Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I'm not your typical mall shopper.  In fact, I try to avoid going to the mall if I can.  However, tonight I needed to make a stop at the book store there to pick up a gift. 

After parking my car  (and surprisingly I was able to find a parking place pretty quickly), I got out of the car and was just locking the doors when I was approached by a woman who looked to be between 30 - 40 years old.  She was wearing a long t-shirt, but it didn't register at the time that she did not have a coat on.  She exclaimed, "Excuse me!"

I really just wanted to ignore her and walk to the mall entrance, but I stopped and waited for her to get closer to me.  She then asked me for a few dollars so that she could put gas in her truck.

The cynical me is sure that she is making her way across the mall's vast parking lot asking everyone for money and that she probably doesnt need it for gas. In fact, this may be her "full time"job.

The merciful me feels sorry for her and wonders what I would do if I were stuck at a mall with no gas in my vehicle.  It wonders what the back story is.   Is she homeless?  Does she have food to eat?  Did she lose her job or have no means of support?

The cycnical me won over as I told her that I had no extra money to give her before I walked away.

I then wondered if she watched me walk into the book store doors and see me buy $85 worth of books ( when my purpose was to buy a $15 gift).

So much for my mercy.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A different Christmas 2009

This is not my usual Christmas morning family photo. 

This year at Christmas I did something a little different than usual.  My kids came over and after a delicious breakfast prepared by my sister, she and I headed out to travel three hours on wintry roads to attend a family wedding.  The kids stayed home. We spent three days visiting with family that we don't see very often.  We had a good time at the wedding, but many more nice memories were made at the hotel where many of us shared the same hallway.  I also think this is the first time I have spent Christmas with both of my sisters since we were much younger.  

We played Applegrams in the hotel room.

My sister and I stand next to Santa and his reindeer, not at the North Pole, but in Bass Pro.


The view today is *SNOW*

This is the view from my world today--from my window overlooking the front yard to be exact.  The snow began falling at 2 pm yesterday afternoon and laid a nice white blanket over everything by 5:00.  It continued snowing  off and on throughout the night and this is what I woke up to this morning.  The temperature is bitterly cold and is expected to be even colder tomorrow.  Wind chills are reaching  -20 to -30  degrees F.  

The fun this is that they canceled school today.  I am sure there were groans from parents who had to scramble around to make arrangements for children, but many cheers from kids and teachers.  

The extra nice thing was that they ( the school big-wigs)  called school off by 8pm last night which let me have a little more freedom in deciding what time to go to bed and what time to wake up this morning.  There is nothing worse for a late owl like me than waking up early in the morning for work only to find out work has been canceled.  Even if I stay in bed, it's not the same as sleeping in for the day.   

Since we have only been back at school for 3 days, having this snow day isn't as exciting and refreshing as a surprise snow day in mid February after teaching 5 weeks.  But...... I'll take it!  And it looks like I'll take another one tomorrow.  The message just came that they are calling it tomorrow too-and it is only afternoon~  Yeah!   I think I am liking this new superintendent.    I appreciate the advance notice. 

So now I can sit back and enjoy my warm beverage, snuggle in my afgan, and do some pleasure reading....  and tomorrow the alarm clock stays off and I am sleeping in! 

Maybe I will get caught up on reading all the blogs I want to read!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dinner with Family at a Favorite Haunt


I went to dinner on New Years Day with my daughter and family. We went to one of my favorite places--Huhot.

Huhot is a Mongolian BBQ place that has been on my favorites list for the last year. You go through a line and choose from a variety of protein, noodles, and vegetables to put in your bowl. Then you ladle on at least 5 -6 dips of sauce--you get to choose the sauce too from oils to creamy concoctions. Then you take it to the cooks who stire-fry it on a huge round grill. Yum! One price lets you keep going for more and I have always gone back for a second plate. I feel stuffed afterwards, but it is oh so good.  I DID NOT get seconds this time--it was difficult, but I am trying to be better about my eating habits.  Check my other blog here that is chronicling that journey.

I passed on having my usual soda and drank coffee instead.  I got a salad, but I only nibbled at the lettuce for a while.

Here is my entree.  It tastes better than it looks.  Hiding under the noodles are my vegetables- cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and celery.  See?   I am being healthy! 
One important thing is that I did not go back for seconds as I usually do.  And the most important thing was spending time with my family! 

Friday, January 1, 2010

How long is a Decade?

Okay, I know that a decade is 10 years, but it certainly doesn't seem like a decade has passed since the year 2000.  However, the calendar doesn't lie.  Let me take a quick look backwards at some things that have happened around and to me over the past decade.

  • In the year 2000 ( do you hear the music from Conan here like I do?), everyone was was worried about Y2K.  I nervously awaited for my computers to stop working, car accidents, and bedlam to ensue--but none of the above happened.  Thank goodness.
  • I graduated with two bachelor's degrees, summa cum laude,  in May, 2001.  It was a satisfying accomplishment for someone who quit school in 9th grade and got my GED a few years later. Many people have a negative connation towards people who have GED's.  Some of us, though, are pretty smart.  
  • I had been teaching less than a month when Sept.11, 2001 and later an anthrax scare happened. How to deal with 9 year olds scared out of their wits wasn't covered in any of my education classes. I guess instincts take over at a time like that. 
  • In this decade, I've taught in 2 different schools and I have taught both 4th and 5th grade.  I have worked for 4 different principals.  
  • My daughter spent 5 years living in South Korea, then spent a year as a missionary serving all over the world.  I saw her maybe a couple weeks per year. 
  • I obtained a Masters degree in Education, and started (and then postponed ) working on a doctorate. 
  • In 2006, I gained a new son-- a son-in-law to be exact.  He has been a blessing to my life. 
  • In 2008, I became a grandmother of the cutest little boy  ( some bias is allowed--- it is *my* blog) 
  • I developed some medical problems which I attribute to some trouble at work.  Some of the problems have been resolved both medical and work.  I am forced to take medication to control the more stubborn medical problems. 
  • My father passed away in November, 2008 thus showing me the circle of life.  A significant male in my life was taken away and a significant male in my life was given to me---in the span of 3 weeks.  
  • With both my parents gone on to the great beyond, I am sometimes feel as an orphan.  I struggle with wanting to become closer to other family members and staying my distance to shield myself from pain when we are eventually separated.
  • I stopped going to church because of {insert excuse here} although I never left God.  In 2009, I connected again to a church and have tried to be more faithful.
  • I've cried, I've laughed, I've loved, I've been annoyed and been annoying.  

This, of course, is not an exhaustive list.  It is just a snapshot of the past decade. I will undoubtedly think of more things in the next coouple hours.  That is just the way it is!   I have lived in 6 decades.  Man, that must make me OLD!  May I be around to blog when the next decade rolls around!