Friday, December 25, 2020

Time For Joy, Time For Cheer

 Christmas, Christmas time is here,

Time for joy and time for cheer.

We've been good but we can't last,

Hurry Christmas, hurry fast!

It's heeeeeere!

This Christmas will be different than the past 25, as my son is spending the holiday with his fiance's family. This takes me to my first of Ten Things of Thankful this week:

I now have until mid-January to shop for my son and future daughter-in-law's gifts, so I can take advantage of after-Christmas sales.

I'm thankful that the caramel corn factory that has been my kitchen is winding down. Only have to make a batch when my son comes next month and one for my husband's sister's family for whenever we get to see them.

I'm thankful for warm flannel shirts.

And sleeping with kitties at my feet.

For homemade peppermint marshmallows (shout out to my brother - I. Ate. Them. All.).

Holiday cards from friends.

Clothes that fit again.

As of Tuesday of this week, the days are now getting longer! 

Extended family Zoom call scheduled for this afternoon and for my cousin Delaney for setting it up.

Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating!

Lewis on the second floor, Finn in the basement.

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Sunday, December 20, 2020

You Are My Sunshine

You know that feeling when you start a new job and you're more than a little overwhelmed and maybe a little lonely from leaving your former work friends for your new adventure? That was me just over a year ago, when I started my new teaching job at the university child care center, and while I had no regrets about making the change, and I was surrounded by little humans and college workers and all sorts of commotion, I was still kind of lonely.

Enter Annie.

One morning, I was in the office area when a college student walked by the window, saw me, and began wildly jumping up and down and waving. To my joy, I realized it was my daughter's friend from high school, and she was coming to work for us. I immediately claimed her to work in my classroom, and it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

It wasn't easy telling them apart during
show choir performances (Annie on the 
left, Emma Kate on the right)

For the past fifteen months, we have worked together nearly every day. Annie opened in my classroom, arriving every morning at 6:45 (okay, make that 7:00, maybe 7:15) and started the day off for my little nugs. When I transitioned this summer from teaching one year olds to two and three year olds, Annie came with me. We quickly developed a pattern and were a well-oiled machine. And did we ever line those little houligans out! They went from feral to reasonably domesticated in just a couple of months.

The downside to working with college students is they, just like the littles in my preschool class, grow up and move on, and sadly (for me, anyway), that day came this week for Annie. She will be doing her student teaching starting in January, followed by her college graduation in May. 

I knew this day was going to come, but as FREAKING SLOWLY as this year has progressed, these final two months have flown by. Whyyyyy???

This week, my Ten Things of Thankful are for Annie (I could list a hundred more, but I won't). Thank you, sweet girl, for:

~finding my phone countless times a day. Also my big cup, my glasses, my whistle, the pointer, the remote, stray preschoolers (just kidding), my face mask, and numerous other items.

~seeing what needed to be done and doing it.

~endless hours of potty time duty, so I could spend more time in the classroom rather than spending it in the bathroom.

~singing duets with me - we especially rock Hamilton songs

~encouraging me when I felt I was failing.

~being both my second daughter and my friend.

~random texts, funny photos, and memes.

~handling dozens of duties throughout the morning that made my job easier.

~all the tech support.

~the laughter. SO much laughter.

~being my daily dose of sunshine.

Good luck, Annie! I will miss you, but I know you are going to do Great Things and be an amazing teacher. I love youuuuu!!! 

I'm not crying, YOU'RE crying.
(It was me; I was crying)

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Sunday, December 13, 2020

I'm Late, But I Got Them Done!

 I've gotta get my shit together.

Yes, it was a busy weekend. Yes, I could have gotten my post written, like, Thursday and been ready.

No, I did not do this.

It's as if I invited people over for dinner, but after I let them in the house, I disappeared upstairs and then didn't come down again until my guests had completely given up on me and started rooting through the cabinets and refrigerator for something to eat.

Here are my thankfuls, LATE....

The weather was GAWGEOUS most of the week, especially Thursday, when it got up into the 70s. We stayed out on the playground forEVER, since Friday it was rainy and yucky and today it snowed. SNOWED.

It snowed all. day. long. But no accumulation. So you got to see pretty snowflakes float past the windows, but the roads remained completely clear. Not that I went anywhere, but still.

We went to the lake house Friday evening, and on our way, we stopped at Red Racks, where my husband (and by virtue of this, my DAD) was the big winner with the bargains. I found nothing.

Friday evening, we went through the drive-thru at Zaxby's and got chicken finger plates, then sat in the car and ate them (last time I did this was in May and I dropped the fork I was using to eat coleslaw. Oh, and I had a big ol' forkful of coleslaw at the time - the fork with the coleslaw fell between my seat and the console and disappeared for months). It was the first time we had eaten fast food since early June, and it was darn good.

My dad turned 86 on Saturday. He requested taco salad and scalloped potatoes for supper. Interesting combination, but I made both and they were delicious.

Hmmm. Camera or stove crooked?

Taco salad requires a crap ton of dishes.

For his birthday cake, my dad wanted chocolate cake. I made it like my mom always did, with a cooked brown sugar frosting, and it was perfection.

Bonus thankful: he neither spit on the cake NOR lost 
his teeth when he blew out the candle.

I bought a pair of Allbirds Tree Runner shoes from Poshmark, and they arrived Friday morning. I LURRRRRVE them! I have two pairs of wool runners, and I think the tree runners are even better! They were used, but not much, and I only paid $30 for them, rather than the $95 they are when new.

They are so prettyyyyy!!!

We left the cats home when we went to the lake this weekend, so we could stop on the way and shop at Red Racks. All was well when we got home. I'm always just a little afraid that I will come home to the final scene of Eugene Field's "The Duel" where the gingham dog and the calico cat ate each other up. There was evidence of some kind of rave in the upstairs hallway and under the Christmas tree, but the three of them were unscathed.

Chiefs clinched the AFC West title today. 

Five more school days and then Christmas break. Wahoooooooo!!!

Did you write your thankfuls? Did you link them up? Do both, please! Oh, and wear your mask.

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Thursday, December 10, 2020

Menu: A Six Sentence Story

Rudy's All-The-Time Diner was fairly quiet from 10:00 pm until midnight, and the waitresses took advantage of the lull to fill ketchup bottles and salt and pepper shakers, and they wrapped silverware in clean white napkins while gossiping and giggling. Mimi enjoyed the comraderie, but she would rather be waiting on tables; with two small children at home with her mother and sisters and secretarial school tuition to pay for, she needed the tip money more than she needed the fellowship.

As the neighborhood bars began closing down, the doors to Rudy's began to swing open, booths and tables rapidly filling up with drunks, some quietly downing coffee before facing the reality of home, others boisterously shouting across the dining room to their drunken cronies while jovially shoveling in eggs and pancakes and sausage. Mimi worked her way through the tables, refilling coffee cups, carrying plates, and dodging the gestures of wildly animated diners while dropping tips into her apron pocket and wiping up spills.

As she paused at a newly seated table of exuberant drunks with her coffee pot poised to fill their cups, the man nearest her looked hungrily at her, his face leering, and he slurred, "I'll have a piece of you a la mode, baby," as he reached out and squeezed her bottom with both hands.

"I'm not on the menu," Mimi replied as she poured the contents of the coffee pot into the diner's lap and walked away.

Linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge's Blog for Six Sentence Stories with the prompt "menu"

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Overly Long But Overly Thankful

I was a liiiiiitle worried the Ten Things of Thankful wasn't going to come off this weekend. I had a dreadful time getting the whole linky thing to work out, but thanks to Kristi coming to my rescue (repeatedly), I did it! Now on with the show!

I thought it was going to be hard to go back to work after Thanksgiving break, but it was good to get back. Don't get me wrong; I believe I was born to be a woman of leisure and unlimited means, but as rest of the world is not in agreement with this, work it is!

My classroom is decorated for Christmas. There is no picture to show you how cute it looks. Why didn't I think to take a picture? My little humans were so excited! Candy canes and gingerbread boys and girls on the walls and windows. Christmas lights. It's festive without going overboard.

I bought a small Christmas tree at the Salvation Army thrift store that is preschool-height. It was supposed to be $8, but the lights didn't work, so they let me have it for $4. Grab bags of ornaments (hopefully, non-breakable ones, but time will tell), garland, and a new string of lights, and we are in business! The kids just love it! They get to decorate it and un-decorate it to their hearts' desires, unlike at home, where they are most likely not allowed to touch the tree.

I'm really thankful that my assistant teacher painstakingly cut all the old Christmas lights off the new tree. It was not a fun job, but she never complained once. To me, anyway.

Another thrift store score, only this time at Red Racks: I found a cute lamp to use as a nightlight in my classroom during nap time that was marked $5.99, which is a terrific price, considering it also included a decent lamp shade AND a light bulb. I also picked up three Santa hats for the dress up center; one was 97 cents and the other two were $1.99. In the checkout line, a rude man pushed his way in front of me when a second register was opened, so when it was finally my turn, the checker apologized to me. I said it was fine, but as she rang up my stuff, she said she was going to charge me 97 cents for all three Santa hats, plus give me 50% off. Then she asked me if I qualified for the senior discount, to which I answered WHY YES, I DO! 25% off the total. I'm not sure what she charged me for the lamp, but my whole bill was just over $5.00 and it would have been $11.00 without all the discounts. Happy dance!

It was cold this week, with threats of snow flurries one morning that didn't actually materialize, but there was some rain and cold wind. And then, by some miracle, this weekend has been warm and sunshiny and gorgeous. Welcome to Missouri weather!

When I saw the forecast for the weekend, I told my husband that we were going to take a little trip to Roaring River State Park and hike on the trails and hopefully see some eagles (we did not). He tried to talk me out of hiking, because he had been on those trails before when camping with our son many years ago and said they were pretty rugged trails, plus he was having flashbacks of the last time I insisted we go hiking, which was on his birthday, immediately pre-Covid shutdown, when, among other fiascos, he had a serious chafing issue which caused him to complain that his balls were on fire for half the hike (read about it here). Guess who won THIS showdown? MEEEEE!!!

We only hiked on one trail today, and neither of us fell off the bluff that we were following and rolled down the hills into the river, so I'm calling it a win.

The trail was not a loop, but THIS time, we both knew it. It was an up and back 

I didn't hit my head on a tree that leaned dangerously across the trail and that I didn't see because I was watching my feet instead of looking ahead.

I didn't hit my head on the same tree when we came back through. Can you tell it was a narrow miss?

I think that's more than ten. Isn't it terrific to be overly thankful?!

Link up your thankfuls with us, this week and every week! Read. Comment. 

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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Beam: A Six Sentence Story

You always knew where you stood with my grandma: she had no filter and pulled no punches.

If she didn't like your hairstyle, or what you were wearing, she would tell you, very matter-of-factly, and while it may have caught you off-guard, you weren't really that insulted by it; it was just her.

If you were out in public with her and she saw a stranger with a hairstyle she didn't like or an unflattering outfit, she would point that out, too. Not directly to them, mind you, but certainly loud enough that they most likely heard her.

"Those pants make that woman look broad in the beam," she would say while standing in the checkout line at the grocery store as you looked around for a hole in the ground in which you could quietly disappear.

Grandma has been gone for 12 years now, and I miss that shoot-from-the-hip, unfiltered woman, while at the same time, I think it's for the best that she was gone before the trend of people wearing their pajamas to Walmart began....

With my grandma, 1993

Linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge's Blog for Six Sentence Stories with the prompt "beam"