Monday, May 29, 2006

Critter Country

Growing up in Connecticut, the critters I had to contend with included:

* raccoons
* Squirrels
* Chipmunks
* Bats
* The occasional garden snake

We had a sort of pet squirrel we named Funny Face, as she had a big freckle like mark over her nose. Very easy to spot. Mom had her trained! She'd tap on the kitchen window and Funny Face would come sit on a branch just outside the window and would gladly partake of whatever Mom was handing out, be it Oreo cookies, dog biscuits or stale bread.

My best friend, Angie, and I would feed raccoons and their families from Ange's back door - again stale bread was a favorite, or dog cookies. Sure, their ears looked like an animated movie because of all the vermin living there, but who did we know who had ever actually been bitten by a raccoon?? No one - they were cute and as far as we were concerned, harmless!

Critters here on this desert planet take on a whole different dimension altogether. This morning for instance, as I went out for my bike ride, I saw many cotton tail bunnies. Cute, right? You-bectha - they are adorable. What they bring around, however is not so adorable.

On my walk today, that quickly turned into a bike ride for what will be obvious reasons, I saw:

1 Coyote
12 bunnies that were being chased by said coyote
14 quail (also good food for coyotes)
1 dead snake.

As far as I'm concerned, the only snake worth seeing is a dead one, and even that gave me the heebee-geebies as I passed it going 20mph!

Add to this mix:

Javalinas (wild boars with the nastiest teeth you've ever seen - think the ROUS's from Princess Bride)
Mountain Lions
Gila Monsters (a large lizard with a big appetite)
Black Widows

Yeah - makes me kinda miss old Funny Face and those mite-infested 'coons!!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

New Shoes and Migraines don't mix

I finally decided that it was time to get new shoes. The shin splints were not enough warning - I had to get to the point where I was getting blisters on every toe and my ankles before the light went on and I thought "Gee - maybe its my 4yr old shoes??" Hey - I never said I was Einstein!!

So, I'd heard from many of my Fat-Fighting friends that Asics were fabulous and I started to do my research. I found the pair I wanted, but then balked at the price tag (Just can't justify spending over $120 for a pair of really good running shoes when I'm so far from a very good runner!!) It is sort of like me and wine; I can tell the difference between two-buck-chuck and something nice, but the subtleties of "fine wine", ie, wine that costs more than about $25 is just lost on me. Same for tennies... The finer details go unnoticed, so why on earth would I pay for them?

I went to Famous Footwear, and found these - same company, still gel-technology, just a generation lower than what I'd seen online. Good fit (Size 10 -eek - what those boys have done to my feet!) decent price - home they go!

Oh, holy canole - the difference a pair of shoes can make! My shins don't hurt, I have no blisters, I can actually try to jog with them and not ache (well, until much later!) Its amazing!!!

The only down side - getting overheated in our lovely Arizona weather and having a migraine for the remainder of the day.

Update - it is now about 9:15 at night and my migraine has finally left the premises. I think tomorrow I will take the Excedrin BEFORE I go out, rather than wait and see. An ounce of prevention, afterall...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

10 days left

We have 10 days left of school until summer vacation. It feels much like it did back in grade school when I would have to run the 600yd dash (dash being a euphamism) and thinking there was no way I'd make it to the end.

Christopher started crawling on Mother's Day!! He is now Mr. Mobile, with 6 teeth, 2 more working their way in. He sits at the counter in his little port-a-high-chair, and eats Cheerios from a bowl. He likes the strawberry yogurt ones best. They even make him giggle! He is actually crawling behind me as I type this. Guess its time to return to Babies R Us and invest in several baby gates!

My job for next year is still in limbo. I got the .5 at the elementary school. Then a .6 opened for me at the middle school where I currently work. Crazy-crazy lady will be gone along with crumedgeon side-kick, I know the staff, the curriculum and could loop up with my current 5th graders. So - while I am mostly convinced that I actually need a lobotomy, I want to stay where I am. Except that elementary school?? Yeah - they wont' release me. Guess its nice to be wanted.

I got up this morning and "wogged" my neighborhood for 2 miles. Rode 10 on Monday. Found a cool path behind our development that borders the reservation - had NO idea it was there. Think if my bike could talk, she'd thank me... it was like the time we took Maddy to Tahoe and got to see her frolic in the snow - she just knew she was made for that terrain and climate. Well, good ole' Trek knew the trail was made for her. It was a blast! I'll have to try it again this weekend - unfortunately I need to be OUT before 6am or the sun is too intense. Oh - and we've had 3 days below 100 since my last post.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

And so it begins

We hit our first 100* day on Thursday at 2:12 pm. It is stunning the difference between, say, 94* and 100*. Its getting icky hot and its only going to get hotter and more miserable from here on out.

This is actually early for us. Our average temperatures are not supposed to be in the triple digits just yet. We are supposed to be in the low to mid 90's right now. The 100+ temps are supposed to wait until the END of May or even the start of June.

No one told that to good ole' Mother Nature. Or they did and she really didn't give a damn.

So here we are, now needing to worry about seat belts burning skin, cars that become warm (hot) enough to cook a batch of cookies while you go shopping, always needing to wear shoes so you don't burn your feet, and drinking the equivalent of the pool daily to avoid dehydration.

On a different note - would someone please sign me up for a lobotomy? I think I seriously need to have this old brain of mine worked on. I've made the decision this week to NOT take the job at Desert Canyon Elementary and to stay working at the Middle school. I know - all I've done is moan and complain. But - some signs that I may not have totally lost my sanity -

1) the crazy-crazy lady at the helm is going to Apache Junction.
2) the old curmudgeon side kick is retiring
3) my elem principal will now govern the whole school
4) my friend Nicole, whose class I've been in all year co-teaching with is now staying and NOT moving to another campus
5) I really liked looping up with my kids this year.
6) the remaining staff are really laying it on thick for me to stay, too.

I guess the saying is true... Never say Never.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Happy Converts!!

We did it!

I went to the gas station to fill the Odyssey on Friday of last week (the 5th) and spent $50 to fill my car. I just about lost my jaw to the pavement - last year it was about $34 to fill my car, we've now gone to a nice dinner out AND the babysitter just in order to drive.

I called Steve. With Dad's old Explorer, I was certain that he was spending a fortune, especially going back and forth to Tucson and Yuma. That was it - I'd reached my limit - it was time to look for a new car.

Something practical, but not too girlie.

Something that can hold all the (pardonnez-moi ici por mon langue terrible) crap-ola he carries around with him.

Something that gets much better mileage than the Explorer (Which, including all freeway driving, was getting around 17MPG)

Well, here she is.... Our newest family member!! Shhh - don't tell the boys - she's a DIESEL... (Remember, in Thomas-land, diesels are naughty little creatures)

We like the color, there's plenty of head room, enough trunk space to hide the bodies of the students I had to kill because they royally pissed me off (ok, not really, but there's a cave in there!) and its "zippy".

Best of all - average miles per DIESEL gallon - about 40!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Its a Monday, and I'm not at work!!!


This poor bugger has another ear infection, so we are home, trying to mend. It was a rough day yesterday, and heart-wrenching last night as he woke with a fever over 103 and was just miserable. Thank God for baby advil... truly - that stuff is worth its weight in gold!

But even when he's misearable, he's still pretty darn cute and adorable! I just had to post another pic... I doubt many of you knew or remember my grandfather, David Todd Gillmor (which is were the TODD in Christopher Todd comes from) but he would make this face a lot... the tounge purposefully out of the corner of his mouth. It was usually accompanied by a wink of the opposite eye, meaning "Okie Dokie" or "You Betcha" or something like that. It cracks me up that Christopher makes this face too - minus the wink obviously, because even though he's amazing and brilliant, even I can admit winking on cue is a bit much to ask of an 8 month old... My grandfather is the only relative we have pictures of who bears even the slightest resembalance to Chris.. so now he has two things in common with his Great Grandfather.

Speaking of odd family genetics... My grandmother, my mom and I can all raise an eyebrow. No biggie, unless you are my husband who is totally befuddled by this. He, however, can wiggle his ears. Truly freakishly cool talent. Parker - well, being the true blend of his mother and his father can do both!! Genetics are a strange and wonderful thing, aren't they?

Update on the job situation for next year - I got the .5 at Desert Canyon Elementary, which means part time for me!! YOO HOO~~ 8:30 to 11:30 daily. This means I will actually have time to... 1) go to the store without a gaggle of kids 2) do laundry and other household tasks on a day other than the weekend 3) perhaps, if the planets are alligned, go to the gym!!! Posted by Picasa