Friday, March 30, 2012

Here's What's Happening On The Ranch...

I don't really live on a ranch. I just wanted to say that since Ree Drummond says it all the time on her cooking show, and maybe I wish I had a cooking show. Or maybe I just want a cowboy.  Can't you just see Brian Murray with chaps, boots, and a cowboy hat? Now that would be a show to see.  Fo Sho. (By the way, I talk about Pioneer Woman a lot on this here blog...she really should pay me.)

Let's play a little catch up, shall we?

1. I'm having some serious technical difficulties.  I've been mostly using my phone, Phoebe, to take pictures lately.  Unfortunately for me, Phoebe has decided that she will not under any circumstances let me transfer the pictures to the computer.  She has always cooperated in the past, so I have no idea why she's giving me such a hard time. "The lady doth protest too much, methinks

2. I haven't been able to update my other blog.  See number one.

3. I went to the doctor this week.  For a checkup.  You know, THE checkup.  Fun times.

4. When I called the number I've called for the last three months to find out when I needed to report for my next $11, here was the recording: "Jury panels A, B, & C, we are pleased to inform you that your jury service is over."  Hallelujah.  I was on Panel C in case you're wondering.  I'm pretty sure C stood for Crazy.  Why else would I be in that group? There were some other interesting folks in my group who fit the description quite nicely as well.

5. Tonight's pizza crust was the best yet.  I hesitate to bring it up because I know you HAVE to be sick to death of hearing about pizza crust.  I figure I've brought you this far, and in the words of Conway Twitty (may he rest in peace), "You've never been this far before, pum pum pum". 

6. If you don't love Conway Twitty and know his songs then get out of here.  Just kidding. Please don't go.

7. Hello Darlin' (See numbers five and six).

8. We had what I like to refer to as a bit of a dead fish situation.  You see, Claire had a dead fish.  Dead as a doornail.  Oh sweet Tara, you will be missed. It was really pitiful to see Tara on the pink rocks upside down with all of her beautiful pink color completely gone from her body.  In fact, it seemed as if Katie the frog was taking the news especially hard.  She kept sitting right beside her, and I was pretty sure I saw a little frog tear in her eye.  Until ~ Katie suddenly had Tara in her mouth.  I'm going to be keeping an eye on Katie from now on.  For all we know, it was cold-blooded murder right there in the fish tank.  The only eyewitness is Ella, the other pink fish.  She was swimming around so frantically that I can't yet determine if she is terrified by what she witnessed or nervous because she was an accomplice. 

9. My hair is dark brown.  Well, actually it's just a little darker than normal, but I tend to exaggerate just a little (in case you haven't noticed). I've been trying to let a little, tiny bit of what I think is my natural color sneak back in for the last few months.  Then my hair lady, the one who took off half my eyebrow last time, decided to speed up the process a little.  No pictures at this time. See number one.

10. I've been having ridiculous dreams.  I have always had lots of dreams that I remember, but last night's dream was just too hilarious not to share.  In this dream, it was my first day of high school.  I was in this humongous school, and my real-life high school friend Jason and I were frantically searching for our first class.  I ended up in this really large auditorium sitting next to my friend Staci.  Turns out, Staci was there for her daughter's wedding.  In my dream, her daughter was all grown up and had a totally different hair color.  It's also probably worth noting that Staci was wearing a wedding dress for her own daughter's wedding and sitting really far from the stage.  Then suddenly I realized we were at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.  The End. 

I think I'll stop with ten because I really think I've reached the limit on how much crazy you can handle at one time. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A White Bird Flying

When I wrote about how much I loved reading  A Lantern In Her Hand back in January, I was excited when Karey left a comment about some of Bess Streeter Aldrich's other books.  In particular, she recommended A White Bird Flying because it picks up right where the first book left off.  So a huge thank you to Karey is in order because I didn't even know there was another book.  I finally finished reading A White Bird Flying, and it certainly did not disappoint.  I am such a fan of this author's writing and want to read more of her books.  Karey (if you're reading) which one should I read next????

Here is a short description of the book from Amazon:
*Abbie Deal, the matriarch of a pioneer Nebraska family, has died at the beginning of A White Bird Flying, leaving her china and heavy furniture to others and to her granddaughter Laura the secret of her dream of finer things. Grandma Deal's literary aspirations had been thwarted by the hard circumstances of her life, but Laura vows that nothing, no one, will deter her from a successful writing career. Childhood passes, and the more she repeats her vow the more life intervenes.

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes, but as usual there are really too many to list.

(Talking about his wife of many years who died a while back)
"Well, now," he began, "You see they just never leave you entirely. Now take me...I set here on the porch...and she seems to be working inside.  When I'm inside, I just think of her as bein' out in the yard for a minute...sometimes I can hear her shut the door and go about her work. It ain't so, I know, don't think I'm off in my head...but it pleases an old man's fancies.  And when the lilacs come always seems she's around.  Lilacs...always associate her with lilacs."

"Home.  What a big word that was.  Lots of attempts made lately to belittle it.  Plenty of fun poked at it.  Young folks laughed about it, called it a place to park.  Everybody wanted to get someplace else, seemed like.  They'd find out.  They'd understand some day.  When they got old, they'd know.  They'd want to go home.  Sometime in their lives, everybody wanted to go home."

I also loved the way this book ended, but I would have to quote way too much for it to make any sense. Of course, I wouldn't want to ruin it for you either if you are considering reading it!

Excellent writing and interesting characters kept me interested. I hope you'll consider reading some of Aldrich's books!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

And All God's People Said...AMEN

Welcome weekend! We are out of school tomorrow, and I am beyond thankful.  We just completed our AdvancEd (BIG DEAL school accreditation from the state that happens every five years).  It was lots of time preparing since school started in August, and then two very stressful days with a visiting team in our building.  They visited my classroom twice, but I was fortunately not chosen as one of the teachers who had to be interviewed.  For that, I am very thankful.  The good news is: WE PASSED! The bad news is: every teacher/principal/staff member in our building is exhausted.  Which brings me back to the day off tomorrow.  I have threatened every living thing in this house, and a few non-living things (alarm clock, telephone, etc), to not even think about waking me up in the morning.  One morning this week I was in my classroom at 6:30.  Just to clarify, that's 6:30 in the AM.  Then today I didn't leave the building until after 6:00 pm.  Not that I'm complaining.  Thankful for my job.  Thankful that we passed.  Very thankful for tomorrow off.  And the next day.  And the next. 

(Two weeks until Spring Break!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Will You Please Join Me?

There has been a special called prayer meeting for today.  We will meet on my front steps promptly at 5:30 pm.  If you can't join us in body, please join us in spirit.

Brian is making another pizza crust, and I/he/that poor pizza crust need a lot of prayer.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's Kind Of Growing On Me

I used to hate it.  Then I learned to tolerate it, but only if nothing better was around.  Now I actually kind of like it.  Dark chocolate that is.  I decided a while back to give it a try.  It's supposed to have some health benefits, so I thought I should stop turning my nose up at it.  Lately, I've had Dove dark chocolate.
With Dove, I get the extra benefit of each piece whispering something inspirational to me.

Every wrapper says something like, "Somebody is thinking of you right now" and
"Engage, embrace, enjoy".  I just keep waiting for the one that says, "You should totally stop eating dark chocolate and eat more sour patch kids". Doubtful.

So, do you like dark chocolate?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mama Rock Me

I told you I like this song! Then I found this can find anything on Pinterest. (It probably means something bad, so pardon moi if it does.  I just like the tune and the fiddle!)

Blue & Gold Banquet

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the Boy Scout Blue & Gold Banquet.  Parker got an award that night, and we had a nice dinner.

(Not sure what's up with Claire's face, and my poncho was all bunched up!)

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Last night's pizza crust was a flop.  An F.L.O.P. flop as my dad would have said.  So bad that we ended up ordering from Pizza Hut.  I should add that Brian has taken over this crust making si-u-a-she-on.  I started this whole mess back with Pioneer Woman's crust making, and now it's become a challenge (especially for Brian).  There have been videos watched, research conducted, reviews read, etc.  It's getting out of hand.  I seriously don't even care any more, but he will not back down.  Since Friday night is pizza night (see: tradition), we should have many more opportunities to get it right.  At this point, I'm honestly just wishing we could go back to my beloved Chef Boyardee.  I know that most people don't like it, but haters gonna hate.  It never let me down.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Food Update!

About a month ago, we made Angel Chicken from Pinterest.  I didn't take a picture, but it looked exactly the same as the Pinterest picture.  Unfortunately, none of us liked it very much.  It had way too much wine taste for this Baptist girl!

Parker wanted to know if angels really eat it.  He didn't think it tasted good enough for angels to eat. He asked me to never make it again! It really wasn't that bad overall, but I doubt we'll be eating it again anytime soon. 

We are still working on the pizza dough recipe.  We tried one from Pinterest, Bobby Flay's recipe, and Alton Brown's recipe.  None are just exactly right, but we are getting closer.  We will stay the course and finish the race.  Oh, yes we will.  We have taken the vow to let no pizza crust put asunder.

In other food related news, I ate fish tonight.  Also, I did not die from the eating of the fish.  Here's the thing...I hate fish.  I love shrimp and even enjoy crab and lobster from time to time.  I just do not like fish.  I really want to learn to like it because I know it's healthy.  Tonight, we had tilapia.  Success! It didn't taste fishy! Hooray for tilapia! I even chewed it up and swallowed it without gagging. 

So I really want to you all like fish? If you do, please tell me which kind and how you prepare it!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bringing Down The House

It's Friday night!!! My first full week after two short weeks is complete! All I have to say is that all of this going to school five days a week is for the birds! Of course, it's way better than being sick and/or sitting in a courtroom for hours on end.  However, where is the snow???? I don't even need a big snowstorm.  Just a small threat of snow around here is enough to get us a snow day.  This teacher needs one.  Also, I know 18 first graders that could use one or eleven days too! Man alive, they are wild animals lately! At least it's been warm enough to go outside to play some.  Today we celebrated the birthday of good ol' Dr. Seuss.  It was fun until we were rudely interrupted with an early dismissal announcement because of tornado watches and warnings.  We still have a tornado watch so we are home having a dance party tonight.  I actually gave up a free ticket to see Brad Paisley and The Band Perry in Knoxville tonight.  I can promise you that Brad doesn't have anything on this dance party though.  We are bringing down the house. (Right now Brian is doing some kind of line dance to "Wagon Wheel" aka "Mama, Rock Me". Do you know that song? I love that little ditty).  We're just praying a tornado doesn't literally bring down the house! Y'all stay safe!