November 21, 2014

Actually, I do write everyday

…just not on this blog.

You see, my school has a very labor intensive writing program and I have to write 4 separate pieces each day with my 4 separate small groups.  It is …laborious.  I think the reason why I'm too worn down to blog is because I'm doing this stuff all day long…

I get a prompt, I model a response to the prompt in "my" notebooks, they copy into their notebooks, and then they go write their own original piece.

I'm *prompted* tell you this story because, by the last group of the day, I'm exhausted and near delirium and, I swear, just making stuff up.  It often feels like I've stayed up too late and I can't think clearly.  

Tuesday's prompt for my highest group:  Tell about a time you were embarrassed.  

Why?  Just why?  Sometimes, I use the example the website gives with the prompt.  Sometimes, the example is dumb and it's easier to make up my own.  I spend a lot of this writing hour drawing on my own experiences.  

I start my piece…and talk about a time I missed the kickball in gym class when I was up to bat.  Like it wasn't bad enough the first time.  Now I get to tell this to a bunch of 4th graders who will laugh at my expense.  However, it's the first thing I can think of and they get more out of it if they see me modeling, not just copying from the screen. And seriously, the quicker I start writing, the quicker this is done.

"Luckily, for me, the teacher called it a foul and I received another chance to make it to first base."

One kid:  Foul?  More like FAIL, son!  Boom.  
Another kid:  How is that embarrassing?  
A third:  Yeah, that's not embarrassing.
Second kid again: You didn't even fall?
Another:  Is this true?
Second kid again (he's a talker): No, she's getting it from the computer (peers at monitor to see if I'm copying or making it up).  Oh, no.  It's real.
First kid:  You didn't even fall?

Oh, I definitely fell.  But I'm definitely not telling them that.  

Cheers to 9 days off for Thanksgiving.

*Edited to add:  These are really well-behaved and smart students. This is their chance to converse with me and their peers and I often just sit there and listen as the group or 4 or 5 banters back and forth (it's kind of eye-opening) while I write.  

November 20, 2014

Stuff and Things 11/20

Last week, Scott was flipping through the channels and we were deciding what to watch.  Out of all the hundreds of channels and all the amazing shows on the DVR he chose…CBS.  The Big Bang Theory. I'm not saying that show isn't funny.  I chuckle at it.  However, I said, "Out of EVERYTHING, including Netflix, you choose this?"  He said, "What? You don't like it?"  I called him a plebeian. He shrugged.  My insult didn't have its desired effect.  I KNOW I'm a T.V. snob.  It's a fault.

The next night he made fun of me for watching New Girl because it's on "regular t.v."

Scott bought himself a birthday present.

I've noticed a disturbing pattern.  In 2011, he got a snowmobile.  In 2012, he got a pile of cross-country skiing equipment.  In 2013, he got a camper.  Now, a four-wheeler.  This seriously concerns me.  When I asked what I got, he said "the kitchen".  I told him that he keeps saying that and while I enjoy our kitchen, he HAD to provide that kitchen.  I let him buy this house. It's not the same thing.  

Before the 5K last weekend…
Me:  Are you going to run with me or leave me behind?
S: Well, I have a PT test next week, so I should actually run.
Me: I run.
S: Yeah, okay.

I went a little craft-fair-crazy last weekend:

I've had a Scentsy since 2010.  But I rarely buy new scents because those things last forever.  I got Very Merry Cranberry and Salted Caramel Cupcake on Saturday.  Fun fact:  We ended up with our first Scentsy because a kid came to the door selling them and Scott couldn't say no.  I totally would've turned him away in a Scrooge-like manner.

We were looking at some carved walnut bowls but they were like $80.  Unreal for just a bowl that would probably turn into a crap basket. These functional and cute bottle holders were only $30ish.  

….maybe all of this is why Scott can rationalize a four-wheeler.

Joey and I would like to thank you all so much for joining in on this lil' link-up, so we're hosting a giveaway next week with a special Thanksgiving Day edition of Stuff and Things.  Join in next Thursday and you'll be entered into the drawing for a couple of fun prizes!

Hope to see you next Thursday for the link-up!

November 19, 2014

To each (military wife) their own

Of course, I've also gotten to a lot of states…

Last month, Scott was in Texas.  I've never been to Texas and we're loooong overdue for a vacation or getaway.  We tried to figure out a way I could get down there to El Paso. He drove the first weekend of October and I thought I might make it down over the long Columbus Day weekend.  I wouldn't be able to leave until Saturday morning and then spend all day driving, with two dogs…and since Scott was working nights, he wouldn't be able to meet me until late Saturday night or Sunday morning…and I'd have to leave by Monday afternoon in order to be back for school on Tuesday.  And this is us meeting halfway, near Albuquerque, not even me getting the whole way to El Paso, so I still wouldn't get to Texas.  Plus, I was dog-sitting on that weekend, so I would've had 3 dogs and we just decided it wasn't worth it.  I've been under enough stress with work and pet-care and and a half-remodeled house (I used that weekend to paint the bathroom).  Scott was dealing with a wonky schedule of night shifts.  It would've been too stressful, all for about 6 waking hours together.  Not to mention trying to find a pet-friendly place to stay in a good location when we'd never been to that city before.

My point is…if I didn't have a full-time, can't-leave-it kinda job, I would've spent the whole month in Texas.  I could've taken the dogs and we could've had a fabulous change of scenery for a few weeks.  In fact, Scott just came back from a long weekend of duck hunting in Missouri…I could've gone there too.  Okay, maybe I wouldn't want to go on a camping trip in Missouri in November.  But I wouldn't mind a weekend road trip.

Back in the day (i.e. Alaska), I would take 2 weeks of unpaid leave each year in order to go on a pre-deployment vacation and a post-deployment vacation.  It was necessary for many reasons and I had a fabulous principal who told me to do whatever I needed to do.  I appreciated that.  Here, such things are not allowed without a special letter to the board of education or something.  If or when the time comes, I'll definitely be writing that letter.  However, until then, I'm pretty much here, going to work each day, even if Scott is somewhere else.

In the past, I've seen wives go home for months at a time while their husbands were deployed.  I've never done that because that was a choice I chose to make.  I chose to find a full-time job, so that was a sacrifice in some ways.  However, I can't complain about having a job:  It's money, obviously, and it's a special kind of fulfillment I wasn't sure I would find when I became an army wife.  Scott and I were talking the other day about how I moved to Alaska with nothing but the intention of being an army wife and how that was a good thing because I didn't feel like I was sacrificing anything. My first set of friends were army wives.  Some had careers, some didn't at that point, but the army always came first. I never felt pressured to find a job. That was my own undertaking. Since then, I've had the opportunity to work and it definitely complicates feelings when it comes to moving and readjusting to new places.  On one hand, I've been fortunate enough to have the best of both worlds.  On the other hand, I definitely have trouble feeling like I belong at times.

November 17, 2014

The most terrible goals I've ever set

I've really been meaning to join in on some of those challenges I see out in blogland.  There was a no-spend challenge but I knew that probably wouldn't work out well because there's a package sitting on the doorstep almost every day when I get home. So I, mentally, set my own goals for the fall season without actually telling anyone about them.  If that's not a recipe for success, I don't know what is.  I think I originally set 4 or 5, but I didn't meet all of them.  These are the two where I was able to grant myself a shining star of success.

1.  Stop buying pre-popped popcorn.  There is nothing that will reel me in faster than a bag of pre-popped kettle corn.  I was spending at least $6 a week on this stuff.  Hot, microwaved popcorn doesn't actually hold the same draw for me.  We also didn't have a microwave in this house for the first 4 months we lived here so microwaved-anything wasn't an option.

I kept Popcorn Indiana in business.  Another favorite was Boom Chicka Pop. That stuff is all organic so it's more like $4 a bag. I stopped cold turkey the last week of September and haven't bought a bag since.  This addiction was a tough one to break. I'd be holding onto since March-ish when my friend introduced me to the product. I think I'm good now though.

2.  Stay out of Wal-mart.  Few things make me grit my teeth more than a Wal-mart trip. (Actually, dirty floors. Dirty floors in my house make me grit my teeth more than anything.)
I hate the Wal-mart.  We all agree on this, I think.  After a particularly terrible trip there during the first week of September, in which a rainstorm soaked my groceries on the way to the car, I said ENOUGH.  That was over two months ago, and I haven't been back since.  I think I've actually become a happier human being because of it.
That's a victory, right?
Also, this directly correlates to goal #1 up there because one of the only places around here to buy my beloved kettle corn is Wal-mart.  Two birds, one stone.

Have you been successful at setting and achieving any goals this fall?  Victory feels good, no matter the importance. Right?

November 16, 2014

Turkey Trot 2014

It's rough when you realize you're not in the best cardiovascular shape that you can be.  It's even harder when you were in better shape a year ago, and better shape still a year before that. Truth be told, it's been a really rough year in that regard.  I've tried to find a balance.  Still a work in progress. However, a post with that much introspection, though well-suited for Selfie Sunday, might have to wait for another day.

Last year, I ran a 10K Turkey Trot in 55 minutes.  This year, I feel like life has caught up to me.  I don't do a whole lot of cardio and I truly hate running.  I don't like anything about it.  Oh, wait.  I like the shaky legs and endorphins rushing through my system a few hours after a run.  I do really like that.  However, I get nothing out of the physical act itself.  It's not a rush, it's not thinking time, it's not graceful movement in my case.  It's torturous.

I don't know why I sign up for these races.  I can't pass up a good "5K!" sign.  If for nothing else, just to prove I can do it.  Plus, this one was free.

So when Scott and I were walking across the parking lot to the starting line yesterday, he mentioned that he hadn't run in a few weeks.  My response was that I hadn't run since July.  And that is the honest to God truth.

I mentioned that the 5K I did in July was tough and this one followed the same route.  I'm now making a mental note to not bother with any more Ft. Carson 5Ks because they are trail runs, up and down hills (more up than down if we're being specific) and yesterday's trail was covered in snow.  Therefore, I can give very little credibility to my time and how I would rate my running ability overall.  And let's add in the fact that the altitude sets my lungs on fire.  Actual searing flames of pain.  Colorado Springs is over 6,000 ft. above sea level. (This is almost 1,000 feet higher than Denver, so I don't know why everyone makes such a big deal about that place.) A quarter mile into the race, I feel it.  No outward physical pain to speak of,  some mental boredom for sure, but the lung pain is what kept me walking for a third of this race yesterday.  Still, I finished in 35 minutes.  Not the worst, right?  Scott told me how hard the race was for him and then I felt a little better about my time.  Though he finished several minutes before I did.

Sometimes I think I could walk a 5K in the same amount of time that I could jog one. After all, I walked an awful lot yesterday.  I'm not a fast runner but I'm definitely one of those fast walkers.  Maybe I should do one more here just to prove my theory…

Linking up with Joey!