Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm begging you, please give me a job!

"Find a job you like and you add five days to every week."
-H. Jackson Browne
So to celebrate the last day of my long-term substitute teaching contract, I'm busily putting together resume packages for the big job fair tomorrow. I have three scheduled interviews in the afternoon and a plan of action for the free-for-all morning. Guess I better go downstairs and see if I can find something to wear!! Wish me luck!!

My first pupils

"What people need and what they want may be very different.... Teachers are those who educate the people to appreciate the things they need."
-Elbert Hubbard

As Gayle told me the other day, I owe you some stories from my substitute teaching adventures. Don't worry... I'm working on that one. But in the meantime, here are some pics of some of my students to whet your appetite.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras at our house

“Being from Louisiana, we understand the Mardi Gras season. It's a delightful party.”
-Lester Duhe

We will not be hosting any Mardi Gras parties at our house any more. I seem to have some awfully bad luck when I plan such an event. We had to cancel our open house this past weekend so that we could travel to Shreveport, but not before I had started decorating the house.

There are lots of wedding and party planning websites and blogs online these days. But few have ideas and inspiration for Mardi Gras. If you have better luck than me, then Mardi Gras is a great excuse for a party. Can't beat a big pot of red beans and rice, a loaf of French bread, and a giant king cake sent from a Louisiana bakery. Here are some other decorations that I created on the cheap:

Throw me something, mister!

“Mardi Gras is in our soul.”
-Kim Priez

On Saturday after Poppy's funeral, the grandkids had to get out of the house. Too many tears. Too much time indoors. Too many almost relatives. Too many stories heard too many times. Our times together are never long enough. So despite the sad circumstances, we were determined to enjoy our time together, too.

With Mardi Gras just a couple of days away, one of the annual parades was planned for Saturday evening. We parked the car about half a mile from the parade route, and walked the rest of the way. We had two Mardi Gras newbies in the group, so we were determined to do Mardi Gras right. We strolled the street looking for familiar faces. However, the sun had already set, so instead of friends and former classmates, we only found irritating high schoolers and disgusting white trash.

We turned around and headed back the least crowded spot we had seen, in front of a house up for sale. We stood around for awhile, hoping that it wouldn't be too long until the parade wound its way around to Kings Highway. I mean, it was a chilly night, and we really hadn't wrapped ourselves in enough layers.

Just as we could hear the sirens and see the flashing lights of the police cars clearing the streets, a voice called out, "Hey Callie!" Across the street, our good family friends, three generations of the Parker clan, were gathered. We hurried across the street to greet them.

Parade began. Floats passed. Tow trucks blared. Music blasted. Beads flew. Arms waved. Children danced. Bags were filled. Necks were decorated. Photos were taken.

Afterwards we walked away agreeing that just like Christmas, Mardi Gras is much better with little kids around. You could catch the beads in the air, and then throw them on the ground, excitely yelling, "Look, Raina! Look! There's beads on the ground! Get them! Get them!!"

Let's just say no one walked away empty handed. Only at Mardi Gras are you willing to dive in the street to pick up a string of plastic beads lying in the dirt and then hang them around your neck!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Better late than never

“Win as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can't even imagine how many online giveaways I have entered. I figured that one day my luck would have to change. At some point my name would be drawn from the hat, my number heralded by the Random Number Generator. Sure enough, a week or so ago, it did... and for an awesome assortment of paper, labels, tags, and cards from Elise at enJOY it, one of my favorite online inspirations. Here's a shot of the goodies...
Thanks, Elise!! Now I've just got to figure out what to do with it all!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My reading ritual

“Books open your mind, broaden your mind, and strengthen you as nothing else can.”
-William Feather

I've always been a book lover. I was raised in a house of book lovers, who were raised in a house of book lovers. Let's say it runs in the family.

Of course like most people, I don't have near enough time in my day to read books. Or enough money to purchase the books that I want to read. Or at least not as much as I would like. Until now...

Since I've been substitute teaching, my favorite part of each day is my commute to and from work. I'm not a fan of driving, but I am a fan of listening to a book on CD that I've checked out of the library. For forty minutes each way, I have the opportunity to get completely immersed in a novel. No matter how worried I am about my day or how stressful it has been... I know that I can retreat to the world of literature. And, I won't even get a headache trying to focus on the tiny words. Sometimes it's all I can to do to keep from sitting outside in our garage, soaking up a few more minutes of the story.

And so, I thought that I would begin a list of books here on the side of my blog to keep track of the books that I read or have read to me this year. Check out the list, and feel free to give suggestions!!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

There's a museum in my house

"It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet."
-Kojiro Tomita

Been busy this weekend, checking things off of our house to-do list. I touched up the paint in several rooms and hung paintings & pictures around the house, while Rob put the grill back together and cleaned the garage. It's really starting to feel like home. If only, we had a few more pieces of furniture... a set of IKEA Expedit cube shelves for the loft, a coffee table and side tables for the living room, and the Benchwright dining table that Rob and I have fallen head over heels in love with...ok, so I'm dreaming now...

By the way... giving props where props are due... thank you to Rachel Shingleton for the inspiration in the upstairs bathroom. As much as I drool over those awesome San Francisco prints, this time the WPA National Park posters were a bit more our style. I even purchased the big one of the Grand Canyon for the toilet nook.
photo of Rachel Shingleton's bathroom

Friday, February 06, 2009

My Prayer

"To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping."
-Chinese Proverb

I know that they say that the journey is what makes life worthwhile. But, after a couple of weeks like my family has recently experienced, with myriad ups and downs as we wait for updates regarding Poppy's stroke and coma, we are exhausted.

My prayer to whomever out there listens to prayers is simply this: May the destination be worthy of this journey. Amen.

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