Saturday, December 03, 2011

Oh blog

Quite a bit has happened since my last blog post...

I turned 33. My parents celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary. My lil "nephew" turned 2 (good luck Aya!)

Mom, Dad, Kaylee and I spent Thanksgiving at the alpaca ranch in NM, during which time I learned quite a bit....

1. I learned how to crochet some new things
2. I learned about an awesome root, Osha, not to be confused with OSHA, that has been used forever - dating back to Native American healing. It helps with fighting infection and loosening mucus. It seems to be helping with my allergies and sinus infection (going on week 5).
3. I learned cutting out dairy will also help me out
4. I learned cutting dairy out is even harder than I thought

I'm back at school now, with one week under my belt and just 2 more weeks until winter break.

Mom is getting her other knee replaced on Monday. She was going to wait until April or June, but she is in too much pain. I hope this knee does as well or better than the first.

I'll be in survival mode the next couple of weeks - in anticipation of break time, Christmas and family.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I have a hard time watching baseball on TV... but since the Rangers are in for a second year I felt the need to watch them this go-round.

And you know what I've realized? Baseball players are as fidgety as Middle Schoolers.

Seriously. It could drive a person crazy.

Crazy week. This one ranks up there with the top of the crazies....

Bomb threats. Knives (as in plural) brought to school. Red Ribbon Week = costumes every day and kids bouncing off the walls. And a fist fight at the Halloween dance tonight.

I love my job. Right?

On the positive side....

There aren't enough words to describe how excited I am about these upcoming movies:

The Avengers

Much Ado About Nothing

And I did something new.... I supported an upcoming movie through Kickstarter - because I love the cast (also from Whedon projects) - Lust for Love. I pledged to donate a small amount of money - only having to pay it if they make their $70,000 goal - and they did! In return for helping to support the movie I get an autographed DVD. Exciting!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beware the Bowling

Two Fridays ago I tweaked my knee whilst bowling. It has been bugging me since then, especially if I move it the wrong way. Today I went to the doctor to have it checked out and she said I injured my MCL (pulled or strained). That's a proper sports injury! So to all the people that say bowling isn't a real sport - my knee says " Neener - neener - neener! Is so!"

I didn't bowl last week and the doc said to take another week off and rest it up. I also need to wrap it up next week and watch my leg placement.

In other news - big snow storm last night/today. A good foot or so. Enough that the trees were feeling it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Morning Commute

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'm still here

Busy busy busy

School is almost 1/4 of the way done.

Working a second job and have bowling on Fridays.

Inservices. Parent-Teacher conferences. Trainings. Yearbook. School sporting events.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A room with a view

Fall colors from my classroom.
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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

This little girl's hat was madefrom my parent's yarn.
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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Taos 2011

Farewell 2011Taos Wool Festival! You were filled with good friends, new friends and the widest assortment of dogs found outside of a dog show.

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures this year. Too busy manning the booth. I didn't bring any of my own things to sell. It's been a crazy year.

Next year I vow to come with fiber of my own to sell!

Until then, stay inspirational.


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Monday, September 05, 2011

What a start to the year...

Yelled at by parents...

Students who don't listen and have attitude issues...

A mouse nested in my desk over the summer so I had to disinfect it...

And now on my 3-day weekend = Food poisoning...

I hope it's like what Mom said - get all the bad stuff out of the way to begin with and then the rest of the year will be much better.

On the plus side:

The parent issue has been resolved.

The students are remembering how to listen.

My desk is now mouse-free.

I'm starting to feel like myself - and it could have been during the week where I would have had to miss school.

I did a little math - impressive since math isn't my thing - I teach 10 classes and 3 of them are giving me a hard time... that means that only 30% of them are giving me trouble... so 70% are going quite well. Trying to find the positive and focus on that.

And best of all my new principal is EXTREMELY supportive. She consults with me on things to get my feedback (since it directly impacts me) and she's on my side with upset parents and students.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dear current and former teachers:

I've got a question for you... How do you get over/deal with the following situation:

A student makes a bad decision.

You try to correct the student's behavior, implementing an appropriate punishment.

The parent attacks you - "How dare you!?! My child doesn't deserve this treatment!"

I find it extremely difficult to deal with and I wind up taking it very personally. What it says to me is that the parents see me as the bad teacher and/or think I'm out to get their kid...

How could I do my job if I didn't love my students?

How could I possibly do my job if I wasn't absolutely committed to trying to educate my students to be safe and responsible technology users and all-around good people?

I go to a Middle School 200+ days a year. I'm surrounded by almost 300 pre-teens and teens who have raging hormones, varied home lives and backgrounds, and attitudes galore.

I listen to their stories. I cry at the indignities of their lives. I see the adults they will be and I pray for their futures.

I see them in the grocery store. I see them at the post office. I see them two hours away in Denver at a Target.

They shout "Hey Ms. E!" and run up to me wherever I am.

I do a good job and I care about my students.

And then I have parents questioning my commitment to teaching, my decision making, and the way I run my classroom.

Maybe the parents are just being defensive because they know their child made a bad decision and they feel ultimately responsible.

Whatever the reason.... How do I deal with it? How do I keep it from feeling personal?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fun new discovery - a blog that finds links to a variety of free e-books. I've started using the Kindle App on my phone and the Overdrive App through my local library. I love free books!

Books on the Knob

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Relief from the heat

I'm back in Colorado after a month in Texas where they were having record breaking temperatures and it was over a hundred degrees every day.


Today's top temperature was 80 degrees and it felt gooooood.

Now back to the boxes and boxes... have to finish unpacking before I go back to work!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Also... Dad and I saw a bear! My first and his third.

Moved but not settled in

The last couple of months have been crazier than usual.

Then end of the school year - fellow teacher staying with me for a few days while she was in-between homes - Aya and family visiting for a week - packing up to move - Dad here for a week helping me move - the big (pain-in-my-bum) move - and today I finally turned in my key for the old place.

My new place is a MESS. It literally looks like a localized tornado broke out or that the boxes simultaneously puked their contents all over the place.

Yes. It's THAT bad.


This is why I waited 3 years to move - because I realllllly hate it.

I think I'll be much happier here... at least that's the hope. And I'm hoping I'll be healthier here. It's not nearly as dusty as where I lived before. They opened a gravel pit down the road from my old place last summer and it went from being annoyingly dusty to impossibly dusty. I would start at one end and by the time I was done dusting the other end of the place the first half would need dusting again. Disgusting.

I have high hopes for this place. A yard for Kaylee. A big front window for Sheba. A living room 3 times the size of my old one for me.


Here are a few pictures from my last trip through the park:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Aya, D and Baby are here!

They're here for a few days and we spent today walking around one of the local towns and we took a short drive to the park. I'm especially happy with the bull moose pictures! It's only taken me 3 years to get pictures of moose with decent-sized antlers!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Recent Pictures

***You can click on any of the pictures to see a larger version.

This crazy house is located just off I-70, outside Denver. It was featured in the 1973 Woody Allen Film, "Sleeper." I like it because it reminds me of something from the Jetson's.
 Momma and yearling moose.

 Male moose... just starting to get his antlers!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Snip. Snip. Snip.

At School Board meeting and they're making MAJOR cuts.

- one elementary closed
- two high school sports cut
- increased student, activity, and athletic fees
- third year in a row with no pay increases for faculty or staff

I figured it out and after taxes I would be making $200 more per month without three years of frozen pay. That would sure come in handy with cost of living constantly on the rise.

It is in our contract that we get paid for our increased experience until we top the scale.

I'm looking to move to a smaller/cheaper place this summer cuz I can't afford my cost of living.
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Captain Jack Sparrow... You are a complicated man.
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Things you overhear on the playground...

This happened a couple of weeks ago...

"Do you think guys have to shampoo and condition their beards and mustaches?"

I told them I would ask my dad.... So, Dad?
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An evening...

Thursday evening I stayed late at work to finish a project. I then went to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things. As I was leaving I ran into four of my students. They took one look at my bag and one said, "Yum pizza!" And another said, "Oooo toilet paper. Are going to to somebody's house?"

Ah the mind of a middle school boy. And I had been wondering if I should be embarrassed about them seeing me buying tp.... Silly me!

When I got home I let Kaylee outside and I filled her food bowl. When I let her in Sheba was sniffing the filled bowl, as she does. Well Kaylee was whining and running back and forth between the food bowl, trying to chase Sheba off, and her kennel. Very odd behavior, even for her.

I went over to see what was up and discovered she had a bone in her mouth... some sort of rib bone. She was trying to protect her food bowl from the vicious feline AND keep her prize bone hidden and safe.

Now our "back yard" is really a small-ish, paved pattio area with a 4.5 ft wooden fence around it.

So my question was, "Where the heck did that come from?"

I checked and there wasn't a rotting corpse back there... which left two possibilities....

1. One of my neighbors threw the bone over their fence into my yard (we're all connected townhouses).

2. The second option, and I feel the most likely one, is that our little neighborhood fox has a crush on her and was trying to impress her. This explains his frequent visits, attempts at playing with Kaylee, and the bone miraculously appearing in our fortress-like back yard.

Now, unfortunately for Kaylee, I'm one of those insanely protecive moms and since I didn't know for sure where the bone came from, if it had been cooked and might shatter, I waited until she wasn't looking and threw it away. I'm a mean momma.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Received some bummer news today after a long wait.

Very disappointed.

But life goes on.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On the way home yesterday

1 Element... aha ha... 2 Elements aha ha... 3 Elements aha ha.......

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Monday, May 09, 2011

I'm still here....

The school year is winding down, even though we still have four and a half weeks left.

This is the time of the year when we have field trips and assemblies, our last school dance and last band and choir concerts.... there's a lot going on.

In between all of that I've was bit by the "Spring Cleaning Bug." That's keeping me pretty busy on the evenings and weekends.

I donated a full trailer-load worth of old furniture and assorted items to a local church. They have a big fund-raising garage sale every year and they even sent someone to pick it up! I'm happy to be getting rid of stuff and that it's going to a good cause. They're happy because they got a bunch of free stuff to sell at their fundraiser.

I'm participating in another fund raising event this evening. This one is a Brain Bowl Competition amongst community members - we put together a teacher team - in order to raise money for our 8th grade boys to go to the National Brain Bowl Competition in Chicago this summer! Each team chipped in $50 and the money goes towards their trip.

Tomorrow night we have Portfolio night where the parents come in and check out their kids' portfolios.

And well... you get the point!

Busy days.

I'm taking a break this weekend - going back down to the Alpaca Ranch to visit with them and with my parents who will be there for a couple of days.

I like my fortune cookie from last Friday: "Over prepare, then go with the flow."

That's how I live my life.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

That Time of The Year

There are only 6 weeks of school left.


The weather is wonky - rain, snow, rain, snow, rain, sun, wind, snow, rain, snow....

You get the idea...

They're bouncing off the walls... It's the hardest time of the year for the teachers and for the students. I'm always so glad when it's over.

Just 6 more weeks.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

First video from set of The Hobbit!

I REALLLLLLY can't wait!

Spring Break 2011

I spent a week at Victory Ranch visiting friends, spinning, crocheting, watching critters, a trip to the hot springs, and even some yoga.

EXACTLY what I needed.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

*AchEEW!*... *SPLAT*

That's quite the wake up call... especially at 4 in the morning.

Now I realize that when you gotta sneeze - you gotta sneeze... but is it too much to ask for a kitty to turn her head to keep from sneezing all over my face in the middle of the night/morning? I mean really... that was a rude/gross awakening. I think Sheba is extremely lucky that my spidey-like senses kicked in BEFORE I reflexively smacked her in the face... I'm just saying...
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One day of school left until Spring Break and I'm ***almost*** done with the yearbook. I'm looking forward to relaxing with the alpacas.

Also, I found out this morning I still have a job next year - as of right now. I expected to feel relieved by that, but considering:
- they're talking about adding furlough days
- we're still under a pay freeze
- my opportunities to make extra money will most likely disappear
- I'm barely making ends meet as it is and
- it doesn't look like any of this will change for the next 2-3 years...

Yeah. I wonder why I'm not more relieved?

I'm thankful.... really I am. It could be so much worse... So I'm trying to stay positive,  but all the stress and worry is kind of getting in the way.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Finished up two weeks of state testing and the play last week and tonight was the last night of bowling.

I'm feeling slightly more relaxed...

Looking forward to finishing up the yearbook this week and we should be finding out who's cut from work and who's staying on this week...

So.... a couple more big things coming up this week. Just three more days... that's what I keep telling myself. Then I'll be at the alpaca ranch, chilling with friends and critters galore.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I made it through the week, the day and thew play.

Thank goodness!

Time for sleep.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Two more days....

Two more days until the school play....

And as of this afternoon I am extremely nervous.

I'm just hoping they pull through for us in the end - like they did last year.

My co-director and I thought we had a good idea of what we were getting ourselves into this year - since we'd done it last year - but we now see that we were a bit ambitious. We chose an unknown play, not like the familiar Wizard of Oz. We also have a larger cast and a longer play... plus a few other challenges.

I'm just hoping for the best and looking forward to having 2 evenings a week back to myself!

Friday, March 18, 2011


My Friday Night League had their end-of-the-year party tonight. I received a "Triplicate" patch for the night I bowled three games in a row with the same score. That's pretty rare and a total fluke!

I also received a "Doubles Champion" patch for winning the doubles tournament a few weekends ago. That was reallllllly awesome! I bowled with a lady from work and we both bowled over our averages and we won the tournament! We also got our names on the "bowling board" - you know the board all bowling alleys have? It's the one I always look at in awe and think "If only..." and MY name is on a "bowling board." EEEeeeeeee!

I should also have a 2-7 split pin coming my way for my first ever split!

This is added to what I won over three years in MN leagues:
- High Series patch
- 75 pins over average game patch
- 180 game patch
- 140 game patch
- 140 pins over series patch
- 500 series pin

I'm not a very good bowler, but I enjoy it and it's awesome to get prizes for something you enjoy!

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

 hehehe... Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Busy, busy.... that describes the last couple of weeks.

I've been working long hours and weekends for various reasons, including play practices and yearbook creation.

Looking forward to Spring Break!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tuesday night I was in the kitchen making dinner when I heard a loud hack sound in the living room.

I went in there to see what it as and Kaylee was looking at me really strangely. When I spoke to her she just sat there.... no tail wagging or head tilting.... so I knew something was wrong.

I got down on the floor and felt her chest and she wasn't breathing. I had just fed her dinner so I figured she was choking on a piece of food (she tends to inhale her food).

I had a moment of panic and then I did the only thing I knew to try - the heimlich maneuver. It didn't work at first.... it took several tries, but finally she spit out one piece of food. I swept her airway with my finger (eww) and then she was breathing.

The entire event lasted about 2 minutes, but it really did feel like forever. After I just hugged her and she shivered a bit and looked totally pathetic.

Stupid mutt.

She was up and around playing with Sheba half an hour later.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Enough with the flash already!

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kaylee and I spent this past 4-day weekend at the Alpaca Ranch. It was a much needed break after a few rough weeks.

Kaylee wore herself out running around and sniffing the entire time. She actually snored for almost the entire 7 hour trip home and all Monday night.

I helped out a little bit with halter training the "Kindergartners," bottle fed Iggy once, and I even did a bit of mucking. I've been there quite a bit, but that's the first time I scooped the poop. It's not really so bad. Alpacas and Horses are comforting smells to me... as odd as that may sound. Cows, chickens and pigs reek. You wouldn't catch me scooping their poop!

I missed my first day of school yesterday thanks to the migraine that wouldn't end. It started Monday night and didn't go away until around 3pm yesterday. I felt better so I went ahead and worked at the high school basketball games, but had to leave early because I was feeling worse again. And today, during school, I had my ups and downs. I feel better now and I'm just hoping it is gone for GOOD this time. Not fun.

I'm trying so hard not to stress about all of the budget cuts, but our district is already needing to cut another million for next year and the community is all up in arms about the possibility of closing two elementary schools.... Then today the headlines all over Colorado are proclaiming the governor's new proposal to cut $375 million to public schools, $497 less per kid.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Just received allergy shot... first tine they've repeated a dose. I had a good-sized lump on my arm for two days after the last one... and it was quite tender.

Choosing an optimistic outlook - that means it must be working.
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A week later....

A week of grief and stress and more talks of budget cuts and trying to get back to "normal."

Thursday night I went to a budget work session in which the board of education (school board) and administrators discussed all of the possibilities they have to chose from.

I almost don't have a tongue left - I spent half the time biting it so that I wouldn't burst out with what I really thought when the "audience" spoke up.

How about some positives....

I've swapped my 8th graders for 7th graders this week and when I see the 8th graders in the hallway they all tell me they miss me :)

Also, I just saw my first interview with (Sir) Anthony Hopkins and I have to say he seems like a very intelligent man (no surprise), but he also has an excellent sense of humor (a bit of a surprise). Loved it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Every teacher dreads the day when one of their students (current or former) passes away. For me... today was that day.

A student I had last year and the year before committed suicide last night. She was a perfect case of "the last person you'd ever expect."

I was greatly shocked and saddened by this news, but the worst was the student reaction. We are a very small community and something of this magnitude affects everyone. I spent first hour comforting crying/balling kids and at one point I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get the sound of their crying out of my head. My classes were eerily quiet throughout the day, but it did seem to get better as the day wore on. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


In a room somewhere (10 blocks away), a group of important people (the school board) is making some very important decisions that will affect an entire school district of people (and me).

Tonight's the night.... maybe.... The school board may come to a consensus tonight on how to cut $1 million out of next year's budget OR they may drag it out another 2 weeks.

Uncertainty.... gotta love it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Can u guess what I'm doing?

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3rd shot down. Trying to juggle work with the clinic's hours. Don't want them to start docking my pay - in addition to what I'm paying for allergy shots. Think I've figured something out. Let's hope it works.
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Girls

Sheba shows affection by reaching out and touching those she loves... purring loudly... and smacking them with her tail.

Kaylee was getting the paw pat and I was being smacked by the tail.
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

1st and 2nd allergy shot down.... so far so good. I haven't had a reaction yet, though they/doctors/nurses keep telling me I will.... thanks for the encouragement people.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yay! and Yikes!

I had my very first Etsy customer purchase something on January 5th. She was the first Etsy-only customer. My other Etsy customers had all bought something at the Taos Wool Festival last October. ANNNNND she just bought another skein of yarn! Another repeat customer! Thus the "Yay!"

As for the "Yikes!" I found a bump on Kaylee's chest while we were in Texas and I took her to my vet there who said it was probably nothing, but I should keep an eye on it.

So I did.... I kept both eyes on it.... and it started bleeding and then it turned black.... and my eyes didn't like what they were seeing.

I took her to our local vet last Saturday for her vaccinations and to have the bump looked at. He said it *could* be cancerous, but the only way to find out would be to remove it and send it to a lab. After a bit of consideration and a talk with my mom I decided to have it removed and sent to the lab.... that way I'll know one way or the other. The vet removed the lump today and I just picked her up. She's a bit groggy, but doing well. She's actually sleeping with one of her favorite toys right now. I'm trying to think positive thoughts. I'll have the results in 7-10 days.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sunrise in the Rockies

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad! =0)

You would not believe the student reaction to my hair. I didn't think it was that big a deal, just fun, but it was so distracting it almost disrupted class at times. They were full of questions.
Hilarious the things they stick on to.

In other news... we've already had two students drop out of the production. Not a good start : /

And picture time :)

This is Iggy, the lil guy I bottle fed at Thanksgiving:

A couple of pictures from the end of fall/beginning of winter:

And while I was moose watching Kaylee was Aspen watching.... How adorable is she?

Yesterday I learned a couple of new crochet stitches and applied them in a pattern for fingerless mitts. It simulates cable knitting... I'm pretty happy with them :)

Saturday, January 08, 2011