The other night after watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother in bed on Jeremiah's laptop, I began digging under the covers.

Jeremiah: What are you doing?
Me: I am looking for an adhesive bandage.
J: Why is there a bandage loose in bed?
Me: Well, last night after my bath I was drying off and Mel was walking around the tub and fell in. When she hopped out she was all wet and she skidded around awhile and she accidentally and yet very badly, scratched me on the side of my foot.
J:So a bandage.
Me: Yes. You will know it when you find it because it is huge and it has a cartoon airplane on the side. And also? It is covered with my blood.

I am not going to lie, Friends. For awhile I thought there was a good chance that the band-aid had gone to the dogs (As in, literally. Eaten by the dogs. Probably Spike. Although Atticus does have a love of all things tissue flavored.) but Jeremiah persevered and found my Jay Jay the Jet Plane bandage adhered to the floor the next morning.

P.S. Stay tuned for FtVF. Next Thursday will be a driving lesson. I hope you took last week's lesson to heart, Friends.  Let's quit parking like asshats.


Oh, No. Not a Beer Snob At All.

We've got new neighbors.

Mary-Next-Door moved at the beginning of January and we were relishing the silence and lack of diesel vehicles next door.

Not that Mary was bad, she wasn't, not at all.

She sold me these bowls at her yard sale:

I was in my pajamas, in the dark, at her yard sale. I hadn't brushed my hair. Or my teeth. But I WANTED these bowls. They are much prettier mixing bowls than the set I inherited from a co-worker. Plus, these are easier for me to lift down from their spot. It's love, I tell you.

Anyway, so she moved out. This weekend, the new people moved in. Jeremiah and I were hoping for a couple similar to ourselves - quiet, thoughtful neighbors. Aged appropriately, like us. We were hoping for people down with listening to some music, playing some games, and just hanging out. We were hoping for some nerds like us.

We had our first "Danger, Will Robinson" moment when they rolled up in a cheap sports car tricked out with a spoiler so big it could have acted as the doorway to Narnia.

But we remained hopeful. Right up until they were hanging around with friends after moving everything out of the Uhaul. We were getting ready to head out ourselves, so as Jeremiah was unlocking and opening my door for me I was spying.

Jeremiah: What do you see?
Me: Well, I see an Orange County Choppers shirt. This causes me to shiver just a bit, as I am not a car* person. 
Jeremiah: No big deal. He's not swayed in the least.
Me: I see a guy wearing a shirt that says "F*CK Scottsdale" This gets smirks and snorts from both of us.
Jeremiah: In front of their kids? Not so cool, I guess.
Me: Um, and they are all smoking and...
Jeremiah: And what?
Me: No, I can't. You won't like it.
Jeremiah: Tell me. I can take it. He braces himself.
Me: They are drinking Miller Lite.
Jeremiah: Oh my god.
Me: Out of cans.
Jeremiah: Silence. Forget it. It would never work between us.

And we drive away.

It occurs to me. In all the years that I have known Jeremiah, I have never seen him drink a beer from a can. Not once. And when I call him a beer snob he gets all upset. I am sorry, but you gotta call a spade a spade, you know?

So I don't think our new neighbors will become our besties, but who knows. Never give up.

P.S. Let's re-examine the bowls. Because they are that beautiful. When I use them I will fondly remember the short little woman with teased bottle blonde hair who could have easily been called a cougar, who hit on Jeremiah and wore short shorts. Sigh. Those were the good old days.

* Believe it or not, I actually know that OC Choppers is about bikes. As in, motorcycles. Not because I ever watched the show, but because I did watch Miami Ink religiously while it was on and they did tats for the guys in the shop. So why did I say cars? I think I might have been using cars as an interchangeable word for "thing that moves and goes vroom and gets you from Point A to Point B". That's my only defense.


FtFV - I Squash You.

Due to conferences, sickness, and twelve hour work days, I did not share from the vault last Friday.

My deepest and most insincere apologies for that.

How's this:

It's one of my favorite collages. It actually originated as some shots that I did not like, but when I put them together I loved it.

Then Jeremiah said it was just like Monty Python and I told him that A: He was a nerd, and 2: No it was NOT like Monty Python.

Then he found a Monty Python clip (oh, some cartoon nudity, so watch at your own risk):

And it turns out the nerd was right.

I HATE that.

Happy Friday, Friends!


Let's Start with the Basics - Parking.

Ready, Friends?

It is that time of the week. The time when you take a break from all that work you are doing for your weekly driving lesson.

We are going to start with an easy one.

Or more accurately, what should be an easy one.


Do you know what chaps my ass?


No, this is not a picture from England. This is my street. I LOVE that both red cars on either side of the road are parked facing the wrong direction. It is a shitload of awesome around my house, let me tell you.

 Rule Number One: When you park, you have to park (by law) in the direction that the traffic flows. Passenger side against the curb.  IT JUST MAKES SENSE. That way, when you go to drive away from your parking spot, you are NOT driving on the WRONG side of the road.

In addition, your craptastic parking job won't freak out regular, less imaginative drivers who are driving down the correct side of the road.

You would think especially near intersections, like in the photo above, you would stick to the rules. Apparently NOT SO MUCH.

Exhibit B:

Notice the black truck and the white car. Same intersection, different day. I was all, "I have had it, Jeremiah. I am calling the non-emergency line because there are too many idiots living near us." Jeremiah's response: "Um, considering it is the police officer's SON, I don't think they will really care." And then I said a profanity that is not fit for your gentle ears. 

To be fair, I was a country girl growing up and did not have to do street parking. My senior year of college I had to park on the street for like, two minutes, and my friend Derek went ape-shit and informed me that I was on the wrong side and I should move my car immediately. Friends don't let friends park on the wrong side of the road. 

But apparently the police do.

And I am SORRY, but if you have lived in the city or cramped suburbs, you have NO excuse. You should know the rules.

And then let us examine Exhibit 3: Parking Lot

I took these pictures of Old Red IN ONE DAY. Old Red is in the center. In general, this is how bad the parking is in Arizona. People are not only incapable of parking correctly on the street, but it is also a challenge to pull forward into a spot. And forget backing up and straightening the cars out a bit. That would be an inconvenience.

I got a new car (more on this later) and I have already been scraped up in the school parking lot. In addition, Jeremiah says that my new vehicle is a magnet for crappy drivers. We go into a store? No one parked around me. We come out? Idiots parked in the same parking spot as me. Not next to me, but squished right in there with me.


So I guess what I am saying is this: Be aware of parking rules in your area. People do NOT love it when you park on the wrong side of the road. You are NOT too special to follow the rules like everyone else. Suck it up and turn your freaking car around. And if you park crookedly, back the freak up and try it again.

Believe it or not, people notice your parking. And if they are like me and you park like this, they laugh at you and curse the day you were born.

And then they post the pictures online.

P.S. Okay, let's hear it. You KNOW there is something that irks you about other drivers. Spill. 


It's a Bunch of B.S.

Last weekend Jeremiah went to get our basket by himself, as I'd been having some episodes with my muscles/joints lately and was exhausted (basket pick-up is at 7:00 on a SATURDAY).

Now, most of the time I recognize everything, even if it is something I've never eaten before (with the exception of the figs). Like, I recognized pomegranates, even if I had never consumed them in their original form.

Except last weekend after I woke up and came downstairs, there were these things...odd little round things. They were kind of cute, really. A big bag of them. I looked at Jeremiah quizzically and held one up in sort of a silent question.

Do you know what they were?

A big ass bag of...


Yes, the girl who can now eat tofu with a straight face and who will try just about anything (so long as it is not beef, pork, or squash) is terrified of brussel sprouts. Deceptively cute little buggers.

I was determined to try them.

So Jeremiah prepared them like this:

I made the picture extra big so it could be like you were right here with me, trying them and everything.

He used some EVOO and some Johnny's and to be honest...

I could not decide whether I was going to vomit or have seconds. Twenty-nine point two years of fear is a lot to deal with one night at dinner.

If you are like me and have never tried them before, they are meaty. They look like baby heads of lettuce but do not taste anything like lettuce. To me they taste slightly like a mix of peas, cauliflower, and broccoli. Just meaty. And I ended up not eating the outermost leaf and kind of scraping the insides out with my teeth.

Jeremiah loved them and said he would definitely eat them again.

I would probably eat them again, but request another vegetable alongside so as to not be restricted to one veggie that I only like in an okay way.

Thoughts on brussel sprouts? Is there another vegetable you hate? Love? Never tried?

P.S. You have not tried Johnny's, you are crazy and you are missing out. Deliciousness.

P.P.S. Every where I looked I saw brussels sprouts spelled differently. And so if you disagree with my spelling of it, I do not care. I probably disagree with it, too.



Jeremiah is currently working upstairs.

I am downstairs. Working on my lesson plans. Or blogging. Whatever.

A few seconds ago, he ran downstairs and out into the garage. He needed a hammer and a nail.

He came back in with "his" hammer.


It was my dad's. I found it when I cleaned out Old Red in January. Yes, it had been in my car for six years and I did not even know it.

Me: Eying hammer suspiciously Um, that hammer belongs to my dad. Gasp That's MY DAD'S HAMMER!
Me (again): I forgot about that one. I thought you were getting the one that I accidentally brought home from work. And kept.
Me (again and again): So wait. Technically I have two hammers and you have how many?
Jeremiah: huffy and indignant I have owned hammers before. 

But I am not sure he has. Because I have managed to acquire two hammers in a period of six years, completely unintentionally. And I haven't lost either of them.

p.s. I also found the top saw part of a tree saw, several steak knives, and the world's largest screwdriver in the hidden compartments of Old Red. The screwdriver I found sitting below my windshield wipers after the car was fixed in CALIFORNIA. I totally could have injured myself or someone driving home with it resting there. I did not know what to do with it, so I added it to my apparent arsenal of rusty tools/weapons/kitchen cutlery in the back of Red where it remained for the last five years. Pretty soon I am going to need a toolbox. Or an alibi, because Friends? That's a lot of scary shit to be hauling unknowingly.

p.p.s. I found a ton of other stuff in there, too, over the years. Which is weird because I remember it getting cleaned out before my dad and I traded cars. Perhaps my dad wanted me to have these things. I think I remember him purposefully leaving some of it in the car (not the tree saw or knives). Anyway, I got some pretty great things like bungee cords and a tape measure. And I use both regularly. One time I whipped out my bungee cords and someone said "You keep those in your car?" and I was all "Duh. Who doesn't keep bungee cords in their car?".  I am like a boyscout. Always prepared. And dad? FINDER'S KEEPERS. Except the tree saw. Because Jeremiah gets a scary look on his face and talks about altering it to use in the backyard. Please take that back ASAP.


You Are Welcome, Arizona

As I was nearly killed by an idiot with a license (a license to KILL, if you will) while driving on my way home from work the other day, I began to think about all the other times that I have been (or nearly been, I guess) sacrificed by the horrible drivers here in the state of Arizona.

Friends? They are REALLY bad. As in, deadliest state in the country for driving. I read that in a book about Arizona. For my Arizona class that I took a few years ago. To include a statistic like that, it is almost like they are proud of how crappily they drive.

I would include the actual page number and name of the book, but it accidentally on purpose disappeared shortly after the class finished. First book I have ever been happy to lose.

Anyway, as many of you know, in the state of Arizona, NO SORT OF DRIVING CLASSES ARE REQUIRED in order to get a license. You just go in, prove your age, and get to drive. I might be missing a few little steps, but this is generally how it goes.

I could be all stereotypical and blame the driving just on people who grew up here, but guess what? Arizona is the Plymouth Rock of the Southwest. Those of us that have migrated here are like the pilgrims (Who we all know were not exactly the cream of the crop in Europe. More like the hookers and prisoners.) We seem to have forgotten our skills upon arriving in the new land, friends. We really have. Plus, let us not forget the joy that is Sun City (where I would not mind living but I am not old enough) where the cars are big, the drivers are slow, and the paths those big slow cars drive are deadly.

So as my gift to Arizona, my gift to all of us, really, I am going to offer weekly (or every other weekly. It depends on how much other charity/volunteer work I am doing besides this.) driving tips on here. Now if you know a driver in another state that might need a gentle (or not so gentle) reminder that they are an asshat and need to practice their driving skills, please refer them here. Or forward it to them. Whatevs. I just want to give back to my community, you know?

Stay tuned next week for our first lesson. Please note that you should NOT be driving while reading this lesson. This is more like, instruction in the classroom, practice what you learn later sorts of education.


Wanna Run Your Fingers Through My Hair? No?

Probably a good idea.

Thanks for putting up with crazy. Although, I am pretty sure you like it. Keeps the days interesting.  I am sure that you could live without the daily lice checks, though. Part legitimate concern, part OCD.

Happy Valentine's Day, Friends! Even if I do not know you, I (probably) still love you for reading!

Anyone have fun plans for Valentine's Day? We are looking at a new down-alternative comforter, a carpet cleaner, or a dishwasher. Do not be jealous, friends.

Edited to add: I am SUPER sick. Like, last night I bequeathed the cats and dogs and pool to Jeremiah and told him if I did not make it through the night he would have to go on without me. In return, he promised that if I DID make it through the night, I would get "Secret Love Tacos" for dinner tonight. What a bunch of shit. Totally not worth the suffering. 
p.s. Edited again to add: Secret Love Tacos are actually just regular tacos. Let's clear up any confusion.


I'll See Your Snakes on a Plane and Raise You Bugs in the Hair


Without going into too many details (abundance of lice in my classroom), I have now started checking my hair daily for lice. Ick. It does not help that my hair is super long. And sometimes people pet it. I want to shriek "Do NOT pet my hair! It might house tiny disgusting bugs and EGGS!"

Doesn't that make you shudder? Something living off of you. You are host to a parasite. I fear going out in public, shaking my locks, and bugs just falling out all over the place.

So gross. I am not actually hosting anything right now, thank god.

Mostly because bugs on me/in me are my greatest fear in life, but also because I do not think I would be the best hostess. I seem to lack some hostessing skills. I will keep you hydrated but I can't promise anything else.

p.s. And Jeremiah? Contrary to what you seem to believe, it is NOT funny to scream "OHMYGOD, what is THAT?" while you are checking my hair. You KNOW that sometimes there are flannel pillow fuzzies.


From the Vault Fridays - Scout

If you have been reading for awhile, you know that I lost my beloved cat Scout very suddenly nearly two years ago. Gosh, it really does not seem that long. While I am still sad that she is not with me, I really love looking through old pictures of her.

So I promise you, this does not come from a depressed place, but more of a celebratory place - because she was one hell of a fabulous cat.

We couldn't put away Pictionary for quite awhile because she fell in love with the top of the box. And I catered to her whims. 

Enjoy your Friday, Friends! Next week I have a story about brussel(s) sprouts, a story about driving, and some other random crap. You will love it, for suresies. 



Jeremiah came home yesterday and when he opened the door, stepped into water. Like, splashy splash.

Laundry room? Floor covered in water.

Hall? Floor covered in water.

Living room? Floor covered in water.

Closest? Floor covered in water.

Bathroom? Two soaking wet dogs, a flood, and a toilet pipe with a hole in it spraying water all over the place.

I am going to focus on the positives. That Jeremiah had a half day simply because he had to use up his paid time off or they would have taken it. Had he been later, it could have been much worse. For the dogs AND the house.

Another positive? That we tore out the carpet to finish the concrete. So nothing is ruined. Except maybe some towels. And a few rugs. But I am NOT going to focus on that.

Also, I am not going to focus on the fact that the reason that the house flooded was because one of the dogs chewed on a label attached to the tube that runs water to the toilet and in the innocent act of chewing the tag chewed holes through the tube.

Little Bastards.

I know my dogs can't talk, but here is how I imagine THAT conversation going:

Atticus: With a Hispanic accent - Ohmygod, Spike! I want to tear that tag! That tag looks like fun! Oh, I am going to do it! Tears/chews tag with wild abandon.
Spike: Geez, Atticus. That DOES look like fun, but I am so freaking thirsty.
Atticus: Wild, crazy laughter - Ahahahahahaha! Ohmygosh! This is so fun! Merry Christmas!
Spike: X
Atticus: More wild & crazy laughter. Then, Whoosh! Chews through the tube. Water spraying everywhere.
Spike: This is fantastic! I LOVE to drink water! Drinks water for a few minutes.
Atticus: Ohmygosh! I hate water! I hate it! Merry Christmas!
Spike: Okaaaaay, Atticus. Turn off the water now. My feet AND my belly are all wet. Now let's just use our opposable thumbs to turn off the valve...Oh, shit.

I realize that probably that was only funny to me. Maybe Jeremiah. That is okay.


It's a Beast!

 The other day I was modeling ways to create fractions.

When I was in school, I HATED fractions. But teaching them? Love. So different from when I was in school. This is much more hands-on, which I think is important. Also? Much more fun than worksheets.

Anyway, after doing 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8, it was time to cut out thirds. "I want to warn you," I told the students "thirds are beastly. They are much more difficult than halves, fourths, and eighths."

Student hand goes up.


"Teacher? That is your opinion!" a student triumphantly points out (We were also working on facts and opinions).

I acknowledged that yes, that was my opinion, and we delved into thirds.

After a few seconds of folding and cutting, it was agreed by all.

Thirds were beastly.

Most of them got it eventually, so we moved on to the sixths. "If you think that thirds were beastly" I warned, "wait until you see the sixths!"

A student from the back stands up, stretches and shakes his arms skyward, and bellows (with his thick Hispanic accent) "Teacher? SHOW US THE BEAST!"

It's why I teach, friends.

Just out of curiosity -  What was your worst subject/topic/thing to learn in school? Mine was that I could NOT tell time. Stupid clocks.


Don't Get Too Excited, Jeremiah.

Dear Friends,
I am in not such a stabby place today. I am still grouchy (this according to Jeremiah, who probably would not have been surprised if my head did a full rotation a la Linda Blair) and still sick and confused, but today when I woke up I could BREATHE a little. Which was AWESOME.

So here is a true story for you.

The other night I got a little...claustrophobic is a good word. I got claustrophobic. The whole troop headed upstairs at once. That's SIXTEEN little legs, four little mouths, and lots and lots of fur. Plus the dogs and cats. Just kidding. Plus the Jer-ster and me.

And I needed a breather. So I went to the guest room, which is where I go for a breather. I would go to the craft room, but it is currently painted and empty. IT IS WAITING FOR JEREMIAH TO PAINT THE CEILING.

Not yet. Sadsies.

He says that he is waiting until I am healthy before he paints the ceiling. He wants me to be healthy so I can nag and tell him what he is doing incorrectly (his words).

And I agree. I need to be in my top-form in order to supervisor Jeremiah as he paints my ceiling.

Moving on...

And it was so cozy. And Mel and I swapped stories. She licked me a little. She stared. She laid down on the nightstand. I watched. I listened to random sounds. Relaxing. Sigh.

Next thing I know Jeremiah comes RACING into the room. I almost thought he was sleepwalking (there have been incidences for both of us, yes). He didn't get too into details, but I'm pretty sure he thought I WAS DEAD.

I am on new meds that (can) have some risky side-effects (Mostly if you are an alcoholic. I am not. At all. Unless having two drinks a year constitutes an alcoholic.), but I wasn't expecting an out of breath boyfriend clad in skeleton undies rushing the guest room. It ruined the relaxing breather.

So I don't know if I should be worried or relieved. I'm going to go with relieved. He looked concerned, which is good.

Good to know he's on top of it.

P.S. Blogger has been acting weird, yo. I am not sure what is going on here. It did not publish a post when it was supposed to do so. It also would not let me comment on my own post. So bear with me. (Or bare with me. But that might be awkward.)

P.P.S. I am going to pretend that is why you are not commenting.


FtVF - What I Make - A (Not Truly) FtVF post.


I have had a shitty week.

I am sick.

My dog is hurt. And on meds. Which sucks for both of us.

There has been a lot of conflict and disrespect here (at my school, my state, and around the country, I know) and my brain and heart are so confused.

And I have been witness to stuff with regards to students this week that has broken my heart. Which happens more often than it should. And more often than some of us who do not live in poverty realize.

So I can offer you this, which, at the moment, is where I am at. A screamy and angry place.


Doctor's Visit #2

Shortly after visiting my regular doctor, I went to the specialist. I go every few months and I am pretty sure it is the highlight of his day. The following conversations DID occur.

Dr. - So your joints are feeling a little -
E - Holy Crap! I swat at the doctor who is squeezing the life out of my body, joint by joint.
Dr. - Okay, so that hurt?
E- Yes. Lots. And that nurse? She tried to take my blood pressure.
Dr. - How did that go?
E - Just LOOK at my arm! I raise my shirt to show him the bright red spot & bumps that are now on my arm, covering the skin just as the cuff had minutes before, due to the babe with the blood pressure cuff. Probably it is important for you to know that simple things like blood pressure readings, my eight pound dog stepping on me, shaking someone's hand? Those all hurt. A lot. They actually leave marks on my body. I have an extreme over-sensitivity to touch.
Dr. - So we'll try the blood pressure with a different nurse after I finish in here, okay?
E - 'kay.
Dr. - How is the pain?
E - M'eh.

fast forward to the sleep part of the conversation -

Dr. - So how are you sleeping?
E - Not so well.
Dr. - Why not?
E - Well, a variety of reasons. Sometimes I think of all the sh...stuff that I need to do the next day. Sometimes it is because my boyfriend snores in clicks. I honestly think he is speaking another language and I feel a bit left out. I am keeping track, though, and soon I think I will crack those clicks and we will be able to communicate like regular people.
Dr. - Silence
E - Sometimes it is because I have night terrors or just regular nightmares. People keep killing me. Like the other night? Someone beat me to death on the side of the road with a lead pipe and I did not realize until after I walked around and drove and stuff that I was actually dead. Is this normal?
Dr. - Silence
E - Sometimes I have night terrors, where I get out of bed and try to point out things to Jeremiah, who is clicking away in his sleep, probably answering me but I do not know what he is saying...yet.
Dr. - Silence
E - You know, it is so weird. Jeremiah wakes up refreshed and he gets to do all this fun sh...stuff in his dreams. He plays the drums. He downhill skis. He basically gets to go on vacation every time he sleeps. I am not sure where he goes, because I have not yet cracked the clicks, but it sounds like loads of fun.
Dr. - After a moment of silence. Well, it is not normal to have so many problems with sleep. Let's try some (prescription that I don't feel like sharing with you, friends). It should help with the pain and also relax you enough to sleep.

After convincing me that it was non-habit forming and that it was for the best, I agreed. I have only needed to use the meds once or twice in the past month, and have taken something similar in the past, so all is good.

Arriving home after appointment:
E - Sitting in car, singing loudly to a Glee Sountrack
J - Peeks out and looks at girlfriend sitting in car, singing loudly. Um, are you okay?
E - Yes. The doctor gave me new medicine. So I can sleep better.
J - That's good. Are you going to get out of the car?
E - Thinking about it. I guess. Slowly I get out of car, sad to leave the happy music.
J - Emily?
E - Yes?
J - Are you on the meds now?

I convinced him that I was not and we had a lovely evening. Probably listening to our neighbor's adult son listening to his stereo.