Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nudged Out Without Even Knowing It


About eight years ago, when I was still in Newport News, Virginia, I thought I was in line for being the Department head for the Vocational Department. I felt like I had kissed all the right asses, befriended many of the right people, and displayed the skills that they would seek in their next Department Head.

The year I thought I would get the job I was told by our Navy ROTC instructor that he was going to be acting Department Head. I knew he hadn’t wanted that job whatsoever. He had told me so. Then he told me something and swore me to secrecy. You see, the plan was to bring a woman over from one of the other high schools to replace the outgoing Department Head. Her husband was a principal at another school and friends with the Business Department at the School Board.

In the past, decision as to who was Department Head was made at the school level but that was changed without notice and would now be decided by the person who headed the department at the School Board level. I hadn’t seen or heard anything officially so I think I kind of drifted in a state of limbo. I couldn’t believe that they were already bringing someone over, that this person had already been promised that job, when the position was vacant now.

The official word was that the ROTC teacher was THE Department Head and not the Acting Department Head. I remember mourning the position I tried so hard to earn. At the same time, as with some people in mourning, I operated in a state of denial. After all, I was told that our Principal would be interviewing for the job. I decided to approach our Acting Department Head and volunteer to help him as much as possible. By doing this I hoped to be seen as a person who could easily step into his shoes because I was doing a good deal of his job anyway. I knew that he had told me he would put in a good word for me but cautioned me to remember that NNCS was a school of cronyism. I wasn’t in with the right person, the person at the school board level. This woman was and had been friends with her for years.

In the middle of the year, one of our teachers retired and my rival came to our school. For me it was almost laughable. She sauntered into school moments before the bell rang. The second she could leave the building she would. There were many times during her planning period she would drone on and on while on the phone about how she needed to get her hair done or a manicure. Then when she was supposed to leave to supervise her co-op students she would say things like “Well I’m going to go get my nails done. I’d better hurry I have five minutes to make my appointment.” Other times she would gossip endlessly about people at other schools.

I was also supposed to leave to work with co-op students but would often help the person I was mentoring and checking on him before I left. I felt that the fact that I had been chosen to be a mentor was a good sign. It proved that they felt I had leadership qualities. I put away copies of thank you letters from parents, students, teachers, and employers to use during my interview to demonstrate my ability to be Department Head.

I was working so hard to prove a point I don’t think I even was fully aware about how much I had vested in the interview. Even though I knew that this job had basically already been promised to someone else, I still felt that I would blow the interview out of the water. Not with personal attacks against my rival, but with documentation proving that I was capable of doing the job I really wanted.

Finally the day came for the interview. It was the end of school and most of us were running around in jeans or shorts. I had brought a suit to wear during the interview. I gathered my portfolio and references. My competition sat at her desk talking about a cruise she and her husband were planning to take. I almost threw up three times on the way to the Principal’s office.

The interview began. The Principal asked questions and you could tell that the answers I was giving were good ones because almost without meaning to his head would bob up and down in agreement. I showed up evidence of my accomplishments and he glanced at some of them. He leaned forward, “Miss Miller (my name at the time), I think that you have more than demonstrated your ability. Since I’ve known you I can speak to your loyalty to our school and our students. Thank you for coming today and I will let you know our decision in a few days.”

I left nervous, and yes even a bit hopeful. Perhaps I’d worried for nothing. Maybe she wasn’t such a shoe-in after all. Maybe she’d come in as the prize pony and I had shown her up at the judging table. I knew when her interview was scheduled because I’d heard her tell someone the previous day. When the time came, she glanced at her watch, pushed out of the chair, and in a pair of shorts and an oversized t-shirt she got ready to leave. “Good luck” I said. “I’m certain you’ll do a fine job.” Although I didn’t quite feel that say I tried to be as sincerely as someone could when someone really, really, really wants something and another person stands in their way. She looked at me and smiled “Thanks.”

I think I was hurt because she didn’t even pretend to care about me. She didn’t say, “Thanks, Good luck to you too.” She didn’t wish me luck before my interview. I wondered if the interview would have even taken place if I hadn’t mentioned that I was interested in applying for the opening. I wanted to cry. I wanted to run out of the office and just sob. “Don’t give up.” I told myself. “It’s not over ‘til it’s over. Have faith Cathy.”

That was our last school day and for three days I awaited a phone call or a letter. I was told I would get a letter about the decision, either way. Darryl took me on vacation for a few days and when I came back there was still no letter. Should I take this as a good sign? Does this mean that perhaps the Principal really was so impressed by me that he was going to bat for me? After all I had a couple of Assistant Principals that had gone to bat for my case. Did it mean that I didn’t merit a letter?

Finally after two weeks, I decided to call. Even as I dialed the number I wanted to hang up. I didn’t want to seem demanding or bossy by bothering the Principal with a phone call. Still I couldn’t sleep wondering what the answer was. I called. I was told I didn’t get the Department Head job, I would be the only co-op teacher instead.

I was glad I had called. The principal wouldn’t seem my face as I tried not to sound like I was choking back the tears. When I hung up, I plopped down on a chair and stared that the table before I broke down and cried. All that for nothing.

Today I went over to one of my coworker’s classroom to say hi and gossip. She mentioned that we had a new Department Head next year. A WHAT????????????????? Oh didn’t you read the memo she asked? No I swear I didn’t’ get it. Our Principal feels that the people holding the job of Department Head have been the same for years. He announced to them that he had selected new Department Heads for all the Departments. He thought it would be a great idea to do this on a rotating basis. No announcement that a position had come open. No time to get worked up about it. I was just plain passed over again.

Now don’t get me wrong. I really and truly like the woman that they named as our new Department Head. I think I feel hurt because once again I was passed over without any consideration whatsoever for that position.

This time it’s different because I don’t believe I’ve put in the time, energy, and effort I did in pursuit of that position. I think I was waiting for the year before my current Department Head left and then I was going to try to throw myself into a fit activity. I felt that by that time I will have proved my metal. I’d told Darryl several times that I hoped to be the Department Head when Mrs. H steps down. K is happy because she says she has no interest in the position whatsoever. I on the other hand feel a bit let down. I don’t know that I will go home and sob, but I do know that I feel let down. For me, I feel that it’s proof once again that I’m not worth of consideration.

The funny thing is that today I found out I won one of the contests I have been trying to win, the Pepsi Throwback. I'm thrilled but I had already entered from someone elses blog today and hadn't realized that I already won on someone elses. Well still I feel pretty pumped about it.

Here are the blog contests I entered:

Prize: Bright Green reusable shopping bag and product coupons.

Prize: Pepsi Throwback prize pack with trucker cap, retro Pepsi tin lunch box, retro clock radio/CD player, USB lava lamp, Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback (ARV $150).

Prizes (2): Haagen-Dazs Five free product coupon.

Prizes (5): Beverly Hills 90210 The Seventh Season DVD

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This Is Why I Teach


I won't be getting a raise next year. I will be lucky to have a job. Today one of my students gave me her prom picture so I could put it on my board. This is what she wrote on the back of her photo:

Mrs Copeland you’re the best teacher I’ve ever had! You were always there when I needed you!! Thanks for being there for me. I’m going to miss you!!!! Love Jasmine W.

This is worth more than ten pay raises.

Today's headlines:

Flying the presidential jet over lower Manhattan for a photo op, sending panicked New Yorkers running into the streets, was as "stupid a thing to do as one could dream up," the White House said Wednesday. And it cost far more than the $328,835 the Air Force says it spent.

New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's office said it doesn't have hard numbers yet on how much the city had to spend to deal with the panic caused when a backup jet to Air Force One, accompanied by two F-16 fighter jets, flew around for approximately 30 minutes for a photo shoot commissioned by the White House Military Office.

The POTUS must have missed this when he was going through the budget with surgical precision and cutting out government waste. Isn't Photoshop cheaper?

Today the World Health Organization has raised its pandemic alert for swine flu to the second highest level, meaning that it believes a global outbreak of the disease is imminent.

The change comes as the fast-moving flu spreads to at least 10 U.S. states from coast to coast Wednesday and swept deeper into Europe, extending its global reach as President Barack Obama mourned the first U.S. death, a Mexican toddler who had traveled with his family to Texas. Total American cases have surged to nearly 100, and Obama said wider school closings might be necessary.

The cases include 51 in New York, 14 in California and 16 in Texas. Two cases have been confirmed in Kansas, Massachusetts and Michigan, while a single cases have been reported in Arizona, Indiana, Nevada and Ohio, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Everyone is getting tired of being asked if they have Swine Flu every time there is a sneeze.

On the gardening front. I was THRILLED when I noticed the little green heads of my pea plants peaking through the ground. I came running into the house to show Darryl. His response? I hope you aren't getting dirt all over the place. The tomato plants, the califlower, and the peppers keep getting bigger and bigger each day. I can hardly believe how exciting it is.

I might be sponsoring a couple of contests soon. I will tell you if that's true very soon.

Blog contests I entered:

Prizes (3): Life After People DVD, History Channel laptop backpack, and USB Swing Drive keychain.

Prize: Bissell Little Mean Green Machine floor cleaner, Brita water pitcher, Green Works cleaners and Tide Coldwater detergent.

Prize: Betty Crocker Mixer Basket with mixing spoon, spatula, measuring spoons and cups, whisk, liquid measuring cup, and Betty Crocker Magazine.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Don't Let The Odds Beat You


Today I had to attend one of those heart-breaking meetings that, as a teacher, I must attend from time to time. One of my students was being expelled for an illegal action that occurred on school grounds. This young man had been in my class for two years. He was like so many other young people I know. He is a young man who is a follower because he desperately wants to be a “good friend.” The best way I can describe him is to say that if his three best friends were getting ready to jump off the highest cliff, he would watch as each one plunged to their death and then would feel that he then would also have to jump or risk not being a “real friend.”

These are the kinds of young men who wind up serving time in prison because their friend committed a felony and they were tagging along. Their friend might say, “I’m going to go rob that gas station tonight want to go with me?” Immediately their answer would be “Yes.” There is little to no impulse control and they don’t seem to carry the thought or action out to its logical conclusion. Much of it is youthful inexperience. Some of it is societal pressure. You want to fit in and fitting in might mean proving to your friends and quite possibly a female that you are “straight up gangster”.

I wanted to cry as I sat in the meeting. His mother sat there tears welling up in her eyes. When I spoke to her son I said, “I have been so proud of you lately. You were making straight A’s in my class. You were acting so responsible and really seemed to want to change your life.” Upon my saying that to her son, big heavy tear drops began coursing down her cheeks. I wanted to jump up and hug her. I told her son how proud I was that he had done so well on the High School Graduation tests. I said to his mother that it was breaking my heart that we are all here at this meeting but offered that perhaps this could be the starting point for her son. This could be the point where he realizes the people who he thinks are his friends really don’t have his best interest at heart.

As I said the words, I wanted to believe them. I also heard that they might sound shallow to someone who is watching her son’s future slip past him because he made bad choices. As a mother of two sons, myself, I wondered for the hundredth time, how was it that my boys were able to escape this destiny? After all I too had been a single mother. I had been on welfare for a period of time. How was it that my boys escaped the statistics that bode so poorly for kids in this situation. What had I done differently? Why was it that when my life was spinning out of control as a young girl did I not wind up in jail or worse?

After the meeting was over, I headed for class. A few minutes later the student and his mother appeared at my door. The young man hugged me and said, as he had a hundred times before, “I luh you Miz Cope.” “I luh you too. Please keep in touch. One day you will want to get a job or maybe go back to school and I’m willing to write you a letter of reference.”

His Mom stood off to the side. I apologized to her for having met her the way I did. We talked for a few minutes about what we both knew about her son. He, like so many other youths before and after him, will ignore the advice of adults who have been there before. He will have to learn things first hand and often more than once before they finally make a lasting impression on him.

I watched them leave through the side door. It felt sad watching him exit our school for the last time. He exits the door as another statistic. I just want to cry but I pray that I’m wrong. I pray that somehow he will turn this around and not stay a statistic. I want him to be a man who has beaten the odds and not a man beaten down by the odds.

The Mother's Day essay contests are starting to appear. I entered the 1-800-Flowers contest twice. In the past I've always been a finalist for this but not this year. I'm feeling pretty sad about that. I also entered this Mother's Day Essay contest:

The nine contest winners – one for each castle – will be announced on Friday, May 1, 2009.
The winners will each be awarded four tickets valid through Dec. 30, 2009.

I won an essay contest for Medieval Times earlier this year. We had an amazing time.

Here are the blog contests I entered today:

Prize: Five coupons each good for one free Häagen-Dazs 14 oz. product or package of Häagen-Dazs bars.

Prize: Bride Wars DVD and $25 Paper Shouts gift certificate.

Prize: Mixer gift basket with Betty Crocker mixing spoon, spatula, measuring spoons and cups, whisk, liquid measuring cup and Betty Crocker Magazine.

Prize: $50 gift card.

Prize: Crayola prize pack (ARV $80).

Prize: Saturday Night Live: The Complete Third Season DVD set (ARV $79.95).

Prize: Copy of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

Prize: $50 Photofiddle custom artwork gift certificate.

Prize: Kodak photo frame (ARV $800).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Possible Pandemic? Let's Go Golfing


Much was made about how George Bush was reading books to a group of school children when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center. Conspiracy theorists proclaimed that this was part of the plan orchestrated by the evil right wing dictator, George Double-U Bush. Others felt he should have threw the book to the ground, rushed out of the roo, tearing off his jacket as he went, ducked into a phone booth and emerged as Superman.

When Bush was notified that the first plane hit he probably wanted to find out what happened. Was this a pilot error? What was going on? If it had been a pilot error and Bush had immediately grounded planes nationwide he would have been considered a dolt. Then again he was considered a dolt because it was after his people learned of the second plane a news conference was held and we learned about the possible third plane.

One thing I learned years ago was that one person, even the President of the United States does not make decisions in a vaccum. Presidents generally surround themselves with people that they hope will help them make decisions. A wise person takes them into consideration and makes a decision using the facts at hand. Yes sometimes the facts at hand change and sometimes they are not accurate because the immediacy of the situation does not allow us to garner all the facts.

Agree with the Bush or not, agree with him or not, I find it amazing that often on the Democratic Underground there are people who still bring up the fact that Bush was reading that book to a group of kids.

Ah but meanwhile, back at the ranch, a new crisis emerges for our hero, President Obama. It's not enough that he's throwing trillions of dollars at shovel ready projects, or giving money to an auto company that hasn't had a successful year since the late 70's. He's now faced with a possible, pandemic. One might argue that a pandemic does not have the immediacy that terrorists hitting a building but I might argue that it might be worth putting one's golf clubs up for a few minutes.

Nero may have fiddled while Rome burned, Bush may have read "My Pet Goat" when the planes hit the World Trade Center, but when Swine Flu has been confirmed here in the United States, Obama goes golfing. I find it interesting that there is little mention of him golfing during this time except to say that he's being updated on the situation. Flu pandemics have been occurring with some regularity since at least the 1500s, but the frame of reference for health officials is the catastrophe of 1918-19. That one killed an estimated 20 to 50 million people worldwide.

Pandemics killed millions around the world in 1918, 1957 and 1968. The epicenter of this outbreak is Mexico, where the virus is blamed for at least 100 deaths and an estimated 1,600 cases in the country since April 13. Schools were closed, church services canceled and Mexican President Felipe Calderon assumed new powers to isolate people infected with the swine flu virus.

A pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse -- with workers ordered to remain in their homes, workplaces shuttered to avoid the spread of disease, transportation systems grinding to a halt and demand for emergency services and public health interventions skyrocketing. Indeed, they suggested, pandemic preparation was essential to any responsible plan for renewing the U.S. economy.

Ah but don't worry, the press conference I saw was from New York's Govenor and not the President of the US. The other press conference I saw U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano not Obama. That's fine but I can't help but imagine that Bush, the most evil of all evil Tyrants in history (that is until the next Republican comes into office) had sent out his Homeland Security Secretary he would be accused of not taking things seriously.

Don't you worry though, Janet is right on top of things. "Right now we don't think the facts warrant more active testing or screening of passengers coming in from Mexico," she said at a White House briefing.

You're right Janet afer all:

1. Health Minister Tony Ryall (New Zeland) has this evening confirmed ten positive influenza results from testing carried out on 13 Rangitoto College students who returned from Mexico early yesterday morning.

Nova Scotia health officials said two of the four victims in that province, all students at the same private school, recently visited Mexico. Two case also were confirmed in British Columbia.

The US declared a public health emergency as 20 cases were confirmed in the country, including eight in New York City, one in Ohio, two in Kansas and seven in California. The acting director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Richard Besser, said he expected more cases over the coming days.

Spain's health ministry said three people who had just returned from Mexico were under observation in hospitals in the northern Basque region, in south-eastern Albacete and the Mediterranean port city of Valencia.

The homeland security secretary, Janet Napolitano, said the US government was releasing 12m doses of the anti-flu drug Tamiflu from a federal stockpile. Don't your worry about the fact that there is no proof that Tamiflu is effective against this straing of flu. If you listen to the people on the DU or MSNBC you can rest assured the annoited one has it all under control.

Here's the difference. I think that Obama shouldn't make a rash and quick decision. I don't expect him to become superman because like when Bush was reading about the Pet Goats, Obama doesn't have all the facts in yet.

Oh and as long as I'm on the subject of parallels and how the press looks at all things Bush differently than anything Obama can possibly do, did you hear about Air Force One today? Bush got hammered for his decision to land on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier with the banner Mission Accomplished.

Did you hear about the panic caused by a flight mission and photo op that looked like Air Force One and fighter jets heading toward the New York City skyline this morning? Well for people who work in the New York financial district, the event brought back nightmares of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Numerous buildings in lower Manhattan evacuated in a panic during this morning's false alarm.

The plane that flew in New York Monday was a version of the Boeing 747 that's called Air Force One when the president is aboard.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted the photo opportunity for being insensitive and showing "poor judgment." I can't believe Mr. Bloomberg would say such a thing.

And now let's return to our show. Here are the blog contest I entered:

Prize: $50 Photofiddle gift certificate, Chicken Soup for the Soul books and The Body Shop Mother's Day gift package (ARV $200).

Prize: Animal Planet Emergency Vets video game for Nintendo DS (ARV $29.99).

Prize: Pepsi Throwback cap, lunch box, Clock Radio/CD Player, USB Lava Lamp, Pepsi Throwback & Mountain Dew Throwback.

Prize: Two complimentary meal passes to Sweet Tomatoes.

Prize: You Color My Day photo book and assortment of Philosophy products.

Prize: Creative Vado HD Pocket Video Cam (ARV $229).

Prize: Pepsi Throwback trucker cap, retro Pepsi tin lunch box, retro clock radio/CD player, USB lava lamp, Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback (ARV $150).

Another Shooting....When Will It End?


Three people at Hampton University were hospitalized after a shooting in a dorm, a spokeswoman for the school said Sunday.

Police believe the shooter is a former student who was one of the three injured early Sunday, spokeswoman Yuri Rodgers Milligan said. A night manager for the Harkness Hall dorm at the school in southeastern Virginia was also hurt. The third victim was not identified but was not a student.

Hampton University is a private school with about 5,700 students. It was founded in 1868 during Reconstruction to educate black leaders for the newly freed slaves.

I used to work in Newport News which is right down the road from Hampton University. As a matter of fact I took a graduate course through them years ago. I also taught with several people who received their degrees from Hampton University and they also had students who served as mentors to our students. We used to hold our graduations on campus and we actually had to wand down the guests. Can you imagine that?

Well it's official. This is what Darryl and I have known was coming for awhile. This is where he used to work. A rail car company in Northwest Georgia has told state officials over six hundred people will be laid off this summer.

Employees at the Trinity North American Freight Car plant in Cartersville make rail road equipment. And by the end of August, that work will be idled as the plant is closed and some 659 fewer employees will be laid off.

Before the elections there were back orders for coal cars. Then when it looked like Obama would win it was rumored that his cap and trade policy would cause coal companies to withdraw orders and/or prevent them from ordering. Darryl shrugged it off. He didn't feel it would happen because the orders seemed to be there. Then Obama won. Within weeks he was laid off and the cancellations for orders had already begun.

My husband is an engineer, eventually he should be able to find a job. There are people in the coal industry who do not have the same options that my husband does. People who work for ancillary companies that feed off the coal companies, they were going to be hurt too. The miners who have mined coal for years are being laid off. Our little senario is being played out in little towns in Southwest Virginia, Kentucky, and West Virginia. What kind of jobs will these people be able to get? These miners were the ones who ate at the local restaurants. No jobs, no dinner out, diners lay off, towns die.

Green jobs? Darryl's been doing a lot of research and green jobs are economically viable on their own. They will have to be heavily subsidized by the government. How does that happen? Taxes will be raised. Only we won't call them taxes. It's a bac door tax. We tax the big corporations and what do you think happens to the rates you pay? They go up. Corporations don't take a loss. So the more the corporations get taxed the more you pay to heat and cool your house.

Congress has backed off on cap and trade for now because the economy is so bad right now. They know if they do that we will fall right into a depression. This does not mean that this is not coming. It's just a matter of when.

My contest on Thrifty Maven was mentioned here: The contest ends tomorrow evening.

here are the blog contests I entered today:

Prize: 1/2 pound box of Rich Rainforest dark fudge with walnuts from Earth's Sweet Pleasures.

Prize (3): What’s For Dinner gift basket with sample of Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken Pasta, three coupons, colander, serving spoon and cheese grater.

Prizes (4): Coupon for a free jumbo pack of Pampers and Together We Can Save A Life onesie.

Grand Prize: Tyson branded Jacques Pepin toaster oven.
First Prize: Ten Tyson Frozen Breaded Chicken or Tyson Any'tizers free product coupons (ARV up to $99.90).

Prizes (5): Two Tyson Any'tizers free product coupons.

Prizes (3): Romano’s Macaroni dinner kit gift basket.

Prize: Bride Wars DVD and $25 Paper Shouts gift certificate.

Prizes (2): Box of Electrasol Finish Quantum dishwashing detergent and bottle of Jet Dry Turbo Dry.

Bea Arthur Dies at 86


Spokesman Dan Watt says the 86-year-old Arthur died at home early Saturday. He says Arthur had cancer, but he declined to give further details.

Lady Godiva was a freedom rider
She didn't care if the whole world looked.
Joan of Arc with the Lord to guide her
She was a sister who really cooked.

From September 12, 1972 until April 22, 1978 you could almost count on my family tuning in to watch Maude. She drove my mother crazy, my father constantly commented about how you "never see any beautiful women who are feminist." Then there was me, a girl on the cusp of becoming a woman watching as this strong willed woman made her way through life. She was never afraid to have her own opinion and didn't seem to sugar coat it for others. I wondered how it felt to do that because I so desperately wanted to be liked that I constantly allowed others to stifle my beliefs and dreams. "God will get you for that..." I'd wanted to say sometimes but I was a bit afraid that God would get me for being a bit of a bitch.

In 1985 I rediscovered several of my favorite actresses who gave me hope that my life wouldn't be over when I got older. My father would often retort that once a woman was thirty the "bloom was off the rose." The girls though never seemed to have lost their zest for life or love.

Thank you for being a friend
Travel down the road and back again

That song would begin our weekly get together as mom and I would watch the show together. Beatrice Arthur played Dorothy Zbornak and she was still a strong female character who really did have a heart and cared about her family. Her "mother" Sophia Petrillo lived with the girls and they seemed to have a relationship that was loving without being sappy. You could tell Dorothy would never abandon her mother no matter what.

I understood Dorothy having a difficult time being over her ex Stan. She had been with him for years despite his cheating. She would often seem to be over Stan and be glad he was out of his life but then Stan would show up and she seemed to lose that distance and become vulnerable, inasmuch as she could become vulnerable to Stan. Stan continually saw Dorothy as a comforting, reliable figure, even though he was the one who destroyed their marriage. Even in her last episode Stan was there. Stan, though saddened to see Dorothy move on to her new life without him, gave Dorothy his blessing while disguised as the limo driver who took her to the wedding.

And then there's Maude
And then there's Maude
And then there's that old compromisin, enterprisin' anything but traqulizin'
Right on Maude!!!
Right on Dorothy!!!
Right on Bea. I will miss you.

Another sad story involves a college professor here in Georgia. Three people were killed Saturday at a community theater near the University of Georgia, and authorities were searching for a professor in the shooting deaths.

The school's Web site said police were looking for George Zinkhan, a marketing professor at the school in Athens, which is about 70 miles east of Atlanta.

Darryl may not care but I do. I still can't believe this. Thrifty Maven was sited in an article on this website.

Thursday, April 23, 2009 (was the date)
Save Money, Save Energy, Save The Earth–Green Tip of The Day
By The Thrifty Maven
Styrofoam ones are made from something called polystyrene, a non-renewable petroleum. Help the earth by taking your own reusable mug with you the next time you go out for coffee. Many places even give a discount for doing just that. ... What kind of content would you like to see more of on Job Search & Career Green Living (Alternative energy, Gardening, etc) Personal Financial Personal Anecdotes & Human Interest Saving Money by Making Stuff. Loading . ...
Thrifty Maven -

Darryl says it's a ping back but still I'm thrilled beyond belief.

I worked a little on my container garden. Our cauliflower is really coming in great. I planted some of those free winter sown seeds. Most of them turned out to be flowers but one of the packs is for tomatoes and one is for cayenne peppers.

Here are the blog contests I entered today:

Prizes (5): Free night at any Hyatt hotel [excluding Quebec].

Prize: Hoover cordless stick vacuum.

Prize: The Mixer gift basket with Betty Crocker mixing spoon, spatula, measuring spoons and cups, whisk, liquid measuring cup and Betty Crocker Magazine.

Prize: Document wallet, three durable file folders, three document sleeves, document envelope, set of colored clip tabs, erasable marker, Post-It Cube, two OfficeMax rubberband balls and DiVoga product package with notebook, document envelope, file folders and jumbo binder clips from OfficeMax.

Prize: Brita Water Pitcher, Bissell Little Green Floor Cleaner, Tide Coldwater, White Cloud paper towels and Clorox Green Works cleaners (ARV $130).

Chili's Guiltless Grill entree free product coupon.

Prize: Pantech Matrix Pro smartphone and $100 AT&T gift card.

Prize: Earthopoly game from Late for the Sky Games (ARV $24.95).

Prizes (3): Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack CD.

Friday, April 24, 2009

It’s Lasagna Day


When Darryl had a job we would go out to eat every Friday. I really enjoyed that. I loved thinking about where we would go and what we would get for dinner. I think that’s why I’m so very excited about that Pizza Hut card I won from the blog contest.

We used it last week to try the Pizza Hut’s Pannormous pizza. Today I will try their lasagna. I’m funny about lasagna. I very seldom have good lasagna. Even my lasagna isn’t always wonderful. There is a place in Rome, Georgia called Bella Roma that makes the best lasagna I’ve ever had. Now I don’t believe that this will rival that lasagna but I do like Pizza Hut’s sauce. I was really looking forward to the lasagna.

Well the sauce was OK but the lasgana was just so thin. Of course when I make it there's lots of cheese. Darryl and I both agreed that if we had paid for it we had paid for it. Guess next week, our last week of Pizza Hut will be pizza.

Blog Contest I entered:

Prizes (2): $25 Kroger gift card.

Prize: One year business membership to Sam's Club, a $100 Gift Card, and your small business featured on Wise Bread's website

Prize: $10 Subway gift card and P.E.P. Rally kit with sidewalk chalk, nerf football, bug catchers, jump rope, frisbee and flying rings.

Prize: P.E.P. Rally kit with sidewalk chalk, jump rope, frisbees, bug catchers, wildflower seeds and $10 Subway gift card, Delta Disney umbrella stroller, Snazzy Baby knee pads and Mom’s Deluxe 3 in 1 Plus Combo carrier.

Prize: $50 Kroger gift card.

Prize: Baby doll apron from Jillie Willie.

Prize: Keurig Platinum Brewer.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Acting Freddie Mac CFO Commits Suicide


David Kellermann, acting chief financial officer of Freddie Mac, committed suicide in his Hunter Mill Estates home Wednesday morning. He hanged himself. According to the paper he lived in the Hunter Mill Estates, a neighborhood of single-family homes outside of Vienna, just over the border from Reston.

I know exactly where that is, because for me, it was a tony neighborhood not too far away from where my best friend lived. I remember going by there a few times thinking, “I wonder what it’s like to live in a place like that?” Darryl gets after me for being so easily impressed but when you grow up poor McMansions really do impress you.

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation's residential mortgage markets by guaranteeing loans to what is now 3 million homebuyers. Freddie Mac has been criticized heavily for reckless business practices. Some believe those practices contributed to the nation's housing and financial crisis. Freddic Mac owns or guarantees about 13 million home loans.

As CFO, Kellermann was responsible for the company's financial controls, financial reporting and oversight of the company's budget and financial planning.
In another “He was such a nice guy” moment, Philip Markoff has been charged as the Craig’s List Killer. They were able to track him through his contact on Craigslist to the murdered woman. The New York City woman advertised massage services on Craigslist and had a massage table set up in the room where she was shot last Tuesday, police said. He’d contact the woman for “services” and then once alone in the room he would rob them. The last robbery resulted in murder.

Prosecutors say they found a semiautomatic weapon at his home, as well as ammunition and materials exactly like those used in an attack on another masseuse in Boston. You look at him and say, “Gosh he looks normal enough.” You wish for the millionth time that people, like cigarettes came with a warning label.

Blog contests I entered:

Prizes (2): Month's supply of Finish Quantum and Jet-Dry Turbo.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner Thermometer.

Prizes (3): Elmo And The Bookaneers: Pirates Who Love To Read DVD.

Prizes (2): $25 Kroger gift card.

Prize: Bissell Little Green Floor Cleaner (ARV $74.88).

Grand Prize: Two baby outfits from Messages from the Heart, and copies of Welcome Little One, Peek-a-boo I Love You, Baby Love, My Blanket, Little Blossom, Goodnight Little One, Butterfly Kisses, Love Bug, Bedtime Bunny and Little Angel (ARV $149.88).
Runner Up Prizes (4): Copy of Welcome, Little One (ARV $15.99).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mudpies and Mary Janes - Shutterfly Giveaway

I just love shutterfly. They have such awsome products. This year I bought my husband a poster and a mousepad. I made my own Mom a Mother's Day card and I am getting ready to buy her one of those wonderful tiled mugs.

Looking for a great Mother's Day gift for your great MOM. Go to Mudpies & Maryjanes to win a 8.5x11 Mother's Day Classic photo book

Lots Of Computer Problems


I will try to post again tommorrow. Sorry. I hope to have much of these problems fixed by this weekend. I will be in and out with blog contests.

I did win one of those Disney Green Prizes. Yippeee!!!!!!!!! The Prize package includes a canvas tote, a reusable grocery bag, a biodegradable tumbler, and a tree seedling

While you are here, head on over to I'm holding a very green contest. why not enter.

Here are the blog contests I entered:

Prizes (3): Notorious movie on DVD.

Prize: (1) Matrix Pro handset and a $100 (US) in the form of an AT&T gift card

Prize: Dapple cleaning set, Organic Baby Shower gift bag, EcoTrends 5.1MP digital camera in pink, Bunny Meadow crib bedding collection, and two sets of organic cotton layette sets (ARV $432.85).

Prize: Terracycle recycled product prize pack (ARV $201).

Prize: HP Deskjet 2600 printer, HP Officejet 6500 Series printer, and set of supplies and ink (ARV $349).

Prize: Dandelion Earth Friendly Goods organic baby gear prize pack (ARV $201.86).

Prizes (5): GreenWashBall (ARV $29.99).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Nightmare Edition Of Ground Hogs Day


Here's an update on that homicide in Middletown, Maryland. Last night when my husband and I were watching the news and the story of this horrific murder/suicide came on we both looked at each other. It was like we were living in the movie Ground Hogs Day gone wrong. Instead of a man trying to better his life after living the same day over and over we were witness to scenes like this over and over and over again with no way to change the outcome.

The name of the community was familiar because it was just outside of Frederick, Maryland. When I was doing my student teaching I taught in Thurmont, Maryland and I had to drive near or through Middletown, Maryland. Back then, as I would wind my way through places like Boonsboro I would often think to myself what a beautiful area this was. People would commute from Frederick to DC or Baltimore and come home to a rural area where life was far less hectic than a drive on the Beltway.

When we first heard the story the announcer had said the victims were shot to death and I tried to imagine how someone could actually do such a thing. I learned later taht he actually brutally stabbed his family. This, as anyone in law enforcement would tell you, is an even more personal way of killing. You cann shoot someone and be detached from the situation but stabbing requires you to position yourself close to the victim and often repeat the action over and over. It became an even more unfathomable crime to me. Stabbing a two year old?

Wood left five separate suicide notes to family members, scattered about the house. One said he was having psychological problems and taking medication, Jenkins said. Wood was also in debt, and investigators were exploring that as a possible motive. In at least one note, Wood apologized, the sheriff said. Well I guess that makes it OK now doesn't it?

Here are the blog contests I entered:

Prize: $25 Outback Steakhouse gift card.

Prize: Two complimentary meal passes to Sweet Tomatoes.

Prize: Free and Clear Starter Kit from Seventh Generation.

Prize: Two coupons for a free Chili's Guiltless Grill entree.

Prize: Seventh Generation Starter Kit.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prizes (5): Two boxes of Electrasol Finish Quantum dishwashing detergent and two bottles of Jet Dry Turbo Dry (ARV $20).

Prizes (3): Freshwater pearl bracelet.

Prize: Bissell Little Green Machine.

Prizes (2): 3-pack photo DVD backup from Clickfree.

Prizes (3): Freshwater pearl bracelet.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Police: Father Kills Wife, Three Children Before Committing Suicide in Maryland Home


When will all of this ever end. We don't know what the cause of this tragedy was but I have a sinking suspicion the husband lost his job. If not then the wife was getting ready to leave him.

Authorities say a couple and their three children have been found dead in a Maryland home in an apparent murder-suicide.

Frederick County sheriff's office spokeswoman Jennifer Bailey said 34-year-old Christopher Alan Wood died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. She said his 33-year-old wife, Francis, and their three children had suffered "traumatic cuts," but the causes of their deaths hasn't been confirmed.

Two boys ages 5 and 4 were found in their beds, and a 2-year-old girl was found with the mother in the master bedroom. The father's body was also in the master bedroom.

Can you imagine killing your two year old? How can you look in the eyes of your four year old and shoot him? What could a five year old do that was so bad that you could execute him?

Let's get off this topic because it bothers the heck out of me. Today was the yard sale. We made about $300. Yippeee!!!!!!! Here's the craziest thing. I had some unopened bags of kotex and tampons. I was trying to pay attention to people as they were coming but at one point a woman carrying a baby came up with her friend. I want to say they were in their early twenties. At the same time they came a group of four young Hispanic males came to the yard sale. I looked up towards my husband to ask how much the refrigerator was selling for. We were still in the process of setting up so I didn't know. Then the young woman with the baby kind of stayed in front of me but her friend went behind me and grabbed something else asking how much that was. It was $1. She put it down and then walked back to her friend. The both walked away together not buying anything.

Fine now that's OK. No problem. The problem was I looked down a few minutes later and I noticed that one of the bags of kotex had been torn open and they stole a pad out of the package. She didn't even bother to steal the whole bag just one pad. I was and am still fuming about it. How insulting. I just couldn't imagine doing that. OK maybe she's poor. Well gee maybe I have an unemployed husband and I'm having to sell our stuff to help support a husband and father-in-law. Maybe if she said, "He I can't afford to buy this $1 bag of Kotex but I really need one, MAYBE I would have just given her the whole stinking package. I'm not heartless but COME ON what's up with that?

I had about 192 visitors to today. I also got two more registered users. Now that's good news. I also had someone buy a product that advertised on my site so I earned a whole 50 cents. Imagine that!

Here are a couple of blog contests I entered today:

Prizes (5): Two copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.

Prize: Disneynature Earth canvas tote, reusable grocery bag, biodegradable tumbler and tree seedling.

Prize: Disneynature Earth canvas tote, reusable grocery bag, biodegradable tumbler and tree seedling.

Prize: Customized copper Mother’s Day necklace.

Prize: Motorola MotoNav TN30 GPS navigation system (ARV $279.99).

Prizes (3): Box of Finish Quantum and bottle of Jet-Dry Turbo Dry.

Prize: PUR Water Filtration System Flavor Options pitcher.

Prize: You Color My Day book from Snapfish.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Another Workplace Shooting

Thinkstock single image collection

These are trying times. Someone said to me that people should keep a journal because these will be times that people will talk about. Well here I am talking once again about a workplace shooting.

Three people were killed Thursday after a hospital worker opened fire at a medical center, killing two of his supervisors before turning a gun on himself, officials said.

The gunman was identified as Mario Ramirez, 50, of Alhambra, a pharmacy technician and married father of four.

Long Beach Memorial Medical Center officials identified the victims as Kelly Hales, 56, of Redondo Beach and Hugo Bustamante, 46, of Cypress

This is a trend of active shooters that you have seen nationwide," Batts told a press conference. "This is becoming a national trend, probably because of the tension that's going on in our society today."

Hospital spokeswoman Stacie Crompton-Hime said the hospital did not have any plans for layoffs. The hospital, however, did have cutbacks in March, but Ramirez's job was not affected, she said.

"We have no plans for any additional cutbacks in the facility," she said.

Crompton-Hime could not say how long Ramirez had been with the hospital, but said he had no history of problems at work.

When I get a chance to take a break remind me to tell you about what's going on at another Georgia school district. Funny thing is that on the way home I was listening to the radio on the way home talked about how high the unemployment rate is and might become but he said, on the cheery side it's least it's not 25%. Happy Happy joy.

Tomorrow is the yard sale and we are working really hard on that. I don't know that I'll even get a chance to breathe.

Here are the blog contests, I've entered:

Prize: Kodak ESP-7 printer (ARV $199.99).

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prize: Crayola prize pack (ARV $80).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On Any Given Day - Part Two


So over to Online-Sweepstakes I go. Being a creature of habit I glance at the forums. Some headlines catch my eye but there’s no time for that now. I want to click on each link and read what people have to say but I just know that the sands of the hour glass are slipping through faster than usual.

Even the way I enter contests has certain sameness about it. I always enter the contests that are going to end that day. Well not every one of them. I don’t end the single entry ones. I usually enter those when they are first posted. Then I enter the daily sweeps that end tomorrow. The daily sweeps that enter the day after tomorrow are the last ones I enter that are getting ready to end.

The next round of entries is from my mysweeps part of Online-Sweepstakes. I enter the dailies, well daily. I believe I have about twenty five of them. Some people get really in to making all the dailies with any kind of good prize part of their mysweeps dailies. I just put the ones I’m truly interested in. Things that are life changing to me, like a trip to France, $500,000, or a trip to Sandals. I do have one 24 Hour Sweep under Mysweeps but I enter it when I think of it throughout the week or I just enter it on the weekends. I only enter my weekly Mysweeps on Sundays. I enter my monthly Mysweeps on the first day of the month or at least by the first Sunday of the month.

Most mornings I try to get these done before I shower and if not by then definitely by the time I leave for school. Lately, with all the twittering and digging I am lucky to get the sweeps that are ending that day.

I shower, dress, apply a scant bit of make-up, and then rush downstairs to make sure the dogs go out to do their business. Sometimes the little dog needs coaching. Translate this to mean, holding a small treat just beyond his snout as I walk out backwards with him in hot pursuit of the treat. After receiving his treat he seeks out a piece of ground worth of receiving his excrement. Now mind you this can be a mind-numbing feet of patience meets persistence. It does eventually happen though and then it’s back into the house we go.

Once back in the house, I maybe have ten minutes to enter a couple of more sweeps before I have to dash out the door. That is I might have it if the dogs go right upstairs so I can keep them in the room with Darryl before I leave.

Now here's some amazing news. I have been working so hard on and today I got some great news. I've had 1,320 viewers to my site over the past 24 hours. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!

I won another blog contes. I received an email that says: Congratulations! You won the Sesame Street Being Green DVD from The Full Mommy.

And now here are the blog contests I've won:

Prizes (4): Sun & Earth cleaning products basket (ARV $150).

Win a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk High School.

Prize: Sterling silver heart pendant.

Prizes (2): BeautyName necklace.

Prizes (5): Beverly Hills 90210: The Seventh Season DVD.

Prize: Eglan diaper bag (ARV $130).

Prize: Pink sapphire and diamond bracelet.

Prize: $25 Plum Island Cookie Company gift certificate good towards 1-cookie Sand Dollar party favors.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On Any Given Day - Part One


During the school week you can almost always follow my schedule to the minute. I sometimes think of it as the part of Cheech and Chong’s Sister Mary Elephant skit where the student reads his essay about his summer vacation.

Yes. Read your essay, please!

Uh, I don`t have it finished yet.

Well then, read what you have, young man!

Okay. The first day on my vacation, what I did on my summer vacation, the first day on my vacation, I woke up. Then, I went downtown to a quiet job. Then I hung out in front of the drugstore. The second day on my summer vacation, I woke up, then I went downtown to look for a job. Then I hung out in front of the drugstore. The third day on my summer vacation, I woke up...

Now that`s fine, young man!

...Then I went downtown to look for a job...

Now that`s fine, young man!

...Then I got a job, keeping people from here and out in front of the drugstore. The fourth day on my...

Young man? Young man? Young man!? SHUT UP!!!!! Thank you.

For me, my day begins right around 5 in the morning or so. I take the dogs out to do their business while I fill their bowls with food and water. I must be prepared to open the door, treat in hand, or a look of what can only be interpreted as disappointment comes across the big dog’s face.

Only after the dogs are taken care of can I pop the top of my MUST HAVE, caffeinated soda. I can almost feel the caffeine as it begins to course through my veins trying to circulate through my clouded sleep addled mind.

I fix something to eat. Since I go through over kill phases of eating the same food, I throw a bagel into the microwave by rote. No thought process involved. No decision making to think of. What’s for breakfast? Oh, I know, bagel with cream cheese.

I walk into the dining room and flip on the news and it’s Murder, Mayhem, and Piracy on the side. If it bleeds it leads. I stare blankly at the screen and for a few seconds as the buzzer on the microwave cuts through my morning grog. If I wasn’t hungry before I am now. I’m like Pavlov’s dog. The bell has rung and it’s time to eat.

I come back to the table and turn on my laptop. With bagel in one hand I check two of my email accounts. Some of the email accounts get checked once a month and another gets checked once a week. I scan the subjects hoping for the words “Winner” or “Congratulations”. Instead my boxes seem perpetually filled with emails promising to make me bigger and last longer. This is not to say that I don’t also receive emails that do congratulate me for being a winner. The problem is that usually these emails come to me from Kenya and tell me that my email was randomly selected and I won millions of pounds. All I have to do is let them know my name, address, and social security number and they will send me the money.

This morning I notice that I actually did win a couple of things. It’s been a few weeks since I have and I’m thrilled to hear the great news. One of the prizes is a $30 Pizza Hut gift card which is great because that means Darryl and I can eat out a few times this month. The other prize will help us wash our second story windows and I was hoping I would win that too.

Once I’ve checked my email I head over to I check the web for any last minute freebies for Tax Day that I may have missed. Still disappointed to see that neither Starbucks nor Krispy Kreme are giving ANYTHING away. I type up my findings and locate and appropriate picture. Then it’s off to Twitter where I tweet about my tax freebie article using both my ThriftyMaven account and my teechbiz account. Then it’s off to Digg.

I really didn’t know if anyone found my site from that site. I hoped they did but I just didn’t know. Trust Darryl to be able to tell where my readers were coming from. I noticed that some people actually came from the Digg site to mine. I also noticed that I now have someone following my Digg posts. I didn’t even know people did that. This means that posting a Digg about my article is a MUST.

Not finished yet though because now it’s on to StumbleUpon. This is a pretty easy site to post a link to your article but still all of this posting takes time.
Since I woke up this morning earlier, trust me not on purpose, I should have had an hour and a half before my shower to get my contests done but no such luck. I check the clock and realize that I only have a half an hour maybe to enter sweeps before I head back upstairs for my shower.

So over to Online-Sweepstakes I go. Being a creature of habit I glance at the forums. Some headlines catch my eye but there’s no time for that now. I want to click on each link and read what people have to say but I just know that the sands of the hour glass are slipping through faster than usual.

End Part One. Come back tommorrow to find out the way I enter contests.

Blog Contests I entered:

Prize: Twilight DVD and popcorn from Shmoop.

Prize: Disneynature Earth-branded prize pack with canvas tote, reusable grocery bag, biodegradable tumbler, tree seedling, and more.

Prizes (3): Yogurt, water bottle, pedometer, kitchen scale and fitness journal.

Prize: Kodak ESP 7 inkjet printer (ARV $199.99).

Prize: Alex top and Andy dress from Trove (ARV $240).

Prize: $100 Men's Wearhouse gift certificate.

Prizes (3): Coupon good for one 100 oz. or smaller size bottle of Gain laundry detergent.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Captain Saved From Pirates


Happy Easter!!!!!!!!!!!!

My son Dan called me this morning to wish me a Happy Easter. He told me that he doesn't get the kids today. That's pretty sad. Liza seems to get the kids EVERY holiday. Then a few hours later my son Michael called me. Michael went to mass in a monastery that was built in 700 AD.

The big story today is that the Captain of the U.s flagged ship has been rescued from Somali Pirates. U.S. Navy snipers opened fire and killed three pirates holding an American captain at gunpoint, delivering the skipper unharmed and ending a five-day high-seas hostage drama on Easter Sunday.

The pirates were pointing AK-47s at Capt. Richard Phillips and he was in "imminent danger" of being killed when the commander of the nearby USS Bainbridge made the split-second decision to order his men to shoot, Vice Adm. Bill Gortney said.

As always it was a very busy day. We went grocery shopping and then walked around Walmart and Lowes pricing stuff. We also had lunch at CiCi's pizza which is basically an all you can eat pizza place.

I have been working on an essay for this contest for three days. I finally have it the way I want it but since I can enter more than once I'm working on another essay even as we speak.

Last year I was a finalist and they didn't give the finalists ANYTHING. I was pretty disappointed. The year before I was a finalist in this and won some airmiles but we didn't get to use them. Turned out that after one year the airline deleted them from your account so it was as though I didn't win anything. We were a finalist in yet another essay contest with them so who knows. Maybe I will be a finalist again.

If you've never entered an essay contest, I think you should try. I am obviously not the world's greatest writer yet I do pretty well on these. I wish I won as often as I entered. I don't. I do win enough to keep me trying though. - Spotlight a Mom Contest

Nominee Grand Prize: 4-day/3-night trip for a family of four (2 adults/2 children) to winner's choice of any of the four Beaches All-Inclusive Resorts in Turks and Caicos or Jamaica from within the Continental U.S.; includes year of flowers from and Cheryl & Co. Vera Bradley comestic bag and tote set (ARV $6,762.99).
Nominator Grand Prize Prize: One year of flowers from and Cheryl & Co. Vera Bradley comestic bag and tote set (ARV $562.99).
Nominator Finalist Prizes (9): Three months of flowers from (ARV $116.95).
Nominator Daily Prizes (25 - 1 per day): $100 gift card or Garden Whimsy Tin & Tower from The Popcorn Factory (ARV $100).

Here are the blog contests I entered:

Prize: Disneynature Earth-branded canvas tote, reusable grocery bag, biodegradable tumbler, tree seedling and more (ARV $60).

Prize: Gift basket with Betty Crocker mixing spoon, spatula, measuring spoons and cups, whisk, liquid measuring cup and Betty Crocker Magazine.

Prizes (2): $25 Kroger gift card.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer (ARV $49.99).

Prize: The Tale of Despereaux DVD.

Prize: Windex Outdoor All-In-One starter kit.

Prize: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Mystery of the Easter Chimpunk and My Little Pony: The World's Biggest Tea Party DVDs.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner Infrared Thermometer.

Prize: $30 Pizza Hut e-gift card to host a PANormous Pizza PJ Party and copy of I Got Two Dogs by John Lithgow.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Prom Night

Teenage boy pining corsage on teenage girl

Michael called today. He wanted to let me know he was OK inspite of the car bomb that went off Apr 2, 2009 just a little over a mile away from where he's stationed.

It killed one civilian and wounded three people, including two police officers, on Thursday, police said.

The car was parked at the side of a road in Tilkaif district, about 15 kilometres (nine miles) north of Mosul, which remains plagued by unrest, when the explosion occurred.

"A civilian died and three people were wounded, two of which were police," an Iraqi police officer said.

Just moments before this happened Michael was gettng ready to preside over a re-enlistment ceremony. That was put on hold though because of the huge blast. He said tommorrow soldiers aren't allowed to go anywhere except report to duty or to mess hall.

I'm glad he called. It's good to hear from him.

Here's an update on those tornados from yesterday. The Good Friday storm first struck in the Preston Island Community in northern Marshall County, TN. It made its way across the Tennessee River before striking in the Langston area of southeastern Jackson County. From there the storm hop-scotched across Sand Mountain striking near Macedonia, in areas outlying Section before making its way through Powell in DeKalb County just east of Northeast Alabama Community College

National Weather Service officials say a preliminary report shows the EF3 tornado tore a 15-mile path through the university town of about 100,000 with winds as high as 165 mph. Hundreds of homes were destroyed or damaged and more than 40 people were injured.

Tonight is the Prom. I usually love going with Darryl so I can see how sophisticated my students look on their big day. No more ratty tee shirts and baggy pants. It's gowns and tuxes. I also love to have a professional photo taken of Darryl and I at the prom.

We usually go out to eat before we head to the prom but we decided to go out to lunch today instead. We used our coupons for free Guiltless Grill Asada Steak Entrees. We'll probably snack at the prom. They always have way too much food.

Here are the blog contests I entered:

Prize: MediBuddy First Aid Kit.

Prize: The Tale of Despereaux DVD.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prize: Crayola prize pack

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tornado Warnings Left And Right


This morning I woke up to severe thunderstorm warnings. I had hoped to get to work before it started to rain but I didn't quite make it. I got all the way to work and then the skies opened. Lots of thunder and lots of rain. That was short lived though.

It was a difficult day with lots some of the kids who were acting out of sorts. You would have thought they would have behaved better since tomorrow was the prom. Some kids didn't seem to care about that.

They came to my classroom today and fixed the content filter in my class, the media center, and another teacher's class. Thank God that was fixed.

When I left school we wound up under a severe thunderstorm warning. The radio chronicled a tornado from that storm touching down in Tennessee, possibly killing three. The dark clouds were lapping at my feet. Within fifteen minutes of my arrival the tornado siren went off. A tornado might have been been spied up the road in White, Georgia.

We listened and watched but no storm appeared. Then about fifteen minutes after that it began pouring down rain. Lots of thunder and some lightening. In the distance the alarm is being sounded again.

Here are the blog contests I entered tonight:

Prizes (4): Easter gift basket filled with an assortment of Berroco yarns and organic chocolate.

Prize: Marley & Me 2-disc Bad Dog Edition DVD.

Prize: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars video game for Nintendo DS, set of chopstick styli and t-shirt (ARV $34.99).

Prizes (5): Two boxes of Electrasol Finish Quantum and two bottles of Jet Dry Turbo Dry.

Prize: Animal Planet Emergency Vets video game for Nintendo DS.

Prizes (5): Two boxes of Electrasol Finish Quantum dishwashing detergent and two bottles of Jet Dry Turbo Dry.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prize: $50 Visa gift card.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Big Apology

I had lots of computer problems today.

You can tell Prom is in the air. We had another girl fight. Three more girls fighting each other. They were Freshmen so they don't have to worry about the Prom. The Prom is this Saturday. Let's hope we all make it until then.

I will post more tommorrow. Sorry.

I do have a couple of Blog Contests:

Playsational is giving away the newly released Marley and Me DVD!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Vicious Woman with Long Fingernails

It's been a long, long day today. There was a girl fight at school. The twist on this was that one of the girls called her mother, the mother came to the sschool, and joined the fight. Crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!

There was ice on the windshiled but it was much warmer at the end of the day. I decided to take the black plastic of the plants. So far so good.

I finished the book "Water For Elephants". It was a good book. I had been wanting to read it for awhile. I believe they will eventually make it into a movie. For all I know they already are. It was filled with all the things a movie needs, love, betrayal, lots of action.

Here they are, the blog contests that I entered:

Prize: Crayola prize pack including nine of their new spring/summer products (ARV $80).

Enter to win a chic handmade apron at the value of $30.

Attention Bookworms! Have you heard about Buy a Friend a Book week? No? Well, here’s the deal: BAFAB week is about promoting books. It’s about getting people excited about reading. It’s about buying someone a book for no good reason: who doesn't love FREE books?

Prize: 1-year subscription to All You.

(4) Haagen-Dazs Gift Certificates

Prizes (2): Winner's choice of five items from Rudi's Organic Bakery.

One winner will receive a Fairytale Dozen from Fairytale Brownies.

Prizes (3): Yoplait Get Active prize pack with Yoplait free product coupon, travel cooler, jump rope, water bottle and outdoor game set with beach ball, paddle ball, Jai-Ali and Frisbee (ARV $30)

Prizes (5): Sesame Street: Being Green DVD.

Prize: Marley & Me 2-disc Bad Dog Edition DVD.

Prizes (3): Yoplait Get Active prize pack.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

No Snow Day

Snow on plant

Despite the damp chilly cold of last night, there was no snow. Just as I arrived at the last stop light just before school I thought I saw a whisper of a white speck sail by my windshield. I almost laughed saying my mind is too focused on snow. Then I saw four or five more specks before the light changed. When I pulled into the parking lot moments later, the snow had stopped.

There was another sad end to a case of a missing child. I have been watching this case and praying for the little girl. It appears that our prayers were not answered. The remains of a missing Northern California girl were found Monday in a suitcase recovered from a pond a couple of miles from where she was last seen more than a week ago, authorities said.

The 8-year-old was wearing the same clothes she wore when last seen on March 27: a pink "Hello Kitty" T-shirt and black leggings. I think it was the Hello Kitty shirt that really held my attention. I have a student who LOVES Hello Kitty.

Here are the blog contest I entered:

Prize: Carolyn's Kitchen Apron and matching dish gloves.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prize: Box of Crest Whitestrips Advanced Seal (ARV $45).

Prizes (3): Sesame Street: Being Green DVD.

Prize: The Tale of Despereaux DVD.

Prize: Exergen Temporal Scanner thermometer.

Grand Prize: Two baby outfits from Messages from the Heart, and copies of Welcome Little One, Peek-a-boo I Love You, Baby Love, My Blanket, Little Blossom, Goodnight Little One, Butterfly Kisses, Love Bug, Bedtime Bunny and Little Angel (ARV $149.88).
Runner Up Prizes (4): Copy of Welcome, Little One (ARV $15.99).

Grand Prize: Two baby outfits from Messages from the Heart, and copies of Welcome Little One, Peek-a-boo I Love You, Baby Love, My Blanket, Little Blossom, Goodnight Little One, Butterfly Kisses, Love Bug, Bedtime Bunny and Little Angel (ARV $149.88).
Runner Up Prizes (4): Copy of Welcome, Little One (ARV $15.99).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Farrah's Cancer Has Spread


Farrah Fawcett is being treated for anal cancer that has spread to her liver, a producer who worked with the actress said Monday in detailing a more serious situation than has previously been described.

“Let me tell you what she’s not,” Nevius said. “As previously reported by everybody, she’s not unconscious. She is not on death’s door. The family has not gathered to say goodbye.”

Bad news for my plants. While my califlower looks as though it's actually crowing as are my onions. Wouldn't you know it, the weather has taken a very unexpected shift. Below you will find the latest forecast.




UGH!!!!!!!!!! So I gathered up all my houseplants and brought them back inside. Then Darryl and I took black trashbags and placed them over my veggie containers. I really didn't know what else to do. I'm hoping it will work. With all the boxes all over the place there's just no where to place these plants.

Here are the blog contests I entered:

Prize: Friends Forever Girls doll (ARV $59.99).

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prize: Winner's choice of cupcake from Cupcakesinjars.

Prize: Exergern TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prize: Exergen Temporal Scanner thermometer (ARV $49.99).

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer (ARV $29.98).

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner temporal artery thermometer (ARV $30).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Farrah Fawcett Hospitalized; Family Gathers


What girl who hit her teens in the mid-seventies didn't know who Farrah Fawcett was? She was the woman who's picture was pinned up on your boyfriend's bedroom wall, the woman he secretly wished was his. This was the woman who appeared weekly on Charlie's Angels (another show I never watched). It was Farrah's hair that every girl wanted to emulate.

There were a couple of really good tv movies in which she appeared. One was "The Burning Bed" and the other was " and "Small Sacrifices." I had read the book Small Sacrifices by Ann Rule and I found Farrah's portrayal to be very compelling.

I also remember her from Cannonball Run because that was a very popular series of movies back in the 1980s. It was campy, slapstick comedy movie released in 1981 that starred Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Dom DeLuise and Farrah Fawcett. The premise is very similar to the earlier Cannonball and The Gumball Rally (both 1976). It also has two sequels, 1984's Cannonball Run II and 1989's Speed Zone! The latter was also known as Cannonball Fever and is sometimes overlooked as being part of the series.

Her long term relationship with Ryan O'Neal was fodder for Grocery store rags. Her son Redmond had his share of troubles.

Farrah, 62, was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006 and later pronounced cancer free at a press conference. She has been hospitalized and is critical but stable in a Los Angeles-area hospital. They also say she is unconscious and has been hospitalized for days.

Sometimes actors die and I feel sad in a passing sense. I think it's always sad when someone dies. Sometimes though I feel their death a little more closely. This is a person who's life was played out every week as public fodder. She is a woman of whom I emulated and was jealous of all the same. I will feel sad at her passing.

Ryan O’Neal has been by Farrah’s bedside, as has troubled son Redmond, who bolted from rehab earlier this week.

Here is an update on the tragedy that happened in Pittsburg. Friends of Richard Poplawski (23 year-old)said he feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns.

One friend, Edward Perkovic, said Poplawski feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon."

Another longtime friend, Aaron Vire, said he feared that President Obama was going to take away his rights, though he said he "wasn't violently against Obama."

Perkovic, a 22-year-old who said he was Poplawski's best friend, said he got a call at work from him in which he said, "Eddie, I am going to die today. ... Tell your family I love them and I love you."

Mr. Perkovic got his GED and then joined the Marine Corps. He was dishonorably discharged from the corps during basic training. Friends said he wanted out so he could rejoin his girlfriend.

When that relationship failed, Mr. Poplawski moved for two years to Florida where he worked as a glazier, helping to asemble and replace windows. He returned here in 2006 or 2007.

The fight between the Poplawski and his mother was over a dog urinating in the house.
The fight escalated to the point that she threatened to kick him out and called police to do it, according to a 12-page criminal complaint and affidavit filed late Saturday that contains her account.

When officers Paul Sciullo III and Stephen Mayhle arrived, Margaret Poplawski opened the door and told them to come in and take her 23-year-old son, apparently unaware that he had grabbed a long rifle and was standing behind her, according to the court papers. She told investigators she heard gunshots, spun around and ran to the basement, shouting, "What the hell have you done?"

Darryl and I had talked about where this country is headed as the recession gets worse. People don't know if we are headed for a depression or a period of hyper-inflation. While we were having this conversation we were interrupted by another news bulletin. This time a father killed his five children.

The father killed his children, Ages 7 To 16 in their trailer. The father's body was found miles away. Four of the children were shot in their beds and the fifth was shot in the bathroom in Graham, 15 miles southeast of Tacoma, Pierce County deputies said.

In this case the man and his oldest daughter had caught his wife with another man at a local store. They argued and he begged her to come come. She didn't. He was upset that his wife was threatening to leave him.

This has been such a busy day and it seems as though I got nothing done. Here are the blog contests I entered:

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prize: Windex Outdoor All-In-One Glass Cleaning Tool starter kit.

Prizes (2): Crest Whitestrips Advanced Seal.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner infrared thermometer.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prize: Windex Outdoor All-in-One Starter Kit.

Prize: Exergen TemporalScanner thermometer.

Prizes (5): Pair of Keds Green Label shoes.

Prize: Deep covered baker from The Pampered Chef (ARV $70).

Prize: Pizza Hut e-gift card good for PANormous pizza, drinks, and dessert.

Prize: The Tudors The Complete First Season and The Complete Second Season DVDs.