Saturday, October 27, 2007

Beyond Words

Joanna is beyond words. That's what my "status" on says right now.

I got the call today that my grandmother (my mom's mother who lived in Michigan) passed away this morning. LaRae and I will be in Michigan (and travelling) Monday through Wednesday. Grandma had Lou Gehrig's Disease, but ironically it was a fall from her lift chair that caused her death. The shock my family has felt at this news is quite immense. It's not how we expected this to happen.

Five years ago this November, my Daddy Ray (my father's father) passed away. I was asked to speak at his funeral. Now almost 5 years later my mother has informed me that my grandmother specifically requested that I speak at her funeral. I am honored and am already forming my speech (is it a speech?) as I sit here. So many good memories of my grandmother are coming to mind that I want, no I need, to share. I'm going to wait to talk about her on here until I get back from Michigan. I think it would be best to simply post what I say at the funeral as a tribute to her. I helped teach her how to use the computer - it seems fitting to post something online in her memory.

Please keep us in your prayers.

I have an inexplicable desire to read Harry Potter.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I Burned My Thumb

Yes, that's right, I burned my thumb with steam. And it hurts. A lot. A really really lot. :-) I'm done whining now. Really I am... except it hurts.... ;-)

LaRae and I spent 5 hours cooking this afternoon. We made enough food to last her family 2 weeks and me for about a month of lunches and dinners. Basically we decided (separately but at the same time bc we think alike all freaky like that) that we're eating out too much thus wasting money and eating things that are really bad for us, so we need to cook at home more. But we're both really busy, and who has time to cook during the weekdays? So we decided (again separately but at the same time) that we need to cook for a week or so at a time and put it all in the fridge or freezer to use as needed. So last night we grocery shopped and for all 9 recipes we ended up making it only cost us about $60 each. Can you believe it!? Cooking is sooooo cheap! Wanna know what we made? Not really? Oh well, I'm telling you anyways! All are low fat and healthy -- especially after we substituted some ingredients for more whole grain ones:
1. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake -- this is what i burned my thumb on
2. Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta Pesto -- really Mickey and Pals Pasta
3. Chicken Spaghetti -- oh yeah this is homemade spaghetti sauce
4. Hectic Day Casserole -- think noodles, tomatoes, beef, and spices
5. Salsa Meatloaf -- salsa on top and throughout instead of ketchup
6. Chili
7. Bean and Sausage Chowder
8. Chicken Cordon Bleu -- totally an experience to make
9. Mexican Chicken Casserole -- I fear it will burn out the inside of my mouth...
Wow when I list it all that's a lot of chicken, but they're all really yummy. Makes eating so much easier and better for me. I got some steamer bags of green beans, some carrots, and some salad to have with it all. Healthy eating here I come.

LaRae and I are both dead tired from all the cooking though. I think next time we might only tackle 5 or 6 dishes tops. These will last a while, but we kept running out of pots, so we could only cook a bit and then clean and cook a bit and then clean! :-)

It's just past 9, so I think I'll go ahead and get in bed. I have some grading to do at school in the morning as well as a conference at 9 am, so I need to be able to get up early.

Oh yeah, if you haven't seen it yet, I had my perm taken out by getting a relaxer on my hair. It is sooooo straight, and I really like it. I never thought it could be this straight with so little effort. I can actually let it air dry without it looking all frizzy. It's a new Joanna. :-)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

When we last heard from Joanna...

... she was bored as anything. Since then she, um well, is still bored. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's right, the boredom NEVER ends! :-)

No really, want to hear my lame-ish weekend thus far? Actually it wasn't all lame. Last night I went to bed at 8 pm. Look I'm a school teacher; I get up early! I was tired! Sheesh quit judging... I could have had a date if I wanted one! But I didn't. We won't go there. Anyways, because of the early to bed thing, I had a huge early to rise moment this morning at 7:30. Yes, I got up at 7:30 and did not go back to sleep or take a nap today. Total out of body experience. I did lay about watching TV -- see if I hadn't have woken up early I never would have happened across the A&E Biography on Dolly Parton, and since she's my heroine that would have been a cryin' shame! I was so pumped to get to watch that; good start to the day!

I actually took a shower and was out of the house by 10 am. It's ok, you can sit there in shock for a moment at the absurdity of the earliness of my morning! I went and made an appointment to get the perm taken out of my hair (it's falling out and I'd like to go straight for a while -- straight haired, I'm already straight...). Then I went on what became the great odyssey for tempra paint! (Cue echoing movie voice man) On a journey unlike any other, one brave school teacher sets out to find enough tempra paint to create a jungle in a high school hall way! Going above and beyond the call of duty, she will go all across 3 cities and through 7 stores to find the paint to end all paint... (Ok cut echoing movie voice man, I'm struggling to write like that!) To find enough paint (powdered or otherwise) in the right colors, I had to go to (in this order) Michael's of Lewisville, Joann's, Garden Ridge, Mardel, Michael's of Lewisville, WalMart, Teacher Tools, and Michael's of Plano. Either the store didn't have all the colors I needed, the paint type I needed, or both. I had the school's credit card, so I wanted to make one purchase and be done. It took 5 hours (granted I had lunch with Paul and Jennifer in that time -- thanks for meeting me ya'll). End of story: I have the paint we need to transform the hallway from the office to the cafeteria into a phenomenal jungle. I'll post pictures if it turns out well.

I've also been enjoying my share of little projects today. In an effort to save power, I decided to get a couple of night lights for the bathroom (where Sprinkles stays when I'm out), so I wouldn't have to leave the lights over the sink on. The lights actually seem to put off a bit of heat... Turns out two night lights (even in front of a huge mirror) don't put off enough light to light the room enough to not totally throw off his internal clock. I'd leave it dark, but he'll end up sleeping in the day and not at night, and that's just not worth it. Anyone else have any other ideas to not have to turn on the huge row of lights? Please share!

I have painted pink glitter paint on a bell I bought for my classroom to ring when it gets too noisy. This occurs very rarely this year, but I think this will be more pleasant than my usual shout of "oi!" or "ya'll"! What else? I'm about to start making the Christmas presents for my colleagues at work, or I'm going to continue crocheting my afghan... or maybe I'll read, but they all sound rather productive, right? I've changed my school and home keys over to new key chains and put all of my discount cards and library cards onto a key chain all their own. (Helps to hand the card over to people to hand them a simple ring of cards rather than with keys attached.) I have walked Sprinkles quite a bit and come up with more Christmas present ideas.

Ok, now I'm stretching to make my day sound productive. Truth is today I realized I don't have many "call them and go out to do stuff" friends out here in TX. I love the people I work with and the people I go to church with, but most of them are married and/or have kids, and that's something that keeps them from just going out with me. This didn't really bother me until I pretty much quit dating Kris (oh yeah, did I mention I've been dating someone since July? ha! Kept that under my hat fairly well, eh?). Having someone to go out with whenever and then not is a bit hard.

Oooooh want to hear another blessing in my life? I had my observation by my department head this week and go an amazing evaluation from her. The lesson I was teaching was one that always gives me fits, and I dread it because I know the kids will have a hard time with it, but she had sooooo many good things to say and really nothing much that was bad. It's always nice to feel like you're doing your job right. It was really nice this time because I've been feeling great about my job this year, so getting that affirmation that it's great and I'm going it right is nice. :-) On that happy note, I need to go. Sprinkles has curled up on a pillow on the floor and keeps looking at me as if to say, "cuddle with me!" Have a good night ya'll!

Hm -- guess my day wasn't sooooo boring after all -- just mildly lonely. Not a bad thing.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Lately it's been very rare for me to be out and out bored. With work going full tilt and on and off dating someone and going out with friends, who has time to be bored? Me... right now. :-) Not just bored but like wandering the apartment with no motivation to do anything bored. I have papers to grade, but I'm looking for something fun to do. I've contacted about all of my "go do something with" friends to see if anyone will go to IKEA tomorrow with me (I have the day off), but no luck. I think I'll get up and go alone in the morning maybe. I actually have some things I need there.

So back to bored. Yes, I have papers to grade. Yes, I've taken a nap and watched more TV than I need to. The dog is bored. He's wandering looking for something to do. Tiring him out with fetch may take 15 minutes tops. Ah the joys of a tiny dog. :-) Maybe I'll take him for a walk. I think we both need some fresh air. Maybe I'll go to WalMart. I think there was something I needed there.

HOLD THE PHONE! Ever have a moment where God just swoops into your life and shows Himself? This is small, but I just got a call from Joan, a friend from the site (can I just call it "the site" now and you know which one??), and on a whim I asked her to go to IKEA with me tomorrow. She's never been (I so heart IKEA virgins!), and so depending on when her job interview is tomorrow we're going to go to IKEA together. Hurray! Here I am feeling all alone and sorry for myself and God sends me a friend to spend time with. I know it's small, but isn't there a book about God being in the small stuff? :-)

Anyways, I'm still bored tonight, but I do think I'll go to WalMart and take the dog for a walk and in general... move about. Hope you're all having a blessed Sunday, and for those of you lucky enough to get tomorrow off -- have fun!