Monday, November 15, 2010

My beach book in November

I just reread To Kill a Mockingbird this week. I fell into the pages of my father's old book.  It smelled like smoke and must.........probably the reason I don't have a Kindle.  I read it in the voice of Scout.  It was one of those beach books that all you want to do is read.  Friday was a cold and rainy November day.  I wanted to call in literary sick so bad.  but I went to school.  I did have silent reading in my class so I could read a little to myself on Friday. I told the kids to find a book that is their good fit.  One that is so good you get a flashlight and read under the covers. I showed them my old book. I told them it is so fun to cry during a book.  It shows you are really into it.   Everybody deserves that.  I cried on my couch when Atticus told Scout " You never really understand a person.........Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." I want to put that on the front page of the paper.  If our congressmen did that.we would get so much more done!

 I read aloud to my dogs- they love Alabama accent.  I say to my little dog...hey Boo. i call my mother and have book club with her on the phone.  I want to talk about it.  I can't wait  to read it again next time.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A day in the life of me...........

I usually think I am a normal working woman...........but then I tell people what happened to me today and they say......jesus god you do not have a normal life!  Today is Thursday...I got up at 5:45 plugged in an IV antibiotic that lasts 30 minutes, prepared my 3 breathing treatments and laid down with my dog for a good snuggle time.  Feed dogs, make tea, take shower, find some fabulous 3rd grade teacher out fit, kiss husband, lock puppy in crate or she will eat the couch and I am off in the car to drive my 67 second commute to work.  Last parking place (it's 7:30 and no one has to be there until 8....) I haul my bag to my room, start my computer, pop open my icey cold coke and sit down to read a daily devotional that comes to me every morning at 3:30am.........quick make a copy ( print it on my printer because I probably have used too many copies this month)  Gather things for the day, talk to my special colleagues and kids come at 8:25.  Take lunch count, make sure I don't miss anyone- I read them the paper today.  How to stay organized.  It is a lifeskill we all are working on.  Started reading lesson, 9:45 break for small group work (High Tide we call it because we have a beach theme...or right now it is riptide...........)  back to do individual centers and more small group teaching, check in, are you getting things accomplished, sent one to nurse, back 101 fever I have to go home, we will finish all tomorrow, lunch, mashed potatoes and gravy, 18 minutes to eat and pee.  Kids restroom break lasts maybe 7 minutes.......I wait for them.  To room for read aloud, The Littles, out to recess, windy, stay a little later because it is fall.  Pass back math tests, somebody got an F, and a D, reviewed and corrected mistakes, chinchilla dies, miss margy, the chinchilla is not breathing, She's fine I say, chinchillas look like that when they sleep during the day.......not a good sign.  Just sleeping Susie as my friend's mother would say about roadkill.  Start new unit on shapes, use technology and projector today.  fly through math, pack and off to music and Pe.  The chinchilla IS dead.  The class pet died during math time today.  I pick her up and her beautiful furry body is lifeless.  compressions?  I try, sing stayin' alive! sing stayin' alive.  nothing.  I wrap her in a little towel and put her in her tub.  I tell my friends and go tell my children in music that their class pet has died.  Jasmine took it hard but it reminded her of her little gramma's dog.  Tomorrow we will have a spelling test and we will talk.  we will talk about death, we will talk about the circle of life.  chinchillas eat the grass and they become the grass (Mufasa)  I will give them time and we will think about everything it reminds us of.   It probably will be the most important lesson I take all year for these kids............this is not on any god damn test..........

Monday, October 11, 2010

I've lost my voice

Since I have started school, I feel I have not had time to post.  I have been all consumed with this new grade level of mine and think of nothing but school, school, school!  I work until 5 pm and don't know what time it is.  I guess life is all about balance.  Nothing works when life is out of balance.  Creativity needs quiet and time to think about it.  Space around your brain when you don't have to think.  That's what I loved about summer.  But it is now the change seasons in this midwest town.  Trees are starting to turn, football voices calm me.  And I want to cook again.  Last night it was spicy meatloaf from the Stop and Smell the Rosemary cookbook.  I made a big pot of minestrone soup at the same time.  when two recipes use about the same ingredients- do the double chop!  cook two meals instead of one.  My husband bought us a new refridgerator so we could keep all our condiments...........

Sunday, August 8, 2010

End of summer

I was vaccuming the kitchen rug as the crash hit my brain........."your summer is officially over!" I have planned for this summer for so long and now it is done- This is it! no it is back to work and SCHOOL~but then after the negativity waned, I reflected. What a great summer.

It started when I immediately got in the car on Saturday after school was out in May. My husband took me to a dream, yes a dream. Star Wars in Concert It was so well produced, laserbeams, full orchestra from London, lightsabers, original costumes and foot long hotdogs! I was in my element. There were photo ops everywhere, Chewbacca encased in a large glass box, the back drop to Luke's 2 sun sunset of Tantooine, My master, Yoda. Lines were every where to get your picture taken with these historic figures. Kelly and I figured it out. I would swoop in while pepole were shuffling to be next in line- take the picture of me and Yoda, and then move on to the next one instantly- stick and move, stick and move. I do want to tell you that I was not dressed up in the Princess Leia costumes- there were some freaky deakies there.................The music was overwhelming. They opened with the Dolby surround sound "drop" just like at the theaters. This is live remind you-and we were in the front row. I kept pinching myself and Kelly realizing that people were playing this right now- no CD! I cried when they played the finale song from the original Star Wars. And couldn't breathe when they played the encore of the Empire theme, it was so ahhhhhhhh! Lucas dreamed up this concept and it was a winner. Giant screens of all the movies and audio as the orchestra plays the music that fits. And the narrator........C3PO himself, Sir Anthony Daniels- in a little gold vest and a black suit :) It was great and only the first weekend of my summer of 2010! It was definitely bucket list material.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Corn and tomatoes,
Corn and tomatoes.
There's nothing I like better
Than corn and tomatoes!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It is count down to the beach. Clothes are out....please remember that all you wear is your bathing suit and you don't need 3 pairs of jeans!!!! Have you ever walked into a place and felt in your soul that you have been there before, and I am not talking last year's vacation. That in some juju way this is home? that is how I feel when I walk up for the first moment I get on the sand and look at the Atlantic ocean. My brain stops thinking, My heart calms, my lungs open and I say to God, thanks for welcoming me home. I know what my heaven will be.

The beach started for me when I was 3- that was 40 years ago and it continues on Friday. Meeting my cousins the Clifton family at Summer Song house in Long Beach has moved to South Carolina. The easy drawl of the people suck me in immediatey. Early morning shelling and the grand search for sand dollars, elaborate sand castles, sea urchins, shark boiling....peeyew! Lobster man and net man, chewing tobacco, fishing poles, popsicles and peanut butter sandwiches with sand...........guitar music on the porch. Talent show, Rinso Blue, God dammit Dotsy, the pier and all the tricks and gadgets we would find. The memories go on and on..... and somewhere deep in my former lives I continue to add to them. My beach badge of honor is not how tan or how many shells I can is how long can I keep the sand in my purse after I am back in Kansas-

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I smelled honeysuckle today......Spring has sprung people. And we all have a bounce in our step. I took the dogs on a walk in a secret place. It's a beautiful place by pine trees and close to the river. While I was walking in the field, I kept hearing this sound like a bowl of rice crispies. I couldn't figure it out so I stopped under a tree to listen. The sun was shining, it was warm... It was the sound of pine cones opening and flinging its seeds. Have you ever heard pinecones open. I was blessed. I kept walking and then I heard the little cricket frogs that just developed. It was a listening walk.
Today I made asparagus risotto with shrimp and morel mushrooms. It truly was one of the most divine things I have put in my mouth. It takes an hour to make and stir. Risotto is therapy. Add some broth, stir until its gone, Add some broth, stir until its gone...........again and again. I used some dried morels my daddy had purchased for me. They are so expensive, I only used a few. I put on Hootie and the Blowfish on the ipod, poured a glass of Monte de Oro Syrah and started stirring. Spring is's proof that you lived through all the shit of winter.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A good mother

I took a walk this morning in the cemetary. This song was playing on my ipod. It caught me off guard and I sat down and cried on Mr. Finley's grave. I got a letter in the mail today.....Thanks, mommy. How blessed I am to have you.

Good Mother by Jann Arden

I've got money in my pocket,

I like the color of my hair.
I've got a friend who loves me,
Got a house, I've got a car.
I've got a good mother,
and her voice is what keeps me here.
Feet on ground, Heart in hand, Facing forward, Be yourself.

I've never wanted anything.
No I've, no I've,
I've never wanted anything, so bad..(so bad).

Cardboard masks of all the people I've been
Thrown out, with all the rusted, tangled dented God Damned miseries!!
You could say I'm hard to hold,
But if you knew me you'd know,
I've got a good father,
And his strength is what makes me cry.
Feet on ground, Heart in hand, Facing forward, Be yourself.

I've never wanted anything,
No I've, no I've,
I've never wanted anything so bad..(so bad).

I've got money in my pockets,
I like the color of my hair.
I've got a friend who loves me,
Got a house,
I've got a car.
I've got a good mother, and her voice is what keeps me here.
Feet on ground, Heart in hand, Facing forward,Be yourself.
Heart in hand, Feet on ground, Facing forward, Be yourself.
just be yourself. just be yourself.
Feet on ground, Heart in hand, Feet on ground, Heart in hand....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


The whole the reason I am this skinny girl can give credit to my genetics. If you saw my beautiful mother and many of you do, you will notice her leaness. My father, also slim, my Nana had gams, baby. So I can be considered blessed that in my inherent make up we are slim, long and do not have the pearshaped, donut butt. We have no butt or breasts for that matter, however it makes it easier to sit on an airplane. But another reason that I am skinny today- 108 pounds as of now - I have cystic fibrosis. CF is a genetic disease that must be passed on through carrier genes from both the father and the mother. My brother, same parents, does not have the disease, nor do his children. They could all be carriers, but we don't know. CF makes the mucus in my lungs sticky and gluey. I have to spend time getting the bad stuff out of my lungs.
My time with CF involves a lot of breathing treatments. Sometimes I wish I was an astronaut that has a back pack breathing apparatus that I can walk around and do stuff but breathe my medicine. But usually I am just on the couch. Here is a break down of my time in the AM:
6:00-6:09 Brovana in nebulizer
6:10-6:23 DNase in neb
6:25-7:00 Mucomist in neb- smells like rotten eggs and is a lovely fragrance to wake up too :)
Then in the PM - I do the Brovana again- and now we are thinking of adding another. Weigh the time issue- dead in your bed or clean lungs and 2 hours a day of treatments. That thought is getting easier for me all the time.

This disease takes time. A lot of time. I don't give it enough time, sometimes I give it too much time. I am seeking that balance of time. But we all are fighting time in our own lives. My schedule is crazy, but I still have time to have wine with a friend or two. Whenever I am thinking- "Oh I don't have time to get it all done" I stop and think of growing up and hearing....."Tomorrow is another day, Scarlett". My mother would say this quote from Gone With the Wind. I may not have finished my room, a project, my Barbie town.....but she would let me know that yes, it would all be here tomorrow and I could work on it then. Two things- she gave me a tomorrow and she let me finish. I love my mom for that.

40 years later, Scarlett is still around. Today and yes, tomorrow. I work. I play. I read. I cook. I watch. I listen. I talk. ~and whatever it is, does not get done- I will be here tomorrow to finish.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Silence is not something I experience much in my life right now. As a kindergarten teacher, we don't have many quiet times, then working at a school- there is always something going on outside my hall. Same goes for home. It is not often that I come home and the house is completely quiet. TV or radio is left on for the dog or husband :) In my car ESPN radio is talking incessently. When I wake up in the morning my head starts to talk. Instant pictures flash through my brain, like digital images downloading on a computer. What am I going to think about today it flashes? Obviously a lot. Skinny girls have big fat thoughts.

Silence is hard. I try to sit in silence sometime in my day. I can't do it. That crazy chick in my head is always talking. The most silent lately has been the Sunday morning snow. It just softened our air, our town. Silence is for watching. Last night in the Olympics I watched the skiers on the top of the mountain. For the first time in a long time I could see what skiers liked. Minus all the cow bells for competion, skiing would be a place of silence. Soft snow high mountains, no talking. I experienced it once- in Jr. high- on a little bunny slope- I could not ski- but I found a place I could go around and around- in silence, by myself.

This season of Lent I have checked the website for a daily devotion. I love it- I look at it first thing everyday. It has soothing music, scripture, life connections and a prayer to send me off to my day. This year I did not give up Coke or chocolate for lent, but instead I am cultivating a habit.... Listening. I am not a good listener. I want to share my side. Be in control of the conversation and how it flows. But I know that Jesus listened and maybe I could be better. Listening takes practice. We are even practicing in Kindergarten so I get it there too.

So if you see me- and hopefully you do, I want to listen to you. What do you listen for? Questions? Emotions, Ideas. That is the fun of listening I guess. When you listen you learn. about people and the world. - and the scariest of all yourself.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Last night I woke up with such a start in pure unadulterated fear. That feeling of scared that you are not where you should be and it's time for fight or flight. My fists were clenched and I came out swinging.............I really am not sure the reason for the fear, a dream, bad TV, a margarita at 4pm. but it got this little skinny girl thinking big heavy thoughts.... What is scared? Is it loss of something, change of something, too much of something? So why are we not scared all of the bloomin'n time? Everything we do, Involves changing or not changing.........What makes us go on when we are scared?

That initial reaction of fear is adreneline. Heart pumping- Fists up, roll over, survey your surroundings. Next is think- what is this really about. Am I in physical I was in my bed. After I knew I was OK, I said to myself- hey you are a fighter. Heart slows and now you can think- what just happened? Fixer me says, How do I fix this? -Think

But it is the human thinking part that is so amazing. Every single one of us is scared sometimes- You know our President is scared sometimes, my mom is scared sometimes. Sometimes it is for ourselves, but most of times we are scared for people we love.

In our family we say education is key. If you can't find the answers you need, go out into the big world and find someone that can help you find the answers. Sitting in your bed are missing so much. Maybe because I am not still in my bed I will notice the little daffodils trying to poke up on the side of the house today.................

There is nothing to fear but fear itself............

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Skinny start up

I woke up in the middle of the night..........grabbed a sticky pad and accidentally wrote on the back. I decided there had to be a better way to get my thoughts down. The new era of Blogging- so what to write about...........what is in my head- Three thoughts- skinny body, food and I hate to exercise.

SKINNY GIRL.......... that is what I think about- chicken legs and baby waist, my pants don't fit, body image is down the tubes, wrinkly skin, did you know that a 43 year old can have droopy knees? I am not comfortable in my clothes. Does this sound familiar, ladies? Yes- I have the same thoughts as you, but opposite of too heavy, too fat, too chunky- I am too thin. And what to do about it.........

"Don't you eat?" they say, "Have another helping" they say, "You are so thin" they say, You can have some of mine" they say.

My doctor says I am wired for husband agrees. He has seen me eat, and cook, and eat and eat. There is not time in my day to eat enough to make me fat. I burn too much energy- I am expensive. We buy in bulk.

But what they don't know is that this girl eats. This skinny girl is a FOODIE! I rock the kitchen with gourmet, soul-sending, eye-ball rolling food. And that may be on a Monday night. Sunday morning breakfast was fresh bread dough into a pizza with bacon, cheese and an egg on top-Happy tummies while the snow fell down again. Dinner for two -Marinated steak with baby bellas sauted with onions and fresh thyme. I don't know how but I still have fresh herbs in my garden.

Most of all I don't cook with recipes. I will get into that later. Just know, I love the ingredients, I love food, I love to cook and I love to cook for my family.

But the thing I hate is exercise. Don't have to do it to lose weight- just the opposite. I should exercise to live. I am tired when I get home, sore, busy, but most of all I am not genetically coded to go out and sweat and pump it up. Probably because I can't breathe when I do. I would rather clean a bathroom then go out and exercise. Just go take a walk, run the dogs, go up and down the stairs. Why is walking so hard? Right now it is the weather. Spring days do make it easier. Someone needs to get that groundhog.................