Tuesday, May 21, 2013

but not from Muskogee

In light of recent events, I want you all to know that I'm proud to be from Oklahoma, even if I wasn't born there.  I read this on Facebook today and loved it.  It's all true.

"Do you know what it takes to be an Oklahoman? You probably don’t, because to be an Oklahoman is to be nuts, crazy, off-the-charts insane. You have to be.

"In Oklahoma, when you pop out of your mama, the doctors give you the once over. They check your eyes, because they know you’re going to have to stare down EF4 tornadoes and not flinch. They check the gravel in your guts, because true grit’s making a living from hard, dry land — molding a life from red clay. And they check your heart, because to be an Oklahoman is to be the smack-dab center of the Heartland.

"Then you grow up in Oklahoma with your 'Yes, ma’ams' and 'No, sirs' and 'Ranch, pleases,' and you learn how to drive in a place where you reserve one hand for waving to the neighbors you know and the neighbors you don’t know just quite yet. Your sentences are peppered with words like 'hook echo,' 'vortex,' 'Pushmataha,' 'biscuitsngravy' and 'might could.'

"You go to school and you learn the history of your state, from the Trail of Tears to the land run to the Dust Bowl to the Tulsa Race Riot to April 19, 1995 to May 3, 1999. You understand that you come from misfits and mistakes and pain. A lot of pain. You realize you come from underdog stock. You listen to a lot of Woody Guthrie, and you really get what it means.

"At some point, life punches you in the gut for the first time. You watch the hand of God come down, and an entire town disappears off the map.

"You fall to your knees and you cry and you spit and you cuss the day and night. And then you get up.

"You don’t waste your time asking the heavens why. There’s work to be done.

"You see someone else shaking their fists at the sky, so you reach your hand down. And then they get up.

"That’s what being an Oklahoman is. Being so resilient and perseverant that ain’t nothing or nobody can keep you down. I’ve been a lot of places, lived in a few of them, and met many great people. Without minimizing anyone else, Oklahomans are a different breed. When you’re a little guy used to getting kicked, you not only learn to pop back up but you become the first one to reach out to others.

"Oklahoma isn’t a place. It’s something in your blood. It’s something that you do. It’s the shirt off your back and a tear in your eye and a giddyup in your soul.

"As we watched the wreckage from this latest prizefight with nature, several people asked me if I had people there — in Moore, in Shawnee. The answer is unequivocally yes. Every ever-loving, bless-your-heart mumbler in that grand land is My People. And My People don’t give up and don’t give in.

"I love you, Oklahoma, and I thank my lucky stars that I’m one of yours. And if you don’t start installing storm shelters in every public building, I’m fixin’ to raise a fight."  - Nicole Hill

Saturday, May 18, 2013

good music

I have learned that an idle mind really is the devil's playground.  (Thank you, The Music Man.)

When I'm bored is usually when I notice things that I do "wrong," like not make dinner when I literally can't stand up my feet hurt so bad because I'm a good teacher, or get weeds in the lawn.  Because I'm bored or not doing anything, it's easy to fixate on those thoughts (because no other new ones are coming up).

Thankfully, I've also learned that, for me, the antidote is to be by myself in my craft room and work on some menial task (like hand stitching or cutting swirls out of felt to make a flower wreath) while listening to music.   It always works.  My mind has something new to think about, but I don't have to think hard, which means I kind of just melt away.  Then, when I'm done, I'm as good as new.

Sometimes people say that meaningful experiences are coincidences.

But then, sometimes you feel a little sad and turn on Pandora, and then songs like these come on:

(If you want a playlist instead of clicking on each song, by the way, click here.)

"The Middle" (Jimmy Eat World) - Hey, don't write yourself off / It's only in your head... / Just try your best...

"Happy" - Jesse Palter & The Alter Ego - I used to feel that to be happy / everybody had to be so fond of me. / Now that just sounds silly...  / Things happen perfectly never... / Life is love and love is music. / You get one chance, so you can't abuse it. / I learned to simply smile through / and I'm so happy!

"Rich Girl" - Hall & Oates - This song has a swear word in it, but I didn't realize what they were saying, and it's the line "You know it doesn't matter anyway" that gets me, anyway. :)

"Golden Slumber" - Ben Folds - Do not cry / and I will sing a lullaby.

And then, even though you really weren't feeling that bad to begin with, now you feel great.  And to people who call that a coincidence, you say, "Bah humbug."


"We don't become good people.  We simply cease, slowly, to be deluded by the layers."  - Po Bronson, Why Do I Love These People?

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I hosted 24 fiestas this week in a total of 12 hours.

And yet, I brought home extra chips and salsa.  I must be crazy person.  A crazy person whose feet hurt really bad and who is not making dinner tonight.

Actually, though, it really was fun.  Really fun.  And I was cleaning that room for the billionth time this afternoon, I realized that next week is my last week of the year with these kids, and genuinely felt sad.  I immediately thought, I can't believe that, just a couple weeks ago, I couldn't wait for this to be over!  I also remembered those people in elementary and middle school who assumed that, because I was good at school, I must also have loved it.  I always argued that being good at something doesn't necessarily mean you like it!  And I didn't, really.  So, for those of you  who just thought, Oh, she was one of those kids, I wasn't.  There were aspects of school I didn't mind, but overall I preferred to be at home.  

As a teacher, it's different.  Imagine this - you have your dream job! You love it and being at work.  It's a hard job, but it's fun and extremely fulfilling, plus your co-workers are some of your favorite people in the world and love you, too.  Then, imagine your boss came and told you you got / had to take a vacation for two and a half months.  How do you feel?  Well, excited, definitely.  Who doesn't like a long vacation?  But also sad.  First of all, this vacation isn't paid.  Second of all, for two and a half months, you can't go where you love to go, do what you love to do, or see who you love to see.  

Don't get me wrong - I am going to do stuff over the summer that I only wish I had time for now, and I am REALLY excited.  But I'm also excited to go back in the fall.  And, as a lot of students have been asking whether I'm coming back next year, it's also fun to know that they're excited to see me next fall, too.  


"In that frightful moment I think his fierce heart broke."  - J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

my favorite time-spenders

I would have called these "time-wasters," but not all of them are a waste of time. So there.
This is a list of what I do when I have 30 minutes to do something.
This is not a list of my hobbies or interests. 
My hobbies and interests are much more interesting than most of these. 
That list is for another day.

reading blogs / checking Feedly
reading The 100 Hour Board
seeing what's for sale today on PickYourPlum
checking Facebook
watching "What Not To Wear"
sitting on the porch
getting the mail
watering the berries
doing other small gardening tasks
checking Pinterest 
(but only if there's a variety of recent pins and they're not all on the same topic, 
unless that topic is Harry Potter and / or funny)
looking out the window
signing up for free samples online
checking my email
checking my school email
checking my "send me samples" email
cleaning to good music turned up too loud
walking around aimlessly deciding what to do
 looking at things that need to be done
deciding not to do the above-mentioned things
starting Christmas movies I recorded and still haven't watched
thinking about updating my blog
writing blog update ideas and / or actually updating the blog

putting my shoes on and my purse together, 
because my 30 minutes is probably over and it's time to go do something


"'Proud and insolent youth,' said Hook, 'prepare to meet thy doom.'  'Dark and sinister man,' Peter answered,' have at thee.'  Without more words they fell to…"  - J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan