Saturday, December 2, 2023

Hey, I Got This!

I know the REAL December didn't begin until Friday, but PRESCHOOL December began Monday. Thanksgiving is over, and all they care about is Christmas. I decorated the room Thanksgiving weekend, decking the walls with candy canes and gingerbread men and women, placing Christmas-themed toys and Santa hats in the centers, setting up a small tree for them to decorate, and planning numerous crafts and projects to keep them busy for the next month. Let's all hope I survive it!

On to the thankfuls.

Parks and Recreation. What a gem of a show!

Vanderpump Rules. I finally made it through all 10 seasons. Sandoval is a jerk. Schwartz needs to grow some balls or get his back from Katie. I have loved Ariana from day one. Lala is insufferable. James continues to make my skin crawl. Raquel is dumb like a fox, as my dad would say. I'm glad Jax is no longer on the show, but I miss Brittney. I also miss Stassi's one-on-one clips, as she has a wicked sense of humor, but otherwise, she's mean. Scheana has finally grown up a little since she had a baby, but she still thinks she is a fabulous singer and she clearly isn't. Even Lisa Vanderpump is not immune to the natural aging process, and that is comforting. Now I wait for Season 11!

The weather is finally cool enough to make caramel popcorn.

I have purchased exactly 5 Christmas gifts so far, but it's better than NO Christmas gifts so far.

My daughter in law matched her top Fellowship choice at Children's National in Washington, DC. She will be focusing on vaccine development with the FDA. So very proud of her and her hard work!

The winter weather gear is in a basket in my entry hall, and Nora has wasted no time trying to bring every hat, scarf, or pair of mittens upstairs to my bedroom. I do not know what drives her to do this, but it's pretty entertaining, especially since she sorts through the basket and chooses what she wants to bring to me. We always know she's coming with something, because she says "MRRRROWLLL" the entire trip, all while carrying a treasure in her mouth. One day, she brought me five hats. FIVE.

Speaking of cats (especially QUIRKY cats), in a last-ditch attempt to find a litterbox that would force Finn the Fearful to keep his booty INSIDE the litterbox when he availed himself of the facilities (in other words, he backs over the edge of the box and pees and poops on the floor). I found THIS beauty at PetsMart and it has been everything I hoped it would be (except awkward to carry through my very narrow bathroom door to empty on trash day): 

The new poo box

Bonus is it fits in a corner. Does he do his business right inside the lower "entrance" and hover dangerously close to the edge? Of course! But he's not tall enough for anything he has to give to miss the box. Big win!

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream.

I took my dad to a doctor's appointment on Friday morning, and when we left, we took a little side trip to look for a branch location of our bank that we had never noticed before. It's on a 4-lane road with a center turn lane as it goes through a fairly congested retail area, and as we were toodling along, we saw a car pull out from a parking lot at a pretty good clip (and may I add there was quite a bit of traffic) and right into a silver car. The silver car was pushed sideways into the oncoming lanes, which meant directly in front of me. I hit the brakes HARD and our vehicle (a very heavy Tahoe) came to a stop at the passenger door of the silver car. Our airbags didn't deploy, but the other two cars' airbags did. Many people stopped to help, and ambulances, fire trucks, local police, and the Highway Patrol arrived shortly. We don't know what kind of injuries there were, but they didn't seem to be serious, and the best news out of this is I DIDN'T HIT THE SILVER CAR. Can we all be thankful for anti-lock brakes? AND for the behind-the-wheel instruction of my high school Driver's Ed teacher, Mr. Noland?  It LOOKED like we were right against the car, and the vibrating of the car as the anti-lock brakes did their thing led us to BELIEVE we might have hit it, but there was an ENTIRE HAND'S WIDTH between our car and the silver car. Glory be! That's a tremendous thankful. My dad and I both were convinced we were going to hit it and when the car stopped, were convinced that we HAD hit it. 

My shaking hands taking a photo.

The first car.

My car on right

And that's how close I was to smashing
into the silver car.

And there IS a bank branch on that road that we had never noticed. Our side trip was not for naught.

How did the last week of November treat you? Are you thankful? Write your list and link up with us at the Ten Things of Thankful!

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Sunday, November 26, 2023

A Little Snow, A Lot Of Pie

What a pleasant, relaxing Thanksgiving I had! It was very low-key, just my husband, daughter, and my dad. Oh, and me. And four cats. We had the whole feast: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry salad, homemade rolls, both pumpkin and pecan pie. No Black Friday shopping. Maybe a nap or two (or three). I'm refreshed and ready for the upcoming week! Now for my thankfuls:

My sister in law had knee replacement surgery less than two weeks ago, which is one of the reasons we didn't celebrate Thanksgiving with her, my brother, and my niece (the other being my dad can't travel right now), but she is doing well and is closer to being bionic than not at this point.

I can safely say we made it through the holiday without anyone getting sick (flashback to 2019 when every single family member EXCEPT me came down with the stomach flu within 36 hours of each other.

My class was a bunch of turkeys with all the excitement surrounding the holiday, so the two day work week was much appreciated.

Knowing full well my kids were not going to be receptive to much in the way of instruction, we spent the two days mostly playing. They were pretty hyped when I got out the Christmas tree and set it up in the classroom (wait until they see the room tomorrow!).

Even though I HATE how all the stores are ready for Christmas the second Halloween is over (if not sooner), I broke my own rule about waiting to decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving by getting our tree set up and hanging greenery in all the doorways and windows before I left for my dad's last week and I have no regrets.

As a curly girl, I am always experimenting with different products to tame the beast that is my hair. I tried a new (to me) product this past week, and I love, love, LOVE it! It's Ouidad Curl Shaper Volumizing Jelly for fine hair, and for the first time in my LIFE, my hair is soft to the touch AND is holding the curl and not turning into a dandelion gone to seed by mid-morning.

We had our first snow of the year early this morning! There was a light skim of snowflakes on the rooftops, and if you looked REALLY CLOSELY you could see a little bit of snow on the grass, and it was gone as quickly as it came, so it was perfect. Now, if school had been in session, then I would have wanted enough to cancel classes, but it wasn't and there wasn't and I'm good with that.

I spent a few hours in my classroom today getting it decorated for Christmas. My kids are going to be so excited when they arrive tomorrow!

I'm thankful another teacher friend posted about turning on her alarm tonight after five days without using it, and if I hadn't seen that, I might not have remembered myself! 

I'm extra thankful for my heated mattress pad. It is COLD here, and I'm going right now and snuggle into my warm bed with a cat or two.

I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was filled with good food, naps, and family!

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Sunday, November 19, 2023

Pre-Thanksgiving Thankfuls

It's Thanksgiving Weekend Eve. Is that a thing? The weekend before Thanksgiving weekend? Well, it is now, and it comes with a set of thankfuls:

All my fall decorations are put away.

While I was in the basement doing that, I straightened up the Rubbermaid container of Christmas gift bags and boxes and tissue paper that were left in a bit (a huge bit) of disarray since last Christmas. Oops.

I covered an opening in the top of a closet that gave plumbers access to some pipes when we had a leak YEARS ago. I still don't know why they cut a 2'x1.5' opening and just left it, but they did, and I had had it covered with foam core board (truth - I cut up a giant check left over from a check presentation my husband had for work) and duct tape. It fell off last year, and after a winter of cold air coming through the opening, I climbed up on a ladder and got it covered once again. 

I didn't fall off the ladder, and that's a pretty big thankful, because I had to contort quite a bit to get to the opening in the ceiling of the closet AND I only had three cats with no thumbs in the house with me if I had fallen.

I'm thankful for my Shark lift-away vacuum cleaner. Got pets? It's da bomb!

We got a very generous early Christmas gift from one of the local tribes. They appreciate what we do for their children, and we appreciate their generosity to us.

I picked up a pillow from the bedroom floor this morning to toss on the bed and just as I was about to do so, I saw a brown recluse spider on it. Of course, I screamed and dropped the pillow, and of COURSE, the spider immediately disappeared. Then I saw it ON THE SHEET EXACTLY WHERE I WOULD LIE ON IT IF I GOT IN BED, grabbed a tissue, and squished it. Whew! Close call!

I had a physical this week. I have been AWOL from any doctor's office (other than urgent care) for, oh, several years. I am proud to say my blood pressure was 122/72, my cholesterol was 166, and all my other numbers were also in the normal range. Woo hoo!

Saturday, I went to a Christmas craft fair with my friend Nikki and ran into all kinds of people that I hadn't seen in years. It was nice!

I've got a two-day work week coming up, and I am SO READY for it!

Get your thankfuls on. It's what the cool kids do.

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Sunday, November 12, 2023

Crawling Out Of My Cave With Some Thankfuls

The time change is KILLING me. I'm like a bear. As soon as it gets dark, I want to crawl in my cave, eat a few berries, and go to sleep. 5:30 is a little early for that, however, so I'm spending every evening fighting to stay awake until at least 8:00 (yes, I know that's still stupid early, but I get up at 4:30 a.m. to go to work, so it's not THAT ridiculous). Am I still thankful? Why, yes! Watch me!

1. Getting dark so early in the evening means it's not dark as pitch in the morning when I am driving to work. I have a very deer-y route to work and back, and the lighter it is, the fewer there are.

2. I came back to school from my conference in St. Louis and worked on using what I learned. Our classroom is harmonious (most of the time), largely because we all work together to keep each other safe, and when we get too crazy, we employ various breathing techniques to calm our bodies. p.s. it works on big people, too. Thank you, Conscious Discipline and Dr. Becky Bailey!

3. My dad had a little health scare that turned out to be no biggie, but he was able to get himself to the ER and back home again all by himself! 

4. About a month ago, I received a new pair of boots that I had ordered from Nordstrom Rack. I hadn't even opened the box, because I was a little afraid they might not fit or would be uncomfy or both. Finally opened them and wore them AND THEY WERE NEITHER. In fact, I put them on at 6:00 am and didn't take them until 12 hours later, and my feet felt FINE!

5. I have deep regrets that I cut so much of my hair off last weekend (and off and on all week), and I'm not thankful for that, but I AM thankful that my hair grows quickly.

6. I'm thankful for Poshmark. Ordered two gently used dresses from them last week and expect to receive them in a couple of days. They should look good with my new boots!

7. Also thankful for the ability to track packages! 

8. We had delightful weather this week, and since the leaves are starting to shower down on the ground, I took my class out to the lawn in front of the school to play. We spent over half an hour throwing leaves up in the air, chasing each other, and flopping down on the ground and rolling in the leaves. Bonus thankful is they napped really well that day!

My neighbor's tree

9. The Dean who is over our school (we are part of a university) stopped by to visit on Thursday. She popped into my room for a few minutes, and my children were MODEL students! We showed off our belly breathing skills and safekeeper oath and class cheer. I then received the NICEST email from the Dean that made my heart so happy! I love my job!

10. I was trying to cut an onion yesterday with what turned out to be a very dull knife, and my husband started (teasingly) giving me shit about my cutting techniques, which terrify him. Case in point: a year ago, I sliced my finger cutting strawberries and not only had to go to the ER to get it glued together, they had to put a tourniquet on it to get the bleeding to stop before they could treat it. Of course, he brought that little story up. So this morning, I had just finished drying my hair when my husband walked into the bathroom and asked me if I could help him with his finger, which was wrapped in a blood-soaked paper towel. Guess who cut his finger with a kitchen knife? When I unwrapped the paper and saw the cut, I told him he had to go to the ER and get it glued together. They weren't busy, which was nice, and we got right in, and long story short, he got FOUR STITCHES instead of glue, because the cut went across the joint and the doctor was afraid glue wouldn't hold it. I'm thankful it wasn't serious (as in no tendons were cut), so I am able to give him a hard time about it.

Either the lidocaine didn't take or he's
a big wimp. Your call.

Hope you found dozens of thankfuls in your week!

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Sunday, November 5, 2023

Toxic Waste Makes The Thankful List

October is in the rear view mirror, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and there are thankfuls a-plenty!

Halloween is over for another year. It's just not my favorite holiday, and I'm never sad to see it go.

I carved a pumpkin with my class on Monday. Carving pumpkins is yet another reason not to like Halloween, but I reached inside it and pulled out its ooky guts and let my students feel them and smell them. They chose a happy face over a scary face, and we used our little jack-o-lantern as a night light  for two days.

Looking isn't enough; you have to 
get in there and touch and sniff!

The day AFTER Halloween should be a national holiday, especially for teachers. My students were all kinds of wound up with residual sugar highs and lack of sleep and overall excitement of having worn a costume and gone trick or treating, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

My besties Nikki and Julie and I went out to dinner Halloween night, so we could avoid trick or treaters. I don't think we've been out together since Julie's birthday in March. We talked and laughed and ate a lot of food from the brown food group, and it was delightful!

Thursday, Nikki, my friend and co-worker Alyssa, and I left for St. Louis for a Conscious Discipline training. We had gone to one in June that was a week long and included an enormous amount of information; this one was only two days, but it was chock-full of information and tools that we will be taking back to use in our classrooms.

With Alyssa at the hotel

Cute little story: on our way to St. Louis, I got a frantic text from my husband asking where the car keys were. Long story short, the answer was in my pocket, and he had to go to a meeting and then to my dad's, and I was 120 miles away. There was a spare key for the vehicle, but it was (I thought) in the console of the car that was sitting in the driveway at the lake house. My husband kept his composure way better than I would have imagined, given the situation. He then looked for a house key (also in my pocket) and while searching, he found the extra key to the Tahoe, minus the key fob. He then remembered that something was wrong with that key fob and my dad had traded keys with me, and I was exonerated.

Our hotel in St. Louis overlooked the airport. We didn't get a lot of time to be in our room, but when there was a chance, I was standing with my nose pressed to the window, watching jets take off and land.


This is really cool, and I have no idea WHY it happened, but it did, and I was lucky enough to see it go down: a fighter jet swooped down from the sky and did a touch and go landing! No idea why, but what luck that I got to see it!'

I'm thankful that all my electronics were smart enough to change their times back to Central Standard Time, because I had already forgotten all about it by morning.

Before we left St. Louis this morning, I took my friends on a little field trip to see a nuclear waste site. I went there about five years ago with my dear friend Christine, and you will be glad to know the uranium is still safely encapsulated under its mountain of rock.

At the foot of the toxic waste mountain

At the TOP of the toxic waste mountain

A few fun facts about the toxic waste mountain

I'm ready to tackle the week! 

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Sunday, October 29, 2023

The One Where I Carried On

I got overwhelmed by Life last weekend and went AWOL.

I'm back.

Still overwhelmed but ready to soldier on!

This week's Ten Things of Thankful:

Last weekend, my laptop decided to update itself, and in so doing, caused the whole thing to come to a grinding halt. I couldn't write a post on it, obviously, and while it is POSSIBLE to do so from my phone, it isn't easy and I wasn't in a mood to try. After two days of spinning icons that were telling me it was updating (and which I seriously doubted at that point), it claimed victory. I still need a new laptop, but at least it's functioning now!

My cousin Rick and his wife Dori visited us on their way from Point A to Point B. It had been several years since I had seen them, and it was simply delightful to spend a few hours with them! Dori joined our family when I was 10 years old, and she was the first adult who didn't treat me like a little kid, and I've never forgotten that (for the record, she was hardly more than a kid herself - she was only 20 at the time!).

My cousins Rick and Dori

With the beautiful Dori

I made vegetable beef soup and homemade rolls and a truly yummy dessert for lunch with the cousins. Need a pumpkin dessert? Totally worth making this Pumpkin Dump Cake.

Photo from the website. I forgot to take one of
mine, but I will say other than the pecans,
it looked pretty much just like this.

The University of Arkansas has something called Senior Walk, wherein miles and miles of campus sidewalks are etched with the names of each graduate by year. It started in 1905, and the names were stamped by hand until 1986 when the Physical Plant created a machine they named the Sand Hog to etch the names into the concrete. In 1930, the graduates previous to 1905 were added to the walkways. It used to take a year to get a graduating class added to the walk, then grew to 2 years, but for my daughter's class, it was 3 years (thanks to construction and covid). The 2021 Senior Walk was dedicated last weekend at homecoming:

Emma Kate pointing to her name on
the UArk Senior Walk

We had beautiful fall weather this week, and my class got to play in the leaves. They would have stayed outside throwing leaves up in the air for the rest of the day if I had let them!

My loves

I pulled all my winter clothes out from their summer hiding place under my bed and in the bottom of the armoire and hung them up. I'm going to be sick and tired of them by January, but for now, it's like getting a whole new wardrobe!

Fall Festival was held at our school on Thursday. I had a spooky maze in my classroom, and I couldn't have done it without the help of my grade level partner, Beck. I didn't get a good photo of it, but imagine a maze (well, it was just a loop, but when you are 5 or under, it's a maze) made from turning every available table on its side and using all the bookshelves and chairs to make the path, then covering all of it with black trash bags. Orange and purple lights were tucked under the trash bags, some Halloween lanterns were scattered about, and you have a not-very-spooky walk! The kids loved it, as they did all the activities that night.

With Beck

It's hard to see but maybe you get the gist of it.

I made this photo booth for the Fall Festival, and while I'm no artist, I think it turned out fairly well. Saw several little kiddos with their sweet faces in the sunflower centers, getting a picture taken, so totally worth it!

I decided my hair was too long and stringy (because it was) and gave myself a trimmy-trim this weekend. Mostly even, I think, and who can tell with curly hair, anyway?

I'm thankful for the hours and hours of enjoyment I have gotten over the years watching Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing on Friends. I have been deeply saddened by his death this weekend at the age of 54. Many knew of his struggles with addiction, but did you know he founded a recovery center for men in his own home and was an advocate in the courts for rehabilitative care instead of jail time for substance abusers? Rest peacefully, Matthew. You have earned it.

Thankfuls done, now I'm ready to knock out this next week. I hope you'll join us!

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Sunday, October 15, 2023

Long Live The Float And Other Thankfuls

Last weekend, I was mourning that our preschool didn't win best float at the homecoming parade, and I'm still bitter, but I'm trying to move on. What's the best way to do that? Why, write a list of thankfuls, of course!

I took the city scape from the homecoming float and lined the hallway with it. It reminds me of the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland and makes me happy,

I had a three-day week at school, as I had to take Thursday and Friday off to take my dad to a doctor's appointment. I miss my kids when I'm gone, though.

My dad is doing much better! The timing of him going home after his three month stint at rehab (for physical therapy, not drugs and alcohol!) coincided with the beginning of construction on his new garage and workshop. My husband takes his wheelchair outside so he can watch some of the work.

So, the first thing that had to be done for the addition was to replace all the sewer pipe from the house to the street (and it's 150 feet from the house to the street). There were several kerfuffles in getting this accomplished, including a huge, old, tree trunk in the path of the sewer line, as well as the cable and internet line being cut, materials and method not being to code and having to be replaced, plus (and this is the REALLY fun part) limited to no water use for several days AND NO FLUSHING THE TOILETS. As you may guess, we're all REALLY THANKFUL it's all fixed now.

I took my dad to his appointment with his new primary care physician. He reminded me of my son and can't be more than a couple of years older than he is. He was very kind and thorough, and we got all the medications straightened out and pared down.

I was able to safely dispose of the medications we no longer need by taking them to the police station. They have a drop box in their lobby, kind of like an after-hours library book drop off, except the pull down door is MUCH smaller, was heavy, and closed with a gigantic CLAAAAAANG. I'm sure the people working inside the police station were thankful when I finished, because (a) I had about 20 bottles of medications, (b) I could only fit about 4 in at a time, and (c) I couldn't hold the door open with one hand and put the pill bottles in with the other because the door would slam shut before I could get the pills in, so I had to stand on one leg and use my other knee to hold the door open while I threw in the bottles (then the door would slip and CLAAAAAAANG shut).

I came back from Branson early today with two of the cats (Nora Pearl and Lewis), partly because I don't like staying in the house by myself (and can blame any weird or scary noises I hear on them) and partly because my grandcat Calvin is coming next weekend and needed a playmate (that would be Lewis's job). They are good travelers and seldom complain, and for that, I am grateful. Our cat Fletcher used to get car sick, and it was. not. pretty.

After I unpacked the car, I drove to Miami, Oklahoma, to attend the graduation party of my beloved Baylee, who was my assistant teacher. She is currently student teaching and will graduate in December. She's going to make the most amazing high school English teacher! I'm so thankful to have been invited to her party. She is one of a kind!

Baylee's nana makes these scrumptious chocolate cakes that she knows I like, and she brought one to the party for me! I ate a big piece with butter pecan ice cream on top when I got home.

The Migration of the Winter Items has begun! I was only gone for a couple of hours for the party, and when I came upstairs, I found the following offerings from Lewis:

A new package of my husband's support socks,
and I have no idea where he even found them.

A little sculpture of a slipper sock (wondering where
the other one is) and his sloth toy.

An exhaustipated Lewis

In closing, I pray for peace in the Middle East and denounce terrorism and the senseless murders of this past week.

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Sunday, October 8, 2023

Whatever Floats Your Float

This was homecoming week at the university where I work. We had a spirit week at preschool, and while the kids didn't really understand it, they sure had fun participating in it! One day, they dressed like superheroes, another day we all wore pajamas. There was also a crazy hair day. This brings me to my Ten Things of Thankful for this week:

I thought the theme for homecoming was stupid, but I made the most of it and came up with a brilliant idea for our float. The theme only meant something if you were a fan of some comic book-based cartoon, which I definitely am not ("Lions Assemble"). Thankful for the help of the interweb!

My friend Robin procured GINORMOUS cardboard boxes from her dad's work that I used to make the float, and Dane took them apart for me.

I spray painted boxes until I was pretty sure my entire right arm was going to fall off, but it didn't!

Wednesday was a not so good day. Stress from my dad going from rehab facility back home and all that has entailed was bringing up big feelings, and then somebody was mean to me, and I felt like I had been slapped. Thankful for Ceason and Nikki for lifting me back up!

I'm also thankful for Kaley for lending me an ear and reminding me that self-care is vital, then bringing me a lovely little gift to help me in the self-care department. 

Getting my vision for the homecoming float to come to fruition took a village, and I'm thankful to Robin (again!) for dyeing the superhero capes I made for the kids and to Alyssa for creating and ironing on transfers of our logo to the capes.

With Alyssa

I'm thankful for my friend Jennifer, who came up to school on her day off and cut out the city I had imagined and drawn onto the cardboard sheets. Then she added countless windows with yellow duct tape and even left me a little surprise drawing on one of them! My student worker Madi also helped me with windows and with putting the whole thing together.

Party on the 14th floor

Dane and I got ourselves in a pickle once again, although instead of being locked out of the school with no keys and no phone, we were in the (definitely haunted) basement looking for something I could use as a frame for the float's sign. I was poking around some cinder blocks and saw what I now know to be the unmistakable shape of a black widow spider. I screamed. Dane screamed, levitated, and was suddenly about 20 feet away. Once again, we didn't have cell phones with us to holler for help, but there WAS a landline and all we had to do was call one of the extensions upstairs, and someone (hopefully Ceason) would come kill the spider and rescue us. Problem was, we didn't know anyone's extension, and even if we did, we didn't know how to dial them. I took one for the team and ran past the spider and through the basement, up the stairs, through the fire door, and found Robin the Spider Killer to save us.

It was bigger than it looks....

More thanks for Dane for getting my sign set up and to Dane and Ceason plus Mr. Bobby (who doesn't even work for us but for the office next door) who figured out how to attach my city to the trailer when it didn't have any sides on it. 

Thankful to the preschool dad who pulled our float with his truck. He was immensely helpful in getting the city attached and the sign in place and for being a perfect float driver. I'm also thankful to all the parents and students who rode on our float and brought candy to throw.

We didn't win best float in the parade. We SHOULD have, but we didn't. That's okay (not really). We were the cutest. Our float was the best. And we had the MOST FUN!

We built this city on rock 'n roll....

Now I'm ready for a much quieter week. From my lips (or keyboard) to God's ears!

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Sunday, October 1, 2023

It's Really Very Simple

A simple list of thankfuls when life isn't simple:

1. A kitty in my lap.

2. A kitty in my lap and one on my legs.

3. A kitty in my lap, one on my legs, and one on the ottoman next to my legs.

4. All of the above, and no fighting!

5  Sliced apples and caramel dip.

6. Bracelet sales.

7. Medicinal ice cream cones.

8. Candy pumpkins. Fight me.

9. Napping on the deck.

10. Laughing and being silly with preschoolers.

Now, remember to breathe, then get out there and find YOUR thankfuls! 

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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Almost Forgot But What Else Is New?

Whoa! I almost forgot to post my Ten Things of Thankful for this week! The reason why will be my first thankful:

1 I have Monday off! No reason, other than I have maxed out on accruing vacation days and need to use some up.

2 We got much-needed rain several times this week. 

3  It was warm enough that I took my class outside with bare feet after the rain stopped, and we walked through puddles and over wet grass just to feel the different textures with our feet. I'm thankful that I take advantage of teachable moments like this as often as I can. Didn't get everything done on the lesson plan? Who cares? We did something much more valuable.

4 We made butter this week in class by shaking cream in a jar AND IT TURNED OUT. I have had trouble in past years getting past a runny whipped cream consistency, and after a little bit of research, I found out that I had been filling the jar too full! If you ever have the desire to make your own butter, remember not to fill the jar more than half full of cream to allow enough space for the butter to form!

5-9  This actually happened LAST week at work, but I forgot to put it on my list. We had a Code Brown during drop off time (use your imagination just a teensy bit and you will figure out what that means). It was dog, not human, but it smelled REALLY bad and was tracked throughout the building. My co-worker Robin (BIG thankful here) offered to clean the shoe that was involved in the Code Brown, and my co-worker Dane and I went about cleaning the floors. I spot cleaned and rolled up rugs; Dane mopped and hosed off the rugs outside. After mopping and mopping, Dane asked me to check the lobby, because he thought he could still smell the Code Brown. I walked out there and sniffed and COULD still smell it, but it was impossible to say whether it was lingering in the air or was still on the floor somewhere (did I mention that our floors are laminate wood flooring and are BROWN?). Dane stepped out into the lobby as well, letting the door close behind him, and as we decided to go in search of Lysol spray, we walked over to the (closed) lobby door to re-enter the building and stopped. Dane looked at me and asked, "Do you have your key?" "Noooo," I replied, "it's on the desk where you put it after you used it to open the custodian closet." "Can you call someone?" he asked, and I reached for my back pocket just as I remembered my phone was also lying on the desk, right by the keys. The safety feature of locked doors at our school is AWESOME unless you lock yourself out like an idiot! 

What to do when this happens? First you start laughing, then you take a selfie! Dane did have his phone, but he didn't have any phone numbers of the other staff members saved in it. We wondered how long we would be out there before someone came looking for us when we saw a car pull up with two little latecomers in it. We were saved! The mom would come in with her kids, sign her kids in with her key card, and we would casually walk in like we hadn't been LOCKED OUT OF THE BUILDING. But before they made it to the lobby, the inside door opened and a student worker headed to her college class opened the door. We scared her half to death as we shouted our victory! We were in! 

Now, lest you think children were left unattended, Dane and I were scheduled in the office and not in a classroom, and we probably weren't locked in the lobby for more than 2-3 minutes, although it SEEMED like an eternity when we weren't quite sure how we were going to get ourselves back inside without looking like big goobers. (btw this is not the first time I have gotten myself locked out of the building and was rescued by a student worker)

10 It's fall, y'all! Does it feel like it? No. Will it feel like it soon? Also no, not right away, but it should in a few weeks. In the meantime, pumpkin everything!

Hope your week didn't include any Code Browns! 

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