Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Tudors

I just Netflixed the first season of The Tudors.  Interesting, visually beautiful, hot, dramatic, probably not historically accurate at all, but I could be hooked.  Jonathan Rhys Meyers?  Mm, mm, good!  If you're into historical fiction, big stress on the fiction, you might like it.  Showtime is really producing some interesting television these days.  It's also home to Weeds, one of my favorites.  Netflix and iTunes have made it possible for me to enjoy these programs despite not having Showtime.  I still have basic basic basic loser cable.

I'm on countdown for the State Fair.  One week from tomorrow, I'll be there!  It's going to be so nice to get away with Tracy.  Pork chop on a stick and lemonade, here I come!  

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tennis is Good

Tonight Jason and I played tennis.  I haven't played in a couple of years.  We used to play quite often.  That's so sad... not only because I realized I missed it, but also because I realized that I suck.  I've never been ready for Wimbledon or anything, but I could hold my own.  Jason too.  Tonight we really blew.  We played for 35 minutes and were freaking tired.  So, we've set the goal to play at least 3 times a week and increase to at least 40 minutes the next time.  We like playing, and it's fun, but we also have an ulterior motive.  We want to take on our plumber.  He really talks the smack, and I'd love to slam a tennis ball right down his throat.  In a perfectly sportsmanlike way, of course.

Thinking of You, California Cousins

I know it was a small earthquake, and I know you're all OK, but I'm still thinking about you all.  I took this movie about 3 weeks ago in Council Bluffs when the sun was setting up at Lewis and Clark Monument.  From our time together at Martha's Vineyard, I know lightening bugs are a rare sight for you big city folks.  ;)  I thought of you all this night when they were just thick up in the bluffs.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Target Rules

When you live in Fairfield, Iowa, and Wal-Mart has basically driven out every small business in town, you pretty much live for the 20 minute drive to Ottumwa so you can go to Target.  I love Target.  I can't explain why it's so different, but it is.  It's Target.  I got a new backpack today.  In my de-cluttering frenzy, I had to toss my good old Kipling.  I bought that backpack the summer of 1996, before my dad and I went to the Olympics.  It's been everywhere with me.  Unfortunately, it was starting to show it.  My new backpack is significantly smaller, which has good points and bad points, but I really need it for when I bike to school.  It's just too hard to manage a purse or a teacher tote bag.  I don't need any help being uncoordinated, that's for sure.  

I also bought some other school supplies... some of my favorites... my Papermate felt tip pens in tons of different colors, my Bic mechanical pencils, my funky composition books (the kind that stay bound, no matter what)... but, the backpack was the big purchase.  I had gone with Suzanne to take her kids to get their pictures taken (at Wal-Mart... need I say more?).  We had lunch at Applebee's (another thing that you honestly live for when you live in Fairfield... we have good little interesting restaurants, but Pizza Hut is the only chain, non-fast food one... ick), and then we headed to Target.  

The whole backpack thing led to a really funny exchange with Jack, who is 2 1/2.
Tena:  Do you think I should get this backpack, Jack?
Jack:  That's for people.
Tena:  Jack, I'm people!
Jack:  No, you're Tena.

Monday, July 28, 2008

How did I LIVE without internet at home??????

I've officially had internet at home for 72 hours.  My brain and eyes pretty much feel like they're going to explode from staring at the computer screen pretty much nonstop.  But, it's a good feeling.  When my former student Sarah wrote her blog entry about how addictive Facebook was, I scoffed.  Oh yes, I scoffed.  Addictive?  Bah.  Well, Facebook is seriously a drug.  A DRUG, people!  I am having so much fun on it.  I've found people that I haven't spoken to in years.  And, it's not like we're all going to pick up right where we left off and become the best of friends, but... it's just cool to know where they are and what they're doing.  Also, this is really the best form of communication for my darling little brother.  He can't be bothered to visit, call, or e-mail, but I've caught him on Facebook a couple of times, and a quick 2-exchange banter during a live chat seems to be something he can handle.  Yea!  Plus, this fiber optics connection is so blessed fast.  It is spoiling me, I tell you all!

OK.  I can calm down a little now.  I'm hoping that at the end of this third day (remember how I said I was going to give myself one day to play???), I am reaching the end of the "new toy" phase.  I did manage to start working on the front closet and the kitchen, but I really didn't get anything accomplished.  I need to get in gear.  

Tomorrow, I'm going with Suzanne to get Jack's & Emma's pictures taken.  We're also getting school supplies.  Emma will be starting kindergarten.  I can't believe that she's 5 years old.  It doesn't seem possible.  Time flies so fast the older I get.  My two kindergarten classes are both graduated, with the second class headed off to college this fall.  Can I really be this old????  Wow.  It's both amazing and depressing at the same time.  

Well, I think on that mixed note, I'll close for now.  And by close, I mean that I'll check Facebook one more time before I shut down.  ;)  Night, y'all!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Entering the Modern World

Yes, I've entered the modern world.  I finally have internet at home and not just at school.  They finished getting it hooked up when  I was at camp.  I think this might have been a mistake though, because I went to bed after 4am this morning!!!  I just got busy making a Facebook page (it's filtered at school) and surfing the web... before I knew it, it was 4am!!!!!!!!  Eeek!!!!!  I think my butt is permanently going to adhere to this chair.  I'm giving myself today to enjoy the novelty of having super speedy internet right at my fingertips, and then tomorrow, I'm getting back to work on the decluttering!  My mission for tomorrow is to start the kitchen.  After that, I'll tackle the front closet, and then the guest bedroom.  That will be the finish of the upstairs... basement will be next!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cranky Gripe Alert

Don't say I didn't warn you. But Blogspot is getting on my nerves. For some reason, it's not doing what I want it to do. First of all, I like having paragraphs in my blog. If you look below, everything is all jumbled together, and no matter what I do, I can't get it to change. Also, my counter isn't showing up. Plus, my Delta Kappa Gamma booklist at the bottom of the page has just seemed to disappear. It's frustrating because I've directed people to this page just for my booklist, so I feel like an idiot... my favorite feeling in the whole world. ha. We'll see if it cooperates with me today. I'm not holding my breath.

OK, enough bitching. I have just finished my 2nd day of camp. I have great kids... so enthusiastic and fun. There are only two of us staying in the house this year. I miss the other ladies, but it's nice and quiet. It's like a resort! My schedule is cake... it's basically 8-2 every day. I have the last period off. Yesterday when I went home, I had a 2 1/2 hour nap! I can't remember the last time I've done that. It felt good! After supper, I went on a nice walk. It was muggy, but Shenandoah is such a neat town. I love the area where I stay... so many unique homes and tons of big, old trees.

Each of my classes is doing a performance on the last day. They've each chosen a song, and they've helped me figure out some of the things they want to do during the song. Tonight my challenge is to coordinate all those ideas into some choreography to teach them tomorrow. We'll work hard tomorrow, practice again and play some games on Thursday, and then we'll put the finishing touches on during our shortened class on Friday. We perform Friday afternoon. It's pretty intense, and tomorrow will be the hardest day... not made any easier by it being Parents' Day. Parents will be wandering in and out of the classes all day long. It's probably a good check for my patience level though.

Tonight I'm meeting Kevin and Alicia downtown, and we're going to see Dark Knight. I'm sure it will be good, but it will not compare in my mind to Mamma Mia. I just got the soundtrack today. YEA! Tomorrow night, Kevin and Alicia are having some of the teachers out to the cabin where they're staying. Then on Thursday, we all have a dinner together, and that's the night we get paid, so it's very popular. ;) Then after the showcase on Friday, we take time to clean everything up and put our props away before heading home.

I'm actually anxious to get home and continue the de-cluttering. My plan is to start with the front closet, and then tackle the kitchen over the weekend. I'll only have the spare bedroom left upstairs, and it's not ever too cluttered, but I've been sorting and holding stuff in there while working in other rooms, so I have that stuff to deal with. I really hope I can keep it nice. I've never been known for my abundance of willpower, but I do want to keep it uncluttered. I'm going to have to be strict with myself.

Well, my time on the computer in the Shenandoah Public Library is drawing to a close, so I'll sign off for now...

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I can't really say "weekly" update at this point, so we'll just say "update." I had a great week with Tracy and Steve and the kids in Council Bluffs. I got back on the 9th. Olivia and Elora are just the best things since sliced bread. I just couldn't get enough of them. This was the first time in Olivia's 4 years that she has REALLY warmed up to me. She was my little buddy this trip, and we had so much fun. One of the highlights was the new butterfly garden at Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. We also saw the great fireworks put on by Harrah's. Olivia thought we should be able to move much closer to them though. :) Tracy and I had so much fun. I hope I was able to help her out a little with the girls. She's such a good mom. I'm so proud of her. I don't know where she gets her energy. We got away one day and had sushi for lunch and then a relaxing, centering walk through the labyrinth at Knowles Mercy Spirituality Center. And of course, during my visit, I got Christy Creme almost every day. Their soft serve sherbet is one of my favorite things on the entire planet.

In Council Bluffs, I also went to the wedding of a baby that I used to babysit. Sarah is 21 now and perfectly old enough to get married, but she and her sister Amy will always be the baby girls that I loved so much. They lived across the street from us, and I started babysitting them when Sarah was 1 1/2, and Amy was 9 months. That was the summer of 1988... 20 years ago!!!! It doesn't seem possible. I was having a hard time dealing with Sarah being old enough to get married, and then Amy walks down the aisle totally pregnant! I was shocked, that's for sure! She's due in a week or so. Though I left the even feeling totally OLD, I was so glad to see the girls, their older brother Chris, and their parents Bob & Diane. I wouldn't have missed their special day.
Something amazing also happened during my trip. I somehow made the decision to de-clutter my house. It is not a secret that I am both a pack rat and a slob. I don't know why I decided I should do something about it, but I did. I read the book It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh, and I came back home with a major attitude adjustment. Now, it's going to take much longer than I had blocked out in my mind, but a person doesn't collect crap for 36 years and just get rid of it in a day. I started last Thursday. I put 10 bags of trash out on the curb Monday morning, and I kept plugging away. I have 12 more bags ready to go out on the curb this week. And, I only have 4 rooms done! The office, living room (excluding the front closet which is first on my list when I get back from camp), my bedroom, and the upstairs bathroom are clutter free, even down to drawers and closets. It feels really good to purge. My new goal is to have the house de-cluttered by the time school starts. Then, hopefully, I can tackle the garage and be able to park there for the winter. I have no idea why I got this bug up my ass, but I hope it lasts long enough for me to get done!
I leave tomorrow for a week at the Wabash Arts Camp in Shenandoah. It's always a fun, relaxing week. I'm looking forward to it. I'm sure I'll have fun stories to blog about when I get back.
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