Wednesday, August 12, 2015

because sometimes you gotta learn lessons the hard way

Back story: On Sunday, my friend Barbara brought some veggies from her garden to church to share. I took two banana peppers and two jalapeno peppers because I knew my tomatoes were almost ripe and I wanted to make some fresh salsa. I ran them out to my car in between Sunday school and church because, who wants to carry peppers in their purse? Not me. After church, they kind of got buried under my piano music and I forgot about them until Monday. I went out to the car to get them and I could only find three peppers. One jalapeno was M.I.A. I looked everywhere and just didn't see it.

Totally forgot about that until today.

Today's story: I took a study break around 3:00 or so and took Wilson for a ride (you see where this is going, don't you?) to Sonic so I could get a 1/2 price diet cherry coke and he could get a Scooby snack. It all worked out well for me, but not so much for him, because the guy totally stiffed him out of a treat. No worries. We have plenty of those at home. And today, apparently, in the car.

Well, it got real quiet in the back seat and I took a quick look and noticed he was lying down. Kinda strange because he's usually right up in the middle between the two seats looking out the front window. I thought, maybe he's just sad about the no-go on the Scooby snack.

Then I heard crunching and I thought, "What the heck does he have now?"

I finally got a glimpse and noticed the top half of the jalapeno was gone. Seconds later, he is licking his chomps like it's nobody's business. He left the other half of the pepper on the seat. I think his mouth. was. on. fire. This picture was taken just after we got home and he'd emptied his water dish. 

He's had plenty of water to drink the rest of the evening and seems to be recovering just fine.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Working like crazy on my two summer term classes. The lit. review for my social studies class is sucking the life out of me. Both classes are finished August 21st and then the next one (Curriculum and Instruction) starts August 24th. I think I've gone through almost a whole ream of paper printing out the journal articles. I can't stand reading them online. It gives me a headache. Fortunately, our printer can get a lot of stuff printed from a single black cartridge.
Really not liking taking two classes at the same time. I barely have a life.

Anticipating a 10 day break in mid-October between my 2 fall subterms. Phil505 has already agreed to take me to the beach for some cabin camping as our tent days are coming to an end. We are getting old, people. Cape Disappointment, here we come.

Realizing that  by October 16th I'll be half-way done with my master's program. Hallelujah!
Slacking in every other area of my life right now, or so it seems.
Wishing it would rain. Our back yard is like a desert wasteland. We've had basically no rain since early June. There is so much yard work to do. We have approximately 2, 853, 287 pine cones that need to be raked up, there are tall plants in front of short plants that need to be dug up and moved around, we need to edge, we need to add compost and mulch, and there. is. no. time. 
Planning and pinning stuff for a retirement party for my parents long-distance with my sister. 
Picking the last of the hydrangeas for this year. Please notice: I have finally hung some stuff on the walls in the kitchen. And this week we actually got the curtains in the dining room hung as well. I've only had them since CHRISTMAS. Now to get pictures printed, put in the frames that are stacked up in the living room, and hung up. One thing at a time.
Going to Phil505's company picnic after church on Sunday. I don't think there's a dessert contest this year. Darn it. Not that I would actually have time to whip something up anyway.
Realizing that  by October 16th I'll be half-way done with my master's program.
Dreaming about having a real job again.
Baking nothing. But I've got a bunch of zucchini on the counter calling out my name. 
Walking at least 5 days a week with Wilson. Some days we walk a little more than others, but it feels good to get out and get some fresh air once in a while.
Scheduling sub jobs already. School doesn't start for a month.
Dreaming about someday getting back into scrapbooking and making stuff out of pretty paper.
Discovering that my roma and beefsteak tomatoes are finally turning red. We've had lots of cherry and sungold tomatoes, but it always seems to take for the big guys to ripen. Our cucumbers have done quite well this year too.

Friday, July 31, 2015

50 words describing my life right now

Liberty. online. homework. behind. registered. fall. textbooks. highlighters. reading. grades.
Ohio. planning. nieces. nephews. friends. grandma. parents. retirement. August. excited.

Hot. dry. watering. air-conditioning. tomatoes. sun. shade. flowers. ferns. hostas. roses. 

today. early. walk. wilson. coffee. friend. starbucks. study.

Date. night. mexican. chips. salsa. chimichanga. burrito. lowe's. new. garbage. disposal.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

sauvie island + cathedral park

Yesterday, in the name of self-care and friendship, I took the day off from my studying and went on a get-out-of-Vancouver trip with my friend Barbara. She knows just when to rescue me from the bottomless pit of depression and homework, and it was refreshing to my soul to spend the day with her. I was told not to wear flip flops (so I wasn't sure where we were going) and when I got to her house she had my favorite iced tea waiting in the fridge. We visited her mom in the nursing home and she treated me to lunch. Then we drove out to Sauvie Island, the fruit and vegetable mecca of Portland. They always have the best berries there. We picked some fresh, ripe peaches (with which I'm about to make a peach crisp) and drove around the island enjoying the awesome cool and slightly cloudy summer day.

On our way back into Portland, we drove across my favorite bridge so she could take me to Cathedral Park. We lived not very far from there when Phil505 and I were first married. In fact, on the way home, we drove by our old house - so strange to see it again after like 10 years. Anyway, I have always wanted to go to this park, so we did. The architecture of the bridge is simply awesome. You can totally see why it's called Cathedral Park. It's a pretty popular place for wedding pics, senior pics, and family pics. I want to get our pictures taken here soon.
St. John's Bridge. . . the supports are massive.

So thankful for my friend who always just seems to know when I need some time away.

thoughts on keeping the memories alive when there's no time to scrapbook

I'm clearly taking a break from my behavior management homework (again) to share some of my latest additions to my scrapbook collection. What's different is that these did not involve pretty paper or adhesive, yet I love them just the same.

For my birthday, my friend Barbara knocked my socks off and surprised me with my blog from 2014 printed into a hardback book. She secretly had it done through, just slurping my posts and pictures into easy-to-use (or so she says) templates. She picked a cute cover design and stole a picture off my facebook page. {Side note: I think it's kinda weird that she could do that without having my blog password, but she did, and the result is fabulous.} I have seriously been wanting to print my whole blog in yearly volumes for forever, but just haven't taken the time or spent the money to do it. One of these days. But this, my friends, is current, and none of my other scrapbooks are. The last I did any real scrapping was in my project life album, and I think that was in 2012. And, surprise, surprise, it isn't totally finished. It's very close to finished, but not quite. What I love about this is that it's really like a book I wrote. I've always wanted to be an author. Now I guess I am.

Getting that gift got me going. Shortly after my birthday I heard about where you can print your instagram pictures into a book. When I set up my instagram account, I decided not to share every single picture on facebook. Some people do, but I kind of wanted to keep the two separate. I do share some pictures from instagram here on my blog, but for the most part, they just stay on instagram. Anyway, at chatbooks they print in chronological order, 60 pictures per book + the date and caption for $6. Shipping is free. You can't even print 60 pictures at Costco for under $10, so this is a steal.

What I liked about chatbooks is that you can choose your cover picture and if there are pictures you don't want to include in your book, you can easily select to not put them in. Once you sign up, it's kind of like a magazine subscription. Every time you have 60 new pictures ready, they'll email you and you have a few days to make changes if you want before it gets shipped to you. I got 3 of them and I love them. The books are 6x6 and the photos are 4x4ish.

So once I got those in the mail, then I got to thinking about a Shutterfly book I made back in 2012 when I did Week in the Life. It has been finished for 2 years, just sitting in my shopping cart waiting to be ordered. Well, a 50% off hardback photo book sale showed up on my facebook feed, so I went ahead and ordered it.

It's cool to look back and see what's changed and what has stayed the same. The master bathroom is no longer poop brown. The main bathroom is still yellow. The kitchen is blue now and I have yet to paint the cabinets white. We still don't have the curtains up in our bedroom. One of these days. . .
Wilson is a lot bigger now and he just licks shoes, he doesn't eat them. I no longer teach kindergarten. In fact, my job has changed a couple of times since then.
So, the lesson in all of this is, get your pictures off the computer and out of your phone, people, so you can have a tangible record of your life. I still have a lot to learn about that myself, but looking at these books makes me happy!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

my house is a mess and other woes from the graduate student

Currently you can see about 1/10 of my table. Maybe not even that much. I need an intervention. No, I'm not showing you a picture because it's completely embarrassing.

I bought a flat of impatiens at least 3 weeks ago. Do you think I've got them planted yet? Not a chance. I keep saying, "I need to get that flower bed weeded first." Ya. In my dreams. Phil and I just keep watering them in their black plastic packs.

Speaking of flowers, my roses are looking terrible. I tried this concoction I read about on pinterest where you put your old banana peels in the blender with water (I cut mine up in small pieces first and threw the hard ends away) and pour the nasty looking mixture over the roots. Supposedly roses like banana peels. We'll see if that helps. I'm about ready to go out there and just cut them down and let them start all over again. Which I should've done in the fall. Or something like that.

On the flip side, the hydrangeas are coming out. Love. They're actually really nice and dark purple and blue now.

The dog is getting walked, mostly faithfully, in the mornings when it's cool. Then he doesn't bug me all day long. It's good for the both of us. I made up his lack of one today though with a peanut butter bone. Peanut butter covers a multitude of sins.

Tomorrow Phil505 gets to have three teeth extracted. Two wisdom teeth and a molar in which the root canal and crown has gone bad. Ouch. I know that's going to be painful, but at least that pain will put an end to the pain he's been living with the last 3 or 4 weeks. Poor guy.

I just spent about the last five days studying the educational systems of England and France. I spent three days working on the comparative education project. I had to youtube how to zip files together in order to submit it all. (Graduate school has taught me that I'm basically computer illiterate.) I finally sent it off into cyberspace around 8:20. An hour later he had it graded and sent back. I'm happy to report that I got a 98.5% on that thing. One thing I learned: I always thought I had it so bad as a kid with chores I had to do and helping with the garden and whatnot. Well, let's just say I'm thanking my lucky stars I didn't live in England in the 1830's before the Bill to Regulate the Labour of Children in the Mills and Factories of the United Kingdom went into effect.

This class is coming to an end. I'm way behind on my reading and I have a pretty important paper to write by next Friday night, a final exam, some videos to watch, and a discussion board to do before I can say "so long, farewell" to Foundations of American Education. My favorite part about this class is the Faith, Freedom, and Public Schools module. Basically that's eight videos about how the Bible can be incorporated into instruction in public schools.

Up next in the world of online graduate education: two classes at the same time. Lord, help me. I'm taking Behavior Management and Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School. I'm really looking forward to the practicality of both of these. What I'm not looking forward to is the complete lack of life I'll be having. But, by the end of August I'll be 5/12ths of the way done with my Master's. Go me. If I take one class each subterm between now and then two again at the last subterm next summer, I should be done.

I'm trying to put together some stuff for a gallery wall in our dining room. You know, gallery walls are all the rage right now. I just won't be doing arrows or mustaches on mine. Anyway, here's a sneak peek. . . I have some prints from Pike Street Market to go in the white frames. I think I want to paint the black B and maybe get a small mirror for the other side. I'm also ordering a family name sign from etsy to go at the top. I'll take other ideas, suggestions, things you'd add or change in the comments section below. Thanks ;)
Tune in next time when maybe the table will be cleared off and I'll have actually hung some stuff up on the walls.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

i have no good title for this post

So, I don't get to watch much TV these days, what with being a graduate student and all, but Phil505 and I have discovered a new guilty pleasure recently. Well, maybe guilty pleasure isn't quite what it really is, but have you seen that show on A&E called Married at First Sight? Essentially these people are put together by "experts" and actually get married without having ever met each other. It's a six week experiment during which they'll try to fall in love and decide to stay married. Otherwise, it's divorce court at the end of the six weeks. It's pretty interesting to watch. Maybe we like it so much because we were only actually together {and I like to add - in each other's physical presence} for a total of 45 days before we got married. And even though it wasn't love and marriage at first sight, it wasn't a lot of sight. I don't know. Anyway, I think the show is on Tuesday night, but we DVR it because I'm usually doing homework at night and Phil505 is in bed. And for as much as I was opposed all these years to getting cable, I sure like that DVR feature.

Speaking of love and marriage, tomorrow is anniversary #11 for us. And we didn't even need experts to put us together. We can just thank - which I don't even know if it's in existence anymore or not. I took pictures of these pictures outside in a hurry, just so I could have something from our wedding for you to look at.

Another show that we, well, mostly Phil505 enjoys, is Mystery Diners on the Food Network. It's on a lot of times when I'm cooking dinner, so I tend to listen in (and crack up). I figured out long ago that this show is basically scripted because the acting is soooo bad there's no way it can be real. So the other day I did a google search, and pretty much I was right. In fact, there's a whole site devoted to its fakeness.

I picked some lavender from the three pitiful looking lavender plants my back yard yesterday. Smells so good.
The Mr. and I are heading on a road trip this weekend to Spokane, WA. I probably shouldn't broadcast that on my blog because someone might break into our house, but then, I have like two people who actually still read this and one lives in Maine and the other I see at church. Who would think it would take nearly 6 hours to drive from the Portland/Vancouver area to the other side of the stinkin' state, but it does. His niece got married in Montana three weekends ago and none of us could make it, so I guess it's a good thing they're having a second reception. First we were going, then we weren't, and now we are again. We haven't been to Spokane since his dad passed away. Spokane's not my favorite place, probably because I have a lot of sad memories of seeing his ill parents before we got married, then his mom passed away six months after we got married, and then his dad a few years ago. That, and it's always hot and dry. Or freezing cold and dry. And my lips always get chapped. Years ago there used to be an awesome scrapbook store there that made things more bearable, but in the economy crash of 2000 and whatever, it closed. But fear not my friends, for now Spokane has not one, but two Hobby Lobbies!!! Guess where Phil505 is taking me birthday shopping???

Speaking of birthdays, he's already mentioned that he's going to be late coming home tomorrow because he has to stop at my favorite cupcake shop of all time, St. Cupcake, and bring home some anniversary/birthday love. I can hardly wait.

Today I was subbing in kindergarten and a couple kids were playing restaurant, and I, being the only adult there paying them any bit of attention, was the customer. One kid comes over and says, "What would you like to drink?" And then another kid comes over and says, "Would you like any apple-tizers?" I thought that was hysterically funny.

My mom spent this week in retirement mode. For as long as I can remember (and even before I was a figment in her and dad's imagination) she has been keeping kids. She's been Grandma Sharon to more children than should possibly be legal. And now, she's at home all day in a quiet house with my dad, who's also retired and watches TV to pass the time. They should have NO PROBLEM now getting their butts on a plane and coming out to see me. Oh, and happy retirement, Mom. I love you!!!

I'm in week 5 of my class and let's just say that I hate Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates just as much now as I did back in 1994 in Dr. Stiles' Foundations of American Ed. class. Just give me something to learn that's APPLICABLE to my current situation. Thank you, very much.

Speaking of my current situation, I'm still, a whole year and a half later, telling teachers over lunch who want to know if I'm going to get a full-time job in the fall about "my story." You know, the one where the college I went to wasn't regionally accredited. And they are still just as mind blown today as they were in January of 2014. Mamas, don't let you babies grow up to get bachelor's degrees from colleges that aren't regionally accredited. I know there's a light at the end of this tunnel, I just haven't seen it yet.

One last thing. Always remember a tired dog is a happy dog.