Friday, March 30, 2012

Cranberry Oatmeal + Rain Boots

Every night, I set up our mini Crock Pot with oatmeal for the next morning. Last night (as part of my "Quick! Use up all frozen and canned items immediately so I can freeze and can some more this summer!" effort), a handful of frozen cranberries made their way into the Crock Pot. I added a little cinnamon and nutmeg this morning, and it was basically the best breakfast ever. Especially because it was rainy and cold and I took the bus to work. I was secretly happy about it, because it meant wearing my new green rain boots for the first time. I scored them at a thrift shop a couple of months ago. Aren't they darling? They're nice and tall so I can tuck my pants into them. No wet cuffs!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Terrace Garden

Two years ago, we had the wiry juniper bushes between our house and the neighbor's house pulled up, leaving a bare sloped area along the length of the driveway with nothing but a row of really lovely cinder blocks in the ground to reinforce it. I will not show you pictures because it's embarrassing. Apologies to our next door neighbors, who have been trying to sell their house... I'm sure our lack of landscaping hasn't helped!

Meanwhile, we've really wanted to plant a garden. Unfortunately, we have some big walnut trees, making our backyard garden-unfriendly. We built some raised beds last year and had some success, but we wanted a real garden. A plot of land we can dig in and pluck salads from. Karl had a great idea to plant a little garden in the empty sloped space where the juniper bushes had been. When he suggested a terrace garden, I was basically in heaven. A terrace garden. Sounds romantic, doesn't it? And vaguely Italian? Ya, well, we put the terrace garden in over the weekend and it's not romantic or Italian. It's kind of an eyesore, to be honest. Imagine chicken wire and stakes, and there you have it. I will also not show you any pictures of our terrace garden. I have high hopes that we will harvest at least one edible item from this disaster (Karl encouraged me to plant watermelon after pointing out how much money we'd save if we succeeded... we go through a lot of watermelon in the summer). I will, however, show you a genius idea that needs to happen at our house next year. It's from here.

Why didn't we think of this? There would be a lot less chicken wire in our yard if we had.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just call me Madison.

Ever since seeing the movie Splash in the theater in 1984, I've known in my heart that I am part mermaid. I love being in the water, and I love shimmery things. That can only mean one thing, right? Definitely part mermaid.

I recently signed up for a Master's swim class. It meets three days a week from 7-8am. I almost didn't sign up because I was sure that everyone else in the class would be Olympic, but you know what? I love it! Everyone else in the class is pretty much Olympic, actually, but it doesn't matter. The coaches give us workouts and we do them. That's it. It's a great way to start the day, and you should see my arms... I knew there were muscles hiding in there!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Nine on Ten: March

1. Our seeds are in! We planted them one week ago.
2. Check out those spinach plants!
3. I fit in a few minutes of banjo practice in the morning, bringing my total practice time for 2012 up to four hours (which I'm actually pretty proud of).
4. A little present to myself, purchased Friday night after a very rough day.
5. I had to work all day, but when I got home I found a fun bag of vintage Christmas decorations from Karl's parents.
6. Included was a Kmart bag and reciept from 1984, which I loved. Karl tried to throw it away. Not a chance!
7. We started a fire...
8. Karl made pizza...
9. And we settled in for a cozy night.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I probably shouldn't be telling you this.

I'm about to tell you a story that any appropriate, professional person probably wouldn't tell. But by now you know that I'm a little bit inappropriate and unprofessional, so here you go.

Yesterday I picked up a morning-only sub job at a school that will remain anonymous. It was for a "special" teacher-- you know, phy. ed., music, art, typing... do they still even teach typing? Well, okay, so it wasn't typing. It was one of the other ones but I'm not going to tell you which one. I got to the school around 8:30, and the teacher's first class didn't start until 10. The office staff thought the teacher might email some plans in later in the morning, so I went to the school library and shelved books until 9:30. Still no lesson plans, so I went to the classroom and stared pawing through materials, trying to make something up to entertain kids for 30 minutes at a time. Three minutes into my paw-fest, the teacher walked in. We'll call the teacher X. We'll call me Delightfully Chipper Substitute Teacher.

X: Are you my sub? I was hoping no one would pick up the sub job. I knew I'd be here by the time my first class started, but my principal forced me to call in for a sub.

Delightfully Chipper: Well, I'm here till noon, and I'm happy to help with anything!
Note: After this day, I will choose my words more carefully.

X: Oh, I'm going to put you to work all right. The first thing you can do is put this ice pack in my cooler.

DCST: No problem!

X: No, no, not like that! You have to screw it in the top!

Delightful: Oh, of course. Here we go... all screwed in.

X: UGH! You have to put the handle down, like this, to lock the lid in place!

Delightfully Chipper: I see.

X: The next thing I'm going to have you do is untie my lunch.

X sets a nylon lunch bag with a velcro top on the desk in front of me. Around it is tied a grimy scarf. Like the grimiest scarf you've ever seen, times ten.

Delight to Be With: Alright.

X removes lunch and puts it in the previously ice packed cooler.

X: Now tie it back up.

Delightful but Sometimes Skeptical: Are you serious?

X: Oh, I'm serious. I. Am. Serious.

Deedee (while tying grimy scarf back up around lunch bag): Okee dokee.

X: Now put it on the window ledge.

FYI, the window ledge was approximately one inch from X. I had to walk around the desk and around X in order to get to it.

Delight: There you go!

X: I'm going to have you do a lot of photocopying today while I teach.

Delight of Delights (realizing that there is no copier in the room and this may be my chance to escape): WONDERFUL!!! Would you like to get me started on that right now?

X: No. Put these seating charts in order first. (Hands me a clipboard)

Delightfully Chipper (sitting down in a student chair): No problem. (Starts organizing; out of peripheral vision, sees X walking across the room in front of her till X is about 15 feet away.) Just one question on this chart... (Looks up, just long enough to see that X has her skirt lifted all the way up and is taking off her pantyhose. Immediately looks back to clipboard)... uh, never mind. I think I got it.

X: Did yesterday's sub leave me a note?

Delightfully Chipmunky: No, I didn't see anything.

X: Maybe she left it in my mailbox.

Delightfully Trying to Escape While Appearing Chipper: WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO GO CHECK YOUR MAILBOX?!?!?!?!?!? (Basically panting and jumping up and down at the thought of leaving the room.)

X: Yes. Do that.

Delighfully Chipper (after grabbing personal belongings and sprinting to the office): I need to speak with the principal immediately.


Seriously, people, no matter how hard up you are for cash, don't become a substitute teacher. Sell your bone marrow or something.