Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Gifts

I think I ate a year’s supply of chocolate over the last two weeks. Have I mentioned I love chocolate? I must have because I received lots of it as gifts. I ate every last bit as well as all the fudge and other luscious nummy-ness at parties and on the counters at school and church. I will have to work doubly hard in the new year to work it all off (she says laughingly as another Hershey kiss is plopped in her mouth).

Chocolate is always a good gift for me no matter what the occasion. But one of my favorite gifts this Christmas was from the hugs of former students as they visited church over the holidays. Some of these kids I only see once or twice a year, so as they arrive home from college with diamond rings on their left hand ring finger I see how quickly time is passing by.

It was also a great gift to watch some of my current Junior High students as they sang in the adult church choir. As one 7th grade girl I’ve known since Kindergarten sang out her solo among all the grownups I got all misty eyed and couldn’t stop smiling.

Spending Christmas morning with my 17 year-old niece was another great gift. Watching her open her stocking, I pictured her as a little girl again with curly locks instead of the hair she works so hard now to straighten.

But, I have to say my most favorite of all, first place winning Christmas gift this year was the fact that my church partnered with a Presbyterian Church for a Christmas program mid-month and shared Christmas morning service with a Baptist congregation. Yowsa! Imagine that, different churches with differing theologies getting together to celebrate Jesus. Whee!!  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Amen and Hallelujah!

Question: What were some of your favorite gifts this Christmas?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Survivor Finale

A great tradition I have is watching the Survivor Finale with my friend Linda and the wonderful Stewart Family. We’ve shared countless snack food filled finale nights cheering on our favorite survivor who out played, out witted and out lasted all the others.

This season my favorite was Coach. Now granted, his other two seasons I found him rather annoying, but I gravitated towards him this time around. There was something different about him on his third try for the million even though I did find his use of the words integrity, honor, family and Christian rather hypocritical.

To me Survivor is A GAME and if you have to lie, cheat and steal to get to the end then so be it. I’ve had many a scratched hand and nearly broken finger while playing a rousing game of spoons, so a little dishonesty would be nothing in a game for a million buckaroos.

I auditioned for Survivor back in the spring of 2009. I was a children’s minister at the time and I said in my audition tape, “My biggest fear is that I will drop some f-bombs or that my bathing suit top will go askew on national television and I will have to quit my job.” I did tell my senior pastor, since I considered Survivor to be a game, I would stop at nothing including lying and cheating to win the million dollars. He said as long as I planned on tithing he saw no problem with my tactics.

One of my least favorite contestants this season was Edna. That was until she spoke up during the final jury. Then she rocked and won my respect. To summarize, she basically told the jury, all the ones who had been voted off, you should be prepared to be duped when you sign up for a show like this. So, hats off to the final three cuz they did the duping and out lasted all the rest. And after all, isn’t that the point?

I think I will audition for the show again. If I get on maybe I can meet Coach. Because you see, unfortunately I now have a crush on him.

Question: You a fan? If yes, who was your favorite? Do you think Coach and I would make a good pair?

Monday, December 12, 2011

3D, Schmeee D

During the ’80’s when everyone else was buying CD players and selling off their turntables at garage sales, I was a holdout for records. I didn’t want the tiny, frustrating to open CD’s. And I also didn’t want to start my music collection all over again. I mean, I had been through it all before with 8-tracks and cassettes. But Albums were my favorite and they had lasted through the switch over with both types of tapes so I figured they weren’t going anywhere. The last one I bought before I finally gave in was Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance with Somebody. Loved it, loved her. Now I find her a bit scary.

Another holdout for me has been 3D movies. I remember going to them over 20 years ago with the paper glasses that never stayed on and tickled my nose. I never even saw Avatar in 3D. Even though everyone was saying, “Oh you have to see Avatar in 3D. It’s soooo much better,” I never gave in to the 3D phenomenon. That is until last Friday night. I, along with two adult friends and their combined five children, went to see Hugo in 3D. It was also available in 2D or regular D, whatever it is called, but we opted for the 3D because it was showing at the best time.

It seems that a high percentage of recent movies are available in 3D and I think I know why. It’s not because it makes it so much more exciting. No, it’s because they charge an extra $3.50 for the luxury. After two and a half hours of Hugo in 3D all I can say is, “I want my money back.”

The movie was cute and all but not worthy of spending my evening wearing stupid, annoying glasses just to see the images in a way that makes me want to reach my hand out and touch them. Which, by the way, brings about teasing from those around you if you do. I could see it if it was an action packed movie, but it wasn’t. Hugo is basically a movie where a little boy goes around winding up clocks in a train station. Well, actually it’s more than that but I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.

And, since I know it’s just a movie and not real life, I don’t really need the added 3D effect. It doesn’t enhance my movie going experience enough to make me want to spend an additional $3.50 to an already expensive evening, what with the markup on popcorn and coke.

And why the glasses? On Survivor the other night, they showed the remaining tribe members a phone with 3D you could see with the naked eye. So, if technology allows it on a tiny phone, why not on a big movie screen?

Question: 3D or regular D?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Beat, Beat, Beat

Beat, Beat, Beat…I am so tired…Gotta finish the scrip…Beat, Beat, Beat…I just have no energy…Beat, Beat, Beat…What songs am I gonna lead at the women’s breakfast…Beat, Beat, Beat…What is going on with my heart…I don’t have time for this…Beat, Beat, Beat…This is ridiculous…Most wonderful time of the year…More like, most eventful time of the year…Beat, Beat, Beat…Too much going on…Does the congregation know this song…Will it work...Beat, Beat, Beat…Shawn said I should go to the doctor…No time…Beat, Beat, Beat…If  I could just take a nap…When am I gonna practice the piano parts…Beat, Beat, Beat…The kids are working hard…They’re gonna rock at the Christmas program…Then I need to start thinking about The Christmas Eve Service…Beat, Beat, Beat…Wow, my heart sure is loud… Beat, Beat, Beat…Maybe I should at least call the advice nurse…This is embarrassing…Not another health issue, please…Beat, Beat, Beat…If something is wrong who will take care of these performances... I can feel my heart from the top of my head to the bottom of my baby toe…Beat, Beat, Beat…I can’t let the kids down…Beat, Beat, Beat…So, the advice nurse said I need to come in…Crap…Beat, Beat, Beat…What if I’m having a stroke…Or a heart attack…Beat, Beat, Beat…Blood Test…Chest X-Ray…EKG…Beat, Beat, Beat…Doc says, no phone call is good news…Ring, Ring, Ring…Crap, there goes the phone….Beat…Beat…Beat…Pneumonia, huh…Seriously…Pneumonia can do that...Beat…Beat…Beat…Hmmm, not at all like the last time…Good to know…Antibiotics do your thing…Mama’s got some shows to do…Beat…Beat…Beat…Come on…Beeeeeeaaaat, Beeeeeeaaaat, Beeeeeeaaaat…Ah much better…

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jack Reacher Part II

So I heard back from lots of Reacher fans regarding the casting of Tom Cruise for the upcoming movie. And Twitter is all a buzz, or a twit, over the news.

I also found that fans weren’t just upset over the casting of Tom Cruise for this movie, but the whole idea of Tom in any movie is distasteful to them. And here I thought it was just me.

Other suggestions for Jack are:

Liam Neeson: Yes, yes and yes. He was quite “Reacherly” in TAKEN.






Hugh Jackman: Wouldn’t be my choice, but…







Jeffrey Dean Morgan: Oh my yes.








It’s funny how I can get so smitten over a fictional character. But, he’s a bad boy; wounded, dark and mysterious.  AND, emotionally unavailable. Just my type.

Question: Any more suggestions for our beloved Jack Reacher?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving. Or to be more exact, today was Thanksgiving. I was in charge of all things potato: mashed and sweet. And when I say sweet, I mean sweet. Every ingredient I put in nullified any nutritional value in the sweet potato. I was going to go the healthy route but my niece requested my casserole with the mashed up sweet potatoes mixed with sugar, brown sugar, butter and other fattening things with a mixture of brown sugar and walnut yumminess on top.

I began the day with brunch at my place with a few friends. Stuffed Baked French Toast topped the menu. It was a fun way to begin the day. When I got home from dinner with my family this evening I felt like I had either been cooking, eating or washing dishes all day. But that’s okay. I enjoyed every minute.

My oldest sister Robin, the family historian, likes to make cards and scrapbook. She greeted everyone with a nice Thanksgiving card and poem. My other sister, Chrystal, you know the one who left me stranded with pancreatitis :), likes to play games. She had everyone write down a few things they were thankful for and then we had to guess who wrote them.

Most of the thankful notes mentioned family and friends. One said chocolate. And no, that one wasn’t me. I said I was thankful for my family, friends, that I had a job and a place to live.

This has been a very difficult past six months for me, but I am not complaining. God is good and I am grateful. Very grateful. Forever grateful.

Hope you had a wonderfully thankful Thanksgiving.

Question: How did you spend your Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jack Reacher

 

I am interrupting time with my boyfriend to write this post. Well, he’s actually not my boyfriend, nor is he even real. He is a character in the book I’m reading.

His name is Jack. Jack Reacher. Lee Child, the author, has created a character loved by both men and women. Men want to be him and women want, well, they want him. All 6 foot 5, 220 pounds of him.

Several of my female friends are also fans of Jack. But they’re married so they know he’s mine. Recently, one of these friends gave me an article about the series. It said the series has been so successful they are making a movie of one of the books. I was excited to read on and see who would play Jack in the movie. I had conjured up such a wonderful image in my mind I knew they would have to come up with a new, unknown actor to play him because no current actor that I knew of would fit the bill.

The closest I could come to would be to combine Harrison Ford, who I love, love, love and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Harrison’s face and Dwayne’s body would be the perfect Jack Reacher, in my humble opinion.

But sadly, they went for a big name, obviously to sell tickets to people who haven’t even read one of the books, without thinking of us true Reacher fans. I can’t even bring myself to write the actor’s name. It’s, it’s…wait for it…Tom Cruise.

Now, I loved Top Gun, and he had me at hello in Jerry McGuire, but ever since he thought it was appropriate to turn the Peter Graves character in Mission Impossible into a bad guy I have found it difficult to go to any of his movies. Granted the recent one with Cameron Diaz, Knight and Day (“With me, without me, with me, without me"), was an exception, but not much other than that.

I don’t even hold the Oprah couch jumping incident against him. It’s just that, well, he’s short. Short is not bad, it’s just not tall. And Jack, my Jack, is 6’5”. I’m sorry, but if I know the actor in my movie is standing on a bench to appear taller, then he shouldn’t have been cast. And Tom, you should not have been cast.

I guess I shouldn’t get too worked up about it. Lee Child isn’t concerned that his lead is a foot shorter than the character. He said in the article all the fans of the books still have their own image of Jack. So, I guess I will keep the image to myself and not go to the movie.

See you Thursday. Gotta get back to my boyfriend.

Question: Do you think I will cave and go see the movie anyway?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

From Here to Maternity

I have been to the maternity ward of many a hospital visiting friends and their newborns. I have also been blessed to see a friend’s child actually come into this world while in a maternity ward. But never in my unmarried, childless life have I ever been a patient in a maternity ward. That is until now.

Monday I told you about my ER visit last August. Well, when Nurse Sheryl found out the next day that I had not been admitted to have my gall bladder removed she was appalled. She said, “But you threw up in front of EVERYONE; the triage nurse, the nurses back in ER, the doctor, EVERYONE! She assured me at HER hospital they would have done surgery that night.

Instead, my lovely insurance plan hooked me up with a surgeon that was booked out until mid-October. So, for the following two months, I was very careful (for the most part) about what I ate. I had a few smaller attacks during the wait but they just suggested more Vicodin. It never helped and just made me nauseous. It made me wonder how folks get addicted to that drug. I was hoping for at least a little buzz or something! But nothing.

Back in the ER, five days shy of the scheduled surgery, I did my duty and threw up in front of EVERYONE again. Sheryl would have been so proud. This time I was admitted. I got to my room around 4:00 a.m. and was sleepy as well as in a pain med fog, but I was really impressed. My private room was huge and had a bed for my friend to sleep in. I felt so fortunate to be in a five star hospital. It was only later that I found out I was actually in the maternity ward because there was no room at the inn for me down in the regular surgical ward.

The only thing worse about the teasing I received from being in the maternity ward was that it was right next door to the psych ward. I was either scandalizing the church by getting myself knocked up or finding my rightful home among the rest of my crazy peers.

I always thought if I was in tremendous pain while in a maternity ward I would at least get to come home with a baby. But instead, I was the proud mommy of a gallbladder. I was also the proud mommy of a very angry pancreas that kept the surgery at bay for a few days. (A nasty gall stone got loose and lodged itself in the duct leading to my pancreas. That’s not a good thing!)

People always say that hospital stays are very annoying. I did not find that to be the case. I LOVED my nurses, CNA’s and even my phlebotomists. They say you can never get any sleep while you’re in the hospital because they are always coming in and checking your vitals, etc. I didn’t mind. And the bed was soooo comfortable.

When I got back home I thought to myself, “Where is the button that makes my bed go up and down? This bed sucks!” I also missed my nurses. “It is two o’clock in the morning and I have absolutely no idea what my blood pressure is. And can anyone tell me what my oxygen level is please?” I missed being fussed over.

So I was pampered for five days in my first hospital stay. I eventually made it down to the regular wing, but I will always remember my stay in maternity!

Question: Have you ever stayed in the hospital? Was your experience pleasant? (Other than the whole pain or illness reason for being there in the first place.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Sister in Need is a Sister in Deed

This past August 8, a Monday evening, at approximately 7 pm, aliens invaded my body, lit a campfire and shot each other with darts causing me the worst pain and nausea I have ever experienced.  Having grown up with a sensitive stomach I’ve spent many an hour vomiting after consuming rich or high fat foods.  Since I am not Jerry from Seinfeld or Ted from How I Met Your Mother I have no proud record of how long it has been since the last time I vomited.  It has happened all too often during my lifetime.

But as I was puking up my toes for the 3rd time that evening, I said to myself, “Something is worse this time, but how handy it is that my sister lives just upstairs.  I shall give her a call and have her drive me to the emergency room.”

So I called.  And called.  And called again.  Her car was in the driveway so I assumed she was home.  I went to her front door and rang the bell.  And rang.  And rang again.  And cried.  And through up some more.

Then I remembered she was attending the Bible Study next door.  So I went, shaking and sweating with puke bowl in hand, and knocked and opened the door.  “I need Chrystal,” I sobbed.  “She’s not here tonight.  What’s wro…?”  But before their final words were spoken I was headed back to her front door for one last try.  Ring, ring, ring.  Still nothing.

Sheryl a nurse friend of mine lives nearby and I gave her a call.  She arrived in no time and I was on my way to the hospital.  Yea Sheryl.

They took me right in and gave me some morphine.  Hmm…Strange sensation intravenous drugs.  You can actually feel it ooze through your body with an, “I can see why people do this recreationally,” thought or two as it does.  Alas, this first dose helped only slightly, but enough for me to lie still.  I had to wait before they could give me more.  After a couple of hours, I suggested Sheryl call another friend, Linda, to tag team with her.  Linda didn’t have to work the next day and I wanted Sheryl to get some rest.  Linda arrived and Sheryl went home.  But not before reminding the nursing staff I needed my fluids bag replaced and that it was time for my next round of morphine.  It’s great to have a nurse for a friend.

Being in a pain meds haze I can’t remember exactly when Chrystal texted but I do remember the content.  It went something like this:  “Hey, what ya doin’.  I’m in the backyard on the trampoline.  It’s a beautiful night.  Come out and enjoy it with me.”  I handed the phone to Sheryl, or was it Linda at that point, don’t know.  Whoever it was called her and told her where I was. 

Turns out Chrystal had been upstairs in her bedroom the entire time, with the air conditioner on causing her not to hear the phone or doorbell. 

I will have to share the ins and outs of the reasons why they didn’t take my gallbladder out that night and why I had to wait two months for the surgery in Thursday’s post.  But fast forward from August 8 to October 14…

Around midnight the Friday night before my scheduled surgery on the following Tuesday, the aliens were back and I wound up on the bathroom floor again.  This time it was much worse and I felt pain in the same place as well as just to the left and in my back.  So, once again, I called my sister upstairs; no answer.  She was obviously sleeping with her phone off.  I had texted her a few hours earlier telling her I wasn’t feeling well and received no answer then as well.  So, wasting no time, I called my friend Dawn, waking her up, and cried, “Make them TAKE IT OUT!!!”  She couldn’t quite tell what I was saying because I was crying so badly, but she assumed what was happening and made it to my house. 

Waiting for Dawn to arrive, I christened my sister’s front yard. 

I shall share the details of my health issues and hospital stay in Thursdays post as well. Fast forward to my first day back at work two weeks later…

“And thank you, Lord,” prayed my principal Mr. Whittlesey, “that Dana is blessed to have her sister living just upstairs to help her out in times like these.”  Seriously?  Of course, after the Amen I had to share the real story.

Chrystal really is a great sister and feels guilty she didn’t know I needed help, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to tease her about this.
Question:  Are you a “Jerry” or “Ted” and have a non-vomit record going?  Or are you more like me?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Basement Dweller Thanks

I started thinking about my house the other night.  I was missing it but decided I couldn’t let my mind wander east 7 miles.  So I stopped and decided to count my blessings and think on all the good things of where I am now.  Being a basement dweller is working out fine.  Now do I step out and say it is working out fine “for now” or just keep saying it is working out fine.  Because it is.  But I do miss my house.

I am happy here.  There is far less to clean here than in my house.  Actually, there is just as much cat hair to clean up it is just in a more concentrated area. 

Also, my sister lives just upstairs.  You would think that would be handy but will come to find out differently in a future post.

Living within walking distance of where I work has saved me money on gas.  And when I recently had a flat tire I didn’t have to rush to get it fixed.  Funny thing, nobody mentioned to me it was looking low…

I met my renters the other day.  I have a property management company that handles most things but the renters wanted me to come out and discuss the yard.  I was happy to do so.  I was especially happy to do so when they said they liked doing yard work and just wanted my okay with what they were doing.

They had painted my bright “hello I’m yellow” guest room to a softer, more easier on the eyes sage green.  Much, much better.  That yellow was a bit harsh no matter how hard I tried to soften it.

They have a beautiful dog.  Can’t remember what kind, but just picture a sweet checkerboardy looking hound dog that would love chasing squirrels and the like through a field.  Unfortunately he just has my bark dust 10x 20 ish side yard to romp.  I think even Mary and Martha would like him.

I know God provided this apartment for me at just the right time.  It was available a year ago but I wasn’t quite ready.  If I had moved in then I think I would have grieved not being in my house instead of just missing it from time to time.

So for now, or longer, I am content, and thankful, to be a basement dweller.  God’s timing is best.

Question:  Are you content and thankful?

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Hot Single Turns 40

I am back at my blogging post after a brief hospital stay and recovery.  Thanks for being patient and mentioning that you missed me!

Me and Amy at her 40th Birthday
Camping Trip.

Amid fits of laughter my intensely beautiful and surprisingly funny friend waves her arm across the air like a banner and announces, “Aaaaaamy’s Fuuun and Faaaabulous Fortieth Frieeeends and Faaamily Festiiiivitiiies!!!!!”   Whee!  It became our mantra for the past few weeks looking forward to the camping trip celebrating Amy saying goodbye to her thirties. 

I say “intensely beautiful” because the men in Italy could not get enough of her.  She was even kissed by our very first waiter in Rome.  I was watching him throughout our meal and suspected he felt a little hubba hubba for our Amy.  My suspicions were confirmed when he wanted to personally escort her to the restroom, which upon her return is when he planted a juicy one on her cheek.  She was also hit on by a leather store owner as well as eyed up and down by any male with a heartbeat as she passed by. 

And she’s “surprisingly funny” because of the stereotype that beautiful women aren’t funny.  Well she is.  Funny in a sneaky, hee hee, sort of way.

Amy is a kindred spirit to me.  We both made it to 40 by “never finding a man who could stand to be as deliriously happy as we would make him.”  We are the special kind of SingleMinded people that know, though being married would be a wonderful thing, we don’t have to wait for a walk down the aisle for life to happen.

I watched her with the children of her friends attending the, “Aaaaaamy’s Fuuun and Faaaabulous Fortieth Frieeeends and Faaamily Festiiiivitiiies,” and knew she was making an impact on young lives.  I saw the respect and admiration of the husbands in attendance knowing she had built in handymen, heavy-thing-lifters and advice-givers when needed.

I also know she has a lover of her soul that fills the gap.

Being singleminded, when done well, can be Faaabulous when you have great Frieeeends and Faaamily for Fuuun Festiiivitiiiies!

Question:  Do you have an Amy in your life?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'm a Sicko

Hello Dear Blog World Friends,

Sorry I haven't posted anything for a bit.  And between having no internet at home and not being able to go to work because of a silly internal organ that is misbehaving, I won't post again until early November.

I look forward to having my life back to normal.  Normal??

With Love From Your SingleMinded Friend,
Dana

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Are you listening...


This video has been making the rounds on face book and emails lately, and for good reason.  Our God truly is amazing. 

My theme verse for my music classes this fall has been Psalm 19:1, “The Heavens declare the Glory of God.”  We discussed what that means and what it would look like.  The 3rd graders came up with this:  A Tree brings God glory just by being himself; being what God made him to be.  I thought that was pretty good. 

Then this video crossed my computer screen from several different people this week and I couldn’t wait to show it to my students.  I heard whispers of, “Wow, that is so cool,” and, “How Beautiful.”  I had to agree.

Enjoy.  Oh, and be what God made you to be.

Question:  Did you see that black and white stripy fish thing?  Wasn’t that awesome?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Lesson From My Teacher

Mrs. Sloan read IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE to our little cherubs the other day.  I love that book.  And obviously the publisher loved the popularity of the book as well, hence the additions of IF YOU GIVE A PIG A PANCAKE and IF YOU GIVE A MOOSE A MUFFIN.  I think the sequels are rather redundant and not quite up to par with the original so, for this blog’s purposes, I’ll stick with the little mouse guy.

If you’re not familiar with this classic allow me to lay it out for you.  The scene opens with a little girl giving a mouse a cookie which leads to him needing a glass of milk.  That plot line alone should tell you you’re in for an action packed thriller.  Anyway, one thing leads to another until finally, after an art project and a nap, the little guy is ready for another glass of milk.  And chances are, if you give him a glass of milk, he’s going to want a cookie to go with it.

I’ve adopted this methodology in my own life.  You see:
When I make my bed every day I notice the rest of my house (life) looks better too.  When I come home from work and my bed is made I hang up my clothes instead of just plopping them on the chair.  That makes my room all nice and tidy.  So if my room is organized I wash the dishes after dinner instead of just leaving them in the sink.  And if my kitchen is all sparkly fresh I want the bathroom to shine as well.  It’s kind of like an IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE style of housecleaning.

So see, everything you need to know you DO learn in Kindergarten (or Pre-K).

The idea of making my bed every day came from Dr. June Breninger.  Dr. June passed away this month.  She was a great teacher and example of Godly living to me and all the thousands of people who crossed her path. She will be greatly missed.

Question:  What are some simple life lessons you have learned along the way?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jesus in my Classroom

Our first grade teacher came into the Pre-K room this morning and gave me and Mrs. Sloan this picture.

I looked at it for a few seconds, hoping Jesus had been a good boy in class yesterday and that He hadn’t received a time out from me or anything like that.  It wouldn’t bode well for me to have sat our Savior in the corner.

Even though my first thought of this picture was that it was a wee bit corny, mid-way through our coloring of the letter “B” (B, B, B, B is for bear) I noticed Jesus sitting in one of the tiny, little yellow chairs.  I felt the need to apologize to him for hurrying the child sitting at His table.  “Sorry, Jesus,” I said.  And I wasn’t being silly.  I was serious. 

I kept seeing Him all morning long.  He sat in another little yellow chair next to me while I was painting with the kids.  He laughed at me as I sat squished into one of those blasted chairs (that seem to be getting lower and lower every year) as I tried keeping the paint schmutz off of me.  Even though I have a really cool apron now I still get Pre-K schmutz on me.  He reminded me they were having a great time creating, learning and experiencing yellow, brown and orange (three colors that did not match my outfit) and to lighten up already. 

I’m going to keep a copy of that picture with me in the classroom and picture Him sitting in the front row.  Not as that “All Seeing Eye Watching You,” but as a gentle reminder of how much He loves these little ones under my care.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Sing Off

Okay, this whole not having a TV thing just got really tough:  The Sing Off premieres tonight.  I LOVED, and may I say LOVED again, that show last fall.  It is A Cappella singing at its best.  And may I also say, Street Corner Symphony was robbed, I say ROBBED, of the prize last season.  Well, Committed, the winners, were fabulous as well, but I loved me my Street Corner Symphony I did.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, and what in the world A Cappella singing is, tune in to NBC tonight at 8:00. 

And if anyone with a TV, preferably one of those big flat screen HD ones, wants to invite me over to watch that would be great.  I promise to keep my critiques to myself.  Well, I promise to TRY to keep my critiques to myself.  I am a music teacher and former A Cappella CofC girl after all.

Question:  Gonna watch, are ya huh???

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who is in Your Flock?

John 10: 1-5   “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

My other “hat” at school this year, in addition to my music teaching gig, is being an aide in the a.m. Pre-Kindergarten class.  Now, having been a teacher for many years I can honestly say that 4 year -old children are my least favorite age to teach.  My favorite would be 3rd or 4th graders.  They are old enough to know how to do things but young enough to not give you attitude because they know how to do things.

Students in Pre-K can hardly walk without falling over let alone walk in a straight line down the hall without crashing in to at least 5 or 6 other children in the process.  I keep telling the head teacher, Mrs. Sloan, it’s a good thing they are cute because if one more of them makes a break from the middle to the head of the line I’m gonna freak-out. 

We have two preciously adorable Asian girls in our class.  One speaks virtually no English and the other has enough vocabulary to get by.  She knows things like, “No.”  She is really good with that word.  Their mothers are the epitome of Asian beauty: flawless complexion and petite little bodies.  I hate them.  They are very soft spoken and watching their little daughters you would think they would be as well.  But, not to stereotype, there has got to be an elderly grandmother living with them.  The little girls will be working quietly, then turn their head towards us and holler out, full force, “TEACHA.  TEACHA.”  “My name is Miss Dana, may I help you with something.”   “TEACHA.  TEACHA.”  “Yes, we’ve established I’m your teacher, Miss Dana, what do you need?”  “TEACHA.  TEACHA.”  This goes on all morning.

On the fourth day of school we discovered one little boy REALLY wants to finish his projects.  It doesn’t matter if it is time to clean up or not, he REALLY, REALLY wants to finish what he was doing.  Or, as he very emphatically told me, over and over, “I.  Want. To.  Fini.  Shit.”  It was all I could do to keep from using my own expletives back at him, but since I’m a professional I refrained.  Not to mention it is a Christian school.

Another little girl was saying good-bye to her friend at pick up time but her friend didn’t see her open-hug-expectant-arms.  Her bottom lip began to quiver at the over-sight so I ran over and offered her a hug.  She looked up at me and smiled and I asked her if she knew my name.  “It’s Mrs. Sloan.”  I said, “No that’s the other teacher.  I’m Miss Dana.”  Her mom laughed and said her daughter had told her that her two teachers were Mrs. Sloan and Mrs. Slawn.  She was glad to clear up the confusion.

Well, my students may not know my name but they do know my voice.  The gospel of John says:  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. I keep that verse in my head every morning.  When they look back at their Pre-K experience, I don’t care if they remember my name, but I do hope they remember my voice.  A voice that spoke kind words of love over them daily.  A voice that encouraged them to keep trying and do their best even if the task is difficult.  I want them to remember someone who thought they were the greatest kid ever even in the midst of being corrected.

Isaiah 40 says:   Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Not one of them is missing.  I may not have children of my own, but God has entrusted me with these 16 kids this year.  Mrs. Sloan and Miss Dana will treat His creations with care…even if it kills us!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Call 911

I don’t know how the emergency system of calling 911 came about or who created it, but it is a pretty cool system.  Call that number and police, fire trucks or an ambulance will come blaring down the street to your rescue.  With nifty tracking systems they can find your location even if you can’t speak to give your address or tell them what’s wrong.

Yesterday at church, on the 10th anniversary of September 11th, our pastor shared another way of calling 911.

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Cool.

Sometimes I choose to dwell in that shelter and sometimes I don’t.  It makes more sense to rest there though.  I know that.  But even when I’ve wondered off alone and don’t know where I am, I can call out His name like a 911 call.  He knows where I am even if I can’t speak or tell Him what is wrong.  He knows.

Prayers to our nation and to all who lost loved ones on 911.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Racing to Save Lives

Luci Smith
I have a fabulous friend.  Her name is the name I would have given a daughter if I had been blessed with one.  That name is Luci.  Luci Smith to be exact.  Here's a little something about Luci.

I'm training to participate in the Nike Women's Marathon as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. I am completing this event in honor of all individuals who are battling blood cancers. These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure.

For more information and to help, check out Luci's website.
Luci and her 2011 6th Place
Portland to Coast Team
Toe-Jammin'

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ooopsie!

Last Thursday night, after decorating our van for the Portland to Coast Relay, I plopped down in my favorite chair only to jump back up a minute later remembering I hadn't posted anything in my blog that day.  It was Thursday, how could I forget?!?!  But I did.  And here it is Monday and I'm writing a lame post about how I forgot last Thursday.  Does being gone all weekend at PTC count?  Does Teacher In-Service starting today count?  Does that fact that I'm too tired to think of anything fabulous to write about count?  Probably not, but I'm going to fall back on one of those excuses anyway.

XO

Question:  Crap, I can't even think of a question.  You make one up...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

Sad news everyone:  Ames and Jackie broke up!  And they didn’t even last long enough to enjoy watching “their episode.”  You know the one where he waved goodbye at a chance of $250,000 and went chasing after her limo. 

Bummer.  Didn’t see that one coming.  Jake and Vienna most definitely.  Brad and Emily, sort of figured they’d fizzle.  But Ames and Jackie, nope, didn’t see that one coming. 

Poor Jackie.  I say poor Jackie because the speculation is that he broke up with her.  But really it is poor Ames cuz Jackie was a keeper!

Question:  Did you think they would last?  Do you even care…J  Do you think I should just let it go and stop watching such drivel? 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Love or Money

I want to share something very romantic I saw this week, but in doing so I have to confess my obsession with trashy reality TV.  I did get rid of my TV recently but didn’t get rid of my friends that still own them.  So Monday night I went over to one of those friend’s houses and watched Bachelor Pad with two other single female friends.  Midway through we realized this was going to be two hours of our life we would never get back but were glued to the ridiculous behavior anyway.

The Bachelor Pad cast is basically made up of rejects from previous The Bachelor and The Bachelorette seasons.  I wasn’t going to get caught up in it but I just couldn’t resist the previews of Jake and Vienna going at each other.  I watch these shows and pretend they are chick flick movies instead of real people living out the intimate details of their love story in front of a national audience--which includes their parents!

The final minutes of last Monday’s Bachelor Pad episode shows a sweet, lovable, albeit a “deer in the headlights” kind of guy, Ames, choosing love over money.  Jackie, a girl he was falling for on the show, got voted off.  While walking back to the cast after kissing her goodbye, he suddenly stops, waves goodbye to everyone and takes off running after her limo.  He jumps in, like her knight in shining armor, and shows her that she is more important than the chance of winning $250,000.

I threw my hands up in the air and screamed, “Yea Ames.  Go Jackie.”  It was close to the feeling I get watching Richard Gere, decked out in his dress whites, marching into the factory to carry off Debra Winger at the end of An Officer and a Gentleman.  “Way to go, Paula.”

I have had some grand romantic gestures in my day but it has been a while.  So I shall live vicariously through Ames and Jackie, closely watching their relationship blossom by google-ing them from time to time.

Please don’t think less of me.  I also read.

Question:  Is trashy reality TV one of your guilty pleasures?

Monday, August 15, 2011

eHarmony Video Bio response to Debbie's "Cat Girl" Bio



Here is a clever response to Debbie's eHarmony melltdown.  I like his dry sense of humor...and the fact that he likes cats.  AND especially the fact that he knows he is too old for Debbie.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tired Tires

We’ve all heard the Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars analogy, as well as my favorite, because it involves food, Men are Waffles and Women are Spaghetti.  And of course we all know a major difference between men and women is that men are more visual than women.

Never is that point driven home more for me than when it comes to tires.  I have never had a woman mention to me that the air in my right front tire is looking low.  Or ask when was the last time I had my tires rotated.  Women do comment on what I’m wearing or notice that I’ve recently had a haircut.  But not once has a women commented on the status of my tires.  No, I leave the tire maintenance reminders up to the men in my life.

One day last week my friend Eric told me I needed to have some air put in my right rear tire.  Then on Sunday he reminded me again.  He reminded me cuz I keep forgetting to do it (kind of like remembering to change my oil).  Then Tuesday night another friend mentioned it needed some attention.  Fortunately he had a tire pump, or did he call it a compressor, at his house so he did it for me.

Neither one of the wives of these men noticed that my tires were in need of attention.  Fortunately though for me their husbands did.  So all you wives out there listen up, cook your man a nice dinner, give him a big kiss and whatever else that may lead to and say thank you.  He may not do the dishes or take out the garbage without being asked but I bet you never have to remind him to put air in your tires.

Question:  Do you procrastinate with car maintenance?

Monday, August 8, 2011

These Are a Few of My Least Favorite Things

A couple of things happened at church today that reminded me of two of my least favorite things about being single.  One:  I feel like, just because I am talking to a single man, he may, or others may think I am hitting on him.  Two:  When a man recently becomes a widower I feel all eyes go to the single women at church to see if they are setting their sites.  Now granted, this could partly be in my insecure imagination.  Partly, but not completely.

Back in my twenties, being a nice friendly church going girl and following my mother’s lead in being welcoming to visitors, I went up to meet a young man who had placed membership at the service.  Well, after a few minutes he said, “I think I need to let you know I have a girlfriend.”  I had been involved with someone for over a year at the time, and was shocked he felt the need to explain his status to someone just being polite.  Besides, I was much taller than he was.

Another time, at the same congregation during my twenties, a friend of mine past away, leaving a husband and two young children.  I was speaking to him two weeks, TWO WEEKS, after her funeral, and a man from church came up to us and suggested we get together.  I was, we both were, flabbergasted, embarrassed and angry!

So today at church after walking over to say hello to two single male friends during the “shake-hands-howdy-do time” I looked over at a recent widower to see how he was faring during the service.  Then I thought, “Avert, avert, avert your eyes.”  I realized in the course of two minutes I had given ammunition for both areas of teasing.

I am not exaggerating with this.  I have sat by single male friends during church and had folks come up afterwards and say how happy they are for us. 

I will be 51 on Wednesday.  That is a lot of years of averting.

Question:   Have you been on the receiving end of the teasing?
Are you guilty of being the teaser?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bad Hair Day Encounter

Most days I put on all my make-up, not just lipstick, and care about what my hair looks like and what clothes I’m wearing.  Last Saturday was not one of those days.

I was driving over to clean my old house before the renters (pray for renters, please!) move in when I glanced up at the little plastic thingy in the upper left-hand corner of the windshield you get when you change your oil only to notice that, once again, I was waaaaay over due for an oil change.  Every time I make that visit and get a lecture from the oil changing dude about how important it is to change your oil in a timely manner, I promise myself I will be on time with the next one.  But alas.

So I decided to stop in and get ‘er done before I headed over to the house.  I decided this knowing I was dressed to clean and not to impress. 

In the waiting room I busied myself perusing the most recent RV magazine.  After a few minutes in walked a very cute, and may I say very again, cute guy.  I could have been his mother, or at least his mother’s younger sister, which would make me his aunt, so however you looked at it he was just wrong for me.  But still!  He was very cute.

At that moment I thought, “How silly, I’m looking at someone young enough to be my nephew and am upset that I’m in sweats, no make-up and my hair is in a greasy ponytail.”  Did it really matter?  Really?

We began to chat, and it wasn’t aunt and nephew type banter but actually a little flirty.  He laughed when I told him I bought my Jetta for the pretty dashboard lights; most men laugh at that actually.  He used to have a Jetta but now drives a Ford.  He doesn’t like it as well cuz it’s a gas guzzler.  He also had really nice eyes and a shaved head.  I like a nice shaved head.  I also like heads with hair.  I’m really not picky.

After 15 minutes of oil changing waiting room fun it was time for me to pay and leave.  He didn’t ask for my number or if he could friend me on facebook.  I didn’t expect him to but it was still a fun few minutes.

Question: 
Women:  Are you the type that never leaves the house without makeup? 
Guys:  Are you the type that wants your wife/girlfriend to always too fabulous?

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Lesson from Ruth

Sometimes I like to scandalize my mother.  Usually it’s with something innocent like this:  “I’d like the fish please, just for the halibut.”  She rolls her eyes and wonders where she went wrong.  Oh please, if that’s all she has to worry about with me!

My sister Chrystal and I joined her at the pool of her retirement mobile home park today.  We pretended we were like Cameron Diaz from the movie In Her Shoes, only, you know, older and fatter.  I read her a facebook post from Mila Polevia our Worship minister at church.  Thought some of you would enjoy it as well.  Hope you’re not scandalized…

ATTENTION SINGLE LADIES!
Quick Bible Lesson:
In the Bible, Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz. While waiting on your Boaz, don't settle for ANY of his relatives:
Brokeaz
Poaz
Lyinaz
Cheatinaz
Dumbaz
Cheapaz
Lazyaz
Or especially his 3rd cousin, Beatinyoaz.
Please wait on your Boaz & make sure he respect Yoaz!

Question:  Do you have an azes to add to the list?