Tuesday, December 27, 2005
The remainder of our trip was uneventful, though I did manage to use all of my gift cards in one day! Now that's what I call exciting! Here's to a new year, free from parking garage accidents, enraged young drivers, and empowered mall security officers.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The "I told you so" comes from a conversation the day before. I had jokingly commented that I knew our building was going to burn down. There was an oil leak, which smelled up the entire building all day long. This morning, our oil leak turned into a fire. Scary. I honestly didn't want the building to burn, I just wanted a day off. =)
Sunday, December 04, 2005
There are two restaurant linked together--Kali's Court and Mezze. We accidentally entered through the wrong entrance, but were taken through to Mezze. It was quite confusing, but worth the race through the maze. It seemed that Kali's court was a more upscale restaurant, while Mezze was a more relaxed, "fun" place to eat. However, we ate upstairs in a beautiful, comfortable, dimly lit room with a total of seven tables. The perfect atmosphere for fellowship and fun. I would be sure to ask for a table in the upstairs room if you ever plan to eat at Mezze--if you want a more romantic, quiet atmosphere.
Mezze is famed for its Tapas (small plate) style, Mediterranean food. We each ordered two different entrees, well, Emily and I each ordered three. As they brought out the plates, we shared the amazingly prepared and displayed items. "There is no other way I'd rather share germs," said Emily Sleeman. And it was true. We all sampled the various foods, having seconds of some and passing on others.
The group consensus was that the salmon was incredible, the spinach fritters were divine (don't listen to Kris' opinions!), and the tuna was succulent, though raw--a warning for those who have a weak stomach. We also sampled baked mussels, braised lamb, quail (definitely the most nicely presented item), shrimp raki, portabella mushrooms, baked eggplant (not a favorite even though I love eggplant), and chicken kabobs (for those less adventurous...ahem...Kris). The menu was extensive, and there are many more items that I would love to sample on my next outing to Mezze!
Monday, November 28, 2005
You hear someone talk about Guatemala and you mention that Gary just got kicked off Survivor, whether or not the conversation was about Survivor, it doesn't matter.
You see a fat person at work and wish they could go to the fat ranch on the Biggest Loser. You just KNOW they could lose 100 lbs like Matt.
You JUST KNOW that your vice principal would win the nomination for Extreme Makeover, if nominated by good intentioned coworkers.
You sit and wonder what "your room" would be like if you were on Extreme Home Makeover--mine would be a rockclimbing room, or maybe a library with kids books!
(I was seriously thinking about these things at some point in the last week...how sad!)
Thursday, November 17, 2005
In a blender, combine the following:
3/4 cups of fresh basil (or five or six hard shakes of dried basil--don't know how much!)
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
>1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup pine nuts (or a handful of walnuts--because we don't have pine nuts)
1 clove of garlic
Add all ingredients in a blender. Blend three minutes or until smooth.
To make Paninis:
One chicken breast cut thinly, grilled.
onions, raw, thinly sliced
sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
2 slices of bread
Spread pesto on one side of the bread. Add chicken, onions and cheese on top. Place other side of bread on top of cheese.
We use an indoor grill/George foreman to grill the panini for three minutes. I suppose you could use a buttered griddle as well!
This panini goes wonderfully with soup, especially on brisk evenings like tonight!
Friday, November 11, 2005
What would be a few things at the top of your list?
Sunday, November 06, 2005
This weekend (and beyond) was spent doing more remodeling on our house. Remodeling that we've wanted to do since we moved in. We braved the lines at the brand new Lowes...braved them six different times over the course of two days, we did! The outcome was a drastically different living room and hallway. We transformed the living room from a yellowish color (Which I hear Abi and Jimmy never liked to begin with), to Humbolt Earth, a chocolately brown. Crown modling is next in line for the living room. Kristin said "the room looks formal, but I like it." We added new light fixtures to the entryway, kitchen and upstairs hallway. Amazing what a little update into the 21st century can do! ;-) I bet the lights we replaced were the originals from when the house was built in '89??! =)
I don't have finished product pictures yet, but when everything is finally put together, I will post them! Or ya'll can just drop by. Hmm, I retract that statement. As much as I'd love for you to just "stop by," I can't handle a mad rush! So do us a favor and call first! :-)
Thank God for friends! Ken Wood stopped by all day Saturday to help install the new light fixtures, change out sockets, etc. I am convinced he stopped by for the FIVE sandwiches he ate at lunch!! But either way, he is an awesome friend, and a gifted electrician! Thanks Ken Wood! Kristin stopped by too. But somehow she managed to get out of any sort of work! She grabbed her magazines and ran. Then again, she did put in MORE than her due when we bought the house. I guess Kris is forgiven.
Anyway, this weekend was truly a renovating time--for the house and me personally.
God revealed a lot of sin in my heart this past weekend--impatience, anger, and much more. He faithfully reminded me that the work in our house is a process, one which will not be completed over night. Indeed, the renovations may take weeks or months in some cases. But, He gently reminded me that He will finish the work He started, just as we are GOING to finish the work we started!!! Let's pray God's timing for completing work in my heart is much shorter than our time line for completing the work on our house!
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
AND, it's incredible. You can read the City Paper review, or simply take my word for it.
The spinach and shitake, killer. The Banana Tempura, amazing. The ginger limeade, incredibly delicious. Everything (except dessert) is eaten with chopsticks, which only adds to the ambiance of the place.
If you are looking for an inexpensive and adventurous night out, Suzie's will surely not disappoint.
Monday, October 17, 2005
I have eaten yogurt with my lunch since I was in high school. The love affair with yogurt hasn't ended, nor is it likely to. Though my recent luck with yogurt hasn't been so great. Last week I had vanilla yogurt, plain vanilla. I also had shoes on with tiny holes on the top for decoration purposes (that is an important fact!). After eating my sandwich, I opened the yogurt and decided to walk to my class and finish eating there. Somehow, between the lunch table and the trash can I forgot that the yogurt was open. I managed to dump 3/4 of the entire contain down my leg and onto my foot. Remember that the shoes have holes in the top. In went the yogurt. Down between my toes. Under the arch. In the creases. Sick. I gasped. Co-workers laughed.
Today, my daily yogurt was no different. I had a PBJ and a cherry vanilla yogurt. I had eaten my PBJ and was getting ready to eat my yogurt. I took off the plastic lid. The foil was still securely on underneath, or so I thought. I began to shake my yogurt like I do every day to mix it. As I did, the contents of the container ended up ALL over my white dress shirt. Pink blobs flew everywhere--across the table, onto the floor, on my shoulder, in my lap. Grrrrrr. I looked and realized that the yogurt foil was half-way open. How did that happen?! My co-worker suggested that perhaps I had bought it from the store like that. I figured someone had opened it and forgotten to tell me? Maybe another co-worked mistakenly thought it was theirs?!
This evening, I arrived home and HAD to ask Miguel about the mysterious open yogurt. Sure enough, the boy had opened the yogurt intending to eat it. When he realize it was not plain vanilla, but cherry vanilla, he kindly put the half opened container back into the fridge for my consumption. Lovely.
Some say I should give up my quest to eat yogurt every day until I die. However, I walked away with two simple lessons learned: One, never again will I open my yogurt and then forget that it is open. And two, I will never shake my yogurt BEFORE checking the foil wrapper.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
On Tuesday, a little girl went into the school office where he works. She proceeded to tell the secretaries that she knew Jesus' last name..."Amen."
As in, "In Jesus' name, Amen."
I had to chuckle at the originality of her little mind!
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Jewish Apple Cake
4 lg Apples--Granny Smith or Red Delicious are my favorites-you can use more apples if you'd like
2 tsp. Cinnamon
5 T. Sugar
3 c. Flour
3/4 tsp. Salt
2 1/2 c. Sugar
1 c. Oil
3 tsp. Baking Powder
2 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/3 c. Orange Juice (the secret ingredient!!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel, core and slice apples. I like mine sliced thinly and cut into one inch pieces.
Combine first three ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
Let sit while combining remaining ingredients in another bowl.
Pour about a one inch layer of the batter into a tube pan.
Place the cinnamon sugar apples in a thin layer over the batter. Make sure the batter is covered, but not too thickly or the cake will stay raw.
Continue to alternate layers until all of the apples and batter are gone. If you end with apples, they may brown or even burn. Be careful!
Bake for 1 3/4 hours. At times, I've needed to add another 20 or so minutes to bake time.
***Sacha, let me know how it turns out! =)
Friday, September 16, 2005
Simple firsts, like the mall, grocery store, and Target are memories that I've long forgotten. I take for granted my ability to quickly and regularly venture into the community and purchase items on my first fancy or whim. This past Tuesday, I realized that the simple pleasures in life, like visiting the mall, aren't so simple to some. The Pink and Yellow rooms ventured out on a big yellow bus to White Marsh Mall. We left promptly at 9:45, just in time to meet all of the elderly mall walkers and moms out for an early morning trip.
Our adventures began in the pet store. The workers were kind enough to bring out dogs, cats and bunnies. The kids loved it. Then on to new adventures. Two of my students discovered the escalators. Up, they begged. So up we went. Down, they giggled, so down we went. Lo and behold, a candy store at the bottom of the escalator. In we went. In went candy into their tiny mouths. The sign clearly read, "NO taste testing." Hmmm, my students can't read! I giggled, the store manager smiled. Out we went. No more candy store for us.
They sighted it. The escalator. Up, they frantically pointed. So up we went. Down, they pleaded. So down we went. Three more times, up and down, up and down, up and down. I have never heard my students laugh like that before. All I could do was smile and laugh with them. The simple joys of childhood are all too easily overlooked and too quickly forgotten.
I am not sure if my students will remember their trip to the mall that Tuesday morning. But I hope they do. I hope they remember the mounds of candy in the new candy store. The princesses in the Disney Store. And most importantly, the ten rides up and ten rides down the escalators. I am not sure if they will, or even can remember. But I hope they do.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Hope no one out there decided to make money off of selling my pictures. Or went to the parents of my kids and said nasty things about me! hehe.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Besides her rather loud voice, Adelaida is a magnificent signer. She can ask, in a full sentence, for cookies, pretzels and anything else her little heart desires. She is beginning to use sign language to interact with her peers and people in the community! This is my baby who comes from a Spanish speaking home and had NO language when she came to me last year! Amazing! I love my kids.
Monday, September 05, 2005
I've talked about my kids so much that I thought I would post their pictures here over the next week or so! I love to brag about them and tell everyone that I really do have the cutest class! So over the next 180 days I am sure that you will hear (and see) stories of our eventful lives in the "Pink" room. WELL...here we go...
The first day of school MIkel drank strawberry milk and had a severe allergic reaction. Think "Hitch" if you've ever seen it! She was rushed to the nurses' office and then wisked away to the hospital by her parents! Never a dull moment in the life of a special educator!
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Saturday evenings at Boordy Vineyard must be one of the most relaxing and romantic ways to spend an evening. The cares of the day were set aside. Worries for tomorrow were briefly forgotten. A live band played Salsa music in the background. Couples danced the night away. Friends surrounded our blankets. Picnic baskets were full of food. Little children giggled and ran around the grassy hill. Little children danced the night away, too. This evening was different from others. Children seemed to be the theme of the evening-on the dance floor. In their parents' arms. On their parents' shoulders. In a snuggly on their mother's chests. Yet to be born, still in their mothers' wombs. Children were everywhere last Saturday. Safe within their father's grip. Firmly secure in their mother's love. It made the evening that much more enjoyable.
After many wonderful (and silly) dances, Miguel and I drove home. I never expected the past to come rushing back to me as we traveled the familiar route home. A dearly loved song played over the radio; faces, friendships and emotions of the past quickly filled my mind, replacing the carefree feelings of the previous three hours. The following lyrics took me back to a time and place, not so long ago. My dear friend Charlotte had just learned that her battle with cancer was far from over, yet she embraced me as I cried over the daily trials I was walking through. She stroked my hair and sung to me, as we listened to this song of truth and hope by Ginny Owens.
I warned Miguel that as the song continued to play, I would surely begin to cry. And cry I did. I cried for the loss of a dear friend. I cried for the fact the words of the song still ring so true. I cried because sometimes the road I walk is not the way I would've chosen. I cried because the ever present valleys in life are definitely not easy. I cried because of the goodness and mercy of my Savior to walk each step of this road with me.
The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to
Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise
You're not through with me yet
So if all of these trials
Bring me closer to You
Then I will go through fire if You want me to
It may not be the way I would have chosen
when You lead me through a world that's not my home
but You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone
so when the whole world turns against me
and I'm all by myself
and I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley
If You want me to.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Several summers ago, a bunch of rowdy (and bored) singles decided it would be great fun to take a trip up to the Buck. That particular evening happened to be their annual "Mud Run." First, the boys ran. Second, the girls ran. And last, but certainly not least, the couples raced. Joshua Ayers and I joined up. Miguel and Danielle believed they could beat us. Haha, it makes me laugh even now. As the announcer gave the count down, I jumped on Josh's back. Off we went. As we ran by Danielle and Miguel, we jumped on them. Down they went. Down we went. The fun had began. We tried our very best to finish the race as couples. However, next thing I knew, Miguel had tackled me in the middle of the mud pit( picture #1). The crowd began to chant, "get him, get him!" Revenge was the only thing on my mind. The sounds of the crowd were drowned out. I had to get him back. I had to hunt him down (picture #2) And once I realized the entire stadium was staring at US, there was no way I'd be the only one covered head to toe! And oh boy did I get him (picture #3)!
Enjoy. And remember, rednecks have fun too!
Thursday, August 11, 2005
This time, I determined to get the shot. As August 11th, 2pm drew closer, I got more and more nervous. Last night, no sleep. Tossing and turning. Thinking about THAT shot. Got out of bed. Thinking about THAT shot. Did my school work. Thinking about THAT shot. Drove to the dentist office this afternoon and tried to tell myself it would all be over soon. As I sat in the waiting room, the 15 minute wait felt like eternity. I began to sweat and breathe heavily. I kept sighing. The girl next to me kept staring. What was wrong with me?! So I decided to pray. But as I did, I realized how honest my prayer was. I was scared to death of THAT shot! The pain, the shoving of the needle. Now sweat was pouring down my back and forehead, literally. As the nurse called my name I thought perhaps it wasn't really my turn. How many other Elizabeths would be sitting in the waiting room who could get THAT shot in my place?
I took the long walk back to my chair. As I sat down, I began to feel lightheaded. LIBBY, you have got to pull yourself together. I was too afraid to pray. I couldn't formulate what was bothering me without feeling like I would pass out. I had passed out once before in this dentist's office, don't make me do it again. I made it to the chair. Almost there. Now I was trembling. My hands were shaking, my fists were clenched. The doctor walked in and began numbing me for THAT shot. Ok, not so bad. Then the shoving and digging began. Still not too bad. I could do this. I could make it. Then he was finished. Or was he?! One more shot, he said. One more?! I was finished with that dreaded thing. Oh no, one more and here it came. More shoving and digging. When would the agony be through?
After the shot, the rest was cake. No pain, though there was fear of another shot constantly in my mind. Three hours later, the pain of the shot is gone, but the memory is forever in my mind. Perhaps that's the novocaine that has yet to wear off????
My dad treated us to a wonderful meal of various types of sushi. It turns out that Miguel enjoyed the sushi as much as I did. Last time we had sushi, he painstakingly ate a few pieces and refused to continue. The textures were too much for him. However, last night, he found a new love--shrimp in any form--rolls, sashimi, rolls, rolls. After dinner we walked down to Ben and Jerry's, my favorite ice cream in the world. To my delight and surprise, the Ben and Jerry's store has a plethora of choices, never before seen by my eyes. What to choose? Caramel Chunk Crunch? Straw Berry Grahm? Oatmeal Cookie dough? Ohmygoodness. Since my ice cream tastes are much broader than any other food tastes, I decided to go with a waffle cone and two different flavors. No problem, I handled it like a pro.
We parted ways with our dinner dates. They went home to take care of their Great Dane. We all decided that the beautiful evening called for a leisurely walk around the Annapolis Harbor. There were people everywhere. Young families with little kids screaming. Newlyweds on their honeymoon (at least that's what I overheard). Pregnant ladies enjoying a relaxing evening with their husbands on their boat. Tourists feeding the numerous ducks as they waddled by. And us. Miguel and I arm in arm. Sacha and Dad walking sometimes behind us, sometimes in front. It didn't matter. Last night, all I knew was that the love of my life was right next to me. He drew me closer and closer as we walked through the crowded streets. He placed his arm around me and squeezed. As the sun set in radiant reds, oranges and purples, I stopped and realized that through the clamor and happenings of the city, the wonderful man next to me was mine, all mine.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Miguel has a new hobby, or perhaps a rekindled love of fishing. Whenever he has the chance, he takes a few spare moments on a sunny day to head to the nearest stream. He loves going alone, I think it's the tranquility of the stream (or maybe it's the ability to escape my lack of tranquility for a few brief hours?!). He always returns, boasting of his latest catch or his newest lore lost. He enjoys losing the bait because he gets to go to Wal Mart to buy new ones.
A few weeks ago, Miguel decided to invite me fishing with him. I wasn't exactly thrilled about the idea (read my previous post), but I decided to brave the wilderness also known as Winter's Run. Miguel and I trapsed through the muddy water. All the while, I kept thinking of Jordan and his hook, Jordan and his hook. We found a wonderful fishing spot and the games began. I was the first to catch a fish--a nice large trout to be exact, probably 10 or so inches. Maybe I like fishing?! Then Miguel caught a baby trout. Nothing to brag about, trust me. Then me, then him. The bet was on! Who would catch the most fish?! I knew I'd win, I just had to. We decided that whoever caught the least number of fish had to plan a romantic evening for the other. I won the bet, but well...we're still waiting for the pay offs!
I was hoping that the fishing adventure would be my last. Sure it was tranquil, and sure I had a little bit of fun. BUT, it's fishing?! This past Saturday, we decided to make it a lazy Saturday--no chores, no shopping, nothing. Then it happened. These words came out of my mouth, "Why don't' we go fishing?" I am not sure what possessed me? Was I overcoming my fear of fishing hooks? Was I actually learning to like it again??
Like it indeed, overcome my fears, I think not! Every time Miguel cast his rod, I screamed. "Watch it, you're way too close!" "Miguel, move over, don't hit me!" "BABE!!!!!!!!!" The old fear lingered! Miguel was slightly confused about my paranoia. Half the time he was a quarter mile down stream from me, and there was no way his casts would get me! Then I explained the fishing hook incident. It all became clear to him...the paranoia was real.
So while Miguel had helped to rekindle my old love of fishing, he has not been able to diminish my old fear. I am sure that every fishing outing we take, I will run far behind him or duck as he casts his line.
Jordan and I continued fishing. Casting, watching the bobbers just sit there untouched, reeling in, and re-casting. Not a bite, not one single one! I decided to move to a new spot farther away from my cousin. I walked far behind him, or so I thought. At the exact moment I was behind him, he cast his rod. The few seconds in between are a blur, I think I blocked them from the sheer horror of the memory. As I opened my eyes, I felt a sharp sensation in my cheek. Then a burning, then a tear of pain. Jordan's hook was STUCK in my cheek. He believed my cheek to be a bush, and he continued pulling his rod to free his hook. I quickly grabbed the line and began yelling for him to stop. Yelling. I mean the loudest yelling I could muster. I remember looking up at the house to see if anyone could hear me. Surely enough, my dad dropped the red balloon he was fidgeting with, and came running. I can still see him throwing that red balloon and running as fast as he could towards his baby!
Jordan dropped the fishing rod and began crying. Shouldn't I be the one crying?! Jordan's mom came running as well, not to see how I was, but to scream at Jordan. And oh boy did she scream! I think that boy got a beating like none other in his life! Ok, back to me and my hook!
As my dad rushed to my side, he surveyed the damage. Yup, Jordan had caught me, right in the cheek. The hook was deeply implanted. It was a nice, old rusty hook at that AND it had to come out. Since there are barbs on hooks, it had to be shoved all the way through my cheek. I remember the feeling of metal sliding through my skin. That is not a feeling I'd ever like to have again. As my dad pulled it out, I remember sobbing, not because it hurt so much, but because I was in shock. What had Jordan done to me?!! Would I have a scar? And forefront in my mind, would I have to get a tetanus shot?!
My dad quickly picked me up, and ran me up to the house for all to see. Through cries of "What happened??" "Jordan, how could you?!" and "Will she be ok?" my dad cleaned me up. It was then decided that I did not need a tetanus, but I did need to stay away from Jordan and his fishing expeditions. We quickly mended our cousin-ly friendship and went back to our fishing. Only this time, we stood on opposite sides of the lake.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
At the end of the day, we were all sitting around playing a great round of "Memory." (One of my students, believe it or not, was kicking our tails!) Mikel was having an unusually rough afternoon. She spent much time watching the timer tick down, other students get rewarded with candy, and the seat of the time out chair. After an intense struggle in which I came quite close to actually spanking her little rear, Mikel FINALLY came to sit down with her class.
As we were sitting around, this dialogue occured (keep in mind Mikel and her odd speech).
Mikel: Ga, Git in gour.
Amanda (my teaching assistant, with a serious tone of voice): Libby, you know in movies when you hear other languages? Like Chinese or something?
Amanda: Well, what to us is the word McDonalds, may take them four paragraphs to say.
Amanda (with just as straight a face as tone of voice): Mikel, what language DO you speak?!
We all cracked up laughing. Obviously, Mikel speaks English, yet at times we certainly do need subtitles to understand her. Oh the joys of special ed--behavior specialist, teacher, mentor, snot wiper, knee bandager, encourager, speech pathologist and now an interpreter! I wonder how many of those I could use on my next resume??
Monday, July 25, 2005
I was randomly reading through some Blogs. I stumbled across this, and is made me laugh out loud. I might just try some of them! Perhaps you should too and then blog people's responses!
15 Things to do at Wal-Mart For no Particular Reason
2. Set all the alarm clocks inhousewaress to go off at 5-minute intervals.
3. Make a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the restrooms.
4. Walk up to an employee and tell him/her in an official tone, 'Code 3' in toys . . . and see what happens.
5. Go the Service Desk and ask to put a bag of M&M's on lay away.
6. Move a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.
7. Set up a tent in the camping department and tell other shoppers you'll invite them in if they'll bring pillows from bedding.
8. When a clerk asks if they can help you, begin to cry and say 'You're only doing your job, you don't really care!'
9. Look right into the security camera; use it as a mirror, and pick your nose.
10. and 11. While handling guns in the hunting department, dart around suspiciously, loudly humming the "Mission Impossible" theme.
12. In the auto department, practice your "Madonna look" using different size funnels.
13. Hide in a clothing rack and when people browse through, say "PICK ME!" "PICK ME!"
14. When an announcement comes over the loud speaker, assume the fetal position and scream "NO! NO! It's those voices again!!!!"
(And; last, but not least!)
15. Go into a fitting room and shut the door and wait a while; and, then, yell, very loudly, "There is no toilet paper in here!"
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Today, I was in children's church. Not because I teach, but because I watch Miguel play drums for their worship time. I always seem to get roped in to helping with things such as bathrooming, walking kids to get a drink, and behavior management. None of which I mind, honestly! Today was no different. I found myself up front, helping the kids play a game.
The object of the game was to take words on index cards, from a verse and put them in order. So one kid had the word "Blessed," one kid had the word "God." and one kid had the word "are the" etc. I imagined that all of the kids knew their monthly Bible verse, and perhaps practiced it at home? Well, this is how the game went....
Two kids quickly took charge and blurted out orders.
"Hey, Tommy, you have "Blessed" and it starts with a capital "B" that means you're first!"
"And Timmy, you have "God." and it has a period at the end. That means you're last!"
I am not quite sure how "my team" managed to win the game. But they surely know that any word that is capitalized (other than proper nouns, etc) goes first in a sentence. And surely any word that has a period after it goes last in a sentence!
* For comedy sake, I really wanted to include the real names of the kids!! But let's just say, these kids are members of a well-known blogging family!
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
This week's summer school theme is "beach and water." I had some new and fun things planned for our Monday morning reading time. I'd adapted a book called "water, water, everywhere," a Baby Einstein book. It became not just a book about water, but a book about playing with water, smelling different "water" things (like soap), blowing bubbles and other sensory activities. I knew the kids would love it!!
As it turned out, one of my students decided she did NOT want to go to reading. She would NOT love Baby Einstein. She would NOT interact with the water activities. She WOULD sit, stand, run, and throw things in the hallway for a grand total of 60 minutes. That's 60 minutes of staff standing close enough to control her, but not close enough to give her feedback or attention. That's 60 minutes of being short staffed in the classroom, and 60 minutes of torture for all involved. Mikel, as we'll call the student, had a behavioral protocol that involved planned ignoring. Because her behaviors (bad ones) are intended to get attention and control, she was ignored every time she ran out of the room, or threw things across the floor. OK, so this isn't exactly shepherding a child's heart. But as much as I'd love it, I am not allowed, by law, to spank my children. I do from time to time tell my students I'll spank them. That's as I look over my shoulder to make sure no one is listening or watching!
After an hour, I'd had enough. I went out into the hallway to relieve the staff member on duty. We took turns waiting Mikel out. Surely she'd comply, given enough time. Right?! As stubborn as a little girl can be, I'd be more stubborn. I'd wait 2 hours if it meant getting her to listen. Then it began. Mikel started yelling "NO!" at the top of her lungs. She ran down the hall and grabbed a roll of toothpaste. I could only imagine it was meant for my head. As she pulled back her arm, ready to throw, I grabbed her wrist. I gave her, what we special educators like to call hand-over -hand prompting (more like forced compliance) to enable her to follow the direction. She now needed to pick up all of the items from her hygiene bin and come to class. As we began picking up the items, Mikel started kicking, scratching and screaming. Scary, you say?! NO! I forgot to mention that Mikel weighs all of 40 pounds max. I grabbed her wrists, continued "helping" her clean up her mess, and off we went to the classroom. At the time, I felt a few scratches, but nothing significant. No harm done.
As we sat in Circle Time, I realized I was bleeding. That little terror had drawn blood. Off I went to get examined by the nurse and to call Hopkins for instructions. My Tetanus booster had expired. I needed a shot. A shot. A shot, just for a little scratch from a child way less than half my size. After work, I headed to Patient First. Never been there. Never want to go again. The nurse gave me my shot, and I was forced to wait for the doctor's exam. He came in, asked what had happend and asked to see my wounds.
I turned over my wrist and showed him the scratches. To that, he laughed. Laughed. Right in my face. "Is THAT what brought you here?!!" "Your work made you come in for THAT?!"
I walked away humiliated. Humiliated, but vaccinated against scratches from any other crazed student that decides to scratch me.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Let me set the stage.
I grew up with the Brown family (names have been changed to protect the oh so guilty). They were more like my family than friends. In fact, I can recall Uncle Jack threatening, and probably following through with, spanking both my sister and me. We often ate dinner at their house (Tacos!), attended birthday parties, Christmas celebrations, and every other possible event was a shared family experience. When I was barely able to walk, much less swim, we'd spend our summers at O.C. together.
One summer, perhaps around age 10, I went with the Brown family to Indian River for a day trip. It was going to be great. I was with Hannah, my grown-up friend. We'd spend all day on the beach, get a nice tan, get dressed and trapse the boardwalk late at night (ok, so 8 pm seemed really late to me at the time!). As we got down to the beach, Yogi (that's the mom) reminded us to put our sunscreen on before we did anything else. Hannah immediately pulled out baby oil. To help us tan more quickly, she said. Of course I wanted a nice tan, what girl didn't?? Sign me up. Bring on the baby oil, I thought. Do I burn? Of course not, I said. So I slapped it all over Hannah, and in turn she slathered it all over me.
We decided to lay out all afternoon. Who needed the water, when there was sun to be had?! Somehow, I forgot to turn over onto my back. So, the backside of me saw the sun all day long. Periodically, we applied more baby oil, just to stay nice and shiny.
As the day wore on, I was excited about the thought of having a nice, beautiful, dark tan. Our time at the beach was over, and off we went to the bathhouse. I remember standing in the water, wondering why it hurt so much. Why couldn't the water touch my legs without seering pain? I quickly ended the shower, got dressed and headed back to the car. As I did, Hannah walked out. I screamed at the bright red backs of her legs. As I tried to walk further, I could barely bend my legs. My knees hurt so badly. Getting into the car was my idea of what Hell must truly be like. Burning without relief in sight. Both Hannah and I could not bend our legs enough to sit in the back seat. We had to carefully sit with our legs stretched out across the seat, making sure that the backs of our legs barely touched the seat. Each bump in the road brought little cries of pain from the back seat. The pain, and redness endured for at least two days after the beach.
No matter how wonderful my grown-up friend Hannah was in my eyes, my FRIED legs served as a reminder that Hannah was NOT to be trusted ever again! I learned one simple lesson, Baby Oil should never be used for anything other than oiling babies.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Stuffed Cherry Peppers
Cherry Peppers (in a jar found in the Italian aisle)
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Slices of deli style turkey meat
1. Slice enough hunks (roughly 1/2 in x 1 in) of cheese to have one per pepper.
2. Slice the turkey meat into one-inch strips, again, one strip per pepper.
3. Wrap one hunk of cheese in one strip of meat.
4. Set aside.
5. Cut out the stem, and de-seed the peppers.
6. Take a small spoonful of cream cheese and stuff it into the bottom of the pepper. Do NOT fill.
7. Place the turkey wrapped cheese hunk into the pepper, until it rests in the cream cheese.
These are best served cold.
It seems like an odd combination of tastes, textures, and scents. But if you can move past all of those "issues," you'll find a pleasantly sweet and spicy appetizer. It is an appetizer that we've eaten with every meal possible. It doesn't "go" with every meal possible, but we like it that much!
Thursday, July 07, 2005
I had been meeting with Sharon Lilley and some other girls for a Bible study. I was explaining that I was heading to the beach the coming weekend, and wanted some fun ideas. Sharon's wisdom immediately kicked into gear. It started like this...."back in my day, I did some crazy things at the beach..." I should have stopped her right there. I said I wanted FUN, not CRAZY?! Anyway, when Sharon was about my age, she took regular trips to the beach with Mazy Ranneberger (that's trouble!). One such trip, they put together a basket of goodies, including some hair dye. She suggested that we might try dying eachothers hair, just for fun, but nothing to dramatic, blonde highlights perhaps?
In an effort to bless my friends, I put together a basket of stuff--Reeses Bites, Chocolate covered pretzels, a chickflick, and of course the hair dye was front and center. Once at the beach, I revealed my creativity. The dye was a big hit. We had to do it later in the weekend. Our luck. It rained one day and there was our chance to experiment. Instead of dying our entire heads, we decided to attempt blonde highlights. Danielle was first. We spent hours pulling strands of hair through that annoying cap thing. We applied the solution and waited. Directions were followed religiously. At the appropriate time, we washed her hair. There it was, perfect blondish, orangish, redish highlights. She looked incredible, as usual!
Then it was Emily's turn. We decided the cap was too much to mess with, so, like the pros, we whipped out some foil (doesn't a good hairdresser use foils and not those stupid caps anyway?!). We wanted to look blonde and babe-a-licious, not frosted and scary! We slathered on the solution and used the foils just like we had seen. Halfway through Emily's dye job, we rinsed a section off, to find her hair was NOT blonde and beautiful, but orange and a little skunk stripe like. Horrified, she ran upstairs to rinse her hair. She rinsed and rinsed, but the orange wouldn't fade. It was permanent.
Then it was my turn. Did I refuse since Emily's hair turned out less than perfect? NO, of course not. I couldn't let those two girls have all the fun!!? I thought that perhaps mine would turn out like Danielle's. I dutifully sat under the foils, waiting for what seemed like an eternity. All the while thoughts of zebras, skunks and freakish punks ran through my head. "ding, ding." The bell rang and I walk upstairs to meet my fate. I refused to look in the mirror until it was all rinsed out. And then, there they were, my very own zebra stripes. Just what I had always never wanted. I was an orange zebra.
Danielle sat quietly, surely reveling in her triumph. Emily and I...well, we complained for a bit, hated Danielle for a bit, and then decided to make the most of our adventures and take a lot of pictures to mark the disaster. If I ever find the pictures, I'll surely scan them in for your viewing pleasure!
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Lyd and I were driving home from the beach in the same Dodge Shadow as our last adventure. This time, she was driving. We were on the way to Conowingo; I lifeguarded there during the week. In order to make it to work on time, we took a short cut through Havre de Grace and ended up on Harmony Church Rd. This was before the time of guard rails on that narrow road.
We were laughing, singing, talking the whole way. One of us commented how peaceful and quiet the road was; no one ever seemed to pass the other way. A few minutes after our fateful comment, a driver sped towards us. In efforts to not get hit, Lydia pulled over to the side of the road (the side closest to Deer Creek). In the second the car passed us, our car began sliding down the enbankment. The passenger side of the vehicle was over the edge of the road. Only the drivers' side tires remained on solid ground. As I looked out my window, all that stood between me and the river was a steep drop off and a massive old oak tree.
In that second, I was paralyzed. I couldn't scream, I couldn't cry, I couldn't think rationally. My mind went from peaceful to frantic in a matter of seconds. Would we die? Would I die without ever having held a guy's hand? Even worse, would I die a virgin? Would I ever see my family and friends again? If I was going to die, at least I was with Lydia! They say your life flashes before you when you are facing death. And oh did it flash. All 16 years, right there before my eyes!
Then I snapped out of it. Or maybe it was Lyd's screaming that woke me from the daze. We had to exit the car. It continued to slide down the bank, despite our efforts to drive back onto the road. Lydia climbed out of the car first, which made it slide more. I was still in the car and crying. Lydia urged me to climb out as quickly as possible. I managed to climb out without rocking the car too much. We quickly ran to the back of the car--on solid ground. We stood there crying, thinking that the peaceful road would surely be our doom. No one would pass us for days, we'd be forced to walk for help. And where was the closest human being?! Who knew!
A moment later, a car of guys pulled up behind us. They got out of their vehicle, and raced to our side. Ok, so four guys dressed in spandex bike shorts got out of their vehicle and slowly walked towards us. They saw we were distressed and offered to help. Once the situation was assessed for safety, one of the men got into the car and quickly drove back onto Harmony Church Road. It was effortless. Amazing. We were safe, my dad's car was safe, and we didn't die!
Lyd and I got back into the car, still shaken. We drove slowly away, down the exact middle of the road. The guys followed in their car. As we turned onto Rt. 136, we looked into our rear view mirror to wave good-bye and thank you. Much to our surprise, they had disappeared. Gone. Our four men had simply vanished. There was no where for them to turn off, no side streets to exit onto. Nothing.
We started laughing. We realized that our four men in bike shorts hadn't even had bikes on their car. God placed his hand of protection over us that day. We believe his protection and help came from four angles, dressed in bike shorts.
The summer of '96 was the first summer I had my license; the first summer I was allowed at the beach by myself; the first summer I was allowed to drive to the beach. It was also the first summer I had to parallel park on the boardwalk. Lydia and I drove to the Rehoboth Boardwalk to avoid the crowds in Ocean City. We found a wonderful parking spot, right off the main drag. However, I was faced with a simple predicament--I had to parallel park. I hadn't done that since my drivers' license test, and then I only passed out of sheer luck. I was sure of it.
Anyway, I had to parallel park my Dodge Shadow between a minivan full of people and a tiny sports car. I was so worried that I'd hit the sports car that I wasn't paying much attention to the minivan, in fact I didn't even realize people were in it. I didn't realize....until...I tried to park over 15 times. In and out, in and out. Different approaches, different speeds, different angles. Nothing was working, and I mean nothing. I was so frustrated, and apparently the man in the minivan was as well. Perhaps he feared for the safety of his children and his minivan.
I saw him get out of his car and approach my window. He politely stated that he was afraid I was going to hit his car, and could he please parallel park for me. Being incredibly embarrassed, I exited my car (as did Lydia). I walked onto the sidewalk and almost missed what transpired before my eyes. The man pulled into the spot like an old pro. One shot, one angle, one approach. He nailed it. I was humiliated, but at least we had the wonderful parking spot just off the Rehoboth Boardwalk.
More beach stories to follow.
Thursday, June 30, 2005
How perfect for my blog! Love it for its name, not necessarily for its content!
Not to mention the fact that the pages of my blog will surely be filled with everything but the:
*exact details of my day-to-day dealings (how boring!)
*most profound thoughts on life (it's been a while since I've had profound thoughts!)
*solution to poverty and world hunger
*theories of quantum physics (I got my one and only "B" in college in Physics!)
Hope my new title at least inspires you to go and buy Ben and Jerry's. Shoot, I don't even care what flavor!
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
This morning I heard the phone ring. It rang at the base, but the cordless phone was no where to be found. I looked through the rooms of the house, in all the usual spots--under a pile of clean clothes, in the bathroom by the sink, behind the couch, on the base (who knows, it could have magically reappeared?!). No luck. The phone was officially M.I.A.
It's ok, I thought, it will surely turn up. It always does.
I went along my merry way; opening blinds to let the little bit of sunlight in that this dreary day may provide. As I opened the back blinds, there it was. Our cordless phone! For a moment, I forgot the storm that had pounding our community last night. Then it hit me, our phone had spent the evening on the ledge of our deck in the pouring rain.
I quickly used a blowdryer in an attempt to salvage our phone. The fate of our recovered phone is yet to be determined. I haven't received a phone call, and am actually fearful that I may receive some sort of electrical shock if it does work!
I am petrified that I will fall through the planks of the deck. I sit out there with a timid sense of security. I go out there as little as possible, so I am assuming (and you should too!) that it wasn't me who left the phone in the storm.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
So we've resorted to some cheap, yet romantic and fun summer dates. I thought I'd share them, incase anyone else is, or ever finds themself in the same boat!
1. Get Rita's Italian Ice followed by a long walk at Mariner Point Park--sitting on the dock as the sun sets adds a little something as well!
2. Pack a picnic lunch--as simple as wraps and some fruit--and head to Kilgore Falls in Rock State Park. If you're adventurous, bring a bathing suit. If not, a nice blanket will do. There is a great spot at the top of the waterfall. Quiet and secluded.
3. For those who don't want to spend any money at all--buy a game (or borrow from us), I suggest Phase 10. Play the night away. It will take several hours if you actually want to complete the game. We've ended with some funny moments and memories that surely don't make me feel like we had a date night at home! =) Lydia suggested trying whatever game it is by candle light?! could be romantic!
Here's to cheap dates and romance!
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Miguel and Libby in the kitchen preparing to hang out with Lyd and Eric. Miguel wants to make the green stuff. Libby's response, "Miguel you can't make the dessert; that's my job!"
Miguel and Libby after work. Libby realizes the bathroom is dirty. Miguel offers to clean it and it happens again. "Thank you love, but that is my job. I'll do it."
My wonderful husband consistently offers to do things for me, such as make dinner, or make his own lunch. My quick response is always, "babe, that's my job." To which he protests that those things are NOT my job and that I am robbing him of the ability to serve and bless me.
HELP! Are these things, such as making lunches, and preparing the "green stuff" for get togethers really MY JOB? Or are they duties that are ok to relinquish to him? I think the Proverbs 31 woman is so ingrained in me that I am confused as to what is my job and what is ok to let Miguel do. I try to be perfect at this new role and am left with feelings of failure and confusion. Any thoughts and advice to this new and confused wife would be wonderful!
I decided to write, since I have two weeks off before I am back to teach summer school at Lois T. Murray, School #313, in Baltimore City. I also decided to write since I have read so many blogs from ladies in the church. Some topics interesting, some lengthy and, well, honestly, not fully read!
I am sure that I may not have many original thoughts, but I will surely enjoy commenting on others thoughts! With that, have a happy June 23, as I surely will (still in my PJ's).