Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wrap up

Ok, a little wrap up... I am going to take Geoff's and everyone else's advice, including even the Hyundai salesman, and I am looking for a used car.
I had my taxes done with free help from the AARP. It took ten minutes and was a pleasant and friendly experience. Here is the link for info in your area:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Snowy, snowy night...

It is midnight and I just got in from shoveling, getting a jumpstart on the morning, because we have very important early appointments. Yes, off to the hairdresser! Not rain, snow, sleet, or shine will cause the hairdresser to take us late or at an unscheduled time.

I wish you could all be me and have spent time at midnight in the snowstorm. It is so peaceful and dreamlike; I instantly felt the need to be as quiet as I could be to try to blend in with the night.

Instead of daytime shoveling, which is just a contest: Woman Vs. Snow - Don't shovel angry is my daytime motto. We seem to all be complaining because we have had so much this winter, but… This night, this snow, the time that I was just outside was incredible, it was bright out, not cold, and it was simply illusory.

All the dirty snow veiled under fresh powder for now, the air was moist, fresh, and comforting on my skin. After shoveling, I grabbed my camera so all could share what I saw with you and so I’ll remember, the peace, the urge to run upstairs and wake my daughter up to sit outside with me just to watch it float down from heaven until it lands, each flake reflecting a different star.
Good night and good vacation mojo from me to you.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I have been a bit negative the past couple of days. How negative it is to feel sorry for oneself and to feel that circumstances are against you, which doesn’t get one anywhere, except down. Although hows and whys are not ours to always know, feeling like a victim of circumstances, or a victim of an old car whose time had come is useless. If everything happens for a reason and there is a higher power, than who knows why what happened happened, certainly not because I am a bad person, or to diminish me in any way.
Besides having to buy a car, being late for work was the worst part of it all because I want to make a good impression. Things happen; it is how we handle the things that matters and I should have called the school earlier, although I did call just in time.
In retrospect, things may not be as they seemed at all. Perhaps it's not just a coincidence that my motor blew up that afternoon; what if it was a way of getting me off the road the next day. Then I borrowed a car and was ready to get out on the road at the same time I am everyday anyway and G-d or the Universe (whichever term you chose) had to find another way to get me off the road.
Perhaps my motor exploding and the car locking itself while running were all part of some plan intended to help me, and I took it as a setback. It could be, as not all things are known to us, these things were sent to be a help. Interesting thought isn’t it… Have a spiritual day!
OMG Or, it never had anything to do with helping me, maybe I was going to crash into someone else that morning and the Universe was saving them. Which could be considering that the day before I spent and hour and a half getting a car insurance quote, but I didn't buy it. And well now there is no point. But maybe all of this happened so I didn't hit and hurt someone else...Hmmmm...

Friday, February 22, 2008


Thank you J

I’m working on my taxes, second night in a row :(
I think I owe the government $37,000 the way I have it figured right now, or I have so many deductions I don't have any taxable income at all ;)
Screw it all - this year I’m runnin’ up to the Home Depot, I’m filing a WD40 and I’m done!
(After all, if it doesn’t squeak, don’t fix it.)

*I guarantee you all of the tax codes and worksheets are made by men. As American women if we made this, the directions would take a half a sheet of paper and would be easy to figure out. (Men making more for the same jobs would pay more.) And, of course clothes, shoes, hair products, make-up, and gas would all be deductible necessities. You would get an extra, "oh shit" bonus rebate for things like your car blowing up, serious hairdresser mistakes, child dumping grape juice on the new rug, and not having a pedicure or a massage in a year. College graduates would also get a "Congratulations, the US is so proud of you" bonus rebate upon graduation. I'm still looking for that line item, because the Hope Credit only works if you owe, what kind of joke is that?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Seriously? Universe R U kidding?

Unbelievable as it may sound this morning I went out to warm up the mechanic's car. When I went back to get in - all the doors were locked! What kind of a car does that? I know I didn’t hit the lock getting out and I know I unlocked all the doors with the little button thingy, yes I did because how did I get in… So here I am 6:45locked out of a running car. Unbelievable. Un be lee vvv a bb ll e !!! I called AAA, “Do you help people two days in a row who are apparently having a bad time?” She laughed. They sent the tow truck guy over to unlock the car, priority because the car was running. Turns out it was the same guy who towed my car yesterday, and priority means an hour. I was late for work, thank goodness it was a special day and just missed doing my homeroom, and they found someone to cover it for me at the last minute. Still though, I can’t stand being late, I haven’t been late yet all year until today. It just doesn’t look good.
I spoke to the mechanic this afternoon and it is really, really bad news so far. He will confirm it later. But he said there is oil running everywhere and he put two quarts in and it ran right out – So I need a head, which means a completely new motor, and a $1500, 1996 car is not worth putting a new motor in, especially since I put a new motor in three years ago. So now what, I can’t afford a new car. Do I get another $1500 car and take a chance, do I get a newer used car with a small payment, if I can. New car, used car, newer used car, old car, new car, used car, newer used car, old car, new car, used car, newer used car, old car, new car, used car, newer used car, old car… Ahhhhhhh

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Todays Lesson: Leave the Keys With the Car!

Well, my car blew up today. Ok, didn’t blow up, exploded perhaps. Actually, when I saw my car I knew something was seriously wrong, just not how soon the car would actually self-destruct. My water pump was going, so in the morning I had filled up the antifreeze. When I reached my car in the parking lot at work, there was a neon green puddle five feet by five feet under my car. My first thought was, “Oh, shit, they are going to know it is me because we have assigned spaces. And that is a mess.” I got in and drove out; it’s not as if I could clean it up. My second thought was to make sure my water pump was on order. I had an appointment on Saturday to get it installed; I am trying to limp the old girl along for another year. I don’t want a car payment until I buy our dream house. Just so when I apply for a mortgage, I don’t have that much coming out if my check, you know. Anyway, I called my mechanic and left a message to remind him to order my water pump, and told him about the puddle. I just figured the puddle was a reminder to me to remind him. I drove about a half a mile more after I hung up and POP, like a huge booming pop sound. Less than a second after the tremendously loud pop, smoke was pouring out behind the car, then surrounding the passenger compartment, and then pouring out from the hood and into the car. It stunk like burning rubber. Luckily, there was a shoulder on the road, so I pulled right over, shut her off, grabbed my purse, and got the heck outta there. I thought it was on fire. I’ve overheated before but this was nothing like that, the amount of smoke was incredible. As I watched the car the smoke just dissipated. Thank goodness it wasn’t on fire. Then I remembered I had triple A. Remembering that the worry lifted a bit, I am so glad my father advised me to get that. I purchased it two months ago, right on-line for $60. I called my friend at school to see if he'd be driving by soon, and he asked a teacher who was coming by to pick me up and drive me home. thank you! When I got home I called the police to let them know where I left my car, and then I called triple A. It was so lovely, except being a novice and in a stress/panic mode; I didn’t know I had to leave the keys with the car. Oh Man! Duh. I should have thought of that! I finally got myself home out of the cold, and now needed to turn around and find a way back to the car and then home again. Grrrr. They wouldn’t come until the keys were in the car. Therefore, an hour later when my kindly friend had to pass my car on the way home, she dropped my key in it, and I called them back. They showed up about 45 minutes late. The first 5 miles of towing were free and then additional miles were only $3.00 per mile. The last time I had my car towed 2 miles it cost $120. In conclusion, today made my $60 worth it! So get AAA if you don’t have it, and wish me luck with the old car.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Can't sleep... musings

Here I am again, love is like sleep - elusive.

I can't sleep in this comfy bed, with my warm clean blankets and pillows, in my safe heated house. I am a queen. I am a rich queen. I am a grateful rich queen.

I wonder how many people died today...
I wonder how and why...
I wonder could their deaths have been avoided...
I wonder how many people are crying now because someone they loved died today...
I wonder how many kids will wake up tomorrow to find out a loved one is gone...

I hope nobody died today.
I hope nobody cries tomorrow.
I hope all children wake up with a smile.
I hope someone saves someone.
I hope I make a difference.


Aids epidemic
Food crisis
Racial tension
Intelligent uneducated
Compassion wanted
Aid needed

Better Batter

Let me just get this out right up front, in my house homemade cake means that we opened the box and added oil, eggs and water. Okay! Okay. With that being said, long ago I heard that to save some calories on the homemade cake you substitute applesauce for the oil. Well being oh so stuck in my ways I never tried it, until tonight. We made a pineapple upside down cake and used the applesauce instead of the oil and it was not only delicious, the cake was incredibly moist and sweet. I actually prefer it to the oil now that I’ve tried it.

In addition, a tip from my child, to make the upside down cake you need to put brown sugar in the bottom of the cake pan before the pineapple. Well, revealing how much sugar we use in this household, the brown sugar was a brick. I could have pounded in nails with it. I think it has been a good nine months since we used it. So while the college graduate is pounding the brown sugar around, beating on it with spatulas, knives and anything else, slamming it on to the cutting board; big blue eyes are watching and absorbing the motherly knowledge.
“Mom.” I hear.
“Yes dear,” in an aggravated tone.
“Didn’t you buy a grater this summer?”
“Yes, honey, I’m a little busy right now. Can’t you see what I’m...(pause) OOOHHH, will you pass that to me?” sweet as pie.
Worked like a charm! So there’s a tip, grate the brick of brown sugar, stop slamming around, and listen!
Well, as Paulo Freire said – teacher-learner and learner-teacher-we can never be one without the other. Hurrah.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Can't Believe the Weekend is Over Already

For anyone who says that being a teacher is easy because we have so much time off and leave work early everyday, first of all isn’t getting up at the butt crack of dawn and driving to work in the dark. But no one knows. I get home from work and if I am not playing with my daughter, or doing only the necessary cleaning, I am still doing schoolwork. Now it is wonderful because I can enter grades online in an electronic grade book, check email, and do research for assignments online. Technology makes it easier to work at home, which helps me be a better mother. I can sit and spend time with my child while sitting on the computer and working. I love it and I am not complaining at all, but it is definitely a job that never ends. I had to go into work on Saturday this week to help a student and I will tell you I was not the only one. There we many of my dedicated coworkers there helping students as well.

The only reason I mention any of this is that my dear neighbor let me borrow a movie, R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet – Part 2. She loaned me this movie two weeks ago and here it is Sunday night of another week, and I still haven’t had time to watch this movie! It is definitely not a movie that can be on while my daughter is awake. The first movie was amazing, he sings the entire story as it is acted out and it is like six degrees of separation and coincidences all wrapped up into a hysterical story of revelation about whose with who, etc. It is not for those people who are easily offended, or don’t want to hear potty mouths, but it was funny. It was not a “mainstream” flick. The only thing I didn’t like was the use of the “n” word, even though it was just used between friends and not in a hateful way, I don’t think anyone should use it. It would be best if no one ever used the word again, so to keep it as part of the current vocabulary is wrong, it just promotes hate. I hope I get to see Part 2 this week, if not next week is school vacation. The good news is my lesson plans are done for the week and I am up to date on my grading of papers. C I promise I'll return the movie sometime this month!

Happy President's Day although we'll all be at work!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Here's to you Spielberg

Stephen Spielberg announced yesterday that he would no longer be an artistic consultant for the 2008 Olympics in China. Why you ask, because China is still trading with Darfur despite countries and people asking them to discontinue being an economic, political, and military partner to the Sudanese government who are responsible for the violence and genocide in Darfur. Spielberg and many others feel if China would stop supporting the Sudanese government, then it would be a huge step in stopping the violence. Although as a UN member China did agree to support a UN Council Resolution in 2007, they then doubled their trade with the Sudanese government. Anyway, here's to you… Thank you Stephen Spielberg for taking the moral stand that the rest of us would if we could!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Go Bratz

One of our little friends had a birthday party today, and I want to give accolades about the gift we gave… I am so proud of the company that makes Bratz dolls. It was a Flower Girlz Bratz doll and it said on the package, “Stop Global Warming” and “Save the Earth, Plant a Tree.” It came with a seed and a little flowerpot. My daughter saw it first and said, “Mom we have to get this!” As soon as I read the package, I had to agree. Teaching our young children about the environmental problems they are going to inherit is imperative. Teaching them early on what the problems are, what the causes are, and what we think the solutions will be allows them to start their brilliant little minds early, get into better habits than we have, and to definitely call us on things we are doing that add to the problems. I really am proud of any company who help children understand what is going on and that there is hope and the hope lies with them. When they grow up they will be naturally green and it won't even be a thought they need to have, it will just be in their nature. Yay Bratz and Happy Birthday C.W.

Friday, February 8, 2008

My Take on "The Secret"

How I got my degree, my job and my happiness!





Be positive, be peaceful...
'nuff said

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thank you H!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Calla lilies and Bocephus

Symbols of my life have been coming back to me. At least we call them symbols in literature, so why not in my life. When painting pottery with my daughter on Sunday, I quickly had to remember something I loved, so I could paint it on our fruit bowl I was making. I remembered calla lilies, remembering them was remembering me, a younger twenty-something-year-old me with barely any bad habits and really, really big dreams. Remembering those flowers allowed me to remember a girl who used to believe in love. I will marry the man who brings me 13 calla lilies; I used to say. No man ever did. Why 13 you might ask, I dunno because anyone can order a dozen and 13 would show someone who defies convention and steps beyond the norm. Additionally, I would have carried calla lilies down the aisle had I ever gotten married. Those things won’t happen, probably, and flowers aren’t love but that crazy, wonderful, outgoing artist forgot about calla lilies when she stopped believing in romantic love. Maybe. Why would I forget about something beautiful, simple, and perfect? I still think they are, I just forgot. Have I been so busy being a mom that beauty escaped me? No, I didn’t, because I taught my daughter to always stop in the supermarket to and smell the flowers, or to smell the flowers in planters, lawns and trees in the flower seasons. I remember now I used to buy myself one calla lily at a time and paint a painting of it. I painted an entire vase of calla lilies using only one flower and moving it around and around. I know I forgot that it is okay to spend money on something elegant, like a flower that makes you smile. I need to teach her that.

The same day I remembered calla lilies my dear friend made me a MySpace page. I needed a page so I could read her blog. On my page, she put a picture of Hank Williams, Jr. Bocephus, and that young woman I remembered used to love Bocephus. Everyone thought I was nuts, but he was cool, maybe cause he loves to fish like I do. “Hey man them ain’t high-heeled sneakers, and they sure don’t look like cowboy boots…” I actually bought myself a pair of high-heeled sneakers at a yard sale; they’re cool. Here’s to my friend for remembering something about me that I forgot. That is the beauty of friends that you have had for decades when they see you they see you maybe younger, closer to how you were when they met you, they remember you fabulous, unwrinkled, size 8. And that is how I remember them. I can’t believe I forgot how much I love Bocephus, my goodness, it was my vanity plate for years. He was it! I had every cassette, every album even! Wow, way, way back. Now when I go to my myspace it plays that voice that used to sing me to sleep, jam with me in the car, hold me when I cried, and make me smile. His lyrics ran through my head constantly, hearing the music again, I still remember all of the words. Thank you M for remembering me, the fun me, the young me. (Even if I have forgotten who I was.)

Calla lilies and Bocephus probably don’t mean shit to anyone else; to me they are dancing on Friday nights and being too cool to even pay attention to that guy looking my way, they are laughing with girlfriends, not caring about bills cause they always got paid, believing in dreams, racing for an unknown future, midnight rescues and coffee klatches. Calla lilies and Bocephus are dancing in the rain with Markie Cruz (RIP), driving around in a Chevy pickup watching the snow with James (RIP), and playing harmonica while Yogi (RIP) played his guitar and sang. (They are not holding his hand while he died in the ICU, and racing to get his soul out into the sun.) Calla lilies and Bocephus are Christmas Eve watching Mac (RIP) play and that one lone guitar riff he played me goodbye, stroking Shelby’s (RIP) ponytailwhile sneaking off for lunches at the river.
Dear G-d no wonder I forgot calla lilies, FTD doesn’t deliver from where the great men who have loved me live now. Perhaps I will buy myself one tomorrow and remember me and that I have been loved, very loved it’s just that no one is left to remind me and I had forgotten. Wow, thank you for the symbols…

Monday, February 4, 2008


I find it odd that if in six weeks I can go from 76 to 43, how come in the past six weeks I only went from 21 to 13. Grrrrrr. Perhaps it is like when you lose weight, it comes off slowly at the end… I dunno, I’m grumpy now, which is a strange state of being for me. I’m going to dance with my daughter now and try to come out of it! Whatever happened to disco?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

To Bitch or Not to Bitch, That is the Question

Well, the library book has been found! The kicker, however, is the where. For a month my little reader hasn’t been allowed to take books home from the school library, or even look at the real books (she tells me) because we couldn’t find that book. Where was it? Right where it should have been. In her classroom… She was so excited that she could take books out again she is not even upset. I am. The book was at school, although it should have been in the library, she was close. It’s a hard lesson to learn, learning to suck it up. She is happy, so I'll just leave it alone. Is she learning to choose when to stand up for herself? I just don’t know. The child is six and the book was at school, I think that is close enough. It's not about her teacher at all because she is wonderful, it is about all of that time she hasn't been able to use the library when technically she did bring the book back. I don't know. I do know we had a great time snuggling up and reading the two books she brought home.