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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hump Day Craft Post: clay santa ornaments

With one pack of sculpty clay in colors, flesh, white, red, and green I made these clay Santa ornaments.

They are rather simple and kind of remind me of playing with Playdoh. Make a ball out of the flesh color and then make an even tinier ball for the nose. I used tiny black beads for the eyes.

The white clay part is a little tricky. Make some snakes and flatten them out. Twist them and shape them for the beard. The eyebrows are a nice touch.

The red hat is just a triangle. I usually try to press in the center a little so it looks like he's actually wearing it. Place a white ball on the end. The brim is just a snake of read twisted with a snake of white.

I added the green leaves and holly berries just because they are fun. The leaves are just teardrop shapes. Add the little lines because that's what makes it leaf like :-). I added a metal jewelry loop through the hat so I can put a ribbon on it.

This clay needs baked. Instructions come in the packet.

i am not quite sure what I am going to do with them yet. Maybe I'll attach them to some gifts.

Leave me a link if you try em.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Once Upon A Time: That Still Small Voice

This week's episode focused on Jiminy Cricket/Archie Hopper. I must admit, I was looking forward to hearing some of Cricket's background.

In Fairytale land:

Jiminy is a young lad disgruntled by his parents thievery. He is tired of pick pocketing. The show opens with a puppet show and eludes to how Jiminy feels like a puppet controlled by his parents.

While preparing to move on in his transient life, Jiminy is approached by a young boy who offers him an umbrella to shield him from the rain. They talk about the crickets and how they sing. They talk about how free the crickets are and Jiminy longs to be as free as they are.

Enter Rumple, who apparently buys all the stolen merchandise in all of the land. He offers Jiminy an out in the form of a little vile. Give it to your parents. His payment? Just leave your parents there and I will collect them. Um...gross.

Now realize this, Jiminy's parents deserve it. My favorite line, spoken by Jiminy's dad "We steal from them, they steal from us. It's called an economy."

After much consideration, Jiminy decides he will give Rumple's vile to his parents. But after an evil slight of hand, the vile ends up in the hands of innocent parents. Jiminy is mortified. He rushes to aid those he endangered and finds that they have turned into nasty-ugly-scary-as-all-get-out-dolls.

Of course, they are the parents of the small boy, who gave him the umbrella. That boy--Geppetto

Oh crap.
Yep. These chuckie-like things are gonna visit me in my dreams - for sure!
  So like most grown men who still live with their parents, Jiminy decides that he will solve the problem by WISHING ON A STAR. Seriously?

The big breasted blue fairy returns and like the genie in Aladdin announces that there are certain wish restrictions. For example, yes to turning you into a cricket, no to bringing the boys parents back to life.
I bet Rumple could do it...just saying.

Meanwhile back in Storybrooke, Maine.

Hotty pants Sheriff Graham deputizes Emma and for a brief moment we are told that she will now have to dress like a man. Every husband being forced to watch this show gasped but then quickly exhaled once they realized that she will continue to sport those painted on jeggings.

As soon as she pins on her badge, there is a small earthquake. Okay...that's a little odd. When the scene changes to the Major/Evil Queen announcing that it was just some underground mines collapsing we were all like "Say what? How come TV shows always get cool underground mines?"

Since collapsed mines and cute kids go together like peanut butter and jelly, it doesn't take long to figure out where Henry will end up.

Best line in Storybrooke spoken by Emma to Archie: "what could be strong enough to drowned out your conscience."

With the help of Pongo (seriously?), the grown ups find a I mean an air vent. At first I was worried that once lowered, Emma would find Desmond and would be forced to enter random numbers into a computer, but alas, that did not happen.

Emma is lowered into the mine in order to rescue not only Henry but Archie too. His conscience got the better of him and he rushed in to to save the boy after first devouring an Appolo bar (Lost shoutout).

As the trio is being pulled to safety, it appears that Hopper is about to falll to his death but he saves himself by snagging onto Emma's jeggings with his umbrella. That umbrella really is lucky.
In celebration EVERYONE starts drinking elf tonic and heads to the mayors house for some apple cider. Seriously? What were they all drinking?

Archie chirps at Regina and tells her that should a custody battle be in her future it would do her well to keep him on her side. about those feelers?

We fade out with Regina dropping a piece of glass down the air vent and we watch as it bounces off of Snow White's glass coffin.

Speaking of Snow, she had a cameo in this episode that was probably less than 5 minutes, but the chemistry between her and Charming is fantastic. The only thing that feels real to him is Snow and she is drawn to him as well.

So drawn that she resigns from volunteering?? at the hospital.

I want to dislike Kathryn, David/James/Charming's wife, but she's actually

Next week, more Snow and Charming.

Thank you!

I am so glad the blue fairy granted my wish!
Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekend update: thanksgiving and all that jazz

We traveled south for the Thanksgiving holiday and got to see my sister and her family. Her inlaws were visiting and brought down the RV which allowed us to mock the best Christmas movie of all time.

Even though I was annoyed that all the stores opened early this year, we managed some late night shopping. We got home at 4 a.m. and went back out at 9:30 a.m. We are clearly crazy.

We did not buy this. Quite frankly, it's disturbing.

We took in the Muppet movie and it was incredibly cheesy and fantastic! I loved it! The best part? I think the kids liked it too.

Insert Christmas Carol mock...OMG I love this movie

The shitter was full!

The dogs seemed to enjoy each others company although my beagle looks a little homesick here. My sister's lab was very well behaved and I am sure they will miss each other this week.

Here's hoping all your company was well behaved and formed an orderly line for turkey. Happy Holidays, my friends. Less than a month until Christmas. Here's hoping you're not on the naughty list.
Friday, November 25, 2011

Lessons from the Lunchlady: the tomato isn't even a vegetable

In honor of the fact that our very own US Congress decided this week to allow tomato paste to count as a vegetable serving I thought we would take a moment to mourn.

We are raising the first generation of children that will not live longer than the generation before them.

We are failing our kids.

All in order to protect the almighty dollar.

It deeply saddens me.

Wake up Congress. Wake up.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hump Day Craft Post: Deck the halls with Christmas Balls!

For this project you will need some floor cleaner, some glitter and some simple, plain glass Christmas balls

Add a little bit of the Pledge with Future Shine to the ball. This stuff is sticky! Swirl it around in there. Make sure you get it all coated and DUMP OUT THE EXCESS.

Add the glitter. If you want to do multiple colors then they should mix them before dumping them in the ball. Shake...shake...shake. Dump out excess glitter. And recap. You can add ribbon or use the balls as place settings for Christmas dinner.

Have an easy Christmas craft. Leave me a link.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving...a few days early

In case you didn't know, Thanksgiving is just a few days away. It's that day of the year when we stuff ourselves and pretend to be thankful.

After all, Christmas keeps edging in on this holiday. In case you didn't know, Christmas is the day Christians celebrate the birth of their savior by getting random plastic items for their children. Yeah..I can't recall how they correlate either.

Today, I've been feeling like a "have not" and I really need to post this to remind me just how much of a "have" person I am.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for

My kiddos. Watching Little G. recover so quickly from his bout of pneumonia, reminds me of all the parents out there whose kiddos are really fighting. Today I am. Saying a prayer for them.

My hubby. He drives me crazy sometimes but he puts up with all my quirks (even though they are few) and he is willing to drive to NC to spend Thanksgiving with my sister and her family.

My family.  I am thankful that my sister and her hubby want us to invade.  I am thankful that she'll let me bring my obese dog.  I am thankful that her in laws are bringing down the motor home and plugging it into her house.  It's a Griswold Family Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for all my family; they may drive us nuts sometimes, but without them where would we be?

My friends. I have so many friends whom I can turn to in a moments notice. That is truly a blessing.

Wine. The sweeter the better.

Laughter. I am thankful for the sense of humor I have been given and the ability I have to make people laugh even when I am not even trying. Which happens more than I would like to admit.

Cardstock. I love to create things out of paper. From wreaths, to scrapbooks, to cards, I love the feel of paper in my hands.

Sunshine. Days of rain change my mood. I love the sun. Even if it's cold out, the day is better when the sun is shining.

Hot tea. I start every morning off with a nice steamy cup of tea. Nothing quite like a quiet house filled with healthy sleeping children and a warm cup of tea in your hands. Add the sun rising over the mountain and who cares why lies ahead. All seems right with the world.

Warm blankets, my house, my stinky beagle, my cricut, comfortable jeans, pop tarts, Pepsi....

What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 21, 2011

An open letter to a few things that are annoying me

Dear Target,

You used to be my salvation. You used to be a good reason not to go to Wal-Mart. Not anymore. Your pharmacy SUCKS. The pharmacist was rude. She wouldn't give me a bag. She was too busy to look at me to see I had a puking child. I had to get my own bag.

Me (holding bag of vomit) "Where would you like me to put this?" (though I had a few ideas where I'd like to put it)

Pharmacist making about $110,000 a year: " the bathroom?"

Me: "sounds like you don't clean the are there any other options?"

Some sweet teen employee called the manager and he said he'd come over and fetch it, but it was taking him a long while. Finally the pharacist assistant who probably makes $9 an hour comes over and double bags my kid's vomit so we can leave.

Assistant: "Feeling bad for you guys. I will wait for the manager."

Hey Pharmacist...that's how you treat people. From sick people to the people that clean the bathroom, treat others the way you would like to be treated.


Dear virus that is trying to kill Thanksgiving,

You were not invited here and you have over stayed your welcome. Get out!

You gave Little G a cough, which turned into pnemonia, which turned into an ear infection which led to a ruptured ear drum. Don't let me forget about the 24 hours of vomitting.

Both girls are coughing. I am pretending not too cough but am definately loosing my voice. Hubby has a sinus infection and we all know how well men do when they are sick. Don't deny it--you all know it is true.

We are supposed to be getting ready to travel to my sisters for Thanksgiving.

You have 12 hours to get your ugly green microscopic ass out of my house. I have Lysol and I've been using it!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lessons from the Lunchlady: You better check yourself and the carrots too

Another great Terry Border the hidden peeler..LOL
Click the photo to see more and order his book for Christmas
Holy's Friday. This week I managed to work two whole days in the cafeteria. I was off Monday to attend the funeral of my husband's grandmother and yesterday it became apparent that Little G was not well.

He is starting to recoup a little today. He has a touch of pneumonia, an ear infection and spent yesterday throwing up everything any anything I gave him to help.

Even though I spent more days away from the cafe then I spent in the cafeteria this week, here is what I learned.

It's important to check yourself. For what? I'm not clear, but based on a rather rude conversation with a parent this week I can tell you for sure that it's important. So I implore you, when you are done reading this...check yourself.

Stuffing balls and gravy. I have lamented before about the amount of work that goes into our holiday meals and few students actually eat them. This year we entertained most of the admin building and our tiny elementary served nearly 45 adults and 175 kids Thanksgiving dinner. When you have a teeny tiny kitchen and only one warmer, that is quite an accomplishment. Don't even get me started on the dishes!

Carrots are a conundrum.. Last week, while preparing the veggies I found this Lobster claw carrot. This week we had bagged baby carrots and quite a few of them were ROTTEN. After a handful of kiddos told me they found rotten carrots, I tossed that whole case in the trash. What did we learn? No matter the use-by-date, it's a crap shoot as to what you'll get.

Sporks. We used sporks this week and the kiddos were elated. Really. From kindergarten up to, and including, a few adults, I had more comments on the sporks then I did on the Thanksgiving feast. My favorite...a kindergarten boy to a kindergarten girl "I'm gonna touch them points to see if they're willy sharp." He touches it while she rolls her eyes. Then he says, "Yep, them are sharp." Her response. "I knowed that without touchin it."

Speaking of utensils. . Last week at breakfast, I had a wiry 1st grade take all the spoons out of the dispenser, lick em and put em back. Thankfully, some other students saw this um...creativity? This turned into a great lesson on treating others the way we'd like to be treated. I am hoping he goes into forensic science as a career path.

What did you learn this week?
Thursday, November 17, 2011

An open letter to my new mug

Dear Kermit Mug,

Thank you for holding so much necessary caffeine.

Thank you for being my favorite color.

Thank you for reminding me that in just a few short days I will be at the muppet movie premiere with my sister.

She and I grew up watching the muppets and I can't wait to watch them with her again and to share the fun with all our kiddos.



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hump Day Craft Post: New Bulletin Board

I complained a couple weeks ago about the lack of manners I was seeing in the cafeteria. 

In an effort to help curb this and remind students what is expected, I created this bulletin board.

All these food cuts (except the salad and chicken bone) are made using the simply sweet cricut cartridge.  The pizza is my all time favorite.  Love the black olives.

The salad and the chicken bone are cut using the BBQ cart.

Thanks for stopping by.  If you make a similar board, I'd love to see it.  Please leave me a link.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Once Upon A Time: The Price of Gold

This week we meet Cinderella/Ella/ that's a mouthful. Her Prince Thomas/Sean may be Prince Charming/James' brother but as of this writing that is unconfirmed.

Cinderella can't go to the ball and the story starts with that familiar sad story. Enter her fairy godmother, whom begins to tell her that all of her dreams are about to come true when she is abruptly exploded but Rumple.

Rumple, who gets creepier each episode, tells her that "all magic comes with a price" and like most Americans signing mortgage papers, she quickly jots one of her many names down on a contract that pops out of the air.

Hey kids...if the contract just materializes you should probably READ the fine print.

Best line was when Rumple flicked the wand and put Cinderella in her infamous attire and she asked about the glass slippers. His response "Every story needs a memorable detail."

Flash forward and Ella is happy. She is married to Prince Thomas, she's friends with Snow, even Grumpy seems to be on her payroll. Then Rumple comes to collect. The contract doesn't ask for gold or jewels. Rumple wants her baby. Ouch.

Like any good Disney princess she decides to run away. Thomas finds out. He comes up with a plan that the Scooby Doo gang would be proud of. It involves a blue bird, a dwarf, a dungeon, and a scary red quill.

Anywho, all Ella has to do is lie to a liar, offer him another infant in return for um...grain...and get him to alter the deal by signing with the magic red quill. This will freeze him.

Ella having learned from the last mortgage she tried to negotiate says, "but what if this magic has a price, too" to which Prince Hotty Pants aka Thomas says "If it does than I will pay it"

So Snow sends a blue bird to fetch Rumple and he meets up with Ella in a misty part of the kingdom, it is pretty clear that he knows she is the worst liar in the world but he signs the contract with the fancy pen.

Good prevails. Prince Thomas names the baby Alex (LOST shout out) and Rumple is imprisoned. Of course, he tells her that his deals are always honored in this life or in another. She appears to go into premature labor to which Prince Thomas goes to fetch some water and doesn't return.

After all, magic has a price and Thomas agreed to pay it.
Back in Storybrook:

Regina runs into Emma after Sheriff Graham just offered her a job as a deputy. Regina/EQ says she is no linger concerned about Emma because she has never stayed anywhere for very long and will eventually tire of Storybrook and move on.

Best line in Storybrook, spoken by Regina to Emma, "People don't change, they only fool themselves into believing they can."

After getting pissed by the entire conversation, Emma meets Ashely/Ella/Cinderella in the laundry room. She's pregnant and alone and looking kind of scared. Of course, she's an inept maid. Ironic.

Emma convinces her to quit whining. "You want people to look at you differently then make them. There are no fairy godmothers."

Long story short Sean/Prince Thomas ain't all that prince like. His daddy basically sold baby Alex to Mr. Gold/Rumple and now Ashley wants to revoke the deal. However, breaking a deal with this dude is near impossible.

Ashley flees. Emma finds her. As does Mr, Gold. He agrees to let her keep the baby but only if Emma will admit to owing him a favor. What that favor may turn out to be, one can only imagine. The Price of Gold...could be a twist on the title.

Ashley names the baby Alex and Sean returns, bucking his daddy and bringing the baby shoes. Oh, how I loved that.

Meanwhile Henry has been helping Emma all the while and now must make it home before midnight...I mean five. This is when him mom will return from her Saturday council meeting which is code for afternoon frolic with Graham the hot sheriff.

Keeping with our Cinderella theme, while running into the house to keep from being busted, Henry loses a shoe.

Every story, after all, needs a memorable moment.

The episode ends with Emma calling Graham and accepting a job with the Sheriff department. Oh that's going to get awkward.

Next week we have a bye, but the following Sunday we return with a little more info on Dr. Jiminy.
Monday, November 14, 2011

Grandma T : August 26, 1914 - November 11, 2011

No one knows how long they will live. No one can predict how much time they will be given on this earth.

Look at any obiturary page on any day and odds are you can find the very young as well as the very old.

This weekend we said goodbye to my husband's grandmother. A women who had 9 children, 25 grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren and 7 great great grandchildren.

At the funeral this morning the pastor asked for just her direct decendents to stand and it was truly breathtaking. Her legacy lives.

Things I, as an inlaw, will remember. She always had those pink mint flavored candies. She loved to read. She always seemed honestly happy to see you. Her front porch swing. How good she was at tiddly-winks. How all her children were convinced they were her favorite. How she never wore jeans, but had slacks in all colors. How she knew her scripture. How deeply she loved her family.

I am blessed to have known such a woman and amazed at the memories my own children have of their great-grandmother.

I imagine, Raymond, her husband who passed nearly 20 years ago, was eagerly awaiting her arrival and that this holiday season they will be together again smiling down at they legacy they left behind.

RIP Grandma.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lessons from the Lunchlady: Laughter is the best medicine

Photo credit Terry Border
(click photo to see more of his work)
I am happy to report that I have picked myself up off the ground and no longer feel like the downed wooden spoon pictured here.

Fore that I have you to thank.  This funk is getting better because of my great friends both here in blog land and IRL.  Thanks.

This week in the cafeteria I learned a lot.

Most of the kids aren't rude:  I made a new bulletin board reminding the kids to say please and thank you and most of them are.  Sometimes they need a prompt of two (occasionally more) but most of them are doing it.

Our teachers ROCK.  Some of the other lunch ladies complain A LOT about the teachers in their building, but I can honestly say that the teachers in our building treat us with respect.  The kindergarten teachers (who go through the lunchline) have been reminding their kids to be polite and respectful to us and for that I am truly grateful.  After all, you can't fault a child for not using manners until you teach them what manners are.

We laughed a lot. I think laughter is great medicine.  I missed my fall beach trip this year and I think that was one of the reasons I was in such a funk.  This week, however, we laughed a lot in the cafeteria and I think it is helping me get back into the swing of things.

Words of Affirmation.  I've talked a lot about love languages and how I clearly receive love with words of affirmation (hence the reason I am always begging for adoring comments).  That being said, this week I got a lot of positive feedback from my immediate co-workers, from the teachers, from the administration, even from the director of our department.  It meant a lot to me to know that maybe the things we do, while menial sometimes, really do matter.

A kindergartner remembered my name.  I've joked before that our building is small enough that it is possible to know all the students by their name.  This one little boy always seemed amazed when I would call him by his first name.  I joked with him often about when he would remember my name.  One day he told me that he would remember my name when he "growed up and worked here."  A few days ago, when I said hi to him, he said "Hi Miss Wendy. See I tolded you I'd remember your name and I said please and thank you today."

Perhaps, they are listening.

What did you learn this week?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Another Blog about Penn State

Around this time last year, my husband surprised me with a trip to State College.  Even though we do not live that far from there, I had never visited.

I had never been to a Penn State game.

I had never seen the field.

My hubby is a Penn State graduate and most of my family are die hard fans. 

I joked that attending a game and seeing JoePa coach was on my bucket list.

Hubby was listening.

We stayed in a quaint bed and breakfast.  We did some Christmas shopping, we attended a very cold game at PSU.

Look what a difference a year makes.

I am at a lost for words.

Here is what I know.  My heart is broken for these at risk children.  Many adults failed them. I cannot imagine witnessing the abuse of a child and not informing law enforcement.  I am deeply saddened that the coach who reminded me so much of my own grandfather will now be remembered as someone who was fire amidst sexual abuse allegations.

It will be an footnote JoePa will never escape.

Do I think he did all he was legally obligated to do?  That's debatable. Do I believe that he truly believed Sandusky was innocent?  This was a man whom he worked with for decades, I'm sure he wanted to believe he was not capable of these unspeakable acts.  Do I think JoePa did what was morally right?  Sadly no.

I suppose it truly is time to clean house at PSU.  From the president on down, including McQueary, because while he may have followed his chain of command he was the actual eye-witness and he should definitely have done more.  He is a big guy who could have intervened and taken that child to the hospital.  A report would have been filed and a pedophile would have been arrested. 

Yet as of this writing, McQueary remains employed.

This university is so much more than JoePa, but it remains to be seen if it will recover from this mushroom cloud. 
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hump day craft post : holiday wreath

At the end of the school year last year one of the teachers in our building gave me a huge stack of holiday scrapbook paper.

As a gift, I am taking that paper and making a wreath for her. Shhhh.... It is a secret.

If you wanna make it you need A LOT of 6 inch by 1 inch strips looped and stapled. Then you STAGGER the loops on a styrofoam wreath.

Staggering is very important or your wreath will look odd. Trust me. This project takes a lot of hot glue and when you are done you will have finger burns to prove you have made it yourself.

Total time to cut, loop, staple and glue is about 3 hours.

If you make one leave me a link.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Once Upon a Time: Snow Falls

I was so incredibly excited for this episode as I wanted to find out Prince Charming's name.

While I didn't think the episode was as great as the first two I still loved it.

It opens with a fantastic castle scene reminicent of that really hard to spell castle in Germany or Disney World.

Charming is in a carriage with a whiny and over bearing duchess when the carriage is stalled by a down tree. It is an ambush and the thief gets away with Charming's little bag which of course he left open on the carriage seat. Not bright.

Not wanting to be shown up by a thief in front of his obnoxious fiancee he takes off "don't worry babe! I got this.". Of course, he's after his purse instead of hers. Awkward.

He catches the thief and is a little taken back when it turns out to be Snow and she decks him with a rock that leaves that oh-do-handsome little scare on his chin.

She gets away but later in the episode Charming keeps his promise of "Wherever you are I will find you."

Meanwhile back in Storybrooke....

Snow has the worst date EVAH! But I have to admit that I love the fact that Red Riding Hood's name is Ruby. That is fantastic.

Snow leaves and sees Emma living in her car. She offers her a spare room but Emma perfers her Bug. Why? We can't be sure.

One of the best lines: Snow to Emma about her date: "If true love was easy, we'd all have it."

Enter Henry who is convinced he has found Charming and he is a coma patient who would appreciate some fairy tales read to him. Emma and Mary Margaret aka Snow think the boy has lost it but Snow agrees to read to him to prove it will have no effect and therefore painlessly discredit the boy. worked.

Charming starts responding and eventually tries to find Snow at the Troll brige which is where he last rescued her.

Fade back to Fairytale land Charming eventually captures Snow, says he knows she is a wanted crimininal and that he will turn her in unless she returns his jewelry.

The jewelry she sold to the trolls.

There's some great dialogue back and forth including at one point Snow tells him she doesn't believe in love at first sight and you heard WaltDisney gasp from his resting space.

I loved the close up of the arrow flying through the forest as Charming rescued her from royal soldiers. I loved how, even though she didn't have to, she returned to save him from trolls. I loved that he said "it seemed like the noble thing to do" and how she repeated that line to him.

Best line is when Charming asks what she did to upset the queen and Snow replied, "She blames me for ruining her life." Charming asks "Did you?" and Snow replies,"yes"

Just as it begins to feel like Snow and James aka Charming will proclaim their love for each other he goes to his castle and she returns to her tree stump.

Back in Storybrook Mary Margaret, Emma and Henry along with Sheriff Sexy pants find Charming under the toll bridge near death and what brings him back? Snow white's kiss. Fantastic!

Oh course, Regina is all over this new development. I mean apparently the hospital is run by dwarfs and traitors. Regina brings the Duchess into the picture who proudly decrees that David/James/Charming is her husband.

And suddenly Snow's date at the beginning doesn't look all that bad and Emma decides living with her sudo birth mother sounds fantastic. What brings on this change of heart? Regina's line "Not having someone is the worse curse imaginable."

Next week: We meet Cinderella. I am almost giddy. Do you think the birds and the mice will be friendly toward her?
Monday, November 7, 2011

Nanowrimo and why I'm crazy enough to participate

I work well under pressure.

Let the State Inspector show up in the cafeteria on the holiday meal. Our stuffing balls will be hot and fresh.

That's why I love nanowrimo because it forces me to write 1667 words a day.

I know what you are thinking? How does a non-profit organization force me to write 1667 words a day. That takes a lot of people more than a month to write. That takes a lot of people even longer.

Here's how...I don't want to fail. I am perfectly aware that this first draft will likely make little sense, i am perfectly aware that by not reading anything I've previously written except the last sentence is crazy. I am perfectly aware that making up the plot as I go sounds outlandishly stupid, but it works for me.

I am falling in love with my characters and as of Halloween they didn't exist. I want to be friends with Mandy, my protagonist. I want to visit the Center library in Indianapolis to see if my description even comes close to capturing its beauty. I want to fall madly and deeply in love again.

I participate in Nanowrimo to remind myself that I still have an imagination.

Are you participating? Why not be my writing buddy. We can encourage each other.

You can find me on nanowrimo as kisatrtle.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lessons from the Lunchlady: it's all soup to me

It's Friday! You know what that is time to review what we have learned in the cafeteria.

The computer likes to taunt me. Every day, when logging off of the computer in the cafeteria, it asks "Do you really want to quit?". So. Freakin'. Bad. I can't shake the I HATE MY FREAKIN JOB blues. Why? I'm not sure. Morale in the entire building is very low, the kids are increasingly rude and disrespectful and I often feel like a maid. Anyone have any spare happy pills?

Requiring manners makes for a slow moving lunch line. As stated above, rude kids push my buttons so my boss and I have decided to wait for a please and a thank you before releasing their tray. You'd be surprised to find out just how long some of the kids will stand there as they try to figure out what we are waiting for. Our hope is that after 30 days it will become a habit.
Mashed Potatoes are hard to draw. I lamented a few weeks ago about the dificulties I had drawing corn but they were nothing compared to the challenges I faced attempting to draw mashed potatoes. I knew I was in trouble when those kids started asking for soup.

You don't know how much you'll miss someone until they're gone. Our custodian needed to take a few days off this week and let me tell you that ain't fun. Suddenly the garbage, the floors and the tray dumping all fell on the cafeteria staff. Thumbs up to our principal, who isn't afraid to get a little messy.

Mental Health Days are recommended. I took today off. I spent it with my good friend, who also took the day off.

We went shopping at a craft warehouse and I got lots of goodies.
And we drank our lunch.
I might actually be able to face that computer on Monday without saying "HELL YEAH I WANNA QUIT"

What did you learn this week?
Thursday, November 3, 2011

FAQ about me

It's time to compose a frequently asked questions list for the handful of you who read this blog.


A. Unfortunately, I really am. Sometimes I think back to when I was at an age when all things seemed possible and remember that I too thought I could be both a backup dancer for Paula Abdul and an eye doctor. Then I realized that I can't dance and they don't let people who suck at science and math become medical doctors. That being said, as a lunchlady, I have danced backup at many an iRoar assembly and I have been first on the scene when random eyelashes land in random eyes. So I guess you could say that I am sort of a backup dancer/eye doctor/lunchlady, which sounds kind of cool.


A. Again, an unfortunate truth. Along with touring with Paula, I had great plans for writing a book. Turns out that unless you sort of know someone who knows someone getting a book published ain't all that easy. The newspaper, however, seems to go through "stringers" like most people go through tissues. A stringer is a fancy term for someone who strings the story together. In other words, you write it, they edit it, you okay it and then, if you are lucky, it runs in the paper. Stringers freelance for the paper and are not staff. Instead of writing fiction, I get to write about things like speed humps, press boxes, driver's ed costs and superintendent raises. The topics might be a little unusual, but my name is in the byline. Published.


A. This is false. In fact, most 7th graders are significantly bigger than me. I am the size of an average 5th grader. I am 5'2 and sadly that is all the taller I am going to get. My grandma never broke 5 foot and managed just fine. Of course, height is one of the contributing factors in my failure as a back up dancer. That and the fact that I don't have any rythm.


A. Technically, this is likely true, but since I meet the weight requirements it seems like overkill.


A. Of course. Every day, I continue to expect Paula Abdul to call and offer me work. I expect that at any given moment I will be given an honorary doctorate for something--what I'm not sure. I expect that someday a library book will have my name on it next to written by. I expect, but am not hopeful that I will be taller than one of my children. I expect one of you to send me a booster seat as a joke and I expect all 5 of you to leave me some comment love.

Of course, I have been wrong in the past.

This post was brought to you by writing prompt genius Mama Kat whom I am certain has a lot more comment love than I do and I blame it all on the fact that she is significantly taller than me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hump Day Craft Post - Disney Character Shaped Autograph book

Regular readers will most likely recall my fondness for Disney autograph books. I have made at least 30.

So when friends of mine were returning to Disney, I wanted to make the kids a new book. But I wanted it to be a little different.

I asked them who their favorite characters were and attempted to make the books in their shapes.

I was pleasantly surprised by how they turned out.

They are cut from the Disney & friends cricut cartridge at 8 inches. The front and back are mirror images of each other and the pages are blackouts.

I used a cropidile to bind them with a simple key ring. The key ring is embelished with ribbon.

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A few Reasons You Should Be Watching Once Upon A Time

There hasn't been a television show that I've truly LOVED since the season finale of LOST . When I found out that ABC would be launching this new series and that the writer's of LOST would be part of it, I could hardly contain my excitement.

Here's the gist, as I see it. Snow White has always been a thorn in the Evil Queen's side. The fact that she is alive even though EQ has tried to kill her more than once really pisses her off. She has decided now that Snow and PC are married and happy that she will stop at nothing to ruin it.

She creates a curse that puts all the fairy tale characters in a place worse than, Maine. Time is frozen there. No one ages and no one remembers who they really are. The clock is stuck on 8:15. A brilliant shout out to the passengers of Flight 815 of LOST.

Even if you are not a fan of LOST, this show is compelling and so cleverly writen it will make you take notice. Here are just a few reasons I think you should watch.

This is Sheriff Graham. Personally, that is a good enough reason, but if you need more, I can provide. He appears to be the Evil Queen/Regina's huntsman. If you will recall, in Snow White the huntsman was conflicted by what he was told to do and what he knew was right. You like him even more now, don't ya?

Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gould is one of the most complex and cleverly written villians to ever make primetime. i mean he's no Dexter, but he is fantastic.

Emma Swan, the main character is portrayed by Jennifer Morrison, everyones favorite House character. She is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming and the savior that will stop the curse. The fact that her name is Swan and that she will stop the black smoke curse is a direct shout out to the LOST writers. A sweet touch.

Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard is not you average Snow White. She isn't sitting back and waiting for life to happen to her. She is doing her best to give everyone around her "there best chance!"

Jiminy Cricket/Dr. Archie Hopper is worth a mention. He is 10 year old Henry's shrink. He gets the nod for best line in the pilot for "Giving into ones dark side never accomplishes anything?"

Of course, runner up would have to go to Regina/EQ for her line spoken to Emma Swan "Would you like a glass of the best apple cider in the county.". Everyone knows you should never take any apple products from the EQ. LOL

Finally, if you don't watch you won't be able to follow my oh-so-funny reviews which will begin next Tuesday and you don't wanna miss that.

Go catch only have the pilot and episode two. Without giving it all away I will say that Epsiode 2 gives you a glimpes of maleficent and a handful of other villians, you see a brilliantly portrayed reaction of what it might be like to come face to face with your birth mother, you find out just how far evil will go and you fall further in love with the brilliant child actor Jarod Gilmore and his potrayal of Henry.

Oh...and you don't wanna miss Red Riding Hood and tune in!

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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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