Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A moment of Inception

I'm sitting on the couch in the living room and my sister Jess is with me. She starts to get up and go to the hallway. I say to her, "Hey, Jess. What if this is all a dream, like the movie Inception?"
She says to me, "Yeah, but it's not."
I agree with her. "I know. When I'm dreaming, everything is not normal at all. Either my vision is blurred, or weird animals chase me, or I'm flying. So I know when I'm in a dream."
Jess nods and I go back to studying for both tests I have tomorrow (Math and Spanish). Before I know it, I start to get sleepy and I doze off.

Quite soon, I start to fly around. And wouldn't you know it, someone needs rescuing. They always do. I'm only ever the one person who can fly, so when something is chasing me and whomever I'm with, I've got to pick them up and fly with them, which is not easy. It takes a lot more strength and concentration to fly when you are carrying somebody. And geez, we're always getting chased.

Pretty soon we get to the main street going down the college campus, and we've stopped flying. For some reason a ton of police cars and ambulances drive by, and we can't cross the road. Then we get half way across the road and I see why there was such a commotion. Someone has a gun. And it's pointed right at me. But this is a dream, where everything just gets worse. Suddenly I cannot even more. I try really hard to move me feet, but I can't.

Then my eyes pop open. I've been dreaming. I knew that. Then when I see how dark it is, I think "Oh crap! I fell asleep and didn't study for my tests!" I look to see what time it is. 5:15am. I realize that wait a minute, I actually went to bed on purpose. I'm supposed to be sleeping. Then I think a second longer. I do not have a math or Spanish test tomorrow. I am a teacher. I teach school.

Next I have a shocking realization. All of that before part where I was in the living room talking normally to my sister was all a dream. And the part where I was flying was a dream within a dream. As I am really awake, I think more about the first dream. I was at my old house that I grew up in, and no one lives there now. So obviously that wasn't real. I was studying for a high school math and Spanish test, and I'm no longer in high school. I totally thought that all of that was real, because it was so normal, but it wasn't. It was all pretend.

This freaks me out, because usually when I think about "Is this a dream?" I'm able to recognize that yes, it is a dream. Because weird sh*t happens. And I just know.

I fall back to sleep but continue to enter dreams. This time, I know it. For example, when the shadow of a relative is about to attack me when I'm flying, I pop my eyes open in real life just as they get to me. Saved myself from that one. But I am so sleepy that I instantly fall back into a dream state. My enemy is gone, but I'm still flying. I'm wearing a nightgown and I'm flying vertically into the sky like a rocket, which is weird, because I typically fly horizontally (no wing flapping necessary). I'm in the dark sky which is dotted with stars, and the moon is glowing bright. My nightgown flies up into my face and my bare skin begins to catch the breeze. I get cold and pop my eyes open in real life. That ended. But it wasn't so bad.

When I awoke for the last time this morning at 7:02, I started to think about all the snippets of dreams that I could remember from the past eight hours. I remember a rodeo, and a tunnel, a theater, saving a girl, listening to a concert, rain at a wedding, the forest of my old house, retrieving a secret file and throwing it up in the sky towards a vortex...

I realize that I am going to have to become one of those hippy weirdos who drink strange juices and tell people about their dreams on the radio. I've got to go to the library and read every dream book I can get my hands on. Because I need to be able to control this. I do not like the way that 98% of my dreams go, because I am always being chased by something evil. Yes, I enjoy the flying part, but it's not worth it. So I am setting out on a mission to figure out my subconscious. The mind is a miraculous thing. Surely this can be tapped.

If you have any sort of advice, please share. I mean, where's Leonardo DiCaprio when you need him? And Ellen Page, will you please build my dream?
I've already read a few things on-line, and apparently that spinning top thing that happened in Inception isn't totally bunk. I read about how you need to train you brain up, and ask yourself when you are awake "Is this a dream?" and then instead of saying "duh, no it's not," you are supposed to check a clock quickly, then check it again. Or you read some text real fast, and then look at it again. Apparently if you do this often enough (which makes you a weirdo, questioning reality and what not), then you will begin to do this in your dream. In the dream, when you check the clock the second time, allegedly a large chunk of time always passes, so you know it's a dream. Or if you read the text a second time, the words change. I'm going to try this. So next time you see me, you can say "hey Joelle, is this a dream?" and you can watch how I respond.

Obviously I need a psychotherapist. Aren'tcha glad you know me?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Burger Shack Shock

I'm sitting in the back seat of the car, fearing for my life, feeling like I might throw up the Portebello stuffed mushroom I just ate. My cousin flips a U-ie in front of the train tracks, and I think to myself  "how on earth did this kid make it back alive from California?"

3.5  hours earlier
 After being absent from Friday Night Dinners for a whole month, I re-joined the gang the other night. I got picked up at my house at seven by my cousin Jason and his girlfriend Heidi. Then we went over two blocks to my sister's house and picked her and The Trav up. While Heidi and I waited in the driveway for Jason to collect the rest of the family, I was informed by Heidi that my sister and fake brother were ripping out their shower and toilet. News to me.

"Wait, wait. You are telling me that my sister and Travis are ripping out their shower right now?"
"Um, I think they're doing it tomorrow. But it's happening."
"Alright, so tomorrow. I'm just wondering if she's gonna ask if she can come over and take a shower. I know she will. Shower replacements are not exactly a one day thing. Home improvement always takes longer than you think it will."

Next Jess, Jason, and Travis get into the car. We start chatting and then Jess says to me, "Are you going to be home tomorrow?" I wait before responding.
I yell up to the front seat,"Hey, Heidi, will you listen to this question that my sister is asking me?"
Heidi turns and looks back at me and Jess.
"Yes, Jess? What was your question?" I say.
"Are you going to be home tomorrow?" She asks again.
"Hmmm, for part of the day. Why do you ask?" Like I don't already know.
"Because maybe I'll have to come over and use the bathroom."
"Ha! I knew it!" I scream. Heidi and I high-five each other.
My sister is so predictable. I don't have a problem with her coming over to use my bathroom, except that I will have to leave a key somewhere since I might be gone. But I know how to play my cards.
"Well, Jess. I do need my mailbox to be fixed."
Side note: I got a message in my mailbox from the carrier that my mailbox needs to be moved forward on the board because apparently the door won't open all the way. It's the second notice I've gotten. I'm afraid he'll stop delivering all my fatty checks bills. I was tempted to leave a note for him that said "Sorry, don't have husband, not good with hammer. Will get to this as soon as I find a handy man." I mean, I probably could figure the stupid thing out if I really tried, but I'd also probably end up flattened on the road considering the proximity of the mailbox to a frequently traveled street.

"If you or Travis help me fix my mailbox by 9 pm on Sunday, then I will leave you a key to my house and you can use the bathroom. I'll even make you a nice bubble bath and leave you a fluffy white towel, just like a swanky hotel. Plus I'll light the vanilla candles. It'll be real nice. Wadja say?"

It's 8 pm on Sunday and she hasn't called me to use the potty/shower yet, but there could still be a chance. Today is day two of the re-model and they still don't have it in working order yet. See progress below.
Anyway, so we finally get to the restaurant, which is this really tiny burger shack down town. It's incredibly popular, and as I eye it up, I realize there is no way the five of us are gonna fit in there. And it's not even like I take up a lot of space.

Travis is really determined to get a burger from this place because he wanted to go for his birthday dinner last week but the combined family of 12 couldn't fit then either. We wait around for 25 minutes (outside in the cold because there is no standing space) and look at the menu. Once we are seated, we know exactly what to order.

We start to draw on the table with crayons because that's what you do at this place. They place a giant sheet of brown paper on your table and you doodle. If you are a really good artist or draw an image depicting how much you love their burgers, then they keep your doodle and hang it up on the wall.
As we are eating, the boys start to talk about finances. Jess and Travis tell Jason about how they keep their money separate even though they are married, an intriguing idea that I wrote more about here. I tell Jason and Heidi that I think that is weird, and if they ever marry each other, they should not have separate accounts. But what do I know? I'm not the married person who has to mesh finances with another person. I know it causes headaches for many people. So Jason is kinda getting riled up about the issue, because he does manage his money well, but Heidi wants him to become more educated on the matter.
Jason says in an upset tone, "She wants me to go to some dumb Davey Crockett class."

I burst out laughing even before Heidi corrects him and says, "Dave Ramsey."
I find it incredibly hilarious that Jason has made this error. Unfortunately, this joke is only funny to people who know who Dave Ramsey is. Thus, no one else at my table is laughing with me. In case you didn't know, Dave Ramsey is a financial guru that gives pretty good advice and goes around giving seminars. He also has written books. Learn more about him here.

We talk a bit more and Heidi says, "the first order of business is to get a nice, sparkling diamond on this finger." She holds up her left hand. "Then we'll discuss the rest of it."
This leads to the subject of college debt, whereupon Jason says, "My deal is we can't get married till she has college paid off." (Heidi is 19 and about half way through college).
Heidi scoffs and says, "Yeah right, you can't keep it in your pants that long."
At which point I double over laughing.
Those kids. They crack me up. Here, this part is for the two of you: finish college before you get married, spend carefully, and keep it in your pants.
Here is Heidi loving her burger. Notice the bare finger. All in good time.

We love to eat and talk smack.
Pretty soon we are about the last table still in the joint, so we pay and leave. We all pile into the car again and Jason starts to drive us home to our deaths. We're waiting at a red light for about forever, so Travis gets out of the car and hits the walk signal so that our light will turn green. His plan doesn't work quickly enough though, and Jason gets annoyed and turns right instead. Right into a one way street, which has another car coming up it. 
"Oh shit!" he yells, and does an erratic turn to go straight (through the red light). Only just as he goes straight, the signal turns green, making it legal. The car makes it down about two streets and then Jason sees a train ahead of us and the crossing rails down. We watch and the train slows to a practical stop. It's not going anywhere for a long time. Patience is a virtue. Some people don't have it. Just as another car is about to pull up behind us, Jason floors the gas then hits the breaks and makes a U-turn right in front of the train tracks. He starts driving in the other direction looking for a street that the train hasn't blocked.

His passengers comment on his driving skills.
"What're you talking about? I just got back from driving in California. This is what they do all the time," Jason reasons.
"Well, you are back in Oregon now," we tell him.

We manage to drive quite far in the opposite direction of our collective homes when we find a place where we can cross. It's then that someone points out that we could have gone up the street instead and gone the other way, resulting in a faster and more direct route. But whatever. Jason makes up for lost time.

I tell him he better not pull any more funny business because I am sitting right behind him and will puke on his head if he does.

I make it home alive. I will also probably drive myself next week.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Beautiful Loser

Sweet potatoes do I have some good stuff to tell you! That visit to Gram's house was outrageous. But this post isn't about that. I'm waiting for Grace to send me some of the photos she took. There will be an entire post dedicated to all the funny things Gram did and said; it'll just have to wait a few days. Believe me though, you'll crack a rib laughing.

Today I'm not going to give you my original content, and I'm not going to try to make you laugh. Hopefully your soul will smile instead. I want to share with you all the beautiful, raw, transparent, or inspiring things I've seen or read recently. After reading through the things I share with you below, I realized how I am just one insignificant, pathetic, beautiful loser. I'm not really going to go into what that means right now. Just read everything, all of it. It's worth it. 

  "People were created  to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used."
I've praised Lauren Nicole Love (Lauren Lankford) on here before because of her raw and truthful writing, and I've got more to share. Basically, if you don't read Lauren, you should. Even when Lauren was in a dark place in her life, she still wrote some beautiful things. She dug this post up from the past, and here is the tail end of it:

"Go back to your alternate universe. You’ll function out of habit enough to make it through life, but get your mind out of this, here, now, because this, THIS, is all just shit. Think about beautiful things, make beautiful things, create stories, novels, wishes, dreams, hopes, make-believe. Be over dramatic if that’s what you want. Stop boring the entire world with trying to get your shit together enough to be normal. I can’t, I try, it makes it worse. I want to NOT FIGHT the tendency to be addicted and STOP TRYING to do ‘all things in moderation.’ Be addicted. Be consumed. Just CHOOSE THE RIGHT ADDICTION. Choose what is beautiful. Choose what is worth it."

Also, Lauren shared this on her Tumblr.

Lauren also writes for A Deeper Story where she posted a piece of truth. All I can say is, Love was the plan. I think you should read it here. Because your love is broken. What kind of love do you give when she calls after six months of silence, asking for a favor? How much love do you give when he doesn't call on your birthday? You pick and choose, and your love is broken. But love was the plan.

Another thing I think is beautiful is the Daily Letter. It's worth eight minutes of your time to visit it and read a few past letters.
Max Dubinsky is another person who writes transparently. He is raw and tells you all the dirt. Like, for example, we are the scum of the earth. As the pastor at my church said last week, the truth is offensive. Indeed, it is. You will be offended by the truth. But it still needs to be told. Have you been offended by this post yet?
Max has a lot on his mind.
Max is traveling across America in a beat up Nissan and no money looking for God's love. He has just started his journey, so it's not too late to catch up on how it's going. Because it's going terribly. Read him here.

He ends his latest post by saying:
"We are often afraid to start living because we’re afraid our story won’t turn out to be about us. How devastating would that be? Maybe though, just maybe, that’s the point.  Maybe that’s why you don’t have a story to tell.  Because it’s always been about you. Could it be that your story is meant to be for someone’s glory other than you? Your story is going to be the greatest story ever told. Are you living it, or just killing time?"

My Wrap-Up
I am a beautiful loser who has lost everything. In truth, I started with nothing. But everything I thought was mine I've lost. You know what, though? It is good. I am a loser and it is good. Being a loser means that you lose. Lose it all. Your pride, your life, your selfishness. Matthew 17:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it." Are you a beautiful loser?

Monday, March 21, 2011


My cousin Grace and I are going on a spring break adventure to see our wonderful Gram, who is not your typical mother's mom. Oh no, my Gram lives it up. We were supposed to go rock hounding/off-roading with my Grandma's jeep, but since there is snow on the ground where she lives, we'll probably go snow shoeing instead. My Gram is 71 years old. She lives like she's 50.

Basically, this is me telling you I will likely not be blogging until Friday (maybe Thursday evening), but that I will keep you updated on the adventures that Gram, Grace, and I have via Twitter, which is in an orange box on the right side of this blog. If you are a Twitter Hater, then I'm sorry, but this is going to be the easiest way for me to tell you what is happening in 140 characters or less. I say this like you actually care about what I'm doing. You probably don't, but I'm gonna tell you anyway. Whether you read it or not is entirely up to you. Obviously.

That said, I have to go take a shower and pack because I have no idea when Grace is going to show up on my doorstep to pick me up. Plus, I've gotta charge batteries for my video camera.

This is completely unrelated, but I just wanted to show you how even junk can look beautiful when organized neatly and in accordance with the color wheel. This photo was posted on Things Organized Neatly. It's a collection of waste that was found on the beach of Lake Eerie.

Photo and arrangement done by Cassie McDaniel.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

House Tour Video

Thanks for joining me these past few days as I took you on a tour of my home. This post marks the end of House Tour Week. I apologize if this video makes you feel sea sick. I only did one take and obviously did not practice.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Other Places

I've got a few last places in my house to show you. They are the less glammy locations, which goes against the theory that you should save the best for last. Because clearly this isn't. If this were the last chapter of a book, you'd be sincerely dissatisfied.

My laundry room is quite small and is more of a corridor in between the garage and the hallway to the bedrooms. I store most of my cleaning supplies in those cupboards. I guess the real question is, how often do the cupboard doors open? Or is the Windex getting lonely from lack of use?
Unfortunately, doing laundry is still a bore. I just don't have to carry it up/down any stairs any more.
What's behind skinny door Number One?
 I know you are dying to find out...
 Linens! Towels! Washcloths! A pink step-stool because I'm short. There is that brown quilt I mentioned in my bedroom post. Plus I am just crazy for those aqua floral printed sheets that are sitting on top of the quilt. They are from Pottery Barn and have faded due to the fact that I love them so dearly.

Oh heavens, this closet is embarrassing. But you might as well know.
 I keep a lot of crafty items in here, and my roommate keeps her games here (I am awesome at Twister, by the way). Basically I just shove stuff in here when I don't want it anywhere else. Surely you've got one of those spots?

Here is my spare room. It used to be Brittany's room until she got hitched. Now it is just quite empty.

Over Christmas break, I considered making this room purely a place for clothes. You know, like one of those giant walk in closets that Jessica Simpson has? I had grandiose plans of getting garment racks to put in the room, and shoe holders, and maybe even a really girly chandelier that drops from the ceiling and sparkles rainbow light across your cheeks as you strap on your Jimmy Choos in the morning. Only I'm not really that girl. Plus, I shut the heat off in that room to save on utilities, and I wouldn't want to get dressed in a place that is cold. So I nixed the idea. Maybe during the summer?

I mean, just look at all that space for my overcrowded clothing. Or a three way mirror. Like anyone needs that.

I'd show you my roommate's bedroom but I feel like that is an invasion of privacy. Plus, I'm not the one who decorated it. It is basically the twin of my spare room. My house has three bedrooms in all, and they are quite small.

My garage is really boring so I won't even show you that. I park my car in there, along with the multiple plastic storage tubs that hold college textbooks and childhood toys.

Well friends, tomorrow marks the end of House Tour Week. Thanks for being such a snoop. I've pretty much shown you everything, but check back tomorrow for a bonus video.

And if you want to share any links to pictures of your place, I would find it interesting, because I am a snoop too.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Bathrooms

Aren't you just way excited to look inside someone else's loo? I promised I cleaned it first. We'll start with the main bathroom, because it's my favorite room in the house, despite the fact that I never use it. But it's very pretty and makes a good impression, I think.
That mirror is actually quite gigantic, and I had to hang it with much assistance.

I just love that shower curtain. It's from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
If you notice in the above photos, the walls appear to be Wheat. Or at least that's what the paint can said. I've got one wall that is Asparagus. It's quite punchy in real life for being named after a vegetable, which is why it's only on one of the walls. But I like it a lot. I also enjoy the tree photos that are in this bathroom.
One can never have too many hooks, especially if you are a pirate. Most of the hardware in this bathroom is brushed bronze.
Let's move on and take a visit to my bathroom. I feel thoroughly spoiled that I have my own, because I never did until I moved into this house. In high school my sister and I used to fight over the sink and mirror, and during my college years I either lived it up dorm style or shared with other people.
This is where I make myself cute.
I thoroughly enjoy Warm Vanilla Sugar hand soap from Bath and Body Works. It's my favorite scent ever.
Are you mortified that you're looking at my toilet? You should be. 

 This is rather tacky but incredibly useful. I have a clear plastic over the door shoe holder that I use to stash all my products, because I've got no drawers in the bathroom. Then I hang some of my necklaces so I can contemplate my accessories in the morning.

 The background color of the wall is not true in this photo. It looks rather green, but it's actually like mint toothpaste. I am a poor photographer. The circle is done in a paint called Oasis.

Shower curtain by Roxy. Best colors ever.
Sometimes I need a visual reminder to pray. I try to make sure I talk to God while in the shower, which is kind of weird I guess, but he already knows everything about me. I cut those letters out of foam and they just sort of stick.

And now you can die happy because you've seen my loo.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Room

I'm not entirely sure I know you well enough to invite you in, but here's a peek nonetheless. I've got a lightweight chocolate brown quilt that I put on during the summer months, but during the winter I have a comforter on my bed. Cover by Ikea. And yes, that is a single person bed. It's also the same bed I've slept in since age four. It's 1/2 of a bunk bed set (my sister has the other half at her house). Am I revealing too much about myself? Probably. But I think we're already past that.

The key to a good night's sleep is to be surrounded by books. That is why so many college students are able to fall asleep while at the library. I keep all my favorites and "currently reading" by my bedside.

 The wall color is called Aquaduct by Sherwin Williams. I watch a lot of squirrels totter on the edge of that fence outside. They're adorable. That is, until they attack.

Whoops, here's an accidental peek into my bathroom. You weren't supposed to see that until tomorrow. But now you know what color I adore.
See that picture of two girls walking? It's a chalk drawing of me and my sister. If you look carefully at the photo of my short bookcase, you will notice a framed photograph of the same image sitting on top. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Kitchen

I love to eat, so a comfy kitchen is mandatory. I don't really do a lot of cooking, but I seem to do a lot of hanging around in my kitchen. You know, mostly eating--or talking to other people while they eat. Or looking at/for food. Or baking cupcakes.
This is the dining/kitchen area. In case it wasn't obvious.
The bar counter is incredibly useful. It's nice to spread everything out when I am baking or crafting. Ninety-five percent of the time my roommate and I eat our meals while sitting on the bar stools, because for some reason it's better than the table. Probably because it's closer to the food source.

I hung some things on the wall. Can you tell what my favorite color is? It will become glaringly evident when I show you my bedroom/bathroom. I really like that little frame of the blue Royal typewriter.

See you lovelies tomorrow as we make our way down the hall.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Living Room

My living room is by far the most spacious room in my house. I sometimes like to throw raging parties in it (do you believe me?) When I first moved in with my friends Natalie and Brittany, we basically had no furniture. So this is what it looked like.
Then when we moved all the boxes in, Brittany constructed this really awesome fort out of them, draped with blankets across the top, of course. I wish I had a picture of it. I probably would have left the fort in the front room forever, had I not needed to access everything that those boxes contained.

After settling in, the room no longer echoed. Let me show you a few of my favorite things.
I adore this bookcase. I didn’t get it until I lived in my house a year, and the wait was totally worth it. It is actual real solid wood, not that fake laminate that most stores sell. Plus, I got it delivered for free. By free, I mean it was probably included in the expensive price. But it was a good advertising scheme. It's six feet tall.
This couch is hands down the most comfortable piece of furniture I own. People actually get smashed so that they have to stay the night on my couch and sober up. It’s super comfy for naps, and I prefer it to my bed. I bought it brand new, so it’s gotta last me until I’m 45 years old. No pukers, please. I am fairly certain that this couch can seat nine people comfortably. It’s a barge. I keep forgetting to test it when I have that many people at my house at once. Next to it is a matching love seat, which basically acts as a mini-sofa for my five foot frame.

Below is the typewriter that I inherited upon my grandmother's passing. I love it because it was hers, but it so utterly me. Of course I just adore having her typewriter. Next to it sits my BP issued oil spill globe, which I like very much.
I once saw a black chalkboard style globe and you could color in the continents with different hues of chalk. Wouldn't you just die to have such a thing? I would. Though I could probably make my own if I went to Goodwill and found an old globe and then went to the craft store to pick up some chalkboard paint. Alright, now I know what I'm crafting during spring break.

This is a shot of my office space. I want to paint the desk (I know, after I told you I was through with painting). Have any suggestions for it?
I sit on a yoga ball instead of in a chair.
I would just like to point out that I do not make it a habit to objectify men who surf and pose with their shirts off, but that is the hot man calender that my sister picked up for me in Hawaii. I know I've mentioned it before. The man for March is named Benjamin and he is wearing green shorts in honor of St. Patty's day.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

House Tour Week!

Stalkers and snoopers are gonna love this. This week I will be posting everyday (I know, right?!) and I’m going to show you the various areas of my house. I’ve lived here for 20 months and am finally getting around to the virtual house tour. If I like you and you live near me, chances are you’ve seen my house in real-life and will find this week's posts snooze worthy, because you’ve already opened up all my closets and drawers when I wasn’t looking. If you haven’t been to my house, it does not mean that I don’t like you, it just means that you should probably message me in some form (comment, Facebook, e-mail, letter through USPS, text, Twitter, radio waves, or telepathy) and tell me that you want to come over to my house for tea and cupcakes. I will happily oblige you. I actually love visitors.

Now let me just say, when you look at the photos of my abode this week, do not go all “wow, Joelle, really? You’ve lived there for nearly two years and this is all you’ve done with the place?” I will happily take decorating suggestions, so long as you are not recommending I paint anything. I realize that paint is the simplest, cheapest way to change the look of something, but at this point, I am totally over paint. If you recommend painting to me, you better be willing to drive over here in your white coveralls and help me. I’ll hold the ladder while you hold the brush.

Today I’m going to show you the outside of my house. The following pictures were taken last summer, when my house was looking cheerful. It still had the smile of summer across its face. If I took outdoor photos right now, you’d see a muddy back yard, leafless trees, and gray clouds looming overhead. It’s not pleasant. I prefer to re-live July and August via digital photos. I swear to you, my house does not look drastically different now. It just looks depressing outside due to the Oregon weather. So instead you get to look at my house when it was graced with sun.

I got this welcome mat from Target. One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish...
In case you were wondering, I mow my lawn with a non-gas powered, non-electrical, non-motor 1950s style grass cutter, which I bought at Sears. It’s the sort of lawn mower you can use at the dead of night and your neighbors will have no clue you’re out trimmin’ the turf. I like to do everything in a stealthy manner, and so this environmentally friendly grass solution was my best friend. Plus, it gives me a mini-work out.
The side of my yard is basically the width of a bowling lane.
 Below is my back patio when I set it up for the good weather. I previously dedicated a whole post to it, so I will be brief with you now and tell you I painted the chairs and re-upholstered them myself. Glass of lemonade, anyone?

And here are a few more photos for you to click through.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Good Women Do Exist

If you are female, then I strongly recommend you poke your nose around this site and read some of the women's stories. The Good Women Project was launched by Lauren Lankford, who also keeps a raw, heart-touching blog and intriguing Tumblr account. This is a newly started project, and Lauren is looking for women to share their stories. So if you are a good woman, or know of a good woman, or if you think of yourself as a "bad" woman, it doesn't really matter. Just check it out. In this world it is easy to think, "I'm the only one left," or even "I am not a good woman." Yes, Beautiful, you are. Good women do exist, and you can be one. You are totally worth it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Comedy of Errors

Here are a few short pieces of things that have happened recently:

At school last week during lunch, Drew didn't eat any of his hamburger. It's all he had on his tray. I told him to at least take a few bites. He says "But teacher, I'm a veggie-tarian."
"I know you're not," I say.
"Yes, teacher I am!"
"Then where are your vegetables?"
"Oh. I forgot about them."
That kid tries to fool me everyday. It never works, but it is hilarious the kinds of things he tries to get me to believe.
My sister was trying to think of management tips for my children. I told her my biggest problem is that I have three boys who are never quiet. My sister does not have kids or work with kids, she just has three Rottweiler dogs, who sometimes bark a lot. Jess contemplated my dilemma, and then applied her canine knowledge to my human problem. "Just give him a spoon full of peanut butter and tell him to eat it during class. That'll shut him up." In case it's not totally obvious, this is the technique she uses with her dogs if they go on a long barking stretch. I have not yet tried her idea.
Last Tuesday was Dr. Seuss' birthday, and I decided to read a book to my class. A teacher should probably take some time to read through The Cat in the Hat before reading it aloud to her class, because it may just so happen to be that she checked out the French copy from the school library. Why we have a French copy, I don't even know, considering 80% of our students speak Spanish. Don't worry. I caught it two minutes ahead of time and saved myself. Dr. Suess doesn't rhyme well in French.
My mom was talking to me a few days ago about my future career aspirations. The conversation went like this:
My mom: So what's your plan?
Me: My plan?
My mom: Yeah. What are you going to do after this school year?
Me: Marry a millionaire and then I won't have to work. So if I meet him tomorrow, we get married in September...I'll be good. I won't have to go without health insurance or worry about not having a job.
I've been sick and tomorrow will be day 2.5 that I have a sub. Usually substitutes write you notes about which students did well and which students were a pain in the butt. I have a lot of students and they all look alike, plus I have three students named Jasmine. But they are all spelled differently (Jasmin, Jasmine, and Jazmin). Anyway, student identification can get a bit tricky. So that's why I decided to photocopy our class picture and leave it in the sub folder along with notes written about some of the children. I highlighted blue boxes around the photos of the kids who would be trustworthy and helpful if the sub didn't know what to do, and I put yellow boxes around the kids who have behavior issues (so the sub shouldn't trust anything they say). The thing copied in black and white of course, and across the top of it I wrote "The Line Up." So basically, for a few of the kids it'll be like their first mug shot. 
This is not my class, but you get the idea.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I feel like (fav. explicit adj. here)

Friends, I have some good shorts to tell you soon (maybe tomorrow during a break??) but right now I am totally wiped. I went to Walgreens and spent $24.99 on drugs. I bought cough drops, mucinex, and Vicks Vapor Rub, which I am apparently supposed to put on my feet and then cover with socks and go to bed.

I am not showering or packing my lunch. Tomorrow is pajama day, so I will probably rock the bed head and wear slippers. I am going to go put on two layers of pj bottoms, a long sleeved shirt and sweatshirt, and many blankets. My house is currently 70 degrees. I've got a thermometer in my mouth right now. It's currently at 99.6, and I haven't even had it in there for very long. Typically my temperature is 97.4, because I am weird and always cold. So this is definitely considered a fever for me. I ache. 99.7 and rising.

Good night.

Pray for my health, because I am supposed to go on a trip this weekend.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In Defense of Beans

As a vegetarian, I probably eat more beans that the average white American. American's love to make jokes about how Mexican food makes you fart, and how if you eat any amount of beans your are just going to become one gassy balloon ready to pop. I plan on eating even more legumes as usual because I am currently utterly fascinated by Timothy Ferriss' diet in his new book, The Four Hour Body.
 I basically just want to let you in on two pieces of information that you may or may not already know.

The reason that you are gassy after eating beans is because of the high amount of raffinose sugars that are hard for humans to digest. So if you eat canned beans (as I do, because I am too lazy to soak and cook my own), then rinse them off in cold water. This gets rid of the bubbly sugar junk, and also decreases the amount of sodium you consume. I rinse my beans off in this cute little Martha Stewart brand turquoise colander that my mother bought me for Christmas. It works perfectly. And you know, the purchase of it helped benefit Martha's post-prison life. So now she doesn't have to hammer out license plates and put cute designs in them with her craft punches.
 A note on gas producing sugars: raffinose, fructose, lactose, and sorbitol are the four to know about. If you want a simple article to read that talks more about different foods that have these sugars, read this. Or you know, Google something.  

Research has also shown that the digestive system can adapt to the consumption of beans if you eat them frequently. People who eat beans often fart less than those people who rarely eat beans. You might think to yourself "I don't want to be a gas filled fuel tank, I better not eat beans often." But really, if you just eat beans regularly, you're body will adjust and you will be fine, no Beano needed.

So my advice to you:
Rinse those beans and eat them frequently. And lay off the bean jokes. Also, read The Four Hour Body. It's fascinating.
Related Posts with Thumbnails