• Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 143 other followers

  • “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers” — Isaac Asimov

  • Recent Posts

  • Pages

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 167,814 hits

Feeling Accomplished With the Hodgepodge

Thank goodness for the Hodgepodge.  It’s pretty much the one consistent thing I seem to be writing about these days on this here blog.  Join up with Joyce to partake of the fun!

1.  What pets did you have while growing up? Tell us a little something about them.

I had two dogs, Salt and Pepper.  They were miniature schnauzers, wickedly smart, and simply adorable.  We had them from the time they were eight weeks old until they were pretty old.  I don’t really remember what happened to Pepper.  I’m not sure if she wandered off, got stolen, or passed away.  Salt turned into a fat old man.  He wandered all over the small town where we lived in Alabama.  I left him behind when I got married and moved away.  I don’t think the last few years of his life were too great.  He’d grown up as an inside dog, but my mom and stepdad got divorced, and things (including pets) went by the wayside.  I heard that he died after getting in a fight with a dog.  He was probably too old to really fight back, bless his heart.  He was such a good dog.

2.  What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today?

Today will be pretty easy at school.  It’s Homecoming week, and Wednesday’s schedule is going to be fluid with two activities centered around fancy senior attendants.

I’ve got physical therapy after school, and I MUST schedule my next three or four appointments.  I’m praying that I don’t have to do battle; the number of visits I have left was up in the air last week, but I let God work that out for me.

I also really, really need to get my lesson plans done for next week.  The Word file is done, but I like to make a Smartboard file to go along with it as a visual aid for my students.

So, I guess I listed out two or three things depending on how you look at it.

3.  Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing there?

I was right here in Podunk, Florida, trying to keep my head afloat while I balanced a full-time college load, part-time job, a middle schooler, and a high schooler . . . both of whom were playing travel soccer (Chicky all over the country; Rooster all over the Southeast).  Life was crazy!

4.  September 26th is National Dumpling Day. Did you celebrate? Apple dumpling, xiao long bao (steamed Chinese dumpling), chicken and dumplings, pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi…which dumpling on this list would be your dumpling of choice? Have you ever made homemade dumplings of any kind?

I did not celebrate.  Back in my meat-eating days, I could throw down a plate of chicken and dumplings.  Living in the South means you grow up eating that at least once a week.  I have made homemade dumplings before.  They were a pain in the rear.  It’s much easier to go to Cracker Barrel!

5.  There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find an adventure and those who go secretly hoping they don’t.’ William Trogdon

So which kind are you?

Tough question.  I’m a pretty cautious person; however, I am kind of brave in some areas of my life (i.e., going back to college, deciding to become a teacher, becoming a vegan, and learning how to cook vegan dishes).  I guess I’m about half and half.

6.  My Random Thought

Since we were talking about fur babies earlier, I thought I’d share the picture I took on Sunday of my boys . . .

I enlisted the Mr.’s help to get them to PetSmart for manis/pedis.

The Mr. was not amused, and although the dogs look happy here, they quickly changed their tune when we left the neighborhood.

Both of them whined the entire way there (less than ten minutes).

Then, we had to wait about fifteen or twenty minutes, and poor Gambit shook most of that time.

Pele was a royal pain when they clipped his back nails, while Gambit gave the girl fits when she messed with his front paws.

Divas, the both of them.

They were thrilled to go home; we didn’t hear a peep from them the entire way back.

I love these turd buckets, whining or not.

Falling for the Hodgepodge

Yay!  It’s time for Joyce’s Hodgepodge!  I love the questions she dreams up each week, and I love reading others’ responses too.  Thank you so much for visiting me and spending a few minutes here.  By the way, I feel the need to apologize.  A few of you left comments last week, and I was completely overwhelmed with work, so I didn’t get a chance to reciprocate.  Please forgive me. ❤

Let’s get to the questions.

1.  What’s something you’d rate a 10/10? Tell us why.

Sleep.

Go ahead and laugh, but it’s something I treasure . . . more so when the school year is going.  It’s something I can’t seem to get enough of, but what little I manage to snag ranks right on up there with the most decadent dessert I’ve ever eaten.

2.  What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?

I’d really suck at at engineering because that requires a lot of math, which I struggle with.  I mean, if I can’t use my fingers, I’m kind of stuck.  The world can thank me now.

3.  When did you last take a fall? What’s something you’re falling for (in a good way) these days?

Really, Joyce?  heeheehee

If you’re new to my blog, you don’t know that I last took a fall on November 13th when I tripped over my dog as I was headed to bed in the dark.  I broke three bones in my ankle in what is known as a trimalleolar fracture.  I had surgery a week later where a plate and twelve pins were used to put my ankle back together, and I have been in physical therapy since the third week of January.  I have a lot of rehab ahead of me and another surgery in November.  I’m trying not to fall any more!!

So, what is something I’m falling for in a good way?  I’d say cooking.  I’ve been a vegan since December 2010, and I’ll admit that at first, I stuck with very simple meals.  I started branching out by learning how to make vegan desserts.  In the last year or so, I’ve found two or three vegan recipe makers who I routinely cook from.  It’s become a lot of fun, and I actually look forward to afternoons in the kitchen, when my ankle cooperates.

Here’s what I made last night – Creamy Vegan Pasta Marinara

I follow A Couple Cooks on Instagram, and they post recipes almost daily (along with pictures of their adorable baby).  This dish is absolutely incredible, and it required very little work.  I cannot believe that I made my own marinara sauce, and that it tastes as good as something I’d get at a restaurant.  My picture does not do it justice (maybe it would have if I’d sprinkled some fresh basil on top).

4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America’s best fall festivals-

National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)

Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?

I have not been to any of the festivals listed above.  I think I’d probably like the Wine and Chile Fiesta the best because who doesn’t like wine along with a bit of spice?  🙂

I guess Podunk, USA has some sort of festival, but I don’t attend.  I’m rather anti-social that way.  Bah humbug and all that.

5.  What is your goodbye message to summer?

Dear Summer,

We had a wonderful time together . . . poolside, nap side, Netflix side.  Alas, I did not win the lottery, so I have to bid you a fond, but temporary, farewell.

I’m already counting down the days until June, when we can be reunited.  I’m planning our activities (same as this year except for the physical therapy, I hope).

See you soon!

Love,

Auburnchick

6.  My Random Thought

On Thursday, my classes and I will begin reviewing the answers to the FSA packet the kids completed on Monday and Tuesday.  It was wickedly difficult, but with retakes coming up and increased pressure to pass for my juniors and seniors, this teacher isn’t playing around.

To prepare, I did my own “homework” and marked up the text and the answers . . .

Which of the following characters do you think I’ll resemble while trying to help my precious kiddos?

When Mischief is Afoot

My Pele . . . such a chill dog . . .

Yeah, rightttttt.

I think I’ve finally figured him out.

You see, he spends an awful lot of time sleeping.  I mean, it is a dog’s life, right?

But see, here’s what’s actually happening.

He’s plotting.

All kinds of evil.

Well, doggy evil, that is.

Take, for instance, Thursday afternoon.

Mondays and Thursdays are my long days because I go straight from school to physical therapy.  I usually don’t get home until 5:45 or so.

The Mr.’s schedule is usually flexible enough that he can come home during lunch to let the dogs out.

Pele has been staying in his crate during the day because he’s regressed to his puppy chewing days; however, we’d recently begun to leave him out because he had not been chewing things the times we’d accidentally left him out.

Now I can see that this was part of Pele’s grand plan.

We always said that he wasn’t the smartest cookie of the batch.

Boy has he had us fooled.

So, back to Thursday.

I got home around 6 and was greeted by a happy dog.

And this . . .

The Mr. had beat me home but had left this for me to find because, as you can see, it was quite unbelievable.

My 80-pound dog had somehow dragged the toilet paper holder across the house to his bed – no easy feat, I’m sure, and one I wish I had a video of.

Not only that, but he’d chewed up some very pretty cruise photos the Mr. and I had taken during our last trip.

Pele had to have climbed on my baker’s rack to get to the pictures.

Sigh.

The Mr. said that if he’d remembered that it was my long day, he would have put Pele in his crate at lunch.  Pele tends to get antsy / lonely in the afternoons.

Or should I say that he gets hungry.

Lesson learned.

Again.

Because we’re getting old, forgetful, or soft.

Fast forward to Sunday.

Rooster Facetimed us in what has become our weekly call.  I had him pulled up on my computer, and we were all about our boy.

That’s when Pele decided to implement Part B of his evil plan.

He knew we were distracted, so he eased into the kitchen.

Then, I heard something.

That something was the sound of his claws . . .

On my counter . . .

Snagging something from the cooling rack . . .

I had made the Mr. ten donuts.

He had eaten two.

That should have left seven.

Go ahead and count the ones you see in the picture.

Yep.  Seven.

Pele had smelled the peanut butter and honey and decided he needed deserved one for being such a good boy.

Ahem.

Meanwhile, we were yelling at Pele, and Rooster was asking, “What’s happening?”

He had a good laugh when we told him.

Do you think Pele felt remorse?

Not exactly.

Now, don’t go passing judgment, and don’t you dare try to tell me that he needs more attention.

This boy gets more than his fair share, that’s for sure.

He’s spoiled rotten.

Just like a toddler, that doesn’t seem to be enough.

While I’d like to think that we’ve managed his mischief, I think the opposite is true.  He’s managing to create mischief when we least expect it.

I highly suspect that he has more plans for us; he seems to be getting more impish with each passing year.

Heaven help us.

Week 44

Week 44 of my trimalleolar fracture recovery started off in an interesting way.

We were bracing for Hurricane Irma.

Oh, we weren’t in its direct path, but we still weren’t sure what it was going to do.  If it went into the Gulf, we knew we’d be in trouble.

Because it was such a large storm, the governor had closed all schools.  My district had mandated that schools be closed Monday and Tuesday as well, so I had the day off.

My physical therapist’s office had called the previous Thursday and left a message saying that it would be closed on Monday as well, so that meant I wouldn’t be going in for my regular appointment.

The day was blustery, and the wind howled until mid-afternoon.  We got a little bit of rain, but that was it.

I got on up and did my physical therapy exercises.  I’ve found that my ankle stays flexible if I keep up with these maneuvers even when I’m not at PT.

My in-laws had come over from Big City, Florida to spend Sunday night with us.  They left around 2pm on Monday once they were sure the wind wasn’t going to be an issue.

Now, I am not going to lie.  Not having to go in to school was SUCH a blessing.  This school year is already kicking my behind.  I made the best of the downtime and used Saturday and Monday to get ahead of lesson planning.

That left me to my own devices on Tuesday.

I worked out and ran errands, overnight oats in tow . . .

I randomly texted my friend, Jane, to see if her school was open.  It was (she’s at the private school where we both spent our first year together), but it just so happened that she was on planning and her lunch followed right after, so I picked her up.  We ran to Panera for a wonderful 90-minute visit.

When I got home, I tried to fix a broken sprinkler head . . .

I had purchased a new one back in April, but for some reason, it had popped off, and I couldn’t, for the life of me, get it screwed back on.  I figured it was user error.

Funny story:  My neighbors pulled into their driveway while I was working, and they came over to see if I wanted to borrow their edger.  Y’all, they thought I was edging my yard by hand with that shovel.

We had a big laugh over that!

I headed back to school on Wednesday.  The kids and I were exhausted!  It wound up being a strange week with lots of yawns.  I spent my entire planning period in the copy room making hundreds of copies . . .

After school, I stopped by the business where I get my sprinkler heads and was assured that the issue had not been me but the threads.  I bought another one and went home to fix it for good . . .

Thursday morning, I got on up and worked out . . .

Then, as I got ready for work, I realized that I really did not have shoes to match my dress.  I decided to give flat sandals a go . . .

Now, I’m not going to lie.  This was a bit of rebellion on my part.  I’m not supposed to wear shoes that don’t have support, and I haven’t ever since I got out of my boot, but I’m so flipping tired of not matching sometimes.

When I walked into physical therapy that afternoon, the shoes did not go unnoticed.  Therapists are trained to see every single detail.

My trainer commented on them when I walked past her to the changing room.  I told her that I was pretty sure I’d be hurting later.  She was nice and told me that every once in a while wouldn’t hurt but not to make it a habit.

Ahem.

Physical therapy was hard.  Monster walks are still so tough; my legs need more time to regain the strength I’ve lost over the past few months.

I can’t remember if I did anything new.  I don’t think I did.  We did have a discussion about her upping the intensity of some of my exercises next week while she reduces the number of reps.  I’m glad for this.  It signals progress.

Physical therapy days are long ones for me.  I rarely get home before 5:30 or 6.  Pele had been up to no good . . .

We’d been trying to let him roam free more; apparently the afternoons prove to be too tempting for him . . . or else that’s when he starts missing us.

I will say that I was pretty sore the next day (Friday).  I don’t know if it was from the sandals or the extra hard PT session the day before, but my ankle did not feel good all day.

Pele was feeling my pain . . .

When I got home from school, I hunkered down and got all of the stuff you see in my bag graded.  I even uploaded the grades and sent reports to parents . . .

I went to my school’s football game that evening, and if I could have put my hands on a pair of crutches or a scooter, I would have.

The evening was gorgeous; my ankle was not.

I was limping so bad by the end of the game that I could hardly stand it.  In fact, I could barely put weight on it period.

Ugh.

I’d spent sixteen hours on my feet – way too long.

When I got home that night, I collapsed in my recliner, watched Big Brother, and then dragged myself to bed where I slept until nearly noon.

Sleep did the trick, though, and I was able to work out before I settled in for a day of college football.

Pele didn’t stray far from my recliner on Saturday . . .

Honestly, I don’t think I even walked a mile around the house on Saturday.  That’s how exhausted I was.  I was so glad that I’d done all of my planning and grading beforehand; my brain could not have focused on anything school-related.

On Sunday, I’d intended to get up and walk three miles, but when the alarm went off, I went back to sleep until 8, when it was time to get ready for church.

I did manage to do my PT exercises after church.  I’m so glad too, because when I was doing one of my stretching moves, my ankle – where pressure had been building – popped.  This popping always relieves the pain.

I did some baking . . .

Almond Meal Donuts for the Mr.

Apple Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel for me . . .

Pele stole one of the Mr.’s donuts when we were Facetiming with Rooster . . .

We caught the pup red-pawed.  Turd.

So, the week was a good one.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I was able to schedule an eval appointment with my ankle surgeon.  I go in next week.  I am tentatively scheduled for another surgery December 21st.  I want two or three pins removed from my ankle.  These are the pins that are giving me fits when I wear my sneakers and when anything rubs against them.  They are on the boniest parts of my inner and outer ankle.  I am praying that the doctor gives me the green light to proceed.  By the time he does the surgery, I’ll be thirteen months out of my injury, which from all that I’ve read is ample time for healing to have occurred.  By having the surgery during Christmas vacation, I’ll have a good head start on recovering before school resumes in January.  I’ll also have a chance to return to physical therapy to start regaining flexibility in my ankle again.  I have a feeling I’ll be in PT forever!  Ha!

As always, I’m #findingjoyinthejourney and thanking my heavenly Father for the healing He’s graciously allowed thus far.

Thankful Thursday

I’m taking a page out of Rebecca’s book, or rather blog, and doing a Thankful Thursday blog post – because I’m trying my best to get a bit more consistent in my writing because I really do love it so.

Here are some of the most recent things I’m thankful for:

1. My fur babies

I had last Friday (and Monday and Tuesday) off because of the hurricane.  The weather on Friday was divine, as was Tuesday’s weather.  While I scooped poop from the back yard, the dogs enjoyed the cooler temperature and the wind.

This was the perfect opportunity for a little photo session.

Pele’s smile, y’all, was contagious . . .

I might have been smiling a little extra because of the day off, which was desperately needed after a hectic first two weeks of school.

Gambit enjoyed some extra snuggles as well.

2.  Snapchat Filters

This may seem lame, but we all need some fun in our lives, and the daily filters on Snapchat are a hoot!  Some of my favorites have been . . .

Isn’t it great when the filter matches your outfit? Thanks, Snapchat!

 

Doesn’t everyone wear bunny ears when they shop at Kohls?

 

I need these ears in my life . . . on a daily basis

 

Peacing out at physical therapy

 

Ever since the start of school, my brain has felt like a bowl of Fruit Loops

3. Doughnut pans

I’ve been on a doughnut kick of late.  I saw a recipe for Healthy Pumpkin Doughnuts and had to try them.

 

That Maple Pecan Glaze on top . . . to die for.

 

I even figured out how to make a batch that catered to the Mr.’s special diet.

The second time I made these, I added extra honey and peanut butter.  He’s in love with them.

4. Talented Students

Take a look at these drawing I found on a couple of my students’ assignments . . .

My kids never fail to amaze me.  The quietest students showcase themselves in the most unexpected ways.  I am constantly in awe of their under-spoken gifts.

5. New Books

Y’all, I have been reading my way through the Throne of Glass series, thanks to the recommendation from my friend, Megan.  The newest book arrived in my mail a few days ago.  Now, if only I could finish book 4 . . .

6. Chick fil A Sweet Tea and Fries

I’m usually really good with my diet, but some days just call for sweet tea and waffle fries . . .

So, what are you thankful for today?

Falling into the Hodgepodge

Technically, fall doesn’t begin until September 22, but I’m an overachiever, and one of Joyce’s questions addresses seasonal changes so yeah – the title of my post today.  It’s scary how my brain works, isn’t it?  Maybe we should just jump into the questions.

1.  Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

I believe that a picture can be worth a thousand words depending on the photo.  Sometimes, you just can’t put words to an experience; feelings just cannot be captured in the turn of a phrase.  We were created to absorb information through all of our senses, and sight is certainly one of them.

Here’s a photo for you . . .

I snapped that after Christmas, before we had gotten our dining area back in order.  Molly loved to look out that front window.  With the table out of the way, she had easier access.

Every time I see this picture, which stays on my phone, I can’t help but wonder what she was thinking as she looked outside.  Little did I know at the time I snapped it that she would be gone a mere seven months later.

Now, when I look at that window, I see her there and remember this moment.  I miss her terribly.

So yes, a picture can be worth a thousand words – a thousand feelings, really.

2.  Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?

I don’t believe that I’ve traveled down this highway; that part of the country is a long way from Florida.  I can’t say that it’s on my bucket list.  Maybe I will if I am retired and have plenty of time on my hands.  I’m sure the views must be incredible.

3.  How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is? 

I can’t say that the changing seasons affect me too much.  I pretty much take them in stride.  Going from summer to fall is a little sad because that signals the end to my summer vacation, but it’s also fun because I know that college football is close at hand.  Fall to winter is a non-event.  Winter to spring is fun because I know that Spring Break is about to happen, and spring to summer is whatever because in Florida both seasons are pretty much the same.

Perhaps the seasonal changes affect people because they signal the passage of time.  I’m so grateful for each day that I try really hard not to look backwards.  I’m pretty focused on each moment.

4.  It’s your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

I’d love a plate of Tofu Massaman Curry from my favorite local restaurant please.  The peanut sauce is to die for!  As far as lying about my age, it’s not something I do.  I’m proud of it and am actually kind of shocked that I’m 47.  My brain doesn’t believe it sometimes.

5.  What’s a life lesson you’ve learned recently?

Since last November, I’ve learned that God truly is in control.  Yes, I’d like to think I have things planned out, but then I remember that this is delusional thinking (while I think I hear God chuckling behind me).  Breaking my ankle, dealing with a very ill husband, and losing my dog have reminded me that while I most certainly do not have things under control, God does, and His plans are perfect despite how I feel as they are playing out.

6.  My Random Thought

This was my Snapchat photo last Wednesday . . .

I’d say it’s pretty accurate even today as I head back to school after almost a week of being out due to this . . .

I am so thankful that God spared my part of the state; the Keys and other areas in the state were not so fortunate.  Chicky had to evacuate.  She’ll be returning home soon because, while students in her district are out the rest of the week, teachers have to report on Friday.  I’m sure she must be dreading the drive.  Coming north was a nightmare she doesn’t want to experience again . . . double the driving time . . . no place to potty . . . fatigue.  Hopefully, her drive hope will be quicker and less eventful.

Have a great week, everyone!

Flowers on Friday

My school district cancelled classes on Friday because of Hurricane Irma.

I intended to get up around 7 to walk, but my alarm didn’t go off, and I didn’t wake up until 9.  I had stuff to do – fuel to top off and water to hunt down, so I quickly got dressed.

About that time, my phone rang.  It was my principal’s secretary.  She told me that Fed Ex had delivered a package to the school for me.  I scratched my head in confusion until she told me that the box appeared to be from my husband.

That’s when I pieced things together . . .

Flowers . . .

Then, I panicked.

Was Friday my anniversary, and had I missed saying something to the hubby before he’d left for work?

But no.  It was only the 8th.  My anniversary wasn’t until the next day, so I was good, and the hubby wouldn’t have anything to hold over my head.

Whew!

I ran to the school and picked up my box (along with the salad I’d left in the fridge the day before when I didn’t have time to eat because life, y’all).

When I got home, I opened them up . . .

The anticipation grew as I wondered what kind of flowers I’d find . . .

Roses, y’all!

Aren’t they pretty?  They smell amazing too!

So, Saturday was our 28th anniversary.

That’s a long time.

All the while, Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida.

I found it ironic.  I mean, my guy and I have weathered quite a few storms over the past ten months with my ankle, his Crohn’s, and Molly’s passing.

It’s been tough.

Yet, we’ve grown stronger, with God’s help.

I’m so grateful for this guy.  He puts up with a lot.  Being the spouse of a teacher isn’t easy.

Truth be told, being a spouse to me would challenge even the easiest-going person.

What can I say?  I keep things real around here.

That’s not to say that I don’t put up with a lot as well because, y’all, he’s a guy.  In other words, it’s sometimes like I still have a child at home.

Ha!

All joking (ahem) aside, I do love this man, and I’m thankful that God put him in my life that fateful Friday night at the high school game we were both attending.

I’m happy that the then-not-even-a-boyfriend-but-just-a-cute-guy had a car that broke down and I had to drive him back to his grandparents’ house.

Yeah.  That guy.

He’s the logical to my freakout.

I’m the I’ll-find-a-way to his I’ll-call-a-person.

I pray that this year is easier, and when we celebrate our 29th, we will be able to look back on a year of rest and healing (and no breakage of any kind).

 

%d bloggers like this: