31 December 2008

My final post of 2008

This will be the last post I make for this year, so first of all, let me wish all of you a great New Year's Eve! Some people attend or host a huge blow out to welcome the new year, some do something nice and quiet with close friends and family, some sleep. John and I have done all three over the years, but my favorite way to celebrate is something nice and quiet with those closest to me. However you celebrate, I hope it is just perfect.

As I look back at 2008, I know there are some things I wish I had done better, some things I wish I hadn't done at all, and some things I wouldn't change for the world. I have rekindled some old friendships and made new ones, and I hope to do more of the same in 2009. I have watched those I love struggle with issues in their lives, and I have cried for and with them. I have celebrated new lives coming into the world. I am thankful that in my family, we didn't face death, but I ache for friends who have. I pray that 2009 brings comfort to them.

John, the pups, and I are headed to Smith Lake in the Free State of Winston this afternoon. Since we don't have internet access, I won't be posting or reading anything until we get home Sunday. I know I'll have a lot to catch up on!

Again, let me wish you and yours a wonderful, happy, fun New Year's Eve!


30 December 2008

Reflections of 2008

OK--so I completely stole this from Julie over at 47 and Starting Over. She is really funny...check out her blog.

~What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Planted elephant ears. OK, so that's really kind of boring, but it is the first thing that popped into my head. :)

~ Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make resolutions for 2008, but I am making some for 2009.

~ Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my (step)daughter Katy gave birth to Sam.

~ Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully.

~ What countries did you spend time in this year?
Only the good ole US of A

~ What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Drama. No, wait...much of 2008 was full of drama. More sleep would be nice.

~ What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 10--Sam was born

~ What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not running over anyone (Again, that was the first thing that popped into my head. Connie gets it.)

~ What was your biggest failure?
Allowing myself to be dragged into the drama

~ Did you suffer any serious injury or illness?

~ What was the best thing you bought?
Shoes. And coffee.

~ Whose behaviour merited celebration?
This is a hard one. Not that I don't know people who did something which deserves to be celebrated, but I'm just having trouble with it right now.

~ Whose behaviour made you appalled and/or depressed?
My brother's--I'm sure I'll have a post soon about all that is going on with him.

~ Where did most of your money go?
Shoes, clothes, Starbucks

~ What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Being able to spend as much time as I wanted at the lake over the summer

~ What do you wish you'd done more of?
Spent more time at the lake over the summer lol

~ What do you wish you'd done less of?
Read a particular blog

~ Did you fall in love in 2008?
Every day :)

~ How many one-night stands?
None. I don't think John would have approved...

~ Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Let me change this question to "Do you feel indifferent toward anyone now that you didn't feel indifferent toward this time last year?"
The answer to that is a resounding YES!

~ What was the best book you read?
Probably The Kite Runner or Their Eyes were Watching God

~ What did you want and not get?
A 1964 Mustang. Red. Convertible. I've wanted one for almost forever so the fact that I didn't get one is not a huge surprise. lol

~ What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 42, attended my great-niece's christening, had lunch with my family following the christening, and visited with Ron and Cindy.

~ What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Seeing my brother overcome his problems and realize that bi-polar disorder is something he has to learn to live with

~ What political issue stirred you the most?
I was bothered by people who supported Barack Obama simply because of his heritage and not because of his stand on the issues.

~ Who did you miss?
Grannie and Carl

~ Who was the best new person you met?
Kristen and Sam. They tell me how wonderful I am all the time, and I'm starting to believe them. hahaha Just kidding, people!! :)

~ Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Standing up for yourself is important, but sometimes you have to step back and ignore what is being done or said. And that is very hard to do.

~ What sums up this year?
I've had a terrific year filled with wonderful family and friends with whom I've made terrific memories.

29 December 2008

Nothing better than

A clean house! Well, there are some things better than a clean house, but right now, since mine is nice and clean, a clean house is at the top of the list. It has been such a gorgeous, semi-warm day that I've had the doors open, so the house has gotten a good airing out. I love those spring and falls days (and obviously the winter days as well) when I can open the doors and the house fills with the nice, clean, crisp air.

I took all of the Christmas decorations down and packed them back into the attic, too. I love decorating, but I hate putting everything away. If 2009 is like 2008, the next 11 months will be gone before we know it, and I'll be getting it all out again. It is so hard to believe that tomorrow is New Year's Eve!

Speaking of New Year's Eve...it was 17 years ago tomorrow night that I kissed John. It was the best move I ever made. ;)

We're planning on going to the lake for New Year's. When we rode out to Ron and Cindy's last weekend, we briefly mentioned getting together, but we haven't talked to them since, so we'll probably just go to the trailer. John is pretty certain we'll have some pipes to replace. We never did get the lines flushed, so it will be surprising if they didn't bust (or if I want to be grammatically correct--burst.) We had planned on going up one weekend to do them, but something came up. The next thing we knew, there had been a couple of nights of temps in the upper teens/lower 20s. So...yeah, we're planning on replacing pipes. We're also planning on getting the water heater. WOO HOO! I never thought I'd be excited about a water heater for a Christmas present. lol

John just got home, so I need to stop blogging. Have a GREAT day!

28 December 2008



A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

5 things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago:
1. Grieving the loss of my grandmother
2. Experiencing depression for the first time in my life
3. Wishing the holidays would just go away
4. Pretending that life was okay
5. Learning that life goes on following a death

5 Things On My To-Do List Today:
1. Laundry
2. Put away Christmas decorations
3. Snuggle with my pups
4. Enjoy the day with John
5. Figure out the plans for later this week

Snacks I Enjoy:
1. Chips and salsa
2. Peanut M&Ms
3. Cheese and crackers
4. Gardetto's
5. Carrots and ranch dip

5 Things I Would Do if I Were a Billionaire:
1. Donate to The Big Oak Ranch and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital
2. Pay off all the bills
3. Take care of our kids
4. Build our cabin on the lake
5. Retire

5 Bad habits
1. Procratinating
2. Buying shoes
3. Not folding laundry as soon as it's done
4. Texting while driving
5. Cursing when I'm really angry (fortunately that is pretty rare)

5 Places I've lived
1. Oakman, AL
2. Newport News, VA
3. Columbia, SC
4. Tuscaloosa, AL
5. Dadeville, AL

5 Jobs I've Had
1. Cashier at Wal-Mart
2. Snack bar/ticket taker at a movie theater
3. Child care worker for a church
4. Receptionist/file clerk in a radiology department
5. English teacher

5 Things People Probably Don't Know About Me:
1. I wish I could sing. Well, I can sing, I just wish I could sing well.
2. I will not eat tomato slices by themselves, but I will eat them on BLTs or hamburgers.
3. I will not eat raw onion slices, but I love onion rings.
4. I learned to drive a stick shift by myself. In my uncle's 280Z. My dream car at the time.
5. I love shooting guns.

I tag Mom, Karen, Samantha, Dolly, Tracy

The Secret is in the Sauce: Win a Keurig Platinum Brewing System and $50 worth of K-cups

The Secret is in the Sauce: Win a Keurig Platinum Brewing System and $50 worth of K-cups

Head on over to SITS to register for this awesome brewing system, but don't get your hopes up. I just know I'm going to win this terrific prize. :)

27 December 2008

What a great few days

Things in the Vest household have been busy since the last post. No, things have been busy in the Vest household for the last month, but I haven't had time to post in the last couple of days. So, to catch you up... And if you really don't care...feel free to leave now. lol

Jessi got here around 3 or so Christmas Eve. This was the first Christmas Eve John has had Christmas Eve with her since before his divorce in 1991. Never mind that the divorce decree stated he was to have them every other major holiday, but that is a different story. She was supposed to have dinner with Lance Schnitzel (and no, that isn't his real name, but that's what I call him) but that got put on hold, so the three of us had spaghetti with arribiata sauce, salad, and bread. Yum. Then we sat down to watch A Christmas Story. I'm the only one who made it through, though. I think my favorite lines are when Randy says, "I can't put my arms down" and when he says, "Daddy's gonna kill Ralphie." I love that movie. Some people hate it, but it's a Christmas tradition with us. I bought it for us a few years ago, but we always watch it on TBS.

Christmas morning, I made monkey bread for us, and then we opened presents. Jess got us a gorgeous stone trivet with our last name on it. I can't wait to show it off. It will really look great whenever we get the cabin built at the lake since it's kind of a rustic look, and the cabin (if we ever get beyond the talk stage) will be rustic. I think she liked her gifts. She acted like it. I am 100% sure she liked the clothes we got her, and I'm 99.9% sure she like the other stuff, too. We talked to Katy and wished them a Merry Christmas. After Jess left, we just lazed around.

John and I got up Friday (Black Friday 2 as I heard it called several times on the news) and got ready to go to Phillip and Katy's. We got to their house about 1. Sam had just finished lunch. Katy had said he had been cranky for the last several days because of his new teeth coming in, but he was such a happy boy the whole time we were there. He just laughed and smiled and "talked" to Poppa John and Grana. I do have pics, but I haven't downloaded them from my camera yet. Once I do, I'll post some of them. He was more interested in the paper than in his actual gifts. Except for his cell phone...he loved throwing it like a ball. Granted, it could be mistaken for a ball to a 9 month old boy who loves balls of any kind. Phillip said that when they put him in his room, the first thing he goes for is his plush football. :) He will be a natural athlete. Poppa John and I will support SAM if he plays at Auburn, but we will forever be Bama fans. (Amy and Allen could possibly have the same issue with Will. lol)

Katy and Phillip gave us pictures of Sam (always the perfect gift) and a Blingle Bell. I've never heard of Blingle Bells, but I love it. It In addition to money, they had some surprises. I know some people would never give money, but you can always be sure it is the perfect fit, color, and style. lol

John and I left Phillip and Katy's after Sam went down for his nap and made it to Ross Bridge just in time to check in. What a gorgeous hotel! And the bed was JUST as I hoped--comfy!! I think a huge part of it is the snuggly duvet and pillows. We freshened up and went to The Fish Market for dinner. John had shrimp creole, and I had the tuna with Greek seasonings. De-LISH! I was going to ask John how his creole compared to the creole at The Shrimp and Seafood Shack, but all I got out was "How does it compare..." and he said, "Susan's is better." Susan's mom and dad lived in New Orleans when Mr. Anthony was in seminary, and she learned to make authentic creole and jambalaya. Susan has mastered it, as well. It is truly the best I have ever had! I need to have her teach me how to make both the creole and the jambalaya since John and I both love them.

When we got back to the hotel, we went to the bar for a drink. He got a margarita, and I had a Red Apple martini. Now, I'm no connoisseur of martinis, but I know when I don't like one, and I did not like this particular one. John is a self-proclaimed connoisseur of margaritas, and he said he's had better. Maybe the $22 tab for two drinks had something to do with it. :)

We got up this morning, and just took it easy. I do have to say that I think I'm getting too old to swing from the chandeliers--my left hip is KILLING me! lol John had won a gift card to Bass Pro Shops at work, so we rode out to the one at Leeds. He got a new tackle box. He already has a couple, but as one who has 48 lipsticks which are almost exactly the same shade, I can't say anything. hahahaha We also got a throw, flannel sheets, and a fishing lure outdoor thermometer to take to the lake. We stopped at T Mobile to get a car charger for John's new phone, and then we stopped at Academy for a few minutes. It was almost 6 before we got home this evening, and we've been pretty worthless since.

On the way home today, I was thinking about how great it is that I can spend 24 hours a day for 4 days with John and not get tired of being with him. I know people who can't wait to get away from their husbands, and I just think that is sad. Now, don't get me wrong--I love my time with my girlfriends, and I'm even planning a couple of girls' trips to Ross Bridge, but I am NOT doing it because I want to get away from John. When I am away from him, I miss him like crazy, and I cannot wait to get back home to him. I am truly one lucky gal!

I guess that's about it for now. I need to go catch up on posts from all my other bloggy friends. Have a GREAT Sunday!

24 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

I wish a very merry Christmas to everyone. May we all remember that this holiday is about celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior. May you experience much joy, happiness, and love.

23 December 2008

Pictures from the Vest Christmas party

There is no particular order to these pictures. I forgot to turn on the red-eye reduction on the camera to begin with, and then I forgot to edit them to take out the red eyes before posting. I could just delete this and start over, but I'll just leave it the way it is. Some of the pics are a little blurry, too. Sorry! There is a video of Sam at the end.

Joe (my dad)
Jessi (our younger daughter) and MaMaw (John's mom)
Maggie Beth King, the most beautiful great-niece in the world!
Phillip, Katy, and Sam (our older daughter and her family)
Tisha (my sis-in-law)
Will, my gorgeous great-nephew (He is Maggie's big brother) Zack, my other gorgeous great-nephew
(Do the boys look like they were playing hard? lol)

Luke (nephew), Tim (bro-in-law). John (hubby), Joe

Amy (niece, mid-bite...sorry!) And I missed getting Allen once he got there...
Marty (my beautiful mom)
Vern (or Connie or Nonnie--depending on who is talking to her or about her; sis-in-law))
Libby (niece) and Jay--somehow I missed Landon :-(
Linda and Danny (sis-in-law, bro-in-law)
Sam and Poppa John
(Does this man LOVE his grandson or what?)

MaMaw and Maggie

Sam--it looks like he's saying
"Hmmm...ham or turkey?"
Sam, the most beautiful grandson in the world
(Grana bought the Santa outfit for him.)

Busy, busy!!

Wow! The last few days have been so busy, but that's perfectly okay. I know that there are so many people out there who don't have family or friends to visit, gifts to buy, or any of the other things that are part of the holiday season. I am so very thankful that I am busy because it means I have all of those things. I do pray that every one has a happy holiday season and the very merriest of Christmases.

So, what had kept me so busy? John and I decided not to go to Hartselle on Friday. We didn't get home until about 3:30. I realize 3:30 isn't late, but I had planned on leaving work about 1:30 so I could finish up the last minute wrapping that I needed to do before we could leave. That extra two hours that I had to stay at work really threw me off.

John's temp was back to its normal 97 degrees, but he still didn't feel very well, so that's another reason we didn't leave Friday. I think he had a touch of a bug that just held on. He really didn't start to feel better until Sunday. As far as his temp, when he was running one, it was 99.7. You may be thinking that a temp of 99.7 is nothing, but when you consider the fact that his normal temp is around 97, that 2.7 degrees makes him feel like crap. For a person who has a "normal" 98.6 temp, that would be the equivalent of a 101.3 temp. So yeah, he felt horrible.

We had our family Christmas Saturday. Everybody got to be there, and we had a few new faces. First of all, Sam and Maggie got to experience their first Vest Christmas. Sam was more interested in the Santa face on Poppa John's gift bag than he was in his gifts, and Maggie was more interested in napping. :) Next Christmas will be a blast because they'll both be walking/toddling around, and they'll probably be more into the presents. Well, the boxes and paper anyway. lol There were a couple more new faces. Libby brought Jay and Landon. Jay is the guy she is dating and Landon is his son. Jay seems very nice and seems to fit right in, and Landon is a doll. He is three and just as tow-headed as can be! The only other person I have ever seen with hair that white is my cousin Bryne.

Sunday was Maggie's christening. John stayed at Billie's because if someone didn't, she wouldn't have gotten ready to go to dinner. We couldn't convince her to go to church. Like I said earlier, I had never been to a christening, so I didn't know what to expect. It was a beautiful, special ceremony, and I am so honored that I got to be a part of it. I'll always be able to remember what day she was christened on because it was my birthday as well. :)

With the christening, I really didn't even think that much about it being my birthday. I've never been one to go around all day as if I were privileged, anyway. Mom and Dad always made sure I had a special day, but I just wasn't all about me, me, me. I do want to say THANKS to everyone who called, emailed, sent messages on facebook, or sent texts to wish me a happy day. It was a perfect day!

We got home about 8 Sunday night, and I was exhausted. I sat down to watch the Troy-Southern Miss game, but I fell asleep. I did manage to stay awake long enough to see one of my former students on the Troy sideline. He plays defense for the Trojans. I was so disappointed to find out they had lost in overtime.

I ended up making a last-minute trip to Birmingham yesterday. I had to return one of the things I had gotten for Sam because he got something very similar on Saturday. I told Katy I'd exchange it and get him something else, so I got to do more Sam shopping yesterday. Fun!!!!

I also had to take my car in to the service department at the dealership because my engine light has been coming on. When I had my car in for service a few weeks ago, the light wasn't on, so they couldn't get a code from it. The light stayed off after I had the service done, so I didn't worry about it again. Last Tuesday it came on again. This time, they were able to get the code. The catalytic converter is bad. Woo Hoo. Yea. (There are tons of sarcasm in that...) Apparently, that isn't a part they can just order. They have to go through tech support to get an approval, and it took about 2 - 2 1/2 hours to get approval. (I was at the dealership for about three hours all together.) I wonder if tech support for Mazda is in India like it seems to be for everything else? Anyway, they got it approved and have ordered a new part. That means another trip to Birmingham in about a week. Darn. I just hate going to Birmingham. (Again, sarcasm...) Maybe next time I'll have a chance to run by to see the Pates since I shouldn't be sitting at the Mazda dealership for hours on end. (My dad said it should take only about an hour to replace the CC.)

Susan took me to dinner for my birthday. The plan had been to have an early dinner, but THANKS TO SITTING AT THE MAZDA PLACE FOR 3 HOURS, we ended up having dinner at a normal dinner time. I had crab cakes that were to die for. They weren't full of breading like so many are. They were full of big pieces of crab. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

I didn't get home until 9:00 last night--THANKS TO SITTING AT THE MAZDA PLACE. I didn't even get stuff out of the car, so I need to go do that. I also need to get busy today doing the things I need to do around here. I have laundry to do and more gifts to wrap (but I have to get them out of the car first.) I need to run to the grocery store, too, but I'll take care of that later. This is one of those days when I don't want to get out of my jammies. :)

Have a GREAT day!

20 December 2008

An open letter to my wonderful husband

Happy anniversary, Sweetheart! These last sixteen years have been more wonderful than I could have ever dreamed. You were, and are, everything that I ever hoped for in my husband. You fill my days with laughter and my nights with tenderness. You bring comfort to me when I'm sad. You have always supported me in everything I've done. You are my strength, my rock. I know that when life gets crazy, you will always be there to "right the ship." You are not only my husband but you are also my best friend. You are the one person who knows my deepest hopes, dreams, and desires. You know all my crazy quirks, and you love me anyway.

There are so many wonderful memories--our first kiss (would you have kissed me yourself that night?), the first time I met your beautiful daughters and I knew they would be a part of my life for the rest of my life, the first time you said you loved me (and you weren't even talking to me...you were on the phone and I overheard you), the first time you told ME you loved me...I could go on and on forever. Each and every day with you is special and precious to me. I know that there will be so many more memories.

I've often wondered what my life would have been like had we not met. I know that before you came into my life, I was lost. I was floundering, pretending that everything was exactly like I wanted it to be. When I met you, I saw a man who was everything I'd ever wanted. I thank you for everything you have been to me. I cannot imagine my life without you. You complete me in a way that no one else ever could.

Happy anniversary to you, my wonderful, wonderful husband. I love you more than you will ever know!

All the big bunches in the world...

19 December 2008

Wastin' Away Again in Margaritaville

Except I'm not in Margaritaville. I'm in Alex City. I'm sitting here at work with nothing that I HAVE to do. Grades are in and posted. The room is clean. I made the copies that I'll need for Jan. 6. I'm just waiting. Because the elementary schools didn't dismiss early, we have to hang around until 3:15. (The elementary teachers think it is SO unfair because we get out early on exam days in December and May. What they don't realize is that we have major exams to grade and record before we can leave for the day, and it's kind of hard to grade stuff while you have a room full of kids. And we don't have Christmas parties on the last day, either.)

I have a few more presents I have to wrap and I have to pack before John and I can leave for Hartselle this afternoon. Argh!

I want to stop at Whole Foods to get the cheeses and crackers that I'm taking for the lunch tomorrow. They have a HUGE selection of all different kinds--much better than what I could get at Winn Dixie. I'm sure stopping in Birmingham will excite John to death, but it won't take me but just a few minutes to run in and run out.

I guess that's it. I need to wash out my coffee cup, shut down the computer, and pack up. Hopefully, by the time I do that it will be 3:15 (or so close that it wouldn't matter...)

Have a FANTASTIC weekend!

18 December 2008

My hunny is sick :(

Poor John isn't feeling well. He was home when I got home, which wasn't odd since I didn't get home until about 4:30. So much for leaving work early, but ALL I have to do tomorrow is give my exams, run them through the scanner, and enter the grades into the computer. Anyway, back to John...not long after I got in, he turned the electric blanket on as high as it would go and crawled in bed. About an hour later, I went to check on him. He felt hot, but our thermometer was dead. I ran down to Rite Aid to buy a new one. He was (and still is) running a temp of 99.7. John and I both tend to have normal temps lower than the 98.6 that is considered normal, so 99.7 makes us feel like crap. I just feel SO bad for him whenever he feels bad. I just want to make him feel better. I just hope that he doesn't end up giving me whatever he has. I don't want to be sick over Christmas break!

Doin' a Happy Dance :)

Semester exams are today and tomorrow, so the kids only have to come for a half day. Today is my "easy" day--I have 2nd block planning, so by 9:34 I'll be student free. My room looks like a tornado has blown through it, though. Once I've run the tests through the GradeMaster and put grades in the computer, I'll spend the rest of the morning cleaning up. The "cool peeps" as Kristen put it are going to lunch, and then I'll do whatever until this afternoon. I hope I can get finished up and get out of here a little early because I've got tons to do at home.

John and I rode down to Auburn last night to finish up shopping. Every year he says he's not going to shop the next year, but every year when I ask if he wants to go help me finish up the last minute things, he goes. And then he reminds me he isn't going the next year. Of course, I remind him that the has the option of telling me no, but I can probably count on one hand the number of times he has EVER told me no about anything. He's an awesome hubby.

We're doing our family Christmas in Hartselle on Saturday (which is our anniversary), and then on Sunday, we're going to Maggie's christening--Maggie is my great-niece for those of you who are new readers of my blog. (Sunday just happens to be my birthday, too.) Coming from a church of Christ background, christenings weren't part of what we did, and I've never been to one We didn't get to go to Will's because we were in Key West for our 10th anniversary. I'm excited and honored to get to be a part of this important event in Maggie's life.

When I started this post, the bell to start school had not rung, but it rang before I could finish. Now that it is 9:56, I need to get busy. I have the tests for 1st block scanned (two 100s! Yea!!!) I need to put them in the computer and start CLEANING!!!

Have a GREAT Friday eve!

17 December 2008

Par-tay in Room 313 :)

Listen VERY carefully...you'll hear shouts of celebration coming from me. I have finished grading the Dreaded Research Papers and grades are in the computer. I returned them to the students after lunch, and there was no wailing or gnashing of teeth from them. A couple had questions about why they missed points on certain areas, but they understood after having the problem explained to them.

I've decided to make a few changes on the junior papers for next semester. Instead of waiting until the 4th term, I'm going to go ahead and begin teaching the process with them just a couple of weeks into the new semester. I hope that will make the end of the semester much less hectic.

At the end of every semester, I really begin to get keyed up. I know all the stuff that I have to get done, and I see the days flying by. I start wondering how in the world I'm going to get everything done. I always manage to finish up, but it isn't without tons of stress.

Several years ago my gyno diagnosed me with generalized anxiety disorder, and he put me on 10 mg. of Lexapro, or my "happy pills" as I like to call them. Now, I know that having GAD isn't anything major--a lot of people have it and a lot of people take meds for it. (Some people don't take meds, but they definitely should check into it.) Every time we get to the end of the semester, my anxiety really kicks in. It is especially bad at the end of first semester because of all of the holiday stuff I'm trying to get done in addition to all of the school stuff I have to get done.

The last couple of weeks I've noticed that I've been clinching my teeth at night. I need to be wearing my mouth splint, but I'm not. The clinching is directly related to my anxiety, too. I know it's getting really bad when I catch myself clinching my teeth during the day, and I've started doing that. I guarantee that it will go away in about three days. :)

I just hope the pain in my neck goes away too...

15 December 2008


It has happened. The thing that those of us in education dread. It's the "P" word--proration. Today, our illustrious *said with sarcasm* governor officially declared proration. The number originally given was 12.5%, but after he withdraws half of the Rainy Day Fund, the actually rate is at 9%. That is still NOT good.

A lot of people outside of education don't understand what proration really is. Proration happens when revenue falls short of what is expected. Budgets are set according to projected revenues, so when those revenues are less than projected, cuts have to be made somewhere.

So, what does that mean for our students? For this year, there can be no reduction of teachers--contracts must be honored, but if there isn't an improvement in the economy, there could be a lot of non-tenured teachers let go next year. Many of the programs that our state has implemented, such as the Alabama Reading Initiative and the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative, could be cut. Those programs have done wonders for students. Non-certified personnel could lose their jobs. So much of the day-to-day operation of a school is dependent upon the non-certified personnel--secretaries, custodial staff, aides.

It's a scary time for anyone in education, and any person who has a child in the public school system should be concerned. Every system in the state will be affected. Some will feel the effects a little more than others. When a system is struggling anyway, and then they lose 9% of their funding...well, you do the math.

Let's hope that our economy improves soon. It is the kids in our schools who will ultimately suffer.

14 December 2008


The house is clean and decorated! I don't think I have ever been this late getting the house decorated for Christmas, but this has been an unusually busy couple of months. We've been to Hartselle two or three times in the last couple of months, so that has been part of it, and we've been at the ballgames the other weekends.

I typically decorate Thanksgiving weekend, but with the Alabama-Auburn game being on that weekend, it just didn't happen this year. My original plan was to have decorated on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but I ended up having an allergy attack and popping Benadryl like it was candy. Needless to say, between sneezing and the effects of the Benadryl, there was no way I was going to attempt to decorate.

Jess came over yesterday, and she and I went shopping today. Like I said in an earlier post, she picked everything out, but I'll wrap it and put it under the tree. She'll act so surprised when she opens it. I told her that I did have a couple of surprises for her, and she wanted to know what they were. As if I'd tell her. lol

The decorating wasn't the only thing that didn't get done as early as usual. I still have a few things to buy, and I'm not sure when I'll be able to take care of it. With it being the end of the semester, I'll be swamped at school this week, and our bunco party is Tuesday night. We're going to Hartselle on Friday--and some of the things I need to buy are gifts to take there. I guess that means shopping again on Wednesday or Thursday. I need a massage and a glass of wine. :)

That's about it for today. Only five days until Christmas break. I think I can make it...I think I can make it...I think I can make it...

12 December 2008

Teacher Retirement System of Alabama Rocks!

I am SOOOOOO excited!!!!!!!!

As a member of the Teacher Retirement System of Alabama, I am able to get special rates at any of the Renaissance Hotels by Marriott that are in Alabama. There are hotels in Mobile (2), Point Clear, Florence, Hoover, Opelika, Prattville, and Montgomery. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trails are also a part of TSA, so anytime you visit one of these hotels or play a round at one of the RTJ courses, you are helping out my retirement fund. Thank you, VERY much. ;)

Soooo, that being said, I just reserved a room at the Ross Bridge Resort in Birmingham for December 26 for my hubby and me. We have a deluxe room with one king bed for $89. The same room on the same night without my discount is $189. See why I'm so excited? The rates at the hotels in Florence, Opelika, Prattville, and the Riverview on Mobile are only $79 a night.

Our 16th anniversary is December 20th, but that's the day we're having our family Christmas. Even though we may not buy gifts for each other, we always exchange cards and go out for a nice dinner. Since we're doing the family thing on the 20th, we won't be able to go out to dinner. Actually, we probably won't WANT to go out to dinner after all the food that we'll have earlier in the day!

The 26th works out perfectly for us because that's the day we're doing our immediate family Christmas with Phillip, Katy, Sam, and Jessi at Phillip and Katy's in Birmingham. Instead of having to drive home, we'll just hop over to Ross Bridge for the night.

We talked about going to the Battle House in Mobile, but we decided to stay a little closer to home and to maybe take a trip down there over the summer. I have always wanted to go to the Grand in Point Clear, too. Maybe we can hit that one sometime as well.

A couple of years ago, I went to the AMTESOL conference with Dolly, and we stayed at the Riverview in Mobile. They were in the process of remodeling the hotel at the time, but all of the guest rooms had been done. Oh. My. Goodness. That was THE most comfortable bed I have EVER slept in. Ever. In my entire life. All (almost) 42 years of it. I have dreamed of sleeping in that bed again. I have tried to figure out how I could steal that bed and take it home with me. It was THAT comfortable. It will be even more so snuggled up with my sweet hubs while sipping on a glass of wine celebrating the best 16 years of our entire lives. ;)

11 December 2008

Thursday Thoughts

Can you say ca-razy weather?? The meteorologists were talking about bad weather Tuesday night, but we didn't get any here until early Wednesday morning, and then it wasn't horribly bad. We had our students in the hall for about 15 or 20 minutes, but the real concern was actually north of Alex City. You still have to put the students where they will be safest, though.

Oakman, my hometown, was a different story. My mom said that around 12:30 or so Wednesday morning, an F1 tornado blew through and did damage to the elementary school, which was damaged by straight-line winds 16 years ago. The press box and one set of bleachers at the football field were completely destroyed. There was some other damage at the baseball field. Fortunately, it happened in the wee hours of the morning, so there were no children at the school. Even if it had occurred during the school day, the area of the school that was hit was NOT an area where they would have had the kids during severe weather. From the early inspections, it looks like there is too much structural damage for the school to ever be used again, and that's sad to me. My mom, dad, aunts, uncles, most of my cousins, my brother, and I all attended school there. The original part of the building was built in 1947, so it is old and doesn't have all of the features of a newer school, but it is sad to think of Oakman without THAT building. Oakman is a small, close-knit community, and the school a big part of that.

Here in Dadeville, it was in the mid-to-upper 60s yesterday. When I left for work at 6:30 this morning, it was around 64 degrees. When I left work at 3:30 this afternoon, it was 42 degrees. BRRRRRR!!!!!!! I know that isn't cold compared to places like International Falls, and it's been a LOT colder here, but dang! I don't mind cold weather as long as it's a beautiful, sunny day. Days like today, though, that are gray and yucky make me just want to stay home and snuggle with my pups.

One year, I had bus duty the week we got back after Christmas break. It was in the upper teens/lower 20s. I nearly froze my butt off. I've joked before that if God had intended for me to stand outside in those kinds of temperatures, He would have covered me in fur. Seriously, I could NOT live in a place like International Falls. If I did, I would NOT leave the house during the winter. LOL

My cousin Misty had to have jaw replacement surgery yesterday. Both joints were replaced, and for the first time in YEARS her bite is aligned. She has dealt with pain from this for years. Ever since she got her braces off, she has had problems, and over the years they have just gotten worse. Prior to her surgery, her bite was so off that a straw would go between her top and bottom teeth without touching. I hope this is a permanent fix. It would be horrible to go through the pain of joint replacement and then it not work.

I'm watching the ESPN College Football Awards. Bama's own Nick Saban is receiving the Coach of the Year award. Congrats to Andre Smith, the Outland Trophy winner! Susan and I have been texting each other during the program. She loves football, especially Alabama football, as much as I do, and she's just as "obnoxious" as I am. ;)

I discovered the SITS site the other day. I was already addicted to blogging, but now I have access to HUNDREDS of other blogs to read. I've made a couple of new bloggy friends. Some people don't "get" online friendships. I see them as modern-day pen pals. I mean, really, what is the difference?

I'm glad tomorrow is Friday. It's been a long week, and I'm ready for a weekend. Jess is coming over, and I think we're going to get to the shopping we were supposed to do Tuesday night. Since the weather was supposed to be bad, we decided to postpone until later. In addition to her Christmas, I've got a couple of other things to finish up. I have NEVER been so late finishing up. Christmas has been gotten here much quicker than it should have.

Christmas isn't the only thing that has gotten here quicker than it should have. There is only one more week in this semester. I swear, it seems like school just started a couple of weeks ago. I really need to do something for my first block class. They an awesome group of kids. Honestly, I could write an assignment on the board and leave the room and not have to worry that they'd do something crazy. Anyone who walked by would never know I wasn't in the room. (Not that I would do that!!) This kind of class doesn't come along all the time. Even the best classes will often have one or two students who are just loud or excessively talkative. Not my first block. They are awesome, but I've already said that, haven't I?

I've GOT to get off this computer! Besides, my thoughts have gone on longer than I anticipated. If you've read this far, God bless you. I've probably put you to sleep. (Someone posted a comment once that read "Zzzzzzzzzz." I just thought it was funny.)

Have a GREAT Friday!!! Woo Hoo!!!!

10 December 2008

Getting to know your friends, Christmas edition

Welcome to the christmas edition of getting to know your friends.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper--I love making packages pretty

2. Real tree or artificial? Real until last year, now artificial. When we put the tree up last year, John said, "It's ugly." We both love real trees. Why did I decide to go artificial???

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually Thanksgiving weekend, but it didn't happen this year. Allergy attack ALL day Friday and Alabama-Auburn game Saturday. Exhausted on Sunday. It will go up this week/weekend!!

4. When do you take the tree down? Usually the week between Christmas and New Year's

5. Hot chocolate or apple cider? Hot chocolate, but I love me some cider!!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I loved all my gifts. I really don't remember one favorite.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes

8. Hardest person to buy for? My dad

9. Easiest person to buy for? John

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? Hmmm--I don't recall a "worst" gift.

11. Mail or e-mail Christmas card? Mail

12. Favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Stroy. For years, we've watched it on Christmas Day with Katy and Jessi

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? It depends on how busy I am.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Anything except "traditional" foods. By Christmas, I am sick of turkey, dressing, etc. Give me finger foods!

16. Clear lights or colored? Clear

17. Favorite Christmas songs? Silent Night

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We've stayed home in the past, but since Sam is young, we'll travel this year.

19. Can you name Santa's reindeer? Every last one of 'em

20. Angel or star on top of the tree? Angel

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We've done Christmas afternoon in the past because that's when we'd get Katy and Jessi for Christmas. Not sure about this year since we'll be going to Katy and Phillip's.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Crazy, rude shoppers who think that the extra 5% they are saving is going to make a huge amount of difference

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I don't have a theme or color. Every year I think I want to do a theme, but when I get everything out and see all the ornaments I've gotten from family, friends, and students over the years, I can't imagine NOT having them on the tree.

09 December 2008

My REAL Christmas list

As a child, my parents always made sure that I understood what Christmas was really about, but as a child, I couldn't wait for the presents. That's just what children do. Christmases at our home were always wonderful, but when I think back, I don't necessarily remember the things I got. Oh sure, I remember the doll, the bicycle, the bulletin board, but what stands out the most in my mind is the family gatherings--the laughter, the love, the joy, the food...John and I tell our kids NOT to buy us anything, and we made the decision a while back not to spend money on each other. Christmas isn't about what is under the tree; Christmas is about making memories. Don't get me wrong...I love buying gifts for others and seeing the happiness on their faces as they open them, but the things will wear out or tear up. The memories are there forever.

I did my letter to Santa just for fun, but there are many serious things that I pray for, not only at Christmas but each and every day of the year. Here is my REAL Christmas list:

1. Cures for all childhood diseases--Nothing breaks my heart any more than to see an innocent child suffering from some horrible disease.

2. Take away all physical, mental, and emotional suffering from children--Nothing makes me any more angry than to see an innocent child suffering at the hands of another.

3. Freedom--So many people in this world have little (or no) freedom. We don't realize how blessed we are to live in this great country where we can make our own choices and do our own thing, even if someone else doesn't agree with us.

4. Safety and security for our military--I wish that all the men and women serving our country could be home with their families and friends for the holidays, but that isn't possible. I hope that they are able to have a wonderful Christmas wherever they may be.

5. Peace for all--Not just peace in the sense of no more war, but true inner peace. Each and every day someone is struggling with problems in his or her life, and so often the rest of us are completely unaware of these struggles. What may seem insignificant to one can be totally overwhelming to another.

6. Memories--I hope that each of you make many, many wonderful memories with your families and friends. We never know when it will be the last one we have. My wonderful father-in-law told us eight years ago that it would be his last one with us, and we just hushed him. After all, he'd said that for three or four years prior. Unfortunately, it was his last one. He passed away in January of the following year. I'm thankful for all the memories I have of him.

There are so many other things I could add to this list. What are the items on YOUR Christmas list? Leave me a comment adding the things you wish for.

08 December 2008

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

It's getting awfully close to Christmas, and I haven't written you my letter yet! I hope it isn't too late. My list is really pretty short, so hopefully you'll be able to get me the things I want. I've been a really good girl this year. ;)

1. I would like for you to make me magically lose about 20 pounds. I'm perfectly okay with not losing any more than that. I look at pictures of myself when I weighed 130 pounds, and I really did look like a crack ho.

2. If you're going to make me magically lose those 20 pounds, I'll need some new clothes. I am perfectly okay with just the basics--just so I don't have to go nekkid. That would more than likely frighten anyone who saw me.

3. I would REALLY love to have 2 or 3 house elves. Just to do laundry, clean house, cook, and some yard work. (The yard work is to keep John from having to do it all.) They would have weekends off, and they would be able to live at beautiful Smith Lake all summer long. Their summers would probably be very easy since the trailer is all of 576 sq. ft.

4. The last thing on my list isn't for me. It's for all my bloggy friends. I hope that you are able to give them everything that they want and that their Christmas holiday is perfect in every way!


Quick Monday morning post

It's still our advisement period (same as homeroom) so I thought I'd take a quick minute to post. I really have nothing to say, but that's okay. We have a brief faculty meeting at the beginning of our planning periods, and then I've got to kick my butt into super-high gear and grade some research papers. Because we were traveling this weekend, I didn't get nearly as many done as I'd planned, and the semester is winding down much more quickly than I'd like (except for my 4th block...they could leave tomorrow. :) )

My seniors are studying Macbeth right now. I love, love, love teaching this piece of literature. I posted about it back in the spring. The Macbeths (and Lady Macbeth in particular) are ruthless and they don't care about who they hurt just as long as THEIR wants and needs are satisfied. Hmmm...sounds like people in the world today. That's one reason the students (most of them, anyway) get into the play. They can see how ambitions can destroy a person.

The bell rang, so my faculty meeting awaits. Doncha wish you could go with me? hahahaha

Have a GREAT Monday. :)

07 December 2008

Roll Tide!

Yes, I am aware that the Florida Gators beat my beloved Crimson Tide yesterday, but I could not be any more proud of this group of guys and all that they have accomplished this year, and the year still isn't over. They will be playing in the Sugar Bowl on January 2. Not bad considering that very few people would have picked Alabama to have come this far this year.

In August, I thought our record would have been somewhere between 8-4 or 10-2. I would have never thought we'd have been sitting at 12-1 and headed to New Orleans. If you'd have told me that is how the season would go, I'd have said, "I'll take it!" I'm glad I didn't know, though, because knowing might have made the season just a wee bit less magical. This Alabama team will be one that will be remembered by fans for years to come. They are a very special group of young men who have shown that they have heart, and sometimes heart means much more than anything else.

All last week, I had to listen to so many Auburn fans talk about how Florida was going to beat Bama. I saw the Gator chomp, I heard "Go Gators!", I was told that they were going to be pulling for Florida, etc. And that's fine. Do I think they are being "obnoxious" Auburn fans just because they wanted Bama to lose? No. I think that is just the way things are between fans of rival teams, especially in state rivals. What do I think? I think it is hilarious when generalizations are made because typically, those generalizations are going to come back to bite you in the butt in some way at some time.

John and I had planned on going to the lake this weekend, but we ended up going to Hartselle instead. Aunt Kat wanted to go up and spend a few days with Billie, so we took her. Between Aunt Kat not being able to see or hear very well and Billie not being able to remember...it was, well, just a tad bit...I can't even think of a word to describe how it was. All I can say is small doses. LOL

I'm meeting Jess Tuesday for an early dinner and shopping. She asked me a few weeks back if we could just go shopping for her Christmas because she needs some winter clothes. Of course I jumped at the chance to shop with one of my favorite people in the world. I love shopping with her because she is so meticulous. That is the same way John shops WHEN he shops (and that is not very often. hahaha) I will probably bring everything home and wrap it, and then when she opens it, she'll do an excellent job of pretending to be so excited. She is a hoot.

Katy said she and Phillip want some of the green stuff, so they'll probably get that with a few surprises. Actually, I've already gotten Katy and Jessi one something. I know that money is really not all that personal, but sometimes money is really nice. She said they wanted to join the Y, so this will help out with that. Staying healthy is about as personal as it gets. :)

I've seen several things I want to get for Sam. I'll need to take an evening when I can get John to go with me; otherwise, there might not be a toy left to buy. hahaha

John and I decided when we bought the lake place that we'd forgo buying gifts for each other for holidays, our birthdays, or our anniversary. The other day he came in and asked what I wanted for Christmas. I said that I thought we weren't going to buy gifts. He said that he thought we could just get something together. I said that was fine with me and asked what he had in mind. He said he was thinking about getting a hot water heater for the trailer. Now, you may not think that's much of a Christmas gift, but until you've tried to shower with a hot water heater that holds only 12 gallons, you wouldn't. ;)

I guess that's about it for now. I've got a couple more loads of laundry to do, and it won't do itself while I sit here blogging. (A laundry elf is on my Christmas list to Santa...) Have a GREAT week!

And I still say...


04 December 2008

Some people probably think I am the MOST boring person on the face of the earth, and they are free to their opinions (but their opinions are wrong. LOL) Seriously, I haven't had the most amazing, exciting, thrilling life that has ever been lived, but I have certainly enjoyed every minute of it.

The items in bold are things I've done! Comment on what you've done, or do this on your blog!

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it -- Every single day...
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game -- Not huge like the Super Bowl, but huge within the SEC and college football
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon -- Something I hope to do before I die
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne -- TIPSY, not drunk
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and didn’t care who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states -- I've visited around 40...
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country -- Not a stranger, but if you know my hubby, you know he can be strange (but that's one thing I love about him.)
44. Watched whales
42. Had amazing friends -- More like HAVE amazing friends
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Taken a midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland -- One of my "hope to do" things
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China -- A "hope to do"
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken -- Thank you, John. You are amazing!
69. Toured ancient sites (In Europe)
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married -- To the MOST wonderful man in the world!
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days (Yeah right!)
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice -- Hope to do again
80. Gotten a tattoo -- three and wanting another...
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on a television news program as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house -- Only ONE MORE PAYMENT!! Woo Hoo!!
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking with the windows open
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a TV game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari -- A "hope to do"
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol -- All three
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for 30 hours in a 48 hour period
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. States
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey -- Do excerpts count?
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating -- Not actually done this myself...
137. Skipped all your school reunions -- We've only had one, and John and I already had plans
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream -- I KNOW I am!
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

03 December 2008

An insulin pump is in John's future :(

John had an appointment Monday with an endocrinologist in Montgomery, and she feels that he probably needs an insulin pump. From the time he was diagnosed, he's been told that he was a type 2 diabetic, but she told him that he is actually a type 1. Since John started working at ECH, he's been seeing Dr. Mendez, and he (Dr. M) has done a great job of working with John to try to keep his blood sugar under control. At one of John's last appointments, Dr. Mendez said that in his career, he has been able to help patients control their diabetes in all but four cases. Yep, John was number for. So, he wanted to send him to an endocrinologist.

He was actually supposed to have gone a while back, but something came up. I think they may have been installing the PACS system at work, and he just couldn't get away. (That was not a very fun time for him.) The next time he was supposed to go, they had made the appointment for 9 AM, and that wasn't a good time for him, either. So, he finally went Monday afternoon.

He has to go back in a few weeks and they will have him wear a monitor which will record his blood sugar every five minutes for about three days. After that, he'll have to attend a class and then he'll probably be on an insulin pump.

I really wish, for him, that he would be able to control this disease without a pump, but it just isn't happening. He will do so well with monitoring his blood sugar and eating right, but that just isn't working as well as we'd like (Granted, neither of us get the exercise we need, and that is important for controlling diabetes.) His blood sugar will stay almost perfect for weeks, but then it will shoot up and it will take forever (or so it seems) for it to come back down. And then, it stays at the upper end of the ideal target range for the longest time before it drops to the 110 range. If a pump will work for him, then I'm all for it. The huge fluctuations aren't good for him, and with his family history of heart disease, stroke, etc., we don't need anything else. Plus, there are a lot of things much worse than having to wear a pump.

I think my original fear about John having to wear one was about how it would affect his daily life. I mean, he would constantly be attached to this thing 24/7. One of my students from last year wears a pump, but you'd never know it unless she told you. She takes dance and is one the school dance team. She dates and hangs out with her friends. She does all the things that a "normal" high school senior does. Her diabetes (and it is severe) doesn't slow her down at all. Seeing how she goes about life just like everyone else and doesn't let her diabetes interfere with life makes it easier for me to think about John having one.

If you have any experience with an insulin pump, please share it with me.

I hope you have a GREAT rest-of-the-week. I'm so glad that tomorrow is "Friday eve." :)

30 November 2008

Rammer Jammer, Part Two

Hey Auburn! Hey Auburn! We just beat the hell outta you! Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer give 'em hell Alabama!!

Rammer Jammer at the game yesterday was the loudest and best I have ever heard! The Bama Nation had six years of pent up frustration, and we all let it out.

John and I got to Tuscaloosa about 10:30 and stopped at Dreamland for ribs. Yum! We got to campus around 11:30 and met up with Amy and Allen and Susan and Tim. Jessi and Lance were tailgating on the quad at the library, so Amy, Allen, John, and I walked over and talked with them for a bit before walking over to Ferguson Center. Lance seems like a very nice guy, and he ain't hard to look at either. hahaha Jess deserves someone who will treat her like a princess, and from what she's said, he's doing a pretty good job of it. :)

Before the game. Notice the hair--nice and straight

Jessi and Lance

We hung out at Ferguson with Susan and Tim until time to walk to the stadium. Amy and Steven, who tailgated with us for the last couple of years, came by for a bit, too. We sat outside because it was so blasted hot inside. That did a LOT for my hair. lol I straightened it because I knew that it would be a huge, fuzzy mess if I didn't. After getting misted on, it was still a mess, but it wasn't quite as huge and fuzzy as it could have been.

After the game. Notice the effect a little moisture in the air has on the hair...

By the time we got to the stadium, my butterflies were about the size of Mt. Cody. I always get nervous before the big games, and this was a big game. I knew that Bama could win, but there is always so much emotion and passion that goes into this game. On more than one occasion, the "hot" team has ended up losing. This was not one of those occasions, though. (I wonder if Brad Lester regrets running his mouth and saying that Auburn would beat both Georgia and Alabama by "a good number of points"? Seems Brad was just a wee bit wrong on both games, especially the Bama game.)

The seniors came back out onto the field after the game. It was so much fun to watch them having fun. The last time Bama won a game, these guys were sophomores in high school. I know they are men, but they were running around like little boys. :)

If anyone had told me four months ago that Bama would be undefeated in the regular season and would shut-out Auburn 36 - 0, I would have thought he was smoking crack. I'm glad I didn't know, though, because that has made the season so much more enjoyable. I know it's a very special season to the young men who have put their all into it.

Now, it's on to Florida and the SECCG. Of course, none of the national media expects Bama to win, but after seeing how these guys have bought into Coach Saban's "process" I don't doubt anything. I do think it will be a great game because of the two totally different styles of the teams. A lot of people prefer Florida's style because it puts lots of points on the board, but I prefer that old-school, smash-mouth style Bama uses. No matter what happens in that game, Bama will be playing in a good bowl game this year--Miami or New Orleans. Who can complain about either?

I guess that's about it for now. Just one more thing...


I love my Crimson Tide!

I really, REALLY mean this...

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