March 28, 2009


Sitting here on our bed in Chicago, waiting for J. to finish getting ready in the bathroom. We're going to The Lux for breakfast and then off galavanting through the city. Here's some pics from our room last night. J. loves the view and sat up watching the city night after I conked out. Then I woke up early and sat reading my computer at 6:30 this morning while he was conked out. There's a 1 hour time difference here and I guess it messed me up. We also brewed organic coffee a little while ago and stirred it with wooden sticks instead of plastic straws. If you know my hatred of plastic waste, you can probably imagine my jumping up and down upon the discovery of wooden stirring sticks yesterday. Yes, I looked silly. 

BTW, don't forget Earth Hour tonight, 830-9:30. Our hotel, and many in Chicago, are participating. Try turning off the power for fun and giggles!!! How exciting!


March 26, 2009


And I thought the book was dramatic! This movie stars 2 drugged-looking teens who have the smoldering look down. Geez oh Pete, good thing J. isn't here watching it with me otherwise he'd be cutting this movie to shreds. I'd probably be joining in after a few minutes of disapproval. Right now, 30 minutes into it, I feel like laughing a lot. OMG, Edward just started carrying/running with Bella and I AM laughing!!!!! The books were entertaining and addictive but this is kinda ludicrous. Edward to Bella- "You're like my own personal brand of heroin." Sigh, why doesn't J. ever say things like that to me?!?!?!

Okay, all done watching the movie. 

I was impressed by how Bella and Edward loved one another in the book. They were portrayed as having such a devouring, obsessive love!! Didn't quite get that feel throughout a lot of the movie. It did get better the second half though... In the movie they were sweet and playful sometimes. Didn't quite get that from the book. Sigh. The books were terribly entertaining but a very easy read (at least the first 3, haven't committed to the fourth yet). I enjoyed them a lot but really, I enjoyed them like cotton candy: fun, light, and fluffy.

You know what the movie and the books (and the music in the movie) make me really grateful for? The fact that I'm not a teenager anymore. Seriously!!!! Sure, I'm dramatic and overblown even now (and WAY too sensitive) but I remember how confused I was as a teen. I didn't really know what to think about life or myself and I wanted to try everything to make the right judgements about it all. Not that I was a wild teenager really but the point is this: at least I don't have to do that again! Boy am I glad I'm a boring old adult now, someone who works 45 hours a week, has a budget, and goes to bed by 10 on weeknights. What a sigh of relief that is!!! Good for me that I'm away from all those wild and crazy adventure kids have!!!

BTW, how hard is it to change the toilet paper when the roll is empty? Let's take a poll just to see.

March 25, 2009

Green Lights


Jeremy and I will be in Chicago this weekend on a little vacation. I am excited!!!! I must say, I REALLY need it after just 3 days at work this week. Needless to say, kids are a challenge to keep focused on lessons in the spring. My little darlings have been especially challenging this week. I love my job but when you are in charge of guiding 29 nine and ten year olds to the garden of knowledge (while many of them have attention/learning issues) you tend to ache for the end of the day to come. Today was one of those days. I will love 3:45 tomorrow. I will bask in it and smile all the way home. I sure need a break from the kiddos this year. Some years I am fine to keep teaching for months on end and other years breaks cannot come quickly enough. Depends on the class. 

I digress on a tangent (something my students remind me not to do). While J. and I are in Chicago, luxuriating in our expensive-but-we-got-a-great-deal hotel, we will sit in the dark Saturday night 8:30-9:30. If we are actually in the hotel. Hmm, I assumed we would be in the hotel but really, it will be a Saturday night; perchance we will be out and about? Okay, if we aren't in the hotel, I'll insist the lights go off no matter where we are. Because: IT IS EARTH HOUR!!! The time when leaving your lights on means you vote for killing the earth over loving the earth. I missed this wonderful occasion last year and was very sad (ask J.)

Here's Earth Hour's official explanation: 

This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming. For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009. This meeting will determine official government policies to take action against global warming, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol. It is the chance for the people of the world to make their voice heard.

That's right, this is when and where you can finally make a difference. Don't worry about recycling, using green cleaning products, buying organic, or driving less. Just vote for the Earth by turning off the light. Apparently world leaders will finally listen:)

March 24, 2009

A Lovely Book

I finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Wow, what a witty and delightful book. I seem to read so many books filled with tragedy and heart-wrenching issues so I love a happy novel every once in a while. This book wasn't just happy though; it was infinitely better. It was sad, sweet, so real, and wonderful. Like I tend to say when I find something I really like and can't find the words to adequately describe it: "It was really, really, really good." Take my word for it. Haven't read such a gentle, thought provoking book I liked this much since Eat, Pray, Love. Sigh, that was a marvelous read too. It really hit me at the right time in my life and I still have quotes from it up by my desk. I was just reading them yesterday and smiling. 

Well, just got off the phone with my sister and before that my mom. Awww, I love my family:) So my sister Jo is reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. She is a well read sister! And my mom is wanting to refinance their house and asked me for hints and help. Makes me feel like a grown up. I know, I know. Finally I am a grown up, you say! About time, considering I'll be 28 next month!!

When I am typing a post, I type furiously. Then I go back and revise. Then I spell check. Then I open Stickies and type in my mis-spelled words to find the correct spellings because Blogger does not want to do that for me. And since I have such atrocious spelling, this takes years. Then I think of more that I want to write and repeat the entire process. Such is my life. 

Sometimes, when I'm at work, and I don't know how to spell a word, I ask the class "Now how do we spell that?". Not that I hide my lack of spelling brilliance; I do make it known to them so they know it is perfectly acceptable to have failings. But still, I don't want them to know quite the LOW spelling level I am on. Nor that I end my sentences with prepositions. Honestly, I am a very good teacher so please don't doubt my teaching abilities!!!! I BEG THIS OF YOU!!!!!

March 21, 2009

Art Museum Day

I want to buy a camera this summer. A real camera, with lots of buttons, dials, and options that I can't understand. My brother insists I shouldn't. His wife rolled her eyes at him. My sister recommended I try one out so I borrowed my parents Canon. I'm trying out the settings, with help from J. Neither of us knows a lot about specific settings but he sure knows more than I do.  

I tried my hand at taking nice pics at the museum today. We had a nice lunch with the family (J.'s side) and then went to an art museum. It was a very fun day!!

March 20, 2009


Here's a pic of my niece for Random Day.

One month until my 28th birthday and I already have my birthday list made. My family likes to have birthday lists to assist in birthday gift shopping and usually I can't think of what I would like. Topping my list this year are barrels and 4 wooden pallets. These will help me in my 2008 goals of collecting rainwater from my gutters and building a better compost bin. I'm hoping some family member will help me out here cause I'm too lazy to raid the pallets behind a store and really can't find barrels anywhere. 

Random Day: My cat is long haired and is starting spring shedding. Fun. Billows of hair everywhere. 

The average person drinks 20 gallons of milk. J. and I each drink 30 gallons a year. I calculated. 

I took Sadie for a walk and listened to Dave Ramsey on Henry, my i-pod. 

J. and I had a terrifically grouchy night last night. I mean, seriously, anyone want to take lessons to hone their crabbiness skills? Come visit us after we've had a busy week. J. just got home. Wish us happy luck!!!

March 18, 2009


I don't know where my husband is tonight. I'm assuming he's working late and will get up in a minute to call him. He is usually pretty good about calling to let me know he'll be late. He is now 1.5 hours late but has been doing a lot of job training and classes lately so he could very well be swamped in his cubicle. Last night he was out till 9:30!!!!!!

In the meantime, I found a new blog!!!! It is The Heart Scan Blog and I don't know if the guy is off his rocker or a respected doctor. His book got good reviews on Amazon, not that that means a whole lot about the validity of his medical advice.  I did find out that according to him, wheat diets are actually not heart friendly!! I'll definitely have to look into that more!! I'm all about the whole wheat but apparently it promotes blockage in the heart and we should only consume 60 grams (max!!) of carbs per meal. Hmm.... This is what I ate today: oatmeal, orange, granola bar, PBJ sandwich, yogurt with strawberries, 2 cookies, 12 almonds (hehe, 12 is my limit!), veggie/rice stir fry, and later maybe I'll have some tea. That's a lot of grains!!!!!! Hmm..... Again with the hmming!!!!

Here's an interesting post about high fructose corn syrup, something my brother in law rants about (and rightly so!!!). It is nice not to be the only ranter in the family now. My mom actually declined when I offered to bring a dessert to her house last weekend because "I'd only make something healthy." I laughed because I guess that is true. What's the problem with sneaking in ground flax seed or only cooking with fruit? Apparently my whole wheat flour has been killing everyone for while now, unbeknownst to me. Sorry family and friends!!! I'll stop being healthy!!!

Here's a good clip about the dangers of HFCS: I wasn't surprised that 2/3 the food in grocery stores contain HFCS. Kinda motivates me to get up right now and check my ketchup and tomato sauce, 2 things I don't check for HFCS before buying. I usually make most our meals from scratch and we rarely buy processed/pre-made foods. Wait, what about salad dressing? Does that have HFCS? I really need to get up and check. Maybe all the wheat I consumed today has made me sluggish. Or I could blame it on the sleepless husband last night and his tossing and turning. Or the 29 kids sucking my life force out for hours each day. Awww, I love my hubby and kids. I should call hubby and make sure he isn't dead. 

Hey, the tornado sirens just started going off! I always think I'll be able to hear a tornado coming so I rarely hide in the closet like I'm supposed to.  J. is a good emergency husband and prepares the closet-shelter. He wonders aloud about things like "What about the animals?" or "We need to get in there, now!!!" or "My wife is insane.". I watch TV, surf the Internet, or cook through alarms. I don't know if that is good or bad. 

March 15, 2009


Only 1 1/2 more months until the average last frost day here (May 9)!!! Okay, really it is 1 and 3/4 of a month but I always plant 1 week before I'm supposed to. I can't stand waiting. 

This year I'm going to do it the right way: I'm going to FINALLY get my soil tested. I've been putting this off for years simply because I couldn't find where to get my soil samples tested. Last year my back garden started getting very unhappy, so this year I am determined to amend the soil with what it actually needs. I found A & L Labs and will send off garden and lawn samples to them this week. Then when I get the results, I'll get what I need and add in my own compost that has been rotting in my garage all winter (there's really not much compost in the garage this year). 

Of course I'll have tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, squash, and zucchini and maybe eggplant (last year it didn't work!), green beans, or watermelon. I'll try to get my soil fixed up and tilled in April. Then I'll get in some spinach and lettuces if I'm really ambitious. Since we like to use a lot of fresh herbs, I'll keep going with all the herbs in the bed beside my patio. I might mix some herbs (borage, dill, dunno what else yet) in with my flower beds as well. Speaking of flowers, I'm planing to transplant a few from the back bed to the front bed but otherwise won't get anything new. Other than some moon flower and cardinal climber seeds and annuals for the front porch pots. 

Of course, all my good gardening intentions seem to wither in the heat of the summer so I love getting a good start in the spring. Deterring weeds has been my main problem (due to laziness and comfortable chairs) so this year I'm going to try to heavily mulch the vegetable garden with newspapers topped with grass clippings, leaves, or pine needles. Any other ideas? I think I just need to actually PULL the weeds and not ignore them. 

Further simplifying gardening this year, I won't be starting any seeds indoors. That's kind of sad but with 2 people living in my tiny house now, there really isn't room for the shelves, lights, heat mats, or containers. Sad:(


March 14, 2009

Emergency Fund

Hey, good news!! We got our tax refund check deposited in our checking account today so we are officially done with our emergency fund!!! YAY!!!! $10,000!!!!

This is a bit anti-climactic because J. is out of town and I wasn't expecting the refund for another 2 weeks. Hmm. We're done with the emergency fund and moving on to the house fund. I guess we'll celebrate tomorrow night driving home.

BTW, my out of town brother and sister-in-law are here this weekend so I'm hanging with the whole fam (minus J.) at my mom's house. It's so nice to have everyone together again!!! And to see Christine pregnant. Baby in June!!!!!!


Being a vegetarian is one of the hardest and most wonderful things I have ever done. I bet you're thinking "Hard? You must have a pretty easy life!" And yeah, you are right: I am a wimp so I do try to have an easy life. But really, changing my eating habits over the course of 1 year and 3 months has been an very educational experience. 

In the beginning, when people asked why I became a vegetarian I actually answered them. Then when I realized they liked to make fun of me for my reasons, I just started answering the questions with: "Just because." I got funny looks from some people for the short and vague reply but really, what I think is: "I'm not telling you my reasons if your just going to argue with me about them. Do I provoke you into conversations about the downfalls of eating meat?" I like to avoid confrontation so let's just not talk:)

If you are interested, here's what I really think:

  1. Commercial beef practices are bad for the environment. Cows produce LOTS of methane gas. Take up a lot of space. Use a lot of resources. 
  2. Dead animals don't make me happy.
  3. Commercial meat practices aren't sanitary, healthy, or in the best interest of consumers.
  4. Meat isn't really all that healthy for humans. 

The many things I have learned while being a vegetarian are:

  1. Wow, there are so many cool veggies out there to cook!
  2. Hmm, buying produce that is in season is better for the environment and for me. I really wanted strawberries and shortcake the other day but settled for frozen strawberries in yogurt. GO ME!!!
  3. Chemicals are everywhere!! Organic is good:)
  4. Vegetables are much cheaper than meat. 
  5. I like looking down at my grocery cart and seeing it filled with produce. Makes me feel good in my brain.
  6. I don't have to feel terribly guilty about semis jammed with turkeys, pigs, and cows driving on the highway.
  7. I try all sorts of new foods!!
  8. Man, do I eat healthy now(according to who/what I know)!!!
  9. I am officially a food snob. This is somewhat troubling. 

Let me end this by saying: I don't judge you for eating meat (at least not to your face!) so please, show some consideration to the vegetarians!!

March 10, 2009


Here's a cool post from Get Rich Slowly, a money blog I like to read. It talks about the 25 Useful Financial Rules of Thumb and makes me happy that J. and I worked so hard to get our finances in order. A lot of the things on the list we already do which means we get a big YAY!!! And a gold star:)

So last year J. and I decided we wanted to pay off all our debt (ring, car, 2 college loans) that totaled about $37,000. This involved lots of hard work, including me tutoring each day after work. Let me tell you, getting all that money was not fun or relaxing. But if you know me, you know once I set a goal for myself, then damn it, I WILL REACH THAT GOAL!!! So I pushed myself really hard and we paid off everything the end of December. The fun part was we took our families out for a big celebration dinner and paid the entire bill:)

I'm not really sure what made us want to be out of debt back in the end of 2007. It just kind of occurred to me one morning and I mentioned it to J. A few days later, I heard about Dave Ramsey and thought, hey, this guy has a good idea. This is what I thought of the other day!! Debt seems ridiculous now; it's ludicrous to take out a loan for something like a car. A house, sure, but a car? J.'s car burned up early 2008 and we used our tiny $3,000 to get him a cheap used one. Even that early on, a loan wasn't right to us. But back before paying of debt began, loans and debt seemed nothing but normal. Everyone has debt, right? I love that my mindset has changed from that!!!

So now we are 2 1/2 weeks away from having $10,000 in an emergency fund. Both our jobs are stable for the next couple of years so hopefully we won't have to dig in to that at all. After that we're saving every penny for a new house down payment and then we'll really focus on retirement funds.

Since I am such a freakish planner, I also know how much we will save through the end of 2010. I know how much we'll probably have for our down payment in 2011. Also, I know when we can retire (50) and when our retirement investments will make us millionaires (57). I think that is awesome:)

Who knows how things will really turn out in the end? Maybe all my lovely calculations will crash around my lovely feet. Whatever happens, I've learned so much about responsibility and maturity when it comes to money. Live well but don't spend more than you earn!!!

March 4, 2009


I take a Zumba class every Monday and Wednesday right after work. I guess I'm out of shape because it is really hard!!!! The only thing that keeps me going and not slacking off on the moves is this huge motto painted on the gym wall: CHALLENGE YOURSELF. So every Monday and Wednesday I position myself facing that wall and ZUMBA. And then I find out that my scalp sweats a lot and even the skin under my eyebrows likes to drip with sweat. Not my forehead, my eyebrows. 

Zumba makes me feel strong. I especially like punching the air, that song is my favorite. For some reason, I really love punching the air after a long day of being with my 29 students. Hehe. 

BTW, I look like those people up there when I Zumba. Really fresh and SOOOO cheerful!! Wanna watch people Zumba? Here, it's funny!!!!

When I'm done Zumba-ing, I come home and drink a glass of chocolate milk to grow bigger MUSCLES!!!

March 3, 2009

Red Hair

Did you know only 1-4% of the human population has red hair? I am proud to say I am a minority. Because of our odd pigmentation, we also require more anesthesia to block our extremely hard working pain receptors. Good news for all of us who knew we weren't wimps. We just now have to grin and bear it. I also found we have a higher pain tolerance. So not only do I require more anesthesia to block my pain, I can stand more pain than other people? Confusing. I guess it kinda explains how I win all the "Hold Your Hand In the Cooler Full of Ice Water For As Long As You Can" games. 

Redheads also are apparently very sexy since we have more sex than women of other hair colors. We are at higher risk for Osteoporosis.  Higher risk for skin cancer. Hmmmm. People also think we have bad tempers. I told J. that I think that the temper stereotype is silly and I don't have a bad temper and he proceeded to laugh a lot. 

There was also a campaign in London last year to kick a redhead.

Speaking of health, I have a headache and "House" wasn't on last night. Bummer. 

Now you know everything you would ever want to about redheads. All because I am avoiding cooking dinner!!!!

BTW, that is Leah and me up there. 

March 1, 2009

I'm Getting Up There...

So you get to the point in your life where you think, "Hmmm, I'm getting older. But I'm not old." Here are my top reasons to knowing you are getting older:

  1. Younger people think you are boring and verbalize this to you. Often. 
  2. You love budgets and money planning.
  3. Younger siblings don't think you are cool anymore and more importantly, they stop talking when you approach. 
  4. You love your pets a miss them when you are away from them.
  5. You are now eating healthy and exercising so you'll live longer.
  6. Your students say "WOW!" when you tell them how old you are. And "You don't look that old!" I MEAN SERIOUSLY, I'M ONLY 27, KIDS. 
  7. Rock music is too rocky.
  8. A quiet evening at home is something you look forward to. 
  10. You will be 28 next month and since time goes so freaking fast, 63 can't be that far away. 

I was talking to some friends the other day and one of them is 50 or so. She said she doesn't care about aging because she still feels young. The only bad thing is knowing you have fewer years before you than you do behind you. 

That's what scares me about aging: not wrinkles and grey hair but knowing I will have to die soon. Or even worse, being mentally incapacitated in such a way that I don't know who people are, who I am, or that I will die soon. Shudder. That's why I eat POWER FOODS!!!

Of course, we all know we could die soon. But what is it like knowing you will only live 20 more years? 10 more years? Right now I've got a good 50 more years until I get feeble-old. What will my attitude be when I am 70? Will I panic at the shortness of my remaining life? 

Good thing I've got my dear friend Abby who has agreed to kill me when I get very old. J. will have to die before me because he has already told me he won't let Abby do away with me, even if it is a mercy killing. 

So today I slept till 8, ate, helped my mommy set up bill pay on her banking website, went out to eat at a Korean restaurant w/ the fam, shopping at Whole Foods, then cleaned the WHOLE house in 30 minutes. Pretty damn good job cleaning too, if I say so myself. Now I need to go do yoga, wash the dog, finish paperwork to renew my teaching license, read, and then hubbby will be home. 

I apologize to everyone who actually reads this blog that I offended.