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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just a quick post to let you know that I'm still alive

Drum roll.............

I completed my NaNoWriMo novel!

Even faced with a lot of crap out of my control, I managed to write more than 50,000 words during the month of November.

That being said, I also neglected my blog, and a lot of housework, forgot to feed the dog (don't worry he can use a few less meals) and decided to give up cooking.

All for the love of writing.

As for whether or not the story is any good, I can't say.  I love the characters I created.  In fact when one of them died unexpectedly in a car accident I was quite upset.  This story seemed to come to life for me.  Often I would sit at the computer, totally clueless as to what I was going to type and soon I would have 2000 more words. 

I had no idea how it would end and I'm happy with the way it turned out. 

December I will spend a lot of time editing and making sure I didn't change any one's name half-way through the piece.  But as for Nano, I may be addicted.  The entire experience for me was excellent.

I'll hopefully be back in the swing of things at this here blog starting December 1st!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lessons from the Lunchlady-What I'm thankful for

I am feeling quite thankful that I am officially on Thanksgiving break.  This includes Monday, which is the first day of antlered deer and when it comes to hunting around these parts we take shooting buck very seriously.

As long as I get the day off and don't have to shoot anything I'm okay with that.

Here's a short list of what I'm thankful for:

  • I am thankful for five days of unprocessed, non-government packaged food.
  • I am thankful that I don't have to fill the mop bucket.
  • I am thankful that I do not have to give anyone a cheese sandwich because their parents are incompetent and cannot remember to pay their lunch bill.
  • I am thankful that I do not have to wear a hairnet until Tuesday.
  • I am thankful that I am not "in charge" of anyone other than my children.
  • I am thankful that the only sarcasm I have to endure is that of my family.
  • I am thankful that for five blissful days I don't even have to consider what we are having for lunch tomorrow.
Of course, those are only the work related things.  I am also thankful for the health of my family, including my MIL who recently had surgery.  I am also thankful for extended family who will be joining us for turkey and for those who cannot.

And I am most thankful for my husband, who likes to cook!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 22, 2010

A HP7 review and a blog hop winner

This weekend I told Oldest G to see Harry Potter 7 part 1 at the theatre.  We went to this newly opened movie mega plex and I must say my seat was reminiscent of a roller coaster chair.  All I needed was a bar to drop down and then I would have started to get nervous.

If you haven't seen the movie or you are one of 20 people who have never read the book stop reading now.

HP7 is a tough book to turn into a movie.  So much happens in it and so much of what happens in it is heart-wrenchingly sad.

It opens with Voldemort and his army conversing about taking over the ministry of magic and how they will attempt to kill Harry when he is being moved from the Dursleys to a safe house.

Snape is there.

One of his coworkers is dangling from the ceiling.  She was a muggle arts teacher and Volemort has particular disdain for her.  The scene ends with her as snake food.

I was impressed with the screenwriter's ability to keep fairly true to the book.  Like I said there is an incredible about of detail in the final chapter of the Harry Potter saga.  Condensing it to a shorter format would be a incredibly difficult task.

That said, the movie is still 2 1/2 hours long and not all that action packed.

The scene where Hermione erases herself from her own parents memory is, as a mother, very sad.  I missed Harry's birthday celebration as it was a big deal in the novel and played little to no part in the movie.  I was glad that they still had the wedding. 

Mad Eye Moody's death was anti climatic compared to the death of Hedwig the owl. 

I did have one beef with the movie and it involves the kiss between Hermione and Harry.  The premise behind the kiss is basically there is a locket that our triumphant trio has been taking turns wearing.  They haven't been able to destroy it and it contains a piece of Voldy's soul. 

Because it has such a Frodo-like effect on Ron, Harry tells him that he needs to be the one to destroy it.  When they finally have the Griffindor sword in their possession, Harry opens the locket by speaking parsel-tongue to it. 

Ron was to whack it right away but unfortunately he lets it speak and it starts revealing all of his fears from inferiority to spiders to the fact that he thinks Hermione has chosen Harry.  In the image, black smoke and all, Harry and Herimone are speaking to Ron, confirming his fears.

It is in this puff of smoke, this hallucination, that Harry and Hermione kiss.  For some reason the director thought it necessary and even more hurtful to Ron to make them appear to be naked.


That was totally unnecessary and made the who scene awkward and yucky.

I realize these kids are in their 20s but most of the kids watching are not.

Other than that scene the entire movie was excellent.  I cried like a hurt child when Dobby died.  He was so happy to be surrounded by his friends.

On a completely separate note the winner of the bag of Hershey kisses is Dawn and Me & My Scrapbook Projects.  Shoot me an email Dawn and I will be sure to send you your candy.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Let's get hopping with the cricut card fairies

Welcome to another addition of the Cricut Card Fairy Blog Hop.  This moth we are practicing being thankful for all the blessings in our lives.  Something we should do more often than just Thanksgiving.

If you haven't done so in a while take a moment today to thank those around you for blessing you. 

With Thanksgiving on the mind the cricut card fairies have put together some awesome Thanksgiving/thankful themed crafty items. 

Along the way there will be opportunities for inspiration and blog candy.

Be sure to hop all the way through and leave comments on every blog.  Crystal the fearless leader of this fairy army will be giving away a BNIP Hello Kitty Cart to one lucky person who has commented on all the blogs.

My project consists of this incredibly cute turkey stamp.  I attempted to color him with some copic markers.  He is machine stitched to the card and then I added a bow.  It was a rather simple projected.  I had a rather busy week and didn't have as much time as I would have liked to spend on it, but I am happy with how he turned out.

Just for fun I added a matching candy box filled with caramel Hershey kisses.  These things are a chocolate lovers dream.  So Good!

I am thankful that you stopped by and as a small token of my appreciation I will send one commenter a bag of these delightful kisses.  If you've never had the caramel kind, you are in for a real treat.

Many Blessings to you and yours this Thanksgiving and have fun hopping.


If you would like to be a card fairy send an email to and get in the loop.  It's a great way to spread a little cheer all over the world.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Corona is Calling my name

I feel very blah.

I feel like putting on my pajamas and not taking them off until Monday morning.

I have had a long week.

I don't want to be in charge in the cafeteria anymore.  I just want to get back into a routine.  I am seriously tired of having substitutes in and out of the kitchen. 

I can no longer keep track of who is mad at me or who I am making mad.

I am tired of people asking me "What do you want me to do now?"

Along with all the joys of cafeteria work this week I also had four meetings to cover for the paper.  I attended three school board meetings and one township meeting.  I have concluded that the word budget should be four letters.  I hate writing budget stories.

As if I hadn't already been beaten down enough this week, the business manger at last nights meeting whom I thought I had a decent working relationship with, went all "no commenty" when I asked her how the district could even consider a 6.6 percent tax increase.

It's a small farming community and that type of tax increase would raise taxes by nearly $125 per household.

She blamed me for not attending the budget and finance meeting.  Said because I wasn't there whatever I wrote about the $2.7 million deficit would be "misinterpreted".  Um, either your short nearly 3M or your not.  It's hard to misinterpret that.  Besides that I'm convinced that these B&F meetings are held at 5:30 just to make them difficult to attend.

But no comment on a possible 6.6 percent tax hike just because you've had a long day and your mad at me about it. 

That's a hard pill to swallow.

Corona take me away.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Happy 70th birthday, Grammie G

We love you!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving and the Inspector

Here's a little story about a school serving Thanksgiving.

It involves mass quantities of bits of turkey smothered in gravy.  It is important to note that this contains soy.  I know I was surprised too.

It includes magic mashed potatoes.  These little freezed dried pearls instantly turn into mashed potatoes when you add hot water.  And though the Naked Chef would disagree they are actually quite yummy. 

Because you can never have too many potatoes this meal also includes the sweet version--covered in brown sugar, stuffing from scratch and corn.

It involves an entire day of planning and if you are lucky a little extra help on serving day.

More than 2/3's of the entire school ate today.

More than 20 teachers ate today.

I have been acting manager in the cafeteria for the last 16 days.  Today, on the Thanksgiving meal, the state health inspector showed up to inspect the kitchen.


No.  I'm not kidding you.

But I'm happy to report that we were violation free!  NOT. ONE. VIOLATION.  Not a box on the ground, not a chart left unmarked, not a temperature out of line!

Thanksgiving and the Inspector.  It has a happy ending.
Monday, November 15, 2010

Lessons from the Lunchlady

I've been a blog slacker as of late and for that I apologize.  It's been a while since I've posted what I've learned in the cafeteria and since I've been in charge for half a month I've learned even more.

  1. Kids will say the craziest things are the craziest times:  Recently I was serving pancakes with a sub who was pulling them out with tongs.  Occasionally the tongs would rip one of the pancakes.  When this happened to a kindergartner he looked up at me and said "Hey!  Miss W, did you bited my pancake?"  The superintendent was in the kitchen just in time for the remark.
  2. Lettuce doesn't last long unless you want it to:  If I want lettuce to last, it can't make it past three days.  If I don't need it, it last for a week.  What's up with that?
  3. It's okay to process a chicken but not stuffing:  Seriously, how many of you make your Thanksgiving stuffing from scratch?  Am I the only person thankful for Stovetop?  Imagine my face when I learned I would have to make the stuffing for our Thanksgiving feast from scratch for tomorrow's lunch.  Thank God for retired head cooks willing to help a girl out.
  4. No one uses recipes:  For example some of the head cooks put some kind of syrup in their sweet potatoes.  I thought you just added brown sugar.  Have you ever drained baked beans?  I don't drain them when I make them at home.   Who knew you had to drain them at school. 
  5. A brain is a terrible thing to waste: The amount of things one has to remember as a head cook is astronomical.  Order the bread, order the food, call for the milk, take into account the holidays, know how this effects the delivery schedule, pull out the breakfast for the next day before you leave, turn in the time cards or no one gets paid, divy out all the jobs, don't offend the substitutes (which is a lot harder than it sounds) take care of all the lunch accounts, feed the teachers.  This is just off the top of my head.
  6. Doing the job and not being paid for it.  I understand completely why my boss makes significantly more money than I do.  I wish I made her rate while I was filing in.
  7. Thanksgiving is wasteful:  I have visions of Indians watching from the stars as tomorrow the K-3 kids throw away more food than their tribe had in a year.  Most of the fresh stuffing balls, the turkey, the gravy and the corn will go down the garbage disposal.
  8. Stewed tomatoes.  Even though I know that most statistic are made up I can tell you that 95 percent of the K-3 students in my building do not like stewed tomatoes.  Apparently it is an Amish tradition to dump those little blobs of goo onto of your mac and cheese.  I know I never heard of that either.  Any who we serve them with mac and cheese and on Friday I offered them to only the students who wanted them.  Not very many takers.
  9. Bread, bread, bread:  It doesn't matter what I order we either have too much or not enough.
  10. PBJ:  Is it really necessary to offer both grape and strawberry.  If I dethaw more strawberry than grape than we need more grape.  If I dethaw more grape than strawberry than we need more strawberry.  If I dethaw the same of each, we run out.
More than ready for my boss to return.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo

I decided to take a chance this year and participate in NaNoWriMo.

I thought about it last year and then I waited too long and didn't do it.

This year I felt prepared.  Even excited.  I mean it's only 1667 words a day.  That doesn't sound insurmountable.  That doesn't sound too difficult.  I felt certain that I could accomplish that with the utmost frequency.

I was ready.

Since signing up in late October I've received numerous pep talks and I've loved each and every one of them.  I've also fallen in love with my characters.  Sometimes I don't want to stop writing about them.  There have been quite a few occasions when I have written well over 1667 words on that particular day.

I'm proud to tell you in this Week Two of NaNoWriMo I have written over 17,000 words.  In this Week Two where many others have given up.  I have continued.

I have written these words even though I'm acting manager at the cafeteria and have numerous reasons for being exhausted.

I have written these words even though I cut my finger on Monday on a irresponsibly placed steak knife (but we aren't talking about that).

I have written these words even though because of the Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving Day holidays my evening work schedule is all askew.  Instead of having two meetings, some weeks I have four!

I have written these words in between soccer practice, cheerleading practice and boy scouts.

I have written these words in the car, at the beach, near the soccer field and even at an occasional meeting.

I have written these words and even if I don't reach that 50,000 word goal, no one can take away the 17,000 I've already written.

Here's to 33,000 words more by the end of the month.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why I have a love/hate relationship with Parent Teacher Conferences

image from Off the Mark

This week our school district is having parent-teacher conferences.  I have a serious love/hate relationship with these little pow wows. 

Things I love about them:

  • I get to meet with my kids teachers and I can judge for myself if my kids perceptions of them are accurate.  I know you will be shocked to learn that often these perceptions are quite askew, but what do you expect from a 7, 9 and 11 year old?
  • I get to see their desk.  Usually, I can pick Oldest G's desk out before anyone indicates which one it is.  Her organizational skills are questionable and usually a topic of discussion.
  • I get to hear at least one, if not a handful, of great things about them.
  • I get to ask difficult questions that I really don't need to know the answers too.  For example:  How do you inform students about the academic standards they're expected to meet? What kind of projects and assignments have you planned that will help my child meet higher academic standards?
Of course, what goes around comes around and I get to endure the following

  • Their teachers get to meet me usually after I've worked all day in the cafeteria.  I'm often wearing my uniform and sometimes I forget to remove my hairnet.  This, I'm sure, creates an endearing impression.
  • They get to see how organized I am and begin to realize that no matter how many times they check "keep desk neat" and "use time wisely" on the report card the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
  • I get to hear at least a handful of things my children "could work on".  These items usually include maintaining self-control, turning in assignments on time, reading, and not randomly weeping.
  • Teachers get to ask me questions that they most likely do not need to know the answers too like What skills would you like to see your child master academically this year? about the the ones you are teaching....

Is it wrong to say tie his shoes?  I'm having a real hard time with that one. 

How about read at grade level for my fourth grader? 

See my 6th grader's handwriting improve to the point of legibility?

 Ugh, I love/hate parent teacher conferences.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I have returned from my mental health seminar

My mental health weekend couldn't have come at a better time.

While I was enjoying some much needed alcohol and scrapbooking time, the cafeteria was realizing what it is like to run out of pizza and pudding.

I barely gave it a thought.

Especially after I opened my beer.

Yes.  It was chilly as demonstrated by my sister's "sitting on the deck" attire.  But who cares when you have a view like this from your living room.

Don't you think the ocean is really close to the house?
Almost a little tooo close.

There were actually nine of us...but D left before the photo.

Here's hoping a mental health weekend is in your not-too distant future.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why I am so ready to go to the beach with my girlfriends

I feel overwhelmed.

I feel like my battery is completely drained.

I feel like my hands are tied.

Here are a few reasons why...

  1. My boss had an accident.  The head cook had a car accident over the weekend and messed up her leg.  As you will recall I really don't like being in charge  That being said, I find myself running things again and realizing how little money I make.
  2. My MIL might be sick.  Again.  But I'm not ready to talk about that.
  3. My beach trip is THIS WEEKEND.  As much as I'm trying to have a 'it's not my problem' kind of attitude it is hard for me to say that.  I mean there are only three of us who feed the entire school.  With one already down for the count and the other one being a bus driver who has a very limited schedule, Friday is going to be a hellish kind of day.  Here's hoping the admin comes down to help.
  4. I have to meet with the superintendent.  Much to my surprise our district superintendent is visiting on Thursday and has decided that she wants to meet with me.  Why?  I have no freaking idea.  Should be interesting.
  5. I have nothing packed.  I am trying to pack for my trip.  I have no idea what to bring as we all usually email each other into a frenzy but this trip we are just all so spent that we haven't even the time to email.
  6. I am likely driving this beach trip and I really hate driving at night and on the highway.  I could let my friend J drive my new van but I still feel a little possessive of her.  After all I've only made two payments.
  7. Sprinkle in a little soccer practice, a little cheerleading practice and a few meetings for the paper and you now have an understanding what my evenings are like.
  8. And just because I'm a complete idiot I signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) because I thought it would encourage me to get my tween novel done.
  9. NaNo is completely AWESOME and I highly recommend your participation.  That being said sometimes 1667 words a day is a mountain of a task.
How is your week going?
Monday, November 1, 2010

Weekend Update: Happy Halloween

Here's hoping you had a spooktacular weekend filled with as much fun as we did.

Friday night we finally carved our jack-o-lanterns.  I think the kids did a nice job.  If you would have seen the rough draft and then the final product you would have seen a few modifications but for the most part the pumpkins stayed true to their design.

My husband was disappointed because he apparently want to make a hockey player pumpkin and his wife forgot to get him his own pumpkin.

There's always next year.

It was old school trick-or-treat in our neighbor hood.  We had to layer up as it was down right cold.  In the 30s.  We haven't had a Halloween that cold in quite sometime.

Also happening this weekend was my niece's birthday.  We couldn't stay for the entire event because TorTing was much more enticing to my kids.  E seemed to like our present.

I'm including this picture just because it makes me laugh.  Little G was so grossed out by the pumpkin slim.  He was ten times worse than the girls.  He wanted to wash his hands ever time he touched his pumpkin so I thought it was fitting to make it vomiting a little.

Middle G.  got a lot more soccer playing time this week.  That's about all I'm allowed to say about that.

Friends of ours came over to go trick or treating with us.  R is dressed like a bearded woman and C is dressed like a woman.  They were a freak show couple and I couldn't stop laughing at them the entire evening. 

After Trick or Treating we had a bon fire at the neighbors.  It was a lot of fun so we decided to do it again last night at a different house.  Again, a lot of fun.

Lastly, bearing in mind that my photos are outrageously out of order and that I'm not taking the time to fix them.  We also got to see our niece play soccer on Saturday, which was a lot of fun though I had just warmed up from our soccer game and didn't really want to sit outside again.

What did you do this weekend?

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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