Thursday, December 25, 2008

Never a Dull Moment

So, we're all here for Christmas except mother. Daniel, David and Bailey are outside playing. Daniel comes in and tells us that there's a wild hog in the woods beside our house.

There can't be a wild hog there, we live in town for goodness sake.

But, David confirmed - not that I doubted Daniel, you understand. It was just too unbelievable.

Daniel called his brothers and told them to bring the bow.

There is no longer a wild hog in the woods next to our house.

It was a mercy killing. The poor young hog only had 3 legs and 1 ear had been ripped off. We figure it had been caught in some type of trap.

Zach was going to eat it but decided against it. Probably a good decision.

Never a dull moment...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How Exciting

David is home for Christmas. He flew in last night. His flight was due in at 10:37 at IAH.

His plane was delayed.

It got in at 12:35.

It took forever for his luggage to arrive.

We got home at 2:30 something.

Thank goodness I didn't have to go to work today. I'm sorry that Steven did have to go to work.

How exciting... NOT!

Ticked Off

Last Friday I took 12 pint jars of various jellies and green tomato relish to work and put in the work room. I sent an email to 10 people - the other 8 classroom teachers in my hallway, the computer teacher and the ISS teacher. I took 12 so that no one had to take what was left and not have a choice. I was expecting to bring 2 jars back home.

I went in later and all 12 jars were gone.

Who would assume that they could either take extra or tell someone else to take them?

Next year I'll leave my yummy goodies at home for my family to enjoy and then I won't be ticked off.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


I've been sensitive to smoke for lots of years now. I can get off the elevator at a hotel and tell if someone is smoking anywhere on that floor. If someone has smoked in a hotel room, I can tell. I also have to have another room. When I'm around smoke, I really, really suffer, I cough, get drainage down the back of my throat and have difficulty breathing.

Burning leaves is probably the worst because it's so invasive, comes into my home and I can do nothing about it.

We came home from the Christmas parade and having supper at Jenny's house.

It smells like the entire neighborhood has been burning leaves.

I'm suffering. I'm having trouble breathing and who knows how I'm going to sleep tonight.

I despise smoke of all kinds...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Who Knew?

that all that sneezing I did Friday would lead to a full blown head cold?

I sneezed several times Friday, a bit unusual for me. Didn't think to much about it, just figured it was something in the air. Sneezed some more at Jenny's house Friday afternoon/evening. Still didn't think to much about it. My nose started running at Jenny's house. I should have known then that something was up, especially since I wiped my nose raw. By the time I went to bed at 9:00, my head was stuffed up and I was having trouble breathing.

Steven woke me up at 9:00 to get ready for Bailey's last soccer game. Didn't happen. My throat hurt, my head was stuffed up, had a sinus headache, my nose was stuffed up/running. I didn't feel like going, it was cold and I didn't want to pass this mess on to anyone, especially Rowdy and Jenny.

Stayed up for about 1 1/2 hours then back to bed for 4 hours. Up for a couple of hours then tried to go back to bed. My body couldn't handle being back in bed again so watched a movie. Wanted to watch another movie but went to bed instead. Still feeling miserable.

Woke up this morning not feeling much better. Been up for 1 1/2 hours and think I'm going back to bed again. I need to go to work tomorrow. I have no lesson plans done, no papers graded for Tuesday folders but I guess it will all work out.

I hate being sick...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

In memory of:

Thaman Corley - US Army - Vietnam

In honor of:

Chris Crouch - US Navy
David Vantreese - US Air Force
Daniel Butts - Louisiana National Guard - Iraq
Greg Landgraf - US Army - Afghanistan
Layne Crouch - US Army Reserves
Jimmy Wade - US Marines
Hugo "Tex" Santos - US Air Force

I'm sure I've missed someone but it's sure not intentional.

Thank you each and every one for the sacrifices you've made to serve our country.

I can't even begin to say how very proud I am that all 4 of my boys are serving their country.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Public Service Announcement

Today is election day. Please go vote.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Quilt Show

Last Thursday, I took the day off and went to the Quilt Show in Houston with another teacher. According to some ladies sitting at our table at lunch, this is the biggest convention in Houston every year. I know there were lots of vendors, lots of quilts displayed and lots of people.

We saw some beautiful quilts, some ugly quilts, some bizarre quilts and some weird quilts. I made some discoveries about the types of quilts I like. I have eclectic tastes, according to Mary. :) I've long suspected that I loved scrap quilts and that was confirmed. I also like some appliqued quilts and some that are pieced to look like animals. Log Cabin in one of my favorite patterns. Lots of town/village quilts called my name also.I totally dislike pastel colors, no matter what the design.

There was a booth with my wonderful, fabulous Body Sense heating pads. I thought that if they had a show special, I might pick up one or two. They did have a special.... buy 3 and get 10% off all 3. Needless to say, I came home without any new heating pads.

I only came home with 1 book and no fabric (I did stop at Hancock Fabrics and bought some fat quarters) but I was inspired to start a new quilt. Tonight, I'm going to start my Hawaii quilt. When we went to Hawaii, I bought some Hawaiian print fabric squares. They've been sitting in a bag for 5 years now. I think it's time I made them into a quilt.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's Been Awhile

14 years to be exact.

Tonight, the kindergartners performed at the PTO meeting. It's been 14 years since I've been to a kindergarten program. I forgot how cute and enthusiastic they are. They sang their hearts out.

Except for one.

We thought Bailey was upset because he didn't get to have a part and wear a costume.

We were wrong.

He was scared.

He was scared because there were so many people there. His teacher went back and talked to him and he finally sang some on one of the songs.

He was fine once the program was over and was back sitting with us.

Being in the Elementary cafeteria brought back lots of memories for me. I started working in the school when Rachael was in 1st grade. I was the cafeteria clerk. Now I'm a real live teacher. Some days it's still difficult for me to believe I've traveled that road.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

19 Years

Friday was our 19th anniversary. If you had told me I would remain married to the same man for this many years, I'd have called you a liar yet here I am, 19 years later and very happily married.

I almost always forget to get Steven a card. I don't know why I can't remember that but I can't. This year I remembered but didn't write on it. At 11 something Thursday night, I was in the bathroom trying to write something on the card. I'm sure it looked like c*ap but the card was on the computer waiting for him when he woke up, a first for me.

I was slightly disappointed that there wasn't a card waiting for me but didn't say anything. I"m so glad I didn't because when I got in the truck to go to work, there was something even better waiting for me.

Early in our relationship, when we both worked at Circle K, Steven used to take the front of a cigarette carton and write me a little note with his schedule for the week. It was very special to me. When I die and the kids are going through my things, they'll find some of those notes. Now they'll know what they are.

Anyway, there was one of those notes propped up against the steering wheel. I smiled so much my face hurt. I took it to work and looked at it all day and smiled every time I saw it.

I'm sure the ladies at Shell thought he was crazy when he went in at 6 in the morning and asked for an empty cigarette carton and then proceeded to tear off all the sides. I think he did explain what he was doing. He came back home, put it in the truck ( I didn't know until that night) and came in the house to get his phone. I didn't think anything about him coming back in but telling me he forgot his phone was just his ruse for returning home in case the dogs got restless when he drove back in the driveway and I went to look. Wasn't that sneaky?

On to our "date"...

Our anniversary tradition is eating at Outback. We very seldom eat there any other time because that keeps it special. We love Outback. The steaks (me) and fish (Steven) are great, the steamed veggies are wonderful (wonder what they do to them?), the Ceaser salad is divine (very garlicky) and the bread is out of this world.

For the first time ever, my steak wasn't cooked correctly. The 1st half was fine but the second half was red and bleeding. I have no idea how that happened but it did. I'd already cut it into pieces and had eaten half so I didn't send it back. 45 seconds in the microwave the next day took care of all that redness. :)

I was exhausted because the night before was Fall Festival at school so we just ate and headed home.

Just past Briarcrest, we hit a traffic jam. We could see flashing lights so we knew it was a wreck. Traffic was not moving at all, even in one lane. Even the off ramp at William Joel Bryan was not moving. We sat there for awhile before I asked Steven if he was going to turn around (can you believe I actually asked that?) He said that as soon as he did, traffic would start moving and it would take longer.

So - we sat there for 30 more minutes, just yards from the WJB off ramp before Steven finally took off across the median and turned around. There were officers at the Briarcrest on ramp turning traffic back up the on ramp and sending them down the feeder road. Traffic was backed up as far as you could see. When we passed where the accident was, it didn' look bad, one truck had rearended someone but that was the only vehicle. We wondered why both lanes were closed. reported that it was a 5 car pileup and took 2 hours to clean up. Since we were fairly close to where the accident happened and we waited almost an hour, I'm really, really glad we turned around and came on home.

It was an interesting anniversary "celebration" but that's OK - we're working on year 20 now.

Changing Tastes

It's amazing how a person's taste buds can change over the course of time.

I've never liked kettle corn. It's sweet and popcorn was not meant to be sweet. It's meant to be salty.

At the Mushroom Festival, Bailey wanted popcorn. It was kettle corn. He didn't like it - Jenny didn't like it and I decided to try it. It'd been several years since I'd had any and I know that my tastes do change over time.

Needless to say, it was delicious! Maybe it was just different from what I've had in the past but this stuff was good! It was so good I ate the entire (small) bag. I didn't even ask Steven if he wanted to share. I was so full I didn't eat supper. Not very nutritious but it was sure good.

I'm wondering what's next on my list of things I've never liked that may now tickle my taste buds. It's definitely not baked sweet potatoes. Tried those recently and still don't like them. for thought....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Love My Crockpot

I've been fairly successful in remembering to put something in the crockpot on Wednesday mornings. Steven has choir practice Wednesday nights right about the time supper would be getting started. We can't seem to get supper going any earlier so had to come up with a solution. Crockpot to the rescue!! All I have to do is steam some veggies and make some garlic bread and we're good to go. We have a good meal, Steven goes to choir practice fed instead of hungry, we're not spending money grabbing some fast food and I feel like super wife which happens seldom these days.

Of course, Steven actually put the roast in the crockpot this morning but that's unusual so I'm giving myself a pass today. I do have to put the onion soup mix in so I will have contributed. :)

It's nice to come home to a wonderful smelling house and to know that supper is only a few minutes away.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Here's Rachael

The fall softball picture is up on the website and Rachael is on the front row. It's too bad they don't list the names of the managers and graduate assistants.

Aggie Softball Picture

Monday, October 13, 2008

15 1/2 Pints of Green Tomato Relish AKA I Have The Best Husband in The Whole World

If you don't believe that I have the best husband in the whole world, just ask me, I'll be happy to extol his virtues to anyone who will listen. Unless, of course, you catch me on a day when he's being a man. In that case, I'll still extol his virtues, just not as happily. :)

Saturday, Steven had a board meeting in Waco. I stayed home to watch Bailey's soccer game. On his way home, he called to ask if I wanted him to ATM some money to get me some green tomatoes. Dumb question but that's OK. I've only been trying to grow some tomatoes, without any luck, so I can have green tomatoes for relish.

He was driving by and saw a man on the side of the road selling produce. He saw green things and couldn't tell if they were tomatoes or apples so he turns around and goes back to check. How many men would actually do that?

We went to Robert's to get his grinder (on the condition that I never bring it back to his house) and shopped for the remainder of ingredients for green tomato relish. I also got pint jars from Mom. Thanks Mom! I used all of mine and 9 of the ones you gave me as well as 5 1/2 pint jars (I grossly underestimated how much relish there would be).

There was a small crisis before we began - I couldn't find the recipe I had so lovingly typed out at Birdie's house! I distinctly remember putting it in a "safe" place when we got home. It was very safe - I couldn't find it. A quick call to Birdie - she was demoing at W-M - she would call with ingredients and then type the recipe when she got home. Of course, as soon as I called her, I found the recipe. Thanks for being willing to help Birdie! Thanks for introducing me to this yummo relish and giving me the recipe too!!

Sunday afternoon when we started, the tomatoes had already started turning red but were still firm so they were OK. I had enough tomatoes for 1 1/2 batches and didn't have enough cabbage but a quick trip to the store remedied that problem. We ground veggies until we were blue in the face then I salted them and put them in the fridge overnight.

Thank goodness I was off today. It took me about 3 hours to get the relish rinsed, drained, cooked, put in jars and sealed. The last of them are in a water bath as I type. The recipe didn't say to give them a water bath and I'm sure they didn't need it but they got one any way.

Right now, I'm waiting rather impatiently for my boiled eggs to cool and some relish to cool so I can have a delicious egg salad sandwich.

Life is good...

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Bailey had his first soccer game yesterday. Jenny is coaching. Yes, 6 month pregnant Jenny is coaching soccer.

It was so much fun to watch. Since it was their first game and they'd only had one practice, they really didn't have a clue what to do. There was at least one little girl that really didn't want to play and most of them had no idea which goal they were supposed to kick at the whole first half. The second half was better in that respect except for one little boy that still didn't have a clue, he was just having a good time kicking the ball!

I tried to remain impartial but I'm pretty sure Bailey was by far the best player. Really, I'm sure he was the best player.

One of the players is the son on the custodian that takes care of my classroom and one little girl is the cousin of one of the girls on my UIL team. I love living in a small town!

Mom just called and asked if I enjoyed watching soccer as much as she did when Chris was in kindergarten, lived with her and played soccer. Of course the answer was a resounding yes!

Grandchildren are such a joy...

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Yes, I'm shouting and yes, that's rather strong language.

I HATE menopause!!!!

I could go on and on about rather personal things here but I'm sure you don't want to read about it so I'll refrain. Not to mention the fact that if you read what I have to say, I probably would never again be able to look you in the eyes.

I always thought menopause would be wonderful without the monthly inconvenience but I WAS WRONG!!

Nuff said....

Friday, September 19, 2008

That Was Fun

The Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief of Oklahoma has been here this week cooking meals and the local churches are serving them. I just found out about it last night.

Today I helped serve 500 something meals at lunch and again tonight I helped serve almost 900 meals.

I was working with the local Catholic church and had the best time. I know most of the people I was working with so I didn't feel awkward at all.

I have a teeny bit of sunburn because I forgot sunscreen at lunch but it's not bad.

I'll help tomorrow at lunch if needed and at supper for sure.

There's plenty to do at home but this helps me feel like I'm doing something to help people that are struggling.

Father Mike asked me if I ever slow down. I told him no, that it was in my genes to stay busy. He told me I needed to cut off my jeans. He's such a comedian. He said I was like the Energizer Bunny. Vaughn told him that I was awesome. That will sure swell your head up. :)

I'm Addicted

That's not difficult since I have quite an addictive personality. It's too bad that quality doesn't do anything for my procrastination. :)

So, I'm addicted to Paperback Swap. I'm not even reading much these days since I seem to be addicted to the computer but I'm having so much fun looking for books, mailing out books and even reading a few books. I devoured 3 of them on our trip to San Diego.

If you're a reader and would like to trade books for the cost of postage, check out PBS. If you happen to sign up, I'd appreciate it if you'd use me as a reference. My username is beckydale and my email is

I've mailed out about 10-12 books and gotten some books I'd wanted to read but didn't want to spend the money on. I've also gotten a couple of fun books for my classroom.

I'm spending way too much time checking out member's bookshelves and looking at books. I also have a healthy wish list. I'm also totally regretting all the books I've donated to various charities because I could have gotten books in exchange. Oh well, such is life. Hopefully they went to good homes and didn't end up in the trash somewhere.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Dreaming when you wake up

I hate to wake up in the middle of a dream, especially when the dream isn't finished and nothing has been resolved. When that happens, it's a really bad start to my day and it seems to linger most of the day.

This morning I was dreaming about Grannie and PawPaw.

The things I remember:
  • I told Grannie that she had really pretty blue eyes. She told me there was too much green in them and they really weren't that pretty.
  • I told her about Jenny's freckles and about how sometimes she'll rub them and think about Grannie even though she never knew her.
  • PawPaw came home and wanted us to go to town. There were 2 small boys there with us but I have no idea who they were. PawPaw, the boys and I got in the car but Grannie hadn't come out yet. He waited all of about 30 seconds to a minute and then left without her. He didn't go back in to see if she needed anything, he just left.
  • PawPaw had parked the car in the back yard instead of on the carport.
Now I'm wanting to cry and feeling very melonchalic. It's much better when I dream good things about my grandparents.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Doing a Happy Dance

I know, I know, it's been almost a month since I've blogged. August is a busy, busy month for me. I've got several things to get caught up on and I'll try to get that done this month.

Now for the happy dancing...

When we bought our new car Friday, I qualified for Tier 1 financing, the best Toyota has to offer! I'm so excited about that!! I've worked really, really hard to get it there. Mine was better than Steven's to begin with but his is getting there too.

When we bought the truck, 4years ago, our credit was so bad that I'm pretty sure our interest rate is 15 or 18%. Mostly, I really, really don't want to know. I just want it to be paid for......

It surely feels good for our credit to finally be in a good place and to be making excellent progress towards getting out of debt.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Outside My Mind

It's August.

Where did the summer go?

I had so many plans for the summer and very few of them got done. I guess that's OK because I was in dire need of some down time.

August is when I start working in my room. Since the 1st was on Friday, I waited until Monday to start work. Probably a big mistake since we're going to Alabama to see Birdie and I'll be gone at least 5 days.

The reason I'm outside my mind though is SMAK (Summer Music Activities for Kids). Way back in June, during Bible School, Angela asked if I'd help with SMAK. Of course, I told her to just put me where she needed me.

When SMAK is over, there's only two weeks left before school starts.

She needed me to help with field trips every afternoon.

I despise field trips.

No teacher should volunteer to go on multiple field trips in the same week on school buses in August in Texas unless, of course, they love field trips. (is that a sentence? :)

I told her I wanted to work with my 3rd graders.

I didn't know that was the new 3rd graders.

Now I know several kids I am happy are not in my tripod (we have our lists).

Today is my last day with SMAK because we leave in the morning - hooray!!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Going to California

We're heading to California next month for Chris' Chief Petty Officer ceremony.

I found tickets for $198 if we fly out of Austin. Since they were $303 if we flew out of Houston, we're driving to Austin. With taxes, fees and travel insurance, it's $507. A great deal with the high gas prices and a very small price to pay to see Chris installed (is that the right word?).

It's been way, way too long since we've seen Chris and Audrey so we're really excited.

Should I do a countdown?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


When we lived in Alabama and were so broke we couldn't see straight, one of our payday treats was to take the kids to Krystal's. The itty bitty burgers were .39 ( I think) and the kids could have as many as they wanted. We'd share some fries and everyone was fed and we had a treat.

I miss Krystal's. The burgers weren't that good but there are good memories for me there.

For a very short time, there was a Krystal's in Lake Charles. We only ate there once when we went to see Jennifer and Daniel but it was great.

During all my driving around in Killeen (Fort Hood), I found a Krystal's. It was the middle of the afternoon and I wasn't really hungry but I had 2 Krystal burgers just for nostalgia's sake.

We're heading to Alabama next week to see Birdie. I hope there are still Krystal's there so Steven can have some. If not, he can have his the next time we go see Rowdy.

Fort Hood

Stephanie, Greg and Rowdy are moving to Fort Hood. Greg has to report on August 1.

They ask if I'd be willing to go with them and watch Rowdy while they search for a place to live.

Since Rowdy has been in Virginia for 6 months, what do you think I said?

Actually, I was a bit concerned since Rowdy tends to have a fit if his mom gets out of his sight or he thinks she might be about to leave his sight but what the heck, I can handle fits.

I said I'd be happy to put him in his stroller and cruise the mall while they're looking for a place to live.

Not exactly. Rowdy hates his stroller. But he likes to ride in a shopping cart.

OK, we can hit a store or two or three and let him ride in a shopping cart.

We had the best time!

Our first stop was HEB. He loved looking at all the fruit and anyone that was stocking was of great interest to him. We got bananas, watermelon, a light avocado (I'll make some guacamole with it tomorrow and report on flavor), a cantaloupe, a deli sandwich for me and some tea for me

We found a shady parking lot and ate our lunch. He was exhausted so we rode around till he fell asleep then I found a parking lot and read till he woke up.

We also hit Target, Dollar Tree and Petco. He loved looking at all the animals.

I got a great tour of Fort Hood and now know where all the important things are for when we go visit.

Stephanie and Greg found a place to live, I got to spend some time with Rowdy, he didn't have the first fit and all is well.

AAA Rocks!

In less than a month, with only 2 uses, AAA has paid for itself. How awesome is that?

Steven called yesterday afternoon. He was broke down on the HOV lane in Houston. He'd called AAA and the wrecker would be there in about an hour. In about 15 minutes, he calls back to say the wrecker is already there.

I head to Houston to pick him up.

Have I ever said how much I hate driving in Houston? I'd almost rather give birth. Almost.

Come to find out, the only wreckers allowed on the HOV are wreckers contracted with the City of Houston.

It cost $143.50 for the wrecker to take him ~2 miles.


It only cost ~$63 to have the bike towed about 15 miles to Huntsville the last time he broke down.

I'm very frustrated because we paid for AAA and we've had to fork out $143.50 for towing. But, it's just money and like Steven said, the good news is that we can afford to pay it.

Actually, this is how he put it:
The good news - we can afford to pay for it
The bad news - the bike will be in the shop for 2 weeks
The worst news - it cost $143.50 to get towed

It actually works out this way:
The good news - the towing costs nothing
The bad news - I have no vehicle for 2 weeks
The worst news - we have to pay for gas for Steven's commute for 2 weeks in the truck
The good news - we won't have to do without anything to afford it

So, how does the cost of the towing go from being the worst news to being the best news?

One phone call to AAA.

One reimbursement form.

$143.50 to be reimbursed.

If you don't have AAA Premier, go get it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Have the Best Husband!

I've been having an overwhelmed kind of day today. So what does my most wonderful husband do?

He stops on the side of I-45 in the 99 degree weather (I just looked it up). He dials my phone and lets me listen to Ring of Fire ( my favorite song) in its entirety because he knows it will make me smile. He never says a word because he still has his helmet on. He hangs up his phone and continues on home to help me.

How awesome is that?!?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Getting Older

I'm officially getting older.

I've been wearing reading glasses for several years now because my arms are no longer long enough. My distance vision is still OK. Not 20/20 but the only thing I was having any kind of problem with was reading road signss at a distance.

A couple of weeks ago I went and got glasses. I found some really cute ones and got a lined bifocal becuase I've had a progressive lens before and couldn't get used to them.

Big mistake. First off, the guy never got the glasses adjusted correctly and I wasn't happy with them. Second off, I had no intermediate vision at all. So, I wasn't wearing them. Not to mention that I wasn't wearing them because it was such a hassle with sunglasses. I *have* to have sunglasses, my eyes are super sensitive to sunlight.

Lenscrafter has a 30 day guarantee so last week I went and took advantage of it. The cool glasses I had chosen weren't big enough for a progressive lens so I chose different glasses and got them today.

I went to W-M to get some clip on sunglasses. I was sure I wasn't going to be happy with them because I need large sunglasses that don't let in light on the sides and I didn't want fit-overs because they are UGLY.

I tried on clip-ons. Jenny reminded me that I wasn't going to be happy with them so I looked at the fit-overs. Come to find out, they had some that weren't huge but still covered well and were somewhat stylish. Did I mention that they're polarized? Polarized sunglasses are awesome!! Everything is so crisp and clear and there's no glare at all.

So, I have progressive lens glasses and fit-over sunglasses. Somehow that says getting older to me...

I think I have to take the glasses back though because the left eye is fine with the intermediate vision but the right is blurry. I'm going to give it until Monday and hope that it's just a matter of getting used to them.


My brain makes me crazy.

I know there are over a thousand children's names stored there but don't you think it come come up with a recent name easier than an older name?

The first year I worked at the school, I was the cafeteria clerk. I knew the name of every single student at the elementary school, PK-3 - about 500 names. The next 3 years were pretty easy because I knew all the kids except the new ones when they got to 3rd grade. The 4th year wasn't too bad because lots of them had gone to PK. The year I went back to the school, I was only in 1 classroom and it was Rachael's group so I knew them all already. The next year I was back in 3rd grade and learning ~150-170 new names every year for the next 5 years.

Usually, I remember their faces until they get older and their facial features start changing. Sometimes I can come up with either a first or last name. Sometimes not. Depends on how well I knew them. Sometimes I come up with their name minutes or hours later, just out of the blue.

Luckily, calling them sweetie when they're still young or just speaking to them when they get older works well. They just like to be acknowledged.

So what brought this on?

I was at W-M earlier this week. I saw one of the students in my homeroom cross the end of an aisle. Luckily, she didn't see me because I *could not* come up with her name. I remembered her last name, I remembered her sister's name but hers just wouldn't come. I actually stood in the aisle determined to remember her name in case I saw her again. I'm of the opinion that if that student was in my homeroom less than 2 months ago, I need to say her name when I speak to her. I finally remembered her name but never saw her again so it really didn't matter.

As I was leaving the store, I saw a student who will be in 6th grade next year. His name came to me immediately. Now, he wasn't a troublemaker (you always remember their names!) nor was he anyone that stood out for any other reason, just another student and his name came to me immediately.

There is something wrong with this picture. My brain should work better than that. It doesn't though so I guess I'll continue to muddle through. The good thing is that I only have 60 names to learn every year now and about 20 more if I do after school tutorials.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I love the sound of jelly jars popping as they seal.

Actually, I love making jelly.

It's been several years since I've made any. Working full time and going to school was grueling and jelly making was one of the things that fell by the wayside.

Jenny had some blueberries and wanted to make jelly so today we did. I've never made blueberry jelly before but it's not any different. :)

We also made peach jam - I'd never made that before either.

Steven is picking up some more plums because I grossly underestimated the amount of plums needed. I love the color of plum jelly. It's a beautiful, rich shade of red. I can't wait to finish the plum jelly.

I missed blackberries so I'm going to get some frozen ones for more jelly. Actually, I just talked to Steven and he's getting them now.

I'm pretty sure I've missed grapes but I think we'll take a drive down the dirt road and see...

Did I mention that I love making jelly? :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mmmm, Mmmm Good!

I've been using my crockpot a lot this summer, inspired by A Year Of Crockpotting.
Last night we had Peppercorn Steak and it was delicious! Probably the best thing I've ever cooked in the crockpot. We don't care for mushrooms so I left them out and I only used a little more than 1/4 cup of the W sauce (not even going to try to spell it!)

I've also fixed these:
Tamale Pie
Salsa Chicken

There are lots more things there I want to try, especially some of the soups.

I've also fixed some of my tried and true crockpot recipes and have made the salsa chicken either 2 or 3 times. Once I added some cream cheese but didn't like that as much.

The real delicioso thing I've made this summer though, has nothing to do with the crockpot.

Back in May, we had a First Place celebration/orientation and someone brought the best, light key lime pie. She said the recipe was on the back of the label of the reduced fat graham cracker crust.

I promptly went out and bought a reduced fat graham cracker crust to get that recipe. The best $2.00 I've spent on a recipe in a long time.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the recipe calls for yogurt.

I detest yogurt. Let me rephrase. I detest the thought of yogurt. I've never eaten yogurt because it smells horrible and I have a mental block about putting it in my mouth.

I am so shocked that this delicious pie uses 2 containers of yogurt and I love, love, love it!

I want to try some different flavors but then again, I don't want to leave my key lime...

What prompted this, you ask?

I made the pie yesterday. We each had a piece after we ate. We both had another piece before we went to bed.

After lunch, we had another piece. Since there were only 2 pieces left, we went ahead and ate them.

Less than 24 hours after I made the pie, it's gone.

Did I mention that it's delicious?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rachael at Camp

Rachael finally had a day off today and called. The camp she's working at does not allow the workers to use their cell phones except on their days off. They keep them in the office, turned off.

She's having a good time and working hard. She's a "kitchie". She does all the grunt work in the kitchen - setting out the food, refilling things, sweeping, mopping, doing dishes, taking out trash - you know, all the fun stuff. :)

Her address, if anyone is interested:

Rachael Last Name
1380 Eternity Lane
Shell Knob, MO 65747

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Heart AAA

I joined AAA when we went to Missouri. With as many miles as we have on the truck, I wanted to be safe. It cost about $210 for the 3 of us to have the Premier plan.

Our membership cards came Saturday. I glanced at the synopsis of benefits and put it aside.

Monday, out of the blue, it hit me that one of the benefits was a locksmith. It just so happens that we're in need of a locksmith. The benefit is $150. Guess how much it cost for the locksmith to come out and make a key? That's right...$150.

We are now the proud possessors of two brand spankin' new motorcycle keys for free.

AAA has almost paid for itself and we haven't even had it a month.

It took several hours for the locksmith to come out but it didn't make any difference since Steven had to work.

If only we'd had AAA before Steven had to have the bike towed a couple of months ago, it would have already paid for itself.

AAA, you're a wonderful thing! :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It Gets Better

Steven had to go to Houston Friday night for a Conroe team get-together and then work on Saturday at the Houston office. He asked if I wanted to go. I decided not to since I would just be sitting in the hotel room Friday night and I detest driving in Houston so I'd probably just sit at the office with him Saturday.

When I got up Friday morning and called Steven, he had some distressing news.

On his way to work that morning, he was passing a car in the left lane of I-45. As soon as he got around the car, there was a piece of tire rubber that he could not avoid. He didn't lose control of the bike but it jostled him around pretty good. When he got the bike lined back out, he noticed the metal plate right below the keys was up. He put it down and discovered that his keys were missing (the keys come out easily even when the bike is running).

He was just past FM 2989 so he turned around and went back to the scene of the "crime" to look for the keys. No can do...

Of course, he'd lost his spare key in the trailer when he lived in Austin and never found it and never bothered to have another key made.

A locksmith is going to be a couple hundred of dollars and he can't get to it until next week. The bike shop can maybe get another key, depends on whether they can read some number on the ignition. If not, they have to replace the entire ignition (several hundred dollars). The bike shop is moving and can't get to it until Wednesday. That means Steven will be taking the truck every for a few days. So in addition to the cost of getting another key, we've got a couple of tanks of gas to deal with.

It's just money, right?

I was scheduled to work in the kitchen at church for the Kairos prison ministry until 3:00. I left there, packed a bag and headed to Conroe to pick up Steven and head to Houston.

He goes to his dinner, I watch TV and stitch and all is well.

Steven's calling me at 10:30 to make sure I'm up and ready to go by 12:00 when we have to check out of the hotel. He calls and tells me to open the hotel door. It's only 9:30.

He can't get logged on to a computer in the Houston office and there are no tech people working to help him. We decide to go to Conroe and he'll work there.

We get to Conroe and the custodial office has locked his office door. His key is on the side of I-45 somewhere. He'd left the door open Friday night because he didn't have a key (he has a key card to get into the building).

So much for working on Saturday...

So as to not waste the trip, I go to the resale shop (bought nothing), Card and Party Factory (bought nothing), Dollar Tree (bought nothing) and the teacher supply store (bought stuff!). When we got to Huntsville, we went to Home Depot to get cinder blocks for my compost heap.

Tile is on sale.

We now have tile for the bathroom floor, the tub surround and a bathroom light fixture.

We don't have any cinder blocks.

They were out of cinder blocks.

They won't be in until Thursday.

What kind of home improvement store runs out of cinder blocks?

When we get to 2989, we exit and look for keys. Steven says he heard a jingle when he exited there.

No luck.

A couple stops and asks if they can help. They live just down the feeder road and have a metal detector. They don't know how to use it and neither do we. We figure it out but it's not very sensitive to keys (we tried it on the truck keys). Off we go to the off ramp again. No keys.

We go back to where the rubber is. Steven uses the metal detector and I use my eagle eyes. They almost never fail me. Today they did. I walked all the way to the bridge and back on the other side of the interstate and the only thing I found that was of any use was a single dollar bill.

Do you have any idea how very exciting it is to walk down I-45 with big trucks whizzing past at 70+ mph? It's not really.

We gave up, came home and decided that it's just money and what the heck...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Isn't That Special?

Yesterday was Wednesday and Steven had a test seminar in Dallas. I go with him to drive home so he can sleep since he has to get up early to go to work. When he got home about 2:15, he was in a tizzy. Steven is *never* in a tizzy. He had left his billfold on top of a gas pump at HEB in Conroe. He called, they had it and would hold it for him at customer service. No problem.

We stop at Subway to get something to eat. I give Steven my card to pay and I fill up our drinks. He puts the card back in my billfold and off we go.

I start off driving so Steven can talk to someone at the office in Houston. We stop for a bathroom break in Ennis. Steven drives and I reach in the back to get my glasses out of my purse.

My purse is not there.

We're almost in Dallas. Neither one of us has our driver's license, neither one of us has any cash, neither one of us has a credit card, neither one of us has a debit card. Isn't that a fine kettle of fish?

Luckily, we had plenty of gas, the seminar provides pizza for the people attending and there's always enough left for me to have a piece and I had brought water.

The bad news is that I didn't put any reading glasses in my stitching bag so I can't stitch or read. I don't do well just sitting and doing nothing, especially for 3 hours. I was able to get the book far enough away to read somewhat comfortably so I wasn't too frustrated,

I called Jennifer and she went to Subway and picked up my purse. Yes, I left it sitting on the counter there. Thank goodness it was in Madisonville.

On the way home, Steven called HEB to find out what time they close and open so he could get his billfold. What I didn't know was that he needed to be in Houston at 6:00 this morning. He also had to have his billfold because he had to pick some things up from the Conroe office and his key card for his office was in his billfold. HEB closes at midnight and opens at 6:00. Yep, you guessed it. We're heading to Conroe when we get home at 10:30 (the seminar only lasted 2 hours instead of 3 - thank goodness!!).

But wait!! Becky had a wonderful idea! Since Steven needs to be in Houston at 6:00, why doesn't he just spend the night in Houston. That way he can get his billfold, be in Houston at 6:00 and we don't have to go to Conroe and back in the middle of the night.

That's what we ended up doing and it all worked out. Unbelievably, both our contents were untouched. I'll monitor card usage over the next couple of days to make sure cards weren't used but it doesn't look like they were. We are fortunate and very happy there are still so many honest people in the world.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Date Night

Steven's been working long hours the last 3 weeks to get a project ready to print. They printed today and he promised me a date Saturday after we took Rachael to the airport to go to Missouri.

There's been a change of plans.

We're having a date in Branson tonight. We're going to see Bill Medley and Paul Revere and the Raiders (if there are tickets available). We got a hotel for $40 plus taxes and fee ($52) plus the tickets to the show (more than we should pay but what the heck).

You're probably wondering why we're going to Branson and that would be an excellent question.

Rachael piddled around about getting her plane ticket to Missouri and it was going to cost the entire amount of money she was going to earn at camp. Her loving mother (me) offered to take her if she paid for everything - gas, food, hotel. We figured about $400 - lots cheaper than the ticket. The camp she'll be working at is 45 miles from Branson. She has to be there no later than Saturday but we have to be back for church Sunday so we're taking her tomorrow.

We decided that since we were going to be that close to Branson, we might as well go see a show since we may never be that close again and we won't make a special trip there.

Steven's going to have a difficult time topping this date...

We're leaving early so we have some time to see some sights in Branson soI have to get up in 4 hours and 45 minutes. I'm totally wound up and won't sleep much but I better go try...

Yes, we've lost leave of all our senses...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Debt Reduction

Yesterday I listed 7 books for sale at Before I went to bed last night, 4 of them had sold and another one this morning. I now have $55.20 more towards debt reduction. Hooray!!

Two books were textbooks that I never got around to listing, one was a book that ended up not being what I thought it was and the other four were fairly current novels that I have no interest in rereading.

Maybe, as I'm cleaning house, I'll come up with some more books that will be worth more than 1 cent on Amazon. I really need to get the camera out and figure out how to sell things on ebay. Maybe that will be my next project. It would only be for the summer because I don't think I really have time for it during the school year. But then again, I'm sure this year will be easier and I'll feel like I have more time so we'll see.

Off to package up my debt reduction items and put them in the mail to their new owners...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Dancing!

Steven got a mid-year bonus today and it's enough to pay off our house with a little left over!! He's taking off work early so we can go to the bank and take care of it today.

I'm so excited that the house payment can now be used for debt reduction every month and we're that much closer to being able to flip the house.

It's a happy day here!!


It's done!! We'll be having a mortgage burning party in 4-6 weeks when the paperwork arrives.

The next credit card should be paid off in 2-3 months now. Debt free is getting closer even though it's still a ways off...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Why I'm Voting Democrat

Why I'm Voting Democrat

I thought this was great! This young man seems to have a great head on his shoulders.

Wii Fever

Yesterday Kevin and Diane had their housewarming. They have a beautiful 22oo sq. ft. house on 1 1/2 lots with a monster garage. The backyard is huge and has a covered deck with a covered walkway from the garage to the house. It's 3 bedroom, 2 bath with a huge utility room and game room with enough room to really play pool. I forgot to take my camera so I don't have pictures. :( It was like a Santos family reunion. Everyone was there except Megan, Brandy and Chris and all my kids. That's the first time so many have been together since Gaile's funeral in February 2000. I got to spend lots of time holding Arin and Celeste's baby Xander who is one month younger than Rowdy.

Kevin and Diane have a Wii. Steven played bowling with Sherrill, Tara and Jeremiah and loved it.

We looked at W-M in Huntsville on the way home last night but they didn't have one.

We looked at W-M in Madisonville today and they did have one.

We are now the owners of a Wii.

Steven is hooking it up right now.

Yes, we've lost leave of all our senses....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Mmmm, Mmmm Good!

Jennifer's birthday is tomorrow and she wanted me to make FS since hers never tastes as good as mine. Now I love FS but it is the biggest pain in the rear to make. So, since it's her birthday and she asked for it, I made a big batch.

I must say that it was quite delicious...

If you love FS and want some, drop on by on your birthday and I'll fix some for you.

Thank you so much Terry for making me try it 24 years ago even though it looked absolutely disgusting and I swore it would never pass my lips.

(If you don't know what FS is and you grew up in my house, just think for a minute and you should get it :) If you didn't grow up in my house, just ask and I'll tell you :)

Friday, June 06, 2008


RIP dear Samsung phone.

You served me well.

I loved you and no other phone will ever be able to replace you.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


What has happened? I love plants but my entire adult life, I've been able to take a beautiful plant and turn it into a dead stick (in direct contrast to my dad who can take a dead stick and turn it into a beautiful plant). I always tried really hard to keep plants alive but they never made it.

Now, my porch is full of plants that are all doing well. I even have 2 plants from Gaile's funeral in 2000 that are still doing well. What's up with these plants? I don't feel like I'm doing anything differently but apparently I am. I now have to stop buying plants because I have no more room for them!

Sunday, June 01, 2008


We've subscribed to Netflix for about a year now. For the longest time, we did 1 movie at a time with a limit of 2 movies a month. We don't watch tons of movies but do enjoy one sometimes and $4.99 was really cheap for 2 movies. Since Rachael is home, we're doing 2 at at time, unlimited. She has a queue and we have a queue so she gets movies she likes and so do we.

Last night I was in the office and thinking how we needed a DVD player for the office TV because I wanted to watch a movie and Steven and Rachael were watching softball on the big TV. Suddenly, I had an AHA moment and remembered that Netflix has movies on demand that you can watch on your computer. We have unlimited on demand movies so I proceeded to check it out. It only took about 2 minutes from the time I went to the website until I was watching a movie. The quality was great and you can pause when you want to. I'll probably be doing this more often now. Our computer screen is about the same size as our office TV so I might as well save the cost of a DVD player for the office. :) Not all movies are available but there's still a good selection. This is also an option for when we're traveling and staying in a hotel.

Riding the Bike

Steven has to have some work done on his bike tomorrow in Austin (he prepaid for some services before he went to work in Conroe) so we're heading out late this afternoon and are going to spend the night. We got a room at a Marriott through PriceLine (love PriceLine!) and will enjoy the amenities there instead of our usual Motel 6.

This will be our first real ride this year. School has been so difficult and I've worked so late every evening and been so stressed that I haven't even wanted to ride. Steven probably should have made me go on some rides though since it really does help relieve my stress.

Steven will go to the Austin office and work while they're working on the bike. I'll go along and either stitch or read (better than sitting at the bike shop!). After they finish, we'll mess around for awhile and head back late in the evening.
On the agenda:
- a trip to my favorite thrift shop (I always find Steven nice dress shirts and ties for well under $5 as well as books in OK condition for my classroom library for 25 cents)
- a trip to Ginger's - conveniently across the parking lot from my favorite thrift shop
- a trip to a great Goodwill store - they always have great kids' books, in great condition for 99 cents
- if there's time, I want to check out the new shopping center/mall (can't tell from the feeder road what it is for sure) that is where the airport used to be
- maybe a trip to the teacher supply store but probably not
- a meal at Panda Express
- whatever else strikes our fancy

Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who will take me wherever I want to go and shops with me with no complaint. He holds stuff so I get to shop with my hands free. Have I said recently how wonderful he is and how blessed the kids and I are to have him in our lives? If not, here it is. :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

I survived!

My last post was the morning of the first day of school, way back in August. I thought it only appropriate that the next post be after the last day of school here in May.

All I have to say is that I survived! It was a long, difficult year but I survived. I'm already looking forward to next year and everyone says the second year is much better than the first year.

I plan to spend some time this summer getting the house in order, stitching, reading, quilting, working on lessons, sleeping, playing with the grandsons, and whatever else suits me. It's been 3 years since I've had a summer off and I'm really, really looking forward to it!

I'm happy to be blogging again, look for more posts to come...