Sunday, May 31, 2009

There's a Battle Going On

I'm loving the spray of water and poof of hair.
Your battle photographer, signing off.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Separated at Birth Hairy Tale

I've been wanting to do a "Separated at Birth?" post for a I have two examples.

We were watching Kurt Russell in "The Thing" last night and I noticed a resemblance... (But at the end, when Kurt's hair is far messier curlier.) And here's Frank's version...

As of this afternoon, he's trimmed up a little more...

And looks more like this...
Frank's a little elusive and hard to photograph, like a deer or some other wildlife. If he was amenable to posing, I could have gotten much better look-alike poses but you get the drift.

Wine Labels

I admit sometimes I buy wine just for the label.

The husband pulled this one out of our wine rack one night:

What was wrong with this one???:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Latest Field Trip

Last Friday I drove a group of 7th grade boys on the last CJSF field trip of the year...

No, it wasn't quite that bad. Although I did have to put the child window locks on because "J" was hanging his head and arms out of the window like a dog. And hooting like an owl.

Yes, they were a little wild when they got out of the car after a 3 hour drive.

We went to the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, CA. If you are a reader, a Steinbeck fan, or interested in California History, I highly recommend this museum. I don't know how many times I've driven through Salinas, but here's a reason to stop.

This is the entry to the museum. That's about 900 paper cranes up there.

I highly agree with this statement:

Only one child on the red pony at a time!

There was also a wing devoted to the agricultural history of the area. Did you know Marilyn Monroe was the Artichoke Queen in 1948?

We also had a walking tour around Old Town Salinas. The kids enjoyed the train area.

Sorry about the bad photo quality here...see that handle on the right? EVERY student got to pull that handle and set off the steam whistle. Can you say "LOUD?"

We visited the first mayor's house, built in 1868. Look how small and narrow the women's shoes were! My foot and 2 13-year-old girl feet are in there for scale.

This is Steinbeck's childhood home. It is open as a restaurant, run by volunteers. I believe the proceeds go to maintenance on the home and to local charities.

Then it was time for TCBY yogurt and the long drive home. On the way home, overloaded with sugar, "L" complained about his crazy little brother, "E" and "J" battled over use of "L"'s Nintendo, and even Ernest was wackier than usual.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunshine Brothers

The concert season has begun for us, starting with a local fundraiser last night.

We enjoyed some sunshine in the cold dark night. And I'm ready for summer, a tropical island, and a little rum....Enjoy!!!!!

Ain't No Sunshine

Sex and Reggae

The Rum Song

Friday, May 22, 2009


Last year Frank was in charge of my birthday cake, and it was delicious. But I made the same cake for Ernest to take to school last month, so I told Frank I wanted something different. "Don't worry, I'll help!" were my famous last words.

This was another PW recipe. What the recipe didn't tell us is that you need a pan with extra high sides. This is what happens if you don't:

Because of the overflow, the cake itself was very thin. And our strawberries would not smash with a fork - we had to chop them in the food processor. And they stuck like crazy to the frosting. I was so disappointed in the whole mess I was ready to put it in the trash...I told Frank, "I'll just get something else tomorrow." So he, my sweet devious boy, pretended he was going out to get gas for his car. And instead, he got a replacement cake.

Frank wrote the messages himself:

They both tasted good.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thank yous!

May was my lucky month! In addition to Mother's Day and my birthday, I won two, yes TWO, giveaways from some wonderful bloggy friends.

From Debbie in Japan....

this arrived a few days before my birthday so I held onto it until the day...

My very own goddess...

A flamingo, of course...

And these fabulous handmade zoris...

And from Mooselet in Australia...

This arrived on my actual birthday!

Coasters with useful Australian, "don't get your knickers in a knot!"

And joy of joys, she also sent a pack of TimTams. I'm going to hide these from Frank. He brought TimTams home from his trip to Australia 3 years ago and hardly shared them at all!

So thank you, Debbie and Mooselet! Not only did you make my day, you made my month. Here's Aussie saying No. 2, "Get a mullet up ya!"*
*"Life is good, let us drink to that!"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Truth in Advertising

I bought some stonewashed jeans from Coldwater Creek....and they really were stonewashed because I found these two stones in the pocket! (The penny is in there for scale.)

What's the oddest thing you've ever found in a pocket?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Hot Lunch Issue

This was in the news a few weeks ago: schools giving children a "reduced" lunch if they haven't paid for the hot lunch. What's wrong with that? Why should the students be given anything if they haven't paid for it or been approved for a free lunch? That girl was lucky to get a cheese sandwich.

Our school doesn't have a cafeteria. The hot lunches are made by the high school ROP class. Every day we get the exact number of lunches that are paid for or on the program, no extras. Which can be a problem if the child drops it on the ground. Then we go to the lunch lady and hope that someone else is absent.

And they don't eat the darn food anyway. I do lunch duty every day at our school, and it is appalling how much food the kids throw away. And it's decent food, it's not disgusting. One of the administrators ate the hot lunches for 6 weeks to be sure that it was tolerable food.

The other week, there were 6 vegetables into the chicken chow mein lunch: green beans, peas, carrots, red bell pepper, celery, bean sprouts. It looked good to me, but most of the kids were challenged.

Today they wouldn't eat the yummy dried cranberries.

Here's another food related pet peeve -- parents, please just cut the crusts off the sandwiches and your kids will be willing to eat a lot more. When they tear the crusts off themselves (and they will!) they waste so much.

Oh, oh and another peeve. When they don't have enough food in their lunchbox, they complain to ME! What am I, a vending machine? I say, "tell your Mom or Dad you'd like extra food tomorrow."

Thanks for letting me rant. Anything you'd like to rant about today?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Signs you have a teenager

Sunday afternoon...

Me, to Frank: It's 2:00. You've been up for 2 hours. You need to eat something.

(Meaning he slept till noon.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Love/Hate Relationships

I hate...
  • when the brown truck of happiness idles near your house but doesn't leave you anything
  • when people in cars stop to have a conversation while you are waiting behind them
  • when the flooring person who was supposed to be here yesterday but cancelled and rescheduled for today is now late today

  • I love...
  • when the BToH rings your doorbell unexpectedly. BFF, your package is here!!!
  • when your roses are blooming
  • when you get an appreciative e-mail from the teacher you aid
  • when you ask co-workers to your birthday lunch and their faces light up at the invitation
  • when children recognize you in the grocery store and happily call, "Hi Mrs. Smalltown Mom!"
  • when the HH seems to have solved the problem with Frank's computer
  • when Ernest is asked to wear the frog costume at Princess Day at the zoo. Frog? Princess? I think he's going to be kissed by lots of tiny princesses!
  • when my great-nephew is excited that we are going to his pre-school's spaghetti dinner
  • when there are only 18 working days left until summer vacation
  • when the love list is so much longer than the hate list
  • <

    Thursday, May 14, 2009

    School Stories

    Second Grade Stories for the week the last two days:
    • One Drama King can't get through more than 15 minutes without calling attention to himself. (He's either interrupting, tattling, or having a personal problem. Yesterday I found him face down on the blacktop, moaning sadly to prolong the drama. No injuries. I offered him a placebo an ice pack.)
    • Two hats were tossed up on the roof.
    • Three students did not know how many minutes are in an hour.
    • Four swings were wrapped around the bar.
    • Five students caught ladybugs.
    • Six girls protected a grasshopper from the boys who wanted to squash it.
    I would say the ladybugs and grasshopper were the highlight of the week.

    Monday, May 11, 2009

    A Case of the Mondays

    funny pictures of cats with captions
    see more Lolcats and funny pictures

    I'm like this on Mondays. Only 4 more "work" Mondays to go! (Not counting Memorial Day.)

    I had a good weekend, though. I did no laundry and very little cooking. That's my idea of Mother's day!

    The Handy Husband is working hard on the bathroom update. We had a fruitless search for floor store only had fancy flooring -- that looked like fake wood, fake stone, etc. I just want something cheap and bathroomy. The next floor store was closed, with no hours posted. Don't they want our business? The HH will look around in the big town this week.

    We enjoyed Star Trek.

    As far as the no cooking, we had Chinese food on Saturday and the HH barbecued last night.

    And how was your weekend?

    Friday, May 08, 2009

    Waiting, wondering, worrying

    Waiting...for the handy husband to get see Star Trek on Sunday!...for school to be over!...

    Wondering...what to cook for dinner...what we're going to do tomorrow besides pick out flooring for the bathroom...why my freezer is full of ice packs that fall out on my foot (actually I have an answer but I can't upload the photos right now)...

    Worrying...about friends that have had to evacuate from the fire south of us...about how far it's going to spread...and how long it's going to last.

    What are your 3 W's for the weekend? What are you waiting, wondering, or worrying about?

    Thursday, May 07, 2009

    Smalltown Changes

    When I went to the bank to convert my change the other day, I was shocked when I walked up to the entrance. They had new doors. Airlock doors, with a metal detector. What's my small town coming too?

    And there's a new stoplight in the small town to the West.

    What has changed in your town lately? Good or bad, please tell me!

    Tuesday, May 05, 2009


    I've been celebrating a lot today!

    1) All my dental work is done. Done, done, done. Instead of a mouthful of silver, I now have a nice mouthful of tooth-colored teeth. Whoo-hoo.

    2) I broke out my Mother's Day present to myself a little early. Wow, did I receive a lot of compliments on my beautiful Lori Anderson cameo. Thank you, Lori! I can't wait to get the bracelet I bought for my birthday!

    Photos from

    3) I asked for a new toilet and bathroom floor (for the upstairs bath) and the Handy Husband is in the process of making that come true. What is it with me and toilets? I got one for my birthday last year. Maybe it's like the dental work, getting rid of the old and ucky before it breaks down.

    4) Cinco de Mayo is the perfect excuse to celebrate with a margarita and a batch of guacamole. Never mind that the rest of the dinner isn't Mexican-themed.

    Scarborough Fair Lamb

    It's what I made for dinner last week, with baked potatoes and homemade (totally from scratch) gravy. And last night all those leftovers turned into Shepherd's Pie. And I've STILL got leftovers. Do they ever end? I could throw some barley into the mix, mush it up, and call it Irish Stew.

    I called it Scarborough Fair Lamb because I seasoned it with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. This song was my inspiration for dinner. I even started to sing it as I seasoned, while Ernest looked askance* at me.

    I couldn't find a solo S&G clip of this song on YouTube. This version has Andy Williams and it's lovely.

    *Oh, I've been waiting to use that word.

    So besides Cheeseburger in Paradise, is there any other music that inspires you to cook? Because I need some inspiration.

    Monday, May 04, 2009

    Me No Wants to Dreamz about STARz

    I had my usual strange dreams this weekend. The worst one was about the state-mandated testing (Standardized Testing and Reporting) which start this morning.

    Saturday night I was troubled by dreams of one of our most challenging second graders: He is smart and articulate, but he is also the most argumentative, interruptive, get my drift? He'll probably grow up to be a lawyer? Politician? CEO? But right now? He's my nightmare.

    In my dream, he had scribbled over the entire test packet, both in a black marker and a pink highligher. And he had gone ahead, far far ahead of the stop signs. Is this a premonition of the week to come? Save me...

    (Update: I'm assigned to the other classroom for the testing so I don't even have to worry about this little dude!)

    Friday, May 01, 2009

    Reasonable Precautions

    I'm not wearing a mask or anything, but I do work in a school full of little Petri dishes children.

    I take reasonable handwashing whenever I can.

    Today I saw young Master C stick his right index finger up his nose, probe around, and then put the finger in his mouth. And presumably whatever came out of his nose went into his mouth, too. Eeew, a bugger eater! And he was just about to be called to use the classroom computer.! "C!" I cried, interrupting the teacher's conversation with the ELD teacher. "Go wash your hands." She gave me a mental high five. And less than 5 minutes later, there was young Master P with his fingers in his mouth...both hands. And he was about to hand a paper to the teacher. "P! Go wash your hands." And the teacher said "I don't even want to touch that paper." And I agreed.

    And this is not some knee-jerk reaction to the H1N1 (Hiney is my word) flu virus....we've been dealing with this for the whole school year.

    And I'm guilty of the fingers in my mouth thing...I bite my nails. But I try not to do it in public, and I wash my hands. Again and again and again.... And again and again and again. I think they are getting chapped.

    But Holy Moly, today I saw a child eat his bugger. I am SO glad it is the weekend.