Showing posts from March, 2013

Lessons from the Classrooom to the Home

“Look, she’s still playing school,” my mother told my father the first time they visited the seventh grade classroom of my first teaching job.   As a little girl, I played school nearly every day, even sending friends home with homework and decorating the door of my room with holiday themes for each month.   I taught elementary and middle school for nine years before I stayed home after the birth of my oldest child.   As part of my training in college, I was trained to analyze each lesson after it was taught and figure out what worked and what did not work.   It became a habit that I maintained throughout my teaching years.    I was a successful teacher, with an organized classroom and I could handle some of the toughest students, but I was barely keeping my head afloat as a mother.    I finally went back to school for all the lessons my teaching years could offer.   Most often, when I see my children behaving badly or having bad attitudes– much to my annoyance–it can b…

Let Me Get My Purse

"Let me get my purse," she would say, as she turned around, untied her apron, and headed back inside.   My parents would wait for Mama's Grandma Taylor until she came out with her purse and closed the door beside her.   Mama always said that after they'd driven a few miles, only then would her grandmother ask, "Where are we going?"

This was the story Mama liked to tell me about picking up her grandmother for Sunday drives.   Mama would emphasize to me when I was little that my great-grandmother did not care where she was going, she was just always ready to go.   To get out of the house.   To go on a little adventure.   I knew my mama daydreamed about traveling across the country on a motorcycle or in an RV as part of a retirement life.   She would imagine all the places she would see and the people she would meet along the way.  She was always open to adventure when a friend called or stopped by with an idea of some excursion or some other fun.

It is surely…

7 qt {7 Quick Takes}

Here's my link-up to Jennifer Fulwiler's 7 Quick Takes: 1.  Dancing Cinderella Demons

 It's madness...March Madness and my Alma mater, Northwestern State University, which is located in picturesque Natchitoches, Louisiana (as seen in Steel Magnolias), made it to the Big Dance. They are one of the Cinderella teams at the NCAA Basketball Championship Tournament. I'm so proud of what this coach and team have accomplished, even though they lost tonight to Florida. They represented our school well, though.

Our mascot is Demons, specifically Vic the Demon. It's pretty ironic since the university is located in one very conservative town in the Bible Belt! So, job well done and Fork 'Em Demons (spell-check about a million times).   

Here's an article about my small, but excellent Alma mater:

2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
My oldest wanted to see the movie…

The Nuts & Bolts of Easter

A blur of azalea bushes in full bloom on either side of a wrought iron gate which led off our back porch to our side yard.   Bees buzzing about as I ran as fast as I could between the blooms in an attempt to avoid being stung.   Decorating eggs on Saturday night before Easter.   Waking up to a new stuffed animal and more chocolate candy than I normally saw all year and jellybeans (meh).   The excitement of bubble gum eggs and the disappointment of mistaking a malted milk ball egg for one of the gumballs.   Lunch, promptly at noon, with Mama's lemon meringue pie.   Maybe an egg hunt, with my sister hiding eggs for me or if it was a lucky year, a trip down the road to Mrs. Carmel's house to hunt eggs with her children and visiting cousins.   Those are actual little vignettes of my childhood Easters that I tend to share.   Those are the ones people expect from me.   Those are the ones I share with my children, but their dominance in my memory is not representative of the amount …

Five Favorites

Another link-up this week with Moxie Wife's fun FIVE FAVORITES:

1. Purple Fences
I WILL paint my backyard fence purple!  How lovely are these fences?!

2. R. Riveter Military Bags
I'm loving these R. Riveter (as in Rosie the Riveter) bags from   They are made from army surplus materials and each style is named after a famous military wife.   Each bag is created by a military wife.

3.  Big Chill Appliances
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the retro-look line of appliances from Big Chill.   It's just hard to decide if turquoise, seafoam green, or red is the best color!

4. Oven-Roasted Shrimp
Forget boiling shrimp.   Oven-roasted shrimp are delicious!   This weekend, we marinated ours w/one of McCormick's dry packages and then roasted them at 450 for about 12 minutes.   Amazing in a wrap or on their own.

5.  Real Farmers
This one really cracked me up, especially "What Society Thinks I Do."  The final real one is exactly right, from my experience of growing up o…

Spring Break: DIY, Zoo Time & St. Patrick's Day

No big trips.   Just a relaxed schedule, a day trip, special food treats, and a few spring sprucing projects.

I've been watching this lantern at Hobby Lobby for almost a year.   I could only find one at a time and figured that was a sign I didn't really need them.   This past week, candle holders and metal decorative items were 50 % off and there were two lanterns!   We installed them on our front porch and they add such a welcoming touch.   It's beautiful to have real candlelight at the front door.

I'm in a painting mood.   So, don't stand still for long at our house!   I painted the kitchen door leading into the garage and the exterior side of the back porch door this lovely turquoisey-teal color.   Such a happy touch of color!   And I'm getting better at painting without taping off the area.   Angled brushes are the key.

We took a day trip to the zoo in Waco on the advice of many friends who said it is the best zoo for little ones.   It is a lovely zoo and w…

Habemus Papam

When I was a child, I would make my nice little list of all I wanted for Christmas. Then, Mama would end up buying gifts not on my list that were better than those I thought I wanted. Today, after that dear man who was not even on my radar, walked out on the balcony, I felt like I did as a child on Christmas morning. I was so excited to see the white smoke, but the tears didn't come until I saw him stand there on the balcony, obviously humbled by the task before him as he looked at the immediate sight of the faithful of St. Peter's Square gathered before him.   That long pause.   His request to first pray for our Pope Emeritus, then asking US to pray for HIM.   Thanks be to God, for our new Pope Francis, the Servant of the Servants of God, our new Papa!

A quote shared on Facebook from  Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis:

Cardinal Bergoglio's words:
“In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don’t baptize the children of single mothers because they weren’t…

Breaking Bad Into Good

This week, I'm glued to screens to catch a glimpse of white smoke from a little chimney.   Under that roof is to be found some of the most glorious artwork ever created.   And surrounded by the majesty of that art, specks of red in comparison, sit a group of flawed, imperfect men who have pledged to be truthful, faithful, and to let themselves be guided by the Holy Spirit.   Even through flawed creations, God can work.   It is one of my favorite images and reminders of why I am so thankful to be Catholic.

This "admission" might merit being called a confession by some.    I am not just a fan, but a tremendous admirer of the AMC television series, Breaking Bad.   If you're unfamiliar with the series, it centers around Walter White, agifted scientist-turned high school chemistry teacher.   White is played brilliantly by actor Bryan Cranston.   When Walter is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, he decides to use his scientific expertise to manufacture high-grade meth…