Friday, July 30, 2010

Z


Zero

Zero posts left in the July blogging challenge.  I've enjoyed writing and reading our encyclopedias of our
extraordinary lives.
Off to Chicago!  Later gators...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Y



Yukon Cornelius
When I was a kid, our special shows came around just ONCE each year.  Doesn’t that seem strange now?  If you missed your show, you had to wait a freakin' YEAR til you could see it again. Today’s little peeps can watch a favorite show over and over again anywhere anytime.  I think someone should write an academic paper about this phenomenon.  There are probably societal implications in there somewhere.   Anyway, I was obsessed with watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer each year.  I loved Hermey the Dentist Elf and Burl Ives as the Snowman and of course Yukon Cornelius.  That blustery miner had a heart of gold.  

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

X



Xanthippe
I’ve gotten in to some bad habits this past year, habits I’ve tried to break during our glorious summer.  By the end of the day during the school year, I would come home as what can only be described as an ill tempered woman.  I would head to bed instantly and seclude myself there for several hours. My family was fine with this, since they had little inclination to be around me acting like a Xanthippe.  Sadly, I fell right back into my Xanthippe role this afternoon.  After working 9 to 5, unpacking boxes at the compound, I was really feeling unpleasant on arrival home and I headed straight upstairs and watched Challenge Day on MTV. (This is a pretty sad show, btw).  Luckily, I've pulled myself out of my funk and I'm back downstairs, with the fam.


I desire to be a cheerful exuberant person for my fam and for myself, but I’m not feeling it after I work.  I truly fear that my job may be sucking the life force out of me. I don't blame my job, I blame my lack of perspective.  I need to gain perspective on work.  This is my great struggle.  I'm working on it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

W



Writing 
 I was in a writing group for many years, but then our writing group facilitator moved away to Kansas.  A few of us met for awhile in coffee shops, but that fizzled out. I’m glad I met KC and she gave me one week to create a blog.  I love writing on this blog and I love reading the writing of others.
Wellness
Today a friend called from her vacation on the beach.  She had no internet and wanted me to diagnose her husb’s illness which had manifested as itchy red hands and feet.  It didn’t take me long to determine that her husb has dyshidrosis.  He’s going to be fine.
Whims
This weekend we are heading to Chicago.  We have no set plans, but we will wander about according to our whims.  Teendaughter wants to visit the Art Institute and see The Bean.  #1 Son would like to hear some music.  Husbandman wants to have lunch at Frontera Grill.  I’m not sure what I want to do.  Maybe Fiesta del Sol? Shedd Aquarium?  Some shopping? Willis Tower?

Monday, July 26, 2010

V


Vampires

 My latest pop culture love? Those crazy vampire movies.   Haven't read the books, but I do love the movies.  I love that vampire called Edward Cullen.  I have seen Eclipse already, but I will probably go see it again because I love those large wolves and the dramatic fight scene where the werewolves and the vampires team up for justice.  NPR's pop culture podcast has a great comparison of Bella with the heroine from the Dragon Tattoo books.  If you want to see those vampire movies, you definitely should.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

U




Uriah

One of my top 5 fave authors is Charles Dickens. I used to read a Dickens novel every summer.  I read them all, and a few I read twice.  But I haven’t done that for awhile. I love Dickens for the connecting plots and the eccentric characters and for the social commentary.  David Copperfield is one of my top 5 fave books.  I’ve read it several times.  Uriah Heep, the bad guy, is one of the best villains in literature.  He’s an unctuous guy who always brags about how very very ‘umble he is.  But he’s not really ‘umble at all.  He’s just a bad guy all around who gets his comeuppance in the end.  Dickens pulled out all the stops with this book.  It was his favorite too. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

T



Timer, The
I saw a fun movie this summer that I want everyone to watch.  It’s about people who wear timers on their wrists.  The timers tell them how many days it’s going to be before they meet their true love.  
Toys, Plastic
When I was in college I collected plastic toys.  Mostly representations of small animals.  I had a great number of these plastic toys.  I still have to pick one up every once in awhile.  Bought an otter a few weeks ago.  If you see any small plastic toy that you think I might like, just go ahead and get it for me.  I'm sure to love it.
Tea
I used to drink tea, not coffee.  I loved the whole ritual of making tea.  But I switched over to coffee when I started teaching.  I still drink tea, but it’s not the same because it’s not my primary source of caffeine. I like Irish Breakfast the best.  
Toothpicks
I’ve never used toothpicks in my life.  But here’s the thing.  A dental hygienist turned me onto a fairly new product called “Soft Pix.”  I’m addicted to soft pix.  If you’re out with me, having a meal, I will offer you one and you will see how great soft pix are.  

Friday, July 23, 2010

S



Spa 
A long while ago, my friend JC and I used to visit a cool spa called Sonoma Mission Inn.  There, we took the waters, and scheduled some treatments.  Pedicures, Massages, Facials.  I don’t know how we afforded this in past years because now Sonoma Mission Inn is ridiculous.  But I know we did enjoy it and a spa weekend at Sonoma Mission Inn was a good thing. 
Summer
I love summer, but not the heat.  I love the way time expands allowing me to do extraordinary things.  Reading books.  Seeing movies.  Folding all the laundry. It’s magical I tell you.
Submarines
I’ve always had a fear of submarines.  It’s not a good idea to go into a submarine because it could get a leak when you’re under the water.  I do not watch submarine movies because submarine movies make my stomach hurt.
Stubble
Husbandman cut his beard off and so it’s nice to see his whole face.  He’s had a beard for 30 years, so the face has been covered up for a while.  He has some stubble toward the end of the day because his beard is heavy.  I love his new face.  He looks kind of different and I like things to get mixed up as often as possible.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

R


Rarity

We're having a rare pleasure.  All 4 family members home, watching Entourage Season 6 together.  Teendaughter's popping some corn.  No one's going anywhere.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Q





Qualms

Sure I have some qualms.  Qualms about school starting soon.  Qualms about Teendaughter going back to College.  I have major qualms about how slow I am with the Couch to 5K.  Theoretically when you’re done with the C25K, you can actually run a 5k.  I feel like my program should be called Couch to 2.5K because I slog so slowly.  I wish I could just feel happy that I’m exercising and taking care of myself, but instead I focus on the slowness.  Constantly unnerved about the slowness. 
And I have qualms about how I can’t ever seem to achieve a zen like state of calm. Wth?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

P



Have you read this article about the Vermont Principal who was removed from her school because in order to get Federal NCLB funds this “failing” school was required to get rid of their principal?  They could have also started a charter but Vermont doesn’t have charter schools.  The gal reminds me of my principal:

Vermont Principal
My Principal
Worked constantly
Started an arts school
Starting an arts school

Working at central admin now.
Still working hard for our school.

  See?  They’re basically the same. 
What’s the message here?  Whatever you do, do not become a principal of a school where poor kids learn.  You might be fired and your heart will feel like it’s broken.  


I'm pretty pleased with the use of the table to compare the two principals.  What do you think?

Monday, July 19, 2010

O


Obama, President


 I am glad that there are bloggers like UL and sometimes Pronto who provide info about how our Pres falls short too often, but this entry is just a feel good blurb about liking President Obama, just because.  Even though we’ve had our President for awhile now, I still wake up happy each day that I don’t have GB as my president anymore.  Having GB for Pres was really starting to play with my mind. 
To gather info about Pres O., I watched a feel good slideshow of photos of his recent visit to Maine.  The first fam looked like they had a great trip.  They hiked around, and had ice cream.  They took Bo, their sweet dog, with them.  I saw one really cute photo of the Pres shmoozing with a little red headed kid.  Quite darling.  Now Pres O. is back in action, telling the Republicans to extend unemployment bennies.  I think our president deserved some time off and now I hope he can get as much done as he possibly can before the midterm elections come and we’re all totally screwed yet again.  Go for it, President Obama!  Do your best, forget the rest. (That’s what I always say to my kiddos). 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

N



Narcotics
We had big plans to go to dinner with good friends J & MA tonight.  But poor Husbandman got this horrible pain.  We were very worried and we went to the EMERGENCY ROOM!  Now we’re home and everything’s AOK and Husbandman is taking narcotics.
Niceness
Our friend J is a doctor.  When J and MA found out that our dinner plans were cancelled, they came right to the hospital to check on Husbandman.  J conferred with the doctor and talked to us about the possibilities.  He also called the doctor after we got home to get more info on the diagnosis for us.  It was so comforting to have the support and expertise of J and MA.  Geezlouise, their niceness nocks me out!

Friday, July 16, 2010

M



Mangos
We had a large mango tree in our yard when I was growing up.  I ate mangos all day long, all summer long.  I never got tired of them.  But here’s the problem with mango trees.  They drop a LOT of mangos in your yard and some of the mangos get rotten and buggy and a mushy rotten bug filled mango is nothing you really want to think about, let alone look at in your yard.
Still, I love mangos so much.  I ate one with my dinner last night.  A slice of mango in my mouth instantly brings back Miami memories.
Movies
I am watching a ton o’ movies this summer.  I love movies. We now have netflix as you may know.  This week we watched A Single Man with Colin Firth.  Very sad beautiful movie about a professor whose lover dies and he is not even allowed to acknowledge the relationship publicly because he lives in the 1960’s.  Last night we saw The Jacket, a scary movie with Adrian Brody about a guy who gets falsely accused of a crime, gets put in an insane asylum, gets tortured, does some time traveling and finally figures out how to fix his problems.  Yesterday we drove to Indy to see Cyrus. John C. Reilly is phenomenal.  I loved it.  We plan to see Leonardo in Inception this weekend. 
Mom
My mom’s turning 80 next month.  My mom’s incredible.  She’s a nurse and once a week she volunteers in a monastery. She takes care of monks who are in the infirmary. Don’t you think that’s a cool thing for someone to do?  My mom did hospice nursing for many years.  But you don’t have to be near death’s door for my mom to help you out.  She’s just one of those people who you turn to, when you’re in any type of jam, large or small.  I have so much admiration and love for my mom.  Today I called her and she was hanging with her little dog Lupe.  Besides being super supportive, she always has a story to share.  And she enjoys the funny side of situations. Plus, my mom is a regular blog reader which always makes me feel great.  Love you Mom!  Enjoy these last few weeks of 79.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

L





Learning, Artful

Our school has a new building and a new curriculum starting this fall.  We are the 13th Artful Learning School in the country.  Artful Learning is based on the artistic vision of the composer and director Leonard Bernstein.  Teachers will create thematic units and will begin their unit by introducing their peeps to a masterwork of art. During the unit, peeps will learn through inquiry centers and will use art to demonstrate their understandings of essential concepts.  Next week I will know more because we will have 5 days of professional development about artful learning.  I like art and I like learning, so I am pretty sure it’s going to be a good week. It’s tough to give up a week of my precious summer, but I have high hopes that Artful Learning is going to bring fantastic changes to our school. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

K


Kay Musical Instrument Company


I was sitting here trying to think of a K entry when #1 Son offered to be guest blogger today.  He dictated this entry to me, about his bass.  
 “Kay is the company that made my bass.  It was built in 1943.  They stopped producing Kay basses in the 60’s.  D’adario strings are on there now, but now I’m ordering Pirastro Obligato strings  These strings are a bit looser and they roll under your fingers better, so they’ll be good for both bowing and jazz.  The Kay bass has a rockabilly sound so people like it for more folk and bluegrass music.  This is a student designed bass so it’s a bit quieter than most, but it still gets a good sound.  Kays are good instruments.”
Thanks, #1 Son!  I love hearing you play the Kay.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

J


Jack


You can find a ton of uses for the word Jack.  You don’t know Jack.  Stop jacking around.  Who jacked the stuff I left here?  Jack Russell terrier. Jack Sprat could eat no fat.  But my favorite Jack is my Uncle Jack.   Uncle Jack and Aunt Betty and my cool cousins lived near us in Florida for awhile.  Most of the kinfolk stayed in Boston when we ventured to the Sunshine State, so it was all FUN all the TIME having rellies right nearby for a few years.  Uncle Jack had us regularly exclaiming in wonder:
Uncle Jack bought a horse! Uncle Jack is raising tarantulas!  Uncle Jack has a new kharman ghia! Uncle Jack is taking guitar lessons!  Uncle Jack painted another painting!  Uncle Jack beat everyone at tennis! Uncle Jack just brought 2 siberian huskies home! Uncle Jack's wearing bell bottoms!
Uncle Jack’s still living life the Uncle Jack way. Love this guy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I


Ice Cream


My dad used to buy the weirdest flavors of ice cream.    Butter nut raisin brickle.  Blueberry cashew swirl.  Raspberry jelly fudge chunk.  Stuff like that.  The guy was a master.  You couldn’t even get mad because you’d be so shocked that he found an even weirder flavor each week.  Sometimes I’d actually run over to read the ice cream box because I couldn’t believe the flavor even existed.  I can see the delighted gleam in his eye to this day as he announced the flavor of the week with pride.  The 7 of us would groan in disbelief, but I think we also felt a little bit of admiration for his tenacity.  When I do have ice cream now, it’s usually vanilla. Dad still likes the weird ones. 

Friday, July 09, 2010

H





Hate, Things I
I hate ham.  It tastes and smells gross and it has the most disgusting color and texture.  I hate hospitals.  I hate people bossing me around.  I hate cancer.  I hate people telling me things happen for a reason.  I hate dark chocolate.  I hate when someone does a task poorly and then I have to re-do the task.  I hate No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top.  I hate fruit flies, especially the ones flying around my kitchen right now even though I’ve done everything possible to eliminate them.  I hate the death penalty.  I hate when I’m out with a friend and someone comes up and starts talking to my friend for a ridiculously long time.  Get the hell out of here, weirdo.  
These are most of the things I hate.  I try to not be a hater, but an appreciator.  Still, some times hate is unavoidable and perhaps even slightly productive. 

Thursday, July 08, 2010

G



Garden

I'm not a great gardener, but I do like to pop a few annuals in the ground, annually.  This year the nasturtium all died, but the lantana are pleased with themselves, as are the petunias.  The winter squash is probably not going to make it.  I moved the bird bath into our teeny flower garden this spring.  Smartest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.  The bird bath used to be under a tree far from the house and I rarely filled it with water.  This resulted in guilt galore. Now I fill it daily when I water the flowers.  The birds hop in and go to town. So fun to watch.  Here’s the exciting news.  Today a new backyard bird showed up.  I think it was a pine warbler but it might have been a yellow throated vireo.  I am still buzzing on a backyard bird high right now.  

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

F

Finches, Zebra

I used to have zebra finches. They were great pets. Sweet and sociable. Whenever one finch died I would usually go out and buy the survivor a new pal because of my sympathetic nature. So the finches were part of my life for a way long time. Until one day I decided I didn’t want to have finches any more. I didn’t buy a replacement finch when the penultimate finch died. That poor last finch got a beak problem where his beak grew too long. I brought him to the vet and the vet decided to shave his beak. During the shaving, my finch died. The vet said, “It just died.” As I was leaving with my empty cage, the receptionist said, “That’s going to be 7.95.” I was dumbfounded. I paid, but it seemed so unfair to pay someone to kill my pet. I was forlorn and furious all at once.

Monday, July 05, 2010

E

Elvira, Auntie

My great aunt Elvira used to visit us fairly frequently. She was one of those adults that give you hope for the future when you’re a little kid. She took an interest in the people around her, whatever their age. She wanted to know what we were up to and then later, after she left, she would send little packages of articles and artifacts she had picked up that she knew you’d like. The last time she visited I was in high school. I came home from a used book store and showed her a very old kid book I had bought. She said, “Oh I didn’t know you liked old books.”

I answered, “I didn’t either. But I guess I do.”

After that, she would send me old books from time to time. One summer day after my senior year, I bought a copy of Pickwick Papers. I wanted to read it on my big summer trip. On that same day I got a package from Auntie Elvira. Inside was an extremely old copy of Pickwick Papers. My sister Joy thought this was unbelievable and did a lot of exclaiming about the wild synchronicity. I didn’t think much of it. Unlike Amy Rosenthal, I’ve never seen much magical in weird coincidence, but now, so many years later, the whole thing does seem kind of amazing. I wish I could talk to Auntie Elvira again. She’s one of those people you don’t stop missing.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

D

Danger

At the end of the greatest grandest 4th of July party ever, we all huddled together on the deck, waiting for the big backyard fireworks show. I’ve always left pyrotechnics to professionals, so I was curious about the long row of cylinders and rectangular prisms that stretched across the backyard. To my amazement, those fireworks created a most stunning show directly overhead. The fireworks were so close that I had some nervousness during the show, anticipating possible danger. Sure enough, during the grand finale, fireworks started shooting toward the deck in random fashion. Using primal instinct, I dashed into the home but other less fortunates did incur some injuries. GPM was hit in the chest with shrapnel. D lost some hair from burning ember. F had a burn on his neck for which he later requested “some type of cream.” The paper tablecloth was on fire. An exciting end to a fun lake side evening. But maybe we won’t try this at home again any time soon. At least til next year?

Saturday, July 03, 2010

C

Camera

I’m in a wee bit of a quandary right now because I’ve lost my camera. I’ve loved that thing since the first moment GPMenosky gave it to me years ago. I would actually marry the thing if I weren’t already betrothed to Husbandman.

The camera’s always with me and taking pictures is not just a favorite thing to do, it’s something I feel a real need to do every few days. I don’t see myself as a photographer, but the camera is tied into my blogging, and if I don’t have a stash of newish photos saved up, I don’t feel able to blog. And when I'm not able to blog, my days don't really go right.

I’m signed up for Amy Rosenthal’s latest email challenge. She has invited followers to take pix of fireworks and send them to her. Then she’ll make a slideshow of all our photos. She’s really nice to do this I think. I have a backup camera I’m using right now, so I hope GPM can give me some tips on firework photography. Cross your fingers for me and please pray to St. Anthony.

Friday, July 02, 2010

B

Body


I finished week 4 of the Couch to 5K running program this morning. C25K is a running program that helps you increase your running stamina as slowly as you can. I’m trying to be nicer to my body this summer. I’m exercising my body and giving my body healthy foods. (Right now I’m eating fresh pineapple).


Bethenny


I keep watching this crazy Bethenny's Getting Married TV show. Right now I’m watching her first meeting with a therapist. The therapist seems pretty smart and helpful. Bethenny is having fears about her relationship because she had a crazy upbringing. I hope the therapist can help and that Bethenny can have a good happy life.


BP


The BP oil spill is making me so depressed. I wonder if it will ever be over. When I think about our poor planet I wonder when life here will end and if it will be a sudden armageddon kind of ending or a long cruel painful slow agonizing end for all of us. And I wonder if it will happen sooner, rather than later.


Bloomington


Bloomington is where we live and I’ve lived in other Btowns as well:

Age 0 Boston, MA

Age 4 Miami, FL

Age 14 Sunnyvale, CA

Age 18 Berkeley, Ca

Age 21 San Francisco, CA

Age 23 Brooklyn, NY

Age 25 San Francisco again

Age 28 Bloomington.


In my heart of hearts, I feel I belong in an urban home, but this is where we live and it’s a pleasant place with phenomenal phriends and I’ve no intention of moving away anytime soon.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

A


Amy


Amy Krouse Rosenthal wrote the book that inspired this blogging challenge, so I think it’s fair to give her a shout out. I’m now signed up for her blog missions, and I'm excited about that. Good Pal Menosky is also responsible for our challenge since she gave me the book in the first place, probably knowing that it would lead to something.


One of my all time favorite sections of Amy’s book is the entry called Change. She left spare change on the ground with a note, every week for a year. And she got some mail from people telling her what they did with the change. What a neat way to connect with people. On Twitter, she invited librarians at the ALA conference to meet up with her to jump on her hotel room bed. Stuff like that is fun and funky.


Maybe I’ll do something of this ilk some day.

Maybe today?

Okay, here goes.

If you comment on this A blog entry with your own A entry, I’ll send you a cool post card of this cool town. You have to give me your address tho. So just email it to me if you don’t wanna leave it on the blog. heffernan.lee@gmail.com

p.s. I'll also send post cards to the july blogging challenge bloggers because I'm excited we're doing this together.