Saturday, February 24, 2007

30 Memories

One of my scrapbooking challenges this week is to write down 30 memories. (Yikes!) According to the directions, they do not have to be chronological and they can be either happy or sad. The only other stipulation is that I cannot explain the memory. So here goes...

*Almost drowning while white-water rafting
*Anguish at going through a divorce
*Jealousy after my sister gave birth to the first grandchild
*Eating strawberries at my grandparents' farm in OH
*The bees hiding out on the strawberries
*My first ride on Montu at Busch Gardens, FL
*Fresh baked zucchini bread made by my grandma
*and her fresh baked rhubarb pie
*The last day of school my first year teaching
*Walking across Jaco Beach at 5 am
*Making the cheerleading squad for the first time
*Making my first scrapbook
*Having to decide who I wanted to live with during my parents' divorce
*Staying up late watching American Movie Classics (AMC)
*Popping paper grocery bags full of popcorn to take to the movie theater to watch the original Star Wars movies
*Jumping off the high dive for the first time
*My first airplane ride
*My first apartment
*Working as the salad bar girl at Wendy's
*My bike being stolen
*Watching news coverage of the Challenger exploding when I was grounded from the TV
*Sledding down the stairs in my sleeping bag
*Touching a dolphin
*Watching Cujo
*Collecting pennies for the statue of Christa McAuliffe
*Winning 3rd place in the school science fair in 5th grade (or was it 6th?)
*Trying to diagram sentences
*Moving right before and during my senior year of high school
*Jeff--my first "real" boyfriend in high school
*My dad making me change my flat tire

Wow! I actually did it! OK--so I kind of explained a couple of them, but I was able to list at least thirty. Now it's your turn. Let me know what you've included on your list!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Is it the weekend yet?

Today was one of those days that felt like it was a week long. Do you ever have those days? I would look at the clock and then continue working for what seemed like hours, and then I'd look at the clock again, only to find that three minuites had passed. "How depressing," was my first thought this morning when it happened. Thankfully today was a little more hectic than usual, which made for a very stressful day, but the time did eventually roll around to the end of the day. Yippee! Although next week we have to deal with the "joy" that the state's cooked up for us in the form of a standardized test (FCAT) that assigns grades (money) to our schools based on student performance on this test. We can hardly wait.

I think that working with kids, no matter what the age, causes aging more rapidly. Seriously....I have more gray hair now than I did at the beginning of the school year last August! How do I know this, because my co-worker kindly pointed it out to me during a conversation one day--in front of other people! I was completely mortified, but of course tried to make a joke out of it by admitting that's why I colored my hair earlier this year. It seems that I need to recolor my hair, as those gray strands are blinding people as I walk past. It's not that I'm "old" by any means, but I have worked with "big" children for the past eight years. Teaching=Gray Hair (especially since we spend more time with the "little darlings" than their own parents and families do each day.)

Speaking of teaching, I happened to turn on the news yesterday ( a rare moment), and they were running a story about a local principal that was busted for trying to buy crack from an under-cover detective--while the principal was in his office! Talk about your stupid criminal award! The funny but sad parts are: 1) His normal dealer was probably one of his students, and 2) If I worked in his school, I'd probably want to smoke crack too! (Talk about your stereotypical inner city schools--and it's a middle school! I guess I'll have to come up with a different expression instead of saying--"Are you smoking crack!?")

Yes--Spring Break is just around the corner and I hear the waves calling my name! While I would love to spend Spring Break in Hawaii, my lack of cash flow requires that I sit this one out in Florida. (Did I mention that I work for the school system?) Thankfully--the pool is just around the corner because I know that I will not be able to get near a beach unless I want to leave at 5 AM and fight the traffic. No thanks! At least by the pool, I might actually meet some of my neighbors. Quite a shocking thought!

I found a couple more interesting blogs. Let me know what you think!

(I absolutely LOVE the writing...too bad the author hasn't posted in some time. Maybe someone should check the "white linoleum with blue diamonds.")

(Thanks Kristy for the "amusing secrets"!)

and of course, from one of my friends...

(Whatever happened to the black bean brownies?)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

"Impulse" by Ellen Hopkins

Wow! I can say that I'm feeling a little numb after reading this poignant young adult novel. If you've ever wanted to peek inside the minds of teenagers who've tried to commit suicide, or to even try to understand the reasons why--this is the book for you. Ms. Hopkins captured the "troubled minds" of several teenagers after they've been admitted to the Aspen Springs Treatment Center near Reno.
Connor comes from a background most of us can only dream of having, but he still tried to blow a hole through his heart with a shotgun due to severe depression. Tony lived the life of a street-rat and turned tricks with anyone to "survive" on his drug-filled diet, when he tried to OD on them. Vanessa is a beautiful girl who is numb to her emotions and cuts herself to try and feel "real." Bouncing between extreme highs and even lower lows, Vanessa cuts so deeply one time she almost severs her hand from her body, but she is still numb to her feelings.
As you read about their time in the treatment center, you will soon begin to understand each character's thoughts and emotions as they begin to decipher why they each tried to kill themselves.
While not for the squeamish, this book definitely hits home for those people who either suffer with the same issues, or know someone that does. Two thumbs up!

It's a blustery Saturday Night...

I guess I should start by saying Happy Belated Valentine's Day! Especially to those of you who celebrated by eating a carton of chocolate ice cream and went to bed early. (No, this is not how I celebrated!) Kudos to my beautiful cat, Madison (see picture), who sent me a Valentine's card. (Now I know I should be concerned since she obviously gets out more than I do!)

I decided to do a little research in how Valentine's Day originated, so I went to my trusty computer and visited the World Book Online site. (Yep--those BIG, OLD encyclopedias that you bought for your children back in the stone ages can now be used as door-stops. World Book Online updates weekly.) In any case, here's a link to the actual article about Valentine's Day:

I would like to know which of my friends from Texas sent this chilly weather here to Florida? I moved back here in June to enjoy the sunny days and the warm temps, but a high of 59 is NOT what I consider warm! I guess I should be happy that it's not snowing, but I'm pretty sure it tried to snow last night. The heater was set to turn on if it dropped below 63 in the apartment. It stayed on for most of the evening. I even wore flannel PJ's to stay warm, and Madison called under the covers to sleep because her little ears and feet were freezing as well. (I'm sure someone will have to remind me in a few weeks that I was actually pining for warmer weather, but I REALLY DO NOT like the cold.)

On the sunnier side, I just bought the Fireflight CD (The Healing of Harms) the other day and I love it. They're a local group (if you call Orlando local) that is starting to get more play on the Christian stations like Spirit FM ( They're on a tour this fall, but aren't coming to the Tampa Bay area any time soon. (Bummer!) Check out their MySpace page for more info:
or even their website (although it hasn't been updated recently)

For you scrapbookers out there, this weekend starts the Search for "Scrapbooking Treasure." For more information, go to :
When you stop by Scraptopia in Brandon, ( tell them that I sent you! :) Happy Hunting!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Designers' Block Blog

Designers' Block

Having worked in the Interior Design world for a brief (very brief) time period, I am drawn to this "Blog of Note." Despite the fact that it is a British Blog, I LOVE the colors and textures that she has pulled together. After all, who doesn't skim the pages of Architectural Digest and Modern Home magazines for a glimpse at the life that "could be." Check out her blog and let me know what you think. (If only I hadn't left the design world--just look at what I "could be" doing!)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Making Friends Is Hard To Do...

Why is it that when two girls meet at a restaurant to eat and goof off, everyone thinks they're a "couple"? Has society slipped that far in its morals that girls are no longer allowed to be friends, but must instead have a sexual relationship to hang out? No wonder it's so hard to make friends as a single, thirty-something female! It's hard enough that other girls automatically assume you're trying to steal their boyfriend or husband when you try to become friends with them, but then when you do happen to find a friend, people stare and point at us because "we obviously must be lesbians" since we're laughing and having fun as friends. What is it with people?!

I just found out that one of the girls at work has a similar background to my own and we decided to meet for dinner at Mojitos--a delicious tapas bar in the Winthrop Center off of Bloomingdale and Providence. Neither of us had been there before and we were both excited to actually have evening plans like other "normal" people. Our server was a little cheeky at first when we told her that we had no clue what tapas are (appetizers made to share with others), but we took it in stride as she became a little more cordial throughout the evening. (Of course that was probably more to the fact we were drinking their homemade Sangria rather than an actual personality change.) My friend and I had a wonderful time talking and getting to know each other. (Our backgrounds are very similar and so were our horror stories about life.) Eventually we decided to leave since the restaurant was getting busier and our server wanted to turn her table.

As we were leaving, one of the other servers mentioned that they had a special for couples for Valentine's Day. You see what I mean?