Friday, July 29, 2011

Real Reality Thursday. Er ... Friday

I completely blew off Real Reality Thursday, didn't I? Here's why:

I landed a teaching job! Remember the charter school interview I mentioned in last week's Real Reality Thursday post? Well, the principal offered me a job! I am going to teach 6th grade and 8th grade English/Language Arts. I am also going to be the middle school reading interventionist (hello, master's degree at work!). AND I'm going to be the librarian? Huh? That's what I said. But apparently, the library doesn't have any books yet. Lots of details are up in the air. I'm excited about this new adventure. And from what I can tell, it WILL be an adventure!

Let the crazyness begin! Hopefully, I will still find time to post on an irregular basis.

What are you up to today? Or, what were you up to yesterday? Whatever it is/was ... keep it real.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Choose Seven Days

I just finished reading I, Lorelai, by Yeardley Smith. It's a YA novel about an 11-year-old girl, Lorelai, who decides to keep a diary after her beloved cat, Mud, dies. She writes directly to Mud, sharing her concerns about her parents constant arguing, the challenges of evolving friendships, the trials and tribulations of being Tiger Lily in her middle school's version of Peter Pan, and the excitement a first boyfriend brings. It's a truly sweet book.

After I finished, one passage in particular stayed with me. In her diary, Lorelai writes about a game she used to play with her grandpa before he died.

He would say, "Lorelai, if you could relive seven days of your life, which would they be?" Then he'd give me sixty seconds to decide.
That got me wondering about what days I would choose. Here's what I came up with. It wasn't easy, and it look me longer than sixty seconds! And, as life goes on, my list will change.

  1. I would love to relive just one day with my mother. Any day before she got sick. Even the day on which she dumped a bowl of Quaker oatmeal on my head out of frustration.
  2. The day I flew out of the U.S. for the very first time. 
  3. The day I spent exploring Venice, Italy, on  my own.
  4. The day I bought my first house. All on my own. It was a great little bachelorette pad!
  5. My first date with Mark. We went swingdancing! Well ... HE swingdanced. I just giggled and made a fool of myself.
  6. My post-wedding/pre-honeymoon camping trip with Mark. Perfecto!
  7. The night the peeps arrived, and I heard them both screaming with life. In those two minutes, I knew they were both healthy.
Your turn! Give me your seven days!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Real Reality Thursday

I just realized today is Thursday! If I don't get this posted now, well, it won't get posted. I have exactly 10 minutes before I leave to pick up the peeps. When the peeps are in the house, a whole lot of nuthin' gets done.

Here is how my day is shaping up.

  • Job interview @ 9:30 a.m. Done. Charter school. Strangest interview for a teaching position ever. Took about 20 minutes. I think the interviewer asked me five questions. Next step: talk to principal. On the way out, the asst. principal asked me the minimum salary I would take. Huh? Totally caught me off guard. So, I tossed out a number that I believe is reasonable given my experience and education. We shall see.
  • Wrap up The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey. I'm so loving this book! It's the second in the series, and I must must must get my hands on the first one. (Slight problem: Read here.)
  • Find ways to entertain the peeps. Going outside is not an option. Actual temp will reach 100 degrees. Add the good ol' heat index, and we're looking at 110. UGH! This is day 5 of excessive heat.
  • Tonight: Watch Sense & Sensibility. I DVR'd it a long time ago and then burned it to DVD. I don't even know which version it is. But after reading Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters, I have to have some frame of reference. Usually, I prefer book over movie, but I'm a little stacked with the books.

What about you? What'cha up to? Whatever you do, keep it real!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ideal Reality: My Bedside Reading

Here's what's clogging my nightstand as we speak. I borrowed them all from the library, and I really want to finish them all. Easy peasy, right?

I Explain a Few Things by Pablo Neruda
World's End by Pablo Neruda
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
You Are Your Choices by Alexandra Stoddard
Johnny Swanson by Eleanor Updale
Theodore Boone - Kid Lawyer - by John Grisham
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Real Reality: Being Who You Really Are

One of my all-time favorite books is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Her recent blog post Beware the Snare of the Linen Cocktail Napkin really gets to the heart of the challenge of finding common ground between our ideal reality and our real reality

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pillow Power

Our completed tile job, which you can read about here, has me in home improvement mode. I've also been ogling several home decor blogs. Here are a few of my faves:

On my trip to Pier 1 Imports last week, I bought this:


Apparently, it's a wine cushion. (WHT?) I thought it was a seat cushion. (Still do). You can't see them in the photos, but the pillow has two braided red, pink, and green ropes popping out of the top (like seat cushion ties. It is a seat cushion). Glass beads tassles adorn the rope ends. The picture isn't that great, but IRL the pillow is cue-tee patootie. I LOVE the colors. I'm calling this my inspiration pillow. It's going play quite prominently in my guest bedroom makeover. Someday.

Yesterday, I bought decorative couch pillows from Gordman's. The store has some great items. I made a mental note to up my visits. Our front room couch went from this:

Hey, grandma! Love those couch pillows!
To this:

How fun are those pillows? Someday soon that lovely lamp shade will go to the outdated lamp shade retirement village. I'd love to replace the white spindles with wrought iron. Sigh. Right now though I have Mark focused on painting the master bath and bedroom.

Real Reality Thursday

What'cha up to today?

I'm playing catch up. My goal is to take care of some of those simple, yet annoying, tasks that always seem to remain in the "I'll get to that later" category. Only "later" never shows its face.

  • Laundry
  • Online job application updates (aka The Black Hole; aka Fruitless Endeavor)
  • Selecting a mirror frame for the master bath ( - highly recommended!)
  • Making giant bubble wands for the girls (I like to do kid crafts when the peeps aren't around. Less mess. Nice surprise for the peeps.)
  • This and That

Whatever you decide to do today ... keep it real.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Woodshedding. Isn't that a great word? I ran into it while reading this blog post created by Trent, who blogs at The Simple Dollar. It's a personal finance blog with tons of practical, common sense information. I've enjoyed Trent's writing style as much as I have his insights into financial matters. I could easily see myself chatting him up over a cold beer.

Woodshedding. What does it mean? It means doing something simply for the pleasure it brings you. No compensation needed. It's your passion, your love, your dream.

The Urban Dictionary defines woodshedding as
to practice or hone skills, particularly musical skills. the origin is from the fact that for purposes of privacy people would go to their woodshed to practice without being overheard
Last night, I started down the path of woodshedding. As I've mentioned a few times before (OK, a zillion times before), I can't find a teaching job. I earned my master's degree in literacy education at the end of 2010, and all I want to do is help kids build their reading skills. But in these economic times, teaching jobs in my areas of expertise (Communication Arts and Special Reading, in case anyone in the KC Metro is looking to hire an awesome teacher) are few and far between. Competition is fierce, and districts can save some K's by hiring new grads.

Back to woodshedding. Last night I attended a volunteer orientation session at Literacy Kansas City, a local organization that matches volunteer literacy tutors with adults who want to improve their reading skills. I get to practice my passion, hone my skills, make new connections, and share my gift. Super duper excited to get started!

What about you? Do you woodshed? If so, how?

Real Reality Thursday

Good morning! It's a rainy morning here in KC. Good for gardens, but not good for our already-flooded rivers. And not good for the mamma who told her peeps she would take them to Chuck E. Cheese on the next rainy day. Yeah, I'm talking about moi.

How is your Real Reality Thursday shaping up? Mine looks something like this:

  • Laundry (No, really? Shocker.)
  • CVS
  • Walgreens (2/$4 Smuckers jelly - we eat a lot of jelly around here; and 2/$1 candy bars - got me a coop-un for 50c/ 2 3 Musketeers. Repeat after me: "Hop on the fatty wagon, sister.")
  • Bed/Bath/Beyond
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Lowe's
  • Pier 1
  • Blog about Woodshedding
We'll see what happens ... this list might actually be my Ideal Reality.

Whatever you do today, keep it real.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jennifer Aniston and Me

Last night, I dreamed that I met Jennifer Aniston. Out of all the people in the universe I would like to meet, she's not at the top of the list. She's not at the bottom, either. She's more of an "I met Jennifer Aniston today. That was cool." Middle of the list, I guess?

Here's the weird part: In my dream, I was taller than Jennifer Aniston. For those of you who have seen me IRL, you know why this is weird/funny/strange/unsettling. For those of you who haven't met me, well, I'm barely 5 feet tall. In my dream, I was still barely 5 feet tall. And I was taller than Jennifer Aniston.

Any one dare - or care - to analyze?

Yummy Quote

LOVE this:

"I don't know how anyone else sees the world, and no one else knows exactly how I see the world! We each see in our own, unique way. There isn't a Right or a Wrong, and that's how it's meant to be."

- Zoomy Chamberlain, The Danger Box by Blue Balliett