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Archive for March, 2006

It’s time to revisit the New Year’s Resolutions, and see how I am doing so far!

1. When someone cuts me off in traffic, I’ll say something rude.

Check. Although my rude comments are far less profane than they used to be.

2. I’m going to read at least one book per day.

Check. And some days I read three books!

3. I’m going to read Chicory’s and Krista’s blogs every day.

Check. I also WOULD read Wendy’s blog every day, but she doesn’t update very often. And please keep her in your thoughts & prayers, as she’s having some concerns with her pregnancy.

4. I’m going to go to the movies once or twice a month.

I haven’t done this, but mainly because there has been a dearth of movies that I’ve been interested enough in to go watch.

5. I won’t eat oatmeal for breakfast any more!!

Check! No more oatmeal!

6. I’ll watch Rugrats whenever I can.

Check, and add Jimmy Neutron.

7. When it gets warm enough to wear sandals, I’ll go get a pedicure every payday.

I’ve only gotten to wear sandals twice, and then we got a nasty cold snap. But I’m still hopeful this will happen.

8. I’ll write for at least half an hour every day.

If you count the translation work I’ve been doing, check. Otherwise, no.

9. I’ll take a 3-day trip to Galveston this summer with my sister.

I won’t know about this one until this summer.

10. I’ll kiss my husband and my dog every chance I get.

Check.

11. I’ll go to the fantasy writers convention in Austin in November with Clover, Liz, and Mom.

I can’t report on this one until November.

12. I’ll dance when I’m at the grocery store and they’re playing good music (or dorky music that I like anyway).

Oh, gosh, yes. I get the strangest looks in the grocery store, and I can’t figure out why until Joe or Liz points out that I’m dancing.

13. I’ll tap dance in the copy room when I’m making photocopies at work.

Check.

14. When there’s good cake around, I’ll eat a piece.

Check, and may I say that there have been far too few pieces of good cake around!

15. I’ll buy the DVD of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” the day it comes out, and watch it two or three times in a row, and watch all the extras.

Check!

See how much easier it is to keep your resolutions when you make them realistic? And can I also tell you how good it is that I didn’t make a resolution to lose weight?

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I had 3 library books due today. I’m not through with them and didn’t really feel like going to the library today anyway. So guess what: I renewed them!

Okay, for most people it’s probably not a big deal. For me, it is.

A. I knew they were due today.
B. I knew where they were!
C. I knew that I wasn’t ready to turn them back in, as I still need them for reference material.
D. I knew where my library card was.
E. I knew that I could go online to renew them.
F. And I went online and renewed them.

No fines, no hassle, and a feeling of satisfaction.

Isn’t it disgusting when you realize how easy some things are to accomplish, and you wonder why you never bothered to take care of them before?

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Well, there’s not an actual photograph for you to look at or anything. Here’s the deal.

I love to cook. I truly enjoy it. And I love to buy kitchenware.

Back when I first got married, I planned on having gobs of kids. Even though the kids never seemed to materialize, I kept on buying enough kitchenware to cook for a family of 12.

Joe and I have lately been focusing serious attention on decluttering as we’re working to remodel and redecorate our house. Several months ago I threw away all of our dishes (only because they hadn’t been washed in at least 2-3 months, while I was temporarily living elsewhere). And instead of buying service for 12, we bought dishes and flatware for 4. It’s been nice. During those times that we’re too lazy to wash dishes and let them stack up, it doesn’t take too long to clean things back up.

But somehow I never got around to the dreaded lower cupboards. Oh, yeah, sure, my top cupboards were pretty organized (although I did put another 8 mugs into bags to take to Goodwill this morning). But the bottom cupboards, well, the only time I ever saw the inside of one of them was when I hastily opened the door and shoved a dish inside, closing the door as quickly as possible hoping that nothing would come tumbling out onto my feet.

Today I did two of the three cupboards. In the process, I filled three brown paper grocery sacks and one white garbage bag with things that I am taking to Goodwill. I still have a stand mixer, a quesadilla maker (I’m still not sure why I felt compelled to purchase that), a hand mixer, a hand blender, a blender, a juicer, a waffle maker, a bread machine (but I’m probably going to get rid of it soon–bread tastes better when I make it the fun way), 2 food processors (yes, one is going as soon as I find all the parts for it), a cookie press, a deep fryer—-WHAT THE HECK IS THIS ALL ABOUT??? I also still have plenty of mixing bowls and serving bowls. I got rid of all the plastic junk that we never use anyway. I got rid of the extra 7 serving bowls. I got rid of the cookie cutters that I never use because I find making rolled cookies incredibly tedious.

Where does this desire to amass as many things as possible come from? Why? It’s not like I was using any of them, because they were all crammed into spaces and hidden behind other piles of things I didn’t use so that I couldn’t get to them easily.

I’ve been working on learning to appreciate things without feeling that I need to possess them. I’ve also been getting much better at not buying something “that will work in the interim.” I’ve done that for years, too. I can’t find just the right bedspread, but we’ve got to have one, so I’ll just get any old thing until I find the right one. That has resulted in a house that’s so badly cluttered that if someone unexpectedly knocks on the door, I hide in the bedroom and pretend I’m not home.

As I said, I’m improving here. Joe and I saw a comforter set the other night that was almost–but not quite–just the right thing. We agreed to wait until we find just the right thing.

Well, I’m off to take 4 bags of junk to Goodwill. May they bless someone else as much as they’re blessing me by being removed from my home!

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Molly the Wonder Dog


If people think that dogs can’t talk just because they don’t have the right mechanics, they just don’t know anything! When I went home at lunch, Molly met me at the door, gave me a million kisses, and asked me to stay home with her the rest of the afternoon so that we could nap together and I could let her out in the back yard whenever she wanted to. I apologized and said that I had to go back to work, but would be home by 4:20. When I showed up a whole 8 minutes early, she was elated. I got another million kisses, and then she asked me to leave the back door open so that she could go in and out of the backyard as she wished. Since I had to fill out a job application for another school district, I obediently left the door open so I wouldn’t have to get up and down 20 times.

And on Sunday evening, after Molly had spent the vast majority of 3 days under my bed (she’s very afraid of rain), Joe mentioned to me that he was going to take her for a walk so she could stretch her legs. About an hour later, she scooted out from under the bed and went to find Joe to tell him that she wanted her walk right then, please. He put her off for about an hour, but it’s hard to turn her down when she’s following you around the house with that big happy grin on her face that says, “I can’t wait to take our walk!” I told him he’d better go ahead and give in, so I got out her leash while he put on his shoes and coat. As soon as she saw the leash, she jumped into the air and spun around quickly. That means, “Yay! I’m going for a walk!”

She talks, all right. How about when I sleep in on the weekends? She comes to my bedroom and says, “Momma, you’ve slept enough. I want my song now.” Or when she says, “That sandwich looks really good, and I would be happy to take it off your hands. I’m not saying you’re fat–please don’t misunderstand me–but you don’t need that sandwich nearly as much as I do.”

And speaking of sandwiches, she is truly the most spoiled dog I know. Take tonight, for example. Usually when Joe and I go out to eat, we bring the leftovers home for her. Tonight we went to Souper Salad, and there can be no leftovers, as it’s a buffet. But we had also stopped by the French bakery and bought a napoleon, an eclair, and that wonderful pudding that’s made of all the previous day’s unsold goodies mashed together. As I was explaining to Molly why we didn’t have any leftovers for her, Joe was in the kitchen cutting off a precious portion of the pudding. She inhaled it in about 3 seconds–just long enough for me to get a can of Iams open for her.

And she gets sung to every morning. And night. And, well, okay, pretty much any time I happen to be giving her a booty scratch. Which is pretty much any time she wanders in the room and asks for one. She does so by coming up to me for some kisses. When I start scratching behind her ears, she turns around and walks away just far enough that my hand is on her back just above her tail. So when I start scratching, she twists this way and that with pleasure. And if I stop scatching too soon, she will back up so that her head is by my hand again, and repeat the whole process. Sometimes I get a little irritated that she keeps giving me her butt instead of her face, so I’ll tell her I won’t give her any more booty scratches until I get a few kisses. So she will then dutifully give me a kiss or two on my hand, and then give me her butt again.

Just as I wrote this, Joe wandered into the room with what was left of his precious pudding. Molly joined us with her ball. But when Joe cut off a bit of pudding and fed it to me, Molly dropped her ball onto the floor and opened her mouth so that she could get another bite of pudding.

Yeah, she got it.

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Whew!

Well, I just completed my first application for a teaching job. Wow! They want to know everything, including your opinions on the role of education. What are you supposed to say in answer to that? Well, gee, I think education is important. It is–but that’s not going to make a good impression on anyone. I tried to just answer as matter-of-factly (is that even a word?) as I talk. There is also an online interview that applicants have to go through; however, I already did that interview for the alternative certification program I am attending this summer. I just had to enter some information into that system, and they will forward my results to that school district.

There are 6 school districts within very easy driving distance of my home, and I would enjoy working for any of them. If I don’t get a job with any of them, then I’ll look at the other districts. It’s a little scary when I look at the calendar and realize I have 2 months and 2 weeks in which to find a teaching job.

Okay. I’m going to take a deep breath, play a few games, and then lollygag the rest of the evening. If anyone is reading this, wish me luck and say a prayer! Thank you!

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Since shameless begging worked so well for Chicory, I figured I’d try using this forum for some more shameless begging.

My good friend Krista was recently diagnosed with cancer. She has an extremely severe form of cancer, glioblastoma multiforme. She is managing to keep her spirits up through everything, and I have been so impressed with her. She is one of the most amazing people I have ever met in my entire life. After struggling with infertility and a miscarriage, she selflessly started a very supportive e-mail group for others who were coping with infertility. It is in that context that I met her. When my IVF failed and I was grieving over the loss of Tad and Ellie, I was searching everywhere to find comfort and consolation. I found it in her group, and in my friendship with her and her husband. I also met another best friend through that group, Michele. I’m fortunate enough to live somewhat close to Krista, but I even got to meet Michele one summer when Joe and I headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY.

Anyway, just as she turned her trials of infertility into a way to help others, she is turning her energies to helping others now. She has started a group for the Plano Relay for Life that is taking place on May 5th and 6th. From 7 p.m. until 7 a.m., a member of the team has to be on the track, running or walking–cancer does not take a break, and neither can our team. My husband and I have both signed up to participate, and we will be walking along with her family and other friends that are there to support her.

And here’s where the shameless begging comes in. There is always a great need for money to fund cancer research. If you click on the link of the title to this post, you will be taken to my website for Relay for Life. Click on “make a donation,” and you can support a truly worthy cause.

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I PASSED!

I passed! I passed! whee! Whoohoo! Yay!! Wheeee!

Okay, sorry about that–just had to squee a bit.

I got the unofficial scores for my content area exam, and I PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

–doing the happy dance—

Now I get to start applying for teaching jobs, and as soon as I get my official scores in the mail, I can apply for my temporary teaching certificate.

And Liz passed as well! Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

The Webb sisters rock!

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