31 July 2008

More reading

I have still been reading a lot this summer, and I just finished A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown (her real name), a woman who is now a lawyer in San Fransisco but grew up in foster care and from a very young age was involved with a gang in South Central LA and addicted to drugs. Quite a story. I got a little bogged down in the continual, crazy, crazy drug use that went on for chapter after chapter (and a little skeptical about how many details she could truly remember from all these episodes if she was as cracked out as she said she was), but I plowed through. The language is very, very rough and the content is, too (she became a prostitute at 11 while hitchhiking running away from a horrific foster care situation) so I wouldn't say this book is for everyone. Interesting, though, all she went through and what she was able to make of herself. I was glad I made it to the last line, which I thought was powerful: "Finally, to everyone who ever said I'd never turn out to be shit, thank you for allowing me to prove you wrong. And to those who believed in me and knew I could turn my life around if only I had the willingness, thank you for allowing me to prove you right."

Now I am reading Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts, the Oklahoma author who wrote Where the Heart Is, the story of the girl who had her baby, America, in Wal-Mart. I like Billie's writing style. I am only about half-way through this one, but it's interesting to see all these Oklahoma place names in the book that I recognize from growing up in and visiting Muskogee. I also got 5 new books from the HomeStyle Books book club that I joined again. You can get 5 books for $2 each if you agree to buy 2 more books within the next 3 years. I have been leafing through these and they're all pretty good.

And we've watched a few movies lately, including Rendition with Jake Gyllenhal and Reese Witherspoon, which was decent, I thought, and Definitely, Maybe, a cute romantic comedy that I enjoyed. We also watched The Kite Runner, and it was okay, but I still prefer the book. A heart-wrenching story, for sure. And we watched Gone Baby Gone, directed by Ben Affleck and starring his brother Casey. Also worthwhile. We are going to the Ozark Empire Fair with the Rhoads tonight and then tomorrow Macauley and I are going to Rogers to see my parents one more time before they close up the camp and leave for their vacation camping in Colorado. We'll be back in Springfield Saturday to enjoy the weekend with Ryan.

Scrapping fun

My good friend Janice, who I teach with at Kickapoo, came over yesterday to scrapbook and we had a really nice day. We only talked school a little, choosing to stay in denial for another week or so before we have to start back up. I made a few pages.

I love the quote I used on the bridge page: "What children see in the world depends on what we show them."

We had lunch at San Fransisco Oven and then Macauley wanted to take Janice to get a shaved ice. They both got raspberry and Macauley impressed Janice by reading all the surrounding signs. I had dinner downtown last night at Tonic with two other teacher friends, Sarah and Lori, to celebrate Sarah's 30th birthday. A nice day.

27 July 2008

An afternoon to myself

The boys were both out of the house today, so I slept late and then spent the afternoon puttering in my office/craft room. I'm still having a little trouble getting back into scrapbooking (perhaps I'm reluctant to get ALL my stuff out since I only recently got it all put away), but I got these layouts done today. The Growing Like a Weed pictures were taken back in May out near the James River bridge at 60 & 65. The little ostrich was a gift from Aunt Lindsay that came along for this particular ride.

I had a lot of pictures from La Petite graduation, so I didn't do a whole lot to these pages other than cram in a bunch of photos and call it good. I had taken some pictures of Macauley at the school that night after he took off his robe, so I did another page just as a little memory of La Petite, a place where Macauley really flourished. We all miss him going there.

Some people called to look at the house this afternoon, so Booker T. and I got in the car to get out of their way. We stopped at McDonald's for 2 plain hamburgers, a little treat for my sweet old dog, and then I breezed through STD East just to look in on my favorite booths while Booker waited in the hot car. I snatched up a funny looking vintage stuffed dog for my collection and a cute little dog picture. I found a pretty dining set there to rehab (for my dream house!) but it didn't have a price and the manager couldn't get in touch with the dealer. I might have to go check on it tomorrow while some teachers I know from school are here doing a deep clean on my house, using their summer time off to make extra money for a trip they're planning, I think. Thank goodness for them. I am about spent on the house sprucing for a bit.

That goofy little blue fella fits right in with my other old toys...The little black and white one (2nd from left on the bottom shelf) is probably my favorite, though.

26 July 2008

Getting back into it

I only got a couple of scrapbook pages finished this afternoon. It always takes me a few to get warmed up and back into it. These are both pretty simple. The Truckin' pictures are from this past Christmas Morning, when Macauley got his dream gift from Santa, a Ford F-150 Power Wheels. The Splash Happy pictures are from this past June on the Slip-n-Slide. I stayed busy today, working on these, pulling weeds, painting a hutch for my booth and continuing to declutter. We had some people come to look at the house today but I don't know what they thought. Since Macauley is still with Ryan's parents, Ryan and I are going out for a date tonight! I think we are going to eat at Clary's and then to see The Dark Knight...

Friday finds

While I was out and about on Friday, I got a call from the flea market about an offer on 2 of my pieces and the manager, Mike, told me I had 2 really good days with my booth. So I thought I needed to take a few more things to fill it back up for the weekend. I painted the little plant stand and washed up the shabby urn and milk glass I found at my favorite thrift store. I think I might put the garden themed puzzle together today and glue it together and frame it for the booth. The wooden thing is a gate, I think, but I displayed it as a memo/photo holder in my booth. I almost kept the little turkey, since I collect those, but thought I'd pass it on to another collector. It was so hot at the flea market when I ran my stuff up there last night, but I did grab the little celluloid-like doll in the picture below. I have seen these on other blogs and like the look of them. I put it on a shelf in my craft room.

My sister and I ran around a little yesterday afternoon, and although I was planning to shop around for some new school clothes, I instead came home with this cute little April Cornell sugar and creamer that was on clearance at Marshall's. $1 for each adorable piece! I also bought a Yankee Celebrate Home candle to take to our best friends, The Rhoads, who we helped move into their beautiful new home last night. It is a modern Craftsman that Adrian, who is a builder/contractor, designed and constructed for his family. I really like it, but we talked about how many good times/laughs we had in their other little house and Stephanie was kind of sad to be leaving that one, the house she brought both her babies home to and where she and Adrian lived as newlyweds. The new house will be great for them, though, and I know we'll have lots of laughs there, too.

I also went by Hobby Lobby yesterday and exercised great restraint, buying only a few scrapbook items. I am hoping to do some scrapbooking this weekend. Macauley is camping with Ryan's parents and Ryan is helping with the move today and has plans with his friends from growing up tomorrow. I was looking for some kind of globe/earth chipboard or sticker or something, but didn't find it. I did find some new decorative eyelets that I think are really cool. We'll see what I come up with...

24 July 2008

Really bad idea

From the bright smiles right before we left, you would think this was a happy mom and son out for a fun little summer bike ride...that is how we started anyway. Macauley talked me into going on the ride with him in his flipflops, swimsuit, no shirt and no helmet, and then he talked me into going farther than usual (to see the railroad tracks) and our ride turned into a stressful fiasco. Once we got to the tracks, a fairly good distance from our house for a rookie rider, Macauley totally stressed out, could no longer balance on the bike, and went into meltdown mode. I got increasingly more stressed and impatient myself and thought we'd never make it back down the Greenways trail with me somehow pushing both bikes up and down the hills. Luckily though, a really nice lady walked up behind us and offered to help him balance and she walked with us almost the whole way back to our house and then pulled up beside us in her car and offered to drive Macauley's bike back to our house so he could just walk beside me as I pushed mine. We'd been out over an hour and it had gotten dark. A policeman pulled over near where we were and climbed down under the railroad tracks and shined his light in the tunnel beneath and yelled at what turned out to be two middle school looking girls to get out. They were in some kind of trouble. And then a guy with a weenie dog and an oxygen tank kept stopping by the side of the road, I guess to catch his breath. I am so glad that this kind stranger, Shelly, who lives on Oak Grove and used to have a collie dog and has two grown boys and a granddaughter and a Mercedes, was there for us or we would have never made it home. Such a bad, bad idea...what was I thinking?

23 July 2008

Back to the booth

In my quest to declutter the house now that it's FOR SALE, I put together another load of stuff to take to my booth today. I had already sold several things I put in Sunday! I also sold a beautiful antique pine armoire on craigslist today and another lady is coming over tonight to look at some of the linens she saw inside the armoire in my post. I am well on my way to saving up for the Junk Market in Minneapolis in September!

I walk by this cute little leopard coat every time I go to my booth and I just love it. What would I do with it? It is only $6. I passed it up again today, but I couldn't help picking up just a couple of things...

I got another little camera for $3.95, a cute tea towel for $1.50, a set of Yellowstone glasses on 75% off (about $2) for my mother who loves national park stuff and a big, pretty white wash basin for $6. I think it would make a really neat vessel sink in a powder room, and for $6, if it shatters when we drill for the drain, it won't be a big deal. Now I just need a new powder room to put my basin in...

And I noticed that the cute little statue and the old black wicker planter I posted on Sunday were already gone...I knew they were good finds.

Hit me with your best shot

Today was the big day--we had to get Macauley's kindergarten shots. He had been asking a lot of questions but wasn't freaking out, mostly just resigned to the fact that he had to do it. He brought along Kenny and Blankie for moral support and we waited...
Once in, he was conversational with the nurse, still pretty relaxed. When she asked if he was nervous, he said, "Yeah, I'm pretty nervous." She went to get the shots and he relaxed again and called his dad with an update...

I have to give it to the nurse--she was fast. He got 4 shots: 2 in the thigh and 1 on each arm. And boy, did they hurt. He cried hard for the minute it took to give the shots and seemed almost shocked that someone would do that to him! He quieted down right after though.

He got a prize package that I'm not sure really lived up to the drama of the moment...

So we went to Burger King afterwards to celebrate, which is a big deal because he knows I do not like Burger King and we NEVER go there, even though he constantly begs me to give it a chance. I mean never. He was letdown because the playground was closed and he barely ate any of this food that has been calling his name all this time. We might go get shaved ices tonight when Ryan gets home. I was proud of my little boy--he was actually pretty brave. I guess we're ready for kindergarten now!

He is the king of my world!

22 July 2008


Macauley and I went to TJMaxx today and bought his backpack for kindergarten, which starts on 25 August. I am rather apprehensive about this change in our lives but he doesn't seem to be. Tomorrow we go for kindergarten shots, and he has been worried about that a little but not panicked. As we were leaving TJMaxx he asked me if he could take Kenny and Blankie to school with him for naptime. I said I didn't know. He said, "If it's okay with my teacher?" And all I was thinking about was what the other kids might say, and I hate that we're entering that stage...It's the end of the innocence in a lot of ways I fear. But what can you do? We chose a green Addidas pack that seems big but was smaller than the others. I think he looks adorable in it. I'm wondering how much homework will be sent home in it...

The other big event of our day is that we put our house on the market. We have been trying for a couple of months to buy my dream house on the south side of town, near my sister and the school where I teach, but haven't been able to reach an agreement with the banker selling that house. So we're hoping to sell this one for more leverage. It is a great house on a lovely street with such a sense of community. The market seems to be picking up just a little here, so we're hoping for the best. If you know of anyone who might be interested, we're using Assist 2 Sell so we could offer it at the best price. It will be on springfieldassist2sell.com in the next day or so.

20 July 2008

My favorite space

The other item on my To Do List today was to fix my office/craft room back to normal. Everything (scrapbooking stuff, sewing stuff, stuff from other rooms, lots and lots of cutsies, etc.)had been just thrown in during all the rearranging when we got the new floors a few weeks ago and I was overwhelmed. But today I dug and in and did some organizing, some purging and I feel much better. The table has always been centered in the room, and I might put it back that way, but I kind of like it pushed to one end. Makes the room seem a lot bigger.

I have some other pictures of things in this room I might post another time. I actually did an entire post on this room, narrating how I feel about every little bit in it, when I first started my blog but accidentally posted it on an English teacher blog I belong to! So for a few seconds, before I could delete it, there was my little babble about how much I love all my cute little stuff and so on mixed in with all these serious posts from teachers about how to teach writing and other deep stuff! I could never figure out how to get the post from that blog to this one. One thing I added to the room today is this little sign I got on Friday at The Market with the best life philosophy. You might have seen it before. A little further reading, though, revealed that Emerson isn't the one who said this (possibly someone named Bessie Stanley), but still I consider these inaccurately attributed words some good ones to live by. :)

Morning at the market

I went to my booth this morning and put in a bunch of new stuff. Just remembered I forgot to put a price on that gold mirror. Oh well. Ryan even sweetly volunteered to go with me and helped me carry it all in. Macauley spent the night with Ryan's parents, so we fixed the booth and then went to lunch, nothing fancy since I was in my grubbies and ponytail and no makeup. I breezed through STD quickly and took a few pictures of things that caught my eye...

Above is a booth that two sisters have together and they are always changing it. It always looks good and they have lots of cute stuff.

I have wanted this little panda forever...don't know why I don't just plop down the $10 and get it. I have one a lot like it, though, so that's probably why. I still go check on it almost every time I go in.

I thought this black wicker planter was nice. Is $25 a good price? Is it old?

I like the little statue. It is only $14... And I really like the metal lawn chair because it is black and I love black furniture, but I don't know what I would do with it.

I also got my check today and I sold $146 over the last two weeks...pretty good. I think I am going to vow to save all my proceeds from here on out so I can go to Minneapolis in September and go to the Junk Market with Shannon. Don't know if I should drive (better to haul back my goodies) or fly (to avoid a 13 hour drive). So I will probably leave all these little treasures for other lucky STD shoppers to snag.

Off to the races

We spent Saturday with Ryan's parents at the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri, (about a half hour north of Bolivar) for a Day at the Races for Linda's work. There were inflatables and other activities just for hospital employees a few hours before the races and Macauley enjoyed all of them.

But...what is the deal with the entrance/exit to the inflatable car tunnel? Quite an image with kids going in and out of that thing...

Macauley really, really wanted to get inside this car and had a lot of questions about the speedometers and other dials, as always.

There were also go-carts and Macauley and I went for a spin on a two-seater kiddie cart. Michael and Linda drove the bigger carts that went a lot faster. While Macauley and I were waiting in line, a little girl driving one of the kiddie carts came back into the pit at full-speed with no idea how to stop and crashed into the stairs right below us, completely denting in the bottom step. She hit so hard! I think she was only embarrassed and not hurt. The huge guy running the place yelled at her, after the fact, "The brake is on the left!" She was maybe 8.

We settled into the stands thinking the race would start shortly but ended up having about 2 hours to entertain Macauley in those seats with nothing happening on the track, leaving us all rather frazzled.

Macauley changes clothes about 10 times a day, and he was frustrated that he couldn't change his shirt after he got some Diet Coke on it, so he just took it off. No one seemed to care.

He made a bed for his Kenny, who was obviously as worn out as the rest of us. Macauley has been calling his blankie "Honey" and saying she's his wife and Kenny is their son. It's cute to see him so nurturing, and I took lots of pictures to show his high school friends someday.

When the races finally started, it was pretty exciting. I have never been to anything like that, and I wouldn't normally think this would be my cup of tea. I couldn't believe how fast the cars were going. We just all wished the actual races got underway instead of all the trials we had to sit through. We headed home before the real action got going. It was a long, hot day but we had a good time. Macauley (and I!) even won a contest by guessing how much candy was in a jar (75 was our guess) and got a (not very) fabulous folding coin puzzle from the US Mint.


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