Friday, December 26, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The show (see previous blog entry) opens NEXT weekend, and I need EVERY SECOND of rehearsal time between now and then to figure out WHAT THE HECK the words are to all of the songs, WHERE THE HECK my blocking takes me through each of the songs, and HOW THE HECK I transition from point "A" to point "B" (and "C"...and "D"...and...).
Wildlife has also been on my mind today. I have it here in my new place...from the wolves howling in the woods off my deck a few nights ago, to the family of deer that ambles into the yard out back to forage for corn a neighbor leaves out in the snow, to the GORGEOUS quartet of cardinals that sit in the crabapple tree out my dining room window. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE living here yet????
Hope YOUR day is NOT queasy, but full of wonderful wildlife, too!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I've tried to take photos of signs and letters to make my own, but, at the TIES Technology Conference (and awards ceremony, in which I was one of about 50 educators from around the state honored as "exceptional teachers of the year"...but that's a different story) went to a presentation on blogs, and discovered Spell with Flickr: http://metaatem.net/words/.
You can go to this link, type in what you want spelled out, and it'll bring it up with various "Flickr Photos". You can click on the individual letters to change them, and create ALL SORTS of cool things.
I haven't figured out ALL of the "ins and outs" yet, and the best I've been able to come up with is copying and pasting it all into a Word document and rearranging them to read from left to right (they cut and paste vertically).
Not really sure of how I can use this yet, but I'm sure there are ALL SORTS OF POSSIBILITIES!!!!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Feed My Starving Children's brochure says: "Founded in 1987, Feed My Starving Children has a mission of 'Feeding God's Starving Children Hungry in Body and Spirit'." Their approach is simple...volunteers of all ages hand-pack nutritious meals for severely malnourished children. The meals are distributed to starving children in over 55 countries around the world.
FMSC has a unique food mixture which was designed specifically for severely malnourished children by Minnesota food scientists. The meals consist of rice, textured soy protein, dehydrated vegetables, and 20 vitamins and minerals with a vegetarian chicken flavoring (we got samples after the session, and it's NOT bad...kind of a mix between Rice-A-Roni and ramen noodles...!). The facility is 100% volunteer run, and it costs 17 cents to produce each meal.
We started with a short "lecture", and learned some SOBERING facts...for instance, every 4.8 seconds, someone dies from starvation...18,000 children die EACH DAY from starvation or starvation related causes...how HORRIBLE!!! FMSC "contracts" with various religious groups, and humanitarian organizations, and feeds one child (or group of children) for an ENTIRE YEAR.
We were introduced (through photographs) to a child in an orphanage in El Salvador. His name is Omar, and, at age 8, weighed only 19 pounds. After eating FMSC food for 6 months, he weighed 73 pounds, and is now a healthy child...it was AMAZING!
After the lecture, we washed our hands, donned EVER SO ATTRACTIVE hairnets, and gathered in the "bagging room". We learned about the FOUR things to be added to each bag (mentioned above), and how to bag it, seal it, and box it up for shipment (ours are scheduled to head to Uganda on Thursday).
Our kids (along with various staff and parent volunteers, as well as various corporate and church groups who were also there to "bag stuff up") did a GREAT JOB...the morning group bagged 10,584 meals (each bag feeds ONE child SIX meals, or SIX children ONCE). The volunteer who led the session said that we saved TWENTY NINE kids from dying of starvation. The afternoon group bagged 13,176 meals, saving THIRTY SIX kids from starvation.
What an amazing experience, and what a COOL organization. You can learn more about them at www.fmsc.org. They have "drop in nights" for people to just "show up" and bag meals. They are also looking for volunteers to help with various aspects of the process, and I THINK I'm going to get involved...what a REWARDING experience, and a GREAT cause!!!
It's really HEARTWARMING to know that there are organizations out there like FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN to help the needy of the world. I was TRULY blessed to be a part of this one.
Hope YOUR day was FULL of fulfillment and blessings too!!!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The weekend was the usual BLITZ of activity...with shopping, and eating out (which, for some reason, is the only thing I managed to take pictures of...the photos below are from our lunch at Big Bowl in Edina).
The only BAD part of the weekend happened the first night they were in town. They stayed at a hotel on 494 and France, and their car got broken into (the front passenger-side window got smashed out). Ashley lost all of her college books and notes (JUST before finals...natch), her IPod, and the backpack itself. They also lost a bag of food (??!!), and Kim lost ALL her makeup...yikes! They got the window fixed the next day, and HOPEFULLY insurance will cover some of the loss...PEOPLE SUCK!!!!
Anyway...it was a FUN, FUN weekend, and we always have SUCH A GOOD TIME with them...MOVE HERE GIRLS!!!!!!
The gang at Big Bowl
Hope YOUR weekend was full of family and fun too!!
Friday, November 14, 2008
I VOWED that I would NEVER again "bog down" my holidays with ANYTHING, after suffering through THREE YEARS of retail HELL...and the first "please do our show...we need PEOPLE" that I get...I FORSAKE my vow, and run off to perform.
I thought I was OVER the "theater thing"...but I don't think you can EVER truly "disengage"...the THRILL of the adulation (why pussy-foot around the issue...we do it for the adoration...plain and simple) is just TOO strong.
Anyway...the show is called "Once Upon a Christmas", and BASICALLY revolves around some kid finding the ture meaning of Christmas...blah, blah, blah.... There are FIVE men, and FIVE women rounding out the "adult cast", and it could be fun...(OF COURSE I asked if it was all "chorus"...or if there were still "solo parts" left...in TRUE diva fashion...!).
The show goes up on December 19th, 20th, and 21st, and I've been ASSURED that it's a light rehearsal schedule...we'll see how THAT goes. It's a good move...theatrically...as this will set me up (hopefully!) to be a contender when they audition for "Seussical: The Musical" this spring (although I don't really know the show, and THIS show might KILL ME OFF anyway, so I won't even be available this spring!).
Laura Osnes (recent winner of the reality show "You're the One That I Want", and SANDY in "Grease" on Broadway) has done some stuff with Ashland Productions, so...WHO KNOWS what connections I might make through the...ordeal...!!!
Check out their site at www.ashlandproductions.com. They are also doing a show with our students called "Pirates"...which sounds like it's going to be a hoot!!!
WHAT HAVE I DONE??!! Wish me luck...I'm going to NEED IT!!!!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tena posted a GREAT video clip on her blog by one of my FAVORITE media personalities/newsmen...Keith Olbermann. I'm posting it here for those of you who read mine, so that you can see it too. He was very eloquent, and passionate, and sincere, and kind, and, if the world had MORE people in it like Keith Olbermann, it would be a MUCH, MUCH better place to live!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
So...in an effort to "inform the world" of how truly AWFUL some recipes can be, I've decided to, periodically, share some of the more DISGUSTING offerings. This "delicacy" fell in to my lap at school yesterday (figuratively speaking, of course!). I was looking through my non-fiction collection, and noticed So-Good Meals, by Better Homes and Gardens, circa 1963. The 60's were a bad, bad time for jell-o related dishes, rivaled ONLY by the 50's (and maybe the 70's).
So...without further "ado", for your culinary scoffing (or enjoyment...??)...
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I cried when I realized it was possible.
I cried when the networks projected a winner.
I hurt for him.
He truly is a hero who has sacrificed more
than I ever knew I had.
a million people.
I cried because I was happy.
I cried because I was scared.
I cried because I was relieved.
A step toward growing up.
When Geraldine Ferraro said in 1984 that
"America is the land where dreams can come true for all of us,"
it wasn't really true.
I cried tonight because now it is,
or at least we're a lot closer to where that is.
it feels like it's going to burst through my chest.
The hope that we can be respected again in the world.
The hope that we can have peace.
The hope that we can all just get along and be proud Americans,
no matter what our beliefs or philosophies.
The hope that we can have differing opinions
but still respect each other and work together.
I miss mine,
and I know how it feels to have wonderful things happen
and to wish the people you love the most were
there by your side.
I'm proud to be an American.
I'm grateful to live in a country where I have the right
Important words in my life.
I'm so filled to the brim, they spilled out.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I have to admit, he might be right...when I SEE the infomercial for the "Greatest Hits of the 70's Collection" I NEED the "Greatest Hits of the 70's Collection" (even though the Air Supply guys look REALLY old!)...when I SEE the ab roller thingamabob I NEED that ab roller thingamabob (to get those tight abs simply by "rocking" for 15 minutes a day!)...and when I SEE the tube thing where you can cook spaghetti noodle in a FRACTION of the time in your microwave I NEED that tube thing where you can cook spaghetti noodles in a FRACTION of the time in your microwave (even though I don't HAVE a microwave).
I wonder if there's a pill I can take for this??!!
Hope YOU saw something YOU couldn't live without on the "boob tube" today...wait...that not a good thing to close with...dang...maybe there's a support group I could join...!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
The staff signs up to work various "aspects" of the dinner...from selling tickets, to serving meals, to cleaning up after it's all over. Janet and I worked the "dish room" again this year for a shift. We had a BLAST last year, scraping trays, and running them through the "dishwasher", so thought we'd give it a try again this year.
I have to admit, LAST YEAR was more fun...this year there was WAY more "washing of hands" (we're scraping dishes...what's up with that??!!), "netting of hair" (I lucked out because my hair was short enough that it didn't NEED to be netted), and "following of rules" (how CAN you spray the "cleaning hose" at each other, if people keep telling you NOT to??!!).
Good cause...our shift didn't have much "business" (too early in the evening)...and we can now say that we HELPED with the cause...what more can you ask for??!!
Here's a picture from LAST year's fun:
Hope YOUR day involved some "good clean fun"!!!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
You can piece it together yourself. Fill in the "blanks" with your own sordid details...grrrr again....
...and what an alliterative weekend it was...chock FULL of exhilarating "B's", including "baccuuming, "blaundry", and "bwinterizing the deck", but here are the highlights...
Duane and I went to see the historic Rock Island swing bridge over the Mississippi River Saturday afternoon. The county park association gave the tour as an "awareness" project to possibly help save part of the bridge from being destroyed.
BIG BLANK SECTION...
The beverage of choice was something called a "beergarita". It wasn't BAD, but not exactly what I would have chosen...beer, tequila, margarita mix, and a couple of other things that I've forgotten...
BIG BLANK SECTION...
It was a GREAT time, and really fun to spend time OUTSIDE of work with everyone (well...not EVERYONE...but the "everyone" who bothered to show up!). I've decided, though, that I'm TOO OLD to party until the wee hours of the morning...I'm PAYING FOR IT today!!!!
BIG BLANK SECTION...
This morning, I met my friend Pat, her "BFF" from Willmar- Sarah, and Kate and Josh W. at Jake's for brunch. It was nice to FINALLY meet Sarah...very fun. Brunch was a hoot, and it was a GREAT chance to eat WAY too much food, and spend MORE time "catching up" with work people (since we DON'T, apparently, do that enough at school...which actually IS a cool thing...to enjoy hanging out with people that you see every day even when you don't HAVE to!).Now, however, I'm paying for staying up too late, and drinking a "beergarita" (ick now!), and eating too much breakfasty stuff...I'm thinking I'll be spending the afternoon lying on the sofa...there might even be some moaning involved...ugh!
Hope YOUR weekend had some adventure in it, but that YOU are not paying for it now!!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
After walking in the park, we all came back to get ready for the wedding. I had ANOTHER rehearsal at 4:30, so went to that, and then met up with Tena and Duane at the civic center.
After the ceremony, the guests were ushered into the "convention hall" part of the civic center for a catered dinner. The decorations were AMAZING...candles EVERYWHERE...red and black silk and tulle draped over everything...a dance floor surrounded by a lighted framework (which Mandie's dad ALSO built!)...china and crystal...a draped dias along the center edge of the seating area for the bride and groom...a chicken and ham buffet for 250 people (featuring a mashed potato bar, almond green beans, salad, marinated chicken, ham sliced as you went through the line by the chef, a dessert bar...wow!).
Duane and me
At the reception, I had a chance to chat with Mandie's father. He wanted to let me know that a guest had asked if Emily and I had flown up from Branson, Missouri (where Mandie is a recording artist) to sing at the ceremony. Mandie's dad replied "yes...yes they did"! Nice to be thought of by SOMEONE as a professional singer!!!
After the reception Duane, Tena, and I went back to her place and got out of our UNCOMFORTABLE clothes. We put on our COMFORTABLE clothes to finish the evening with more "catching up"! Then...we went to bed!!!
Sunday, we got up, Tena went to teach Sunday school, and Duane and I tried to find coffee (Revelations is CLOSED on Sunday!). We found a cafe around the corner, got coffee, then spent a few minutes looking for my "brick" in the FAIRFIELD garden nearby. I FINALLY found it (with Daune's help!). After that, we got back in our cars, drove to Cedar Rapids (after a stop at Steak and Shake in Coralville, dropped the car off at the airport, and continued on to the cities in MY car.
Hope YOUR weekend was full of "reconnections", and that YOU got to eat cake as well!
Gives new meaning to the phrase "can't we all just get along?", doesn't it??!!
FOR ANOTHER GIGGLE, CHECK OUT http://www.palinaspresident.com/! Click on the door SEVERAL times to see a VARIETY of interesting "Palinesque" motifs!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I got a message stating the SOMEONE had reported my blog as containing "abusive content", so I wasn't able to post the URL. WHAT??!! "Abusive content"??? WHERE??? Granted, my buttermilk cheddar herb scone recipe IS enough to make you want to bang your head against a wall, and Tina Fey IS amazing as Sarah Palin (even though the REAL Ms. Palin makes my skin crawl...but that's HARDLY "abusive" in content, and I can name about FIFTY other people who feel the exact same way that I do!!).
Not sure WHO is so "clenched" that they'd find ANYTHING on my boring little blog abusive, but when someone starts messing around with MY constitutional freedom of speech, I get a little...SNARKY. BELIEVE ME...the abusive thoughts that started running through my mind were ANYTHING but boring! The phrase "shove it up your tight little Republican ass, and FART back out a diamond" (!!??) has been running though my mind A LOT in the last 24 hours!
How DARE they curtail MY freedom of speech, and cut off MY ability to share MY thoughts with friends on Facebook! These are the same HYPOCRITES who are SURE that you should listen to (and agree with) THEIR point of view (ad nauseum), DESPITE the fact that anyone with half a brain would IMMEDIATELY see them as the ramblings of a clueless MORON...but I digress...they are CERTAINLY entitled to their own opinion, and FAR BE IT from ME to try to curtail THEIR freedom of speech...
This is censorship, plain and simple. So...in an effort to thwart the repressed conservative who feels MY comments are not to be shared with the masses (AS IF my 79 Facebook friends constitute "the masses"!!)...feel free to share my blog address with whoever you can think of, and let's shoot my "counter totals' through the roof...a little bit of "reverse censorship", if you will...!
How YOUR day didn't end with any of YOUR civil rights being "snuffed"!!!