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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