Monday, October 20, 2014

What I Did On Saturday, Told Mostly In Pictures

When my dad closed his farm supply store in the late summer of 2011, he was left with a really big, really empty building (that is for sale, along with the warehouse next door, if you're interested in a building or two in Nevada, MO). Recently, an auctioneer in town approached him about using the building to hold a big auction. There was one big estate, plus a few smaller ones, making for a tremendous amount of furniture and household goods and plain ol' junk. There was so much of it, in fact, that they couldn't get through all of it in the one day allotted for the auction and had to schedule a second day, which was this past weekend.




I wasn't at the first auction, but my husband and I drove up to look at everything, at which time I found these two items among all the other stuff:


My 10-speed bicycle and my baby crib. To add insult to
injury, my mom thought it was my BROTHER'S bicycle.
He also reminded me that it was his crib FIRST.



Yes, my parents put them in the auction. When I let out a howl, they told me I was welcome to take them home with me and store them there, so I shut my pie hole.

I found an awesome table that would be for sale. My dad said he would try to get it for me and asked me what it was worth to me.

"A ten-speed bike and a baby crib," I answered.

The second day of the auction was this past Saturday. My husband, daughter and I drove up for it. Even though there was less stuff than at the previous sale, there was still a LOT of inventory



Bidders.


A chair made from horns. I kid you not.



Prince Albert in a can....



Beethoven. The one thing my mom wanted.


Found my old boyfriend, Shaun Cassidy.


Yes, it's a ping pong paddle. Yes, it's Richard Nixon.



Classic nativity: Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus, and the
Four Victorian Carolers


My parents.



Either Old Order Mennonite or Amish. Not sure
as both live in the area.


A white guy dressed like a black rapper.


Well, it ain't New York City 'round here.

There was a funky chair that I really wanted. It was old and hand made and oddly shaped and upholstered in hideous harvest gold velvet. My husband hated it, but I loved it, and my mom said she would get it for me. I was a little worried about how much it would go for, because you never know at an auction if someone else might have fallen in love with something you want until it's time to bid on it. Lucky for me (and my mom), there was only one other bidder, who dropped out quickly, and we got the chair for $7.50 (which my husband says was overpriced). 

I was carrying my chair to the back of the store building to lock it in a back room when a woman called out as I walked by, "That's a cute chair!"

I stopped and said, "Isn't it? I love it!"

Then she sucker punched me.

"Did you buy it for your grandkids to sit on?"

Grandkids? GRANDKIDS?! DO I LOOK OLD ENOUGH FOR FREAKIN' GRANDKIDS?! (Never mind that IN THEORY I am old enough, but I'M NOT OLD ENOUGH FOR GRANDKIDS.)

I stomped off with my chair. Grandkids! Old witch.

Grandkids, indeed!

At the end of the auction, we all had a few treasures. My dad, for instance, bought an electric typewriter, but no one can figure out why.

My mom got her Beethoven bust:




My mom, daughter, and I got some fun costume jewelry.

And I got the little table I liked and my awesome chair.






And at the end of the day, everyone went home with their new things.  The end.






Friday, October 17, 2014

Great Hair Days and Other Thankfuls

It is incredibly, amazingly, beautiful outside today, a glorious fall afternoon. I'm looking out as I write at the flaming red maple tree in my front yard while the sun streams in through the window showing all the cat nose prints on the glass. How can you NOT be thankful on a day like this? Here are ten ways I'M thankful:

1. You may remember an earlier blog post where I told about my daughter losing her position on the volleyball team (even after being told she had done nothing wrong) to an older girl who was moved down to JV from Varsity. She still plays, but only subs in for two rotations. She's been upset the entire time, but that girl has taken it like a champ and not shown it at practice or at games, always bringing her game face. The season ended last night with a big win for JV, and just when we thought our season was over, Emma was asked by the Varsity coach to dress out when the Varsity team plays in Districts next week. It was a badly needed boost in confidence for her, although she is pretty unlikely actually to play during the game. If she doesn't get to play, then, by golly, she'll be the prettiest bench sitter there! 




2. I'm doing my best to get the antibiotics down Fletcher after his diagnosis of possible pancreatitis. I won't say it's going WELL, but, thankfully, SOME of the medicine is getting into his belly. The first time I tried, I did the surprise grab-him-with-one-hand-and-squirt-the-medicine-in-his-mouth-with-the-other tactic, which was pretty much a failure. He deflected a lot of it and it landed on the floor, where Ruby promptly licked it up. The next time, I had Emma hold him while I squirted it in his mouth, at which time he literally FOAMED AT THE MOUTH to get rid of it. It was time to get the big guns out, then, so I now give him a little spoonful of (expensive) canned food, squirt the medicine on top, and then goober it around with a spoon before giving him the food. He has fallen for it every time but once, when he refused to eat the food. It was back to Emma holding him while I squirted the medicine in his mouth (and may I add here that the amount of medicine is no more than 1/4 of a teaspoon and it's CHICKEN FLAVORED).This time, he not only foamed at the mouth but also walked across the tile floor and ralphed on the rug. I guess I'm getting enough of it into him, because not only has he not thrown up anywhere this week (that I can find...), his belly hair is growing back, because he isn't licking it any more. 


The day I foolishly gave each kitty a spoonful of canned food.

3. Emma agreed to give Fletcher his medicine the other night when I was just too darn tired to go downstairs and do it, in exchange for me buying her a container of cotton candy-flavored ice cream. Deal!

4. I received the most adorable drawing from a preschooler. She is in the primary class next door to me on the days I teach pre-k, and she is absolutely darling! She brought me this picture that she drew of us (and bear in mind she is only 3 years old and has used remarkable detail):




5. Did you know I have a chicken? Well, sort of. My amazing friend Zoe at Rewritten had a chicken catastrophe (or maybe a foxtastrophe is more like it) and lost some of her chickens. A neighbor kindly gave her some chicks to make up for her loss, and it made me think of the story of my great aunt Daisy, who once had a pet chicken. Zoe wanted to name a chick the same name as Daisy's chicken, but no one in my family knew what the chicken's name was (it's only been 100 years since the pet chicken days). Instead, Zoe named it Daisy Dillon, after my great aunt AND after me. She sends me pictures and updates on Daisy. Last weekend, however, Daisy almost met her end. A fox got in the chicken yard and was after her and a rooster. As Zoe put it, Daisy didn't have to outrun the fox; she only had to outrun the rooster, which she did. So while the demise of the rooster is sad, I am thankful my Daisy can outrun a stupid boy and will continue on her way to being a productive chicken.


Daisy Dillon, eating bugs and stuff.

6. My car has a little problem with burning oil, especially when you first start the car. You know how the Wicked Witch of the West always enters and exits in a cloud of smoke? Yeah, that's me in my car. We fill it with oil and check the gas these days, so my husband did just that before I drove the two plus hours to Emma's last volleyball game last night. I was on the edge of town, where the speed limit increases to 45 mph shortly before the entrance ramp to the highway, when I noticed the hood of the car was bouncing up and down. Quickly pulling into a gravel parking lot, I jumped out of the car in my sock feet (I had pulled off my boots for the drive) and found the hood was not latched. I'm thankful I noticed it before I got on the highway, because at 70 mph, it might have flown up. If it was my husband's attempt to kill me, then I'm thankful I have been tipped off and will know not to eat any mushrooms he tries to serve me....

7. During circle time yesterday in my primary class (3 year olds), I let each of them tell me something. One talked about a car he had seen on the way to school, one told me a story about her brother. And one girl said, "I have on underwear!" Yeah, thankful for that.

8. I've had a burning question about milk trucks for the past few months, and I finally got my answer! At one of the volleyball games this week, the grandparents of a girl on the freshman team came to watch them play, and the grandfather had on a Mid-American Dairy cap, and as he was leaving the gym after the game, I leaped out of the stands and chased him down to ask him whether butter forms in milk tanker trunks as they go from dairy farm to dairy farm and then to the dairy to process the milk. I thought maybe all that sloshing of non-homogenized milk would mean the truck was acting like a giant churn as it rolled along, but he told me the milk was too cold for that to happen. Kind of disappointing, because I was really imagining chunks of butter floating around in there, but at least I have an answer.

9. Great hair days. The humidity is at just the right level this time of year to get great curls with little frizz. A little mousse, a little blow dry, BAM! Hair done. 

10. Sonic drinks. I've been thankful before for Sonic happy hour, with half price drinks from 4-6 pm every day (EVERY DAY!), but they also have half price large drinks in the mornings before 10 am. This didn't matter to me so much before, but now that the new high school is open, I drive right by a Sonic every morning. And since I am boycotting the convenience store nearest my house because it was sold to Casey's General Stores and their prices went up and the quality of the drinks went down, a little stop at Sonic a couple of mornings a week ($1.07 with tax) makes my morning, especially when coupled with a good hair day. I'm unstoppable on days like that! 


Shhh! Don't wake her up!

What are you thankful for this week? How's your hair? Wearing underwear? Get a great mystery solved for you? Link up below. You won't be sorry!



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Friday, October 10, 2014

Thankful For Life As Usual

I can't top last week's Ten Things of Thankful if I tried. I GOT MY PICTURE TAKEN WITH VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN! Fan girl moment over. This week was life as usual. Here's the list:

1. Homecoming was last weekend. The game was Friday night, the dance was Saturday night. My daughter did not have a date this year, and instead, went with a group of girls. They had a fantastic time, and she looked lovely for the event.




2. While my daughter was at the homecoming dance, my husband and I went out for a spontaneous date night. We went to a restaurant in a nearby town that is a steakhouse with an arena where various horse events are held, mostly of the rodeo nature. We were seated in the part of the restaurant that overlooks the arena, and they were finishing up calf roping. The food is excellent, there are honest-to-goodness cowboys there, and if you can ignore that it smells like cow shit every time someone opens the door to the arena, one of the best restaurants around.




3. Both Monday and Thursday, the fire department visited preschool. They did not make me dress up like a firefighter, and for that, I am very grateful.


What they did to me 2 years ago.

4. My primary class went to the pumpkin patch on Tuesday. The weather was magnificent, and my little ones enjoyed hearing Farmer Tami talk about growing pumpkins. I brought money to pay for the mums I got a couple of weeks ago when I forgot that Farmer Tami didn't take plastic money, but I underestimated how much sales tax would be and was almost a dollar short (73 cents, to be exact). One of our preschool parents bailed me out, so I am now even steven with Farmer Tami and was able to pay back the parent when I got back to my car. Fortunately, the mums are GORGEOUS and totally worth it!

5. Tuesday night was Pink Out night at the home volleyball game. They honored me and my sweet friend Jenny, and it was a very special night.





6. My College Boy has fall break this week, so Wednesday, I picked him up and brought him (and his laundry) home. For the first time since he left for school in mid-August, I went to sleep knowing all my baby birds were in the nest for the night.

7. My husband and I drove what should be an hour trip to watch Emma play volleyball Thursday night in a monsoon. We couldn't go more than about 50 mph on the highway, with tractor-trailers passing us and throwing water all over the car. I was driving and stayed behind the same car the entire way, because just about the only thing I could see through the rain was those tail lights. The good news is we made it safely, and eventually, I was able to unclench my hands.

8. Two weeks ago, I took our cat, Fletcher, to the vet, because he had licked all the fur off his belly and was ralphing up food and hairballs. He got a steroid shot, and his fur is starting to grow back in, but he's still throwing up quite a bit. The vet ran a blood test on him, and it appears he may have pancreatitis. Not so thankful about that, but at least we know what's bothering him. And he has it in common with my dad (obviously, it runs in the family). They can commiserate about their dietary restrictions.


He is SO not thrilled.

9. At my oncology appointment this week, he told me I could take Aleve twice daily for the bone pain (I asked to pop them like Skittles and this was our compromise). I'm still awake a lot at night, but at least I'm not lying there, taking inventory of everything that hurts.

10. The windows are open tonight and a delightfully cool breeze is coming in my bedroom. It's going to be a good sleeping night!

How 'bout you? What are YOUR thankfuls this week? Link up with us, below.



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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Success, In Spite Of Attempts By The Secret Service To Thwart My Efforts

I've had plenty of things to be thankful for this week. I thought about writing about how my daughter's volleyball team got 4th place in a tournament last weekend. Or about the awesome antique table my dad got me at an auction. Or maybe how the weather has finally turned cooler and how I enjoy sitting in the family room with the fall colors all around me, maybe including a picture of Ruby (who had been stealing candy corn out of a candy dish moments before).


I call this Still Life with Kitten


Instead, I am invoking Rule 17(b)(ii) of the Secret Book of Rules that states when the Vice President of the United States comes to town, YOU WRITE ABOUT IT! Because how often do you get close enough to SEE a Vice President and all that goes into having him visit your high school?

As I've written before, roughly a third of our town was destroyed or damaged by an EF-5 tornado on May 22, 2011, including 9 school buildings, 6 of which were completely destroyed. The high school and the vo-tech center were destroyed. Temporary locations were found for them to use: an empty box store at the mall for 11th and 12th graders, a 100 year old surplus school building (that had once been a high school, a junior high, and a middle school, among other incarnations) for the 9th and 10th graders, and an empty warehouse for the vo-tech school. 

After three years of using these improvised locations, the new, state-of-the-art high school was completed (mostly) in time for this school year to start (a week late), with an official ribbon cutting ceremony held on Friday, October 3. Best part of this? Vice President Joe Biden was going to attend.

On Monday of this week, when my daughter came home from volleyball practice, she excitedly reported that the Secret Service was in the building all day (they were in a group in the gym during volleyball practice when she accidentally hit a ball into their midst and had to go retrieve it). She reported that many of her friends were recording Vines of the Secret Service. I asked her if she had taken a picture of them, and she said she was too scared to try.

On Tuesday, my daughter reported that, during a class she has on the ground floor and with two walls of windows, they could look out and see Secret Service agents looking at the building from the outside, then walking back to the doors they had exited from and finding themselves locked out. (Our high school building is obviously more secure than the White House.) Still no picture from her.

On Wednesday, the Secret Service was on the roof. I told her if she didn't get a picture of one of them, she wasn't my daughter. 

On Thursday, she sent me a text:




Seems she was in the hallway, running an errand, and one was on his phone. As she walked down the hallway, holding her phone in front of her and snapping pictures, he turned, covered the phone with his hand, and asked her what she was doing. Oops. She did get a (blurry) picture for me, then sent me one a friend had taken which showed one of the Secret Service agents pointing out the kid taking pictures of them.


Emma's stealth picture. Not so stealthy after all.


Zoom in on the guy in the middle.


SIDE NOTE: Come on, Secret Service, what do you expect when you're in a high school with 2200 students with cell phones? THIS IS THE BIGGEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO THEM!

Friday was the big day. I won't even get into how difficult it was to drop Emma off at school that morning, with all the local police and highway patrol blocking off the parking lots and drives into the school. She got there, and I knew that for this one day, she couldn't be in a safer place!

My friend Melinda picked me up from preschool at noon to go to the ribbon cutting. A cold front had moved through, and it was windy and about 54 degrees with a light sprinkle falling. We parked on a side street nearby and walked, huddling under an umbrella, and walked through the metal detector WHICH I SET OFF.

"Did your boobies set it off again?" asked Melinda. 

The Secret Service agent waved his wand over me, pausing at the pocket of my sweatshirt.

"Are your boobies down here?" he asked. "What do you have in your pocket?"

I reached in and pulled out -- my whistle that I use at recess to call the kids to line up. Oops. We were cleared to go and continued up to the front of the building, where the stage was set up and the students were filing out of the building (each had to go through a metal detector as well). We were pretty far away from the festivities at first, but we managed to saunter closer, well back from where the students were but close enough to see the stage from the side. 

I was snapping pictures with my phone (not very good ones, I might add, because it was cloudy and the lighting was terrible, although the rain had stopped). A helicopter was circling the building, the snipers were on top of the school (and on top of the church across the street), students and other spectators were excitedly awaiting the arrival of the Vice President. I decided to take a little video of the helicopter and the crowd when...my phone went black and turned off. And wouldn't turn on again. I was shocked. My battery was at 93% when we arrived, so how did this happen?! Melinda promised to take pictures for me (she brought a real camera, as her daughter got to sit on the stage during the ceremony and she wanted a picture of that), and periodically, I tried the power button. It finally came on again, battery power dropped down to 45%, and I took a couple more pictures when -- ZAP -- it was shut down again.

A man nearby said the Secret Service had the capability to jam cell phones. And then I wondered if they had HAND PICKED me, because of my little status update on Facebook:




I WAS ONLY KIDDING! Okay, half kidding. My plan was to take a selfie with Vice President Biden in the background. I had no plan to rush the stage, and even if I HAD, the sight of the weapons those agents had on top of the building was MORE than enough to change my mind. 

Emma came out on the risers with the rest of the choir for the National Anthem. Melinda snapped pictures for me AS THE SECRET SERVICE HAD MY PHONE JAMMED. Someone came out and affixed the presidential seal to the podium (or maybe it was a VICE presidential seal?) and the VIPs and speakers who got to sit on the stage filed out. It was like waiting for the Beatles to take the stage. Finally, he came out the front doors of the school. He passed right by the end of the risers where Emma was standing. She was so excited, she was in tears, and he looked right at her and did this:






The ceremony began with speeches upon speeches, including touching ones by our superintendent, Dr. C.J. Huff (which included a moment of silence for the 161 people who lost their lives in the tornado) and by school board president Annie Sharp, until the man we were there to see moved to the podium. Vice President Biden delivered a heartfelt speech, acknowledging how the people of Joplin worked together to rebuild, commending the school system for speedily finding alternative places for our students to go to school by the time classes were to start less than 3 months after the tornado, and wishing us a successful homecoming game that night (and yes, we won). It was an honor to have him there.

My phone was momentarily unjammed, and I tried to get a selfie with the Vice President in the background, then -- ZAP -- no more phone.

The ribbon was cut (6 and a half miles of ribbon strung around the campus, representing the length of the tornado's path), the dignitaries and guests left the stage, and Melinda and I walked up closer to it so we (she) could get some pictures. Secret Service agents (who really do wear reflective sunglasses and ear pieces) were standing on the ground in front of the stage, eyeballing everyone. I was taking it all in (mentally, SINCE MY PHONE WAS JAMMED AND I COULDN'T TAKE PICTURES) when I realized I was seeing the top of a Joplin Eagles ball cap standing on the other side of the security fencing, and UNDER that cap was VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN. AND HE WAS SHAKING HANDS AND TAKING PICTURES! 

I saw my daughter's French teacher (someone I believe to be another Democrat in this sea of Republicans in this part of the state) and asked to borrow his phone to text Emma to come to the stage from wherever she was. I then saw one of the volleyball coaches and asked if she could take a picture of me with the Vice President behind me (still thinking selfie with him in the background) when the opportunity to walk right up to him and get my picture taken with him arose. And I seized it!

He put his arm around me and posed with me. And he couldn't have been kinder. I was giggly and starstruck as I walked away, and more than just a little smug that I had, indeed, managed to get my picture taken with the Vice President of the United States (take THAT, Secret Service who jammed my phone!).




Emma, who had received the text from me via her French teacher, came running up then. Melinda and I told her to get up there, and Melinda and Coach Travis took pictures of her with the Vice President.

As she approached him, he turned to her and said, "Hey, there, beautiful!" and gave her a hug. Not a side hug for pictures, but a full-on hug.

"I'm a die-hard Democrat!" she said to him, and he answered, "That's so nice to know!" 

They posed for pictures, and he said to her, "You're so beautiful. Did you know that?" 

She walked away on a cloud, saying it would have only been better if it had been President Obama, although she fully admits she would probably pass out if she ever got a chance to meet him.





Emma went back to the building. Melinda and I hung around a took a few more pictures (SHE did; MY PHONE WAS STILL JAMMED). We got a Secret Service agent (one of the nice ones, not the steely eyed ones) to cut off a piece of the ribbon for us with the knife he had in his pocket, for which Melinda said to him, "Are you cleared to have that in your pocket?" and eliciting a huge laugh from him (SOME of them are human).

When he bent over to pick up the ribbon, we could see the bulge in the back of his jacket that hid his gun. And even though this agent was actually friendly, the bottom line is this man is willing to die for our President and Vice President. That's quite a commitment to your job. 

By the time we made our way back to the car, me absolutely giddy that I had fulfilled my prophecy to Facebook that morning, Melinda's phone battery had died. My phone, of course, was still zapped. We settled into the car, she turned the key, and... click, click, click. 

Dead battery.

And no, the lights weren't left on, the door ajar, nothing. The battery wasn't old. A local police officer was blocking off the street a few feet away, and he very kindly came over and jumped us, saying he does this every day for people.

But not people whom the Secret Service was out to get. Like me. I may have gotten my picture with the Vice President, but they got the last laugh. I bet those snipers on the roof finally cracked a smile.


We are Joplin. We are Eagles.
(Thanks, Melinda Campbell, for the pictures!)




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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Believe It Or Not, My Family Really Is Civilized

My great aunt Daisy was born in 1900, the youngest of three children born to Isaac and Minnie Jefferson. Her brother, Thomas (my grandfather), was ten years older than her; her sister, Edith, was six years older. She was the baby and spoiled rotten.

How rotten, you ask?

The family let her have a pet chicken.

How does that make her spoiled rotten?

They let her keep the pet chicken IN THE HOUSE.

There's more.

They let the chicken roost at night on the back of a dining room chair, newspapers spread on the floor beneath it.


Neither Daisy nor her sister ever married, and they lived together their entire lives. My brother and I spent many, many happy hours at their home while growing up, where WE were thoroughly spoiled and were never told "no" (except for the one time I BEGGED them to buy me a darling little monkey that was in the pet section of a store we had gone to when I was about 7, and they didn't IMMEDIATELY say no; they actually gave it at least a moment's consideration, but, wisely, thought better of it). Edith (or "Ecie" as we called her) did the cooking and the cleaning. She paid the bills, fixed things that were broken (including cars, on occasion), took care of the household.

But Daisy? She was always the baby, the spoiled one, until she passed away at 83. She was the one who played games with us. And watched soap operas. And made fudge and popcorn balls. Who was a picky eater and was catered to her by her family her entire life. She was fun.

And she once had a freakin' pet chicken! How awesome is that?


Daisy and her chicken, ca. 1912

This post was an entry for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop with the prompt:


Throwback time! Share an old photo and tell us about it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

It's Fall and Other Thankful Stuff

At the risk of sounding whiny, I'm still exhausted this week, and the bone aches, especially in my legs, are keeping me from sleeping well. I can't hide that they hurt when I walk, especially after getting out of the car, and it makes me walk like Chester from Gunsmoke until I loosen up a bit. I HAAAAAAATE feeling like this. 

Whining session over. Time for my Ten Things of Thankful.

1. Today is Thursday. And this week, Thursday is my Friday, because there is no school on Friday. 

2. It's fall! It's fall! It's fall! 


THIS IS ONE MUM, PEOPLE!

3. We hosted the jv volleyball team for a pasta night this week, and it forced me to do some long-overdue deep cleaning of the house. I scrubbed and dusted and vacuumed, and the end result is a shiny clean house. Now, if it would only stay that way....

4. After I got the house clean, I got out the fall decorations. I like having the house decorated for fall even more than I do for Christmas. Maybe because my house is largely decorated in fall colors? When the house was all clean and decorated, I sat, all alone, in the family room, enjoying the oranges and browns and reds and yellows in the lamplight and froze a picture of it in my mind. Then, knowing the limitations of said mind, I snapped a couple of pictures on my phone to refer to when it's time to decorate again next year.

5. I made some pretty amazing lasagna for pasta night. I only make it once a year, at the most, because lasagna is such a pain in the ass to make, but this recipe from a friend who used to be a caterer is worth it. I doubled the recipe, so we have some for the freezer and some for our tummies.




6. No bats OR lizards in the building this week at preschool. That I know about, anyway.

7. A visit to Fredrickson Farms Pumpkin Patch rendered me three of the most ginormous chrysanthemums I've ever seen in my life. I had to drive with one in the passenger seat and two in the backseat to fit them in the car. AND THEY WERE ONLY $12 EACH!





8. I kind of forgot that they didn't take credit cards at Fredrickson's, and I, of course, didn't have cash with me, and I quit carrying around my checkbooks years ago. I felt like an idiot, but dear, sweet Farmer Tami let me take the mums home, telling me I could take care of it later. HOW MANY BUSINESSES LET YOU DO THAT? It doesn't hurt that I had her daughter in pre-k several years ago, but still. Live near the Joplin area? THEN GO BUY STUFF FROM FREDRICKSON FARMS!

9. It was "C" week in pre-k, and we did several "C"-related activities. Last year, one of the teachers saw on Pinterest that you could put a bar of Ivory soap in the microwave for a few minutes, and it would billow and grow into a big, fluffy soap cloud, and we tried it, and it was cool. We were pressed for time this week to get everything done we wanted to get done during "C" week (no school on Friday, 'member?) and had to squeeze the Ivory soap cloud experiment in near the very end of the day. I showed the unwrapped bar of soap to the class (nothing up my sleeve), after which my assistant teacher put it in the microwave, asking me how long to leave it in there. I had no idea, not able to remember from last year. She said she would set it for five minutes. At one point, she said it was growing, but she couldn't remember how big it would get before it was done. And then, very shortly after this announcement, she let out a yelp, pulled the paper plate with the soap on it out of the microwave, where it had not only gotten puffy and cloud-like, but also had smoke rolling out of it. With a trail of thick, soapy smelling smoke following her, she ran out of the room, down the stairs and out the doors, carrying the soap with her, and threw it in the dumpster. There are probably several thankfuls here, including, but not limited to, thankful that there were no actual flames billowing out, that the dumpster didn't catch on fire, that the smoke didn't set off the smoke alarms, and that we didn't asphyxiate from the smell of burned soap. I told the kids we'd try it again next week. Stay tuned.


What it's kind of supposed to look like.
Imagine this, but with smoke
billowing out of it.

10. I had the hiccups tonight during my daughter's volleyball game. I rarely get them, and when I do, they make me feel stupid. I was sitting at the game with a friend, and she said when you have the hiccups, it means someone is thinking about you, which is a pretty sweet sentiment. They still made me feel stupid, but wondering who might be thinking about me RIGHT THEN kind of took my mind off the hiccups (and the fact that our volleyball team was getting their clocks cleaned).

She played well, even without a win.



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