30 October 2010

Life can be so unfair

Tragedy struck our family Thursday afternoon.

My cousin Elizabeth and her three boys, ages 8, 7, and 1, were driving from Sumiton to Jasper on Highway 78.  While I don't know ALL of the details, I do know that a car apparently came out of the median, causing Elizabeth to swerve.  When she did, her Cherokee went off the road, flipped down an embankment, and hit a tree.  She was pronounced dead on the scene.  They had to be cut out of the vehicle.  The three boys were relatively okay--physically--but they were taken to the hospital.  One of them was airlifted, and he will probably have significant scarring on his face.  She was 37.  Her birthday is coming up in the next couple of weeks.  Her baby, Phillip, turned one on Monday.

The wreck could have been worse.  They could have gone into the river, which probably would have taken the lives of all four of them. 

The person who hit her...he didn't even stop.  Thank GOD there were witnesses who were able to provide a description, and one was even able to provide the tag number.  If these wonderful people had not been so aware, this person might still be out there, but because of their descriptions, he was found. 

How can someone just run another person off the road and not stop?  Where is the humanity? 

Tonight, a husband, three little boys, a mother, a father, two sisters, three brothers, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends wonder why.  Why did this happen?  Why do these precious babies have to grow up without their mother?  Why will Phillip's birthday forever have such an unhappy memory associated with it?  It isn't fair.

All I can say is that I know that God in His infinite wisdom knows the answers.  I pray that He will wrap his arms around this family and will bring the comfort that only He can.

Elizabeth's younger sister and her husband will be flying in from England where he is stationed.  I pray for their safe trip, but I also hate that they are having to make the trip under such horrible circumstances.

Tonight, hug your loved ones.  Tell them you love them.  Bite your tongue when you want to fuss at your children for the messes they made.  Throw away the five Mountain Dew cans that your husband left on the table beside his recliner.  Those messes and those cans are so very unimportant.  What is important is that they know you love them and that they are the most valuable possession you have.  You never know when it could all be taken away.

24 October 2010

Stars in their crowns

Years ago when I was teaching special education exclusively, I would have people tell me that I must be a special person to work with special needs kids.  I always brushed the thought away because I didn't (and I still don't) feel that my working with special needs kids made me any more special than the next teacher.  Yes, there were challenges, but isn't that the case in every job?  Since I've moved into the general ed classroom, I still have challenges...they are just different.  Instead of kids who can't, I have kids who don't or won't.

However, I do believe with ALL OF MY HEART AND SOUL that those who work with geriatric patients, especially those with Alzheimer's, do deserve numerous stars in their crowns.  I posted last night about the conversation between my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.  Well, this morning, I kind of lost it with my mother-in-law. 

My niece is having her baby shower this afternoon.  At breakfast, Connie and I were talking about it, and of course, Billie didn't get invited (or so she thinks.)  We told her she did but that she had just forgotten.  (I've had this same conversation twice in the short time I've been writing this post.)  We told her that she needed to go because Gavin is her great-grandson and Libby would be hurt if she didn't go.  Then she began with her old standby:  "I'm so dizzy in my head I can barely stand up." 

While she was washing dishes, Connie told her to take a shower and we'd go riding later this afternoon.  Oh, boy...she perked up at that.  "Can we go out to the forest to Momma's and Daddy's graves?"  Connie told her that she didn't know where we'd end up, but we'd go somewhere.  Once she finished with dishes, I told her to go take her shower.  She headed toward the bathroom, or so I thought.

A few minutes later, I went to our bedroom and there she was...GOING THROUGH MY PURSE!  She said she was just moving some stuff so she could make up the bed, but she had my bottle of Lexapro in her hand looking at it, and it was IN my purse.  I sent--again--her take her shower.

She went to the bathroom and I heard her moving stuff around.  Then she said she just was going to bathe off and not take a shower.  I told her she needed to shower, but she insisted she didn't want to.  I insisted she needed to because she didn't take one yesterday. 

Her:  "Yes, I did."
Me:  "No, you didn't, and you said last night you could smell yourself."  (She says that all the time, but we don't smell her.)
Her:  "Well, I do stink, but I can bathe off and get clean."  (She was bathing off, but she wasn't using soap AT ALL.)
Me:  "No, you don't get good and clean if you don't get in the shower and use soap."
Her:  "I took a shower yesterday."
Me:  "No, you didn't."
Her:  "You weren't here yesterday.  You don't know."
Me (using a tone of voice that I really shouldn't have):  "I'VE BEEN HERE SINCE 8:00 FRIDAY NIGHT.  YOU DID NOT TAKE A SHOWER YESTERDAY!!!"
Her:  "Well, I'm just dizzy in my head and I don't feel like it."
Me:  "Fine.  Don't tell me you smell yourself.  If you aren't going to take a shower, you are going to stink."

Now, let me ask you this:  Who is the crazy person here?  The answer to that?  I am.  I'm the one who, almost two hours later, is still catching myself clenching my jaws while she's over in her chair happy as a lark.  I feel horrible about losing my temper because deep in my heart I know she can't help it.  It's just so damn frustrating to see someone you love deteriorate so much.  Have I told you lately that  I HATE ALZHEIMER'S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She just said...again...that she wasn't invited to Libby's shower.

And I have a pain over my left eye.

So yeah, anyone who works with geriatric Alzheimer's patients and can go through a day without losing his/her patience deserves not just a star, but a whole galaxy, or stars.  I couldn't do it.  Give me a teenager any day.

Have a GREAT day, and please pray for me 'cause I need it.

23 October 2010


I love my weekends.  I really do.  Even the "groundhog weekends."  We got to my mother-in-law's house last night about 8:00, and it has been a constant repetition for the last 26 hours.  Just in the last three minutes, she's asked Connie probably five times about her house payment and her checkbook.  This conversation is truly breaking my heart.  Connie is explaining to her why she can't do things, and she--Billie--is just not comprehending that the things she USED to do she can't do anymore because of the Alzheimer's.  Her short-term memory is less than a minute long.  Connie gave her a list of four things:  apple, blanket, table, and shoe.  Just seconds later, she couldn't name even one of them.  A few days ago, she lost her microwave.  It was sitting in the same place that it has been forever.  It is frustrating, heartbreaking, and I HATE IT! 

I got grades done and put them into my gradebook and the computer today.  I hope I got everything done correctly to turn my grades in on Monday.  This new program, iNow, is not the best in the world.  I'm sure it's not the worst, but it certainly leaves a LOT to be desired!!  Our registrar has spent numerous hours trying to figure things out, and when she thinks she has it figured out, we (the teachers) find something that is a glitch.  Bless her heart...this has not been a fun process.  

Bama had a good game today.  It took forever for them to get the ball rolling, but once they did, they ROLLED.  Julio set a single-game record for 221 yards, and Trent had an average of 9.9 yards per carry, Mark had 6.3, and Greg completed 21 of 32 passes for 264 yards.  Not too shabby, I don't think.  We are desperate need of this bye week.  This time last year our guys were tired, but they had managed to avoid the injury bug for the most part.  This year, they are exhausted and the injury bug has bit big.  Last year, a couple of guys had season-ending injuries, and we haven't had that this year, but we have had a lot of dinged up players. 

John is going to Talladega with one of his brothers next weekend, so I'll probably head to the lake by myself.  Since working bibliographies and note cards are due Friday, being alone will probably be a good thing.  Too many breaks get taken when John is around.  LOL

Libby's baby shower is tomorrow.  I've got to run to the store in the morning to pick up a gift bag for her goodies.  Well...they are really Gavin's goodies, but once he gets here, he won't care about anything except a fresh bottle (or boob), a clean diaper, and a comfy bed.  So I guess it really is for Libby after all.  LOL  I can't wait to have a new baby in the family to love on!  It didn't occur to me until Connie got here that I didn't bring "shower" clothes, so I hope it will be okay if I wear jeans.  I thought about packing a nicer top and a skirt, but by the time I actually packed, I didn't think anything else about it. 

I guess that's about it for tonight.  It's been a LONG day, and I'm a tired lady.  Have a GREAT Sunday!


20 October 2010


The first time I taught research to my seniors was five years ago.  (Remember that the first 13 years of my teaching career was spent teaching students with IEPs in a self-contained classroom.  My students were classified as mentally retarded, so we focused on life skills--filling out job applications, reading bills, paying bills, going on job interviews, etc.)  As I started the research process, I was terrified.  I mean, I knew how to WRITE a paper myself, but I didn't have a clue about how to TEACH someone else to write one.  Writing is, after all, not a process that has only one correct way.  What works for you may not work for me.  As a matter of fact, until I started teaching the research process, I had never actually followed an actual "process."  I had always just done it my own way.  And it certainly wasn't the most logical or easy way.  LOL

Over the last five years, though, I have learned how to teach the process.  I do tell my students that as they begin their college careers, they may develop their own style that is completely different from the style that I teach them, but at least they will have an idea of what does or doesn't work for them.  One thing that I realized Monday is that I was actually looking forward to starting research.  Whaaaa???????????  When the heck did THAT happen?????  Now, the thing I do NOT look forward to at all is the grading.  I am doing something different this year, though, that I hope will help some.

In the past, the other senior English teacher and I have gone through the process of teaching the students how to write bibliography cards.  Over the last couple of semesters, I've had people question why in the world I was still teaching students how to write bib cards.  And I started thinking about it.  Why was I doing this?  In colleges all over the place, students are using online resources, such as easybib.com, to generate working bibliographies which are then turned into the works cited page.  So...if colleges were allowing students to use resources like this, why shouldn't I?  After all, times have changed since 1985 when I was a college freshman.  Technology has changed.  I needed to change with it.  So this year, I'm having my students create a working bibliography on easybib.  My colleague is still doing it the "old" way, though.  I think once she sees how much easier it should be to grade a working bibliography, she'll change her mind.  Plus, it won't be nearly as hard to bring 85 pages of working bibliographies home as it would be to lug around a minimum of five bibliography cards for 85 students.  (Do the math.  That is a minimum of 425 cards!!!  And those 3x5 cards do get heavy.)

I am still having them write note cards.  I haven't figured out a good way to simplify that process, but I am open to suggestions!!!!  They have to turn in 20 note cards the first go round (1700 cards) and then those same 20 plus 20 new ones the second go round (3400 cards...HEAVY!!)  So please, send any ideas!

We're going to the Mac lab tomorrow for them to get started "playing" around to find sources and to begin building their working bibliography.  I'm looking forward to a day of not having to talk all day long.  My voice is tired.  :)

Guess that's it for now.  Have a GREAT day!

17 October 2010

Look in the mirror, bud.

So the football season here in Alabama is gearing up for the final half, so the hardest part of the schedule for both of the major college teams in the state is ahead.  And it's about to start getting ugly.

After South Carolina beat Bama last week for our first loss in over two years, so many of my facebook friends were gloating about how the "mighty bammers were taken down" or something to that effect.  Even though I may not have liked it, I realize that is how it is whenever intense rivalries are concerned, so I just ignored it.  And I know that whenever Auburn loses, I'll be just as happy as they were last week.

Yesterday as we sat watching the Auburn-Arkansas game, I was pulling mightily for the Hogs to win, and it was obvious from my facebook posts.  (So maybe some of the comments I'm going to share with you were directed at me, but if you don't like what I post, ignore me or delete me.  I wear my big girl panties, so my feelings won't get hurt.  Pinky swear.)  But what gets under my skin more than anything is how some fans (Bama fans are just as guilty) think that their fan base never does anything wrong.

Just a few comments from some of my "saner" facebook friends (you know, the ones who are fans, win or lose...not the fans who crawl out from under the woodpile whenever their team is doing well.)
  • "If you hate Auburn, quit watching the game."  This "friend" has actually deleted me this morning.  My first reply was that the same could be said for Auburn fans who hate Bama.  A couple of other replies were made, and I'm going to guess the one that made her delete me was when I said that in the last week I've deleted a couple of friends from facebook because of their use of vulgarity in their gloats over the Bama loss.  Look in the mirror, bud, because Auburn fans say the same things Bama fans say.  Auburn fans hate it when Bama wins just as much as Bama hates it when Auburn wins.
  • "Why is it necessary to use expletives when rooting for a certain crimson colored team?"  My reply:  "The same reason Auburn fans use 'damn' anytime they say 'War Damn Eagle'."  It makes me cringe anytime I see or hear someone use the F word between Roll and Tide.  Fortunately, I don't see it ALL that much (but I'm sure it's quite prevalent in some places, especially around campus.)  Look in the mirror, bud, because Auburn fans say or use "WDE" or "War Damn Eagle" daily.  The fans of a "crimson colored team" don't have exclusive rights to the stupid use of profanity.  (This particular person completely deleted the thread from her page.)
  • "LOVES how everyone seems to be an Arkansas fan today" to which I replied "same way the barners were gamecock fans last week...It's the same on both sides!"  Look in the mirror, bud, because facebook was crawling with Auburn fans who were South Carolina fans a week ago.  And you were all Ole Miss fans last night, and you'll be Tennessee fans on Saturday. 
I love how some of the Auburn faithful, now when they are doing extremely well, decide to be "classy" and to pretend like they NEVER do the things that the Bama fans are doing.  It goes BOTH ways, so before making any "why do Bama fans..." comments, stop and look in the mirror, bud.  YOU may not be saying it about Bama, but I guarantee you that somebody is.

For the record, the majority of the fan bases--Bama or Auburn--do NOT act this way.  It's just the ones who crawl from the woodpile whenever their particular team is on top.


14 October 2010

Fall break, days 2-4

Even though my back was still hurting a little when I got up Tuesday morning, I knew I was going to have to deal with it because the house HAD to get cleaned.  Fortunately, the more I moved around, the less the old back bothered me. 

Cleaning house is one of those chores I truly hate, and I probably would have put doing it off until another day, but we were leaving for the lake as soon as John got home Tuesday, and I didn't want to come home to a messy house.  So, clean I did.  And a couple of loads of laundry.  And paid bills.  And went to the grocery store.  Ugh.  A domestic goddess I am not.

Once John got home, we loaded up the truck and headed out about 4.  We stopped by Katy and Phillip's on the way.  Their microwave had stopped working, and since we had our old one, we took it to them until they can fix theirs or buy a new one.  Just before we got there, Katy called to see if we would mind staying with Sam for a bit while she ran to pick up one of her friend's little boy.  Naturally, we said we refused to stay with him for one tiny second.  LOL 

Sam managed to trick Grana (or Nana...I think that's what I'll end up) into picking him up so he could see the CD player.  As I was dancing around with him, Katy called to see if it would be okay for her to run by Target while she was out.  When I told her what Sam and I were doing, she said he'd conned me because he knows he isn't supposed to do that.  AHHHH!!!!  Of course, Grana/Nana didn't mind, but once the CD was finished, we didn't turn it back on.  If I could hang out with Sam for a couple of hours every day, I'd lose some of this weight.  hahaha

After Katy got home, we headed to the lake. It was about 10 when we got here, and I was sure glad we'd left the sheets on the bed Sunday.  I called it a night right away.

When I woke up yesterday, my back was hurting again.  After breakfast John started taking the old swim deck apart.  I helped as much as I could, but other than being a go-fer, I didn't do much.  About mid-morning, I said something to him about my back bothering me again, and then it dawned on me...dancing with a 30-something pound toddler.  :)  We worked until about 3:30 before we called it a day.

We went to Cindy and Sam's for dinner last night.  Cindy and I were elementary/high school friends, but we had lost touch after high school.  About a year and a half ago, we reconnected through facebook. 

Sam had been to the Gulf fishing, and they wanted us to come over for fresh fish.  Cindy said that Sam was going to make his specialty, but she didn't tell me anything else about it.  Oh. My. Word.  I can honestly say that was one of the best dishes I have EVER had!  John and I haven't stopped talking about it yet.  It was restaurant quality.  The thing is that if I'd read the description on a restaurant menu, I probably wouldn't have ordered it.  The dish consisted of fresh red snapper, spinach, red and green bell peppers, Alfredo sauce, and pasta.  I wouldn't have ordered it because I wouldn't have been sure that I'd like the combination of snapper, spinach, and the peppers.  And in a restaurant, it would have probably cost close to $20.  I'm not going to spend that much on something I'm afraid I won't like.  Let me tell you, though, it would have been worth every penny.  We also had steamed asparagus, salad, bread, and cheesecake. 

In addition to a wonderfully delicious meal, we enjoyed sitting around talking while Sam cooked and then after dinner.  Cindy was the kid in school that we were mean to.  I don't mean mean like kids are today.  We never threatened to kill her and we never beat her up in the bathroom at school (like a story I heard on the Montgomery news tonight.)  We were just little brats.  Thankfully, Cindy has a forgiving heart. 

Today, we finished up the swim deck.  Correction...John finished the swim deck.  I was still just the go-fer.  What I did the most was to lie on the "new" swim deck in the sunshine.  It was a beautiful day!  The sun shined all day, and there was a wonderful breeze blowing. Sometimes the breeze was a little cool, but in the sun, it felt great.  I actually got a little sun on my face.  :)

John grilled ribs for dinner.  FAB. U. LOUS.  Now, we're just relaxing.  We have a few odds and ends to do tomorrow to clean up the shoreline.  I'm going to clean the trailer.  Oh joy.  Housecleaning twice in one week.  The nice thing about cleaning the trailer is that I can be completely finished in just over an hour.  Joys of a small place.

Hopefully, Mom and Dad are going to come up Saturday for a while.  We haven't seen them since Jessi and Lance's wedding.

That's about it for now.  Kind of rambling, I know, but that's okay.  :)  Have a GREAT day!

11 October 2010

Day 1 of fall break

I decided to make my first day of fall break all about ME.  I got up, had breakfast, showered, and went to do a little pampering.  I didn't go overboard by any stretch, but I enjoyed every second.  My first stop was at Starbucks for a venti caramel machiatto.  Then I headed to the nail salon for a nice, relaxing hot stone pedicure.  Oh my!  That felt SOOOOOO good!  The massage chair was especially nice since I wrenched my back in the shower.  Having back spasms probably kept me from doing more than I might have done otherwise.  (Much to John's delight.  LOL)  After having my toesies pampered, I made a quick stop at Ulta.  I've started using the Ulta brand mineral makeup, and I LOVE it.  The shade I had gotten is really more of my summer color, so I got a lighter shade for the fall/winter.  My last stop was at Four Paws to get Ali a new collar.  It has lady bugs on it, so it's perfect for the Bug.  :)

Speaking of the Bug...we were at the lake this past weekend, and she found something.  We have no idea what, but she must have rolled around in it a time or twelve because she stunk.  Before we left to come home yesterday, I gave her a good bath.  I don't think it would have been possible to ride for three hours cooped up in the truck with her.

I had to take them to the vet this afternoon for their shots.  Their appointment was for 3:30, but about 2 Amanda called and asked if I could bring them in then because they had an emergency coming in.  It's so much easier when John is here to go with me, but I managed.  Bama did better this go round than he usually does, but Ali was a squirmer.  Everything was good for both of them.  Except for Bama's weight.  Dr. SanMiguel said he is a "little pudgy" and that he doesn't need to get table scraps anymore.  (JOHN is the one to blame for that!) 

We're going back to the lake tomorrow when John gets home and we're staying until Sunday.  We have some yard work to do, but I'm hoping for a lot of time to porch sit.  :)

I guess that's about it for now.  Have a GREAT day, and

ROLL TIDE!  What...did you think that because my guys lost on Saturday I would suddenly stop showing my love for them??  :)

05 October 2010

Sometimes ya just gotta laugh

I teach.  I teach English.  I specifically teach British literature.  I do not teach science.  I especially do not teach biological sciences.  (OK...short, choppy sentences are the bane of English teachers above third grade, but sometimes I just feel the need to use them, and this is one of those times.)

We are ending the first term of the year, so for my students, that means term exams.  I've given one huge comprehensive exam at the end of the semester, and I've given term exams at the end of each term.  I, and my students, much prefer the end-of-term exams.  They are taking my exam on Thursday, so yesterday I gave them their study guides. 

When they came into class today, I told them to finish working on them, and before the end of the period, we would go over their answers.  As I sat at my back table finishing the essay questions from their Chaucer test, I heard one of my precious, but somewhat dingy, girls say, "What did Chaucer say about genitalia?" 

Whaaaaa????  All I could do was put my head on my table and laugh.  Along with everyone else who heard her.  Meanwhile, she's sitting there asking why everyone was laughing at her.  Finally, I looked up and said, "That refers to body parts."

She:  "No, that's gender."

Another student then, very quietly, explained to her what genitalia was, to which she said, "OHHHHH!  Genitals!  I get it now!"

Oh, the original question was this:  "What did the old woman say about gentility in 'The Pardoner's Tale'?"  Gentility, NOT genitalia.

If you've read Chaucer, you know he did make references to genitalia, but we didn't read any of those works by ole Geoff.

And no, this isn't the same girl who used the word "rememberize" last week.

I do love my job, but sometimes I wonder where these kids come from. 

Tomorrow is our Medieval feast.  They've all signed up for a food that relates in some way to the Medieval time period, and they're going to get to watch A Knight's Tale.  The food is usually pretty good.  Hopefully, everyone will bring what he/she has signed up for.  I did "bribe" them by telling them that they will get participation points for bringing something.  Most of them want every extra point they can get, so I think we'll have plenty.

And in other news...My husband is now the proud owner of a BlackBerry!  I swapped him over to my plan so we are on a family plan now.  He didn't want to go with me, so I got him a Curve.  So far, he has sent an email to me, and a text message and picture to Jessi.  He's so cute trying to figure out everything.  He just said, "Oh, I can internet now.  Let me see if I can find that."  (He wants to look up the Geico commercial that has the little pig going wee-wee-wee all the way home.  LOL)  I may have created a monster.  hahaha

Only three more days until fall break.  Ahhhhh!!!!  I'm planning on going to visit Katy and Sam one day.  I told Katy that maybe we could take Sam to the zoo, and then John and I are going to the lake for part of the week.  Poppa (Sam's gone from Pop Pop to Poppa) may want to go too.  :)

That's it for tonight.  Have a GREAT day tomorrow!

03 October 2010

A perfect Saturday!

John and I got up about 8, I guess, and did a few things around the house.  Both of his girls called him before we left to wish him a happy birthday, so he got off to a great start.  :)

We left about noon and stopped at Keywest Inn in Clanton to check in.  Boy, am I glad we decided to stay there.  As it was, we didn't get back there until about 1:45.  Had we come on home, it would have been after 3 AM.  Then we headed on to Tuscaloosa.

Dreamland white bread and barbecue sauce

Ain't Nothing Like 'Em Nowhere!

Damage done

Our first stop was the original Dreamland in Tuscaloosa.  This little hole-in-the-wall rib shack has been here since 1958.  John "Big Daddy" Bishop was the founder of this institution, and I fortunately had the opportunity to visit the restaurant before he passed away.  I say fortunately because he was known for sitting in his chair right next to the pit, slopping sauce.  The place is, like I said, a hole-in-the-wall, but on a football Saturday, it will be filled with fans from both teams.  We've stopped as early as 10 AM for ribs.  LOL

John has wanted to get some ribs, so we did since it was his birthday.  They were, as usual, delicious.  You can see that we didn't leave anything on the bones.  While we were eating our bread sopped in sauce, I told John that if I were ever on death row and about to eat my last meal, I would want it to be Dreamland bread, sauce, and ribs.  Not that I ever plan on being on death row or planning my last meal there...

After filling our tummies we headed on over to campus.  We parked and hopped on the transit bus for the quad.  We met up with one of John's high school buddies for a bit.  Mark's company has a huge tent on the quad, but this was the first week we've been able to catch him there.  Mark recently had knee replacement surgery.  We were asking how he is doing with it, and he dropped this neat little tidbit.  He is doing his rehab with Mark Ingram!  Mark's wife, Judy, is Coach Mal Moore's secretary, so Judy asked if it would be possible for Mark to rehab in the athletic department.  So he is, and he is often there when Mark Ingram is.  I asked our Mark if the other Mark is as nice as he seems in interviews.  He said that he is just that nice, if not more.  That makes my heart happy because I WANT my Alabama program to be known for attracting quality young men who represent my school well.

We finally headed to the stadium about 6, but we didn't go in until about 6:30.  It felt so good outside, and we weren't so sure it would be as cool inside.  (It ended up being a perfect evening weather wise.)  All over campus, the Gator fans were "chomping" and yelling "Go Gators!"  I didn't have any personal interaction with them, but they were quite a bit more "mouthy" than other fans who have visited Tuscaloosa. 

The game was PERFECT!  I was honestly thinking that it was going to be a nail biter, but the TIDE took care of business early.  And then we laid back.  I'm not a fan of holding back against a team like Florida because a good team can be back in the game in a matter of minutes.  Our offense produced very little in the second half (apparently this was "by design" according to the sports writers), but our defense bowed up and kept the Gators from getting into the endzone.  An interesting side note...five years ago, the score was 31-3.  Yesterday it was 31-6 (two field goals).  The LAST time Florida was kept out of the endzone was on Oct. 2, 2005 in Tuscaloosa.  That has been something like 61 games.  Pretty amazing job, D!

A happy guy!  He got his birthday wish

The TIDE is STILL #1!!

We stayed in the stadium until the last seconds ticked off because we definitely wanted to do Rammer Jammer.  I think that was one of the loudest ones I've ever heard.  I did not do RJ at the San Jose State game or at the Penn State game.  I don't believe in taunting those teams we are SUPPOSED to beat by 40 or 50 points, and I just have too much respect for coaches like Coach Paterno.  SEC teams, however, are a completely different story.  They are our "siblings" and you know how it is with your siblings...you can be as mean to them as you like, but heaven help those outsiders who treat them badly.  LOL  I also believe that programs like USC, Texas, Oklahoma (even though I have tremendous respect for the Sooners, too) are subject to the cheer.  We're getting into the meat of our SEC schedule.  I'm looking forward to many more Rammer Jammers this season!

That's it for today!  Have a GREAT week, and remember to

ROLL TIDE!!!!!!!!!!

02 October 2010


Today is John's birthday!  He turns 55, and he is using the senior discount already.  LOL  Seriously...we have reservations for tonight at a swanky, five-star hotel (BAHAHAHAHAHA), and there is a senior discount for anyone 55 or older with valid ID.  Well, just so happens he is 55 today and he has a valid ID.  So we're getting a room for $53, tax and all.  (See.  I told you it was a swanky, five-star hotel.)

I truly feel like I should send Billie a thank you card because she brought him into this world and helped to make him into the man he is.  I've said it many times before on my blog, and I'll continue to say it, but I know how very blessed and fortunate I am to have him in my life, and I thank God each and every day...several times a day...for putting us in the same place at the same time.  My life is so much better because he is a part of it.

So many words can be used to describe John.  Kind, considerate, compassionate, funny, hard working, dedicated, loving, outgoing, goofy, determined...I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.  I can truly say that I have nothing bad to say about him, and when I do, it is in complete jest.  Sure, I get frustrated with him because he can be quite stubborn (as is everyone in his family!) but I also appreciate that about him.

Today is also GAME DAY!  Five years ago today, Alabama and Florida played at Bryant-Denny.  It was on John's 50th birthday, and we did a surprise party for him.  He knew I was planning on having a cake at the tailgate, but he had NO idea what was really in the works.

A couple of weeks before the game, Susan called me and asked if I was free to talk without John overhearing.  I went to put laundry in because I knew he wouldn't hear me.  She said that Tim had an idea but he wanted to run it by me first, so she put him on the line.  He asked if I would be offended if we had a Hooter's party, complete with the Hooter's girls.  I said I definitely would NOT be offended and that I loved the idea.  He arranged everything, but for two solid weeks, I had to lie, lie, lie about the plans for the tailgate.  Originally, we had something else planned (don't remember what) so Susan and I came up with a plan.  We said they were going to do a Boston butt and bring all of the fixings.  John still kept trying to plan things, so the lies just kept growing.  Amazingly, I managed to keep them all straight (I am NOT a good liar AT ALL!!!!!) 

The day of the game, I was so excited I couldn't sleep.  At 4 AM I was wide awake, so I went on and got up.  We loaded up and were on the road before daylight.  hahaha  The Hooter's girls and their manager were getting there about 11, so about 10:15 or so, Tim told John he needed to go purchase John's present (some Gentleman Jack) and said for John to ride with him.  They went to the Campus Store and took care of that, and that and then Tim decided they needed to run to Publix for something else (cigars, maybe??)  While they were in Publix, Tim called Susan to see if the girls had shown up yet.  They hadn't, so Tim faked a call of nature and ended up spending about 10 minutes in the Publix bathroom.  (We still laugh until we cry whenever we talk about this.)  He made another call, but they still hadn't gotten there.  Finally, Susan called him and told them they were there, so Tim and John were able to head back. 

John kept trying to tell Tim where to turn so that they could get back quicker, but we wanted them to come in a certain way.  Tim managed to do things his way. Right before they got to our spot, Tim told John to look at him and close his eyes.  Only a man confident in his sexuality would tell another man to do that.  I'm not sure John had any idea what to expect.  LOL

He was totally surprised, and he loved every minute of the day.  I had emailed some of his buddies from high school, and they all came over, so he got to see and talk to them.  It was probably the BEST tailgate we have EVER had.  Some Florida guys came by and asked how we got the Hooter's girls there.  We explained what was going on to them.  One of them looked at me and said, "You must be a great wife."

As fun as the tailgate was, the game was even better.  I have never heard BDS as loud as it was that day.  I don't think the crowd ever stopped yelling whenever Florida was on offense.  I think that helped tremendously, too, because we soundly beat Florida 31-3.  The only downside was that this was the game that ended Tyrone Prothro's football career as a player.

I'm hoping for a repeat game tomorrow, minus the injury.  I think the stadium will be just as loud, if not louder than it was in '05.  I know the Florida players will be ready to redeem the December loss, and I'm sure my guys will be ready to defend their win.  I think it will be a hard-fought game, and I just hope that the good guys in CRIMSON come out on top.  I'm confident that they can and will.

I guess that's it for today.  Have a GREAT football Saturday, and

ROLL TIDE!!!!!!!!!

01 October 2010

A job-related post

This time next week I will be relaxing and getting ready to enjoy my fall break.  Rumor has it that this will be our last year to have fall break, and I will miss it terribly!  By the end of the first nine weeks, I am in desperate need of a break.  But I guess I'll adjust.

It's hard to believe that the first nine weeks are almost over.  I told my students the first day of the semester that the year would be over before they knew it, and here we are...1/4 of the way through.  Whew!

One of my students made me chuckle the other day.  I'm going to call her Bitsy because that name makes me think of someone who is just the tiniest bit air headed, and she is definitely an airhead.  She is blond, literally and figuratively.  Anyway, on Wednesday I was letting the kids play a review game for their Chaucer test.  They always enjoy this particular game, probably because they get to see the actual test questions and answers, but I award 10 points to the winner of each group.  These points are added to their overall test grade.  I enjoy observing them as they play because they will FIGHT for those points.  The group that Bitsy was in wasn't made up of the brightest students in the class (I let them choose their groups.)  Bitsy was getting extremely vocal because she felt like the other members of the group weren't playing fair.  As I walked around, I overhead Bitsy yell out, "NO FAIR!  You're over there rememberizing the questions!"  Rememberizing.  I'm going to guess that the definition of that is to remember and memorize simultaneously. 

Today they had their pilgrim project presentations.  After we study "The Prologue" to The Canterbury Tales, I let them pair up and select a Canterbury pilgrim.  Then, they create a Facebook page (on a poster) for their pilgrim. They have to have a good understanding of the pilgrim based on the reading in order to fulfill the requirements.  They have to select ten friends, 2-3 quotes, books, music, interests, etc. that their pilgrim would relate to.  I just started doing this project last spring, and they seem to enjoy it.

As my last block class was presenting, I sat in the back of the room watching them interact, and honestly, I was almost moved to tears.  They were being so funny, and it made me realize how very much I love my job and my students.  Sure, sometimes I could strangle them because they don't put forth the effort I KNOW they are capable of putting forth and sometimes they are just little snots (but how many 17-18 year-olds AREN'T little snots at least occasionally??)  But I would do anything within my power to help any of them.  I know I'm an extremely lucky person because I do have a job...a job I love, and not everyone is fortunate enough to say that.

I guess that's it for tonight.  I've GOT to go put laundry away, and I've GOT to make John go clean the kitchen for me.  Neither of us WANTS to, but tomorrow is game day, and I don't want to come home to dirty dishes or clothes that need to be put away.

Have a GREAT day, and


I love my Crimson Tide!

I really, REALLY mean this...

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