Friday, December 30, 2011

The Year in Review 2011

These are some "year in review" questions on a sister blog. I thought I might answer them kind of as a diary blog sort of thing. I'm about to make my students blog several times a week, so I might as well get back in the hang of things.

Me and The Husband
1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
I'd have to say that teaching full time is the best thing that happened to me this past year. I like it, and it likes me. I hope I get to do it for many, many more years to come.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
This is almost too private to blog about, but I'll say this: You aren't married for 18 years to the same person on accident. It has to be on purpose. Both parties have to be fully committed. You both have to forgive each other daily and share 100% of yourselves with one another no matter what. Especially when things get hard.

Steve and Carl
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Carl and Chris.

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Carl and Chris.

5. Pick three words to describe 2011.
Heartbreaking + Heartwarming = Heart Full

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2011 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).  Steadfast. Helpful. Loving.

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2011 (again, without asking).  Eye-opening. Productive. Fruitful.

8. What were the best books you read this year?
Water for Elephants. I Am the Cheese. Wise Man's Fears.

Carter, Elise, Lilly, Elaina

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?  My children.

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
I was faithful in my spiritual walk, work, play, school, home, marriage, church, etc. It's probably the first time in my life that I have ever applied myself from start to finish in every single area of my life. I hope that 2012 will be as special, but maybe not as challenging.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Songs that Should Go to Eleven

Shout out to my Spinal Tap breathren. Perhaps the best/worst movie of all time and definitely in my Top Ten List. Speaking of which, I recently bought a two-disc set of KISS greatest hits. I began educating my kids on the band (since they rock), and in the process I said that "I Was Made For Loving You" was overproduced pap made to appease the disco masses in the late 70's. It's a great disco track and a dreadful KISS track. I said to the Shorties that it's an 11 Song.

What is an 11 Song, Mommy?

One where the volume should go one notch louder to eleven on the dial. (See This is Spinal Tap)

Then I was asked for a list of other 11 Songs. Here they are in no particular order, and this is by  no means an exhaustive list, think of it  more as an appetizer:

1) I Was Made for Loving You, KISS

2) I've Been Thinking About You, London Beat (not to be confused with their hybrid band, Fine Young Cannibals)

3) Werewolves of London, Warren Zevon

4) Groove is in the Heart, DeLite

5) Controversy, Prince (not to be confused with the Artist Formerly Known as Prince)

6) The Look of Love, ABC (Car dancing mandatory)

7) Fire Woman, The Cult (Ususally look like I'm having some sort of seizure when walking with this song)

8) Consuming Fire, Third Day (Best Christian Rock Anthem ever)

9) Back in Black, AC/DC (ahem)

10) Pour Some Sugar on Me, Def Leppard (epic return of the one-armed drummer)

11) Respect, Aretha Franklin (she's the queen of soul. You have to headbob and sing along)

12) Hard to Handle, The Black Crows

13) Love is the Drug, Roxy Music

14) The Distance, Cake

15) Ain't No Other Man, Christina Aguilera

16) This is a Radio Clash, The Clash

17) Wrong Number, The Cure

18) I Drove All Night, Cyndi Lauper

19) Under Pressure, Queen featuring David Bowie

20) Somebody to Love, Queen

21) DJ Hit that Button, Dead or Alive

22) Every Time I Roll the Dice, Delbert McClinton

23) Planet Earth, Duran Duran

24) Long White Cadillac, Dwight Yoakum

25) Hoochie Coochie Man, Muddy Waters

26) Say You Love Me, Fleetwood Mac

27) Get Right Back, Maxine Nightengale

28) Ain't Going Down till the Sun Comes Up, Garth Brooks

29) Black Cat, Janet Jackson

30) Great Balls of Fire, Jerry Lee Lewis

31) Tutti Fruti, Little Richard

32) What if I Came Knocking, John Mellencamp

33) It's My Life, Bon Jovi and possibly Runaway, Bon Jovi

34) Torn and Tattered, Joss Stone

35) Don't Stop Believing, Journey

36) Bawitdaba, Kid Rock

37) Rock and Roll, Led Zeppelin

38) Rollin', Limp Bizkit

39) Dolphin's Cry, Live

40) Like a Prayer, Madonna

41) Disease, Matchbox Twenty

42) Come Out and Play, The Offspring

43) Heartbreaker, Pat Benetar

44) Roll with the Changes, REO Speedwagon

45) Hot Legs, Rod Stewart

46) Gimme Shelter, The Rolling Stones (and Honky Tonk Women and Sympathy for the Devil)

47) How Soon is Now, The Smiths

48) Love Struck Baby, Stevie Ray Vaughn

49) Wrap It Up, The Fabulous Thunderbirds (or agueably anything by The Fabulous Thunderbirds)

50) Moves Like Jagger, Maroon Five featuring Christina Aguilera--nod to the pop radio in this century

And that's a nice little start.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I Wish the Same for You

Every Saturday morning The Husband makes Real Breakfast. Like pancakes and bacon and eggs. Turns on the stove and everything. At first, I thought it was because he knew that if he didn't learn to make breakfast, he'd never get to eat it again, since I'm not exactly a Morning Person (ahem). But later in our marriage I learned that it was one of his love languages--showing care and concern and doing physical things for me and the kids that shows us how much he loves us. So, when I wake up on Saturdays, the house smells like fried maple bacon, pancakes, syrup, warm, honey, safe, family smells.

When I finally get out of bed and stumble to the bathroom on Saturday  mornings, I find that the drawers to the dresser are always half open. It's a mystery to me along the same lines of why-can't-he-put-his-underwear-in-the-hamper-instead-of-on-the-floor-next-to-the-hamper. I have no idea why the drawers are never shut. They don't have a mechanical problem. They close just fine. I sigh deeply and shut them every single week. without fail. 

See, The Husband gets up at 6:00 a.m. even on Saturday. He dresses and has coffee. He prays, meditates, walks five or six miles, (sometimes has to clean up where the dogs have gotten in the trash or where youth have rolled our yard), then he cooks breakfast for the family, while I snore and burrow deeper into the dark recesses of the bedding, praying that the kids will be quiet until 9:00 or later.

I have never one time cleaned up yard trash or toilet paper off of our lawn in 17 years of marriage.

And then one day it hit me.

See, if he closed the drawers on his sock, t-shirt, and underwear drawers while getting dressed at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning, the one day a week I get to sleep in, the noise might wake me, so he leaves them cracked after he collects his clothing. 

I'll let that soak in for a second.

What I took the first few years of our marriage to be complete laziness and idiocy on his part was really a kindness beyond measure. It might be the most considerate thing he could possibly do for me. So that I can sleep late, the man is so thoughtful that he doesn't even close the drawers all the way in case that small, tiny sound might disturb me.

I pray to God that my daughters marry men who can't find the hamper and don't shut the drawers all the way.

I love you, Pookey.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Back to Normal

I'm a last minute Christmas kind of girl. As in, I don't really start buying gifts until a week out. You'd think that with my Type A planning nature I'd be more on it than that, but I discovered a long time ago that the further out I start, the more I spend. It's like I keep buying and buying, but if I only have a week, well, you get what you get.

It's really rather freeing knowing that whatever is left on the shelf the week before the big day is all I have to choose from. And it's an adventure.

I'm an incredibly sarcastic person, so all of this happy, happy, joy, joy has been exhausting. Random thoughts out of nowhere...

Hey, to the people who dropped the half gallon of milk on the pavement next to the Yukon soaking the entire driver-side door up to the roof so completely that I couldn't get into the vehicle from that side and had to crawl through the passenger seat with my pedicure still wet, thanks a bunch for that. I hope the karma train rolls through your station real soon. (Yes, I know that the grammar was bad, but it sounded funnier that way.)

Hey, to the collection agency that keeps calling my house looking for Darylana G. Four years later and she still doesn't live here. Really. We mean it.

Hey, students. I can't pull your average out of my ear. I have no idea what your grade is (as I walk into the bathroom or out of the lunchroom). And at this point, I don't really care; I've got three teaching days left. You either did the work or didn't. We call that a YP, not an MP. (your problem/my problem) SO, TURN IN YOUR MAKE UP WORK!!!! (That felt good.)

Hey, to the half of the Christmas lights that won't come on. It reflects poorly on you that you're not doing the work, you slackers. I'm certainly not replacing you at $22.00 a roll, so you'd better suck it up. (Seriously? When did Christmas lights go up so much?)

Hey, all of the errands I need to run and housekeeping I need to get busy with. I'm too busy reading this book; you'll still be there when I finish, so hold your horses.

Hey, pest control man. What do you mean you don't remove the carcasses? What am I paying you for? I could have put the poison in the attic by myself. Sheesh.

I guess all of that counting my blessings business had to end somewhere. :-) It's good to be back to myself again.

Bah. Humbug.