Thursday, August 13, 2009

False Starts

I've started to blog numerous times the past few days and when the "new post" page opens up I sit and stare at it wondering exactly what I want to type. With no good plan I end up closing the page and logging on to Facebook to waste some time and the blogging goes by the wayside. So I refused to give up today. I'd love to type a happy, upbeat post full of jokes and laughter...we'll see how it goes. In true English teacher style when a well planned blog fails to form I just start typing. I believe the technical term for my writing might be stream of consciousness. I am a little too rigid though and can't really do that properly. You are supposed to just write (type) without any thought to spelling, grammar, etc. Yeah, that's not going to happen from me. My mental red pen refuses to quit. So welcome to the random thoughts and tangents my mind is going to lead you on today.

Music~Our house pretty much always has music playing if someone is home. (A house can't really play music, but you know what I mean.) I hadn't really thought about it until our neighbors commented on it. Crissy said to me one day "you always have music going don't you?" Yes we do. Pretty much. We love music in this house and the many moods it creates and soothes, the memories it evokes, and the memories it helps create. Then a week or so later one of Crissy's children came to visit and talk. She asked me "where is the music today?" Well, I had been napping shortly before her visit so I hadn't turned it on yet. The music I have been listening to the last few days has been Chris LeDoux. After blogging with his song titles it had me thinking about his music and the need to listen to it. So listen I did. I was thinking about a dear friend who would have been celebrating his 35th birthday yesterday. He loved Chris LeDoux's music and it made me love it just as much. So in his honor I turned it up and sang and danced around the house. Until Dave came home and I had to act civilized again, lol. Today the LeDoux mood has passed for awhile and I am listening to a mixed cd Dave made called "Me and Love October 2005." Good stuff. I forget what movie it is that the daughter always knows her Mom is having a rough day when she listened to a Carley Simon record, but Dave can always tell what kind of mood I'm in depending on what I'm listening to when he comes home.

What I've Learned as a Result of Death~Morbid? Maybe. So I've learned several things as a result of the loss of people close to me. One loss in particular taught me a lot. Each loss is different for each and every person. I'd love to say you "heal" and the pain goes away. No it doesn't it just changes and evolves just like you do. I've learned never to take those you love for granted because you just never know what tomorrow will bring for anyone. I've learned that even once you've said good-bye it still hurts. I've learned that random things happen in life to make you think of them on a regular basis. I've learned that even if I decide to be cremated when I die (well, I'd have to decide before I die because once I'm dead I won't be deciding anything) that I want to be buried in the ground. I don't want someone to have my ashes in their house or have them scattered anywhere. I want to be in the ground somewhere. (Where? I have no freakin clue...) I learned this after going through the grieving process. My dear friend Scott was buried in a mausoleum (my mom and I have nicknamed it a high rise). I would go to visit and I felt like all the "neighbors" were listening in on my conversations with him. (Yes, I'm aware this makes me sound a teensy bit crazy.) I suppose if he had been buried in the ground the neighbors still could have listened but they would have been a little farther apart. Anyhow, the point is that I want whoever comes to visit my grave to have some room to sit and talk without worrying about the neighbors.

That is as far as I am going to get with the blog today. Maybe I'll have more next time.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


(For those of you not from Ohio I'm talking about United Elementary/Jr. High/High School.)

The school built literally in the middle of four cornfields. By the time I graduated high school I loathed the whole building. I was so ready to be done with small town life and everyone knowing everything about everyone-or thinking they did anyhow. I still don't have any desire to move back, but I can appreciate its good qualities now. I received an excellent education from some very talented teachers. Teachers who influenced me to become a teacher myself.

I sought refuge in "Mom Peters" office during study halls and after school. Her office brought sanity to a world that had been really up heaved during my high school years. She also encouraged me to be my best at everything I do and to strive for excellence. I longed to visit her office earlier this week...still kinda do.

I'm not the only one who found refuge in Mom Peters office so I'm guessing her office has been or will be busy right now. You see tragedy struck United earlier this week. A student, Gavin Ward, died from an asthma attack after his Jr. High football practice. Gavin was the son of Mike and Denise Ward who happened to be teachers at United.

I was a student of Mr. Ward for a health class my sophomore year I do believe. Denise Ward was the adviser for flag line my first year and if memory serves me correctly she was pregnant with Gavin at the time. I was really kind of scared of her at first, but realized that she wasn't all that scary she just had high expectations of each and every one of us. My first year on flag line I was an alternate because the "judges" felt like I could do it, but they just didn't feel I was ready at the time of auditions. As an alternate I had to prove I could do the routine before I was allowed to perform it on the football field at half time. To prepare for this I would practice my routines in the yard on almost a daily basis. I happened to live on one of the "main" roads and so lots of people would drive by and see me in the yard with my bright yellow practice flag doing the routines over and over and over. (This was one of the first times I had ever had to "practice" anything. Most things came pretty easy to me.) Friends would always laugh and talk about how I was practicing in the yard. I loved being on flag line and was going to "prove" that I was good enough to perform. My practice paid off and I was able to perform in every show. I distinctly recall one show that involved a lot of rain so we performed on the track in mud puddles, the power went out during our show, and our routine involved ribbon streamers...we were a filthy mess afterward. I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to prove myself that first year and eventually my Junior and Senior year of high school I was the captain of the flag line. I also was Denise's student my senior year of high school for Honors English. She once again expected a lot from each and every one of us. She knew we were bright and talented and she wouldn't let us get away with any kind of slacking off. The influence Mike and Denise have had on so many classes of students is amazing. A Facebook page was started to show support for the Wards during this time of tragedy and there are currently 163 members and many of them are current and former students. If you look at their locations they are spread across the states...

Small town communities are a unique and interesting thing. They band together when tragedy strikes and even if you fought with the kid down the street you find yourself standing side by side supporting those closest to the tragedy when it happens. I know the upcoming school year will be especially difficult as the family and community works through the grief, but they will all be there supporting each other throughout. Nothing can replace Gavin for the Wards, but hopefully with the support of family, friends, the community, and many prayers they will get through the next few hours, days, weeks, and years together. The same way they faced the obstacles brought on with Denise's diagnosis of breast cancer a few years back.

Not Much to Blog About

Well, maybe there has been a lot to blog about, but not much I'd really like to say about it at this point in time. Life still feels completely random most days.

Jobs~Dave is working at Bass Pro in the gun department. (Did you really think he'd get a job that didn't involve guns? Me neither.) I'm still working at LOFT trying to decide what on earth I'm going to do full-time. I had an interview for a co-manager position at a Loft in Spanish Fort, AL a few weeks back. It sounded like a great opportunity and a nearly done deal, but instead of getting the "pack your stuff and move asap" phone call I received the "you need more experience and time in your current role" phone call. I'm guessing God has other plans for me. Trying to be patient and isn't really working.

Teaching~I haven't been real excited about teaching for about a year now. I don't know why I can't seem to muster some excitement. I do get brief jolts of excitement when I walk by the school supplies in area stores, but nothing too long lasting at this point. I also had the urge to plan something (not sure what) last week when I went to watch Crissy, Missy, and Kim plan their school years. It didn't last too long though, but it got me wondering if maybe I needed to try again. Still no teaching certificate for AL yet, although I seem to be getting closer. An e-mail inquiry revealed they were waiting on my official transcripts. (They've had my paperwork, with every imaginable way to contact me on it, for months. I guess I missed out on giving them my espN channel so I would magically know that is what they had been waiting on.) Ugh. Sent that in a week or so ago. Now I'll start stalking the mailman. It won't do much good right now since school starts next week for most area schools, but maybe I can get a position mid year or something...or who knows maybe some other fun career will evolve.

Grad School~I've been starting to think maybe I should go to grad school and get my master's degree. Then I could teach at a community college and deal with older students. Still thinking about it though because then I would need to decide what kind of a master's degree. Do I want to do an English related degree to solidify the college teaching aspect or do I want to try a special education degree? I've thought about doing that for quite some time now. Oh what to do. And do I really want to add to the amount of student loans I already have at the risk of not "using" my master's degree like I am my teaching degree? (I mean I have the knowledge I gained in college and use it, but not "officially" like I would working in a classroom. Welcome to my is a very twisted and guilt filled place some times.)

Zeke & Zeus & No Children~Over the past few months as more and more and more of my former high school classmates and friends across the country have babies it has become more and more and more clear to me that I really don't want to have children. (Great now I've "published" this fact online and if I do end up with children they can read it and think they weren't wanted. Therapy here we come!) Anyhow, I really just don't. I sometimes feel very, very, very out of place as a result. I don't have anything against children really, I just don't want one full-time in my home. (My mother feels the same way about dogs and men.) I'm slowly growing accustomed to the look I receive from people when I tell them I am 27 years old and still have no desire for children. It looks like I suddenly grew three heads and told them I'm going to eat them for dinner. They calmly sigh and say "you'll change your mind." Maybe, but it hasn't happened yet. Dave and I are slowly becoming the weird married couple with cats. (We've been married almost 4 years and no kids. That's crazy to most people, even in the north.) We're really excited about being the "cool" Aunt & Uncle that aren't really related but are part of the family anyhow though.

The Things I Catch Myself Saying~ Zeke and Zeus are similar to children in that they will do crazy things to get attention when you have the least amount of attention to give. Something magically happens when I am having a conversation on the phone. They start acting crazy! I am amazed at the things I hear myself say to them...

I have threatened to shave Zeke entirely if I find one more patch of fur missing on Zeus.

I have threatened to lock Zeke and Zeus in seperate rooms all day long and only let them out together when someone is home with them, which as they know isn't very often.

I actually have locked Zeke in the bathroom by himself for a time out. When I opened the door 5 minutes later he was laying by the ac vent acting lilke it was no big deal and I was bothering him.

I have threatened to put Zeke back under the clothes basket. (Just did this one today. I got out of the shower and heard Zeus hissing. Went to check it out and of course Zeke was being a bully so under the clothes basket he went. He still wasn't being too friendly when he was released. )

Zeus get down from (insert random place here) - the counter, the stove, the speaker, the table, the washer, the toilet, the shower, etc.

Zeke I am going to skin you and make a fur muff out of you if you do not leave Zeus be! Zeke gives me that "you wouldn't dare" look and I camly remind him that his father wants to have Zeus stuffed when he dies. I doubt he'll object to skinning Zeke. (Not sure what I will do with a fur muff in AL, but I'll figure it out once I actually have to skin him.)

Can you tell Zeke is the bully?

I had one other thing to blog about but realized it deserves its own blog....

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Life According to Chris LeDoux

Ok, so I originally did this using John (Cougar) Mellencamp songs. My mom enjoyed it. I thought I would do another one using Chris LeDoux. If you haven't heard his music you should. Actually, you should find some of his performances on YouTube. He was an awesome performer and a very talented man.

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think! Re post as "my life according to (band name)"

Pick your Artist:
Chris LeDoux ~ Put on the best concerts ever!

Are you a male or female:
Look at You Girl

Describe yourself:
Tougher Than the Rest

How do you feel:
Wild and Wooly

Describe where you currently live:
Cadillac Ranch

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
Western Skies

Your favorite form of transportation:
Hooked on an 8 Second Ride

Your best friend is:
Little Long-haired Outlaw

You and your best friends are:
The Cowboy and The Hippie

What's the weather like:
One Less Tornado

Favorite time of day:
Rodeo Moon

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
Bang a Drum

What is life to you:
Don't it Make You Want to Dance

Your relationship:
Graviational Pull

Your fear:
Watcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy

What is the best advice you have to give:
Life is a Highway

Thought for the Day:
Five Dollar Fine

How I would like to die:
Scatter the Ashes

I must admit I had a really hard time deciding which songs to use and exactly where to use them. If you asked me what my favorite Chris LeDoux song is I would have a really hard time choosing. I first heard Chris Ledoux's music I mean riding around in a red Chevy Cavalier with a super tall cowboy. I've loved it ever since.