Friday, July 27, 2007

Photog Friday - Regrets

"A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams."
- John Barrymore


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wow! What a week!

Wow! There's no other word to use. I'm still reeling from the whole 'I got a job' thing. I've checked out my classroom. I'm in one of those lovely trailers that seem to pop up around schools like mushrooms. I'm not being placed in a trailer because I'm the new kid. It's just the classroom of the person I'm replacing. I actually like it. At least I won't have to deal with hallway noise, plus think of all the fun we'll have once hurricane season is in full swing! I've picked up my textbook and got my 'Sonny Dollars,' so named because the governor of our great state, Sonny Perdue, supported allocating $100 for each teacher in our state to buy classroom supplies.

So here I am, contemplating what I'm doing. I'll be teaching math to 114 kids. That in itself is a little scary. Add to this parents, administrators and surprise evaluations and it adds up to very scary. I hope I don't screw this up.


Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm a Teacher!

I just got a phone call with the offer. I'll be teaching 7th grade math!!


Photog Friday - Think or Feel

"Life is a comedy for those who think... and a tragedy for those who feel." -Horace Walpole


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We've been Simpsonized!

Burger King is offering this cool site where you can upload a photo of yourself and have it 'Simpsonized.' Monkey Boy and I had a blast doing this and we think they did a pretty good job of making us residents of Springfield!


Monday, July 16, 2007

Update on my life

Today's updates:
  • Made plane reservations to visit Mom and Dad PeachPod in Mississippi.
  • Got my first interview for my teaching position this Friday!


Dog Days of Summer

I like being outside. Outside is my happy place. If you visit my home, you'll be greeted by a courtyard garden. I have all kinds of my favorite plants out there: ferns, hydrangeas, roses, jasmine, palms and so on. I have several seating areas, two eating areas, a hammock chair and a covered porch swing out there, plus candles and other little happy things. I also have my beloved porch off of my master. This is the spot to be on a cool night.

But these places are to be avoided right now during the dog days of summer. Here in the Coastal South, temps are averaging 95 degrees F. The 70% to 100% humidity makes it feel more like 110 degrees. Breezes have become a rarity. The afternoon shower we seem to get every day lately doesn't cool off the area, it just provides steam. Add in mosquitoes, fleas and gnats and you have one of Dante's Rings of Hell.

This makes for a very cranky Me. I can't enjoy a meal outside without suffering bug bites and ending up with flies in my food. Sipping hot coffee on my front steps when it's 97 degrees is not soothing. I feel like a rat in a controlled environment, moving from one air conditioned area to another. This affects my attitude and my creativity.

This heat and humidity will last into August. We don't really have Autumn here. The temps will cool down to the manageable 80s through December, when it will go down the 70s and 60s. I am ready for any temperature below 90.

Marco de Coconut says, "I don't know why they call them the 'dog days of summer.' Dogs don't like this heat, either!"

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Update on the Death of the English Language

While driving around my little island, I saw a sign a "Ginormous Yard Sale" today. It's so nice to know that our little community makes an effort to be current in the language department.

P.S. I ran spell check on this post and apparently Blogger has added ginormous to it's dictionary.


Photog Friday - Creativity

Taken at Painted Moon Gallery, Darien, GA

"I think the creative process is not about creating something else; it's about the process itself creating who I am." - Mayumi Oda, Artist and Writer


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Giving Yourself Permission

I've been reading a book called 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMefkin. If you are someone who wishes to expand their creative self or need to give yourself permission to explore that side of your personality, I really recommend this book. It is broken down into a variety of chapters and has exercises for you to try that give you some interesting insights about your creative self.

This book made me think of a friend of mine that is leaving the corporate world, at least for a little while. I think that part of the reason she is leaving is due to her health. Frankly, this job is killing her. I cannot tell you how much her health has deteriorated from the stress of her job. Which leads me to another reason she is leaving: I think she finally got tired of the crap she had to put up with, being a woman in a small Southern town trying to run a non-profit. Every issue was a political battle. Every meeting was either a war or an attempt to undermine her since she was a woman doing a job that had always been done by a man. I am so glad she has left this place. They didn't deserve her.

She is a highly creative person. She is a published author and an artist. I'm hoping she'll take some time to enjoy her talents. We spoke the other day about her transition and I told her the hardest part will be allowing herself to value herself. By this I mean that she has to realize that preparing dinner, being at PTA meetings, planning a birthday party and so on are things of value. This will be hard for her. I know this. But she'll get so much from this. She'll get to know her daughter as she enters her teen years. She'll get to know the community and the people who live there. And she'll get to know herself, something that she's put on the back shelf for far too long.

In this book, the author shares a quote from a book published in 1938 by Brenda Ueland, called If You Want to Write: A book About Art, Independence, and Spirit:

"Inspiration comes very slowly and quietly. Say that you want to write. Well, not much will come to you the first day. Perhaps nothing at all. You will sit before your typewriter or paper and look out of the window and begin to brush your hair absent-mindedly for an hour or two. Never mind. That is all right. This is as it should be, though you might sit before your typewriter just the same and know, in this dreamy time, that you are going to write, to tell something on paper, sooner or later.
And you must also know that you are going to sit here tomorrow for a while, and the next day and so on, forever and ever."

Here's to the the gift of time and to sitting still, lost in a dream.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Blast from the Past Meme

I got tagged by the divine Ms. Liv:

1. Who was your best friend? Karen and Carol. We traveled as a pack.

2. What sports did you play? I dabbled in cross country.

3. What kind of car did you drive? Silver Ford Granada

4. It’s Friday night, where were you? At movies or at the arcade or hanging out at the Mr. Ghetti's parking lot.

5. Were you a party animal? Not really. The one thing we did do is drive up to Athens sometimes to sneak into bars where the B-52s used to play.

6. Were you considered a flirt? Definitely. But I was harmless.

7. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? choir, in jr. high.

8. Were you a nerd? Totally, I took classes like Physics and Polar Geometry in high school. And played D&D with my friends.

9. Did you get suspended/expelled? Never. I couldn't even tell you what the inside of the principle's office looked like.

10. Can you sing the fight song? No way. I do remember it being lame. I do know the fight song from college.

11. Who was your favorite teacher? Mr. Wiley, he gave me my love of writing.

12. School mascot? Raiders.

13. Did you go to Prom? Just my senior year.

14. If you could go back and do it over, would you? OMG, no.

15. What do you remember most about graduation? I remember the ceremony. I remember the gown, the stained glass windows in the church, getting my picture taken after the ceremony.

16. Where were you on senior skip day? I don't remember having one.

17. Did you have a job your senior year? Since I was 16. I worked in the JCPenney Outlet in Forest Park. I worked in the store in the Drapery and Fabric department. I got the job because I could do math! During the summers, I would work days in the un-air conditioned warehouse taking clothes off of wire hangers and putting them on plastic hangers. Then I would go home, shower and pack to the store to work some more.

18. Where did you go most often for lunch? We had a group that sat at a regular table.

19. Have you gained weight since then? I am the Queen of Up and Down Weight. Up high school junior year, down senior year, up and down in college, up and down the rest of my friggin' life. I am sorry to admit that I did hit my heaviest during this fun time of divorce. So far I'm down 13 and still going.

20. What did you do after graduation? Worked before I graduated, married before I graduated college, worked after college, started my own company, worked more. Now I'm hoping to start a new career, teaching, this fall.

21. Who was your Senior prom date? I went with a friend named Bill. His mother was my typing teacher and was so thrilled that he had a date, she gave me an A in her class. We had prom in downtown Atlanta, ate at the Abbey and finished up at the Krispy Kreme doughnuts on Ponce.

[Am I the only one noticing that there isn't a #22 here?]

23. Are you going / did you go to your 10 year reunion? No and no. No to 15. No to 20.

24. Who was your home room teacher? Ms. Scott. She was strange.

25. Who will repost this after you? I'm hoping Terri does. She said that she likes memes, but she may have been kidding. Sarcasm can be hard to detect in print. Any and all are welcome to repost.


The Death of the English Language

Today, friends, we must mourn the passing of the English language. I love language. I love the nuances that a word can present. I love playing with words to see which one fits best in a sentence. I love that words can trigger emotions. However, as of this year, the keeper of our language, Merriam-Webster, added a word that has, to me, the effect of crumbling the foundation of our language heritage: ginormous.

Ginormous is a baby word. Toddlers use words like ginormous, not adults. What are they adding next year, gazillion? Oh wait, I checked online and they've already added that to the dictionary. Here are the words added this year:

1. agnolotti
2. Bollywood
3. chaebol
4. crunk
5. DVR
6. flex-cuff
7. ginormous
8. gray literature
9. hardscape
10. IED
11. microgreen
12. nocebo
13. perfect storm
14. RPG
15. smackdown
16. snowboardcross
17. speed dating
18. sudoku
19. telenovela
20. viewshed


Monday, July 09, 2007

Coconut vs. Marco

Liv and her sister decided that Marco should be renamed Coconut. They even refuse to call him anything other than Coconut. What do you think? (BTW, Monkey Boy and I still call him Marco!)


My Corner of the World

Just thought that I would give you a glimpse of the little corner of my world that I use to reach you in your corner of the world.

To give you a further glimpse into my world, let me set the scene for you. I'm sitting with the lamp on next to me (I hate overhead lights.) The door to the porch off my bedroom is opened slightly and I can hear the crickets and the tree frogs as they fill the night with their songs. Marco the Psychotically Needy Puppy (whom Liv and her sister are trying to rename to Coconut) is alternating between sitting on the porch and coming in for the occasional back scratch. It's a good place to be.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

A new level has been set

I’ve set a new level for myself to meet. I have been so inspired by my two blogging heroes, Liv and Ellie Bee, who I got to meet this weekend.

Liv is open, smart, beautiful and so very alive. To be this together at such a young age is amazing to me. From her, I’m inspired to live larger and to treat myself with the nurturing I tend to bestow on others. Seriously, the diet needs to kick into high gear and a wardrobe makeover is in order if I’m going to hang out with this amazing chick.

From Ellie Bee, I’ve been inspired by her grace. When I first saw her, she was coming up a boat ramp wearing the perfect island vacation white dress, followed by her beautiful children. She projects an air of tranquil elegance. She inspired me to work at carrying myself with more grace.

Thanks both of you for sharing a bit of your inspiring selves with me.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

This Weekend: Word Associations

  • Rain
  • Ocean
  • Oysters
  • Old Friends
  • New Friends
  • Sun
  • Beer
  • Restlessness
  • Talking
  • Laughter
  • Fireworks
  • Contemplation


Friday, July 06, 2007

Photog Friday - Exploration

" In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration. " -Ansel Adams


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

Did you have a nice 4th of July? We did! Every year we have a bunch of our friends over. We live a block from the pier where they shoot the fireworks off, so we have a prime location. We don't even bother walking down to the village. We just sit on our front porch and watch them.

Basically we spend the evening eating, drinking and hanging out watching the firework show. It's the perfect way to spend this summer holiday. I went with a classic menu this year: hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and baked beans. For dessert we had chocolate chip cookies decorated with 4th of July sprinkles (I sent a bag of these home with everyone.), turtle cookie bars and Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding. This is one of Paula Deen's recipes. If you haven't made this before, make it tomorrow. Don't hesitate. Just do it and then thank me for making you do it! I sent everyone home with some of the leftover banana pudding, too, so that I wouldn't be able to eat it!

Check out this cute photo of Monkey Boy and some of his friends. Aren't they a slice of Americana?!

We wrapped up the evening by parking ourselves on the big, comfy couch and watching the New York fireworks on the big screen TV. Life is good.


What I love about the USA

Rick came up with a list of things he loved about America and inspired me to do the same. These are listed in no particular order:
  1. The feeling you get living in a small town in this country.
  2. The color of the Fall leaves in north Georgia and the Carolinas.
  3. Grilling in the backyard.
  4. The amazing access to information we have. Having traveled to other countries all over the world, I know that information can be limited by a government. I'm not saying that the information we get is always accurate, but we have the ability to sort through basically any information that we can get to on the entire planet. This is a gift.
  5. Our love for the red, white and blue.
  6. The respect shown for those who serve our country in uniform, whether they are military, fire or police. Those who do not show respect for these people should frankly be ashamed of themselves.
  7. Thanksgiving: Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie!
  8. New York City, truly the greatest city in the world and one that I consider to be my second home.
  9. Accessibility of education. We all have things we would change about the education provided in our local community, but I thank God that we have an education system that is available to all, regardless of sex, religion, income or ethnic background.
  10. The beaches of the Southeast and the Gulf coast. These are the beaches of my youth. My memories are filled with riding rafts on the gentle waves, finding seashells, and building sandcastles.
  11. The giving nature of our people. If there is a natural disaster, we are the first to want to help. If a neighbor loses a family member, we are there with a smile, a prayer and a casserole. We take money from our pockets to support research, non-profits, our church and/or the arts.
  12. Fried chicken, watermelon and corn on the cob: the perfect summer dinner and uniquely American.
  13. The library system. It is truly a gift to us that in just about every town in America, there is a library of some kind.
  14. The coast of Washington and Oregon. The wild beauty here takes my breath away.
  15. Our music. Americans have a passion for all kinds of music -- rock, country, classical, pop and so on.
  16. I know this sounds strange but I love our highway system. If you've been to a 2nd or 3rd world country, you know that good roads are a gift. And welcome centers and rest areas are the icing on the cake.
  17. Sunsets in Texas.
  18. Peanut butter, one of my favorite American icons. Did you know it is estimated that peanut butter is found in 75% of American homes?
  19. Regionalism. I love that we embrace what makes our part of the country unique -- accents, foods, customs, stories.
  20. The Smokey Mountains. Beautiful.
  21. I love that as a woman in this country, I have most of the same opportunities that a man would have. You can argue that more needs to be done, but, again, having traveled the world, I know that I have freedoms and options that simply are not available to women in some countries. I can go to school. I can work outside the home. I can walk down the street without covering my face. I don't have to worry about being stoned for something I am accused of. I can own personal property. I don't have to walk several steps behind my husband. I am valued.
  22. Farmer markets. I love farmer markets. I love bargaining for the best tomatoes, finding the sweetest watermelon, getting a jar of honey with the honeycomb in it, scoring a deal on apples and picking the freshest corn.
  23. Fireworks!
  24. Availability of a huge assortment of food. If you've ever been to another country, you know that being able to get milk and M&Ms at the corner market is a huge deal. Top that up with the fact that you can get about a hundred different kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables in typical grocery store. Talk to anyone who has recently visited or moved to the US from another country. One of the things that they will mention are our grocery stores.
  25. The Smithsonian. I love this complex of museums. I can't wait to take Monkey Boy there.
  26. State and county fairs. How can you not love rides, corn dogs, funnel cakes, and livestock? Monkey Boy is already talking about going to our county fair and it isn't until October!


Monday, July 02, 2007

Exit, Stage Right

I have got to stop volunteering. Is there a 12 step program for this? In a moment of weakness I agreed to become the stage manager for Monkey Boy's play. What does this mean? It means I have to keep 43 (I'm not exaggerating) children in the right place at the right time and I have to keep them quiet. I just finished doing this for 2 and 1/2 hours and I'm exhausted.

So far I've learned that if I know their name already, they get my attention way too much by talking and acting up. I have learned about 10 names so far. Tonight's highlights:
  • Peter Pan lost her cool when she realized that her zipper was down while on stage.
  • Tinker Bell had a mild crisis when her necklace broke.
  • Mermaids were very silly and talkative.
  • The flying scene did not go well.
  • Some of the older kids tried to put a smaller kid in the electrical box because they thought he would fit.

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It's Raining

Liv notified that it was raining in her town, which meant we would get rain a couple of hours later. And it's here. It's one of those gentle summer rains that smell so good. Here's a photo of the view of the rain from my master balcony:


An Idea

I had an idea and wanted to throw it out for comment since it would apply to y'all. Have you ever heard of a swap? I'm not talking about a flea market swap; I'm talking about the concept of swapping a themed package. They are big in the crafting Internet world. People may swap yarn or scrapbook stuff or handmade items. I saw one the other day for knitters that was based on tea. They swapped yarn, tea, cookies, candy and treats. I thought it was a really neat idea. We could do something like it but drop the yarn part.

One of the things that I really liked about this swap is that they had to include at least one local item. That's what makes this appealing; it allows us to share our little corner of the world. As a matter of fact, if you don't like the tea theme, we can just make it a local theme swap and send each other things that our made in our hometown or state or providence. We could set a limit of $20 or $25USD.

So give me your feedback. What do you think? I want to hear from the guys out there, too. If no body's interested, that's fine. I'd be willing to do this if we could get at least 6 people interested.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Weekend update

It has been a busy weekend here. That is until it came to a grinding halt.

Busy times:
  • Friday - cleaning the house, went to see the new Die Hard movie, visiting with family, eating fried chicken at the campground, talking with family.
  • Saturday - scoring some new clothes at Talbot's sale, visiting with family, shopping with them in our village, going to art show, going out to dinner with family (This was my big challenge. The family part was fine. Not to be unkind but dining with soon-to-be ex and his almost deaf father who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's was excruciatingly painful. Between dealing with soon-to-be ex's horrendously pathetic attempts at being witty, which only ended up coming off as mean-spirited and pissing everyone off, and his father asking me the same questions five or six times, I was about to lose it.).
  • Sunday - Went to church, planned menu for 4th of July party and for Motown concert that night, went grocery shopping, updated website for Monkey Boy's theater production company.
Grinding halt:
  • The rain came and put an end to the busy part of the weekend. Of course the rain came AFTER I bought groceries, so I have a fridge full of food and no one to eat it tonight. The Motown concert was an outdoor activity that was rained out. So I picked up my knitting and finished a kitchen washcloth I was working on. Such is life.