Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 173, Sayonara Sunday

Home at last. Is there ever a feeling that compares to coming home? Of course, there are sweeter my wedding day or holding my babies....but there is a serene comfort and satisfaction in coming home when you've been gone. The familiar squeak of my La-Z-Boy, the pungent smell of my dog's horrendous breath, the restful breathing of my napping husband---his chair a twin to mine, and the tumble of clothes drying in the dryer,,,,combine to create the feeling of satisfaction that this is where I belong. This is home.

Tonight we watched the movie, "Bright Star," the story of the poet, John Keats. If you enjoy period pieces, sensual, yet clean, romances, artistic scenery, and superior acting, then this movie is for you. Knowing it was based on actual events from his life, made it even better. What a powerfully romantic poet! And what a tragedy that he died never knowing how truly gifted he was, or how popular his writings would become. I wonder, does he know now? Has he viewed us from Heaven and seen his life immortalized through his poems? I would like to hope so.

RAK? I don't believe I shall take credit for any acts of kindness today----anything nice that I did is negated by the confrontation I had with a very rude woman while standing in line to get a waffle. She was rude and obnoxious, and rather than ignore her and be the peacemaker....I sort of provoked her...and I found pleasure in that provocation. I know, I know.... and on Sunday of all days! Could there be a worse way to break the Sabbath? Aghrrr! Maybe it's because I had too much caffeine the day before...could that be it? A very scary part of me wanted her to get in my face and start something.....just so I could ice her down. How mean it that? I surprised myself. And all that over a waffle? Surely not! I blame my husband, of course. Don't ask me why.... I figure as long as I'm being mean spirited....I'll take him down with me ;) "For better or worse," right honey?

Okay... There's a story behind that RAM (random act of meanness,) and when I have more energy, I'll tell you about it..... but knowing me, I'll forget. After all, who likes to parade their character flaws? Ah Sigh!

"Dear Lord, please bless the Pigmies down in......." Where do Pigmies live, anyway?

Hey, guess what? No news from the publisher. I'm shocked! Yet I continue to press forward, undaunted by rejections and silent treatment. I know the day will come. Meanwhile.... I just keep polishing my manuscript.... Every time I do, I know I am one step closer to publication. I feel it in my bones. This current edit, has really made me see my growth as a writer. I think I finally understand the finer skills of showing confidence in my readers and eliminating redundancies. I know the next draft will represent a far higher quality of writing than I have produced up till now....and that gives me a sense of pleasure and joy that, ironically, I cannot put into words. My confidence is building, so if this tortuous waiting does nothing more than increase my confidence in my ability, then it will be worth every bit of the torment. Growth is painful.

I know my book is almost ready. Almost. And when it gets "out there",,,, I will be proud of the end product.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 172, Slap Happy Saturday

Just when I thought the training couldn't get more intense....Enter Kathy DiRanna, President of WestEd....and leader of the free least it seems that way. Kathy's energy level puts any 2-year-old hyperactive child to shame. She is the most relentless, non-stop-on-the-go, freak-of-nature, holy energizer queen person I have ever met. That means she has a ton of energy,,,in case you couldn't ascertain that for yourself ;)
Tonight Kendall Zoller presented. We all received copies of his long-awaited book about non-verbals, and of course, I was first in line to have him sign my book. I'm such a little brown-noser.

RAK? I wrote a note to someone and helped Melissa take down chart stands. Nothing earth-shattering---but then that's what RAKs are about, right? It all seemed negated when I realized I .... once again.... hurt somebody's feelings after leading a simulation. This seems to be a pattern with me. This people stuff is tough.

Signing off for the night. .... Before I pass out face first into my computer.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 172, Fast and Furious Friday

Alliteration week is nearly over...I hope you have gained much from the experience...and that you feel happy, satisfied, and content,,,with your alliteration needs completely met for the year. In true Marzano form, I will have to revisit them periodically, to make sure they transfer to your long-term memory. Blah blah blah blah blah blah!

Today we explored meaningful ways to incorporate purposeful play into our science content objectives. It was a lot of fun, so time passed at lightning speed. Then we began our simulations....a journey on which none of the players were eager to embark. BUT, we sucked it up and threw the mud at the wall. Turned out to be a ton of hard work, but in the end we each received a personal debriefing with feedback that, in my case, was immediate, specific, and meaningful. Sue Wells would have been proud. Then tonight, we participated in another type of simulation, which was all hands on exploration and collaboration. Amazingly high concepts were explored, without the use of academic vocabulary. The cool thing was we were using the highest levels of thinking, without using high level of vocabulary, so the learning concepts became the focus, rather than memorizing terms. It was a cool activity, and again, the time flew. Before we knew it, 12 hours of training had passed.

I wish all professional development in our school district was as meaningful and engaging. When I am queen of the world, I will make that one of my top priorities. Obadee Obadie. Wink. Wink.

RAK? Hmmmmm, in a round about way, I believe I can say yes. I tried to do little things such as bring my table drinks, clear tables of trash that wasn't mine, and put an arm around a depressed Debbie who desperately wishes for Mr. Right to show up soon. Ah, Sigh. Still though, with each little gesture, I find there is something in it for me, which makes me question whether it qualifies as an RAK. I've decided that even if there is something in it for me,,,,it is better to do the kind thing even if it's for the wrong reasons, than to overlook opportunities for kindness.
I have no idea what that last sentence says.... I know what I meant to say, but I think something got lost in the translation. I'm over it.

Tomorrow begins at 6am! So this little kitty is going to bed. Seeings that I keep drifting to la la land, I won't attempt to end with some profound and thoughtprovoking quote or comment. I'll just say "Good night."

No really. Good night. That's all there is. All she wrote. Kapeesh. Over and out. Finished. Fine. Turn out the lights....the party's over. All good things must end. Hasta Luego..... Game Over. Please insert coin.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 171, Therapeutic Thursday

Greetings from the Long Beach Marriott ;) Never let Donna drive or use hand held electronic devices...particularly if she is giving you directions. You'd be better to stick your wet finger out the window and decide which way the wind is blowing, and go the opposite way. Trust me, you'd get there quicker. But alas, we finally arrived ...thanks to the belabored and reluctant of our friendly neighborhood Long Beach Police Department. This is one of those "don't ask, don't tell" things. snicker snicker.

Planet "M" -- Today I was the principal again....look out GMS! Actually, I enjoy having the opportunity to sit down and really talk to kids who have gotten in trouble. Not that I have some morbid, cruel since of humor (okay...maybe I do, but not about this,) I really feel like I have an opportunity to actually discuss options for appropriate behavior when things aren't going their way. I know... it sounds hokey and cliche'..... but I feel a different type of connection to the students I see in my role as administrator than I do in my role as teacher.

And now!!!! It is time for a big HIGH 5 :) I went to spin class tonight and actually made it through the entire workout without feeling like my eyes would bulge out of their sockets, or my heart would stop beating, or my legs would crumble beneath me. Yah yah... I'm still slower than anyone in the room....and my form sucks... but I made it through and walked like a normal person out of the class. THEN,,, I continued my workout with a set of upper body strength training. Yeah me ;) See? I'm not that pathetic after all.

RAK??? Um,,,,, scratch that last sentence about being pathetic. I think the nicest thing I did today was make sure I emptied our assistant principal's "in basket" full of referrals. I don't think that counts because...let's face it... there is obviously something in that for me. Duh. BUT,,, I did tear up one student's referral because I thought it was absolutely ridiculous. I mean really,,, come on people.... try talking to the kid before you write the referral. You'd be surprised. Anyway, as usual, my RAKs fall into the "Needs Remediation" category....Oh well. Tomorrow is another day. I'll try to do better. ... What really sucks is that now everytime I think of doing an RAK, I realize that the underlying motive is so I can report on my blog that I did one..... so there you go..... it doesn't count. I have to admit though....on those rare (very rare) occasions when I actually DO perform an RAK with no strings attached, I feel so good on the inside. So, in a sense, I end up getting something out of it. I won't discount those.....far and few between as they are.....because the initial motive was pure. Someday, I hope that performing RAKs will be so routine for me that I forget about them. That's when I will truly be able to make the claim that I AM a nice person....The irony is, I will have forgotten  the RAKs, so I won't know I'm being nice, naturally.

Okay, I just re-read that last paragraph novel,,,, and it made my head hurt. Too bad. I'm too tired to fix it.
Dang it... that wasn't a very nice thing to say, was it? I'm such an RAK loser!

I'll conclude tonight with a message to my honey.... Three nights with me away from home....Don't get used to it! And don't think I don't have eyes hidden everywhere you go..... I'm watching you..... I'm ALWAYS watching you....It's like I'm right there.....watching you ;)

I'll miss you tonight. Love you ;)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 170, Whiney Wednesday

You guessed it... It's alliteration week. What can I tell you, I'm a LA teacher. Lots of whining today (and if I spelled that wrong.....don't hold it against me. I don't consider spelling an essential standard ;) wink wink. My biggest whine today is that I sucked it up and contracted for the mobile internet....locked into a 2-year contract. Yeah, I know it's ridiculous...I have wireless at home, and internet at why do I need this mobile piece? Because when I travel (which, let's face it, is not often,) I always have to purchase the hotel's internet for $15 a day....and half the time, it doesn't work right. Then there is the fact that when I'm at work, I am connected to the district's server,,,and there are enough SPAM wall security systems in place, that they could effectively end illegal immigration. I want to access my e-mail during can do. I want to visit a particular can do. I want to go to I-tunes and download a song,,,,nope, can't do that either. Now let's be real.... how often do I do those things? Rarely. So why spend $60 a month .... a wopping $720 a year.... to save about $200 a year? It makes no sense. Obviously it's not about the money, it's about the convenience and the feeling that I can connect with the world from just about anywhere I am.... even on the road. Yeah yeah yeah....I could probably get the same thing with an I-phone or Blackberry, right? But I would still have to pay the fee.
It sounds like I'm trying to convince myself that I did not do something really S-T-UPID. Well, jury is out on that...I'll let you know in the coming weeks if it is worth it.

Meanwhile....thanks to the fact that it DID NOT take "only 15 minutes to install" promised by MATT, I am posting once again minutes away from midnight. Grrrrr. I spent an hour trying to install it on my own...then had to call for technical support (that is always fun,) and spent another hour with them. Hopefully, all is well in modem land from here on out.

RAK? You know,,, I'm sure I must have been  nice to somebody today....but I am too freakin tired to think about it. So let's just say I did......and let it ride, okay?

Planet M---It's all about virtual earthquake labs online this week. Kids are doing earthquake simulations and learning how to locate the epicenter using the triangulation method. Sounds like they are planning a series of murders, huh? For what it's worth, they are doing a great job. I am proud of them.

Stick a fork in me. I'm toast.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 169, Tuckered out Tuesday

Bedtime. Sweet, peaceful, bedtime. I love that feeling when I shut down my computer, take my vitamins, and trapse off to bed....satisfied that I've done I could do during my waking hours. and that is precisely what I was doing a few moments ago..... trapsing off to bed. Then I suddenly remembered that I had not posted my daily blog. Grrrr! Who's idea was this anyway? So, power up the puter....and put on happy face.... and here I am. Lucky you :)

I'll make this short..... (hahahaha....if you know me,,, you are laughing already.)

I went to spin class after work, and am quite sure I had a stroke on my cycle....At least, I think that's what it was. My heart pounded ferociously in my chest...thumping with such vigorous energy that I knew I could not be having a heart it must have been a stroke. a minute..... maybe it was that unmerciful beating I took from the instructor. She was MEAN....and just downright rude! Doesn't she know how old I am? Doesn't she know that I am pre-menopausal? Doesn't she GET IT???? I am not a 20-year-old who's legs can spin at the speed of BLUR! I am the comical one...the one that is there to make everyone else feel better about themselves. I love the pitiful words of condolence that I receive afterwards....people who want to encourage me by explaining that it takes about 3 months to get the hang of it. Pth~~~~!! Three months of this and I had BETTER get the hang of it.....I'd better get a hell of a lot more than the HANG OF IT....I better get ten pounds lighter with kick-butt legs----that's what I better get.

So much for making this short. Darn spin class.

RAK---I'm on a roll.... two days in a row. Go Mindy.....Go Mindy....Go Mindy :) And this one wasn't for a family it counts double, right? Okay... nevermind. I had to try.

Parting words----If you feel impressed to call someone...even someone that you don't know that well....CALL them! They need to hear from you. Do not ignore those quiet, sometimes inconvenient, promptings. Your call might very well be the nicest thing that happened to that person all day. MAKE THE CALL!

And now? I am ready for bed---for real this time.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 168, Mundane Monday

Just another typical Monday in the world of Mindy. I wonder where "Monday" got its name?
Nothing new to report today--no news from the publisher, no news from agents, no big contract, no surprise check in the mail--just PLC, students, and my chair. I can, however, claim an RAK....I have permission from Ron to claim this one. I brought him a bowl of cereal as a snack. Whooooo. Look out. Cereal girl!

The best part of my Mondays is hearing from Andrew. I love getting his weekly e-mail. It seems like he has been gone forever. Oh what I wouldn't give to travel back in time and spend a day with my little babies! Why do we have to get old before we truly appreciate our younger years?

Thanks to Doxepin, I can't keep my mind alert enough formulate a coherent thought,,,let along write it I'll just close here. Maybe tomorrow I'll have some news to report???

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 167, 198 to go

Look at me, nearly to the half-way mark! I'm hanging in there..... sometimes much to the chagrin of my many followers :) I say that with a very pointed tongue in my cheek. :)

Is it possible to get bed sores from sitting too long in my La-Z-Boy? I do so like my chair.

RAK--tonight I did the dishes so Ellen wouldn't have to. I think that qualifies....I've been examining my motives behind it, and I believe they may actually be satisfactory. Of course, it did open the door for me to ask favors of her tonight, so in that, my RAK was self-serving, but I don't think I took advantage of it, so that makes my gesture acceptable in my book.

Another weekend has passed.....This one ended with an episode of Jane Austen's "Emma." Yep, I'm a member of the Jane Austen fan club; I admit it. Whenever I read her books, it makes me yearn even more to be a published author. I love writing.

Maybe this week I will hear from that publisher.... And good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I will mail my manuscript to DAW Books. Why... Why... Why do I keep saying that I will, but then I don't? What in the world is there to lose? My pride? That happened after the rejections hit the high double digits. So what of it? I wish I could figure out what I am waiting for.... a miracle perhaps? Rick says "Send Moses down the Nile... and let someone else follow his path." I know there is a metaphor in there for me,,,,, question is, am I clever enough to figure it out? I believe he is trying to tell me to mail the frickin manuscript, and shut up about it. Yep, that sounds like Rick.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 166, R & R

I'm just a lazy louse today. I dragged my butt to the gym this morning; that was my big outing for the day. Okay, I did not drag my butt, RON dragged my butt to the gym. Good thing, I was already thinking of reasons why I shouldn't go. When will I get to the point that I enjoy working out? And when will I lose my sweet tooth? I need a workout ninja and diet nazi to whip me into proper shape! Hawaii is 5 1/2 months away...I gotta lot of work to do if I'm going to put on a swimsuit and stroll along the beaches of Maui.

Been editing my book---always an on-going project. I admit, it improves with each edit, but I am still am not satisfied with the first 10 pages.....and that isn't good. If I can't grab an agent or publisher's attention in the first few pages, they won't care how good the rest of the story is. On the other hand, I still fall in love with my characters every time I pick up the matter what page I turn to. Wish I could get moving on the sequel. I'm afraid the fact that I haven't written it might have turned off the publisher in Idaho. Sigh.

RAK? ??? ??? ??? A long, lingering silence hung thick in the air. ... ... ...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 165, Rainy Day Woman

It's Friday. It's raining. I missed spin class yesterday. I ate 19 pounds of sugar today. Bad girl. But hey, I didn't drink a coke :) lkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
(Ha ha... that was me dozing off at the computer. Oops :)

RAK? I shared my TAs with another teacher today. Trust me when I say that is a true  RAK. Ron says I'm working too hard at the whole RAK thing. .... But I'm not giving up until I routinely do something for others each day. Lofty goal.

Wish I had something new to say about my book. No news.
My mind is drifting...I better sign off before I write something totally dorkshire.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 164, Stormy Weather

"Thunderbolt and Lightning, very very frightening me!" Who says it never rains in Southern California? Today it poured, man it poured. We decided to leave the tiger kitties in the upstairs bathroom because the storm was so bad....and wow! What a mess they made! They tore the heck out of the carpet, shredded it... as if they were trying to dig under the door and escape. Escape from AlCATraz.....! Ha ha, I just kill myself sometimes!

I was not pleased with their behavior today! Bad kitties!

RAKs? I sort of did one today, but really, there was an ulterior motive, so I guess it doesn't qualify. I made a chocolate pie "for Ron..." Yeah, I didn't think you'd buy that one. Alright, I suppose I don't really have one for today. Shocking! That's just so unlike me! Wink wink.

No word from the publisher. Ah man! C'mon!! Please??? Please Mr. Publisher Man.... Please???

Begging doesn't become me.

Hey,,, guess what? Tomorrow's Friday :) Yeah.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 163, Proxy Post

Greetings from Cajon pass. This is a proxy post from Ellen because i am sitting on the Cajon pass in several inches of snow, not to mention "Fog as thick as pea soup". Aye! A night "Not fit for man or beast". So... guess who has been sitting in my chair... my LA-Z-BOY chair? Ill tell you who. Goldie locks thats who... Goldie locks who's name is Ellen. Ill probably find out when i come home that she has eaten all my almonds and peanut m&ms. And what's papa bear doing? More than likely dozing in his LA-Z-BOY chair.

RAK? Ya. That would explain why i am sitting on the Cajon pass at ten o'clock at night. This one counts as double so i am off the hook for tomorrow. Just kidding :).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 162, Half Way Through

Had to share my daily dose of Jane with you. She is such a doll. Hard to believe she'll be going through another surgery in a couple months. Girl's a trooper, for sure.

Guess what? We are half way through the school year. Ain't it a gas? I can officially begin looking forward to summer vacation now....but don't tell my students....wouldn't want them to think I didn't want to be there. Truth be known, I adore my classes this year. I've had a fantastic year so far.

Be proud of me. I did my 2nd spin class tonight. Yeah me. Did I mention that it is the hardest workout I've ever done? OMGOSH!!! It makes my knees buckle! Tonight I thought I was going to have a heart attack and keel over. I thought spin class was supposed to be fun!??? Well.... I just keep picturing Hawaii in July,,,,and thinking about wearing a swimsuit in public. YIKES! That's enough to keep me motivated. Still need to get a grip on my self control (or lack thereof...) Can't seem to say no to those almonds and peanut M&Ms. Okay, I confess... I had Del Taco for lunch today (with a coke...I'm such a loser!) I deserved every bit of torture that spin class could dish out. Bad girl!

Raechel started her new job today. Yippeeeee. My college graduate is officially a full-time employee in a job with benefits and paid vacations. Way to go! Bought my "Wanna Get Away?" plane tickets for her graduation and women's conference in April. Good times ahead :)

No word from the publisher. Aaahhhhghggggerrrrrrr!
I'm okay. Really. No, Truly.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 161, Rainy Days and Mondays

I love when we have a three-day weekend. There's nothing better than sleeping in on a Monday morning when the rest of the world is getting up early and beginning a new work week. That definitely sounded meaner than it should have.... but I can't take it back, because it's true. Does that make me a meany? Crud. Add "stop being mean" to my list of goals for 2010.
Ron and I went to see "It's Complicated" today with Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, and Alec Baldwin. It's that cover-your-eyes-and-search-for-the-floor kind of humor....the kind that makes you squirm in your seat because it hits a little too close to reality. We gave it a 7 out of 10 on the Morgan Movie Rater Scale. The best part of the show, running a close second to Alec Baldwin's priceless facial expressions, was John Travinski's role as Meryl Streep's son-in-law. In my opinion, he stole the show---tough to do with that cast.

You should be proud of me.... I did not have a coke today. An ice cold coke and hot buttered popcorn is just movie tradition as far as I'm concerned, so this is worthy of your applause. Instead, I smuggled in two Kudos bars, a diet Dr. Pepper, and a bottled water. Is that a bad thing? Hmm. Add "don't sneak food into the theatre" to my goals for 2010.

Later, we swam our way to the gym---you needed fins to get around today in the horrendous rains. Not complaining... we need rain desperately,,,but man we came home looking like two drowned rats. Then we had to face the wrath of Mick, who'd been left outside in the hurricane (that may sound like an exaggeration, but you didn't see the fit Mick threw when we got home. He was one ticked off dog!)  Sigh. Add "don't be mean to Mick" to my goals for 2010.

So I get brownie points in two areas today---I exercised and I did not drink a coke. Okay, I know, I'm sort of cheating because I had the diet Dr. Pepper.... got the caffeine fix.... but hey, baby steps, right? Now, if I would have laid off the peanut M&Ms after dinner, I could really celebrate ;) Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm pathetic. Snarl. Add "lay off the peanut M&Ms after dinner" to my goals for 2010. Grrrr.

Still no word from the publisher. Sigh. I believe. I believe. I believe. Add "be patient" to my list of goals for 2010.

RAK? Dang it. I can't think of one nice thing I did today for someone else. Why can't I get my act together on this RAK thing? Am I THAT selfish? I think I'm a nice person.....but there ain't a lot of fruit on the "RAK" tree. Maybe you don't have to perform RAKs in order to be a nice person. Sure. Sure... I'll stick to that story.

Wait a minute.... I smuggled that Kudos bar and bottled water into the movie for Ron. Hey hey!!! RAK!
Somehow, that RAK ranks right up there between "You can't be serious" and "You truly are pathetic."

Baby steps, remember?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 160, On Any Given Sunday

Today was a day for the unexpected. At Stake Conference, we were supposed to have a satellite broadcast from General Authorities in Salt Lake City. As the Stake President put it.... it was supposed to be a no-brainer. We do satellite broadcasts all the time. But come show-time, there was no picture, so they had to wing the whole program on the fly. Turns out, it was quite a conference; the Spirit was strong throughout the meeting. President Osborne called up several people to speak on the spot, and then he and his counselor delivered inspired messages. It was an uplifting experience to be sure. Where else on the planet could you ask adults to deliver a talk in front of a few thousand people...with absolutely no forethought or preparation....and end up with polished and inspired messages? That is proof that Revelation is alive and well in the Church. It is great to part of a living church.

In sports, you know, those big games I mentioned in yesterday's blog.... Dallas seemed to lay down and play dead...then boohoo'd about losing so badly. Then the San Diego Chargers gave it up to the NY Jets. Didn't see that coming...I don't think anybody did.

Our dogs even were part of the unexpected---I took them for a long walk today. Ron is usually the dog-walker, so when he puts on his shoes the dogs dance and holler. When I put on my walking shoes, the dogs ignore me. They didn't even dance when I showed them their leashes. They're so cute ;)

And here's something else "unexpected" --- I did an RAK today. It was a small one, but it felt good to know that there are some kind tendencies inside me. Hey, I'm trying. That counts for something, doesn't it?

Haven't heard from the Rejection Queen in a while....I'm dying to know how things went on her big date weekend.

Still no word from the publisher. Sadly, that wasn't unexpected. But I shall keep the faith and continue to look forward, believing in my heart that the best is yet to come. Jeffrey R. Holland said it. I believe it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 159, "First Date to Chosen Mate"

Yep. This weekend began the big ones....the football games that simply cannot be missed. While I normally enjoy watching these "big" games with Ron, today I took on the role of the Football Widow, and had ladies day (& night) out with the girls. We went and saw "Leap Year." The scenery alone made the movie worth watching....and I absolutely love when I can see a movie with no bad language and no violence. Naturally, there is the customary throw-up scene---can't seem to escape that in movies these days---but in spite of that, I enjoyed the experience. Slow-paced, predictable, and very cliche'....and still it was wonderfully warm and romantic. It left me asking myself the question..... "What would I do in my 60 seconds of decision?" Hmmm.

Whenever I watch a romance, I think back on my first kiss with Ron. ... a kiss that according to him (at the time,) made his knees buckle. And so I found the perfect quote tonight:

"~ The decision to kiss for the first time is the most crucial in any love story. It changes the relationship of two people much more strongly than even the final surrender; because this kiss already has within it that surrender." ~ Emil Ludwig

Don't you just love the first kiss in a movie? It's my favorite part..... The only thing better is experiencing it firsthand. Ahhhhh! Memories!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 158, She's Got the Friday Night Blues

I really don't have the blues....unless I think of all the unfinished "stuff" I have lurking around me. Laundry, clutter, old mail, clutter, grades, staff development, clutter, book, planning, clutter, parents who need attention, husband who deserves attention, kids who require attention, friends who want attention, colleagues who want my help, clutter, Relief Society duties, behind on my scripture schedule, clutter, need to be consistent with exercise, clutter, need to edit some more, need to write a new synopsis, need to write a new query, need to mail manuscript to DAW Books, need to, need to, need to, clutter, clutter, clutter! It's no wonder I blacked out on the road Monday night. It's all good stuff...all people I love...all hobbies I enjoy...all "stuff" that adds meaning and joy to my life. I rarely feel overburdened...rather, I most often feel fortunate to have such purpose fill my days, but somewhere in my body there's a switch---let's call it a ground fault switch---and that switch blew a fuse Monday. So  now, to add to the mix, I must contemplate a way to simplify and de-clutter. ...Isn't it ironic that in order to have less on my plate, I have to add something more to my plate? Anomoly.

I am looking forward to the 3-day weekend, and a chance to de-tox, relax, and unwind. What would happen if I unwound? Scary thought.

RAK? I worked on my grades until 7pm tonight....That's not an RAK, but how grateful I was to come home, not have to deal with the cats, and to have dinner hot, ready, and waiting for me. The RAKs go to my family....and to Kelly for bringing me lunch today so I could work on my grades. I would ask why other people are so kind to me, when I am not good at kind deeds,,,,but instead of asking why, I'll just keep trying to become a kinder person. I have a long way to go.

Planet "M"----Got the results of the district final back today, and for once I am pleased with the results. Good job kids! You rock :)

Did I mention Raechel got a full-time job WITH benefits AND paid vacation? :)

Did I mention I love my La-Z-Boy chair? Just checking.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 157, Oi squeak clang clunk

Tonight I took my first spin class. Can I just say, "OMG!" ??? That stuff is crazy. That is the hardest workout I have ever done! Truly. I am very curious to see if I can walk tomorrow after that butt-kicking.

This is going to be short....because I cannot keep my eyes open.

GUESS WHAT? I did an RAK tonight. I won't say what it was, but it was an honest RAK. I will say this-- hopefully, somewhere in Aguanga, there is a young mother with a grateful heart. I feel good about that.

Hmmmm. I wonder how the Rejection Queen is doing....I hope her big event is all she dreamed it would be.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 156, GOT MILK?

It's been a long day. I left my milk on the table this morning, so when I got to work and started to have my bowl of cereal, ... well let's just say that it was not a good way to start my day. Then, at lunch I realized I left  my water out, so it was no longer cold. Snuggled in the back of the refrigerator sat one lonely coke---remnant from before Christmas break---and yes, I caved. I drank a coke today. Bad girl!

Hey, still no word from that publisher. Waiting sucks.

RAK? Pth~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@@! That is my ever so subtle way of saying I don't think I did anything kind for anybody today. One day I'm going to surprise you all, you'll see!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 155, Self Control---For the Love!!

Here's the daily dose of Jane, compliments of Jen. It's so nice to see her smile.

Today's message is about self control. Interestingly enough, there was no quote in my quote bank on this topic. Deja-Vu. Hmmm. Maybe self-control isn't all it's cracked up to be. I had some today. I went to Rosa's Cafe for the Taco Tuesday special. I wanted a coke soooooo bad, and I was working every angle to convince myself to get one. In the end, I asked for a cup of water. Blech. That is probably a first for me... because I dearly love fresh, cold, fountain coke....especially the ones with crushed ice.... omg! I would break my arm patting myself on the back, if it weren't for the homemade carmel and two pieces of See's candy I had after I ate the 3 tacos. What IS wrong with me???? JUST SAY NO!!! ---For the love of gold! Oh wait, this was supposed to be about self-control, wasn't it? As you can see, I am about as successful at self-control as I am performing RAKs. ... And we all know what that means.

I tried to do an RAK tonight. It was silly, but I was going to get home before Ron, set up the dinner trays, put the cats in the laundry room, and then call him to let him know that he didn't have to worry about the little tiger monsters, but could just pull straight into the garage. That may seem lame to you....but it is a royal pain in the rear to try and get our cars into or out of the garage with Jeckyl and Hyde on the prowl. As it happened, Ron beat me home by about 30 seconds...and HE is the one who took care of the cats so I could park in the garage,,,, once again, HE is the one who gets credit for the RAK tonight. Dang.
I did watch kelly's students after school during homework club....but I can't count that because I owed her for taking my after school detention last week.

Why is it so difficult to remember to do acts of kindness for others? I have 210 days to figure it out and master the art of kindness. LOL... I couldn't even type that without my fingers chuckling. Pathetic.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 154, Back in the saddle again

Today was my first day back at the gym, after a very, very long break. Gotta start working off those 12 pounds of Christmas sometime. I probably won't be able to walk tomorrow ;)

Honestly, I don't feel like writing; I have an eye ache. .... Probably from all the time I spend posting my blog each night. Hee hee. So, tonight I will simply say, "Goodnight, and don't forget your RAKs!!!" I'm working on mine, honest. ----Just like I'm working on those 12 pounds :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 153, Salt anyone?

Today was rather uneventful relatively speaking. That is a good thing. I was able to read this morning, and I read an amazing article by Jeffrey R. Holland called "The Best is Yet to Come." It talks about Lot's wife, and looking backwards. I felt very strongly that the words in this message were meant for me.
I am very familiar with the story of Lot's wife; when Lot and his family escaped the destruction of Sodom and Ghomora, they were told to flee and to not look behind them...but Lot's wife looked back, and as a consequence was turned to a pillar of salt. I always thought that was a bit of a harsh judgement ... after all, her sin did not seem so bad, but after studying Elder Holland's article, I gained several new insights, and I realize that too often, I, like Lot's wife, look back. Not that I look back with longing for what was, but that I get trapped into dwelling on past mistakes. That explains why I always put so much salt on my food ;)
It requires faith to continuously look toward the future and press forward. If you haven't read the article, you should. It is very inspiring and uplifting.

One of the study questions today was "How do you know there is a God?" What a great question. I pondered it for a long time, and wrote down my thoughts. Think about it..... How DO we KNOW? I submit that the evidence is all around us, but what makes one person choose to believe, and another refuse to believe? We all see the same evidence....but we see it through entirely different lenses. The question was  quite thought-provoking, and I was grateful for all the many experiences in my life that have led me to the knowledge that God not only DOES exist, but that He exists in the form of a Heavenly Father. I know that I am a child of God. If each of us could have our "spiritual DNA" examined, it would reveal that we hold within us the very seeds of godhood.

There has never been a time in my life that I doubted the existence of God. Even in times of struggle and pain. That knowledge did not come from my upbringing, as we were not a family that prayed, went to church, or owned a Bible. So, where did my belief come from? It came from within, truly. I am happy to possess a knowledge of the existence of God.... It is a gift for which I am utterly and eternally grateful.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 152, Ying & Yang

Today I was a little bit good and a little bit bad. I walked five miles this morning, that's good. I drank coke, that's bad. I went to the temple, that's good. I had naughty thoughts, that's bad. I went to see Jane Ellen, that's good. I ate In & Out french fries, that's bad. I washed my dog's blanket, that's good. I let the cat escape and Ron had to fetch her, that's bad (although comical.) And there it is.

Honorable mentions for "The Twelve Pounds of Christmas"----- Jen (The Rejection Queen)'s spinach and artichoke dip (Ummmm baby!) and Mom's cherry delight (Uh oh. Boing!) We had to take the Ridgeline to San Diego today---it was the only vehicle sturdy enough to tote our heavy load.... Good thing it's a 4-wheel drive.

Did I mention I walked for five miles this morning?

RAK? I might have one. I cleaned the baby puke off the couch....Ryan was busy changing his pants after Jane let him (and the couch) have it. She's a Morgan...that's for sure! What a doll :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 151, Nothing could be finer than to be in my recliner

Ahhhhhh! Recliners. There is nothing like a comfy chair to rest your tired bones in at the end of a long week of work. I'm not sure if this picture was taken in Southern California or Southern Alabama.... These are either Redneck Recliners or Tijuana La-Z-Boy chairs. Either way, let's just make Friday National La-Z-Boy day...ok?

But wait! There's more...... I'm on a roll... Badabing! Time to write a new version of The 12 Days of Christmas.... You KNOW how much I love that song, right? Well, I've decided to write The 12 Pounds of Christmas. It's sort of an "aftershock" of the holidays..... It goes like this:

"On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me.... a plate full of rocky road fudge.
On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me.... 2 pumpkin rolls and a plate full of rocky road fudge.
On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me.... 3 mint tarts, 2 pumpkin rolls, and a plate full of rocky road fudge.
On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me.... 4 candied yams, 3 mint tarts, 2 pumpkin rolls, and a plate full of rocky road fudge.
On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me.... 5 cherry pies! 4 candied yams, 3 mint tarts, 2 pumpkin rolls, and a plate full of rocky road fudge.
On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me.... 6 peanut clusters, 5 cherry pies! 4 candied yams, 3 mint tarts, 2 pumpkin rolls, and a plate full of rocky road fudge.
On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me.... 7 bowls of stuffing, 6 peanut clusters, 5 cherry pies! 4 candied yams, 3 mint tarts, 2 pumpkin rolls, and a plate full of rocky road fudge.
On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me.... 8 scoops of gravy, 7 bowls of stuffing, 6 peanut clusters, 5 cherry pies! 4 candied yams, 3 mint tarts, 2 pumpkin rolls, and a plate full of rocky road fudge.
On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me.... 9 pounds of turkey, 8 scoops of gravy, 7 bowls of stuffing, 6 peanut clusters, 5 cherry pies! 4 candied yams, 3 mint tarts, 2 pumpkin rolls, and a plate full of rocky road fudge.
On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me.... 10 cups of eggnog, 9 pounds of turkey, 8 scoops of gravy, 7 bowls of stuffing, 6 peanut clusters, 5 cherry pies! 4 candied yams, 3 mint tarts, 2 pumpkin rolls, and a plate full of rocky road fudge.
On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me.... 11 spoons of Cool Whip, 10 cups of eggnog, 9 pounds of turkey, 8 scoops of gravy, 7 bowls of stuffing, 6 peanut clusters, 5 cherry pies! 4 candied yams, 3 mint tarts, 2 pumpkin rolls, and a plate full of rocky road  fudge.
On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me..... 12 snickerdoodles, 11 spoons of Cool Whip, 10 cups of eggnog, 9 pounds of turkey, 8 scoops of gravy, 7 bowls of stuffing, 6 peanut clusters, 5 cherry pies! 4 candied yams, 3 mint tarts, 2 pumpkin rolls, and a plate full of rocky road fudge!!!!"

And you know what? I ate it ALL!

Doesn't that just make you want to stick your finger down your throat?
Ahhhhh! Holidays!

And I wonder why the tires on my car are worn out on the driver's side.


Yeah yeah yeah... I know... it's after midnight. Too bad... I've been busy. I finally decided I had nothing to lose by resubmitting to Charlie Olsen and Andrea Somberg. What the heck... they definitely won't take another look at my book if I don't, right? It's about taking risks....and exercising faith.

Okay, here's one for you.... You know it's a bad day when...... You open your fortune cookie, and there's NOTHING inside! Oooh baby! A very wise woman told me that when that happens, we get to write our own fortune. Hmmm. Look out world. My second fortune cookie said that good news would soon arrive by mail. That can only mean one thing....... A PUBLISHING CONTRACT!!! (or...I'd take an agency contract... that would work :) Perhaps the winds are changing, hmm?

Hey. It's my dream. Don't knock it.

No coke today.

I brought my husband a pickle. Is that an RAK?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 149, On the wagon

Ah... the life! YOU know you're relaxed when.... Hmmmm. Assume the position. This is how I often end up in my La-Z-Boy.

Well, since my surprise visit from Judi Monday night, I haven't had any caffeine. Whoo hoo.... two days clean. How badly do I want a coke?

Think summer, Hawaii, and swimsuit. That's all I feel like saying tonight.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 148, Waiting...

Waiting seems to be the order of the month for me. I'm not really that fond of the whole waiting thing. Waiting is annoying. Waiting is time consuming. Waiting is downright unhealthy. So there. I know what the opposition will say.... Waiting builds character. Waiting reveals character. Waiting breeds patience. Blah blah blah.... Yeah. I get it. Guess what? You have to wait for all that character-building to occur. Who's to say you wouldn't end up being a patient person without waiting, eh? Yeah... answer that one.

Apparently, life is what happens while you are waiting for life to happen.

Do I sound like I'm complaining?

Waiting is so freaking irritating,,, that there isn't even a quote about it in the quote bank. Go figure.

RAK? I'm still waiting ....
Planet M? Guess you'll have to wait until tomorrow.

I'm tired. I can't wait to go to bed.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 147, 218 days to go!

There's nothing like good friends to keep you honest and on track! Thanks to Judi who surprised me with a bag full of chocolate and a 32 oz coke tonight! Yikes!!! Is the woman TRYING to keep me drugged and overweight? My lack of self-control is shameful! Oh well.... I shant give up yet. I did make myself walk tonight. It's not spin class or yoga... but it's movement ;)

Today's topic? Commitment. Seems fitting given that everyone (except my husband, who is already wonderful,) is making New Year's resolutions. My chosen quote comes from author anonymous:
~ There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results. ~ Unknown
I like this because it explains the reason why so many of my resolutions fail....I must be merely interested in improving myself....not wholly committed. Hmmm... That's pathetic, don't you think? So,,,I am going to prove to myself that I am totally committed to my resolutions.... At least, well, we shall see which ones I was truly committed to by the end of my blog in 218 days. Hopefully, 218 days from now, I will be 20 pounds lighter, out of credit card debt, preparing for my holiday in Hawaii, and holding a contract for publishing my novel. I can do it....I can do it.

Planet M--It was great to see the kids again...they make it all worthwhile! I love my job.

RAK? I did not complain, nag, or even tease my daughter when she waited until we got all the way home before informing me that she left her backpack at school.....I simply drove her back to get it. Now, that may not seem like an RAK to you, but if you ask any of my kids, they will tell you that is quite out of character for me (right after they tell you that it's only because it was Ellen, and she is the spoiled one!)
It counts as an RAK, trust me!

Sadly, I have not yet arrived at the point where I think of RAKs during the day. It's usually only when I sit down to post my blog that I remember that I am supposed to be nice to people. Wow. I have a long way to go, don't I?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 146, The end of something beautiful

Before I complain about the end of my vacation,,,, take a look at these two cuties. Meet Kieran and Kaden...They are grandchildren from the other line of Morgans. Isn't Kieran just a doll? Everytime I see a picture of her, I just want to scoop her up and squeeze her. She's at such a fun age! Wish they lived closer to us.

Now... On to the boo-hoos.....

It's official. Vacation is over. May I have a moment of silence please? Okay, I don't expect any sympathy; I realize I'm quite fortunate to have holiday vacations. Sigh. That said, if there are any of you who think these vacations are not well-deserved, I challenge you to face 180 teenagers for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week....and then tell me that teachers don't need time to regroup and rest. I'm not in the least bit back in teacher mode yet....In fact, I have no clue what we will do tomorrow... But, I am confident that the moment I arrive, the gears will switch instantly....and once the students arrive, it's as natural as breathing. It's the greatest career on the planet.... UNLESS you expect to make money. Let's not talk about the money... I choose to focus on the positive aspects to teaching----the students.

Resolutions? Not too great today. No caffeine, but I managed to pound down some sugar. It's going to take some time to change my habits....and to curb my sweet tooth. ... and mindless munchies.

RAKs? I'm afraid there are none today. It's not like I didn't do anything nice, I just didn't do anything nice without getting something out of it myself. Ron gets the RAK today...he made a great, healthy dinner for us. I didn't have to do anything :) What a guy, eh?

Planet "M"----returns tomorrow.

Quote of the day---returns tomorrow. I know you are holding your breath and counting the minutes for both.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 145, "My Own True Love"

How does a warm-blooded American husband and wife spend a quiet evening alone---with no children around? They watch Gone With the Wind, of course. Who says my husband isn't a romantic at heart? Hmmm. Truly, there is simply no parallel for that story. Every time I watch the movie, I want to rewrite the second half and change the ending. Guess that is a sign it was a well-written story.

I have a confession to make. I already blew my resolution to lay off the caffeine. I was strong as I meandered down the aisles of the grocery store this afternoon, and no matter how badly I wanted to put those cute little bottled cokes in my basket, I did not cave! But then, my dad and I pulled into the drive-up at Del Taco and what did I order? Crunchy classic taco, small french fries, and a coke. Dang it! I blew more than one resolution with that order. And I gotta tell you.... drinking that coke was like a shot of heroine to a junky (NOT that I would know what that's like,,,, I can only imagine.) So, as you can see, it appears I have my work cut out for me. Apparently, I have a little problem with self control. Who knew?

Twenty-five pounds to lose----It ain't gonna happen eating Del Taco and drinking coke. Darn it! Oh,,, and probably not eating See's candy either. Uh hem.... yep, I'm a sucker for nuts and chews. Pathetic!

But, in the words of Scarlett O'Hara, "I can't think about that now. I'll think about that tomorrow...... after all, tomorrow is another day!" 

Maybe tomorrow I will make it through the day without caffeine.

I DID do something nice today---an RAK if you will. I spent my last official day of vacation taking down my parents' Christmas tree and decorations. Yeah, yeah, I know.... there was something in it for me. Let's face it, I did not want the chore hanging over my head when I go back to work on I get  peace of mind out of the deal.... Truly, I could have waited until next weekend and I would have had plenty of help, but I knew it would mean a lot to my mom and dad to have it done. That is why I am counting it as an RAK.

I vow to drink more water. That was random... but necessary.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 144, Happy New Year

Did you catch the sunset this evening? My cell phone doesn't take the greatest pictures, and surely this one does not do the sunset justice, but I thought I'd throw it on the blog anyway. This is one of the views from our balcony....the place where Ron and I (and Mick,,,and the tiger kitties,) took our afternoon nap today. Gotta love vacation.

After serious contemplation about my New Year's resolutions, I decided it would be easier to keep them if I turned them into positive statements instead of "I will not....." or "No more...." statements. Let's face it, any time I tell myself I will NOT do something, I automatically want to do whatever it is even more. So, I've chosen my wording very carefully....Here goes:
1) I will eat better (that's code for I think I should not drink so much caffeine or eat so much sugar.)
2) I will be a wise steward of my money (code for stay out of the casinos and pay off my credit cards.)
3) I will get my book published (code for I will get my book published.)
4) I will take better care of my body (code for I will lose 20 pounds.)
5) I will finish the sequel to my book (code for I will actuallly begin writing the sequel...AND finish it.)
6) I will get better at RAKs (code for I will be less selfish this year.)

What about you? Make your resolutions yet?

Day 143, One for the road

Yup.... this is late.... but since I haven't been to bed yet (technically speaking,) this still counts as Thursday, December 31st. Okay,,,, yeah yeah yeah, it's already New Years.... but I'll address the New Year tomorrow....(later today.) Had a nice day with Ron...just the two of us....turns out we really do like each other after all.... who knew? Okay, I'm exaggerating, but truly, couples do need time alone (sans kids) just to remind them of why they fell in love. I also realize today that I really don't care about the New Year's countdown anymore. It's just a number...and then life goes on as normal. Ron and I were invited to three different parties....and while they would have been fun, we found enjoyment in the comfort of our La-Z-Boy chairs eating our dinner on a TV tray, and napping between episodes of Dark Shadows while we waited for the ball to drop in New York.

Does that mean I am getting old?