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Leap Year Hodgepodge

The passage of time is marked by children getting older, seasons changing, and…Joyce’s Hodgepodge!!  Link back up with her after posting your own answers.

Before I get to mine, I must first sincerely apologize for not making the rounds last week.  Yes, I played, sort-of, but time got away from me.  Let’s just say that I had more to do than hours to do things in.

On to this week’s questions!

1.  The Hodgepodge falls on the last day of February this year, a leap year. How will you spend that extra day?

I will be doing what I usually do…teaching three classes of eager-to-learn (yeah, right) students.  AFTER school, I’m going to head over to another high school in town and watch several of Chicky’s former high school teammates as they sign their papers to play college soccer!  I’ve watched these girls play for the last six years, so it’s an honor to witness them take this next large step.

2.  What has recently required a leap of faith on your part?

Last August, I applied for this Intensive Reading position that I now hold.  I did it because my friend, Barbara, told me to apply.  She believed in me a whole more than I believed in myself.  I knew how to read, but I didn’t know how to teach someone else to read.  It was a HUGE leap of faith, but God is my foundation, so honestly, He’s there to catch me if and when I slip.

3.  We’re one week into the season of Lent…are you marking these 40 days in some way? Giving something up or adding something extra to normal life? How’s it going so far?

I am ashamed to say that I am not doing anything special to honor Lent this year.  Last year, I gave up TV.  This year, I feel a bit removed.  That is my own fault for using my job as an excuse.  Sigh…

4.  When was the last time you sat beside a fire?

Unless memory fails me, I last sat beside a fire when I was a child.  Yeah.  I’ve lived a sad life, eh?

5.  Surf and Turf is on the menu. Do you order as is or do you ask for just the surf (lobster), just the turf (steak), or a menu so you can select another option?

I don’t ask for either.  I’d ask for a salad or spaghetti marinara.  Being vegan often makes me feel left out of restaurant fare.

6.  If you could have any television program back, not in reruns but in new episodes, what program would you choose?

Tough choice, Joyce!!!  I’m just going to have to make a list because I don’t feel like choosing:

Lost – how I miss thee!

Everybody Loves Raymond
The Carol Burnett Show (I’m showing my age)
Highlander (Oh Gavin, you make my heart go pitter-patter)…

Twilight Zone

Strange grouping, eh?  LOL

7.  They say an elephant never forgets. These days would you say your memory is more like an elephant or a gnat?

I’m afraid it’s more like a gnat.  I have so many things I have to remember every day that I prioritize.  Writing a child up for misbehavior…I can remember.  Where I placed tomorrow’s lesson plan?  Not so much.  At this rate, I’m going to be lucky if I remember my own children’s names by the time I retire!

8.  My Random Thought

I’m a believer.  I didn’t think I would be, but here I am…the proud owner of not one but two Scentsy candle holders…

The green is for my classroom.  Teenagers can be a bit stinky.  In fact, “passing gas” was actually brought up in a parent conference yesterday.  I’m not kidding.  The mother actually told her son that he is going to have to learn to hold it just like she does at work.

But I digress.

Here’s the scent they are going to get to smell in my class…

Chuckle all you want.  I didn’t make up the names.

Here’s the candle warmer I bought for Rooster’s room…

When we were on our Alaskan cruise and stopped in a Canadian port, he got a shirt with the maple leaf on it.

I got him a candle warmer because two of the dogs stay in his room a lot, and, well, they have gas.

Yeah, it always goes back to flatulence, eh?

Here’s what his room should smell like from now on…

That’s a “brick” by the way.  Bricks are being discontinued.  It doesn’t matter.  The bars (up above) can be cut into small pieces, so they last a long time.

The neatest thing about these candle warmers is that they plug in and heat the wax with a light bulb!  So, they aren’t very dangerous!

I never would have purchased one, but before Christmas, I went into my principal’s secretary’s office, and it smelled wonderful!  She mentioned that a friend had gotten her the warmer.  Oh my!

My friend, Heather, whose husband passed away last fall, became a consultant a few months ago.  I’m glad to purchase these from her.  By the way, she’s now enrolled in a nursing program…totally changing her life…pushing on despite the big loss in her life.

I hope everyone has a great week!

O Day – Part 2

When last I left this story, I was about to embark on my recounting of my second observation.

In my district, Category 1 and 2 teachers must be observed twice during the school year.  It’s part of the Individual Professional Development Program (IPDP) that is designed to calculate a bunch of pieces of data/assessments to determine if you’re a teacher who is unsatisfactory, needs improvement, meets expectations or exceeds them.

I had my first observation in December and did pretty well for the first time.

Being the anal person/overachiever that I am, I wanted to do especially well.

I had primed my students last week, practicing the activity I’d selected for the lesson.

Hey, it’s not cheating.  😀

Still, I was nervous.

My IPDP focuses heavily on vocabulary development, which I’d noticed was lacking in a select group of my students.  So, for the day’s lesson, we did a Vocabulary Carousel activity.  It’s a modified version of the lesson you can find here.

The kids, working in groups, moved from one station to another.  Each station consisted of a sheet of paper taped to the wall (or TV or door, depending on the location).  A vocabulary word was written on each sheet.  Students had to use that particular word in a sentence.  As they moved to the next station, they had to continue the “story” written by the previous groups, continuing to use the vocabulary word on each sheet of paper in context.

It was loud in my class, to say the least.  Try to imagine twenty students walking around a classroom, engaging in discussion, laughing as they went.

Oh, it was so much fun!

My principal kept himself busy entering observations into his iPad.

Meanwhile, I rotated from one group to another, offering advice, pulling things from my students’ brains, keeping them on task, providing positive feedback and encouragement.

When we finished, my students worked with their groups to select the word that had been used most consistently and properly throughout the “story.”  They had to provide justification for their choices.

Then, we broke into groups for station work.

What a smooth transition!  Though we’ve only been doing stations for about a month, my students are finally getting the hang of it.  They kept the noise level to a minimum, and I was able to work with my own small group of students more one-on-one, which studies have shown to be the most effective way to help students improve their reading comprehension.

My principal stayed for about forty minutes.  I hardly noticed when he left because I, myself, was engaged with my students.

As the bell rang, I exhaled a sigh of relief mingled with joy.

I felt that things had gone well.

Part 3 of this post will detail my principal’s findings.

Stay tuned!

“O” Day

“O” Day…

Otherwise known as Observation Day…

A day that makes teachers scurry in anticipation of the powers-that-be coming into our classrooms to watch us work our magic.

It’s a stressful time as teachers, old and new, scramble to plan WOW-inducing lesson plans.

We prep our classrooms and prep our students (or bribe them with brownies)…

All in the hopes that our administrators will witness magical moments when students create their own knowledge.

Today was my “O” Day.

I had been out on Friday, so I went into my classroom on Saturday and Sunday to prep.

I thought, typed, thought some more, and typed some more.

I grabbed my station baskets, stuffed clear sleeves with instructions, and left my classroom looking like this…

Before I closed the door, though, I had made sample foldables, so my students would understand the instructions in their stations…

When I left on Sunday, I wasn’t nervous.

My lesson was going to focus on vocabulary.

I heart vocabulary very much.

I LIVE for it.

Just ask my friend and mentor, Barbara, who won’t play Words With Friends with me because, though she accuses me of cheating, she really knows that I know my words.

How did my day go?

Well, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

I’m pooped, and there’s a fiery NASCAR race on TV.

I’ll tell you the rest of the story mañana .

Oh, that’s Spanish for “tomorrow.”

Eat your heart out, Barb!

Act of Valor

Yesterday, Rooster, the Mr. and I went to see a movie with Dancing Girl and her dad.

Our movie of choice?

Act of Valor.

I don’t know if you’ve seen the previews for it.  I’m including the “official” movie trailer at the end of this post.

Before I do, here are my thoughts about the movie.

First, and foremost, this was an EXCELLENT picture!

What first moved me was the fact that real Navy SEALS do the acting in this movie.

True that.

The families in the movie are also real.

No amount of acting can portray such realistic affection and angst that these families live through on a daily basis.

For the guys, the action is non-stop.  It’s incredible to watch and know that the scenes are very realistic and not some Hollywood impracticality.

For the women, you can’t help but feel for the wives and children left behind as the guys go off to serve their country.

As an American, you watch with pride thumping in your heart and shame at the things that you take for granted.

WARNING:  This movie is NOT for children.

There is some cursing, although it did not bother me too much.  It’s mild compared to most movies these days.

The violence is graphic but necessary to depict the real danger and situations that exist in this troubled world.

Though you may have seen lots of war movies in the past, keep in mind that this is different because the people are GENUINE.  You can hear, from the conversations, that the words aren’t forced.  The characters have conversations that are believable.  These aren’t guys trained by acting coaches.  These men have dedicated their lives to protecting our country and its citizens from very real, evil dangers.

If you’re considering going out to see a movie, I highly recommend this one!

Road Trip Full of Memories

Today, Rooster and I returned home from our short road trip to Auburn’s E-Day.  Auburn had set aside the day to showcase its vibrant and nationally-ranked engineering program, of which Rooster will be a part of come August.

We took Rooster’s car so he could get practice making the four-hour drive, and what fun we had.

Here are some brief, yet memorable snippets of our trip…the stuff that memories are made of.

…getting stuck in a gas station’s parking lot, and the only way out was through the 18-wheeler truck exit…oops…

…getting walked in on while taking care of “business” in Subway…the look and sound of surprise from the establishment’s female employee who walked in on me was an America’s Funniest Home Videos moment…

…having a political discussion with my boy who will turn 18 in May and will, thus, be able to vote in November’s election…

…saying Adele’s name wrong, to Rooster’s consternation (for the record, according to Google, you pronounce it “uh-dell”)…

…trying to find a place to make a u-turn on a dark highway…

…forgetting my toothbrush, only to hear Rooster say, “Well, you can’t use mine.”  No love, I’m telling you…

…the next morning, after getting a toothbrush from the hotel and asking Rooster for the toothpaste, hearing him say, “Well, I didn’t bring it, so I didn’t brush my teeth.”  Sometimes, you just can’t win…

…watching America’s Most Wanted with America’s most beloved son (IMHO  😀 )…

…making a three-minute drive into a 20-minute drive, all because we turned right instead of left out of the hotel (it was my fault, of course, according to Rooster)…

…getting asked, by the software engineering professor who gave the presentation to our tour group, “What are YOU majoring in?”  Um…yeah…I think he mistook me for a college student.  😀

…upon discussing the above afterward, hearing my beloved son say, “Well, Mama, you do look young.  It’s no wonder he asked you that.”  😀

…visiting the Honors College and learning that Rooster had been officially accepted into the Honors program!!

…slurping down a cup of Toomer’s Corner’s famous lemonade…

…exiting Toomer’s Drugs to a downpour…all because I HAD to go to Tiger Rags to use the 20% coupon that was in Rooster’s E-Day bag…

…deciding to kill some time…let the rain pass…while eating lunch at Moes…except that Moes wasn’t going to open for another hour.

…walking to “Tiger Rags” only to discover that I’d mistaken its location for that of Anders.  Oops.

…continuing to walk in the downpour…

…watching Rooster fight the wind as he attempted to keep us covered with, in his words, a “crappy” umbrella…

…taking over for Rooster, only to nearly get blown away like Mary Poppins…

…hearing Rooster assure me that he would have tried to grab my legs if I’d actually taken flight (thanks, Honey)…

…watching shuttle after shuttle pass us as we waited to be transported back to our cars…in the driving rain…

…being reminded that it was all my fault that we were standing in the rain…I just HAD to use that coupon…which I never got to use because we ditched our plans to go to the “real” Tiger Rags…

…watching Rooster sleep as I drove the first half of our journey home…I’m going to miss him so much come August…

A Humbling Hodgepodge

Joyce has got another bunch of questions for us.  Join in!  Make friends!

1.  February 22nd is National Be Humble Day…what makes you proud? What keeps you humble?

Well, this is certainly an interesting fact!  I’ll have to share it with my students!

So, what makes me proud?  Well, that’s an easy one to answer.  My children make me proud.  I love watching as they work toward the goals they have set for themselves.  I am so proud of the choices they are making in their lives.  Most of all, I am proud of them for dedicating their lives to Christ and serving Him.

Now, what makes me humble?  This is another easy question to answer.  Teaching makes me humble.  There are class periods that go well, and those are awesome sessions.  Then, I’ll have class periods that simply fall apart, and I have to go back to square one and do a lot of reflective thinking.  I’ve learned that being a teacher isn’t just about being in charge.  It’s about discovering your students’ needs, respecting them in their individuality, and remembering that you were once in their place and, in fact, still are…ever the life-long learner yourself.  THAT is humbling.

2.  Where is the catch-all (aka dumping ground) in your house?

My dining room table seems to be MY catch-all.  Here’s what it looks like on a typical Friday…my work for the weekend…

By Sunday night, it looks like this again…

3.  Do you make it a point to visit State/National Parks when you travel or even in your own hometown? What’s your favorite?

No, I’m really not a “nature” kind of gal, unless I happen to be driving through it on purpose or going on some sort of trip…say like an Alaskan cruise where you don’t have to visit a state park to be surrounded by nature.  The picture across the top of my blog is a picture I took from the ship we were on last summer…as we entered Juneau.

4.  How would you define honor?

In my opinion, honor is the display of respect, both for oneself, others, country, and God.  It means conducting yourself in such a way that you maintain your integrity.  It means keeping your word, giving your all, and living a life that, at its end, can be viewed as self-giving.

5.  Angel’s food or Devil’s food-which cake do you prefer?

If I were to eat dessert, which I don’t anymore, I’d select angel’s food cake with strawberries covering the top.  Light, fluffy, and delicious!

6.  What’s the most recent road trip you’ve taken? Where did you go and how many hours did you spend in the car? Do you like to zoom to your destination without stopping or leisurely wind your way there with stops along the way? What is your car snack of choice?

Rather than describe the road trip I took over Christmas, I’ll describe the road trip I’m leaving for on Thursday.

Rooster and I are headed to Auburn for “E Day.”  The “E” stands for Engineering.  Auburn will be hosting a half-day of informational seminars for incoming engineering students.  Rooster will be attending Auburn in August, and he’s going to major in software engineering.  The Mr. doesn’t want to lose overtime hours ($$), so I’m going to drive up with Rooster.  I’m psyched!  I love this boy of mine so much.

We’ll leave as soon as I get out of school on Thursday.  It’s a solid four-hour drive, I think…maybe five with me at the helm.

It will be a leisurely drive.  We’ll stop and potty whenever we need to (when I was growing up, road trips meant you had to “hold” it for hours upon hours to minimize the number of stops made).  We’ll eat dinner on the road and, probably, grab snacks somewhere along the line.

Favorite snacks in the car usually consist of Funyons, salted peanuts (for me), and Buffalo flavored Snyders pretzels (the kids and the Mr. love these).  Gatorade is also a must when the kids are in the car.

7.  Recent headlines told how a preschool child in NC had their packed lunch from home taken away and a school lunch substituted by a school inspector who deemed the homemade lunch unhealthy. Reportedly the parent was then billed for the school lunch (chicken nugget meal) although an update to the story says the parent was not billed. The inspector was conducting a routine inspection of the classroom-he/she was not there solely to peek in the lunchboxes. The packed lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, an apple juice box, a bag of chips, and a banana. You can read the story here. Your thoughts?

Oh, my word.  Seriously?  I would be peeved if someone replaced my child’s lunch and then had the nerve to bill me for it.  Honestly, this is almost like an invasion of privacy.  What if that child had dietary restrictions?  What about religious beliefs that might prevent the child from eating certain foods?  I’m a vegan, and I wonder if that had been my child, and my child had only had fruits and vegetables in his/her lunch, would the inspector have “forced” my child to eat meat…all because of the “recommended” food tier?

Yeah.  I think I’ve said how I feel.

8.  My Random Thought

Actually, I have TWO random thoughts.

Random Thought #1

Last night, a guy from a marketing company called.  He was conducting a survey.  I’m one of those strange people who actually likes surveys.  I feel like it’s my chance to have a voice.  So, when I agreed to do the survey, he seemed surprised.  He had actually called earlier, but I was on the phone with Chicky, so I asked him to call back in thirty minutes, which he did.

Anyhow, this survey was LONG…twenty minutes, in fact.  I hung in there, though it did get tedious by the end.  After all was said and done, the gentleman, who sounded like he was in his early 20’s, told me how much he appreciated my participation.  I told him no problem, I had actually learned a few things.  He then told me that in the two hours he’d been working tonight, I was the first person who had completed, in full, the survey.

How often do we hang up on these people, I wonder.  I know that I have not wanted to deal with the calls, so I have hung up in the past.

We have to remember that most of these people are working for minimum wage, and the legitimate surveys are, truly, our opportunity to let the “powers-that-be” hear our opinions.

I challenge you to shock the next person who calls from one of these companies.  Say yes!  Be friendly!  See what happens.  You’ll make that person’s day, I promise!


Random Thought #2

I went home sick from work yesterday.  I woke up feeling poorly, but I had to go in until a sub arrived.  So, I used the time to set up alternative lesson plans and get my first period students working.

After explaining that a sub was coming, one of my students and I had the following conversation:

Him:  “Mrs. AuburnChick, I’ve never had a teacher like you before.”

Me:  “Is that a good or bad thing?”

Him:  “It’s a good thing.  You are the hardest working teacher I’ve ever had.  You come in when you’re sick.  You come in when you have personal problems [I once went in after having a bad start with a certain kiddo in my home, and I was still visibly upset when class started].  You don’t let nothing stop you.”

That student really made my day!  He recognizes the effort I put in.

Teaching intensive reading is…well…intensive, let me tell you.  So many people have written these students off.  These students often have learning disabilities that prevent them from doing well on standardized exams.  As a result, their self confidence is shot all to pieces, so they act out in class, which complicates the teaching process.

I’ve been through a lot with this student’s class, in particular, but I continue to work hard, creating lesson plans that engage them and challenge them to think at levels they don’t think themselves capable of.

I’m praying that I wake up feeling better.  I’m thinking I’ll just suck it up, keep the bathroom key handy, and push on.  I have tons to do…lesson plans to execute…and hearts to touch.

Hope y’all have a wonderful week!

I Brake for DIY Projects

On Sunday, I ran to Walmart.  As I got out of my car, an older gentleman, who I later found out was from New York, told me that one of my brake lights was out.


The Mr. had noticed it flickering the other day when he was driving behind me.

The gentleman and I talked about it a few minutes.  Meanwhile, there was another guy walking by, and he told me that the part would cost a fraction of what someone would charge me to fix it.

Well, I’m all about doing things myself while saving money, so I decided to give it a go.

I ran to a local auto parts store and inquired about the part.

I bought two bulbs for $5.99…

As my order was being rung up, I couldn’t help but notice all of the FEMALES working in the store.  In fact, one of the gals walked outside and took a look at my car, making suggestions on how to get the cover off.

She even asked if I wanted her to do it for me.

Oh no, I assured her.  I’m a blogger, and I was going to take pictures while I worked.

I’m not sure what she thought about that, but we did share a few laughs as we discussed DIY projects we’ve undertaken.

You might remember that I’ve fixed my oven, doorbell, and lawn mower’s carburetor.

Home I went where I eagerly began the process.

Here’s what I started with…

After opening the hatch, I saw two screws holding the light’s casing…

After removing the screws, I began pulling off the cover…

The cover didn’t come right off.  I had to wiggle it a bit to dislodge the cover from the two pins that were connecting it to the car on the left side.

Here’s what I saw when I finally got it off…

There were three bulbs, so I had to decide which was which.  I figured that the middle one was my reverse light, and the bottom one probably was too, so I pulled out the top light.  Actually, I had to twist the cover, and then it came right out…

Next, I pulled out the old bulb and pushed the new one into the slot…

And just like that, the job was finished.  It took a whopping five minutes and cost a total of $6.

In the end, I had a brake light that lit up again, and I prevented myself from possibly getting a ticket…

Classroom Miscellanea

The other day, I posted pictures of the tables I’ve placed in my classroom; however, those pictures don’t really show the changes that have happened in the decor of my room.

First off, here’s my QAR (Question Answer Relationship) bulletin board…

Although the last few letters of the word “Relationship” are uneven, I’m pleased with this, my first BIG bulletin board.

My students created foldables that explained the different types of questions involved in QAR…

I think they did a fabulous job!

The next picture shows you what’s turned into my Anchor Chart Wall…

An anchor chart is a visual that a teacher creates to help students grasp a concept.  It’s best to keep these up even after finishing a unit so that students can be reminded of what they’ve learned.  These charts can also be pointed to when the opportunity to revisit a strategy occurs.  I’m proud of these charts.  I’m not very artistic, and my handwriting isn’t the greatest, but these are visual reminders to me of how far I’ve come this year.


Here’s what my white board typically looks like…

I only have one in my classroom, and I don’t have a SmartBoard.  I have removed some of the posters on my wall to project work from the Elmo my mentor secured for me.

An Elmo is like an overhead projector, only you don’t have to run your copies on clear overheads but can put regular documents beneath the lamp.  It’s pretty handy!


Last week, my students wrote author’s purpose paragraphs, using a package of trail mix that I’d given them.  Here’s a paragraph that one of my students wrote.  Can you guess what the purpose was…persuade, inform, or entertain?

In case you’re wondering, he wrote to entertain.  I’ll bet you laughed, just like I did!


One of my students in first period cannot stop reading a book I took to school…

It’s an excellent book, written by a gal that we knew from our time down in South Florida.

My student told me that her mother is getting mad at her because all she does is talk about what she’s read in the book.

Chalk one up on the side of reading!  Woo Hoo!


Another student, from the same class period, came to class very excited the other day.  He told me that he had watched a movie trailer for The Hunger Games, and the lead girl was h-o-t.

Yes, I chuckled.

I’m just happy that he’s making connections between what I’m reading aloud in class to what’s coming out.


Now that we’re into our sixth month of school, kids are really starting to open up and, if you will, trust.  I love this part of teaching…the relationships you develop with your students.

One of the girls I teach in my third period class was very shy at the beginning of the year.  I don’t know what helped her open up…perhaps it was the day I shared something from my difficult childhood.  I think she connected with me in that moment.

Whatever it was, she’s begun to bloom, and her smile lights up the room.  Just ask my friend Barb, who helps me out in third period.

On Friday, this student came by to see me before school started…simply to say hello.

I smiled.  She really started off my day well.

When she came in for her regular class period, I told her how much her earlier visit had meant to me.  She seemed surprised.  She told me that I was “alright.”

I asked what she meant.

She told me that she liked me because I had not written her up one day when she’d cursed in class.

Oh, it’s the little things that make these kids like you sometimes.

I told her that if I wrote up students every time I heard them curse, that’s all I’d be doing instead of teaching.

I also explained that if she’d cursed directly at me, she would have been in trouble.

We smiled at each other in understanding.


My fourth period class has been my easiest all year.  I think I’ve said as much a time or two.

Well, the other day, my students grew distraught when I told them we wouldn’t be doing independent reading.

I was surprised.

They explained that they had grown to LOVE this part of the class period.

I told them that I thought they’d always enjoyed it.

They reminded me that they had complained at the beginning, but I had assured them that they would grow to love it (I don’t remember saying this, but apparently I did).

At first, I’d started them out with five minutes of quiet reading time.  Then, I had slowly increased the time, and without knowing it, they found themselves reading twenty minutes, the recommendation by the power-that-be.  Most students, struggling readers or not, do not read outside of class.  This silent, sustained reading time ensures that students have time to read (or fake it, which I see every day).


Although I often feel inadequate and way behind where I should be, as I look through the words and pictures I’ve posted above, I am reminded that progress happens in small steps.  This is what keeps me going through the days that seem never ending and the frustrations that sometimes build up.

I love this profession, and it’s in the small things that I find the greatest joy and satisfaction.

Ring Me Up, Why Don’t Ya

I’ve been married twenty-two years.  Over the course of those years, we’ve gone through a number of telephones.

The first one we had was a beer can phone.

Let’s just say that this wasn’t something that was in my hope chest.


I think it’s in the attic.  I’m feeling too lazy to climb those stairs to go hunting for it just so I can take a picture.  I did, however, find a picture through Google Images…

Oh yes, I was quite proud to have people over with that there thing-a-ma-jig sitting on the end table in my den.

Martha Stewart would have had a fit, eh?


This was our only phone until we had Chicky, when talking on the phone while walking around the house with a fidgety baby was a must.  So, we bought our first cordless phone.

This phone lasted, and lasted, and lasted.  In fact, it’s been in one of the bedrooms for the last seventeen years and is a little worse for wear…

You must keep in mind that this phone has been with us through six moves.  It’s no wonder that the antennae got messed up along the way…

As we added children to the family, our little family of phones grew.  When I was about to give birth to Rooster, I decided it was time for an answering machine.  After all, I knew I’d be nursing him, and with Chicky to look after as well, I doubted that I’d be able to get to the phone in time.

Hence, our next purchase (or perhaps it was a gift…maybe for Christmas??)…

One would think that as much as I love technology, I’d be the first one to replace these old gadgets as soon as something newer and better came along; however, I tend to get a lot of mileage out of my electronic tools.  Especially because I prefer to use my $$ to buy bling and shoes.


Well, lately I’ve noticed that the battery on my white cordless phone is just not what it used to be.  Despite replacing the batteries, I still wasn’t getting the talk time that a wordy person like me needs.

I’d spied a set of phones a month ago at Sam’s, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend my money on it.  Instead, I purchased a printer.

Priorities, people.

Well, those phones kept calling my name.

And so today, while at the store buying dog food, I caved…coming home with this…

Oh, be still my beating heart!!  I now have enough phones for every room in the house!  Once the base unit is plugged into the phone outlet, all you have to do is plug the other phones into electric outlets!  Who knew?!  In the old days, every additional phone had to have their own jacks.

You can customize ring tones for each receiver, set alarms, and even intercom each other.

This will cut down seriously on our texting each other across the house.

Yes, we’re too lazy to get up.

Don’t tell me that you don’t do the same thing.  You’d be lying.

So, I’m in techno-happy land.

Now, I’m eagerly awaiting the next telemarketer’s call.  After all, that’s about the only kind of calls I receive on the house phone these days.

I’ll be able to talk their ears off with new-fangled batteries!!

I Should Have Known Better

I should have known better than to write a post about how great my guided reading stations were going.

Oh, how the proud are humbled.  I think that’s in the Bible somewhere…maybe even a few times, eh?

Though I’d worn my sassy, pink-sparkly shoes, I was about to be dethroned as the queen of my big-headed queendom…

It all started with a day symbolized by the following…

Oh, how the kids were C-R-A-Z-Y…all of that sugar, both in the sweets that were being given out and the kisses they were getting from each other in the hallways.

Oh, the joys of teaching high school.

Alas, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were challenging.

Added to the hormonal fluctuations that I daily deal with was my lack of sleep, precipitated by my overachieving self and the desire to talk to Rooster.  We rarely see each other these days because I’m putting in such long hours and he’s doing his 17-year old thing and staying busy.  We spend the latter part of the evenings watching our favorite television shows and just catching up with each other.

I’m going to miss him when he leaves for college in August, so I’ll deprive myself of sleep now while the gettin’s good.

Anyhoo…I’ve digressed.

By Thursday, I was wiped out and could barely stand up straight by fourth period.

Thank goodness for the wonderful girls in that class who arrived eager to reset my room by putting everyone’s folders on their desks.

Still, I was tired.

Fortunately, my conference for that afternoon had gotten rescheduled, and…it…was…PAYDAY!!

I knew what I needed…


I headed over to my new favorite nail salon and selected a bright, fun color.

The gal mentioned that it looked like Mardi Gras.  Hmmm…I had no idea.  I decided to play up the theme and asked her to paint a design for me.  Here’s what it looked like when she was done…

And a closeup…

Cute, eh?

Well, I loved the color of the polish so much, and those pedicure chairs were looking might comfortable, so I indulged a bit more..made a spur-of-the-moment decision…and climbed in…ready to receive the royal treatment…

Oh, how I love this salon.  I got to pick from four or five different treatments.  I was even allowed to select the scrub and mask aromas they used.




As I relaxed, I found myself able to read through an author’s purpose test my friend Barb had put together for my classes.  I needed to make an answer key.

I know, I know…still working, but it was so much easier in my relaxed state of mind.

Before I knew it, I was doing the flip flap waddle out the door…

Here’s a closeup of the pretty art the gal drew on my toes…just because I know how much you must LOVE pictures of my Fred Flintstone toes…

It was a little easier to get out of bed the next day (yesterday, Friday).  I was looking forward to donning a purple sweater to match my pretty nails.  I even wore high heels to show off my fancy feet…

I admired my nails as I arrived at work…

I was feeling sassy…ready to face my students…ready to hear their brains sizzle as they completed the two tests (cause I’m mean like that) that I’d prepared for them.

Ultimately, I’ve learned yet another lesson.

Wait until the school year is over to brag about how well things went.  It’s as if you jinx yourself if you’re not careful about the timing.

Of course, it does make for a good “excuse” to do something nice for yourself.


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