Saturday, February 28, 2009

...and a road that goes forever...

--from Chris Rea's "Texas," 1989

"Well I got a little brother
Several meters high
Yeah he's built just like a quarterback
And he swears he'll testify

Says he's been to Texas
And that's the only place to be

Big steaks, big cars,
no trouble here
That's the place for me

I'm going to Texas
I'm going to Texas
Watch me walking
Watch me walking"

UPDATE: Did you hear that Andy Richter and Conan are joining forces once again? Oh, and speaking of Conan, I'm flat-out begging you to click THIS. You will weep with laughter...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Time travel @ your library!

Madison Junior High Punk Day, 1983!

Madison Middle School Reenactment, 2009!

Thanks to Julie Myers for sharing the photo at the top, and to Kathie Goldman Springfield for sharing it with the Madison gang...and for reenacting it with me. I giggled all day long.

Oh, and some things never change...check out the nasty old book drop. Still orange, still covered in groovy floral decals...but missing more laminate covering...and you should see the state of the remaining foam in the bin! (Shudder.)

Check out the fine print:

You officially have my permission to use the photo taken by me in the Madison Junior High library in 1983, showing Bret Shumacher and Karla Standley posing in sunglasses. I am thrilled to have it be a part of MJH history!

Julie Myers

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy stuff...

One of our special students came into the library recently, and I noticed that one of our names is the same. I squealed that she must be my cousin, and she smiled from ear to ear. (She must have moved here after school started because she didn't look familiar and she didn't have a photo in her library profile.)

I told her to come on in my office so I could snap a nice, tight close-up of her face to go in our circulation software so that no one could ever accidentally check out a book on her account. After fetching the camera out of my desk drawer, it was my turn to grin from ear to ear. When I turned around, our New Favorite Student had assumed a pose for the camera that was rather unique.
(It breaks my heart to have to crop her sweet face out of this photo and rob you of her million dollar smile, but I must. She may have some challenges in this life, but summoning smiles and sharing happiness are two of her strengths!)

Note to thieves: I don't really keep the school's camera in my office.

On second thought: Thieves, if you are desperate for a 6-pound digital camera that takes FLOPPY DISKS, it's in my top drawer under the Girl Scout cookies.

On third thought: If you take the Girl Scout cookies, I will come after you.

Oh, and Young Cousin isn't the only student who made Kirsten & me smile recently. During last week's Diseases Unit, we had a worksheet where kids had to find answers in books and on computers. One question, about preventing insomnia, asked the three things doctors recommend to ward off sleeplessness--a balance of rest, recreation, and exercise. One of Mr. Tate's students, however, made up her own much more interesting answers: caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.

Other happy stuff: Did you see What Would You Do? on ABC last night? (Featuring TEXAN John QuiƱones, btw!!)

*At least FOUR of the people who intervened when an elderly person appeared unable to drive were teachers, including one big, burly guy named Aaron Shorr. (Aaron Shorr is FANTASTIC--here's hoping his students brought him apples today!) You can see a clip of the social experiment here.

*Oh, and you would have stood up and cheered at how many people refused to let a little girl go off with a stranger in a public park! Whether he looked scary or well-dressed, people of all ages put themselves in danger to save a little girl, and I have a lump in my throat just thinking about it. The economy may be in the toilet, and our politicians may act like two year-olds sometimes (when they aren't buying/trading Senate seats and influence), and it may seem like our country is going to Hell in a handbasket, but when average Americans see a child in danger, they act. At least two of the people PUT THEIR OWN BODIES between the actor playing Mr. Stranger Danger and the child actress playing the Innocent Girl Alone on the Swings. You can see that clip here.

Last happy thing? This morning at the Y, sweating and pedaling for all I'm worth on the exercise bike while watching the news, I saw a close-up of my own hands. The camera swept the crowd at a meeting I attended, focused on the speaker, scanned the crowd again, and then zoomed in on my hands as I read the packet we were given at the door. Thank goodness Falisha and I gave ourselves manicures on Valentine's Day as we watched Spaced!

Yikes. Gotta run! Church starts in SIX MINUTES!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I love you with all my heart! Can't wait to see you again. (Karen and I will spoil you completely rotten!)

Have a happy birthday, Momma.

Friday, February 13, 2009

It bakes for thee.

Okay, you've seen Kirsten's present in the previous post (Karen is FURIOUS that there isn't an identical welcome mat on our doorstep, btw), but here is a present for everybody...a recipe for chocolate oatmeal cookies--Hannah & Molly's favorite.

(If you saw Bethany's recent FaceBook pics of me, you'll notice that I've put on a few pounds since last summer...and these cookies share part of the blame.)

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups whole-wheat flour
6 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 C. butter
2/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. Splenda for Baking (or 1 C. sugar)
2 eggs (or 1/2 C. egg substitute)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 C. rolled oats (the thicker, the yummier)
1 C. chocolate chips (the darker, the better)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheets or line them with parchment or silicone. Stir together the first 6 dry ingredients; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter & sugars. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients, then the oats, then the chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

4. Quickly deliver them to others...or prepare to buy larger pants.

UPDATE--6:56 a.m.: Just got home from the Y. Worked out, soaked my aching neck (killing me for three days) in the whirlpool, and showered in an almost-normal-sized bathroom. The mirrors were mounted for women who are 5' 2" (could only see my chin) and the shower nozzle was even lower than that...but it was STILL better than the criminally-tiny bathroom attached to the "master" bedroom of my house.

Let's see if I can work off some of this winter's chocolate oatmeal cookies with a new Y routine this spring!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ask not for whom the dog barks... barks for thee!

Here's Kirsten with one of her presents from Austin. (We were at capacity with the reading promotion t-shirts, so it was time to find something new and cool...and Groovy Dog in Austin had just the thing!)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Burns Supper pics...

The 2009 Burns Supper, celebrating the 250th anniversary of "the Heaven-taught ploughman!"

Happy birthday, Rabbie!