Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Since I probably won't be posting until after Feb. 2nd,
I thought I'd wish you a Happy Groundhogs day!

Too much is happening at one time!

Hi all.
What a busy week!!! My head is spinning. It was spinning a little anyway, I've been having a lot of headaches lately... But it's really spinning now with everything going on.

Frankie is working on his Boy Scout Eagle project. The Eagle project is the last big test of skill before you can become an Eagle Scout, which is the top rank in Boy Scouts.

His project is to do a toy drive for Goryeb Children's Hospital, where he stayed for all those months. (For those of you new to my life story, you can read about it on the !Frankie Report blog archives. He has Crohn's disease, and his gut had some serious problems that kept him hospitalized for a long time. The Frankie Report blog was passed over to him, I stopped writing it when I started writing this blog. He NEVER updates it. I guess that's because it was my blog ABOUT him, not his blog.)

So we're knee-deep in toys now, because of the Eagle Project Toy Drive. He's been working hard, and he's getting a lot of stuff. People have been so generous -- thank you all so much!

Meanwhile, Nicky has finally decided to start studying for his final exams, which are tomorrow. In my opinion he left too much to do for the last minute. But we'll find out. I told him if he gets a D on his final exam for history he will be significantly punished. My idea is that from now on, he will be grounded everyday from about 4 to 6, at which time he will be studying -- whether he has homework or not.

Besides that, Frankie is packing to go on a ski trip tomorrow. He doesn't need to take finals. He did, however, need my help on his laundry, and he had me go with him food shopping. Not because he needed my help with the food shopping -- more because he wanted me to pay!

While he is on the ski trip, tomorrow, Nick and I will be packing up for a camping trip. We'll be in cabins so it won't be tough at all. I'm looking forward to it, but there's a lot of work and planning to be done that I haven't put any thought into at all!

That leaves husband Thor home alone all weekend. (Poor thing.) He'll be relaxing on the couch the whole time. Of course, I'll be pretty relaxed once I get camping. I love camping. It's so beautiful!

Anyway, that's what's going on for the next few days. So I'll check back in after the weekend, probably with more pictures than you care to look at. Have a good weekend

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's nice to meet new blogging friends!

I can spend hours on the computer, jumping from one blog to another. It's so interesting how different some of them can be, and also how similar. I like to read them all. Well, maybe not all... there are SO MANY blogs out there, it's impossible to read them all!

Dreamz Forever is Punam's blog. You should stop in and visit her sometime, she has some very nice thoughts!

Did I jinx the snow days?
Now that I have a job in the school system, it seems like there will be no more snow days. Forget global warming, it's all my fault. I can't WAIT for a day off school because of snow.

I'm not really all that interested in snow on the weekend, on the other hand, because that would be a waste of a day. It's the whole holiday feel you get from the first snow day out of school! It's OK to have a little snow on the weekend, but it's not a HOLIDAY...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

February is coming!!!

January is the calm before the storm. You would not BELIEVE everything that will be going on in February!!!

Every weekend is booked solid, starting with a camping trip and the Superbowl (has that been declared a national holiday yet?) on the first weekend, my 20th anniversary and a ski trip on the long weekend (Valentines Day), then ANOTHER camping trip, and then another ski trip!!! (No, I don't even ski...)

I guess what that really means is that I'll be spending all of March doing laundry.

Ok, back to the mac and cheese...

... and assorted other high fat carbs.

What should I make for dinner tonight?

Actually, Mac and cheese might be the answer. Although the kids really don't like it as much as I do for some reason. What are they, CRAZY? That Kraft stuff can really ruin you for a good real mac and cheese.

I hate trying to figure out what to make for dinner when it's only 6 AM. I can't even figure out what's for breakfast this early.

Although, actually, the answer to what's for breakfast is animal crackers. I have a huge bag of animal crackers in work. EVERYONE in work has a huge bag of animal crackers. They are quite a simple breakfast, but they are getting a little boring.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love is the title of a book I just read. I enjoyed it more than I expected I would.

I was actually resistant to reading it at first, but the book kept popping up, so I finally gave in. It's the memoir of a girl in her thirties who went through a nasty divorce and then decided to travel to Italy, India, and Indonesia in order to heal from her problems.

Italy was the "Eat" section, India was the "Pray" section, and Indonesia (actually, it was Bali,) was the "Love" section.

The book had a lot about meditation and connecting with God, which was interesting. It was all about her experience, and that was less helpful because she is a much different person than I am in many ways.

Anyway, I liked it well enough. I know, I'm damning it with faint praise...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sin and Forgiveness

No, this isn't the topic of the day because I've done anything PARTICULARLY evil lately.

I've been having many very philosophical conversations with myself. Don't bother reading any further if you're looking for some light entertainment. This may just bore you to tears.

For some reason -- possibly because of the beginning of the new year, maybe because of some negative emotions on my part -- I've been thinking about sin and forgiveness and evil and atonement lately.

I haven't made any New Years resolutions. Just the usual -- try to be a better person this year, try to enjoy life more, etc.,etc.

I turned 44, and for some reason, in many ways, I feel that I am not as nice as I should be. That as time goes by, I get farther away from the purity of a childlike spirit. I would really like to go back to having nothing on my mind more than a child has. Instead, for some reason, the slights and wrongs I have done to people over the course of my life have been lingering in my mind a lot lately. I should have done this, I shouldn't have done that. I have so many regrets, and they stack up as the years go on.

I was thinking about the Christian religion and belief that Jesus has died to forgive my sins. I don't find that particularly comforting. I must not really accept it at face value. Also -- the Catholic idea that you can find forgiveness of your sins by going to confession, confessing your sins to a priest, who will be able to somehow provide God's forgiveness. I know it's a complicated theological doctrine and I don't understand it accurately. I also know people of the Catholic and Christian faiths who believe in this, and feel so much better after confession. I don't have faith in confession, either.

Thinking about it from my own point of view, possibly a practical approach, I was thinking about the fact that you can't change the past. All you can do is try to do better in the future. Maybe the ancient people in these religions figured that the only way for some people to get past the mistakes of their past was to promise them that they were magically forgiven. Then, they could magically get over whatever they had already done that was wrong, as long as they promised to do better going forward.

So I'm looking for something for myself, along the lines of confession, that I can believe in to help me stop looking back with so much regret and instead move forward and hopefully do better in the future.

You could suggest making restitution for the wrongs I have done people. But for the most part, I'm talking about the small stuff. I haven't been guilty of stealing from my neighbor, I'm more guilty of just coveting my neighbor's stuff, that kind of thing.

Any ideas? I'm especially interested in ideas different from the Christian/Catholic ideas that I already understand... Feel free to comment!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Civilization and Manners

I've been reading the online forum for my town lately. I think I've mentioned it before. It's a lot like watching a car wreck. You can't look away, but it's gruesome and horrible.

I've been reading it with some frequency since sometime in December. At that time, there was a topic being posted on that was related to my boys, and it was infuriating to read it. I was TEMPTED to post on it, but I refrained. Other people posted with opinions similar to mine, and they were bashed by other people on the forum. Outright lies were being posted as gospel truth -- and I knew enough of the situation to know which were lies. However, I decided it was a waste of time to argue, and I didn't get involved in the fray. Eventually, the furor died down, when the bulletin board string was archived. No one posted on that topic after that.

I keep reading the forum anyway, and I've found that there is a LOT of mudslinging and name calling and nastiness on the board. And I've gotta wonder -- why can't we all just get along?

My momma (and probably your momma) always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Doesn't anyone teach that anymore? And I get the feeling that the people on this board are adults, not children. Shouldn't they know better?

And it doesn't seem like that board is the only place where manners are completely lacking. It seems like people don't want to be nice to each other anymore, and they don't seem to think there is any REASON to be nice to each other. Especially if -- for any reason -- they believe that the other person is DIFFERENT from them, has a different point of view, or a different way of life.

I'm going to try to be nicer to people this year. I don't want our civilization to crumble. I'm afraid that without good manners, (and I'm not talking about forks, obviously,) our lives would be way worse. Civilization is good for us. I like it.

I didn't post on that forum before, because I was too close to the topic, I felt that it could hurt my feelings too easily. But I might start posting now, just to be the person who says, "Be nice, now, children! If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all!"

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Migraines for many reasons

Good afternoon, all. How are you today?

It's almost 2 in the afternoon, and I'm much better now, thank you. I went to work this morning (I go to work much too early) but really couldn't make it. I had woken up this morning feeling dizzy and queasy and I really didn't want to wake up, but I figured I ALWAYS feel miserable when I first wake up. 5 AM is obscene. So I got up and tried (rather unsuccessfully) to get dressed, and I went to work.

But I was still dizzy and bleary and feeling a bit hot and cold, and my co-workers looked at me and said, "Leave. Now. We don't want to catch it." So I did.

When I got home, I fell back asleep and slept until 11 -- and woke up with a headache still in place. So I actually took the durned migraine pills that I should have taken to begin with. The pills have now nicely taken effect (or is that affect?) and I am feeling better.

As I started to feel better, I started to go through my mail, to just throw away the junk mail that has been piling up. I let junk mail pile up because I believe in sifting through it before I throw it away, but it isn't anything that has to be done right NOW. Then, after a while, just looking at the junk mail begins to cause a pain in my head, because sifting through it becomes a major job.

Sifting through the junk mail I found a junk magazine, with information on blogging... and the lady in the magazine recommended a book for bloggers entitled "No one cares what you had for lunch: 100 ideas for your blog."

Wait, no one cares what I had for lunch??? I thought you cared??? (Left over macaroni and cheese from yesterday. Not the Kraft kind, but the velveeta and shells kind, with the squeeze pack of processed cheese rather than the powder of bright orange in the Kraft package. Mind you, I like the Kraft kind as well.)

Sitting here, before the mail sifting started, (and also before I could handle lunch,) I have been experiencing some kind of anxiety for no apparent reason. I feel stressed out and I have no idea why. Maybe because I'm not in work, although I did TRY to go. Maybe it's a side effect (or affect?) of the headache in the first place. Maybe it's hormones.

Maybe this isn't something I'm supposed to be blogging about. If no one cares about what I had for lunch, does anyone care why I'm feeling anxious? On the other hand, my blog has ALWAYS been boring... why should I stop being boring now?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Power Lines

I don't know why I like this photo so much. I took it Saturday on my way home from the mall, as I stopped to get gas. I used my cell phone, which is probably why it isn't very clear.

Something about the trees against the lines reminds me of musical notes. It was more clear to me when I saw the actual scene, less clear in this picture.

That, and I like the colors too...

Friday, January 04, 2008

Back in Aftercare!

Well, I've decided to go back to aftercare for a little while, as a sub. The kids were thrilled to see me, and I must admit, I was really happy to see them too. They are great little people. Although they can really be a drain on my energy, too... some have no control of themselves. Maybe it's because they are tired after a whole day in school. They act up a bit. The hardest part is trying to let them work off a little steam and at the same time keeping them in control enough so that they don't do anything outside the bounds of appropriate behavior.

One good thing about going back to aftercare is that it gives me additional material for my other blog, which I just started during the holidays. It's called Creation Place, and you can find it by looking at my profile -- it's the other blog listed.

Creation Place is about doing fun craft activities. Mostly the little kid kind of crafts that I really like doing. Or sometimes, crafts that you shouldn't do with the kids, but that won't be considered high class "art" projects by any means. Stress relieving art projects!

I'm not an artist per se, but in the eyes of the little kids in after care, I'm quite amazing! And there is so much to be said for doing crafts with your kids. Even though there are a million craft blogs out there, I decided to add my own. Who knows, it might make me a few bucks. You will notice that I have an ad on my new blog. If I get any traffic -- if people click on the ad -- I might make some money. However, don't go over there and start clicking like crazy for no reason. That would be unfair and wrong, and against the rules. (But... if you are INTERESTED in the ad, that's another story!)

But, back to the aftercare. I figure a little extra cash won't hurt after the holidays, and so there you go. I did miss it a bit anyway.