Thursday, April 26, 2012

After the Victory...

"Actually, the moment of victory is wonderful, but also sad. It means that your trip is ended."
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I love the trip.  Not that kind of trip...well...

Maybe I am in love with the routine of the trip.  The end of that brings me nothing but sadness. In the middle of the trip I am planning and making list like a crazy lady.  In other words pure joy.  

It never matters what the "trip" is I love the mad drive to go.  The adjustments to time and schedule, the dead lines and the rhythm of it. The attacking, and unrelenting obsessing about something I want so much.  The problem lays in the ending...what then?  Then is the depressed period while I search my soul to find a new journey to travel. Once I lock on to the next one...the sails are set and joy returns.  I am not good at languishing. At all.  

This is probably why the end of the school year is so fun.  I am gearing up for the next trip/ school year.  I have new programs sketched out on note cards hiding all over my desk.  The calendar is full of cross outs and ideas for how to conquer this for next year.  Planning is going in full force.  

Time to wrap up and start the next journey. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


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We survived the last state test for 7th grade today.  What does this mean?  We are on the last home run for the year.  In the next 4 weeks we have a field trip, a week of reviews and a week of test...then....(drum roll please...) we have summer vacation.  

Did you let out that big sigh?  I did.  I love teaching.  I love my kids but in May we have had enough of each other and need a little time apart for the heart to grow fond.  This part of the year teachers start to share those stories...the ones that keep us here.  

Random 7th grade stories
  • During testing one little boy farted really loud.  He must be on that high fiber diet too.  All the kids have been properly scolded about their required silence. So when "the noise" occurred they all looked at the teacher whose face was enough to send them all into silent giggles and complete glee.  What other job are you going to get that kind of total joy from such a simple accidental act?
  • A fellow teacher came into and was relating to an older story with my friend and I.  He said when he taught in another state, another school his buddy was teaching a resource reading class.  The student a really low reader shouted out, "Coach, I don't get it.  Mydickserrect."  The class broke out in uncomfortable giggles.  The Coach knew he had to squash it.  He asked assertively, "What?"  Sure that the student didn't say what he thought he did, the Coach waited for a reply. "Mydickserrect?"  The class roared in laughter again.  The Coach knew that he had to figure out what was going on before the little girls in class got as uncomfortable as he was.  Looking at the book that the student was reading, the Coach read.  "My Dixie wrecked." 
  • During tail end of testing the teacher had turned in her materials and unlocked the lockers with the student's backpacks so they could retrieve them in the 15 minutes when they would be going to passing period.  The teacher went back in her room.  When the students got their stuff a little boy shouted out that his phone was missing.  The teacher frantic to get the missing phone issued an email to all the 7th grade teachers.  The email stated the situation and that if the phone was not returned the video from the cameras in the hall would be checked and charges would be filed.  Like all good teachers we all properly put complete fright into the kids.  We had kids confessing about just walking by the open lockers. We had others ask if they would go to jail, and if this would end up on the "permanent record" of the offending student. After the teacher checked the video she saw that a fellow teacher, an elective teacher that was not included on the first email had picked it up and turned it in to the office.  Opps.  
Have a happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 23, 2012


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Rip it.  

All at once. 

I want to hear it.  

Feel it.  

Let the pain drip down.

Pull it. 


I don't want it.

Take it from me.

The weight is too much. 

Hold on to it. 

I have to leave.

Coming up for air. 

Untangle your fingers. 

Let me go. 

"Just rip it," I said. 

I know you know.

Your eyes are here. 

All over me. 

Get out of my ear. 

I need air. 

My chest is heavy. 

Is that my heart? 

My soul isn't clear. 

Where do I start?

Get a needle. 

Or do I need thread?

Let it bleed.

It is me. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012


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If you haven't seen this wonder floating around on Pinterest you haven't been hanging on the right boards. 

I love these two.  

They are the perfect combination of snark, and sexy sass.  I think everyone has a friend that they hope to have this lifetime connection to. That one that will tell you to wipe your nose and will let you know that you have "out grown" those pants.  She is there to cry to when your self created drama is blowing up in your face, and to laugh with when your pants rip in the middle of a work day or you accidently shave off your eyebrow.  

She makes fun of you because you don't know a stranger but is happy when you find someone to escort you to the hotel you can't find. She is the one that can give you one look and remind you that maybe the cinnamon roll the size of a human head is not the best choice for a breakfast treat. And she will gladly share her carrots when you walk away from temptation.  

She pushes you in the gym, name calling and cajoling you into thinking you could be an athlete. She is your biggest cheerleader, the founder of your fan club, and the first one that will fight for you even against your personal demons.  

Sisters, don't have to be born of the same blood.  They can sometimes just be. 


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There isn't enough air. 

It dries up.  

Everything deflates. 

I feel my ears pop.

Or was that my heart? 

Yesterday, it was better. 

The winds blew. 

My soul was strong.

I know it will be again. 

I can see the wind on the horizon, 

It ruffles the leaves of the trees. 

But it doesn't come near me. 

Here I go again.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quick Kisses

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I had imagined them for years. 

Soft, thick and slow

but they were lost.

Seeing your photo quickened my pulse.

You reached out.  I reached too.

Writing you was our only foreplay. 

Maybe that was as far was it was supposed to go.

You had another and knew all along

we weren't to be. 

Seeing your photo still quickens my pulse.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pursed lips

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Hello, my name is Valerie.  I need to confess...I am white.

I is tough to tell.  I like to call it camouflage for when I stand next to white walls, white boards white fluffy snow and white light.   Unfortunately this means when I am angry my lips nearly disappear and my nose flares.  Attractive, no doubt.  It also means that my least favorite season is coming.  

In summer time I return to my dark cave.  Walking by windows gives me burns...damn you skin.  I tried in my youth to pretend to be tannable.  I'm not.  I will be lucky not to get skin cancer.  

So time to load up on the spray, and the long sleeves....and the water. Don't want to pass out.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Oh Lawd, stop the press...

Wondering about the interwebs as I am prone to do...I found Brittney.  That voice...oh my lands.  Amazing!  How have I never heard about her before?  Craziness.

Random mind wanderings...
  • The reported possum is not going away.  I know it might have been a bit foolish thinking that the constant barking of the smallest dog...the only one interested in the possum would run him off.  I think he likes it or is hearing impaired.  That would be my luck to get the only deaf rabid possum in the metroplex.  I am going to have to invest in that gold..I mean fox pee.  I priced it out.  That stuff is $15 an ounce.  Not good. 
  • The principle has declared that we are going on a field trip...yeah. I know you have been through one of these with me before.  Deep breath. This time we are being sent to do time celebrate education day at Medieval Times. It is the perfect spot for equine fans, who love eating with their fingers and smelling horse and industrial strength bleach. Now if you are a bit of a germ phobic such as myself...this is not in anyway fun.  First problem...teens don't wash their hands and they pick and scratch way to much for this to be safe.  Second problem...they give you the greasiest food known to mankind and a cheap paper napkin right below the quality you find in a Happy Meal. when you try desperately to clean up the paper sticks to you instead of cleaning you.  Gross! I try to tell the students  about the field trip and for some reason even with some of my own angst slipping into the spill they are still pumped...I don't get it. 
  • Good news.  30 days of school left till summer vacation.  Thank you baby Jesus!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

No way Jose

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Grrrrrr. Roaaarrrr.  Grrrrr.  Maybe that is my stomach I have been trying to get back into the high fiber.  I strayed my birthday week...two months ago and have struggled to get on the wagon.  The problem with high fiber...well we all know.  So..don't walk behind me or sit next to me.   

I feel better eating this way but it is tough to let go of all of the sweets.  I drive by a donuts shop on the way to work.  It is drive through, and has light, buttery pastries that are the size of your head.  I can smell the sugar when I drive by with the windows up.  It sneaks in through the airconditioning.  I always inhale deeply and hold it a little bit trying to take in the sugar from the wind.  

This was my favorite breakfast stop for a year.  The year I gained almost 50 pounds.  They had my order memorized.  I miss those ladies.  I wish granola and carrots were as good and sinful. I love the yeast and fluff and that they did not give me...smelly after affects. If only they could engineer such sweet treats that are healthy and good for your skin and your digestive track. 

Till that blessed day...I will stay away because it only takes one taste to make a habit and then all the hard work...gone.  

Magic Matters

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Do you believe in magic?

I do.

My dad would say, " Magic, more like science. That stuff can all be explained."

But what if you don't want to be tossed aside in explanation.

What if the idea that it holds its own power and beauty is enough?

Let it be. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Let it be

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, loves leaves a memory no one can steal." 
~From a headstone in Ireland

It was a rough Saturday.  

One of the hardest things is to have to sit and watch someone you love in pain.  And to know that there is really nothing you can do but sit next to them hand them tissues, cry with them and try the best you can to laugh.  

This song healed me after the loss of my grandmother. It is a song I still listen too when I feel like I need her.  I needed it today.  I needed her today.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kindred Spirit

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My Grandmother told me one time that we are kindred spirits.  I asked what it meant.  She said, "It means we are alike, you and me."  I think it is like soul mates.  Not the I gotta wait to get married until I find "the" him but our souls recognize each other. 

I read somewhere that there are some that soul mates are the natural fit. This is the part that enchants me the most...there is the belief that your souls don't die they stay and find each other over and over.  I think this can go for any type of relationship. I know my most powerful relationships have been with girl friends, who I know are soul mates.  We click from the first time we see each other. Time can pass and we start right where  we left off. When one is happy we both are.  When one of us is sad the other feels it almost as deeply.  

Soul mates teach you great life lessons about yourself, about who you can be and about what you want to be. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


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Ever find out you have a "word" that you say more than you ever knew? Have you noticed in horror it even infiltrates your writing?  Last year when I was writing "the novel" I think I used the word "just" about 22,784 times.  It is like I had a stutter...or tourettes. Or worse yet didn't know any other words. (I cringed writing that last sentence...painful.)  

So this time around...I go ahead and let myself write it, then go immediately back and erase it.  Otherwise I get stuck. It is like a stop sign til I get it out of my system.  Is this my OCD?  It might be.

Okay...I finally did it.  I broke down and bought Hunger Games.  I got it in the mail yesterday and started reading it last night at around 11.  You know thought I would pick up a few chapters then go to sleep. Well,  it feels like it has been a few minutes and I realize I have to go potty this happens sometimes late at night and I see it is freaking 2:30 AM...yikes!!! I get up at 5 AM.  You do the math...not a pretty day in ye 'ole classroom today. Bless their hearts.  Two more days and the week is done...then more reading time...just saying.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is brave...really

"It is easy to be brave from a distance." 

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The dogs have been barking.  After some top notch investigating...(I went outside in my nightgown with my flip flops and my plug in flashlight) I have confirmed it...we have a possum.  I hope it is only one and not some daddy possum bringing home dinner to his possum Dugger family of 22.  In my head there is only one. Have you seen a possum?  GROSS!!!
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Take note of the beady eyes, rat tail, and the giant incisors.  It is the worse combination of many animals I detest. 

Obviously, we have to get rid of this horrible rodent before it bust into the house and terrorizes me and I never sleep again for fear of contracting rabies. I thought I would do what all modern women do when faced with a task they have never had to attack...I posted it as a Facebook status.  I had one of my dear friends (who I adore) suggest I get fox pee and use it as natural deterrent to keep the little precious out of the yard.    My dear reader, I am not sure how well you know me at this point...I am not a girl that voluntarily goes sloshing about anyone's excrement...ever.  If I did know where to purchase said bodily function would I need a sprayer, or a hose to put this perfume of goodness all about?  And then my question is if I hose the yard, house and the giant tree with it, will that encourage the 4 dogs at my house to then add their unique spray to the same areas? Ugh...gross.

Spring is suppose to summon the smell of fragrant flowers, dewy grass, and storms off in the distance. I am about to be awash in a different kind of smell.  I think I might need to stop and get some more candles for the house just thinking about this...maybe a couple for outside. Is Fox urine flammable? 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Heavy Hearts, like heavy clouds

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"Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water." 
~Christopher Morley 

A dear friend of mine lost her mother yesterday.  I cannot imagine the pain.  I know it is one we all eventually will face but she has had to do so way too early in her young life.  

Hug your loved ones, tell them what they mean to you. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

God, Can you hear me?

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Some days you seem so far away.  

Is that on purpose?  

How did you chose this plot for me? 

Was I a spiteful child? 

Moody, and ill tempered at times, I will admit.

When did I lose your favor?

Amsterdam, is a city of sin, but my choices weren't so bad. 

I try to be kind to those I meet. 

I try.  

When I am deep in need I reach...and will keep reaching.

Even through death, sickness, disaster, and ruin

I reach. 

Would be overwhelmed if you reached back. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Efflorescent wishes

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Close your eyes...put your lips together...


Did you get them all?  

Make a never want to waste a good wish. 

I love wishes almost as much as I love chocolate.  

If only it was that easy.  

I know everything amazing takes dedication and hard work. 

But what all depended on that one single wish.

What if that wish changed everything??

What would you wish for?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Drowning in Goldfish

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My dad has fish.  He has always had them...well that is since my parents got divorced. He liked the strange ones that grow super huge.

One day he thought he would get all exotic and he bought invisible sea horses, 5 of them.  He put them in the tank. Well,  Daddy has bad vision.  So we never saw them again.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Corners- Easier with a little Cash

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Ever feel like you are at a point where you can peek into the other side, a life you may want but have never thought you would get to try?  Maybe you are a teacher, and someone offers you a big freelance writing job.  Oh wait...that is me.

I have been on my journey as a writer for over the last three years...well actively for three years.  I have written almost 500 blog post, and an entire novel. I have written for free, for me, for freedom.  But this weekend I was asked and given the chance to write for money.  I know... you read that  I stuttered when I read that too.

I will be producing 98 short, 300 word, informational essays about a variety of topics.  It is way more research than I initially thought but I love the challenge.

Time to yank up the Cash and dig into opportunity.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Better Get Back up

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Sammy looks like he is deep in one of these moments.

I call these the watershed moments of life. I have witnessed a few of these. Some had so much better outcomes than others.  Every time the pain from not knowing my own fate and the possibility of failure have felt like they would sink me. Stomachaches, sleepless nights and the awkward feeling of not being worthy of the new life I was striving for were constant companions. But every time the fight was worth it. It was all worth it.

I have shared a few of the watershed moments here...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ahh Austin

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At least once a year I travel to Austin.  I am a member of the social studies professional organization that has chosen the centrally located city as our area to get together for the board meeting.  My best friend calls this my "nerd meeting."  It is.

Normally, I love going so I get to hear all the behind the scenes things behind why we have to teach what we do.  When I started Texas was in the middle of adopting new standards, (the stuff the state mandates that we teach)  now I go because my local chapter is in the middle of setting up this year's conference. There are many things that have to be done for that...many.  Makes my stomach hurt thinking about it.

This year was not without its drama. There is a journal that the organization produces.  It is amazing.  There are lessons, articles about different historical topics and then it always has enticing articles about the up coming conferences. Well, I wrote the article for our conference...and that is where the drama was.  I won't go into it but I have to say that the entire thing made me question why I am apart of the organization and if I will stay involved beyond the conference.

Beyond that it was a nice weekend. No one said anything to me during the meetings that was ugly, and we went to San Antonio after.
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If you go to San Antonio you have to eat on the River walk.  We ate here.  The Mexican food was amazing.  The begging ducks and diving bombing pigeons were not so fantastic.  Thank heavens for the umbrellas or it would have been a  poop-a-pooluza. We then walked around the Alamo.  It isn't far...and you have to.  
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If you are not from Texas, the Alamo is a big deal.  It is almost like a religious experience when you go.  It is said that for some reason when you get near the building the crowd automatically becomes quiet. Thousands died and are buried on the site. Sometimes there are cool breezes that I think only blow the warm air in front of the church.  We had a great chat with the Ranger that was stationed in front.  He was pretty hot, and knew a ton of history which never hurts.  

Meandering our way back to the car we wondered into the Menger Hotel.  It is the most haunted hotel in Texas.     
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As you walk the halls there are pictures of Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Bill Clinton and the Rough Riders.  I can't say I saw anything ghostly. However, while walking through the oldest part of the hotel I suddenly felt like I couldn't breath.  I took my didn't help much.  I'm not saying it was a ghost run in...but....

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There have been many reports of guest spotting a crying lady walking around this floor.  She must have been napping when we were there.  I would love to stay here...with an EMF detector, and the Ghost Hunter team. I am braver with numbers and cameras.  

Oh...and a little heads may start noticing a trend.  Today is the kick off for the A to Z challenge.  I will be posting everyday with a different letter to the alphabet.  I will keep it real...and me.  I promise.