Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Food daze

As I'm about to leave for Atlanta, I'm thinking of the weird world that surrounds me when I go on work trips, where I eat with people who have completely different tastes than me.  And I'm not just thinking I'm a vegetarian, and no one else is.  It's more the fact that I prefer Mexican and Italian food, as opposed to seafood and steak.  Compromise is an artform, and I'm learning it quite well, thank you.

All that said, this particular train of thought led me to some intense pondering of foods that I don't like, and I hope you appreciate this list, because it's given me a full-on tummy ache.  Here are some foods that I absolutely, positively, even under threat of torture, would not be able to choke down at any cost. 

1.  Fish, seafood, etc.  There is no possible way that I can eat anything that smells that bad.  Is there anyone who catches a whiff of fish and says, "Ooooooh, that makes me hungry."  I don't think so.  One time April ordered some sort of fishy pasta at a restaurant, and neither of us could eat our dinner because of the intense odor, and she likes seafood!  Now that is powerful...

2.  Salami.  Even if I weren't a vegetarian, there is no way I could consume salami.  Reason?  At the age of 2 or 3, I ate a salami sandwich while watching a nature special on tarantulas.  To this day, I associate salami with tarantulas, and I'm not ever going to eat anything that makes me think of a giant hairy spider.  Need I say more?

3.  Watermelon.  How on earth can I survive in the South when even the scent of watermelon makes me sick to my stomach? And don't even get me started on the sickeningly sweet taste, or the squidgy texture.  I just can't do it.

4.  Strawberries / raspberries / assorted berries.  Don't get me wrong - I love the taste of berries. It's the seedy, hairy outside that I can't deal with.  Anything that tickles my mouth on the way in is a no-no.

5.  Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt.  EWWWWW.  Why would you want to taint the delightful creamy texture of yogurt with a surprise chunk here and there?  It's the same with cruchy onions in stuffing - it seems like an accident, and I don't ever want to taste an accident, you know what I mean?  Because you never know what it could be!

There are so many other things, because, as I've found, I'm an incredibly picky eater!  But let me tell you what I love to eat - baby carrots, hot cheetos, ice cream and black bean veggie patties. Or chips and salsa, and beans and rice with honey on top (it's the whole salty and sweet thing - delightful).  Or why not an entire package of mentos washed down with a dark cherry mocha?  Now I'm getting hungry just thinking of it.  With that said, it's time to get a snack. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Monday

What a fabulous, whirlwind weekend!  I literally whipped from place to place, from Lufkin to Nacogdoches to Ft. Worth and back.  It was my mother-in-law's birthday, and we took her to the rodeo (yee-haaaaa) Saturday night and had an almost surprise party for her at the park on Sunday.  Plus I ran 7.2 miles Saturday morning, attended a day-long training at SFA, and flew to the stockyards in Ft. Worth to make it in time for the rodeo.  WOW!  Is there any question of how tired I am today?  And my hot tea just wasn't doing anything for me first period, while my classroom was silent and my kids took a test. 

So here's what I have to look forward to - a conference in Atlanta at the end of the week, just in time to miss 2 of the 3 TAKS testing days.  Thank you, Lord!  Plus an overnight trip to Houston with Nate, Chad and Tree, and a big kiss good-bye to the month of April.  It's been busy and (mostly) wonderful and tiring.  May is looking to be about the same, but it marks the end of the schoolyear, which is much-needed. 

Now you're all caught up on what I'm doing.  How about you? 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Well, I know you're just dying for some more of my deliciously witty writing, but I can't resist posting this delightful picture instead.  Chloe was sitting in the backseat of my car yesterday evening, and she asked us to put down the windows and open the sun roof.  We warned her it would be windy, but I don't think she realized how windy until this happened. 
You just have to love those Dantlets.  You have no choice. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Oh, and we coughed up the money to take Berkley to the vet - good thing.  She does NOT indeed, have allergies.  She does, however, have mange, and I'm pretty sure she's had it since we got her.  I feel somewhat cruel at having assumed it was allergies, or would cure itself.  The vet dipped her, gave her some medicine, and now she's condemned to the backyard for the next two weeks at least because she has to be quarantined from my other two dogs, who, hopefully, haven't caught it as well.
I'm a city girl.  I've never had a dog with mange.  I've never even known a dog with mange, and it's always seemed like a dirty, country thing (no offense) that no dog actually gets except the crazy wild ones.  So now I'm off to scour my entire house and pray for the best, while poor Berk (who lives to follow me around) gazes sadly from the sliding glass door.

Pray for me and my poor little puppy.  :(

I love dogs. Love 'em. No joke.

Okay, given the recent, um, "troubles" I've had with my dogs, I thought I would remind myself why I LOVE being a pet owner.  So here's my list:


1.  If someone in the room farts, there's no need to peer around in uncomfortable silence. We just blame the stench on the dog, have a good laugh, and move on. 

2.  I can always count on being awakened at some point during the bright, beautiful hour of 5:00 AM by a furry snout in the face.  That would be Bruiser, whose delicate bladder needs to be tended to first thing.

3.  My dogs can leap higher than a five-year-old child is tall.  It never ceases to provide entertainment, especially when unsuspecting visitors pop by.

4.  Bella does backflips.  Need I say more?  Or shall I say did backflips.  I believe she's now a retired gymnast, but it's still just as cool, right?

5.  Unlike children or husbands, when dogs are sick, you simply place them in the backyard and let them deal with it however they know how to. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Be strog...

Well, I haven't meant to neglect my blog, but I have, nonetheless.  It's not that I didn't want to say anything, it's just that I didn't have anything to say. Last week was a rough one, and it seems like all that rough is bleeding into this week, and I don't want to write another whiny post.

So instead, I'm going to post a fabulous photo with a new spin on a great scripture.  My favorite part is the suggestion to be "crachas," which I can only imagine would be pronounced "crotch-us."  I'm not exactly sure how to do that, but I'm sure the Lord will lead me, right?

Happy Monday to you.  May this week be far more fantastic than last.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Okay, I'm going to do it.  I'm going to tell my business and ask for some help, but I'm mortified to do it.  I've been trying to hide my concern, but some of my readers have already given me some great potty training advice...

Something is wrong with my dog.  My poor little (big) Chessie, Berkley, is scratching, and scratching, and scratching...  Taking a break and then scratching some more.  There's not a flea on her - we've checked repeatedly.  And not only is she scratching, but she's scratching herself ragged, giving herself scabs, pulling out giant patches of hair.  What on earth is wrong with her, and what do I do???

You might be saying to yourself, "Well, just take her to the vet.  DUH."  And that's the problem.  For the next few weeks, it's just not possible.  So has anyone experienced this problem with any of their dogs?  I'm wondering if she might be allergic to something.  Are Chessies prone to allergies?  Or is there something else dramatically wrong with her?

I'm about to start giving her some children's Benadryl (recommended by some online vets) to see what happens, but if you have any extra advice, or are vastly opposed to this idea, weigh in on the issue, won't you?  I'm willing and ready for it...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This morning, as I was getting ready for school, I randomly started thinking about a student who left my class to go to the alternative campus (for kids in a lot of trouble) a few months ago.  I had really developed a soft spot for him (as I do with all the "tough cases) because he came from such a rough home, and was such a smart (but unmotivated) kid.  We had been making a lot of progress, and then all of a sudden, off he went.  I have no idea what he did, nor do I want to know, and I was sad to lose him.

So I started to pray for him this morning while I straightened my hair (which is one of my best prayer times because I can't go anywhere...), just telling God that I had no clue where he was, but asking Him to bless him all the same.  I spent a good bit of time on this, and then went about the rest of my morning without another thought.

Then a crazy thing happened.  Halfway through first period, my door opened, and who should walk in but this very kid I prayed for this very morning. The shock was all over my face for a brief moment, until I recovered and gave him the sunniest smile of my entire day.  I, in fact, had to explain to him at the end of the class period that I had just thought about him that morning, and that's why I looked so surprised when he came in (didn't want him to think I was upset about it - he probably gets that a lot). 

God works in weird ways, doesn't He?  

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chocolate covered psychobabble

I recently re-discovered an intense love for chocolate, which has surprised and not delighted me.  I mean, how many vices can you have?  I've always loved ice cream.  In fact, I could eat a carton of ice cream in two days flat, all by myself.  But just chocolate?  I could take it or leave it.  Well, once upon a time, I could. 

And then I ate a piece of Easter chocolate, and it's been all downhill from there.  Seriously - my friend gave me some of her kids' leftover grody Easter candy to give as prizes for games at school.  But my kids haven't seen a bit of the generic chocolate eggs or Palmer's peanut butter cups that were in the bag, because I find myself sneaking them after school when no one else is around. This is a new and shocking development in my life, possibly explaining why I can't seem to lose this extra ten pounds I'm packing.  What to do?  And as I say, "What to do?" I'm eating a little crunchy chocolate bunny.  AHHHHH!!!! 

Let's approach this medically.  I'm sure that this desire for sweets is a product of my need for protein, so I should serve myself a hearty helping of cheese and beans.  I'll let you know how that works...

Maybe we should approach this psychologically.  I need to lower my stress level, which is through the roof, causing me to crave and devour chocolate as a means of release.  Hmmmm, wait.  I'm a teacher.  No way to reduce the stress there...

What do I have left?  Can I approach this shopaforically?  No money + no shopping = desire for chocolate.  Does that make any sense?

Ugh.  Maybe I just didn't let myself like it for a long time, probably for the very reason that Valentine's Day comes every year, followed very closely by Easter, which equals tons of candy just in time for me to have a big butt for my birthday in June (how's that for some alliteration?). Who knows?

But all joking aside, it's time to put down the Cadbury mini-eggs and hit the road for a nice long run.  It is, after all, a gorgeous spring, and I intend to enjoy it for all its outdoor worth, no thoughts of summer bikinis whatsoever (HAH!).


Decisions decisions.
Is there any way someone else could make them for me?

Friday, April 9, 2010


Why don't I say the things I mean to say when I'm supposed to say them?

I went to coffee with my friend yesterday, and we had a conversation that we had both been wanting to have for a while now...  A touchy subject, but something that required a bit of discussion.  And at the end, I seriously thought, "Why didn't I just bring this up a month ago when I first thought of it?"

It's because I don't want to hurt people's feelings.  I don't want to make people upset and tell them what I really think if it's going to cause a rift.  But I'm finding more and more that, a lot of times, what I have to say is right on because it comes out of an honest heart.  SO THERE.

Side note:  Berkley was right on when she made me late yesterday - I had to take the car to work, which I normally don't.  Well, 3rd period, my sister texted me and she had fallen down the stairs... super scary because she's pregnant.  I flew to the hospital, thanking God all the way that I had the car so she wouldn't have to be alone.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Man vs. Robot

This morning I was almost late for school.  And that makes no sense whatsoever, because things started out so well, so ahead of schedule.  I was back from my run a few minutes after 6 and feeling good.  And then, as I went into Berkley's room to let her outside, I encountered a monster.  Literally, and I don't mean my little puppy.  There on the floor, challenging me to a duel, was the biggest spider I've ever seen in real life.  Now, let me interrupt and pat myself on the back, because instead of screaming bloody murder until Nate stumbled in, I stepped on it with barely a thought.  After I had squished it, I picked it up to flush it down the toilet (just to be safe) and almost convinced myself I was actually picking up a small animal.  But I digress...

Sadly enough, though, it was all downhill from there.  Because while I was dealing with the beast, Berkley was peeing a giant puddle on the floor.  That one was my fault - I should have let her outside first!  But there's no explanation for the giant poo she left for me in the living room while I was in the shower, or the second puddle she made while smiling up at me and wagging her tail fifteen minutes later. 

Needless to say, all that clean-up put me slightly behind, and I was determined NOT to go to school with dreadful hair for the 4th day in a row.  And as I stewed and straightened my hair, I came to a startling conclusion. 

I don't want a dog.  WHAT???  Why have 3, then?  Well, let me finish.  I don't want a dog, I want a machine.  An adorable little machine that pees on schedule, plays when I want it to, and can be turned off at the end of the day.  Now wouldn't that be fantastic? 

Oh wait.  Then it would have no personality whatsoever.  It wouldn't come sit on my feet and whine when I cried, or chase me around the house with a towel in its mouth, or bark when someone knocks on a door on television.  It would be, quite frankly, pretty boring.

And aside from that, how could I expect anything to be perfect when I myself am not?  How many times have I entertained a pity party and peed on the metaphoric carpet?  How often do I let gossip and negative words leave poo piles for other people to clean up?  Thank goodness Nathan doesn't want a machine for a wife, because I've never fit in well in Stepford!

So I guess, in a way, Berkley was looking out for me this morning, just peeing and pooing to get me thinking.  Okay, maybe I shouldn't give her quite that much credit, but at least I learned something, right?  Every day's a lesson, as long as you're looking for it, and today I'm just going to be thankful for my three living, breathing, peeing, pooing, real-life dogs.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The cure for the common undergarment

Ladies and Gentlemen, my butt is asleep!
Don't hate - you know it's happened to you.  Believe me, it's a rare day at Lufkin High School when I actually get to sit in one place long enough for any part of me to sleep.  But today, I've used my entire conference period to do absolutely nothing.  Well, nothing except read blogs.  [ahem]  And by that I mean, conduct internet research...

Which leads me to my thought for today, something that recently came to my attention and has been puzzling me ever since. 

In a word:  vajazzling.

Oh it's real, people, and you should be very afraid, because it's exactly what it sounds like.  Bedazzling for a certain lady part, and how on earth does that work exactly?  No wait, don't tell me, because I'm not sure I can stomach the answer.  EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Whether it's super glue, brads or staples, creating a gleaming, glittering THAT seems like an innately bad (and itchy) idea.  Who on earth would you show?  Is that a silly question?  Maybe it's one of those things that is so bizarre it eliminates all sense of embarrassment, kind of like when people get breast implants and march around inviting you to feel them to see how "natural" they are.  Right.  I'm not going to lie - I love sparkly things.  But even my love of all that glitters could never tempt me to get on board with this idea, not even if I were a stripper (costume, anyone?)   

So at this point I am so disturbed that I can't imagine having to teach for the rest of the day.  Is it possible to call in "emotionally disturbed," and if so, would I have to explain my reasoning?

The good news is that my butt woke up.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

As random as it comes

So today I have electric pink legs.  Don't be scared, it was on purpose - it's just the magic of tights.  But somehow I keep looking down at my legs and getting shocked, like they're screaming at me, "SURPRISE!!!  HERE WE ARE!!!"

Aside from that, today is a relatively low-key day.  Teaching infinitives and Lord of the Flies.  Would you like some random and interesting information?  "Lord of the Flies" is actually one translation of the word Beelzebub, which I'm sure you all know is another word for satan.  My kids seem blown away by the fact that the author is suggesting that man is innately evil, rather than good, especially in relation to children.  Ahhh, the pleasure of getting them to think.  It's immeasurable.  

And one final note.  Tonight, there had better be at least one sixteen-year-old going home on American Idol.  I'm starting to lose faith in America, especially after Didi went home last week. 

Happy Tuesday! 

Monday, April 5, 2010

I needed an Easter bonnet

I really wanted to have Happy Easter hair yesterday. 
I really tried to have it. 

And then Berkley found herself a hole under an upturned tree stump in the yard and promptly refused to budge.  How did this destroy my hair, you might ask?  Well, did I mention it took me 15 minutes to coax her out?  Did I mention that it was ridiculously humid and misting just a bit?  Oh, and did I also mention that the whole time I was shouting, "Berkley, you're supposed to be going potty! Come on, Berkley, make some pee-pee. Berkley, go potty!"?  I'm fairly confident that Bella, Bruiser, Nate and every one of our neighbors knew what Berkley was supposed to be doing.  And I am 100% confident that Berkley did not.  In fact, she seemed to think it was a game, and when she finally came prancing out, she immediately jumped up and put her muddy paws on my lavender Easter dress (it looked really cute with the galoshes I was tromping around the yard in). This potty training business is a lot more than I bargained for.

And on top of that, I am now considering cutting my hair off to the nubs. Think anyone would still be my friend?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

I'm at a loss for words today, because everything that I could say would be extraordinarily cheesy. It's Easter, and I'm humbled by what Jesus did for us, and also by the lessons God is teaching me right now. Ever look at an issue and think, "I have absolutely never struggled with that."? Interestingly enough, that may be the very thing you need to re-check in your own life.

I've never thought I had an issue with pride, especially because I tend swing a little to the side of low self-esteem. But recently Nate told me he thought I might just need to check for it, to which I replied, "Seriously? Of all the things I need to examine, that's probably not the one. Are you sure God told you that?"

Well, I got moved to a spot that was very humiliating to me, and instantly I thought, "There's no way I can do that. What will people think? They'll know that I got demoted and I will be embarrassed in front of everyone."

Oh there's that pride thing.  Ouch. And on top of that, I was wrong about something (shhhhhh, don't tell...). So I recognized the problem and am dealing with it, but wow, was I surprised. Thank goodness God cares enough to show us those things so they don't continue to multiply in our lives, right?

Anyway, He is at work always, and I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. In the last few months, He has changed everything, bringing the things I thought could never be whole back to life.
Happy Easter. I hope He's raising the dead in your life like he's done in mine.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Puppy problems

Are you tired of hearing about my dog yet?  If so, stop reading immediately, because there's a question laying heavy on my heart...

Why won't Berkley stop peeing in the house?

I mean, I know she's a puppy, but it's getting just plain ridiculous, and let me tell you why.  This sweet-faced little bundle has an uncanny ability to hold it all day while she plays outside, and then immediately pee when she comes back into the house.  I could take her outside, walk her all over the yard, spend 20 minutes marching it out in my galoshes, and within two minutes of coming back inside, puddle.  And aside from that, she also pees in her kennel, which is very small, and has no problem rolling in it before I can get to her.  What happened to the good old notion that dogs won't pee where they sleep?  Is my dog mentally retarded, or just plain nasty?  Because if I have to skip washing my own hair so I have time to give her a bath one more time, people are going to start wondering if I've switched to wearing exclusively ponytails.

Today is my Good Friday day off, and my weather friends are predicting thunderstorms.  All I can picture is me, trapped in the house with three dogs, a roll of paper towels and some carpet cleaner, and it makes me exhausted!  I think I may just go back to bed.

Speaking of Good Friday, I tend to agree with my nephew Alex, who told me last night, "Titi, I don't think it should be called Good Friday.  I mean, it was a really bad day for Jesus.  He was crucified!" lol. I just told him it was the anticipation of what we knew was coming (the Resurrection) that made it good. He looked skeptical, but then promptly asked me to play chess, which leads me to believe he got over it pretty quickly.

And one other question.  Why don't you ever notice that there is no toilet paper left until after you've taken your great big post-run potty break?  I'm just saying... I mean, it happened to a friend of mine... Right.

Happy Good Friday.  (sorry Alex)