Sunday, May 22, 2011

You'll Enjoy This!

There's some stuff I've been meaning to tell ya'll..... I'm gonna list it all 'lazy' style, but I know you'll enjoy it!

1. My sister finally admitted that I'm the pretty sister. She did it all public like on the famous FB. Now, I can say I have adequately influenced my sister, and she's ready to be wed. My work here is done.

2. I just had the very most exciting shopping experience at our local FOOT LOCKER! People, go drop some money in their store! Sales people found my size, saved me money, and had the merchandise shipped to ME!! Thank you FOOT LOCKER!! For restoring my faith in local merchants.

3. I'm super proud of myself because I was well behaved at a recent school event. This is especially impressive when you know that there was a HUGELY inappropriately dressed employee there. That's right people.... I passed on an opportunity to advise someone on their wardrobe. I think I'm maturing as a person..... Nah.

4. As an award for being born, I recently received a super awesome new camera. I've been having goo-gobs of fun snapping pictures of everything under the sun. I think I'll enjoy the camera more once I know how to appropriately use all its elements. Until then.... enjoy this:

5. Almost finally, I've successfully stayed on my diet for one week. I'm just slightly meaner, but it's very hard to say if that's because of the diet, or just because I'm mean in the first place.


Don't judge me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fat Free--Ch. My Wine Glass is Half-Fat!

My new personal mantra:  
When black ceases to be's time to take action.

Swimsuit season is JUST around the corner--literally.....there are 6 1/2 days left of school, and as of today, I am still swimsuit topless for the season.  This is cutting it dangerously close.

Can't you just see the headline:

Former Local Teacher Takes it 'Topless'
And we Don't Mean the Convertible She Drives....

In other economic news:  Local Pool Membership Sales WAY Up This Season.  Growing Number of Men, Teenage Boys, and Women Who Wear Flannel are Top Buyers!

Did I mention I STILL don't have an appropriate swim top for the new chlorine & Hawaiian Tropic-Huffing-Season??  

If I wore size "normal," this would be a NON-issue.  But, alas, I rock some KILLAH 'sistahs' in my 'northern region!'  And, they require special spandex-assistance.  Off-the-rack isn't tough enough to handle this hotness.  

So the great hunt begins--but not without some news of the diet that really should be on the forefront:

You see, my girl, Sassy is in a predicament of her own--because with 'swimsuit season' also comes--dun, Dun, DUNNNN--Wedding Season!  And, Sassy is making some of her own dietary changes in order to make her stunning appearance at said wedding events (as if she needed even the most microscopic of changes to be even more awesome!  I'm pretty sure it's a contradiction to the laws of physics to even think that either of us two divas could be more awesome--perfection IS perfection, after all!).

So when the going gets fat, We make a "Get Skinny Quick" plan!  **(See Disclaimer At the Bottom of This Post)**

Sassy's opting for some 'healthy choices,' including the ever popular Special K diet......Me?  Well, let's just say I'm sticking to what I'm 'skeeled' at:  

(This is a recent email response from me to Sassy regarding the depths to which we will have to go to make some head-way---or @$$-go-away---however you choose to see it):

HA!!  I been telling you there's a Special 'K'onspiracy!!!

For breakfast, I had my usual coffee and the last 1/3 of my personal-pint-chicken-salad & bagel crisps......and now I'm watering my humps like a desert camel.

I may just have wine for supper--you know, minimal calories tonight that will make their re-appearance tomorrow morning cuz they didn't have anything solid to bind to.

I'd be a kick-ASS alcoholic.  Everyone needs a skill.

I believe after I locate my shoes for tomorrow's high-powered meeting with a client, I'll copy/paste my part of this email into a neat little blog post--"PrissE Got Skeels. Wurd."


So far, I've made good on my new diet!!  YAAAAAYYY, ME!!!!

**Disclaimer:  TftC does not promote unhealthy eating choices or alcoholism in any form or fashion.  We do, however, love a good Little Debbie product and the occasional (if by occasional I mean 'nightly') bottle of wine.  Guess what?  We're grown-ups.  We're responsible.  Don't judge us.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Stamp. Retreat. Renew.

We’ve done it three years in a row now. The first weekend in May, I gather up some friends and we head south for about an hour, to a ranch located in remote West Texas. We spend a few minutes unloading all of our most precious worldly belongings and we settle in for a weekend of uninterrupted creative time.

If you called it a scrapbooking retreat, you’d miss the point. It’s much more than that. Sure, lots of gals do spend the entire time adding parcels of love to their scrapbooks. They carefully select pictures, take time to organize and arrange a layout to include story telling with a visual expression of love.

I’ve tried calling it a stamp retreat. It’s much more than that. Some gals will create beautiful works of art that they will give away. It’s like sectioning off tiny pieces of your heart and spreading it out. Sometimes, gals will spend hours creating little messages of love that they intend for complete strangers. Donating their art to charity. I’ve seen it over and over.

This year, all the gals at retreat were blessed with the company of a tiny precious baby. It’s unusual for a new mom to bring a baby to something like this. She might worry that the baby would be a distraction. She might worry someone would be upset. Oh, my friends, not so. It was so terrific that I plan on recruiting a new mom every year! Having that tiny baby at retreat just made everything we experienced calmer. More precious. Can you imagine?

Retreat is a time for you. Whatever you need, seek, miss or have forgotten about you will find at retreat. I can’t explain it. It’s a feeling.

There are some things about retreat that can be explained. I can easily share the bottom line. This year ten beautiful friends created: 248 scrapbook pages, 57 cards, 7 MDS pages, 5 mini flip albums, 4 fabric, projects, 4 journals, 2 calendars, 1 basket, and 1 plate cover. We ate meals lovingly prepared for us. Delicious food that filled our bellies and our souls. We slept in beds prepared by those same loving hands. The quiet of the morning is only interrupted by birds singing or rain on the roof. (Yes! Despite the horrible wildfires and drought in our area, there was a brief morning rain on Sunday.)

Some friends stay up late and enjoy creating in the stillness of the night. Other friends might turn in early, and wake up before dawn to enjoy a brisk morning walk and quiet time at their table before the group tumbles in. At all times, there is laughter. At all times, peace. At all times, appreciation for this weekend that passes all too quickly.

I often found myself sitting at my table just watching my friends. Gals sometimes will group up and spend some time looking at a friend’s project. Can you imagine having your own personal cheering section for everything you do for an entire weekend? Share your scrapbook or card or album with one of these friends, and you will feel a deep sense of appreciation and respect. Your work is beautiful!

Retreat weekend is a blessing. Friends, mark your calendars for next year. Friday, May 4th through Sunday, May 6th. You will be richly blessed.

** Thank you to Karen C, Patsi H and Terri F for the photographs.

*** Additional disclaimer….. This is my job. Sometimes, I have to pinch myself because I can’t believe my good luck!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Door to Door Lies

One beautiful evening, at the end of one horribly nasty attitude of a day, I had just snuggled into my comfortable chair (with the foot feet up) when there was a ring at the door. I was irritated, but I paused DWTS, and answered the door. Cute little gal informs me that she’s been sent from the State to test my water quality. Her fees have been paid by her company, could her team please check my water. They would need to enter my home and use my kitchen sink.

Against my better judgment, I agreed.

Water tester dude, spends about 20 minutes testing my sink water and discussing his preliminary results with Fox, Mav and the Bossman. I was home, just in the other room listening to this ….. FREAKIN’ SALES PITCH!

As each minute passes, I grow more and more disgruntled. I receive a text message from Jag, politely requesting that I pick him up from his school sponsored activity, so I slipped my sneaks on. I was headed out the back door when I stopped, cleared my throat, and asked the water tester dude one simple question.

“How much longer is this going to take?”

His reply stunned me as much as it horrified me.

“Just about another HOUR AND A HALF or so.”

It became uncharacteristically quiet in my home as I looked at the unfortunate dude and said quietly, “I’m about to leave to pick up my oldest son. I’m going to be gone approximately 7 minutes. You better be gone when I get home.”

Then, I left.

The Bossman tells me that the water tester dude looked at him with wide scared eyes. Bossman just said, “You heard her.” Then, Fox chimed in, “That’s what she said.” (Because he’s fixated on the television show, ‘the office’.)

It worked. He was running down our side street to meet up with his 'team' when I rounded the corner to come home.

People, don't spread your lies during DWTS.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Adventures in Substitute Teaching: Check your body image issues at the door.

Part of the fun of substitute teaching is that you really never know exactly what you’re going to be doing from one hour to the next. Last week, I found myself leading an interesting hour in a Junior High Health class. I can’t wait to tell you this story.

I entered the classroom and read the lesson plans to discover that the students were scheduled to complete vocabulary and reading exercises for the ‘Pre Natal Care’ chapter. I looked out at the expectant classroom of students and wondered if there would be any questions.

Sure enough…..

The students are busy reading and answering vocabulary questions when I over hear a small group of girls talking about having babies.

“I can’t wait to have a baby! Maybe 3 or 4! I already know what I’m going to name my baby. Can you believe it says to exercise while you’re pregnant? I’m just going to sit around and eat all the time. I don’t want to work or exercise or anything. My husband can just bring me stuff.”

(At this point, I’m just glad there’s a husband in the conversation at all.)

Then, the inevitable happens.

Girl Student: “Mrs. Sassy, did you exercise while you were pregnant? Did you run a mile? Did you work?”

(I’m thinking to myself how wonderful it is that we’re covering the ‘Pre Natal Care’ chapter and not the ‘How to make a baby’ chapter.)

So, I was more than happy to answer the Junior High Girls questions about pre natal care. I stand up, take a deep breath, and begin my short monologue regarding my experiences with pre natal care.

“Girls, before I got pregnant, I weighed about 140 pounds and looked something like this (held up a picture of me from high school). I made the conscious decision to not exercise much during either of my pregnancies. I ate whatever I wanted to, and spent a great deal of time on bed rest due to the high risk multiple pregnancy. I still haven’t lost my baby weight, and my babies are almost 13 years old. I now look like this.” (I stand up tall, arms spread at the front of the classroom.)

All I hear is a giant horrified *gasp* from the students. (girls & boys)

Followed by an unusually long awkward silence. ** tweet, tweet, chirp, chirp **

Then, one small female whisper from the back of the classroom, “I’m never getting pregnant.”

Followed by a chorus of young females in agreement.

Then, the ultimate testimony. One female student whispers, “I think I’ll run two miles this weekend.”

I think my job here is done.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A TftC National Holiday!

Blog-stalkers, get your "well-wishing" sentiments ready because Today is Sassy's Birthday!!!

Happy happy birthday, from me to you!
Happy happy birthday, I hope your wish comes true!!

To my most awesome and best friend in the universe:  we talk about our individual super powers quite often (like how I can impart to you the super-hero mental ability to mame those who interrupt your happy thoughts.....).  The truth is, we are super-powered individuals who are an unstoppable team!!                                                    Gurl.  We are a moving side-show that spreads joy to all who are within ear shot.  We are multi-tasking-Facebook-goddesses!  And, nobody--and I mean nobody--can take a text message conversation from the topic of "telepathy" to "tiger-blood" and make it cohesive like we can!  That's just encoded on our friend-DNA.                                                             In other words, without YOU, I wouldn't laugh as often, get into trouble near as much, find myself in the strangest situations, and have a fraction of the fun that I do each time we "communicate.  You're just that awesome.  Wurd. 

I love you dearly.  I treasure you always.  I will keep our secrets for all of my days--because we have a few......And, I wish you the happiest birthday of all birthdays.

Happy Birthday, Sassy!!!!

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.  ~Oprah Winfrey

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I have to appreciate in my own time. Please, don't rush me.

It's Teacher Appreciation Week at our school. It's May. There are only a few more weeks of school left, and I just had a light bulb moment. Someone should notify Oprah.

Dearest Teachers: I have come to realize I appreciate you more in August and September. At the beginning of the school year, when there's still some bounce in your step and some glimmer of hope in your eyes. The beginning of the year is exciting and full of fledgling dreams. Everything and anything seems within reach. I appreciate you because I know you’re ready to face the new challenges and I know you’re ready to do what needs to be done. Or, at a minimum, I know you're ready to teach to a state mandated test, resulting in future funding for our school. There’s no mountain too high, no valley too low…… etc, etc.

In May, we’ve lived through all those life lessons. I’m not as excited to appreciate you after you’ve ‘done what needed to be done’. I know. It’s necessary. Boys have got to do their growing up. I totally get it. I’m just tired and would rather just wish you a happy summer than spend a day appreciating you at a luncheon. I still baked you some brownies. Totally drug free brownies, so you can enjoy them, honest!!

I feel the need to go on. Let me just update all of the blog-o-sphere.

For example:

To the teacher that ripped my two little guys a new one for a minor infraction while ignoring your own child two steps away holding an innocent third party in a head lock: I’d like to wish you a happy summer. (P.S. If you would have looked up, and taken one breath you would have seen the Bossman over your right shoulder ready to calm the situation with his own off-spring. My baby daddy is so cool like that.)

To all teachers who have labored over trying to teach one dyslexic boy how to spell: he still can’t spell. I apologize. I know it’s my fault because I told him in First Grade that spelling wasn’t a life skill he was going to need. Who knew that was a day he was listening to me? I appreciate you averaging in all those bad spelling grades with the phenomenal grades the boy gets for creative thinking making him look to the outside world all average and stuff. Hey blog-o-sphere…. Google average IQ’s of dyslexic people. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

My dream now is for some super smart computer programmer to make some new dyslexic program to alert the child that although he has spelled a word correctly, it’s not the word he intended to use. I’m dreaming the alert might be some vocal siren type thing that says, “I don’t think this is the word you meant to use. Read it out loud to someone (often your mom) so she can give you the first three letters of the word and we can try again.”

Communities must band together to save the spell check!

To all the teachers that took my boys safely all over the state of Texas all year long for UIL, sports, band, FFA or other activities: You guys are rock stars! I mean that! Thank you for showing the boys something new. They believe you when you encourage them. They are confident you have given them the training and knowledge to succeed. You’re making them better young men, and giving them life experiences to uniquely mold them. These are the things they look forward to, talk about all the time, and remember forever.

Hello world. I’m a 40 year old mom who is only a few weeks away from completely surviving her first year of high school AND her two babies’ first year of junior high school. I’m fatter than I was in August, but no worse for the wear.

Summer is on the horizon.

We’ll be pool side with our brains switched to the ‘off’ position.

Warning to people who think they're funny: The first person that tells me how they feel about my boy driving soon, will be kicked in the face. You can't cry if you were warned.

Monday, May 2, 2011

*Cough* I'm having trouble breathing.

Ever feel like everyone around you is wearing big heavy boots and they're pressing them down on your neck?


It's just me?

In my most 'not complaining' voice, I'd like to suggest maybe some of you shouldn't wear those heavy boots right now.... it's spring and I'm terribly worried your feet will get sweaty.

Horrible doesn't seem like a strong enough word to describe the things that happened in my life before 8am this morning. Strangly, they pale in comparison to what's waiting for me on the other side of 10am.

Dramatic much?

Declaration of the day: I promise to only use the word 'horrible' to describe sand storms, fires and movies.... from now on.

Starting tomorrow.