have to do with kids (as they often do in the business of teaching). today was one of those chord-striking kind of days.

the things that kids in my class...and our with these days seriously amaze me. middle school is that time of my life where you couldn't pay me enough money to do it over again. it's awkward and difficult and transitory...thankfully, it's ephemeral.

i had a kid who got in trouble in my class today and normally this kid isn't the type who would ever, ever get in trouble. as a friend of mine says, 'it's middle school. pretty much all bets are off with predicting their behavior.'

oh, so true.

when school was over, i decided to call home just to make sure the parents were aware of what was going on in class...and to make sure the correct story made it home (shockingly, the reality version isn't always the one that makes it home). parents are typically pretty fabulous about supporting us and if they have a talk with their kid, the next day things are usually infinitely better.

but this wasn't the average phone call home.

sometimes when you call home, you end up opening a can of worms that can't really be closed. today, i accidentally opened a huge can of worms. every question or comment i asked or made ended up creating additional worm holes in the already-gaping can, and the next thing i knew, they were everywhere.

every. where.

if you remember my squirrel fishing extravaganza from this summer, you already know that i really don't like worms in a literal or figurative sense.

it's been four hours since the great worm explosion of 2011, and i have managed to contain the worms in that time, but that's primarily because i'm from the 'supress, don't express' school of repressive thought.

things will be fine, but i am pretty sure this kid needs a huge hug tomorrow for all of the situations they have going on at home.

everything in my life was quickly put into perfect perspective, and i was once again reminded that i'm lucky and blessed and all the other good stuff that goes along with my pollyanna take on life.

sorry to be a's a little something to make you smile.

dear ms. davis,

 i want to be very clear on my child’s illustration. it is not of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint. I work at home depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. this photo is of me selling a shovel.

mrs. harrington

peace. :)


Saturday, October 8, 2011

i need this in my life today. i think i'm gonna make that happen.

from gracious southern living

perhaps today is the day that a plethora of pretty pumpkins will possibly and probably permeate my presence.


lucky stars

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

i have always considered myself an extraordinarily lucky person.

not lucky in the way of picking just the right slot machine in vegas or lucky like buying the winning lottery ticket at just the right time or lucky like having someone knock on my front door with balloons, a hidden camera, and a check for a million dollars from publisher's clearinghouse (made out to me, of course).

maybe blessed is a better word than lucky because i do think that i have extra peeps watching over me. maybe i require more 'attention' than the average earthling. i don't know. i'm not generally a high maintenance person, but it's quite possibly because there are extra invisible forces looking after me.

this morning, i proved this point to myself.


i could not sleep last night. i tossed. i turned. i benadryled. all to no avail...

i sent an email to two co-workers at 9:30 thinking maybe if i got the one kid who was keeping me up off of my mind, i could sleep.

nope. no luck, no sleep. nada.

all night, i kept thinking i'd forgotten something.

this morning, i groggily made my way to the dryer to fluff  my outfit. i heard bird(s) in my garage (this is not normal).

i had cracked my garage last night because it was getting kind of 'time for the trash man to come' know?

before i went to bed last night, i hit the garage door button and just assumed it closed. when i heard the bird(s) this morning, i figured a bird had spent the night in my garage, and then i groaned because i knew i'd left my sunroof open and i figured there would probably be a nest or a nice pile of poo awaiting me in my car.

i carefully, slowly opened the door from my house to my garage, thinking of the caption 'teacher dies when angry birds attack.' my eyes were actually closed (birds peck).

when i opened my eyes, my jaw hit the ground. somehow, i'd managed to leave my garage door open all night long.

i closed the door (thinking that would make it go away?)...

in a split second, my mind starting totaling the potential damage....

when i opened the door again, i realized that my garage door had, in fact, been open all night long and closing it again would not erase this fact.

i also realized a series of sickening oversights...

the sunroof was open.

my car was unlocked.

my purse was in the front seat...

(with my wallet in it).

my brand new order of checks that i'd gotten from the mailbox yesterday was also laying in the front seat.

the keys to my car were in the console (i have a logical reason for doing this...).

the keys to my house were under the doormat.

"hello, wicked people - please come steal my identity or take my life."

that's the banner that may as well have been hanging in front of my house...with a giant strobe light beckoning traffic and bad guys.

i quickly assessed all the potential things that could have been violated or stolen, thinking that angry bird(s) pecking my eyes out might be better than the worst case scenario.

guess what...

not a thing was missing or out of place.

there were even two amstel lights left over from the weekend that were in my car monday morning before school...i put them on the floor of my garage before i left because i thought that probably wouldn't be a good thing to have in my car at school.

beers? fully intact.

after i determined that nothing had been taken...or touched (or sipped), i breathed maybe the hugest sigh of relief ever (while shutting the garage door).

can you believe that?

i still can't.

and that's why i think i have lucky stars and a small army of guardian angels.

i'm exhausted and ready to crash. i'm sure the angels who were watching over my garage are ready to hit the hay, too.

have you ever felt that lucky? i hope you's a great feeling.

combine that with a fabulous dinner with two of my faves and you have the framework for a stellar day.

tonight my garage is closed, my purse is inside, my car is locked, the house keys are no longer under the doormat, the alarm is on (just like it is every night), and i am a very thankful and grateful lady with a very peaceful (albeit tired) heart.


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