Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stuff, in General

Well, I followed Jeff to another site.  You'd think I have all the time in the world on my hands with the amount of messing around I do on here.  I just never go to bed.  Anyway, here's my "Simpsonize Me" Tena.  I find it a little offensive that the only chubby girl choices were a girl in a minidress and another girl working out with weights.  I choose to think of that weight in my hand as some kind of weapon... like... "I may look cute with these strawberry blonde curls, but if you get in my way, Sucka..." Uh, yeah.

The rest of this week is pretty busy.  Tomorrow night is choir, Thursday night is Fairfield Area Community Theatre board meeting, and then Friday after school, I'm leaving with Jason and Suzanne and the kids for the weekend.  Friday night, we're staying with Jason's mom in Jefferson.  We're leaving the kids there on Saturday and heading up to Mankato, MN, to Minnesota State University to see our friend Stephen in their production of Miss Saigon.  I love that show so very much... I can't wait!  Plus, 2 of the interns from this summer season at the Sondheim Center are also in the show, playing Gigi and Ellen (my favorite part).  I think the weekend is going to be a blast.

I'll have a little recovery time on Sunday, and then I'm headed to the Iowa Talented and Gifted Association's state conference with another Fairfield teacher for two days.  It's always a really good conference, and Bertie Kingore is going to be one of the keynote speakers.  She's a leader in the field of differentiation, and that's such a big thing in my district right now.  I've sort of taken on as a personal mission to make sure that my fellow faculty members have some knowledge of how to differentiate for students on the higher end of the scale.  No Child Left Behind is pushing so hard at the low end of the scale, I feel like my students sometimes get shafted.  In general, I think our country's philosophy is to EMBRACE MEDIOCRITY.  I owe my students more than that.  I'm hoping to get some really good strategies from the conference to take back to my building for staff development.  It's part of my IPDP (Individual Professional Development Plan) to do a minimum of 4 staff development meetings with my faculty over the next two years.  I am such a glutton for punishment!  

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I had played around with the site yearbookyourself.com before, but when my friend Jeff was brave enough to post his pictures on his blog, I decided to go for it too.  The site is pretty entertaining.  This first lovely number is from a 1990 yearbook, the year I graduated.  Don't you love my stunning mall bangs?  Thank goodness my bangs weren't this big in the real 1990.
Now, let's venture back in time to see what my senior pictures could have looked like had I been born in another time...




My mom graduated in 1968... the last one could have been someone right from her yearbook!  Eek.  Have a few laughs at my expense, and then try it for yourself!  

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Iowa vs. Northwestern

It wasn't the win we'd hoped for... in fact, the second half was very discouraging.  However, wherever the Mornin' Crew tailgating group goes, fun follows.  

The day was beautiful, the game was exciting down to the wire, and the tailgating theme for this week was Bacon.  How can you go wrong with that?  

This little kid was hysterical.  We have no idea who he was... he just came over and started dancing to our music.  As you can tell from the video, Heather really thought he was funny.  It's almost funnier listening to her laugh than it is watching him dance!

Tippy (my stepbrother Tim) staking out his part of the wall in Section 213, decked out in Hawkeye flair 

When one wears a mullet wig, one really cannot have sleeves on one's shirt... Flounder does the honors

Heather (Panther) and I (Rapper) before the game

Friday, September 26, 2008

Adventures in Applesauce

The big event this week was my adventure in applesauce. Grandma's homemade applesauce was one of Matt's and my favorite things on earth. Now, regular jarred applesauce? I could take it or leave it. However, Grandma's homemade applesauce was a smooth as baby food, tart and sweet at the same time, and really not anything like the jarred kind. Matt always loved it if it wasn't quite thawed out from the freezer and was a little slushy in the middle. 

Grandma always cooked her apples up and ran them through the colander.  I have her colander (which she called a ricer...
see the random picture of one from the internet),
but I can't find the wooden pestle-thing. I'm hoping it's somewhere in my garage, and if I ever get to that project, finding it will be my reward. Until then, my friend Gay lent me her food mill (which she calls a colander... I'm learning all sorts of things from this project, but it's a little confusing). The nice thing about the food mill is the crank. It looks a lot easier than the colander, in my opinion, but I'll let you know as soon as I can compare.

Grandma always used a certain kind of apple called Transparents. Now, as far as I can tell, these are just a simple farm apple. They're yellow, and they come during the summer, earlier than you'd think of for apples. I have trouble finding these babies, and when I do, I'm never in the mood to make applesauce. Well, 2 different friends gave me apples this year. I got some small Jonathans from Dian, and some "winter apples" from Suzanne. My mission is to recreate Grandma's applesauce. When applesauce-makers heard I had two varieties, they unanimously suggested to mix them together. I tried that on Wednesday night, and I should know better. When you're doing a scientific experiment, you have to limit your variables (I knew those 4 years teaching science would come in handy). The applesauce came out pretty chunky, even after running it through the Foley Food Mill (see picture). I'm also happy to say that I eBay'd a Foley Food Mill, so I'll be getting one of my own soon. Yay! Small things excite me.

ANYWAY, I had no idea which apple was wrong for the mix. It tasted good, but it wasn't Grandma's. So, on Thursday night, I tried just the Jonathans. I noticed that they cooked down more quickly than the winter apples, so I was hoping they were the smoothest. I added a little sugar and some cinnamon and got it all worked up. It tasted great... very close to Grandma's... tart but sweet! The apples still aren't exactly right, but they're closer. I'll just have to keep my eyes open for Transparents in the summer. Then I might get it down perfectly.

My friend Dee Ann used the colander/pestle method last night to make some applesauce of her own, and we brought in samples to share this morning at school... like a little taste test. It was fun, and we were comparing our methods and recipes. We're going to be applesauce experts!

The coolest thing was I really felt like Grandma was there with me, watching over my shoulder. The house smelled like fall... spicy apples, and I felt the spirit of my Grandma beside me. Perfect.

Monday, September 22, 2008


"I want to thank my parents for somehow raising me to have confidence that is disproportionate to my looks and my abilities. Well done, that is what all parents should do."

These were Tina Fey's words last night after winning her Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy. It could be the best quote from an acceptance speech ever. True, I'm fairly obsessed with Tina Fey right now, and she could pretty much say anything, and I'd quote it later, but this particular one took the cake last night at the Emmy's.

Her statement about confidence also completely exemplifies how I feel about my mom and the self-worth she instilled in me. Mom always raised me to believe that anything and everything was within my grasp if I was willing to work hard enough for it.

Now, if only that worked for a husband. ;)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Congrats, 30 Rock!

30 Rock cleaned up at the Emmy's.  If you haven't checked this show out yet, do not miss it this season.  Tina Fey is pure genius.  This show is full of wit, intelligent humor, and loads of quotable phrases.  Plus, I love a show that makes Star Wars references.  It happens a lot, but I think my favorite was, "I'm going to cut you open like a tauntaun."  I can't wait for Season 3... hurry up, end of October!

Friday, September 19, 2008


What makes some weeks seem longer than others? This one has seemed especially long for some reason. Maybe it's because today is midterm (which I can't believe... where did September go?), and the kids are all panicking about getting work in. Oh well, it's Friday now. That's all that matters.
Last night I went with Gay, Kevin, & Alicia out to eat and then to see Churchill, written and performed by Fairfield's own Andrew Edlin. I really had no idea what to expect, but I know Andrew is so talented, and I was excited to see what it was all about. It was a great night... I didn't expect to laugh so much or learn so much. I didn't know much about Winston Churchill at all, and Andrew's show was 2 hours of fascinating history, sharp wit, and surprising humor. It made me want to know more about the larger-than-life personality that was Winston Churchill. What a treat!

Tonight is another home Fairfield football game, so I'm headed there with Suzanne, Emma, and Jack. Jason is helping in the concession stand tonight. Our concession stand has these huge rice krispy treats with m & m's and a layer of chocolate frosting on top. Well, let's just say that thinking of one of those has helped me make it through today. Is that sad? Maybe. But, sad AND delicious! :)

Tomorrow I'm headed to Des Moines for the State Executive Committee meeting of Delta Kappa Gamma. I'm on the state committee for World Fellowship. I couldn't attend last year because of Grandma going in the hospital. It's so weird... it was exactly this weekend a year ago that she went in the hospital and really didn't come home again. It's also the weekend a year ago that Tracy had her bleeding scare after having Elora. That was a crazy, emotional weekend. I will be glad to not have a repeat of that one!

My meeting starts at 9:00 tomorrow morning, so I'll need to leave pretty early. It stinks because tomorrow is the big Kiwanis' Kids Day Celebration in Fairfield. I'll have to miss the parade, and I hate doing that. I like seeing my kids march in the band. The whole town is usually there, so it's fun. The only saving grace is that Gay is going to meet me bright and early at 6:00 a.m. so we can eat pancakes at the big tent they put up on the square. I've been eating pancakes on Kids Day for pretty much as long as I can remember. When I was little, I was in the parade a lot too. I walked as Holly Hobby one year, Matt and I were Rubik's Cubes one year, we decorated our bikes with crepe paper streamers and rode them several different years, and I actually won a ribbon one year. That was the year I walked as Hayden Fry, complete with white pants, mustache, shades, and black Hawkeye shirt and pants. Good times.

Sunday I'm ushering for the closing performance of Churchill, so I'll get to see it again, and I feel like I'm doing a little part to help the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center. Sunday evening, I'll be figuring midterms. I'm up to my eyeballs in papers today. Ugh... depressing thought. I've been basking in the calm before the storm with my 8th grade Writer's Workshop. They haven't had much to turn in since they're early in the writing process. But, from now until the end of the quarter, it will be a different story.

This week has been so beautiful; I've ridden my bike to work every day. There are just the first signs of fall in the air, and I haven't had the air-conditioning on in what seems like weeks. I love this time of year! Have a good weekend, everyone!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Now, This is MY Kind of Obama Ad!

I nearly peed myself when I saw this...
how can you beat Les Miserables + Obama!?
They call it...
Les Misbarack!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Iowa Beats Iowa State!

The Cy-Hawk trophy is back in Iowa City!  
It started off rainy, but by the end of the first quarter, the poncho came off, and the temperature was great.  I even ended up with a sunburn.  I know better than to go without sunscreen, even on the rainy days.  Serves me right.  

It was a slow first half, and we know the Hawks need some work before meeting any Big Ten opponents, but the Iowa State game is always unpredictable.  The intense rivalry means that anything can happen.  I'm just glad it happened in our favor this year.

The Mornin' Crew tailgating group was up early, and we enjoyed pretty much a whole day of celebrating.
After the big win, we came back and ate, ate, ate.  The theme for the day was "Bad Bird" and included Speedies (marinated Italian chicken sandwiches, appropriately named for how fast Cyclone fans were leaving Iowa City yesterday), Skewered Thai Cy, and Spicy Cy wings.  

Until next year, Iowa State fans...

The Time Traveler's Wife

I just found out that a movie version of The Time Traveler's Wife is in the works, with a scheduled release date of December, 2008.  I am obsessed with this book.  It's one I will pick up and reread from time to time, and I feel like I'm back with old friends.

It was a long road to get to this obsession, however.  Nancy is a woman who was in my aqua exercise class (when it existed) and who is a nurse at my doctor's office.  She reads a ton, and we frequently recommend books to each other.  She mentioned The Time Traveler's Wife, and it really didn't sound like something I'd like.  I am not into science fiction at all.  Then, when I saw it at Barnes and Noble one day, the cover did nothing for me.  Nothing at all.  Whatever.  I kept seeing it.  I kept not caring.

But one day, I picked it up.  I have no idea why.  The cover (despite having a terrible picture, in my opinion) had that great feel to it.  I wish I could explain this better, but it's not a slick finish, it's more of a matte finish, but it's still slick, and the book had a great weight in my hand.  I know this is completely weird, to judge a book by how it feels in your hand, but sometimes that does it for me.  Yes, I'm an odd duck.  I decided to give it a chance.  I couldn't put that thing down for the life of me.  Instead of being primarily about time travel, the book is a story about the timelessness of love.  It's complex, sometimes confusing, and beautiful.  As soon as I finished, I started it over and read it again.  It was all I could think about.  It consumed me, day and night.  I have read it at least 5 times since then, and I even suckered my poor book group into choosing it for one of their reads too (none of them loved it as much as me, but I try not to judge).  Anyway, I just love it.  Love, love, love it. 

So today, I see this group on Facebook for others who are obsessed with The Time Traveler's Wife.  I had to know more.  My friend, Internet Movie Database, had the info, of course.  Eric Bana is playing Henry, and Rachel McAdams is playing Claire.  I don't know how I feel about that.  I don't have anything against either of them.  I guess I'll just have to see the movie and judge for myself.  I can deal with Eric Bana, but I guess in my mind (though they're all too old), I imagined Kristin Scott Thomas or Juliette Binoche as Claire.  

I'm just so scared the movie is going to screw up my book!!!  Case in point... when I was in junior high, I was obsessed with V.C. Andrews books, especially Flowers in the Attic.  Now, that book really messed with my head.  I got all of the series in hardcover for Christmas presents over the years, and I was so excited when I found out they were going to make a movie of Flowers in the Attic.  Well, if you saw that movie, well... well... IT SUCKED!  Now, true, as an adult, I'm kind of horrified that I loved those books, but at the time, I was so disappointed.  The books were creepy, and I guess as long as that creepiness stays in a person's mind, it's OK.  Maybe they just weren't meant for film.
I'm worried though, because there are elements in The Time Traveler's Wife that, if they don't get them right in the movie, are going to repel the audience.  Claire meets Henry when she's a little girl, like the picture shows.  But, Henry has involuntarily time traveled back to that point, so he already knows and loves Claire as an adult.  Are you confused?  Good.  Imagine a whole book like that.  You don't want to read it either now, do you?  Trust me, just do it.  Have you ever loved someone and wished you knew what they were like as a kid?  Henry gets to know Claire as a kid.  He tutors her in French, he listens as she struggles with family issues, he sees her grow up... it's intriguing.  But there is potential for disaster there on film.  It worries me.  

I am excited to see the movie when it comes out.  It's such a great story... it has potential to be a great movie.  But... THEY BETTER NOT SCREW UP MY BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Friday, September 12, 2008

Weekly Update

A recap of this week:

On Monday evening, we had our first Delta Kappa Gamma meeting of the year. The best part was that it was my first meeting in four years where I wasn't an officer. It was nice to just go and enjoy it. I got so much out of serving as an officer for four years, but I'm also happy that my term is over. Our first meeting of the year is always at Jefferson County Park. It was pouring down rain, so we met in the Nature Center, and my friends Gay and Therese made a Dutch Oven dinner for us all. My Grandpa Sutherlin would have been jealous! These ladies have taken campout cooking to a whole other level. We had barbecue ribs, corn on the cob, cheesy vegetables, almond rice, chocolate cherry surprise cake, pumpkin crunch cake, and pineapple upside down cake. All cooked over the coals. It was delicious. Oh, we had a meeting too, but the food is the important part, right? ;)

Tuesday evening was the first Drama Club meeting of the year. I had a good starter group of 24 kids. That will pick up once word spreads around, especially with the new 6th graders. We played games, and I think they had fun. After Drama Club, I headed to my Aunt Jean's visitation. All the flowers were beautiful, and it was nice seeing my family that I don't get to see very often. She will be missed. I've been thinking of my Uncle Robert this week so much. They had been together most of my life, after both of their first spouses had passed away. I know he's going to miss her so much.

On Wednesday this week, I had a sub in the morning so I could go to the funeral. I sang, and my cousin Christopher played the organ. It was a beautiful service, and it was especially touching to hear Jean's sons speak about their mother. It made me realize that I only knew this little part of her. I liked finding out more. I had a mentoring meeting after school Wednesday, and then we had choir Wednesday night. We're getting ready for our church's big birthday celebration at the end of September. After choir, Pastor Suzy and I had a long talk. It was good to let her know some of the things I've been struggling with in church. I'd say she and I have very different views on church/religion/God, but she was very open to listening to me.

Thursday night, I received Darshan from Mother Meera. It was a very interesting experience. I was about the only townie there, that's for sure. My friend Rodney had talked a lot about Mother Meera, so I was glad to have the experience for myself. I just love trying new things, and it's good for me to go outside my comfort zone. I saw many friends there, and the whole atmosphere of the evening was open and loving. Here's the way I see it... who doesn't need more blessing? Does anyone really ever have enough? I'll give all I can give, and I'll take all I can get!

Tonight after school is our first book club meeting. I'm excited because we always pick all the books for the year at the meeting. Tonight we're discussing The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama. We always meet at Revelations, have a coffee, and have good discussion. I really look forward to it every month. After that, I have to get home and get the Skewered Thai Cy ready for tailgating in the morning. It's going to be a miserable, rainy day, but... if we can beat those Cyclones, it will all be worth it. Go Hawks!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Seven years ago today, I was running late for a meeting at the high school. I always have Good Morning America on as I get ready, and the big news of the morning was that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. At that time, they thought it was an accident, and everyone was searching for details. I grabbed my schoolbag, and as I went into the bedroom to turn off the TV, I watched the second plane hit the other tower. I just stood there with my mouth open. I don't know how long I stood there, but I finally shook myself away from the TV and went to my meeting. I sat in that meeting knowing something big was happening. It was a terribly boring meeting, and no one was listening. The buzz circulated through the high school commons, and everyone was on edge.

When we finally were released to go to school, I sprinted up the steps to my first classroom at FMS where I was teaching science. I turned on the TV just to see the last tower fall. Again, I just stood there with my mouth open. They fell? They were gone? I could not believe what I was seeing. I could not believe what was happening.
The worst thing about that day for us in Fairfield is that since we had professional development that morning, the kids had a late start. So many of them were home alone watching TV, waiting to go to school. By the time they got there, they were confused, upset, full of rumor and speculation, and generally freaked out. As were we.

Later that day, Air Force 1 flew right over Fairfield. I didn't see it, but those who did said it was flying low enough that you could see the details of the plane. Everyone knew exactly what it was.

That week, I became addicted to the scrolling news bar across the TV screen. I hardly slept at night because I was afraid I'd miss something.

What I loved that week was that feeling that we were all on the same team... the overwhelming support for our country. I'm guessing that's what it felt like in World War II after Pearl Harbor was attacked. My grandma talked about how everyone worked together and felt like they were doing their part to support the country. The time following 9/11/01 is the first time I experienced that in my life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Battling Uncertainty with Uncertainty

To neutralize getting thrown out of my comfort level box into Conservative Christianity on Sunday, I'm going in entirely the other direction and hurling myself out of my comfort level box by receiving Darshan from Mother Meera on Thursday.  I need to see the world from all points of view, and this is definitely a point of view that I've never experienced.  I'm curious, apprehensive, excited... It also feels good/sneaky/teenager-y because despite the fact that I'm 36 years old, if my dad saw me there, he might try to drag me out by my ponytail, Caveman style.  Shhh... don't tell him...  hee hee hee  :)

Monday, September 8, 2008


Do you ever just feel uncertain?  I have these waves of uncertainty.  I'm having one right now, so I'm just going to blog through it and throw it out into the universe.  

I feel uncertain of:

* my place in the world... where am I supposed to be?

* my plan, my contract, my space, my purpose

* God... Sunday's sermon left me hanging on by my fingernails to the walls of my comfort level box, and this was after I'd had such a rejuvenating time with my prayer group on Friday.  I know the Holy Spirit works in me when I listen.  I have experienced it.  Sunday's sermon at church was all about ignoring that voice and just reading the Scripture.  Hmm.  Again, I say Hmmmmmmmm.  Isn't there a truth in all of us?  Isn't there a unique way that God is going to work in each of our lives?  AGAIN, I say HMMMMM.  

I feel like I'm trudging along on this well worn path, and once in awhile, I look up from watching one foot travel in front of the other on the brown.  I get these glimpses of beauty, and I'm intrigued.  I can fall into it when I slow down and let myself, and it's green and cool.  There are interesting noises and unusual smells.  A little scary, but not bad.  It feels right, it feels good to step off the dust into the green.  

So, how come I always end back up on the freaking path?!?!?!

OK... now, to things that are certain.  I'm going to will myself to calm before I try to sleep...

* friends 

* the stability of chaos with middle school kids... think about that one for a bit... stability of chaos

* God.  Whatever that means.  The more I know, the less I know.  But, I know.  And, I'm not going to stop searching.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Blast From the Past

This was one of my all-time favorite videos.  When I saw it on YouTube, it totally gave me a memory flood back to a church lock-in from 8th or 9th grade.  My friend Melodee and I had memorized the whole dance that Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, and Michael Douglas do.  We gave a little impromptu performance and wowed the masses.  

I just love how the three actors were part of the video.  Michael Douglas is hot... I know he's old, but he's still hot (I'm Andrew Shepherd and I AM the President).  Also, I was completely obsessed with Kathleen Turner's hair in this video.  Is it wrong that I'd still like my hair to look like that?  Eeek.  I am stuck in the 80's.  I know I'd still tight-roll my jeans if I could get away with it.  Just be worried if I show up to school in mall bangs, legwarmers, or a dangly earring on one side and short ones on the other. 

Friday, September 5, 2008

Blessings for Today

* It's 3:30 on a Friday... what's a bigger blessing than that?

* Tomorrow is another home football game in Iowa City. I'm tailgating with my friend Heather and the Hugunin bunch. It should be a beautiful day, with highs in the low 70's. Go Hawks!

* It's the first home football game here in Fairfield tonight. High school football in a small town is unlike anything I experienced growing up in Council Bluffs. It's not really a high school thing; it's an entire community thing. It's so much fun.

* This week at our staff development meeting on Wednesday, one of our presenters handed out Dove chocolates. My message inside said, "In chaos there lies opportunity." If that isn't a good motto for a middle school teacher, what is? I have it pinned up on my bulletin board by my computer so I can see it all the time. In every crazy moment, there is wonderful potential. I'm grateful for that.

* Tonight my Centering Prayer group is starting back up. We meet on Friday afternoons. I'm the youngest one, and it's great. These ladies are some of the few people on the planet I allow to mother me. They're fantastic, and my spirit is always filled when I leave. I just need to be better about focusing that energy more often during the week. I think that will be a goal for this year... to take care of Me by centering myself and connecting to the Holy Spirit more often... not just when I'm with my prayer group.

I am blessed.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Too Good to Resist

This clip was sent to me on Facebook today.  Very entertaining.  

Also, I think John McCain is a heck of a guy... a true hero... an inspiration.  I think Sarah Palin is spunky and dynamic.  However, where my pro-choice philosophies (basically, that if you don't have a uterus, how can you have an opinion?) were leaving me balancing on the fence, McCain's comments on education tonight put me over the edge.  I just don't think I can vote for him.  And in a way, I wanted to.  I gave him every possible chance leading up to tonight.  I just really believe in public education.  Our country was built on the foundation of public education.  I just don't understand how vouchers are going to help the schools that are struggling.  I also worry for schools like mine, schools that consistently score better than the majority of the country.  How long can we keep that up?  The rest of the pack is gaining quickly.  The final goal is not attainable.  And we're becoming so test driven.  Everything is about the stinking test.  We're becoming Texas in that way.  Ugh.  With tests, I'm sorry... how do you convince every adolescent kid that the test is important?  In our team meetings, we're brainstorming how we can dog and pony show the kids into getting pumped up for Iowa Tests of Basic Skills.  Go Team!  Can't you just picture the eye rolls?  OK.  I'll step off my soap box and take a breath.  

Back to the election... I'm not 100% decided, but I'm close.  I have to say though, this is the first time I've been able to watch every night of the Republican National Convention.  Usually, I can only make it a couple of nights.  I lasted the whole time this year.  That tells me something... either they're different, or I am.  Hmmm... that's one to ponder.

And a total side note... I freaking loved those big white balloons with the stars.  The Republicans definitely won the balloon battle.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Today I'm grateful...

* for  living in a country where I can vote for the candidate of my choice

* for living in a country that has evolved enough to have a woman and an African American as choices for the 2008 election

* for a cool breeze and a gentle rain... the promise of fall after a sticky, humid day 

* for my small but mighty church choir... they are faithful friends

* for having my dream job... political debates with seventh graders, eighth graders learning Mandarin Chinese, sixth graders gaining confidence and finding their place in middle school, adolescent writers discovering the power of words... I get paid for this joy!!!

* for my dog Avery, who is always glad to see me, no matter how my day has gone

* for Grandma's eMac and internet at home... the world at my fingertips

* for growing up with a mom who taught me to speak my mind and to go after what I want, with the words, " Go get 'em, Babe.  It's showtime!"

I'm blessed.
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