Tuesday, March 20, 2012

No sugar Day 9

I have had no sugar for 9 days.  I'm dying here.  I really believe that the lack of sugar is going to my brain.  I am forgetful, tired, and bitter. Ha!   Here is my ode to sugar.

Sugar you are my sweet dream boat,
You make my world stay afloat.
I miss you with all my heart,
Sugar we should never be apart.
When you return my life will be peachy,
never again will you be far from my reach-y!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Goof around

Today I'm trying some goof around writing.  This is a three word story.  Every sentences is made of only three words.  My students like to try these kinds of stories.  It can be challenging choosing the right words. 

My Monday Morning

Got up today.  Got in shower.  Almost fell down.  I hate Mondays.  Woke up Tatum.  She was GRUMPY.  Wake up Tess.  She was playful.  Make my coffee.  Mmmm it's warm.  Can't find shoes.  Under the couch?  Nope not there.  In my room?  Nope not there.  Tess come back.  Got my shoes.  Not nice Tess.  Get in car.  Strap girls in.  Buckle my belt.  Off we go.  Another beautiful morning.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Jeep

Every once in a while, my husband will bring home this junky, old, beat up, jeep wrangler. Believe it or not it is his company's extra vehicle.  Just in case one of the work trucks breaks down, they will then have a 50/50 chance of getting this hunk of junk started. 

There are many reasons I don't like this jeep.  First off,  it leaks oil all over my driveway.  Then we have sprinkle the driveway with kitty litter to soak up the oil.  I'm sure the neighborhood cats love this.  Second, the top barely zips on anymore.  It is not recommended that you ride in it when it is cold or raining.  One fateful night last January my husband had to rush me to the emergency room for kidney stones.  When I hobble outside in extreme pain, in the cold and rain, I notice that the vehicle "warming up" in the driveway is the jeep.  That was a long ride! 

With all this said, I do love the jeep when it is a warm, sunny, blue sky day.  We all piled into the jeep today to cruise the countryside.  We cranked up the radio and let the wind blow our hair.  Tatum and Tess love to ride in the jeep.  Tatum puts her hands up like it's a roller coaster ride.  Tess kicks her feet up and lets the wind blow through her toes.  All in all it is handy to have around on a day like today. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Review: Downton Abbey

My students did a unit on reviews a couple of months ago, and I'm going to try one now. 

The television show Downton Abbey is an addictive English period drama.  It is full of history, colorful characters, and costumes.  The show takes place in a large manor house, Downton Abbey, in the early 1900s.  The plot revolves around the Crowley family and their house servants.  While watching Downton Abbey you are transported to the time right after the turn of the century, where wealthy aristocratic families rule England, and marrying for money is a sport.   In season one the family deals with the loss of the heir apparent of Downton Abbey, when he goes down in the Titanic.  Should Lord Grantham's daughter Mary inherit the manor house?  Not likely.   In season two, Spanish Flu hits the house, and  WWI is as much a character as the Crowleys and servants.  The drama is mouth watering, scandalous, and sometimes back stabbing.  You can catch Downton Abbey  on Masterpiece Theater on PBS.  Although you may have to rent the seasons on DVD.  Season two just finished.  Season three is set to air next fall.  I don't think I can wait that long!  For now I will just have to wonder what is in store for Lady Mary and Matthew, Mr. Bates and Anna, poor Daisy, and the rest of the Downton gang. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Small Town Life

I live in the sticks in northern Indiana.  My little town has a population of about 900 people, most of which are amish.  Our little hamlet is very rural, but we do happen to have two liquor stores, a bar, and a VFW, all within the same block.  I'm not sure what that says about my sleepy little whistle-stop?  I am creating another list tonight, but it is all about why I love my dinky but lively little town.

1.  The hand made, hand painted sign, nailed to the telephone pole as you come into town that says, "Welcome to Millersburg, where your business is everybody's business."  I would love to know the story behind that sign.  I am actually surprised that I don't know the story behind that sign. 

2.  I dodge chickens, horse poo, and amish buggies on my way to work.  Once I had to stop in the middle of the road in order to let six, giant, amish work horses rush past my car.  One horse got so close it brushed my side mirror.  Tatum still talks about it. 

3.  Stickler's Auto Shop.  Reminds me of Kooter from the Dukes of Hazard. 

4.  The town's barber shop is also a tattoo parlor.  Cut and ink for one low price. 

5.  I once followed a red pick up truck with two amish men and a cow in the back.  The men were feeding the cow with a giant baby bottle.  Got milk?

6.  No matter when you go to the one gas station, you are guaranteed to run into someone you know.  It is inevitable, no matter how bad you look, or whether you have morning breath while grabbing that 7:00 am on a Saturday morning jug of milk, you will see your neighbor. 

7.  Speaking of the gas station, it is the town's only conveiniance store.  Which means the prices are incredibly expensive.  We had to mortgage our house for milk, bread, and eggs one morning. 

8.  Our neighbor plows our driveway in the winter.

9.  We have well water and a septic tank.  Enough said.

10.  We have so many fantastic, do anything to help, always ready for fun, friends!  This tiny town may be out of the way and a little eclectic, but you can't beat the kind of people who make this town great.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I wonder?

Another notebook strategy I introduce to my students is writing down any "I wonder" questions that they might have.  My I wonder questions today included:

I wonder who cleans up after Clifford the Big Red Dog?
I wonder how you tile a back splash?
I wonder if my dogs like the taste of bones, or if they just like to chew?
I wonder what underwear was like a long time ago?

Now, obviously some of these questions I can research and answer, and some of them just make me giggle and wonder. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What's in a Name?

Do you know the history of your name?  Are you named after someone, or did your parents just like the sound of it?  One of my many idiosyncrasies is my quest for the perfect name.  Every opportunity in which I have gotten to name something has left me doing some deep soul searching.  This is evident in my very first blog post.  I deliberate and debate and agonize over the perfect name.  It is such a large part of your identity.  I feel sorry for those who are not at peace with their name.  At the beginning of every school year I ask my students to write a notebook entry about their name.  It is interesting to see what they know about their names, but just as interesting to see what they would rather be named.  In my opinion, whether you are Apple or Joe, a name needs to be meaningful and important. 

My daughter Tatum Lea  got her name from a fantasy football league draft.  My husband and I had a boy named picked out but we had many arguments about girl names.  When I was about 6 months pregnant, my hubby had a bunch of buddies over to draft for fantasy football.  If you don't know what this entails it is hours and hours of looking of lists and choosing players.  I was trying to save myself from the depths of boredom by looking at all of the funny names of some of the football players.  Parents sure can be clever.  Then suddenly as if the heavens parted and a choir of angels began to sing I saw the name Tatum Bell.  I fell in love with the name Tatum instantly.  I knew of Tatum O'Neal because I have a slight Paper Moon obsession, but I had not considered the name until that moment.  Later I came to find that Tatum means cheerful.  This name has turned out to be perfect, and it is funny to think that a 200 pound football player helped to name my teeny, tiny, wispy blond daughter. 

My daughter Tess Anne was named after Dick Tracy's girlfriend Tess Trueheart.  I really loved her name, and I loved who she was as a comic book character.  Strong, independent, loving, and true, everything I would want my daughter to embody.  I knew that I wanted a short sweet name and had been kicking around the name Tess throughout my pregnancy.  I actually wanted to name her Tess Trueheart McCauley, but my husband said that was a bit much.  I guess I was teetering on the edge of Inspektor Pilot and Banjo.  Both of which are actually celebrity baby names...I know can you believe it!?  Anyway, Tess Anne's name was not finalized until one fateful night when we were watching Jeopardy on TV.  Alex Trebek said, "Dick Tracy's faithful girlfriend."  The answer, "Who is Tess Trueheart".  Game over!  Fate stepped in to settle the baby name debate. 

I could not imagine my girls having any other names.  It was destiny, it was fate, it was their mother's mental issues.  There are stories behind my dog's names too.  As far as I am concerned there is a lot hidden within a name.