Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Office Decor

So I have this on my office wall:
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No, I'm not referring to the glittery guitar that makes me happy because I like both glitter and guitars.  I am talking about the disembodied arms!
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Those arms were once attached to a squishy pink and yellow frog. I have a lot of squishy toys because the students I work with tend to loooooooove anything they can squish. In fact, they might squishy your under arm if it catches your fancy (so I've heard).

Recently, I let a co-worker borrow a few toys including Mr. Squishy Frog. The day after she borrowed them, she became ill and was out for a week. Because she was not able to return my toys before she went home sick, I went to retrieve them from her office. I found Mr. Squishy Frog on top of her desk. His arms were placed neatly beside him. I had to laugh as I collected the frog and his arms. The student she was working with just pulled those arms as far as he could until they snapped right off.

 I pinned them to my wall as a reminder that kids are unpredictable. You give them a  toy that was made for squishing thinking they will go ahead an squish. Everything about it screams "squish me!" Other kids love squishing the toy. You love squishing the toy. Naturally, this kid will love to squish the toy...right?

Nope. He wants to stretch.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tree Galls

Hey, look at this arrangement I created.  It's the of the top of an acorn filled with the galls that form on the leaves of my oak tree. Google tree galls....it's a real thing.
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That fly happened to land there just as I was taking this picture.

That is all.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


The following pictures were taken just days before Cooper had his second back surgery. At this point, he was on meds and strict bed rest in hopes that he would get better without surgery. I would take him outside on the back deck for some sunshine therapy. Charlie dog (Cooper's brother from another mother) could tell something was wrong with Cooper. This is the first and only time I ever saw Charlie climb into the bed with Cooper. Awww. He was comforting Coop.
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In other news:
I just watched the Oprah interview with Lance Armstrong. Man, that guy is a jerk.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


There are certain "forces" at work that really make me want to quit my job. Because of these um...."forces", I spent an entire year in a state of  stress and misery during my work hours. I tried several things to change what was causing my stress only to find there are certain things I can not change. What a bummer.
Many times, I actually used the phrase "hostil work environment," to describe my situation. These feelings started to really become stronger last year. It was as if the stress was a tiny pebble rolling down a snow covered mountain. By the time it reached the bottom, it was a giant snowball big enough to take out a house.  Needless to say, by the time the end of the year came around, I had my mind made up that I was going to work for one more year and then resign. Why would I subject myself to one more year of stress and frustration? Why not just quit?  To be honest, there were a few projects I wanted to make sure were developed fully before I left. These projects would benefit the students and I could not leave until they were complete.
At the beginning of this school year, I freshened up my resume and began each workday thinking it was a countdown to my last day. In the midst of doing this,  I became less stressed and started to enjoy the nice things about my job. For instance, I went to the Thanksgiving pie festival and really took in being there with my co-worker friends and the students. I love the students.
Because I wanted to spend more time and energy experiencing all of the positive people and activities at my workplace (working with students, lunch with my favorite co-workers, Halloween carnivals, supporting teachers, etc) I had no time to devote to the  negative "forces" that have haunted me. And you know what? Things have gotten better. I'm not saying things are perfect, or even great...but they are better.

People always say you should focus on the good things around you. I knew what that meant, in theory, but when I really applied it I truly understood.

Take this beautiful view, for instance:
This is a picture I snapped as I made my daily walk from my car to my building. There is beauty all around my workplace. I just have to continue to focus.

The negativity is still there....I have just refused to feed it.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

5 Pictures, Different As Can Be.

A letter from my friend.
When my friend Crazy Amy sends me letters, they are usually decorated with random stickers. I always wonder if the mailman notices?

A doggy sleepover:
Welcome to the wonderful world of wiener dogs
(Initially, I accidentally typed "wiener dongs.")

A bath bomb from Lush made this beautiful design:
Swirl gurrrrrrrrl!

We made masks in group this day!
I love working with these kids.

Blanket and Pajamas

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Drinks and Driving

I asked Dale to pour me a glass of lemonade and this is what I got-
Complete with a slice of lemon and a beautiful straw. Dale pays attention to detail.

This is Cooper before he had his second back surgery.
He is walking better now than he was when this picture was taken. : )

Sally Hansen nail decals?
Yes please.

Cooper and I driving home from his physical therapy
He waits patiently in the passenger seat for most of the journey home. Once we get about half a mile from home, he franticly tries to crawl into my lap so he can look out the window. Once we turn into my neighborhood, he expects me to roll down the window so he can stick his head out and let his ears flap in the breeze.

Don't worry, that pic was taken at a stop light. I know it's not super safe to let your dog sit in your lap while you are driving but it brings him so much joy! How can I resist?

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


This is the giant bust of some guy in some office building in some city named Austin.

And this is am image of some guy named Dale driving some gal around.

And this is some dog named Charlie going on a walk after a rain.

And this is a pan of strawberry cake with white icing found discarded on the ground at some place where I work.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

She Dreams in Colors

My cell phone picture dump continues! 

The following two pictures were taken in early fall (I think). Dale and I were driving home from dinner with the windows down and Doctor Dog playing through the speakers. Yes, I remember what was playing. I have a good memory for details. I might not remember a person's name when I first meet them, but I can recall what they were wearing. "It's a gift, and a curse." (stole that line from Monk).

Any-hoo, the colors in the sky were changing very rapidly. I remember taking a video (can't find it) because it was almost unbelievable. It seemed to be driven by magic. Absolutely stunning.
Anyway, I can look at these photos and remember how I felt driving home that evening. I was with the love of my life, I was pleasantly full from  a delicious meal, I had a buzz from a few glasses of wine, the music was good, and the scenery was glorious. I was blissfully satisfied. 

My dogs love burrowing under the blankets. They always sleep with a blanket over them...no matter if it is cold or hot. Over Christmas, my family would laugh every time my dogs would crawl under a blanket to take a snooze. I was surprised by their amusement because I thought all dogs enjoyed a blanket. Nope. It's a dachshund thing. 

In Sept, I went with my co-workers and friends on a winery tour. I think we went to 4 different wineries. I purchased these spider wine bottle decorations. I love Halloween and I love wine so these were perfect for me. 

Cooper loves yogurt. When he was a puppy, he had his first taste of dairy. We were walking by Amy's Ice Cream on south Congress when an employee asked us if our dog would like some ice cream. I thought she was joking, but she was totally serious. They have a sweat cream that is suppose to be safe for dogs. Cooper LOVED IT! Seeing him scarf down that ice cream with a crazy look in his eye was the funniest thing I had seen in a while. Now, he loves yogurt. He knows he is allowed to lick the spoon whenever I am finished with a yogurt snack. I should have never started this tradition, because now he stares at me the entire time I am trying to enjoy my Fage. It's a little creepy and abundantly annoying. 

Thursday, January 03, 2013



This Halloween, I hope to acquire a variety of pumpkins. Some of these that I spotted at Central Market (Fall 2012), perhaps:
Yes. Those would do nicely I think.

In other news:
I am on a cleanse. Protein and Greens. No Sugar, no grains, only a wee-bit of fruit. I had to put the bad food down and my body is throwing a tantrum. I feel constantly hungry and tired. This will pass in a few days. I'll be good as new by the time I go back to work next week. Sugar cravings will be a thing of the past.

I hope.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Sugar, Sugar

The firs  picture was taken back in Aug, 2012. I was not eating sugar at this time. I had dropped weight and was feeling really good. I felt like I was looking pretty good as well. The second picture is more recent.

After I had the multiple steroid injections in my facet joints back in October, I began to slip. The steroids caused me to have uncontrollable cravings. I began to have bread here and there and started eating foods with sugar in the ingredients. Over the Christmas break, I began eating baked goods and higher fat foods.

I gained weight but what is more upsetting to me is how I feel. I feel like crap. My stomach hurts after I eat, I have low energy, I crave food that is bad for me and the minute I finish eating what I crave I feel sick.
 Eating a poor diet equals living in poor health.

That's just the truth.