Monday, January 31, 2011

Sick and twisted

Remember that time Emily's racecar driver/owner fiance was killed in a private plane crash, leaving her heartbroken and pregnant and alone? And then the producers of The Bachelor made her fly on a private plane to Napa? And then they made her drive a racecar? On the exact same track on which her now-deceased fiance had his career-ending crash?

Ick. Of all the people to pick on . . . she's sweeter than 92.4% of the world's population! I don't know why on God's green earth the producers would put her through this. Sick and twisted.

Gotta get back to the show. Am I sick and twisted for watching? I'll ponder that...while I, you know, keep watching. Glued to the TV.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I spent this wonderful Sunday afternoon with my parents, grandparents, and great-uncle, and there's no other way I would have rather spent it. We missed Daniel and Olivia, but I'm thankful that they have jobs. We had a big, delicious after-church lunch and spent hours laughing and talking . . . and pigging out. Pork chops, mashed potatoes, green beans, cornbread, pavlova. Oh yum. Mimi and Grandad had me over to their house later to look at some old pictures and visit some more. This whole day made my heart so happy; it's nice to be loved and to have family nearby.

These are good days. I am so blessed. Happy new week to everyone!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Do you think Heaven is sunny with a high of 65?

I do. My word, what a lovely Saturday. Sunny. Breezy. Warm. Blue skies. Birds chirping.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for...
  • my family and friends
  • my health (really ready for this crud to pack it up and head out...OVER it)
  • Mucinex and antibiotics and my Neti Pot
  • my job
  • my car, and the fact that she (usually) gets me where I need to go without putting up much of a fuss
  • my students and the lessons they're teaching me this year
  • rediscovering the joys of an early suppertime and early bedtime this week...basically, I've turned into a senior citizen, and I'm okay with that
  • God's presence and grace during one of the strangest days I've had at work in a long time
  • warmer temps and sunshine
  • a glorious weekend dangling nearly within my reach
  • Kashi GoLean Truly Vanilla oatmeal
  • officially ridding myself of AEA today...feels good
  • our walking club picking back up next what if there are only 2 members and we've only met golly, we're making this happen next week!
  • nearly surviving to the end of my first "save every penny possible" budget account balance is currently above zero, and I consider that a major success
  • being allowed to buy more fabric come payday...I put myself on a complete fabric-buying lockdown in order to pay bills and buy food this month...dumb ol' priorities
  • my devotional book


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Team Colin

Well, Team Colin...Team Geoffery...Team Helena...Team "King's Speech". I absolutely adored this movie. I'm even hoping to see it again. That's huge! I don't often pay for movies, and now I'm looking to pay for one twice. This precious movie was nominated for 12 Oscars, and you best believe I'll be watching anxiously on Oscar night. Not only because I like this movie so much, but because it's the only nominated movie I've seen. Yeah, I don't go to the movies much. I may even have time to get "Team King's Speech" t-shirts printed by February 27th. I'll keep you posted.

(list of all the noms for those who care about such things)

PS--Sickness is still a giant loser with no friends, and is desperately fighting to remain a part of my life. I'm fighting back savagely with antibiotics. We'll see who comes out on top.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A poem

Sickness, You Are A Giant Loser With No Friends
by Julie

Since Thursday,
I've been in a strange way.
I believe there is a sickness
In my midst.
It leaves my heart sad
And makes my bod feel bad.
Tomorrow I'll go to the doc,
And then plan to sleep like a rock,
Drink some OJ and eat some good grub.
Maybe then I won't have to make plans for a sub,
For that makes me sadder than sickness.

For sharing my tremendous poetic skills with you, you're most welcome. I'll be happy to let you use the poem for a nominal fee.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Get you some!

Vitamin E oil, that is.

Winter normally leaves my hands rather reptilian, and regular ol' lotion just doesn't cut it. I'm a big fan of the Vaseline and socks routine, but I've added something new this winter. I've been mixing several drops of vitamin E with my Vaseline before the socks go on at night, and it's made such a difference. Not once this winter have my hands looked like crocodile hands...paws...talons. What is it they have? Whatever. I've been mixing a few drops in with regular lotion, too. My skin looks better than I ever remember it looking during the wintertime. A little bit goes a long way, too. I've had this little bottle for almost two months, and it's level with the top of that label. Worth your bucks!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The King's Speech

(picture from here)

I decided 30 minutes before showtime to see this movie yesterday, despite the fact that I have no more fun money. Despite the fact that I think movie tickets cost too much. Despite the fact that there was a good chance the theater would be empty for the first show of the day.

You see, I saw this movie once about two friends who went to see a movie. Their theater? Empty. During the previews, a man came in. He moved closer and closer to the girls throughout the movie, and then sorta killed 'em as the credits rolled. You think I'm kidding, but the few times I've ended up in an empty theater, I've remembered that movie and had to fight the urge to go ask for my money back. Once the five couples in front of me (none of whom looked quite like killers) bought tickets for "The King's Speech", I felt better.

Wait, where was I going with this? Oh, the movie. Yall, it. was. fabulous. Fabulous-o! So good I want to see it again. It was nominated for some Golden Globes, and I'd be really surprised if it doesn't score some Oscar nominations, too. Colin Firth (who is one of my all-time faves) was absolutely superb as Bertie. No other words to describe him. He was so break-your-heart genuine throughout the movie that it made me want to weep. The story is so very moving and has inspired me to research the real life Bertie. And his speech gosh. What an incredible job (a calling, really!) to be able to help someone find their voice. Elizabeth and Sarah, this made me think of you! The theater full of non-killers even started clapping (not killing) as the credits rolled. Go see just may change your life for the better.

Just make sure the theater isn't empty. You know.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Particularly toothsome

Both of my adorable old-school cookbooks use the phrase "particularly toothsome" a lot. Read: very tasty. I don't know how I feel about "toothsome". Something about it makes me cringe, and its cringeworthiness is probably the reason we've developed suitable alternatives. On the other hand, it's different and fun, and that makes me want to give it another chance. Hmm. Dilemma.

Last night I put something together that could be described as particularly toothsome. I made PDub's Beef Stew with Mushrooms. Surprisingly easy, and particularly toothsome. The meat ended up being so tender that I could cut it with my spoon...yum. Definitely adding this one to my repertoire of recipes. PDub serves hers over noodles, but I did not. I ate a salad so as to get some veggies in my life. I've got plenty of leftovers, so I'm contemplating making some of PDub's Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta today to go with the stew. I've never made it before, but it looks very easy and particularly toothsome. I'll report back.

Completely unrelated: my favorite moment of the Golden Globes last night was totally unexpected but put a huge smile on my face.

"Thank you to public school teachers. You don't get paid like it, but you're doing the most important job in America." Ian Brennan, Co-Creator of Glee, said during his Golden Globe acceptance speech. [Insert huge smile here. I may have enough motivation to go back to work tomorrow.]

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I just turned on the Golden Globes pre-show, and I'm most excited. I love awards shows. My favorite part is seeing what everyone is wearing and how they chose to do their hair and makeup. The Golden Globes is my favorite because it's more low-key and fun than the Oscars, and awards are given for movies and TV shows. I've often thought how much fun I would have as a seat-filler. How great must it be for celebrities to get to do this kind of thing all the time?

Reality check. Having to prance around on the red carpet with a bunch of other girls who weigh about 90 lbs a piece? Ick. Being interviewed by everybody in sight and knowing that they're judging the stink out of me? No thanks. The threat that I could end up on Joan Rivers' worst dressed list? Egads. The almost certain probability that I would lose an earring, fall off my stilettos, sweat through my fancy dress, or have something in my teeth? Nightmare. I would be a giant walking, talking ball of "oh, bless her heart".

Perspective is a good thing. I'll keep my viewing party in my pajamas on my little couch any day, thankyouverymuch!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I am blessed to have a car. I am blessed to have a car. I am blessed...

This was my mantra this evening. I repeated it over and over as I took Mitzy in to replace some tires. I repeated it over and over as I killed over two hours at the Galleria (just thankful I didn't have to sit and read car magazines for two hours!). Due to my trip to the Galleria, I got the following things accomplished: chose my wedding china that I'll register for in approximately 31 years, cruised through National Championship t-shirts, narrowly avoided being lured in for a Healing Asian Massage, got a balloon from a clown (whom I also tried to avoid), and rode the glass elevator twice. You know, just for fun. I reminded myself how blessed I am to have a car when Mitzy's new tires cost me my "fun money" for the next two months. I reminded myself how blessed I am to have a car when I remembered that, due to her incredible alignment issues, I shall most definitely be buying more tires within the year. That Mitzy. She's a high-maintenance chick!

I'm also blessed to have a cell phone. I don't think I've ever thought about that until mine totally stopped working today. You know, while waiting for my car (which also sometimes stops working) to be fixed. I made a pit stop at the AT&T place to see what could be done. My feelings were ALMOST hurt when Chris (my new AT&T friend) looked at my circa-2008 phone and said, "Oh cute! A flip phone!" You know, Chris, some of us couldn't give a rat's behiney about the latest in phone technology. I just want one I can talk on occasionally. It was like I had whipped out a Zack Morris phone or something. He ended up being quite helpful and fixed my phone, but told me it was on its last leg. Oh yeah, and I lost most of my numbers. Swell.

Yall, this "being thankful at all times" thing is really hard. It's a discipline! Have you ever tried it? As difficult as it is sometimes, I love it because it helps keep life in perspective. And that's never a bad thing.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Remember that time Auburn won?

That time that Auburn won its first national championship in 53 years? That time everybody was happy and orange and blue and War Eagle-y? That time I stayed up 'til 1:15...on a school night? That time everybody painted their fingernails blue in support of their favorite team? Okay, maybe that was just me. Remember that time when it was like Christmas came once in December, and then again in January? That time Auburn was declared the best in all the land? Oh, you remember? Me too. It's already one of my favorite memories of all time, and I'm sure it always will be. War Eagle.

Monday, January 10, 2011

That's all, folks!

Case in point: the very reason I don't freak out about "4 inches of snow by morning!!". This is ALL we got in central AL, and it's just ice. Messy, slippery ice. Pretty dadgum glad I didn't buy a buggy full of groceries and fill up my bathtub with water. Oh well. At least school was called off last night and I didn't have to wake up at 5:30...always a pick-me-up! And I got to take some pictures of frozen things. Who doesn't love taking pictures of frozen things? I tried to take one of a beautiful red cardinal, who was posing like a pro in the frozen magnolia tree, but every time I would go to click, homeboy would fly off. Then, he would come right back and pose again. I never got my shot. Tease.

Don't you think Mitzy looks like a regal ice princess? Me too. She likes to hear that kind of thing every now and then. Makes her feel pretty.

Magnolia tree...sans pretty red cardinal. Tease.

(One of the best pics I've ever taken, in my supremely humble opinion...I adore this one. A lot.)

At least having the day off will give me time to work on The Project. I got a lot done yesterday and, as long as my power stays on, I'll be 50% done by the end of the day.

On another note, today is a very, very exciting day. After a 53 year dry spell, my precious Tigers are playing for the National Championship. Tonight. I'm giddy. I'm nervous. I'm giddy again. I've loved all the signs, posters, flags, t-shirts, etc. I've seen all over town lately. I saw this at Dick's a few days ago, and it brought a smile to my face. It reminded me of my old glory days back in Auburn.

A big, fat, robust WAR EAGLE to you all!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


As I sit here this frigid Sunday afternoon, listening to the sleet hit my windows, I felt like sharing an experience I had this morning. We're expected to get a little snow and ice tonight and tomorrow, and, as is completely standard for the Heart of Dixie, people are FREAKING. OUT. I stopped in at The Bad Place this morning on my way to church to get gloves* and batteries, and was nearly run over in the cracker aisle by a lady with a buggy full of groceries. Perhaps today was her usual shopping day; I don't know. Girlfriend had 3 loaves of bread and 4 gallons of milk in her buggy, along with various other non-perishable items. She was demanding someone on the other end of her cell phone to get together the flashlights and batteries. Here's the kicker: she told that lucky someone to scrub out the bathtub ("not with that bleach stuff!") so they could fill it up with water later so they would have something to drink. Seriously? It drives me crazy how much people panic when snow is forecast. We're expected to get 1-4" with some ice thrown in. Whatever we get, ice or snow, will likely be gone by Tuesday.

I love snow and all, but it doesn't make me panic. I don't get worked up about it because, honestly, we rarely get the amount that is called for. I can't count how many times I've gotten excited about "4-6 inches of snow by morning!" only to be left scraping all the snow off the car in order to make one snowball. I've been burned before, and it leaves scars. Perhaps I should pursue this in therapy. I'm sure we'll get SOMETHING, but, unlike the lady at The Bad Place, I don't anticipate having to drink water from my bathtub. I just wish my school system would cancel school tonight so that I don't have to wake up at 5:30 tomorrow to check!

*The Bad Place didn't have any gloves. At all. Not even one pair. The lady I talked to said they got rid of them to make room for spring January. It reminded me of why I despise The Bad Place.

PS--I may be totally wrong and we may be completely snowed in tomorrow. Yall have every right to say "I told you so!" while I desperately suck water from my toilet because the pipes froze and I didn't take time to fill up my tub.

PPS--The only thing that makes me feel panicked is the thought that my power may go out. I'm not scared of being cold or in the dark, but I am scared about missing the National Championship game tomorrow night. If my power's out, I plan to drive south and stop at the first house with a working TV. That may just be you, so leave room on the couch for me. Save me some snacks, too!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for...
  • my family and friends
  • my health
  • my job
  • having my lesson plans for next week done already...this is a big deal for me...must. keep. this. up.
  • the fact that today is Thursday, and that means tomorrow is Friday, which means the weekend is dangling right in front of me, which makes me a happy lady, which makes the whole world happy, right?
  • just about zero plans this weekend...perhaps I shall work on The Project
  • clean, safe-to-drink water available whenever I want it
  • #28's relatively smooth first day today...he fits in splendidly and has "best friends" already
  • Fred doing such a fabulous, bang-up job as #28's buddy/tour guide/helper extraordinaire
  • Thankful Thursday...reminds me every week to be thankful for all the beautiful, wonderful things in my little world
  • an unexpected new walking buddy...yay!
  • the blanket that I just threw in the dryer and have wrapped around me now...delight
  • being able to stick to my no sugar resolution...7 whole days now!
  • Auburn's National Championsip game in just 4 short my team always and forever, but it's been especially fun to love them this year :)
  • Julie and Mark settling in nicely with their baby John Mark, and that their burp cloths arrived in one piece
  • the ability to help make Sash's life at work (a tiny bit) easier while her mama is in the hospital
  • the premiere of Jersey Shore tonight...pretty excited to meet the new housemate and take part in t-shirt time
  • my new step-it-way-way-up plan to save moolah for a new car by next year...still haven't figured out how to break the news to Mitzy
  • the birth of LA and Dolph's new blog today :)
  • feelings of peace and contentment and excitement

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A God thing

I'm getting a new student tomorrow. At least I have a day's notice! We usually learn about new students when they arrive at our classrooms. All of my students have a number, and I always put new kids at the end of the number list, even if their last name starts with a "B". Just makes my life easier. The new student was going to be #28 regardless of his name. However, he's a "Y", making him the LEGITIMATE #28 in our classroom. He fits right in already, and we've never even met him. I deem this both a God thing and a good omen. Don't ya think? We're excited to welcome him into our crazy bunch! (Fred is going to be #28's special buddy tomorrow. This will be fun to watch.)

PS--Day 6 with no sugar up in my bod. I'm feeling less and less like my world is caving in around me. This is progress, no?

Monday, January 3, 2011


Did you hear that? It's the sound of my brain cells taking their leave for the evening. Oh yes. It's time for The Bachelor. I'm not ashamed to say that I've been awaiting this day for months. I never even used to like this stupid show. My interests have changed in my old age, I guess. Here's hoping that this season is deliciously trainwrecky!

PS--I've been sugar-free for 4 whole days now. Today was the first day I've started to feel a bit like a junkie in need of a fix...stat. Hopefully this will pass soon!


Edited to add post-show: That girl...the one with the vampire teeth? She fills the requisite not-quite-stable girl role quite nicely. This should be good.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A numbered list kind of day

1. If one has to go back to work after Christmas break, there's nothing like a professional development-less work day to kick things off. Amen.

2. I'm going to miss drinking as much water as I want to and going to the bathroom whenever I want to when work starts back.

3. Those two days of spring-like temperatures sure were nice, even though it rained. Thankfully, the next ten days seem to be manageably cold. I'll take it.

4. The Bachelor and Jersey Shore both premiere this week. This girl is pleased.

5. I'm taking a break from grad school this semester. Got some pondering to do.

6. I've been using Vaseline and vitamin E oil on my hands and feet at night...been sleeping with socks on hands and feet. I look ridiculous, but if you rubbed on a baby's behiney and then my hands and feet, I bet you couldn't tell the difference.

7. I sewed 24 burp cloths over my break. All of my procreating friends can continue to procreate. I've got you covered.

8. I've embarked upon a big friend purge on facebook. This may mean losing the "Facebook Queen" crown that my principal bestowed on me a couple of years ago, but I'm okay with that. I've never wanted to be a queen anyway.

9. I understand that twenty-eleven is more syllabically efficient than two-thousand-eleven, but it rubs me the wrong way. I refuse to get on board with it.

10. I've never used the word syllabically before I typed out #9. I kinda like it.

11. I'm planning to be trained as an adult literacy tutor this month. The idea of teaching an adult to read makes me pretty nervous, but very excited. I hope I don't chicken out.

12. Counting today, I haven't eaten sugar (in the form of candy, cookies, etc.) in 3 days. I'm doing a little experiment to see how cutting out sugar makes me feel. I decided to post it here to hold myself accountable. The way I see it, having to admit here that I caved and ate 37 Oreos in one sitting will be a good deterrent...we'll see!

13. I had a great long conversation with my mama today. Love her.

14. I'm reading a historical fiction book about Mary. You know, the mother of Jesus...that Mary. Way, very good.

15. Here's a sneak peek of the top-secret project I'm sewing...I'm very excited to see it all come together:

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cookin' it old school (and, well, new school)

I never really liked that saying...kickin' it old school. But I'm trying to get cookin' it old school to catch on this year. We'll see how that works out.

Happy 2011 to my 2.714 readers! I appreciate you very much. I got two precious little cookbooks for Christmas and wanted to share them.
You can find them here and here. The Cooking Calendar one I got is actually vintage...printed in 1959. It has that charming old book smell that I so love. These little books are delightful. The Cooking Calendar is split up by month and tells you what produce is freshest and most readily available each month. It then gives recipes that feature that produce. The Guide to Entertaining is so fabulous. Not only does it have lots of recipes, it gives TONS of etiquette, table-setting, and serving advice. Love it. Kitschy and cute and old-fashioned and practical all rolled into one.

One of my New Year's resolutions (which I never make, by the way, because I never keep them...ever) this year is to cook as much as I can. This will probably be the first New Year's resolution that I actually keep. I've been cooking up a storm during my Christmas break, and here are some of the tasty things I've been whipping up:

Black-Eyed Pea Dip - This is absolutely amazing. Unless you're making this for just one person, I would octuple the recipe. It's that good. And feel free to octuple the recipe even if you are just making it for yourself; I won't judge.

Chicken Spaghetti - Awesome. I "healthed up" her recipe by using whole wheat spaghetti, reduced fat soup and cheese, and only 1 3/4 cup cheese instead of 3 cups. I also added a few handfuls of spinach to the mix before baking. Really, really good but it makes a lot. Be prepared to give some away or freeze it or be eating leftovers for a while!

Carrot & Squash Curry Soup - This soup allowed me to use my sweet new immersion blender. It's simple and surprisingly filling. Once blended, it's a pretty color, too. Don't you love eating pretty food?

Poppy Seed Chicken - I've eaten this a million times but this is the first time I've ever made it. With a big salad, this is perfect comfort food.

Spinach Dip - I use the recipe on the back of the Knorr vegetable soup packet. I've started making it without mayo. It's thicker, but I think it tastes just as good. I like that it's more "spinach-y" that way.

Roasted Green Beans - I'm  making this for our annual New Year's Day feast. Really easy, healthy, and tasty.

1 lb. fresh green beans
1 onion, sliced and separated into rings
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. olive oil

*Wash and trim up the beans. Pat dry.
*Arrange beans in a lightly greased baking dish. Top with onion and garlic. Drizzle with vinegar first and then olive oil; toss. Bake at 450 for 10  minutes. Stir and bake 5 more minutes.

Here's to plenty of good cooking (and good eating) in 2011!