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The Force, Cinco, and the Hodgepodge

Happy May!  How fast is this year flying by, y’all?!  Seriously, though.  What a great way to kick off a new month . . . Hodgepodge-style, of course!  Thanks, Joyce, for the fun questions you post each week.  Thanks to all of you for visiting my little corner of the blog world too!

1.  Can you tell I’m embracing a Cinco de Mayo theme here this week? Do you like Mexican food? What’s your favorite dish? How about on the side-black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, rice? What about heat-mild, medium, hot? Will you celebrate with Mexican food and drink on May 5th aka Cinco de Mayo?

Mexican food is my absolute favorite!  I could seriously eat it every single day.  Just ask the Mr.  I typically order bean burritos and refried beans as my side.  Yeah.  That’s a lot of beans.  Shall I sing the song for you?  heehee

I like things spicy, but really, if I’m getting Mexican, who cares?  Just give me the chips, salsa, and burrito.  I’m a happy camper!  I don’t know if I’ll be celebrating on Friday.  The Mr. will be coming home from another appointment at the Mayo Clinic, so depending on what time he gets back into town will determine if we go out for dinner.  I’d love a margarita though!

2.  Ever been to Mexico? For work or holiday? Love it or no? If you haven’t been is this a place you’d like to visit? Can you speak Spanish?

I believe I went to Mexico when I was a little girl.  It was my dad’s turn to get us for part of the summer (my parents were divorced), and I remember taking a long road trip.  I also remember him telling me not to drink the water.  He offered me beer instead, which I did not drink.  My dad was French.  Need I say more?  The only languages I speak are English and Redneck.  I understand a few Spanish words because I teach a lot of ESOL kids, but I could never carry on a conversation in this language.

3.  What’s one thing you may accomplish this month?

I may finish a knitting project I started a couple of months ago.  I find myself napping or watching TV in my down time lately.  I need to finish this project so I can move on to the next one!

4.  If you were mayor of your village, city, or town, what’s one thing you’d like to see changed, done away with, revamped, or accomplished? Is serving in public office something you’ve ever seriously considered?

I have never aspired to public office, but if I did serve as mayor, I think I’d find a way to get curbside recycling started.  When I lived in south Florida, I was able to recycle paper, plastic, and cans.  Up here, I have to take my stuff to recycling dumpsters across town.  It’s very frustrating, but it’s something I do because I believe in it.

5.  What’s something that may be popular, but that you just don’t get?

How about that new Starbucks drink . . . the Unicorn Frappuccino?  Here’s an article I just found about some other new things Starbucks has planned.

I actually posted a link for a recipe that Detoxinista, a gal who’s written a cookbook that I prepare from weekly, created as a healthier alternative.

Borrowed from Detoxinista’s website (I hope she doesn’t mind since I’m giving her credit here).

I think that the brouhaha surrounding it has actually been good.  I’d like to think that it’s making people aware of how unhealthy drinks such as this one are.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I like a Starbucks hot chocolate every once in a while, but ever since I re-started my fitness journey a year and a half ago and started monitoring what I’m eating, I’ve become leery of wasted calories and other things contained in such drinks.

So yeah.  I don’t get it.

6.  Can’t let this week slip by without mentioning Thursday May 4th is Star Wars Day. As in ‘May the 4th be with you’ ahem. Are you a fan of the Star Wars series? Exactly how much of a fan are you? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being ‘I’ve seen every film, own the action figures, might have dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween one year‘, and 1 being, ‘what’s a Vader?‘ -where do you land?

I love this movie franchise and would rate myself as a 10, given Joyce’s criteria.  I have seen every film, many times, I’m pretty sure we own some action figures, and I have dressed up as a character for Halloween before (when I was a child).  In fact, the first movies came out when I was little.  I remember going to the theater to see them.  I had a Star Wars themed birthday party one year.  Because I had one moment when I was cool.

I even used the Star Wars theme of passion and ill-fated lovers when I did my student teaching seven years ago.  The teacher I was working with was covering Romeo and Juliet.

I rest my case.

7.  Scroll back through your blog posts and in three sentences or less tell us the general theme of your fourth blog post. Does it still ring true today? Is it a topic you re-visit on your blog from time to time?

Oh my goodness . . . what a walk down memory lane!  I had to go all the way back to November 2007 for that fourth post!  Can you believe it’s been almost ten years?!  Here’s the link to it.

Not surprisingly, I wrote about knitting and a swap I’d participated in.

All of that yarn has been knit up since then.  In fact, that Big green yarn became a hat I became infamous for during high school soccer games.

Knitting has definitely been a theme in MANY of my blog posts.  When we traveled for soccer games, I always found yarn stores.  Las Vegas had, by far, the BEST ever!  Of course, I blogged about my splurge, much deserved because I’d just finished my coursework for my Bachelor’s degree.

It’s through knitting that I’ve met some of my best friends.  In fact, it’s because of knitting that I started writing a blog!  When I signed up for Ravelry, a website dedicated to fiber arts, there was a spot on my profile page for a blog URL.  I did some research and voila, a blog was born!  I mean, I had to have something to put in that blank, right?

8.  My Random Thought

I really want to use this space to vent a little . . . but I’m not.  I think I’m going to pray about what I want to vent about.

Instead, I’ll post these happy pictures, taken last Thursday.

Please admire my double chin.  I take enough selfies.  One would think that I’d remember to hold the phone up in the air, not down.  Sheesh.

Here’s a picture I took Thursday evening when I attended my nephew’s baseball game.

That’s super sis.  Hey girl!

Super Sis’s family lives a couple of hours away, but my nephew’s school was playing a high school next door to me (my school’s rival team), so it was very convenient to watch him.  I’d never seen him play before but knew he was an incredible athlete.  We have always said that he’s a female version of my Chicky.

He was first up at bat and by golly, he hit a home run!  It was his second ever!  He hit the first one a few games ago when Chicky was visiting.  We think it must be our side of the family that brings him uber good luck when we are in attendance.

His team beat the local team . . . which was ranked first in the state.  Whoop Whoop!

It was a fun way to break up the week and put a smile on my face going into Friday.

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Hodgepodging in the Rain

Hey y’all!  I’m back after a two-week hiatus.  Joyce has some fun, Spring-y questions for us today, so I couldn’t resist joining in!  Thanks for visiting!  I’ll try to pay you back in kind when I get home after physical therapy.

1.  April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April? 

We have had a few showers around these parts.  I’ve always got an umbrella, or two, or three.  I might be a little obsessed…with not messing up my hair, that is.  Ha!  I need to cover up because I cannot make a run for it because my ankle hasn’t healed enough for that.  As it is, I have to walk extremely slowly when the ground is wet so I don’t slip and injure myself again.

What else has filled the month?  Testing.  Lots of it.  Because I’m a teacher in this great U.S. of A., where those in ivory towers think we should test our kids to death.

I’ve also been rehabbing my ankle.  Every week.  I love that part of my month, though, because I am getting a little better…most weeks, anyway.

2.  What’s something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment’s notice and with zero preparation?

I could give a 30-minute presentation on how to foster a love of reading in teenagers.  It’s what I do very well, thanks to great mentors who taught me everything they know.  My students cannot wait for silent reading time.  They love the library I’ve built up over the years and the fact that I’ve read a lot of the books myself.  We have wonderful discussions.  I love sharing my passion and ideas with other teachers.

3.  Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.

I remember lazy weekend afternoons when my step-dad would grill out.  I loved sitting on the porch, smelling that wonderful aroma that means summer is full-on.  We used to plate up the steaks with fresh tomatoes and baked potatoes.  Although I haven’t eaten meat since 2010, I still fondly remember those days.

4.  What’s a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?

I am drawing a complete blank.  I don’t think I really messed up the lyrics of songs.  Now the actual tone…if I tried to sing…well, you know.  We can’t all be Carrie Underwood.

5.  According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you’ve visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.

I have been to Niagara Falls (the Canadian side) and Epcot.  I did feel like a tourist at Niagara Falls.  I was a kid and don’t think I cared one bit that I was a visitor.  I have never felt like a tourist at Epcot.  I mean, I’ve lived in Florida for nearly my entire marriage.  Epcot feels like home.

Las Vegas is a total tourist trap from the moment you get off the plane.  We went there a number of years ago for one of Chicky’s tournaments.  In fact, it’s the first time that Rebecca commented on my blog.  Do you remember that, Rebecca?  A friendship was born!

I remember that she told me to just have fun.  I was mortified at how commercial it was.   I wouldn’t mind going back now that I’m an empty-nester.  I might enjoy it a little more since I wouldn’t have to worry about people shoving girlie cards into the hands of my sweet son (which is what happened the last time we went).

6.  Your signature clothing item?

I am a summer dress girl.  I love my sundresses, paired with cardigans to keep things professional, and live for the warm weather when I can wear them.  I love dressing up for school, and my students seem to appreciate the effort.  A few years ago, I wore dresses every day for over a month.  The day I finally wore a pair of pants, one of my students said, “Thank heavens!  You’re finally wearing something different!”  Ha!

7.  What’s an experience you’ve had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?

Well, it’s certainly not breaking an ankle.  I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, even with the blessings that have been showered on me since it happened.

I think that an experience everyone should have is attending a basic training graduation.

You might remember that last Memorial Day, I got to attend my sweet Rooster’s graduation in San Antonio.

I got to hear over 700 new Airmen recite the Airman’s Creed, professing their loyalty to the United States.

It was awe-inspiring.

The entire weekend was incredible.  Seeing people stop my son at the mall…at Riverwalk…wherever we went…thanking him for his service and then watching him humbly offer thanks in return filled my heart with pride.

There has been so much negativity since the election.  I think people are starting to forget what a privilege it is to live in this country.  They’ve taken for granted the freedom that others fought to establish and continue to fight to protect.

You can’t walk away from a graduation without a renewed sense of patriotism.

Shout out to my sweet boy for what he does…what he sacrifices…because he wants to make a real difference.

8.  My Random Thought

We have five and a half weeks of school left.  But who’s counting.  Ahem.

I’ve been busy writing lesson plans through the rest of the school year, getting copies made, and straightening up my room one area at a time.

After the bad week I had (last week) with my ankle, I am eager to have the time off…time when I can put my foot up if it’s not doing well…try new recipes…read to my heart’s content…and rest from the hard year I’ve had.

Six Mondays, y’all.

I’m determined to finish strong before I hibernate for the summer.

A Green Thumb Hodgepodge

It’s a stormy day around these here parts, so school got canceled.  I cannot say that I am unhappy about that!  With the unexpected day to myself, I’m puttering around the house…hence the later-than-usual Hodgepodge post.  Join in with Joyce to play along!

1.  April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what’s the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

I’d say that my yard is probably at a 4 or a 5 right now.  Both of my lawn mowers are currently out of commission.  The Mr. ordered a self-propel cable so I can fix the push mower.  We are going to need to call someone about the riding mower.  I’m not comfortable testing out the battery on my own.  There are also weeds in my front flower beds, but I’m not able to squat down to pull them, and I refuse to call that physical therapy.  Ha!

2.  Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.”~Thomas Fuller  What does this quote mean to you?

Oh wow.  This is kind of deep.  Let’s see.  I may be totally off base, but I’m thinking that maybe it means that our choices provide the foundation for the fruit we produce in our lives.  Hence, what we may originally intend to produce may not actually grow if we aren’t careful.  On the other hand, there may be unexpected beauty that develops because we are obedient to the Great Gardener himself.

3.  What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

Provision.

I have been so humbled by the way that God has provided for me in recent months.  He is healing my body and that of my Mr.  Every time I’ve run up against something challenging, He has provided an answer.  God loves me, and He’s taking care of me.

4.  If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

This is tough for me to answer because I don’t know what it’s like to be the person talking to me.  I guess I probably play with my hair a little.  I have no idea!

5.  Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black eyed susan…which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

I like yellow, although I can only wear it in small doses…not an entire piece of clothing.  I don’t have it anywhere in my home either, although I wouldn’t be opposed to it showing up one day.  The thing that is favorite from Joyce’s list is definitely the sunflower.  The exude brightness and joy.

6.  Flip flops or bare feet?

I am a country girl.  I’ll go barefoot any day.  Just today, when I walked across the physical therapy room barefooted, I told my therapist how I remembered not being able to do this just a short time ago…another small sign of progress.

7.  Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you’ll carry out this month.

I do not have any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions I’ll carry out this month except to attend church that Sunday.  Because the Mr. and I attend most weeks, this doesn’t seem like a true “tradition.”  I sure do miss the days of dyeing eggs with my kiddos when they were little…watching them come downstairs to look at their baskets…taking them to Easter egg hunts at the church.

Sigh.

8.  My Random Thought

This was everything to me last night…

Did any of you watch Prison Break back in the day?

I remember how heartbroken I was when the series ended, and I’ve watched it a few times on Netflix since then.

My heart rejoiced when I saw that it would be returning.

During the premier, I tweeted and retweeted more than I think I ever have at one time!  I had so much fun!

I can’t put my finger on only one specific thing that I love about this show.

It has always pulled at my heartstrings.

Its themes of brotherly love…friendship…beating the odds…they just resonate with me.  I have also always loved Michael’s cleverness.  I’m a puzzle type of gal, and he’s all about that, with each part of his plan fitting perfectly together…until it didn’t.

So yeah.  I’m a pretty happy girl right now.

A Beautiful Hodgepodge

Can you believe that it’s almost the end of March?  Sheesh, but time is flying by, isn’t it!  Let’s slow things down for just a bit as we link up with Joyce for this week’s questions.  Thanks for visiting today!

1.  ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’  What’s something you’ve seen recently that you thought was beautiful?

The beach where I live is gorgeous!  I went for a walk on the beach last Friday, while I was on Spring Break.  We have clean, white sand that is easy to walk on.  I used to live on the east coast of Florida, so trust me when I say that the Panhandle really does have the most beautiful beaches.

2.  Our culture and beauty…your thoughts?

I’d like to think that our culture is starting to redefine what constitutes “beauty.”  Sure, there are still size -5 models in ads and whatnot, but honestly, I think there’s been push back, and that natural, more earthy beauty is beginning to be celebrated.

Maybe I’m out of touch with reality and don’t have a clue, but that’s my take on things.

3.  Age before beauty, beauty queen, beauty mark, beauty sleep…which beauty-ful phrase resonates with you today? Why?

I think beauty sleep is resonating with me right now.  Coming off of a different-for-me Spring Break made me crave sleep.  I took a nap Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  In fact, I plan on incorporating naptime into my daily routine once I’m out for the summer.  Life has been tiring, both physically and mentally, since…well…since forever, it seems.

4.  I read here a list of the top ten beasts animals that scare us the most-

alligators, coyotes, black bears, birds (but pigeons in particular), sharks, bats, bed bugs, rats, rattlesnakes, and the black widow spider. 

Which ‘beast’ on the list scares you the most? What is the likelihood of you having an actual encounter with that particular beast? Did a movie contribute to your fear of this creature? Have you ever had a real life encounter with any of the animals listed?

I just cannot make myself like spiders of any sort.  I do not plan on having an encounter with one any time soon, so the likelihood is zilch.  I did not acquire my fear from a movie but from real life encounters such as the time I tried to kill a big spider that was blocking my front door and discovered, when I hit the thing, that it was a PREGNANT mama spider, and all of her babies went scurrying away when I ruptured her baby sack.  I did not sleep comfortably for days despite having doused them all with bleach.  I also had a bad encounter with a humongous spider in my office at a school I worked at ten years ago.  It was hiding behind my tech binders, and when I moved a binder, it came running out.  I radioed for help on my walkie talkie, and the custodian came running.  Even he agreed that it was a big ole spider.

No spiders for me, thank you very much.

5.  Where were you when you last heard a bell ring? Was it alarming or musical?

Y’all.  I am a teacher.  I hear bells ring from 8:20am until 3:00pm each day.  They are neither alarming nor musical, although that 3pm bell is always the sweetest sound of all because it means that I can go home!

6.  What’s your favorite carb? How’s that for random?

I love spaghetti.

7.  Let’s wrap up another month of Hodgepodging and life with an acrostic. Recap your month using the word MARCH.

My
Attitude, like the weather,
Runs
Cold and
Hot these days.

Ten weeks until summer, y’all.  Ten.  Weeks.

But who’s counting?!

8.  My Random Thought

Y’all know I am into the Harry Potter thing.  Every sorting quiz I take tells me I’m a Hufflepuff.  I’m proud of my nurturing, cookie-loving self, let me tell you.

My running club, the Hogwarts Running Club, has updated its inventory lately, and I couldn’t resist ordering a new shirt.

The back is a mantra I repeat to myself often…especially when I’m at physical therapy trying to learn how to balance on my bum ankle or trying desperately to learn how to walk down steps again.

Just.  Fierce.

300th Hodgepodge

Good golly, but can it be?  300 Hodgepodge posts by Joyce, and she’s still going strong!  Props!

Despite spending the evening trying to crunch test data (I’m a reading teacher…this was uber-difficult), I’m here and playing along.  Join up with Joyce to join in the fun!  Oh, and thanks for visiting me today!  🙂

1.  What is one area of your life where you’re a perfectionist? Is that a good thing?

Oh goodness…where am I not a perfectionist?  Let’s see…how about my physical therapy (following my ankle break in November, for those of you who are here for the first time)?  I’m all about doing things right, you see.  I want to be able to run again, so I’m trying to do things by the book.  It’s a good thing because my physical therapist says I’m making great progress!

2.  What’s something you find perfectly ridiculous?

This hits home right now as I just spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at test data that really can’t be compared because of so many different factors.  I really wish that I could just do what I do best, which is build relationships with my students and instill a love for reading without the extra hurdles I have to navigate around (I was going to say “jump over,” but that would sound even more ridiculous and ironic given the state of my ankle these days).

Teaching.  It’s so freakishly hard.

3.  What’s a skill you’ve developed by way of that old fashioned saying, ‘practice makes perfect?

One of my students asked a pretty great question of me the other day.  He asked me how I got to be good at writing.

First, I wrote the name of my English teacher on the board.  If you attended my school, you’ll know exactly who I speak of.

Second, I told him that we weren’t given the opportunity to keep turning work in for revised grades.  Your teacher bled all over your paper with a red pen, you got the grade you got, and you started writing the next essay.

Practice made perfect.

4.  What’s your idea of a perfect breakfast?

Heavenly Hash (hash browns with sauteed veggies) hits the spot any time…from my favorite local all-night diner.  Yum!

5.  What’s a trip, holiday, vacation, or day outing you’ve taken that you’d rate a perfect 10? Tell us why.

The first thing that came to mind was my trip to watch Rooster graduate from basic training last May.  We flew to San Antonio and spent Thursday through Sunday basking in the glow that surrounded graduation ceremonies.  It was the most amazing experience ever and made me even more proud to be an American.

6.  What quote or saying perfectly sums up your life right now? If you can’t do perfect, how about one that comes close?

“Slow and steady wins the race” is a saying I repeat at least once a day, if not more.  I do everything so much more slowly since I broke my ankle, and I find myself even more appreciative of everything.  I am slowly plodding my way through this school year, eager to see the arrival of summer vacation.  I am slowly navigating my way through the physical therapy process…each new exercise marks progress.  I am slowly learning how to take care of my hubby’s special dietary needs as he prepares for the next step in his medical treatment (we’ll know more in a couple of weeks).  All I can do is take one careful step at a time and trust God to keep me steady.

7.  How would you spend $300 today?

I would buy three pairs of Vionic shoes.

I’m not kidding.

I am in love with these shoes, even if I can’t really wear them yet.  I bought my first pair last Saturday.  My physical therapist advised me to only wear them for short periods of time.  But…I would like to have more options for when my foot is ready.

8.  My Random Thought

On Monday, I took one of my classes to the library for a special get-together.

We met up with one of my school’s developmentally disabled classes, where my students read Dr. Seuss books to them.

It was one of the most amazing things I’ve done as a teacher.  My students were very tender with those precious kiddos.  They showed so much patience…even when one of the girls was in a bad mood and didn’t want to be read to.  She eventually warmed up.

I was shocked when I saw one young lady begin to read to my students.  She was such a fluent reader!  I pulled up a chair to listen to her.

Several of the kids wound up reading to my students, and let me tell you, they made an impression!

When we returned to my classroom, my kids talked about how shocked they were that the other kids could read…some better than them!

Then, they did me even prouder when they asked if they could read to the kids again.

Oh yes they did!

I signed up for another day.  We’ll go on Thursday.

My media specialist was in tears, y’all.

So was I.

It was an experience I’ll never forget.  I just love this class of mine.  They’ve been extra special all year.  Monday was more proof of that.

Slow and Steady Hodgepodge

How kind of Joyce to tailor-make this week’s questions for me.  I’m all about slow these days, but I’ll save the details to use as my answers.  Play along by posting the answers on your own blog and then linking back up with her.  Thanks for visiting!

1.  Slow and steady wins the race’…tell us about a time this was true in your own life. 

Um, hello?  Have you been reading my blog the past four months?  In case you missed all of the excitement, let me bring you up to speed.  On November 13th, I broke three bones in my ankle and dislocated it.  It’s called a trimalleolar fracture and is pretty serious.  See, that’s how I roll.  Go big or go home.  Overachieving has its down side.  I had surgery a week later and am now sporting a plate and twelve pins.  Lucky me, eh?  I really would have rather won the money lotto, not the hardware one.

By the way, never Google trimalleolar fractures if you’re in the ER after being told that’s what you’ve got.  From what I’ve read, recovery usually takes 18-24 months.

Talk about slow!

Fortunately, I am up and walking.  Slowly.  On Monday, my physical therapist said that he can see a lot of improvement in my gait.  Yay!  But it’s slow, y’all.  In case I didn’t mention that already.  I told a teacher I walked past yesterday that it’s not about winning…it’s about finishing.  That’s my motto, and I’m sticking to it.

2.  As slow as molasses’…Do you like molasses? How about maple syrup? Caramel? Butterscotch? What’s your favorite of the slow moving treats mentioned here, and what’s your favorite food made with that sweet treat? 

I am not a fan of molasses.  It’s too strong for me.  I do, however, love me some maple syrup…the real kind.  I also like caramel but can’t have it because I am lactose-intolerant and a vegan.  I have seen recipes for vegan versions.  I need to try them out.

I just made some Maple-Nut Cookie Bars.  They were so easy and are delicious!

3.  Your favorite slow song? 

Hmmm…I’m a little stumped.  Every song I think of is from the 80’s…because I’m old like that.  I’m having flashbacks to high school dances, Molly Ringwald, and Lionel Richie.

Ok…just thought of one that has nothing to do with the above people.  I told you I was slow!  Ha!

Every time I hear Bette Midler’s The Rose, I have to stop and maybe wipe a tear.  It’s poignant.  It gets me in my feelings.  It’s everything I love as an English teacher.

4.  Your favorite thing to make in a slow cooker or crock pot? 

I haven’t cooked in my crockpot in a while, so I don’t really have a favorite.  I guess something easy I made a few times when the kids were growing up was the meatball/grape jelly dish.

5.  You may delay, but time will not.’ ~Benjamin Franklin Are you more a hurrier or a delayer when it comes to unpleasant tasks that need doing? What are you currently either delaying or hurrying to get through this week or month?

I’m probably more of a person who hurries simply because I want to get the deed over with.  What am I delaying right now?  As I’m typing this, I’m delaying grading my students’ essays.  I started with 70.  I have 50 left.  My goal is to have them done by the end of Wednesday.  #Englishteacherproblems

6.  Tell us three things you encounter regularly or even just occasionally that you find to be annoyingly slow.

Three things that are annoyingly slow for me are phone service in certain spots in my town, healing from my ankle injury, and my walking pace (a couple of weeks ago, it took me almost two hours to walk four miles).  Ugh.

7.  March is National Craft Month. Are you crafty? Tell us about something crafty you’ll try in the next thirty one days. Or something crafty you’d like to try or wish you had the skill to make happen. 

I’ve been a knitter since 2006.  I’d like to try to finish the pair of socks I started in December.  My goal is to complete it the week of Spring Break.  A skill I’d like to get better at is calligraphy/fancy lettering.  I bought a pen, paper, and books and gave it a bit of effort…before I broke my ankle.  Since then, my materials have been sitting on my dining room table (the clean-up of which I’m also delaying).

8.  My Random Thought

I took the following picture last week before I went into training.  It was in jest.  Pretty much.  We have a teacher workday today.  In a way I don’t mind; having a chance to get caught up (ha!) is very welcome.  The meetings before being released to catch up?  Not so much.

New Year Hodgepodge

Happy New Year, y’all!  Boy, 2016 flew by, didn’t it?!  It’s hard to believe that we are back in January!  Enough about that, though.  Let’s jump into Joyce’s questions, shall we?  Don’t forget to link back up with her and visit others to see how they answered.  Oh, and if I don’t get back to you right away, please forgive me!  Today is our first day back to school after the break, so things are going to be h-e-c-t-i-c…especially because I had a sub the two days before we left so I’ll be picking up the pieces after that.  Ahem.

1.  Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday. 

Just one?  I don’t know if I can choose.  We had a wedding AND Christmas to celebrate!  I think, though, that one of my favorite moments was the time my crew of five spent around the tree at my house opening presents.  We did this the night before we left to meet up with our extended family.  Having all of us together, in those moments, will forever be priceless to me.  My boy is in the military now…lots and lots of miles away from me…and I won’t know from year to year if he and his girl will be able to come home for the holidays.  Having this first Christmas with my babies together just felt so right.  Sigh.

2.  What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it?

I made a Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew (recipe from Oh She Glows recipe book) last week.  It was easy to prepare and packed with flavor!

3.  What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?

Even though Rooster and his girl tied the knot in March before he left for basic training, they had their big wedding on the 18th of December.  Watching them stand together in front of the uniform-clad pastor, who is a chaplain in the Air Force, was beautiful.  I haven’t blogged about the wedding yet (I am waiting for pictures), I will share that I did cry.  To watch your youngest…your son…stand, oh so handsome in his Air Force blues…beside his beautiful girl.  There just aren’t words…

4.  What does fresh start mean to you?

Fresh start means starting anew…leaving behind what was and reaching for what will be.

For me, it means leaving behind the angst of the last two months as I begin to walk again…trying to step out in faith and not fear, which there’s much of, trusting God for what lies ahead.

5.  On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain.

I’m going to rate 2016 as a 9 in terms of personal achievement.  It really was a wonderful year for me.  Professionally, I felt so validated for the past six years of hard work.  Personally, with my fitness goals, I felt better than I ever had.  Despite my ankle break in November, I can still view 2016 in a positive light.

6.  Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they’d like to see banished from the Queen’s English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you’re like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it’s used. There were quite a few on this year’s list I’d never heard before.

Here’s the 2017 list of banished words-

You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption

 

Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?

I would ban “on fleek.”  I hear this term ALL.  THE.  TIME.  at school.  Blech.

7.  Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year. 

My immediate goal for this year is to walk normally again.  I blogged about that a couple of days ago, but it bears repeating.  I’m at seven weeks post-breakage / six weeks post-surgery.  Sometimes, healing feels like it’s been a slow process.  Then, I look back at pictures from a couple of weeks ago, because I am the picture-taking-queen, and I see how far along I’ve come.  My incisions are almost healed fully, and the swelling has gone down so much.  My foot looks nearly normal again (until it swells after I’ve been walking on crutches).

Still, I have quite a ways to go until I can walk, unaided, on the right foot.

So, I know it could be considered a “superficial” goal.  It’s certainly not soul-searching or whatnot.  It is practical, though.

Sure, I have other goals for my life, but I think I’ll just keep those under wraps for now.

8.  My Random Thought

I think I’ll use this space to brag on my Chicky.  Chicky isn’t much of a homebody.  She doesn’t come “home” (aka, here) to visit often.  I understand.  She has her own life down in sunny south Florida.  Still, she came home for my surgery in November and was back again during the Christmas break.  She was here for two weeks!  We had our ups and downs…hard conversations that needed to be had…but overall, it was a wonderful visit.

She helped out so much.  She deep-cleaned most of our house.  She ran errands and was tender in her care for me.  She never complained about taking the scooter out of the back of the car or getting my crutches ready for me.  She prepared dinner a couple of times and, basically, helped the Mr. keep our household running.

Something I’ve always prided myself on is my independence.  Breaking my ankle has made me realize that asking for help is okay.  My Chicky stepped right in and did her thing.  Quite well, I might add.

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