Friday, October 27, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy….

I don’t know why I keep getting tripped up, but I just can’t seem to stay on top of anything. My desk at work is piled with papers to grade, file, and organize. At home, things seem to be in a constant state of disarray. However, as soon as I start to make headway in one direction, I turn around to find that chaos has crept into another area. I need significant blocks of time at both work and home to catch up. Today and tomorrow I have parent conferences at school. With those ending around 12 – 12:30 each day, I have the rest of the afternoon to work in my room. Woo-hoo! I can finally catch up! With any luck, this weekend will afford me the time to knock out the chores I have awaiting me at home.

You may be wondering. “Kay, if you’re so busy, why are you taking the time to type this?” My response to that would be that I’m waiting. I have about fifteen minutes before my next conference starts. Yes, I’m typing this at work and will post it later when I get home. I can’t view my blog from work. Any site which has blog in the address is blocked, and this is one more area where I don’t want to get too far behind. When I’m finished typing this, I’ll e-mail it to my home address, retrieve it after I get home, and post then. I want to keep my blog relatively current. Since I have a limited amount of time for any task at this moment, there’s not really enough time to become fully engaged in any of my other duties. Writing my personal thoughts is easy. That flows quite naturally; it’s the rest of life that seems to carry more obstacles and interruptions. It’s not that those things are necessarily bad; they certainly have their positive points, but I need to find a time to hunker down in my classroom and to be alone at home to just whirlwind my way through all those chores which are now looming over my head.

Despite my lengthy to do list, I still found time to go shopping yesterday, and Chris went with me! It was raining heavily, and he just didn’t want me out alone in it if he could help it. He spent most of his time sitting in one of those little seating areas in the mall and playing games on his phone. Whenever I ask him if he is annoyed with waiting for me, he always reminds me of the song “Waiting on a Woman” by Brad Paisley and tells me that he never minds!

Anyway, yesterday I was able to buy a couple pairs of cute pants at New York and Company and some good smelling body cream and shower gel at Victoria’s Secret, and thanks to my sister-in-law Laura I’ve been turned on to the tarts from Yankee Candle Company. I had to load up on those yesterday. Chris actually went a couple weeks ago and bought me a tart burner and a few tarts, so I replenished our stock yesterday. Oh, and wonder of wonders, I started my Christmas shopping yesterday. I plan to do a little more on Saturday. I have to return to the mall because, after checking my receipt, I discovered that they overcharged me for my pants. However, I’m not bothered; I’ll just get reimbursed and do a little more Christmas shopping.

Two minutes until my next conference…. I better pull myself stuff together and move on!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Speaking of Bugs

Today I came home and immediately put on my walking shoes in order to go for a stroll with Bella. We took off for a few turns around the complex. With the wind whipping up and the questionable skies overhead, I didn’t want to take any chances and get caught in the rain like I did a few weeks ago. Besides, each lap is about a quarter mile, and there are varying degrees of incline… not too shabby of a walk.

I decided to take Bella down to the front of the complex where there’s a large field affectionately (?) referred to as Pooh Corner. (I’m not sure where the name came from; the only thing I can figure is that’s where most of the residents take their dogs.) In the middle of the lot is a stone which lies level and can’t be seen from the road. As we neared the stone, I decided that it would be a good place for me to stand while Bella explored and ran in circles about me.

I noticed a dark, deep hole just beside the rock, and I recall thinking, “I wonder what could be down there?” Instead of continuing my train of thought, I turned my attention to Bella, always the entertainer. After a few moments I started to feel a strange eerie feeling around my right ankle. I look down in that direction, toward the hole, and noticed two long spindly legs reaching over the side of the rock and lifting a plump black body over the ledge. Immediately my mind leapt towards memories of Harry Potter and Aragog, the humongous spider. As she came continued to move back and forth over the tip of the stone, I noticed the red sphere just under her abdomen. I began to slowly back away, stepped away from the stone, and headed back across the field. Though I was fascinated with the black widow, I had no desire to stay and tempt her to defend her abode.

My other encounter with an insect tonight was after Chris and I left Walmart. After a very simple dinner of sandwiches made with toasted slices of his mom’s delicious sour dough bread, we ventured out for a quick grocery shopping trip. When we prepared to put the groceries in the back of the Rover, Chris pulled out something rather large and furry and red, pitched it towards me, and said, “Do you want this?” I was surprised to find in my arms a ladybug, about two feet around on all sides. It has, like the black widow, black legs, but it’s not at all scary. I have not idea what I’m going to do with this gigantic love bug, but for now it does make me smile. I wonder if there will be room for Chris in the bed tonight!

Here it is! Isn't it cute?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wrap Up

Let me see… what has happened in the last few days? The beginning of the week was pretty normal, but it becomes increasingly noteworthy.

Monday: Chris’s birthday. We went to his parent’s house for dinner. His mom, Donitta, always makes the most delicious meals and prepares enough to feed a platoon! There is never any lack of interesting conversation, and now that we have a small one at the table, our nephew Gavin, who is nearly a year old, there is no end to the entertainment.

Tuesday: In order to fulfill my attempt to celebrate Chris’s birthday all week, I made him lasagna and enough chocolate chip cookie dough so that I could make him cookies all week. He loves my lasagna; I don’t use ricotta cheese. It’s just meat lasagna. Feed him meat, and he’s happy.

Wednesday: I woke up around 4:30 with one of the worst migraines of my life. I’ve had ones that last three days, and yet this one that only lasted for nine hours was worse. I could hardly see, hear, breathe, or speak. When I get migraines my five senses often become super sensitive, and when intense pain is involved that sensitivity only enhances the pain. It’s a vicious cycle. Needless to say, the pain was quite severe. I was barely able to reach over to brush Chris’s hand and whisper his name so that he could help me. He had to call my boss early in order to let her know that I would not be able to make it to work and needed a substitute which apparently worried her a bit. I guess it’s not normal for a spouse to call in sick, but I could not talk at that point. Finally, I was able to get myself together enough so that he could help me get to the school to leave lesson plans. Finally, around noon, I broke down and took a pain pill, the ones I only take in dire situations, and finally got some relief. So wonderful! I started feeling so great that I got up, cleaned a bit, did some laundry, and baked the rest of the cookie dough making two huge platters of cookies. Later, I was able to make it to my sister’s baptism! Eva and her husband Matt were baptized last night at the church in Portland. At least I think it’s in Portland. Anyway, it’s near to where they live. Apparently the church doesn’t have a service on Wednesday nights, just choir practice. So, we interrupted their practice and held a semi-private baptism, such a precious evening. Their pastor baptized Matt, and Dad had the distinct privilege of baptizing Eva. She was sweetly tearful and yet playful, as, of course, was Dad. He actually baptized me when I was a little girl; I’m sure that he was able to play such an integral role in that special event in each of our lives.

Thursday: Thankfully, today I woke up feeling fine. Today was our annual trip to the Parthenon here in Nashville. If you don’t know, we have a full sized replica of the Parthenon in Greece, complete with a 42 foot gold plated Athena. Anyway, we take the 7th grade class, and then we play “Olympic” games on the front lawn. Actually, the students make up these totally crazy games, and each of the homerooms compete against one another. About half way through the games, the sky opened up, and a light yet steady rain began to come down. We all proceeded to get wet, but nobody really cared. Finally, we finished the games and headed to the mall for lunch. As soon as we arrived back at the school, I had a meeting, and then I had to leave that to go to the dentist. I hate going to the dentist. Really, I hate it. The entire time the hygienist was cleaning my teeth I had a firm grip on the arm rest, and I tried desperately to concentrate on anything but the awful scrapping noise and the strange pointy utensils poking at my teeth and gums. Finally, after the stressful ordeal at the dentist, I made my way back out into the rain and started on my journey home. But I didn’t really make it there right away. As I drove away my windows started to fog up a bit, so I rolled down my window a bit in order to help defog the truck. When I tried to roll it back it, it just fell out! Thankfully it didn’t fall completely out of the truck; it ended up getting stuck at a weird angle hanging half way out the door. I didn’t know what to do, and after calling Chris I ended up making my way over the Rover shop to see his brother and dad, hoping that they would help me fix the door. Of course they helped me but only managed a temporary fix, and about an hour and a half later I finally headed home. It’s been a long day, especially since I ended up breaking the shower head when I was cleaning the bathroom, and we ended up having to go out and buy a new one.

I really hope that tomorrow is calm and uneventful. Who am I kidding? I teach 7th graders, am married to a wonderfully crazy man, and am part of an always interesting family. I don’t have many commonplace days.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What a weekend!

First, we went to see The Crucible on Friday night, performed by the high school students at the school where I work. We have an excellent drama department, and the productions are truly extraordinary. They have won the mid-state competition with the play and will be going to compete for the state in two weeks. I would not be surprised if they won. I did not sense one dishonest moment in the entire rendering of the piece. By that I mean that the actors were committed to their characters and truly inhabited their roles. I was engulfed in the action and quite deeply moved. On the whole, it was quite intense. Most of those actors were either in my class when they were in seventh grade or were in plays I directed while they were in middle school; I was so proud of them. Since I am no longer involved in theater at work, it won’t be long before there are no more students who once were in my plays.

Yesterday morning, after partaking from the breakfast bar at Shoneys, Chris and I set out for the mall to get him a few new things for his birthday. So, this was the rest of our day:
• bought him three flannel shirts, two thermal shirts, and a cool new motorcycle jacket (We’ll have to wait a while longer on the actual motorcycle.)
• popped in for a visit with his mom, ending up staying a couple hours just chatting, sipping on Cokes, and getting new Mary Kay makeup
• dropped by Office Depot for a few supplies for Chris’s office
• wandered around in Steinmart and ended up losing our minds and purchasing a rather large 4’x5’ print (But it was on sale!)
• came home for dinner and watched Glory Road
• checked our bank account online and discovered that once again we are broke!
• went shopping for pants for Chris (using the birthday money from his mom) and groceries (using my birthday money for Chris)
• ran home, dropped off our purchases, and headed back out to meet my parents at Logan’s for appetizers, soft drinks, and conversation
• came home, crawled into bed, and fell asleep watching The Little Mermaid

Today we went to church and endured a rather intense and confusing sermon. I think we’ll be thinking on this one all week. After church we decided to grab some Sonic sweet tea and come back home in order to get a few things around the house. After lunch we proceeded to hang the rather large print we bought yesterday over our couch. Being that we already had art hung there, we had to rearrange a few things. When all was said and done, we moved around artwork in the living room, office, and our bedroom.

Here’s the print over the couch:

What do you think? Isn’t it huge?

After our wall hanging ordeal, we did laundry, ironed, baked cookies for Chris’s birthday, and stripped and remade the bed while Chris gave Bella a bath, vacuumed, and did a little ironing of his own.

I’m exhausted, and now you probably are too after reading all of this!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Revolving Around Movies

Well, Chris actually came home earlier than expected last night. I guess it was around 9:30. However, by the time he returned I was deep into a migraine and ended up falling asleep while he tried to unwind by playing video games in the living room.

Out of the blue, he emailed me today to let me know that he had gotten a surprise for me, but he wouldn’t tell me what it was. I had to endure half of my workday in suspense. Though it was difficult and frustrating; it was also fun. I love stuff like that.

I had to work late again today; I’ve been buried under a pile of grading for week. I know people say, “Why don’t you just give less work?” That’s not really up to me. Believe me; I would love to grade fewer essays. Anyway, I really thought that Chris would beat me home. However, I made it home just a few minutes before he did and was walking Bella when he pulled up. When I made it back upstairs into our apartment, he was standing beside the dining room table, and there was a copy of The Little Mermaid on the table. How sweet and thoughtful! He knew that I really wanted it since it came out on DVD last Tuesday. I loved my surprise.

After receiving my surprise we had to take a trip to Staples and ended up going by the video store to rent Click? Have you seen it? It actually has a really good message, and we both enjoyed it. I laughed so hard during one scene that I snorted! I wish that I could laugh that hard more often; it’s not that I enjoy the snorting just the good feeling losing myself in laughter. On a side note, it really made me want to dig out my old Cranberries CD’s. Anyway, I grilled some chicken and put it in salad for dinner, and we enjoyed a quiet evening at home eating dinner and watching a movie. Now Chris is playing video games, and I’m getting ready to resume my never ending chore: laundry.

Tomorrow night looks like it’s shaping up to be a busy one. We have community group first, and then we’re supposed to meet Chris’s old friends for dessert at Blackstone Brewery downtown. I’m sure that I won’t be posting tomorrow night. Hopefully I’ll have a colorful anecdote or two to share from those experiences. I guess it remains to be seen.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Latchkey Wife

I know that I’m being silly. My sister-in-law has to be away from my brother who is in Iraq for a year. My sister has to be away from her husband for days at a time when he travels for business. I only have to endure Chris working pretty late a few nights a week. I’m not like some of the women at work who commented today about the convenience of their husbands being away from home and how much they can accomplish when they’re not around. I do work more efficiently around the house when Chris is not here. That can be nice on a Saturday or for a couple hours in the afternoon, but I suppose it’s just that I hate going to bed without him here. Even if we’re busily working on other projects in opposite sides of the apartment, it’s nice to feel his presence near by.

On our little trip to my old stomping grounds this past weekend, we were able to enjoy some time together. We drove to Chattanooga to visit with my college friends. On Friday night there was a little party, and we stayed up late with our hosts, my wonderful friends Steve and Lesley, and a few others reminiscing about the old days. It was so much fun sitting around the dining room table and perusing old yearbooks while we recounted our stories of crazy times and ridiculous relationships. I know that it wasn’t as much fun for Chris as it was for me, but I think that he was able to see a little different side of me. The next morning we went up to Covenant College to wander around campus and purchase some new apparel. We spent most of the time at the overlook gazing at the valley and the mountains beyond and enjoying rare moments of peace. It wasn’t glamorous or super exciting, but it’s moments like that I cherish the most. The crazy thing about the trip is that we both were really sick, me from a monster migraine and him from a serious cold, and yet we were still able to really enjoy time with our friends and each other.

So… what do I do now? I could walk on the treadmill, clean, work on my painting, or find something else productive to do. I brought grading home, but I stayed late at work today grading, and my brain is a bit mushy. I have the washer, dryer, and dish washer going. However, I’ve already had a highly productive day, and I’m very tired. I’m actually doing well to sit here working on this. Maybe I’ll just read a book, flip through a People magazine, or just watch a little TV while I wait for Chris to return. I miss him.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I seriously did not want to go. Before I even left the house I missed Chris. I knew that it was only going to be one night. However, on Monday night, Chris was so busy that he did not get home until after 2 AM; therefore I was not able to spend any time with him. I did not relish the thought of being away from Chris and trying to sleep in an old barrack style building with thin mattresses and squealing 7th grade girls. Tuesday afternoon I left with seventy-nine seventh graders for Camp Easter Seals in Mt. Juliet, TN. The purpose of the retreat was to get the kids away from school for time to bond and to grow closer to God. Of course I could not be opposed to the reasoning for going, and yet I still did not want to go.

As soon as we pulled up to the campsite dozens of memories, like a flowing stream, rushed in on me. I had journeyed to Easter Seals about fifteen times before, and each of those trips has special memories and tender moments that find me only upon returning to the site. For the duration of the trip I’m caught between living in the moment and forming new memories and being lost in reveries of those times gone by. And still I did not want to be there.

Of course there has to be a turning point. In any good story, there is a turning point or an “Aha!” moment. For me there were a few. First I will start with the more shallow points of persuasion. On any retreat there are competitions, and I tend to be quite competitive. The students were divided into four groups: Aslan, Gandalf, Nacho Libre, and Obi Wan Kenobi. I led the Gandalf group, and I must say (with very little humility) we rocked! We dominated! There were three group games: a water balloon relay, a name that TV show theme song competition, and an obstacle course relay. We won all three! Despite the fact that I suffered with a migraine for most of the time, I rallied long enough for these games and enjoyed our victories immensely! Other than the phenonminal victories, here are a few other positives about the trip: seeing my old friend John Moessner and learning that his sweet wife is pregnant with their second child, relaxing in front of the large stone fireplace, and late night chocolate milkshakes.

During praise and worship that first night we sang “Sweet Adoration,” a song that I don’t recall singing in years. In years past, that song has been quite successful in drawing me closer to God. On the whole, our times of praise and worship were great. Ryan Doyle, our 7th grade Bible teacher, gave a couple of really good talks that really helped the students to examine their hearts and motives. We had time in small groups to talk about what they had heard and learned, and my handful of girls had some very insightful observations and tender reactions to what they had heard and seen. I loved listening to them; it was quite wonderful.

So despite the list of protests that kept reeling around in my head prior to the trip, it was well worth my time and attendance.

Last night after I returned Chris and I went to our first community group. I think there are about fourteen people in the group, but only half of us were there last night. We were all supposed to bring 2-4 things to share that represented who we are or who we are becoming. We greatly enjoyed our time with this new group of people, and we both are looking forward to going deeper with these people and hopefully building some new friendships.

Tomorrow night we’re traveling to Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain for my college homecoming. Hopefully I’ll have some more interesting things to share with you after that little trip.