Saturday, June 25, 2011


More projects are supposed to be done and posted here. Notice them? Me neither.

Background information: When I get annoyed with projects I ignore them until I forget what they were all about.

My first Christmas tree in my very first house on my very first Christmas alone fell over...THREE TIMES. It layed there for two days, broken glass ornaments included, until I mustered up the patience to look the mess in the eye and say..."no prob, I can redo this entire thing after I clean up the mess."

My dog must have experienced a close encounter with a werewolf and then been exposed to a full moon and chewed up my back door, leaving sawdust, sweaty dog breath, and various debris. It stayed in a scattered mess on the floor, eventually tracking all over the house because I couldn't even look at it. It took me a month to clean it up. As in START to clean it up, or even acknowledge a mess even existed.

Needless to house is rarely clean. You should see my car.

If a person halfway knits a project, gives up, and rips it out (expletives included)...does it count as a project? I've had three of those so far. I finally re-balled the yarn today. Yay me.

The teacher in me is coaching myself: "But think of the things you've learned about knitting because of those projects?"

The student in me responds: "BUT think of how much more DONE they would be if I had done it right already?!"

I'm just saying I get my students. I erase their work and they puff out all of their breath like I'd just given them the Santa Clause talk. "You mean I have to start my life ALL OVER!?"


Positive Note: I read "The Girl Who Chased the Moon" in basically one day. Take THAT progress!

Monday, June 20, 2011


There is one thing my Mom said about her father at his wake. It stuck with me because it is simple, true, and perfect:

"Here's to you, Daddy. The first man I ever loved, and the first man who loved me."

Just sit there for a moment and read it over a couple times...

In my family, we have Daddies. Lordy, "Father" is such a stiff, unfeeling word. It feels unnatural when the syllables clunk around in my mouth. Someone once told me that I wasn't a little girl anymore and that I was being juvenile when I said Daddy.

"I mean, at least say Dad."

"I can't, he's my Daddy."

This very MAN, a couple years later saw his "father" driving his car in the opposite direction we were driving and involuntarily shouted out "DAAAAADDDDDAAAAYYYYYY!" (sober)

It makes me laugh uncontrollably STILL.

BUT, you know what that means? He has had some stellar moments with his Daddy. He has bonded with his Daddy and he knows his Daddy would take care of him if he still needed it. Kind of like being a little juvenile child.


Once upon a time, in a quaint village filled with sidewalks, brick townhomes, and freshly cut grass there was a brood (SIX) of children driving two adults mad. In this little piece of heaven, known as Collingdale, behind the house filled with thumping feet, squealing voices, and things that could never be kept nice, there was a small garden patch.

This is the place where small little girls learned the value of grass stained knees, bare feet, bumble bees, and tangled hair. You see, one of the adults, the leader of the nuthouse, always dreamed of being a New Jersey Tomato Farmer. He swiftly realized that his dream would not come to fruition if that meant he must also raise little wild children. He knew that the only thing worse than wild little girls were wild and crazy Jersey folk. You know, the kind that live near the tomato farms, in a trailer, circa 1945, with no distinguishable road leading into or out of the trailer lot? The Jersey trailer folk were not to be trusted, especially with the whispered rumors that they, themselves, were housing the Jersey devil in the off chance that a small little Jersey girl wondered off in her barefoot splendor. This very thing did happen ONCE...and that is how we got Snooki.

So this adult, nay, Daddy folded his dream into his pocket and replaced it with a backyard strawberry patch that was safe and warm and deliciously located in the sane world of Pennsylvania.

He never forgot his dream, it continued to thrive inside his pocket. It shone through, though, and all of his children grew in the sunshine of his dream of farming and growing and cherishing everything from the outside and natural world.

One of his little girls, watched his every move, followed him with her little plastic bubble blowing lawn mower, drank her juice when he drank his "juice." Tried to weed and mulch and pick up heavy things that were five times her size. She even tried to touch the worm on the end of the fish hook even though it was really gross and slimy and dying because that's what her Daddy did. That little girl carries her dreams in her right pocket, but also carries her Daddy's dream in her left pocket.

SO, whenever her shiny headed Daddy comes up with a hair-brained scheme to build ANOTHER barn, or replace a roof (where she still tries to carry things up that are five times her size), or EVEN BETTER: drive donuts in the snow on the ATV, she is there. Even when he retires and she has her own job and house and dog and life, she visits to make sure the tomato plants are tied up, the strawberries have been picked, the "varmints" stay out of the garden and that the dream that has been kept in pockets for so long has been tended and watered and given sunshine.


You see, strawberrries remind me of my Daddy's dream. That is why I love strawberries. They represent the beginning. The first step in a decade long plan towards a dream that continues and evolves. Strawberries represent the simple truth that my Daddy told me when I said I wanted to play football in middle school:

If you want it bad enough and you WORK HARD ENOUGH, you can do it.

(I didn't want to play football bad enough)

Love you Daddy

Thursday, June 16, 2011

summa time

It is here! You may not quite understand if you are not a teacher. You may in fact be jealous, as almost every year I get the inevitable comment from a friend of mine..."I want your LIFE!"

Let me explain the feeling of the first moments of summertime: It's like the end of one of those dreams where you are lost and separated from someone or some people. You rush about constantly, your heart pounding, the irrational thought that You may not make it without them! You do EVERYTHING you can day and night to run and search and and through the darkness you...screeeeeeeaaaaaaam! And that is when you wake up to summertime. It's like a fresh breeze across your face while your heart returns to a steady beat and you giggle at the thought of your own insensibility. You feel alive for the stress you have put upon yourself...but it makes you feel more alive with the extra gift of time and availability to accomplish everything and nothing with no consequence. Ahhh summer...I love you!

I choose to plan nothing and accomplish nothing this year for summer. Now I know that is quite impossible. I have far too much energy and ADD to sit still and do nothing. But perhaps I could slow down a bit...

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.1

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Prepping for REAL life

You know, working really gets in the way of living. I mean, it really takes over!

I love my job to pieces. Ask my friends, who, due to the last sentence, have already rolled their eyes. You see they have heard me rant, cry, gush, GUUUUUUSSSHHHHH, love, hate, fight, sing, and all kinds of other actions/emotions in regards to my job. BUT, and it's a big is not my life.

Teaching is, however, a big part of my life. I have instinctively and innately taught people (whether they liked it or heard me Sue) my whole life. This is besides the truth of the matter. You can live and teach without being in a school...and more importantly I think you should...I think everyone should. I think teaching is the greatest thing you could do with your life. I think the most important way of doing that is to LIVE.

Living is best done in 70 degree weather. Thus today...I lived. It was fun. It was a lot of work.

Today, life started in a cool, breezy walk to school. I was totally jamming to a song in my head and probably walking like I had a wedgy, because that's how bad I jam when I walk. I have no idea then, why a coworker would slow down, roll down the window and ask this "babe" if she wanted a ride. There can not be anything attractive about the wedgey dance-walk. I don't know if the smile was interpreted properly in return, but I love a good joke, especially a long standing one like a "hey baby" in response to my obvious disdain for the classic "shaawwwtaaay" call of the young bucks. It makes my morning anytime I get that longstanding joke thrown at me in the morning. I threw back, like two monkey's flinging crap...I said I'd rather walk.

No disrespect, I really did. BUT, it is nice when a plan comes together and I can be sassy as well.

By June though...a nice morning walk can quickly fade. Let's be honest teachers, June is all about surviving. Brains have turned off, drooling begins (for teachers and students alike), and brick walls come up at every turn. BUT, it is also a time for nostalgia. I usually like students a little more in June because I have a limited time with them and there is really nothing more I can do for them beyond wrapping up the basics and appreciating the little teeny tiny personality traits that make you smile. Thus, worn out by lunch, I went for a walk.

I walked home, which is STILL totally awesome and hippi-pleasing. When I say I walk at lunch, it's the kind of walk you see the older fellas doing at the mall with the weights. You know the crew, the ones who's hips look like they will swing right off their bodies...right...left...right...left. I decided to walk all the way uptown, my hips kill tonight, let me tell ya! I went up and bought some sushi from my favorite fresh sushi place. Second time I've been there and hot sushi guy was there. HEAVEN. Ahh, 75 degrees by lunch, light breeze, blazing hot sushi chef. AND icing on the cake...I didn't carry the watermelon! If you don't know what I mean... Dirty Dancing... watch it. Like now:

Best lunch break EVER! Slick Sushi turned around to give me chopsticks, saw me smiling away like a big goofy dope and dropped all of my sushi, catching it with his hips just before it hit the floor. Don't worry, I ate was in a big plastic container, no grossness. Yet another person to make my day. I practically did a jig out the door after he turned all red, fumbled to get the order together, complimented my dog (who was sitting outside), tongue twisting and swelling I am CERTAIN...mainly because I'VE BEEN THERE...a lot. Hahaha, I DIDN'T CARRY THE WATERMELON! WIN!

Side note: Let me tell you how bad I carry watermelons, almost on a weekly basis:

I think about two years ago on my birthday I went out to this American tapas bar for drinks. I told this guy at the bar who was nice enough to take our picture that he was "like the old guy at the bar."

Oh man, not old like that...

Me: "No no no no...not like that. I mean you are the guy who knows all the people here because your here all the time." Shoot, I am calling him a drunk...

"No, I mean..."

Heather: "Jackie, Let's leave now."

Me: "Sorry!"

I carry watermelons...BIG watermelons.

Anyway, lunch=sushi success.

Back to work: Sit down, turn around turn around, sit down, SERIOUSLY, what do you mean you don't know how to fill in a scantron?, no you can't use a calculator, no calculators, GIVE ME THAT CALCULATOR!, Sit down, sit down, SIT DOWN, fine...get in line, get in LIIIIIINNNNNNNNEEEEE. Go go go GOOOOOO, get in the cafe', GO INNNNN THE CAFE'

YES school is over...time for more living of life and teaching by example.

School teaching is so stressful because they time you. The students try to slow you down like a pace car, and it's a lot like trying to get those two opposite ends of the magnets to touch, in SO many ways. Add in that the government takes away your magnets and STILL expects you to get them and then get the opposite ends to touch...well that's basically teaching.

In real SINGLE life, the pace can be slowed. 77 degrees outside on the walk home, doing the wedgey-dance walk, no one beeps at me or makes fun of the awesomely awful walk and best yet, Bert the destroyer took a day off from destroying. I understand, it's difficult to be consistent.

Bert and I go outside and do my FAVORITE THING. I pretend to do something productive on a picnic blanket, see below:

AND THEN I fall asleep. Bert falls asleep also. He's way cuter about it though. You see, I feel weird now that I live in a townhouse. When I lived with my parents at the farm, I could fall asleep pretty much anywhere on the 20 acres and no stranger could see you. Townhomes: different. Townhomes: any nosy person in the area can peak through the chainlink fence to see me snoring away and the neighborhood folk can peek out their windows and see me totally napping away. It's a little weird. I don't know exactly why. Maybe it's the idea of opening your eyes to an audience, or someone walking right past me into my house without me seeing them. I can't get used to it, which is probably good, otherwise the naps would probably last until nightfall. This way, with the paranoia, they only last a very respectable 15-20 minutes.

Napping is awesome by the way.

Next: bike ride. Biking up to First Thursday, Listening to FLUX CAPACITOR. My friend told me about how much I'd love this band. He's always right about my music. I loved them from the first note. They are SO fun. They jam, they have dredlocks. More than likely they smell unique...A beautiful recipe.

Continuing the bike ride down to the park, this is because last night I saw MILLIONS of lightning bugs down there, and I just love that park. They take care, these local hippis, young and old, they take care of these local parks. I don't care what those Repubs say, we need these hippis in our life. I love bike rides, but it's not an innocent lust. One of the greatest things about bike rides is no one hears you coming. Not even in my old borrowed rusted heap. It squeaks for god's sake! How do these people not hear me?!

I always start out trying my hardest to get people to notice me...but I'm pretty sure my invisibility shield extends down to the bike when I ride. I've always been pretty invisible. It's partly because of my amazing stature. In high school, I got really good at ducking and weaving backpacks, hands with pencils in them, and butts. The butts were the worst. Thus I have learned to stand pretty solid when pushed.


REVENGE IS SWEET. By the middle of the bike ride, I've given up being nice, now I'm just cutting and weaving in and out of small groups of old speed walking, hip-throwing, hearing impaired old ladies. I sneak a one-sided smile as I go past and I hear them sing "ooohhh myyyy!" with arms doing an awkward butterfly flap, arm skin swaying in the breeze. I am leaving those old and (sometimes young, prematurely old) unsuspecting people in my "eat that high school!" dust.

Ahhh, it's been a revitalizing prep for real life AKA Summer.

I hope you've learned from teacher.