Sunday, January 29, 2012

It is cold. Lettuce grow some veggies!

Yes!  Two posts in two days, smartass. Get over yourself.

Yesterday we out running some errands and stopped by Home Depot.  We were looking at flooring options for the kid's bedrooms but the kids and I got sidetracked almost immediately inside the store.  There were racks and racks of seed packets displayed just inside the front door.

I admit.  I am the worst kind of gardening junkie.  I don't eat that many veggies and I have never, ever been able to grow a cucumber or tomato that costs less than the grocery store variety.  I'll take The Boss Lady's word for it that they TASTE better.  What I really like is the planning, the prep and playing outside a lot in the Spring.  As my grandma said, after that it is just scratching dirt and petting the plants.

Last fall I kicked the addiction.  I was planning a big fall garden but my real world commitments won out.  There was no time left.  The chaos that is currently my backyard proves that is true. OK, I didn't KICK the addiction, but I didn't make my gardening addiction worserer.  That is a win, right?

Flash to yesterday, just inside the doors at Home Depot.  I tried to be a good, reformed junkie.  I glanced at the displays, but we were here to find floors dammit and not seeds.  Floors are made of made of hard stuff and colors and hardly ever make you sweat or give you skin cancer.

That is what veggie gardens are for.

The store didn't have what we wanted.  And we were headed out.  But I couldn't resist one more glance at the pretty seed packets.  Junkies will tell you, it is the second look that will get you in trouble.  When I first saw the garden displays my animal brain was like "Look, stuff in small envelopes with pictures. Interesting."  But when we went by the next time my inner garden junkie was all like "C'mon. You can pick up just one.  It is the perfect time to plant lettuce and snow peas.  No one will know.  Just be cool, dude.  I dare you!"  Damn.  A dare.

Thirty seed packets and $25 later, I was out the door with a Spring's worth of work ahead of me and just enough starter soil to get a few transplants ready to go in the kitchen windowsill.  After all, I was there already, right?  No need to waste time making another trip to a garden center to buy seeds.  I was saving time and money by getting my fix.  But right in front of the kids too?

Well, they sort of started it.  The girl was looking for packets of Blue bell flower seeds.  And The Talker?  He didn't help either.  He was checking out all of the cool colored veggies that neither of us will ever eat.  He started it by talking about those cool, purple carrots.

So blame them when I don't answer the phone on the weekends.  I'll be busy, out in the garden getting my fix.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Living life 52 minutes at a time

I have enjoyed lots of cool times in my short 41 years.  Every part of my life seems to have it's own pace, too.

A few years back, when I was home with the kids full time, one day seemed to melt into the next. We all just sort of cruised from weekend to weekend.  We had a lot of fun on Mondays through Fridays, but if you had asked me the day of the week on one of those, I likely wouldn't have had a clue.  But I always KNEW when it was Saturday.  Sometimes known as "Go play with your Mommy day!"

When I was previously working for the man, at the city owned recreation center, the days counted.  A lot.  I had a co-worker that I hoped would die in a fiery crash was not fond of.  Any day that I did not commit murder start a fiery crash drop some arsenic in her drink completed with only a little hassle was a good day.  There weren't many of those, so I cherished the few.

Now that I am fully into this new teaching career, I find that I live 52 minutes at a time.  Why 52?  'Cause that is how long our middle school class period is.  Every 57 minutes a new herd files in.  Then they go away 52 minutes later with the knowledge that I have masterfully imparted unto them. The 5 minute passing period usually gives me enough time to police my room for left-behind supplies and school work for other classes.  But sometimes I spend the 5 minutes sitting at my desk, pondering important questions about life.

I think about things like "How many 52 minute class periods are there between now and Spring Break? How many 52s between now and Summer?".  These are the eternal questions of a teaching mind. 

One of my many, varied jobs over the years was also my first foray into public education.  When I was 22 I worked at a public school Outdoor Education Center.  We had 5th grade students come to our center from Houston ISD elementary schools and stay on a 3 night, 4 day field trip.  They were learning about science, math and history while we incorporated environmental studies into all of the lessons.  Yes, Hippies were teaching your children.

One of the other cabin leaders (who still works at the Outdoor Education Center) was the master of "Camping 10 minutes at a time" as he named his sanity program.  When he had a particularly tough crown to work with for the week, I would hear his watch alarm chirp every 10 minutes, as an audible reminder that the weekend was a little bit closer than it used to be.

I have not gotten to the point where I need a 10 minute alarm several times each class period.  But that bell at the end of the class period does sometimes sound like angels singing to me!  And I MAY have been shopping for a new set of batteries for my nicest watch.  Time will tell.  Ba dum bump...

For the record, I dispensed with the usual "it sure has been a long time" blather.  I know it has been a long time since I actually wrote over here and you don't really care.  So we will deal with it.  I will also skip over the required "I promise to write again soon."  If you saw my schedule right now, you would know that I am not committing to anything else.

See you later.  Probably.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Forgot to mention

I am now fully and officially standardized and certified! I have a certificate that cost about $5500 to prove it, too.

After a couple of months of me waiting impatiently and begging the powers-that-be, my Standard Teacher's Certificate was posted online this week. This meant I could pay another $75 and get my specialty areas added to the cert (and that I could wait another few weeks to see the revised, final copy).

All of this was made even more exciting by the fact that the state waited to post my real certificate until my one year cert had been expired for about a week.

In the end, the final copy was posted in about 2 days. Before I even had a chance to call and hassle the state education office!

Sick days

I haven't taken two sick days in a row in more than 10 years I bet. That streak ends this week. I guess it would be the time I got my gall bladder taken out and I wasn't even 30 years old then.

I went to the doctor today and got a shot to help with my cedar allergies. Cedar trees are everywhere in Austin. So this time of year everybody within 50 miles is sniffling and snorting and rubbing eyes. January is always a great time to people watch around here.

Anyways, I always end up with a sinus infection on The Talker's birthday, which rolls around on Friday. This year I was a little ahead of schedule.

My old doc no longer takes our insurance. I have known this for more than a year but today was the first time I NEEDED to go to see a doctor. Of course I haven't done the leg work to find a new doc so I ended up at a walk-in clinic.

If it were not for the higher co-pay, I would just go here until the next insurance change. Online check-in, and new patient paperwork rules!

The insurance had changed our 'scrip coverage too. Thanks to The Boss Lady for calling around the HR office to get the info I needed. There are some great perks to having the wife work at the same place!

I feel better but these medicines always keep me awake for about 24 hours so hopefully I'll pretend like I am David Melin and I'll snooze the day away while the kids are at school tomorrow.