Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
This morning Cora woke me with a kiss and we went over to her parents' house for breakfast. Then we went to town to brave the shoppers...we lost our resolve when we dropped by Walmart. Oh, the humanity! I must not be very good at shopping, since none of the deals were worth the crowds. We finally ended up going to the pet store. We bought a piece of bubble coral and a couple snails.
The rest of the day promises to be relaxing. Ahhh, just like any other weekend! Except more food!
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and I am sorry yesterday's post was so sappy...I get that way once in a while.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
It's one of my favorite holidays. No, that's incorrect. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Yeah, I love gorging myself and I love good food (more than I should, I fear, especially given my desire to avoid exercise). Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for different reasons than that, though. I think I narrowed it down a few years ago. It's because Thanksgiving brings up all of those very old memories and is a time we set aside for family.
Admittedly, these past few years, many of our Thanksgivings have been spent mainly with my in-laws, but that is how things have turned out, and let's just be honest, I consider them just as much family as I do anyone else. Thanksgiving is the day we get to spend with our loved ones and, even if we don't come out and say it, we know that we are loved.
I remember the Thanksgivings spent in my youth with cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. My dad's mother was never, now that I trully appreciate cooking I know this, a very good cook. At least, not when I was a kid. I did not know any better then, but I do now, and having had her cooking, appreciate good food even more. Do not get me wrong, My Grandma H. was a great lady, with a soft spot for me, and I for her, but her cooking was halfhearted by the time I was of an age to remember it clearly.
My other Grandma, though...well, lets just say she was a very good cook. I can't get into the semantics and the differences in kitchens or cooking techniques, because I was a boy and, quite honestly, did not spend more than the required time in the kitchen to gulp down the turkey and rush off to play with the cousins...as soon as I was permitted, in any case. The Turkey was always great, but, I think it was Grandma's Turkey Gravy that made Thanksgiving Dinner SOOOO good.
Beyond the cooking, though, there was relaxation and family. After every dinner, there was a period where the triptofan kicked in and everyone just sort of laid about the house wherever there was room. I like that lounging part.
And, as for family? At my Grandma H.'s the grown-ups sat around and talked and we kids did not get out for awhile. Still, there was inevitably going to be a wrestling match between my dad and my uncle or one of the others...my dad's chest hair seemed to always come out the loser...ok, TMI.
At my Grandma C.'s, the kids could go out in the acre of evergreens that my grandfather had planted. He had passed away in 1976, and so any plans he had for them were long gone. Still, it made a great playground for playing army or hide-and-seek or any other games we came up with. Sometimes, I would just go out and try and imagine my Grandad alive.
I think the strongest memories I have of Thanksgiving, though, are after my Grandma H. had passed and just before we lost my Grandma C. My mom's sister and her husband had bought a place in Cle Elum...up in the Cascades. It was a three or four bedroom house that they got as a place to get away from the hassles of Seattle...or that's what the story was. It was old, a veterinarian had originally owned it. I was driving and had my own car. I also had my camera, a Pentax P3N SLR.
It was, as it turned out, the final Thanksgiving we would have with my Grandma C. Just about all of the local family was there. When it got too hot in the house, or just too crowded, we could go for walks, or for me, I could sometimes go for a short exploratory drive. I took my camera. I now wish I had been more generous with film and had taken more of the family, but at that age you simply know that family members have always been there and they always will. I still have warm memories of a simply furnished home with, then new (to us), halogen lighting. We then might play games, usually Uno. Ahh, what memories can do.
So, Thanksgiving. I want to give my thanks for my family, both on my side and my wife's. I am always glad to see my niece and nephews. I
Mostly, though, I am thankful that I have been able to spend so many Thanksgivings with Cora. I doubt I could love anyone as much as I do her.
I have a job that I enjoy. Friends and family (mostly family who double as friends). Good food and fine pets. So, yeah, I have much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Pan shot: Dinner plates, looking for all the world like helicopters, come in low over the carpet.
Each plate fires a knife and fork at the oven...
Tight on the Oven: Oven door bursts open! Smoke and steam come out.
Turkey plops out onto a serving platter...
Turkey writhes in pain...fade out...
OK. I watched a few too many Vietnam War Movies when I was younger...Sorry.
I had a good day. I got paid for a full day, even though they got out early! Cora got off early too, so we went shopping together. Sopped over at her parents and had dinner and spent the evening with one of her sisters...Molly. It was a nice evening in which we introduced her to the vagueries of Wii...I think she will be addicted now.
Tomorrow promises to be a nice relaxed day! I look forward to it! I hope you ll hve a nice T-day too.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I have now taught each grade level. I appreciate the Seniors in their advanced classes, and the kinders are the cutest to be seen. I like third graders, but fourth graders seem to be a bit more effort. I like Fifth graders, but Sixth graders just seem SO THERE in the learning. Seventh and Eighth graders are in between being children and becoming young adults who basically don't know who they are anyway, and so take everything so seriously, unless it's learning...and then it's full-hearted-half-heartedness.
We had a read-in today. It was the last day of the quarter. They have a program in-which they read a book, answer questions related to thtbook on computer, print it out and gain points according to how well they do. It seems pretty simple. The kids do well. We spent most of the day reading. It was fun.
What made it better was the other sixth graders in the hallways calling out to Mr. H. asking when I would sub again for them. Then, earlier, at the beginning of the day, I was walking through the teacher's lounge and one of the teachers was talking to some others. She looked at me and asked my name. I said, "Jim." She said, "No, Your last name." I told her. She said, "you're the one!" Apparently she and her daughter had been talking about subs. One of the subs at the intermediate had fallen asleep yesterday, and she had brought this up to her daughter. Her daughter said the best sub of all was...me.
I later found out who her daughter was. It was a girl whom I thought did not think alot of me. It is always interesting to find out who likes you...often it ends up being the person you think does not care much for you. Weird.
Good Lord, this post make me sound like some sort of ultra-awesome guy, but the truth is I am not ultra-awesome, I simply tell the kids the way it is and have fun doing it. That last part, having fun, is, I think, the part that makes me a good sub.
I am sorry this post is not more interesting. I guess it might be interesting to teachers...but even then, well, it's a close call.
On a more happy note, far from me boasting, Thanksgiving is creeping nearer! One more day, as Cora's clock indicates. See her site for the cool countdown she has on her site.
Oh, that's another thing: Teaching sixth graders makes me want to be a Dad THAT much more.
Did I mention my beer is done? It tastes more like Cider than beer.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
See the strange orbs in the next photo? I think it's proof of dust, but Cora considers them ectoplasmic in origin. (I am going to stop recording Ghosthunters!)
Instead of dinner, we chose to try some of the cheeses I purchased on Thursday, and little bit of BBQ pork. One of them was APPLEWOOD smoked and handrubber with Paprika! Mmmm-mmm good!!! Note, Toby is just outside of the range of my kick...he's a smart one.
Thus, it has been a nice, relaxing day. As ever, Sunday is TOO short, but that, too, appears to be the norm.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
We still did not find it, and we should have, because it was supposed to be a 5 gallon bucket. I found it five years ago and it is still listed! It has to be there, but after a few too many close calls with thorns and slippery leaves, we surrendered.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I taught HS yesterday. When I was done I went into town to partake in a "Wine nd Cheese" sale. I got a very good deal. At an average of 30% off. I got some inexpensive wines, but also a few that I would not normally buy because of their price.
I opened a good bottle of wine for dinner (Portteus, Rattlesnake Red). I visited their winery last summer, but the choices were too dear for me to buy. Most of their bottles were in the $40-50 range, their cheapest were in the mid to high twenties. I love good wine, but I am also a big fan of money.
I rented Tropic Thunder and Wall-E, Tropic Thunder is good. Cora's Pizza was EXCELLENT! And the WINE was FINE! I'll keep you posted on the other movie. I hope everyone has a good weekend!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
So, now the kids are as well informed as I am...obviously the teacher has told them, but it is interesting that they listened and stored that little piece of information away AND were capable of retrieving it.
Ah, HS Science tomorrow...freshmen. Smartass freshmen...good thing I am just as much of a smartass...it is a good defense!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I got home and was pooped. Dinner? I opened the fridge and let Cora choose her own leftover. I had carrots and dip. Also, I was suddenly and inexplicably cold. The temperature in the house was soon set at 75 and still, under a blanket I was chilled.
I finally got warmed up and felt like a little more to eat. I mixed up some asian style mustard, poured some sesame seeds, and sliced up some barbequed pork. We both had a drink and we were getting comfortable for the night watching TV and surfing the blogs. Then it happened.
Our agency director chose that moment to send us an e-mail.
Not just any e-mail.
A disappointing e-mail. Seems like we don't get any other.
Oh, and let me just state, there are only about four families waiting on Burundi. Obviously making a personal phone call was out of the question, due to the logistics of calling SO many people. (Maybe he was just nervous that difficult questions might be raised...or maybe he has a bad long distance plan. Maybe I should tell him he can call collect... )
And what was this news, you ask? Well, to understand it, you'll need to know this: A week or so ago he announced (via this convenient e-mail thingy) that, in about three weeks, the Bishop from Burundi would be coming to the angency office and he would probably be bringing dossiers! We were both very excited!
Maybe we will become parents afterall!!!?? Maybe we won't be in a nursing home when our kids graduate!! Hurray! A ray of hope!
How cool would it be to spend Christmas in Burundi? We spent a week or so thinking good things. (Yeah, I didn't mention it on the blog, but, I am male and these things need time to ruminate in the back of my brain. I don't need to expain this to other men, they just grunt and get it...[this explanation is for the girls
OK, the bad news (I am going to use a blogger technique I have seen recently that appears to call attention to each word, therefore making the statement somehow more meaningful, I hope it works, as there seems to be no way for me to communicate my anguish. ): The. Bishop. is. NOT. coming.
Should have known. Disappointment is such a familiar emotion around here in the kid department.
Maybe we should just buy another damn dog.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I cleaned at the house, premade dinner, did dishes and laundry, and finished some of the outside work. I mowed for the last time and put additive in the mower gas tank...I will be damned if this one finds the same fate of the last one. I also cleaned out some of the dead plants from the pots out front. I should have done more.
I went to town. I fueled my truck and did some running around. I also stopped at a hobby store and bought some "trusses." you know, the latice-like costruction on bridges? Well, this stuff is only an eighth of an inch wide and about 4 inches long and made of styrene. See, I have been having visions of my next spaceship...
I talked to my sister for awhile and got some ideas for Christmas. I also discovered tht they are REALLY into Geocaching. Sounds like my brother-in-law has now got three geocaches to his name, that is, ones he has set up for other people to find. I also found that my niece and nephews are geniuses, of course, I knew that already. My niece is four and is reading words...well ahead of others her age. My nephew is only three and seems to be into taking things apart and figuring out how they work. Geniuses, I tell you!
Oh, and surprise, I actually found these rectangular things called drawers that Cora has been talking about...apparently you can put clean clothes in them. I tried it out...they work well for that. The problem is that the coffee table continues to acquire new clean clothes. I had it almost cleared off for a time today, but I folded more clean clothes and it is now covered.
Oh, and I am watching "The Big Bang Theory" tv show for the first time...that is a fricking funny show! They talk about Star Trek the way
Oh,and I made a good and healthy snack today...which could be a meal.
*Take the remainder of a tri-tip roast like they sell at Costco (pre-seasoned) cut it into 1/2 inch cubes.
*Take onion (as much as there is tri-tip) and cut into similar sized pieces.
*Dice up a few (2 or 3) garlic cloves.
*Sautee in tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of Bacon grease until onion is translucent, then add as much fresh spinach as seems suitable (1 1/2 cups to start) then cook till it is wilted.
*Serve, add a dash of salt and as much feta cheese as you like.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I laughed. who in their right mind expected kittens to be in our TV stand? Well, apparently Cora. Anyway, so we kind of shrugged it off and did not get up to reposition the DVDs or close the door. A few minutes later, there was another noise and we both looked over our laptop tops (OK, I admit it, I like writing "laptop tops") and a couple more DVDs came out and the door opened wider. Cora, again at the top of her game, cried, "It's Kittens, I tell ya! Kittens!" I married a comedian.
Kittens I tell ya!!
Oh, and I hope everyoe will tune in and watch Jeff Dunham's new Christmas special tonight, on Comedy Central!
We began the day with a nutritious brakfast of powdered donettes, coffee, and bacon. I think it is the beginning of good day.
We have some groceries to get, some house cleaning to do, and maybe we will even stop by the pet store to replace our dead fish...oh, by the way, our clown goby disappeared. Should be a good day!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
So, we went to the Tri-Cities and had dinner at the Bonefish Grill...OOOOOOOOOOOOH MYYYYY GOD!!!!!!!!! It was awesome. The best fish I have ever had...in a restaraunt.
Then we went to the show. Jeff Dunham is simply AWESOME! I strongly recommend watching him in a live show...if you can't do that, then watch him on DVD or watch him on Comedy Central or on You Tube! Awesome. We all had sore cheeks I am sure. I did. Here is a short clip from last night...
This is Peanut, Jeff, and Jose Jalepeno On A Steeeck. Peanut does not understand Jose's accent...
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Yesterday, I taught some wonderful first graders. Today, I taught HS Home Ecc...and some other stuff...childhood development, HEALTH.
I am lucky I didn't get there earlier, because there was a test on the teacher's desk that they took yesterday on the female anatomy...the majority of the classes were female...yeah, that might have been...uhm... awkward!
The female substitute that was next door was not so lucky! She had to give that same test to her class...heh heh heh!
Oh, and I want to give a shout out to Kim! I love her site and the shirt she showed on her site the other day. She received a mean spirited comment and I just want to show my support! Go Kim!! Have a look at her site!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Now, imagine flame shooting out of the ass-end of tht thing! Awesome, huh?
Not bad for my first time, I think. What do you folks think?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Today is Veterans’ Day. Today is also the day of my 300th post. I humbly dedicate it to those men and women who have served or died in the service of this great country. Thank you all.
I have known many veterans. My grandfather served in Korea. My great uncle also served in Korea. Another Great Uncle (the exact relation is probably unimportant) was a B-17 pilot in WWII, and was shot down and captured on his first mission. My wife’s Grandfather served in World War II. I know of at least a few of my parents’ cousins who served in Vietnam. I personally have a cousin who served in Iraq during the first Gulf War. I have known many acquaintances who have served in several conflicts and still others who simply served. I worked with one guy who had been in Iraq shortly after we returned there for Saddam. There was another who served aboard the USS Coral Sea in the 1970s. Another who was a Sea Bee. And still another who served aboard the USS Missouri.
And then there are the few men I have met in passing. One gentleman was aboard the USS Enterprise CV-6 in WWII as a Radar Operator. He remembered the fmed fighter pilot Butch O’hare. I met a man who had been on the Destroyer Preston, sunk in the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. He remembered the natives rescuing him and crewmates from the waters of Iron Bottom Sound. He also seemed surprised that I was familiar with the battle and his ship. I was simply honored to have a few moments with him. There was another who was aboard the USS Colorado. And one who was aboard the USS Arkansas. I have met men who served in other wars. One was in tanks in Vietnam. He remembered the M-551 Sheridan with fondness. Others have served in aircraft. Two gentlemen I spent an hour with in the cockpit of a EC-121 waiting for a rain storm to fade. They each remembered different phases of the Vietnam Air War from respective tours. I have been honored to share the presence of many servicemen, I hope to continue. I am thankful for them all.
I did not have to work today, on the down side, I do not get paid for it either. I began the day by waking to my lovely wife bringing me coffee. I took her some coffee at work in return and did a little grocery shopping. I am now home with the intention of doing some of the housework we seem inclined to
We have not had steaks for awhile, so I got some. They are presently marinating. I look forward to putting them over some hot coals this evening and using some wine to wash them down. A monumental salad seems to also be in order.
So, here’s to you and your Veterans! May we always be free to celebrate this day!!! Happy Veterans’ Day!! And Happy 300th Post.
Monday, November 10, 2008
This morning the secretary asked me if I could do those days. Yes, I would be happy to. She added that it was because I was familiar with the sixth grade reading curriculum. I went through my day and, as I headed out, I stopped at the office to verify those days. The secretary said it was all set up and handed me my confirmation numbers. I walked out happy that I would not have to search for jobs tomorrow!
I was home no more than ten minutes, just long enough to confirm that I had those days on the computer. The phone rang. It was the principal. (This is the same one I mentioned months ago, who called me "maintenance guy" and the other sub "lawnmower guy." This principal is not my favorite) He said, the "Guest Teacher,(Just call him a sub, that's what we are!)" they had today said he was available for the rest of the week and "they" (I suspect "they" is the "Principal.") had sort of told him he could work it, and the principal did not think it was right to go back on what "they" had told him... I should have said it, but did not think to, "what about the fact that the teacher asked for me and promised me???" But, no, I was respectful and polite and explained that I understood...I should have told him: "NO!!!! ITS MY JOB!!! YOU ASSHOLE!! I WANT IT!! I WANT IT!!! I WANT IT!!!! I LIKE THE SIXTH GRADERS!!!" Its not fair.
Oh, well, I already have a job for Friday. Hopefully I can pick up a couple more.
I came home and began making Split-Pea Soup. Cora has a recipe, but our Ham was bad, so I used bacon...turned out pretty good.
Oh, and did I mention? We are going to go see Jeff Dunham on Friday night!!!
I know it is a long video, but watch a couple minutes of it anyway...He's hilarious!
I am a big Jeff Dunhm fan...well, I like watching his videos on Comedy Central! It will be tons of fun!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I think I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago that my sister and I have been trading these animals back and forth for years. It is a practice that continues to this day.
It started when I won these stuffed animals at the fair in the 7th grade. I grew out of them and assumed my sister would like them and I hate to throw things away. Astonishingly, she did not want them and threw them back in my room. I threw them back in hers when I found them. It continued, each time we grew a little more creative and began hiding them in sneakier places. Finally, I moved out and found them in my place while at college.
One time I sent them to my aunt in Colorado for my sister to find waiting for her at her birthday dinner. She retaliated. Eventually, Cora got into the gig, as has Scott, my brother-in-law. My sister gave them to us on a plane to Florida shortly after our wedding. They found their way into my sister's basement when she had an open house. They made their journey California. They made a few trips back and forth from there, actually.
This is the latest incarnation. A couple weeks ago I was searching for my coffee cup, which had ome up missing. I finally found it under the seat in Cora's car...but there was something fluffy next to it...turned out to be one of THE ANIMALS! So, it has been hard keeping it quiet the past few weeks, because I wanted her to think I had not gotten them. That way I could unleash this series of photos on her, when she was least expecting it.
This is what she will find today when she gets to the end of her treasure hunt: