Monday, July 22, 2013



I try never to use it.
If I do, you know I mean it.
I feel yucky even thinking about using it toward people - that's how strong I think it is.
Hearing people say they hate other people makes me cringe.
I don't think it's warranted as often as it's used.

I mostly use it for things like mushrooms,
phones that turn off without warning,
and getting rice stuck in my permanent retainer.


"'I've done that much.  What more can I do?'" - Shannon Hale, The Goose Girl

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ode to Little Caesars, by Joel

Crazy Bread,
I wish you were dead
and that I was fed
your body


"Learn to give, even if it’s just a smile, not because you have too much, but because you know there are so many others out there who feel like they have nothing at all."  - Marc & Angel Hack Life blog

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

and then it was the last day of May

What time is it? Summertime!
Hey, I'm catching up.

Oh, the last day of school.  Glorious.  I let the fifth and sixth graders in on the secret that I speak English, which was beyond fun.  There were a lot of, "Wait - - what?"s, "You're so awesome!"s, and "I  KNEW it!"s, along with my other favorites, the "I'm glad you did it that way"s.  I'm excited for next year when I can talk to them outside of class like friends, the way they and I have been wanting to this year but couldn't really.  If I participated in conversations this year the way I wanted to, no one would  have understood, so I'm excited to be able to respond to their fun plans and stories with something other than, "¡Excelente!" 

The last day of school was also a lot of fun in the other grades.  We played, danced, sang, reviewed, and I answered the questions they asked the week before on their year-end surveys.  I'm glad I get to teach them again next year!  

And I got pictures of all my classes.  Do you know how many classes that is, people?  23.  Twenty-three classes of twenty-five students.  That's a lot of kids, and a lot of adorable class pictures.  I'm not allowed post them on the Internet, though, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  


"YOU ARE ALIVE.  Your journey is not over.  NO matter what, this simple fact alone is proof that you still have something meaningful to achieve." - Marc & Angel Hack Life blog

Monday, July 15, 2013


I was visiting with a friend recently who is a stay-at-home mom.  She told me she likes to experiment with makeup and clothing styles now that she stays home, since, if she turns out looking crazy, not many people will know.

A couple weeks later, I discovered ipsy.  Ipsy is a makeup website.  You pay $10/month (including shipping) (taking months off whenever you want) and they send you five new name-brand makeup products every month in a new makeup bag.  Remembering what my friend had told me, and also that I'm a teacher who doesn't work during the summer, I thought it would be fun to try.  And it is!  I've gotten two months so far and I love it.  They come with some full-size products and some glorified samples.  Like, compare a shampoo sample (a flat envelope with one or two applications in it) with a hotel shampoo.  The hotel shampoo is not really a sample, but it's also not full-size.  That's what I mean by glorified sample.  

Oh, and when you sign up, you take a quiz regarding your style, the color of your skin/hair/eyes, and what kinds of samples you want (yes to mascara, no to hair products...) to get so you don't get a ton of stuff you don't want / doesn't match you.

The first month, I got a roll-on perfume (love), a full-sized lipstick (creamiest lipstick I've ever used), a full-sized nail polish (works great, don't love the color), a glorified sample of brow gel (cool), and a glorified sample of concealer (love).  It's so fun.

I haven't tried most of what I've gotten this month yet, but I got a full-sized lipliner, a full-sized  highlighter crayon (love), a glorified sample (I think) of gel eyeliner, a full-sized blush, and a full-sized "sparkling cream palette" (that I have no idea what to do with:).  

I won't use ipsy forever, if for no other reason than because I don't use makeup this fast, but it's fun to try new brands and products that I've been wanting to try without having to pay full price.  Getting new bags is fun, too.  I'm totally going to use them for wedding / baby gifts.

In case you're curious about the brands...
roll-on perfume - Pacifica
lipstick - Mirabella
nail polish - Zoya
brow gel - Anastasia
concealer - yaby
lipliner - Starlooks
highlighter crayon - Chella
gel eyeliner - Cailyn
blush - NYX
sparkling cream palette - Beauty


"Rosa wishes she'd had a chance at more in her life… But life gave her this chance, and she ran with it."  - Po Bronson, Why Do I Love These People?

Friday, July 12, 2013

a baby! (piano, NOT human)

This is the story of a killer deal.

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Alison who was desperate for a piano that worked.  One day she asked her husband, Joel, just how financially irresponsible they would be if they bought one.  He replied, "Why don't we check the classifieds?"  Alison was a little disappointed, wondering if they could find something good, but she agreed.  

That night, Joel opened the classifieds and started showing her pictures of pianos for sale and Alison quickly realized his suggestion had been a good one.  Initially, they were interested in an ornate upright for two reasons: 1) They're beautiful!, and 2) The only place a baby grand would fit was in Alison's sewing room, which she wasn't sure she wanted to give up.  Joel even asked her, "If we found a baby grand for a good price, would you give up your sewing room?" and she replied adamantly in the negative.  

After a few minutes, they began finding baby grand pianos for stellar deals and Alison changed her mind.  "Okay, I guess I would give up my room if we found one we really liked."  Then, lo and behold!, they found the best deal ever!  A baby grand piano for $650!  It was close to midnight and they decided to contact the owners about the piano.  Because it was close to midnight, though, Alison decided to text them.  She figured, if they answered, they answered, but if they didn't, at least she didn't wake them up.  Well, they did answer!  The "they" was a "she," and she already had someone coming to look at the piano the next day, but she offered to call if the deal didn't go through.  Joel and Alison were crazy with nerves!  

The next day, Sunday, the lady called Alison and - guess what!! - the other people didn't want the piano!!!  (Well, they did, but the wife didn't think her husband would want to mess with moving it.  What?  Why did they even bother going to look at it?  What did she think was going to happen?  Odd.) Alison and Joel quickly set up an appointment for the next day - they didn't want to go make a deal on the Sabbath - and danced around the living room.  A couple hours later, though, Alison started to feel nervous.  "What if she gives it away?  What if she finds someone who's willing to go look today and sells it?"  So she texted the lady again.  

"This is Alison... We're so excited about the piano! and nervous that someone could call tonight, see it before we do, and snag it! :) Are we first in line? Could it stay that way until we've seen it?"

Thankfully, she agreed to hold it for them.

Then Monday came....
and it was love at first sight.
Of course, Joel and Alison tested the piano to make sure it sounded good and played well.  But it passed all their tests!  They excitedly told the seller they wanted to buy it, and she also was excited.  She then told them that she'd had another woman call the day before and try to make her sell it, even offering to pay more than Joel and Alison, but she kindly kept her word and put that lady on a waiting list.  Thank goodness!  

On the way home from testing the piano, Joel and Alison could hardly keep from singing.  They only stopped long enough to call a piano mover and set up a date for a few days later...

piano room = emptied

sewing room = moved

It's from 1925 and has never been refinished. (The bench is not the original.) 

Ain't she a beaut?! 

Getting tuned for the first time in 10 years. I didn't know you could take pianos apart like that!

After purchasing, moving, tuning, and repairing the piano, it cost about $1200.  Not too shabby for a baby grand.

P.S. Thank you, Joel! 


"...[B]e grateful.  When it's raining pudding, hold up your bowl." - Sandra Dallas, Prayers for Sale

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

stop, dog, stop!

I was bitten by a dog.

This picture was taken the day of the event.
On later days, it was much nastier and yellower.
Broke the skin in two places and left all those bumps and bruises - 
A heavy jacket!
It hurt sooooo bad.
I thought I was bleeding like crazy inside that jacket.  Thank goodness I was wearing it.

Oh yeah - 
it's two months later
and I have a scar.

Ask me again why I don't want a dog.

1. I like dogs.  For some reason, that's a common misconception.  It's not that I don't like dogs - I just don't like that, after touching dogs, I feel dirty.  Dirty enough that I'd rather not touch them because I don't feel like washing my hands all the time.  
2. I'm also not afraid of dogs.  Joel didn't even know the bite happened until later because I just roooollllllled with the punches.
3. The reason I don't want a dog is because of cleanliness and babysitting issues, not because of biting or behavioral issues. :)


"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."  - C.S. Lewis

Monday, July 1, 2013

May Day

May Day is a fun day to celebrate.  It seemed like everyone celebrated it when we lived in Iowa, but I haven't met anyone outside Iowa who does.  Anyway, here's what you do - decorate fun baskets and/or treats to give to your neighbors/friends.  I think technically you're supposed to choose old people, but do what you want.  You can write who your treat is from or keep it a secret.  Put it on someone's doorstep, ring the doorbell, and run away!  Seriously.  You have to run.  If you don't and they catch you, you get kissed.  YUCK!  


Because we hadn't done May Day in this neighborhood yet and didn't know what we were going to use for our treats, we focused on next-door neighbors and visiting and home teachers.  None of them knew the kissing rule (I guess they do now...) and we weren't in quite as much peril, so we did some walk/jog/run combinations.  But it was super fun and I can't wait until May Day next year!

We made the cones from paper bags and filled them with a couple popcorn packets, a movie treat box, and some fresh flowers.  May Day on a budget.  Thank you, dollar store!


"Because they were hers, Ila Mae's troubles seemed hardest to bear."  - Sandra Dallas, Prayers for Sale