Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's Just a Name

I could be sleeping. It is Saturday morning -- not early by any stretch of the imagination, but earlier than I have to get up this Saturday.

That said, I've been laying in bed a wake for the past two hours just mulling over things I could write about in a blog. Thinking about the 100 Word Challenge over at Velvet Verbosity and putting ideas together for that little bit of writing.

And I was thinking about names and how the sir names of the children I teach now are so different from the sir names of the children I grew up with.

That took me on a whole different train of thought about how things in our country have really changed and then I was really wide awake so I decided to stop thinking and just get up and write.

Now back to those names. In my class at school there were names like Jones, Baker, Nix, Bellar, Drake, Brown. Then there were Patterson, Cartwright, Flemming, Harper. I think you are beginning to get the picture. We were not a very diversified community.

Oh, we had a handful of Hispanic names. Garcia, Hernandez, and Cantu (ah Frank and his brother. I had wee bit of a crush on Frank. I remember at one school dance . . .that's a different blog) Back to names that was about it.

There were three main churches and several smaller ones, but most people went to the Baptist, Methodist or Church of Christ. There was a Catholic church, but only the Mexicans went there or at least in my little mind's world that is who attended there.

I grew up very WASP. Although I had no idea what that meant and to this day don't know for sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. It is just a label to me that says all our names were easy to say and spell.

Where I taught in the '70s and '80 was a wee bit more diversified and I learned to pronounce and spell a few more Hispanic names and learned a smattering of Asian names.

The shock came when we moved to the coast. The names here have thrown me for a loop. Not longer is the norm Smith, Jones, Brown, Garcia and Hernandez. Now I've learned a whole new world of names. More Hispanic names and a whole new world of bohemian names. My favorite is Hrncir. For me there just aren't enough vowels. I've learned to ask people to repeat that please and would you mind spelling that. Most don't -- they've been spelling it for you their whole lives. And you notice I haven't listed any names here --- the reason being is I can't spell them and I'm too lazy to go get the phone book.

Now the morning grows late. The hubby is up and distracting me -- I've totally lost my train of thought if there was actually ever one here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

One Dark Stormy Night or Creative Teaching

On Thursday I had one of those teaching moments that really make it all worth while.

I was in the reading group I have each day. This group of three boys and one girl are not usually interested in what we are doing and just go through the motions to more or less humor me or to keep me from growling at them.

On Thursday we were discussing the *author's purpose for writing*. We had covered the basics boiling reasons for writing down to three -- inform, entertain, or persuade. The kids were doing pretty go telling the differences but ran into a snag when I asked (or rather the worksheet asked) if an article that was entertaining had to be funny and light. They all said yes.

At that I began to tell a story and when I finished all four students were leaning forward with their little mouths slightly open and eye huge. The story went something like this:

One dark stormy night I was driving home. Lighting flashed all around me and the road seemed unfamiliar.

Suddenly the car went clunk, clunk and died. I rolled to a stop just managing to get the car off to the side of the road. Then the headlights went out and I sat in total darkness.

A bright flash of lighting highlighted an old two story house off to the right even though I didn't remember having ever seen a house there before. The loud clap of thunder that followed spurred me to action. I jumped out of the car, pulling my coat up over my head to protect me from the rain and ran toward the house hoping someone would be there that could help me.

As I ran up the steps onto the porch I took a big breath to steady myself and shake the water from my coat. I heard a strange cackling laugh coming from behind me. It wasn't a friendly laugh. It was the kind of laugh that means you are in big trouble.

I was to scared to turn around. I raised my arm to pound on the door but as soon as I had barely touch the door is slowly opened with a soft creak. The laugh behind me was getting closer. I didn't wait to be invited in; I shoved the door open rushing in and slamming the door behind me.

Here I just stopped leaned back and said, "Okay what was my purpose?" I swear every head nearly hit the table. They were that into the story. They laughed and giggled and told me it was to entertain. Then I asked, "Was that story funny and light. Of course they all had the correct answer to that one too.

They were also able to decide that this was just a fiction story and I had not had that experience.

One boy did ask what happened next and to that I had to say, "I don't know. I was just making it up as I went along." They were impressed. Yes, they were impressed.

I love teaching moments like I had Thursday.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dialogue of Two Idiots

We pulled up to the house after the Credit Union Stocker Holders' Meeting.

"Where's my purse?"

"You didn't, did you?"

"I never do that."

Robert begins backing out of the drive headed back the five miles to the Civic Center.

"We should have grabbed my cell phone. Then we could have called your purse."

"I'm sure they've picked it up."

As we pull up to the CC.

"Just like I thought, everyone is gone."

"Let me just check."

"We should have grabbed my phone."

On the way back to the house, we drive by the Credit Union.

"Looks like they brought stuff back up here."

"Yes, maybe we should stop."

"No, let's just get home and you can call them."

Back at the house there is a message on the answering machine.

"Mrs. Bain this is Irma from the Credit Union. We have your purse here and will wait for you to come pick it up."

"I told you we should have stopped."

I drive to the Credit Union.

"I'm sorry to make you late getting home. Thank you very much."

"Don't worry about it. I happens to all of us at some time."

I still feel like an idiot for leaving my purse behind. I think that is the first time I have ever done that. I've left my credit card in a couple of restaurants before but never the whole purse. Hummm I must be getting old.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Enduring Love -- A Valentine Theme

I had a wonderful time tonight at the Valentine Banquet hosted by our church. The meal was catered by one of the local restaurants and was excellent. The youth of the church labored as our waiters and waitresses for tips to be put in the youth account for this summer's mission trip. All the decorations were excellent. The after dinner speaker brought an uplifting message that was both humorous and challenging about making love endure. I'm truly enjoyed all aspects of this evening.

Were there problems happening? Probably so, but I didn't have to deal with any of them. I merely got tea and water for the table then sat down and enjoyed conversation with my guest. Robert played host with the utmost elegance. He made sure we all were well taken care of; calling over our waitress a couple of times for tea or water as he noticed our guest needed it. I didn't even know he knew how to do such thing. And then when everyone was through eating he personally got them all the dessert of their choice. (The man never ceases to amaze me.)

This is the table I was in charge of decorating. It turned out much as I had envisioning it, and of course it received great compliments and raves from all at the table and those who were wandering by. People are very kind.

A close up of a place setting. The silver is from my mother. This is the silverware that we used while I was growing up. I love getting it out now for special occasions although then we used it for every day. Oh, and Donna, every one loved the idea of using the luggage tags as napkin rings/place cards. You were given credit each time.

We have a very active group of young singles -- men and women ranging in age from about 24 to 35 -- in our church. This was their table done by them because the wanted to be together. It was colorful and fun. This photo doesn't do it justice.

This is another of the tables, just to show some of the variety of what the room looked like. It was awesome to see so many different ideas played out in one room. It truly is a fun way to decorate. There were 24 tables done by 24 different ladies with 24 different ideas.

This is the only picture I have of almost Robert and me this evening. The girl in the middle is Brittany our server. She did an excellent job. Her smile was just as big at the end of the evening as it was for the photo. She got a good tip, and part of it was because she got Robert back really good once when he was teasing her.

Paul and Gennie Vela were wonderful guest to have seated with us. They have traveled to several different places and I enjoyed hearing their stories about their adventures. We also compared our experiences cruising. Here Stan places a kiss on Nan's cheek. Robert and Stan are in Lions Club together and we have had the pleasure of being with them for two dinners this past week. Always a delight. They plan to go on the trip to Israel next December also. Nan and I have already started planning what mischief we can get into.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Plans for Saturday Evening in Haiku Form

Valentine Banquet
To be held this Saturday
A table I'll host

Each hostess can do
Whatever she wishes to
For her guest of eight

I've chosen a theme
*Two Hearts Travel Together*
Romance without pink

Things are all ready
For the table to be set
China and silver

An aged looking globe
Greenery and tall candles
Make the focal point

Tablecloth, napkins
Are a rich dark chocolate
Something quite different

Colored luggage tags
To be used as napkin rings
And serve as place cards.

I hope all things work
And match what I envision
You will see Sunday

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's All About the Dress and Unconscious Mutterings

Growing up my mother made most of my sisters and my clothes. Most things I really don't remember, they were just the clothes we wore. I can actually remember 3 outfits very well though, partly because they were special to me or because the legend of them has been kept alive by the retelling.

One was a pink dress with gray polk-a-dots on it trimmed with gray rick-rack. That was the dress I wore in third grade to the UIL story-telling contest (which for those unfamilar with Texas story-telling it should be called story retelling since that is actually what you did; not make up a lie to tell). I felt very special in that dress the day of the contest and even more so when I won first place. Many things about that day are etched in my mind to be treasured always.

Another outfit I remember well was a vest and skirt made from a linen type material in a great apricot color. I was a freshman in high school and I just felt so dressed up when I wore it. There are no other special connection with that outfit, so I'm thinking I just felt good in it and it was probably the start of my obsession with being fashionable.

But the dresses in the picture below are the ones my sisters and I all talk about to this day. They were red and white striped and were made for us to wear to the 4th of July fireworks display held in Dick Bivins Stadium in Amarillo, Texas. This was big doings back in the mid 1950s. Mom said the reasoning behind dressing us all alike was so that if any one of us got separated from the rest she would only have to point to the girls with her to tell what we looked like.

To the best of my knowledge none of us ever got lost wearing those dresses.

I'm the one on the far right with her chin tucked down looking like she is about to hurl!

The I say :: You think meme which comes out on Sunday, but can be done anytime.
  1. Cups :: saucers

  2. Brilliant :: genius

  3. Disobey :: defiant

  4. Abstain :: from

  5. Daily :: grind

  6. You make me :: laugh

  7. Hurl :: puke

  8. Intensify :: increase force

  9. F#$%! :: "Excuse me, that will not be said here."

  10. Race :: run

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ready, Set, Dine

Once a week isn't too often to bore you is it???

This past week was very busy with work, planning, doing and not much else. There weren't any great inspiring stories come from this week or anything especially funny. My dialogues with children have begun to feel mundane which is a sign of January passing and February in full swing without a break scheduled until March. I sigh.

The routine is broken up with busy-ness away from the job. Robert and I have several dinners to attend. We went to the first of these last night. It was the Junior Service League Charity Ball. An annual event where everyone gets to dress up and pretend for one brief moment we don't live in the boonies where the normal dress is jeans, tee shirts and boots. A picture of us taken quickly before leaving the house is posted below.

The next events on the calendar make this next week hectic also. A quick trip to Victoria on Monday after school for a dental appointment for Robert and a search for some small glass salt and pepper shakers to use at the church Valentine Banquet.

We are (I'm) hosting a table at the banquet so I'm responsible for decorting said table including having salt, pepper, sugar and sweetner for eight. Not a big problem, but I thought it would be nice if I had at least two sets, maybe four. Then I also have to finish designing and printing the place cards for the guest who will be sitting at my table. I know who two couple are because I invited them to sit with me. The fourth couple is an at large or random couple who plans to attend, but either wasn't invited by a hostess or chose to sit random. I'm actually looking forward to this --- hopefully the table will look like I envision it. All this will be set up Saturday morning -- Feb. 14-- Next Saturday.

The other dinner we have to attend actually happens this week also. It will be Thursday evening. It is the Lions Club annual Ladies' Night. A nice time will be had and all I have to do is show up. Of course, my delimma is what to wear. Smile -- that is always my delimma.

I think I will have to be very serious about dieting the 15- the 28th if I'm to lose my 4 pounds this month.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Useful Tidbit and Unconscious Mutterings

Every once in a while I get something in an email besides a joke that has been around a dozen times or a picture of something foolish someone has done or something that is politically incorrect, racist, sexist, or improper, or something that will bring me good luck or rich blessings if I pass it along. Those are not things that I usually send along. However, today I received the following from a dear friend. It is something I hadn't seen before and gave me pause to wonder -- *Well, why hadn't I thought of that?* The answer doesn't need to be stated aloud, and you really don't have to write back with why. Just read them and pass along or use or ignore.

Coffee filters ..who knew! And you can buy 1,000 at the Dollar Tree for almost nothing.

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.
2. Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.
3. Protect China. Separate your good dishes by putting a coffee filter between each dish.
4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.
5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.
6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.
7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.
8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.
9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.
10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.
11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.
12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.
13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them. Soaks out all the grease.
14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers."
Oh, and they are great for using in your coffee maker, too.

And moving right along it is time for Unconscious Mutterings. The *I say :: You think* meme I enjoy each Sunday.

Check it out, click on the icon

  1. Take :: it on the chin

  2. 350 :: an incomplete circle

  3. Stand :: amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazerene and wonder how He could love me a sinner condemned unclean (corrected after my smarter than me sister commented, thanks Jo)

  4. Raspberry :: blowing on a baby's belly

  5. Turnstile :: counts you going in or coming out

  6. Infomercial :: too loud, too long

  7. Dejected :: depressed, rejected

  8. What’s the word? :: Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word!(
  9. Awestruck :: totally blown away by the magnitude of the event

  10. Smashed :: inebriated