The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weather... or not.

I'm kind of a weather geek. Not enough to learn what isobars are, but enough to know how tornadoes form and the difference between sleet and freezing rain.

The weather is bumming me out right now. For days it has been in the 50s during the day. It's at least 10 degrees warmer than the typical January.


You see, we were warned that this year might be colder and wetter than usual (snow?). It was in the paper- all about La Nina and how the chances of getting at least one snow event seemed to be pretty good. November was cold. December? Meh. January? I'd return it if I could.

Why in the world would I want snow and cold? The rest of the nation is freezing their collective tushies off, and I am wanting snow and cold? What is wrong with me? (Some of my family really would like an answer to that...)

I'll tell you what is wrong with me. I bought new school clothes for the first time in many years. Most of them are winter-type clothes. I would like to wear them.

Another thing- I got some really great scrapbook supplies for snow lay-outs. I would like to take some pictures and use them.

My lawn doesn't grow as much when it is cold out. I like not having to pay my lawn guy to mow it. The weeds are also more slow-growing. I like not spraying them until spring.

Also, my neighborhood is much quieter when it is cold out than when it is mild or warm. Everyone stays indoors, there are fewer sirens on the nearby freeway, and things just take a rest. I would like to rest with them.

Finally (and this is not as selfish), our region could use some more snowpack. When we have a high snowpack in the mountains, we don't have to watch our water usage in the following summer. Last time I checked the volcano cam of Mt. St Helens, she didn't look very snowy.

So, I am asking God for 3s. About 3 weeks of cold where the high is in the 30s and about 3 inches of snow at some point. Around here, when February is over, there's very little chance of any kind of snow event or cold in the 30s, so it needs to happen soon... It doesn't even have to snow on a school day- in fact, I'd rather not have to go another day in June as a make-up day. I just want some winter.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

9 years together

Ab and I recently celebrated our 9th "Gotcha Day". Here's a digital scrapbook page I made as a review of our years together. All the photos were taken each year on or near the date of our anniversary.

I usually give her some small thing I bought in China- a panda purse, a twirly drum, a necklace with her name on it, a print of Chinese characters that mean "joy", etc.

This year, she planned ahead and bought something to give me! It's a cute little glass dog that's white with blue markings. It sits by my computer and reminds me of her.

I love it.
And I love her.

Happy Gotcha Day, kiddo!

Friday, January 28, 2011

25 years ago today

I was fresh out of college, having successfully completed my student teaching just before Christmas break. I was living back at home with mom and dad, starting to look for teaching jobs in the area. I had signed up to be a substitute teacher in the three surrounding districts and got my very first call to sub that morning... a jr. high German class. No sweat.

Brimming with confidence and enough knowledge of German to keep the students guessing, I reported for duty. I was shown my classroom (I recall there were no windows to the outside.), found the teacher's plan for the day and I welcomed the kids.

The morning announcements completed, I started the lesson. Then, an interruption. There had been a problem with the shuttle launch- the shuttle that held America's first teacher in space. No details were given- possibly because none were known- and then the loudspeaker went silent. I took it for granted that it wasn't too bad- maybe there was an explosion but the crew bailed and were floating in the ocean, waiting for rescue.

There was no TV in the classroom. There was only a radio, and reception was not great. The kids seemed oblivious to any issues (I thought school kids all over were supposed to be watching this launch?), and the day went on as planned. I heard no real news from the outside until I got into the car to go home. The talk on the radio was only about the failed launch- I could not wait to get home and watch the TV news.

Nothing had prepared me for the sight of the disaster. It seemed as if the thing just vaporized- it was there and then... pooof! Gone. The white contrails hinted at a destination... follow me and find... what? There was no coverage of the shuttle itself slamming into the ocean at 200 mph- the cameramen didn't know to look for it there. There was just blue sky and white vapor and... nothingness.

I didn't know any of the crew personally, but I had been following the story since its inception. A teacher was on board. A teacher. Like me. Like my mentor teacher, who had applied to be on the shuttle. He was a runner-up. He had gone through all the training, just as Christa McAuliffe had. His classroom was covered with NASA posters and he had tons of photos, personal souvenirs, shuttle toys, astronaut gadgets, and "space" food. I was literally immersed in Challenger culture from the first day of school until I left there. It was exciting to say the least, but it made the disaster that much harder to watch.

Of the moments I remember... the coverage of the lift-off, the faces of the crowd looking up in wonderment, the heart-wrenching pictures of Christa McAuliffe's parents... the thing I remember most is the speech given by President Reagan. It ended like this:

"We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning,
as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and
'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God.'"

I still have the Time and Newsweek issues that covered the event. I've been to Arlington Cemetery and viewed the Memorial to the Challenger crew. I've talked to my many students and my daughter about that day in January 1986. I hope that when they "slip the surly bonds of earth", they do indeed "touch the face of God".

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why noodles? Why butter?

Because noodles are romantic.

Haven't you ever seen Lady and the Tramp? Noodles have the power to bring you closer to the one you love. The very moment you start eating noodles, you are transported to a place where your knight in shining armor is on the other side of the plate, about to eat the very same noodle from the other end. You will kiss and then you will have HappilyEverAfter. It's true.

And butter? It tastes good. It has the added benefit of keeping the noodles from sticking together so the romance won't be hindered by clumps of noodles hanging between two people who only want to kiss each other, not clumps of noodles.

Remember- you heard it here first.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Baby Hangers

Don't let the title fool you.

I'm not talking about things that you can hang babies on to get them out of the way while you tidy up or vacuum.

I mean the small 12" clothes hangers that you use for hanging small clothes because small clothes don't fit on regular-sized 16" hangers.

This morning I spent about 20 minutes replacing Ab's baby hangers with regular hangers. Her clothes are getting too big for the baby hangers- they slide right off.

That means she is getting bigger, too. And older. Sigh. Where does the time go?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

So, I checked Ebay, and...

I don't shop Ebay a lot. The whole auction thing just gets my competitive juices flowing and if I am not careful I get the privilege of purchasing something I probably don't want or need at a price I REALLY don't need and then there's regret.

But every now and then, Ebay has just what I am looking for- at the right price.

Take Manger Sets, for example. I grew up with a certain Manger Set on display in our home every year at Christmas. It was cardboard, so it came apart for storage and Mom and Dad often let me set it up- complete with wisps of straw and colored C-9 lights in the correct places. Not fancy, expensive, or even unique, but it held good memories for me.

A few years after getting my daughter, I thought it would be nice to have that Manger Set for her to enjoy. I should have shared that desire much earlier with the powers that be, because about a month before I requested it, it was given to the church rummage sale by one of my parental units (I'm not telling who gave it away... she knows who she is.)

I went to the church rummage sale but could not find the set. Someone from my town or even from my church bought it and is now enjoying my childhood Christmas. It might even be someone I know, but no one is telling...

Enter Ebay. I searched "Cardboard Manger Set" and got a few that looked like the old familiar one. So, I bid on the cheapest one whose auction ended the soonest. Then, I waited.

As it got closer to the end of the auction, I got outbid. I was disappointed because I wasn't planning on paying too much for this whim of mine and I knew I couldn't play the game any longer for that particular set. I searched a few more options and found one that cost me about $14- that included shipping as well. I bought it, and looked forward to the delivery.

A few days after I bought it, the other one was sold to the highest bidder at OVER $40!!!

For cardboard!!!

I'm so glad I waited. Not only was my price better, but I purchased it from a store (in Ohio) that supports missionaries and helps those in need.

It just shows you- good things come to those who wait!

I set it up on my mantle this year- minus the C-9 lights. It's a little worn around the edges, and could use some reinforcements in some places, but it's just like the one we had when I was a kid.

Of course, my kiddo is not terribly impressed.

She prefers the teddy bears dressed as the holy family.

Maybe when she is older...