Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Hot Sweaty Mess...Part Three

I finally settled back into my makeshift bed and fell asleep.

About an hour later I was suddenly jolted awake by a tremendous, window-shaking "boooooommmmm", mingled with a women's scream. My eyes flew open, just in time to see the darkened livingroom be illuminated by a small shower of sparks in the sky. (I am amazed with how fast our bodies react to a situation before we even consciously know what is happening). S. and I hurried to the windows and parted the mini blinds, expecting to see the worst. Instead, we saw nothing.

Yup, nothing but a regular ol' street at 2:00 in the was dark and a few cars were parked on the street. We noticed one of the street lights seemed a little dark, but even that wasn't very noticeable. A few minutes later people from the different apartment buildings in the area slowly filtered onto the street. The first out there were two women, both with cell phones in hand. As a few other concerned citizens made their way street level, S. and noticed that they seemed to be looking up at one of the street lights/power lines and congregating around a parked car that had a small amount of debris on it. (From our fourth floor apartment, it seemed as if one of the neighbors that took to the street was a large, bald, army boot wearing man, with a shotgun slung over his shoulder. Obviously my point of view must have seriously skewed this man's appearance, because those on the street didn't seem the bit troubled by his presence...Thank god.) :-)

So what else happened? A police car zoomed by with its lights on (but no siren) and didn't stop, everyone went back into their respective buildings, one neighbor from across the street came back outside with his camera and took pictures of the power pole and the car below it, another cop car came by, but this time it was using its search light on the opposite side of the street, and the electric company showed up in their big, yellow monster of a truck. They got out, shined their uber powerful flashlight on the darkened street lamp, got back inside their vehicle, consulted some sort of giant manual, and left.

See you later electrical guys...see you the next time we have a hot sweaty mess!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Hot Sweaty Mess...Part Two

And what to my wondrous eyes should appear...but a five person work crew using the world's largest blow torches (or at least really, really big blow torches) to seal the newly painted bike symbol on the asphalt. What sounded like the beginning stages of a full blown tropical storm...blowing and hissing and whirring, was over in less than five minutes! And I was left wide awake for the next hour...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Hot Sweaty Mess...Part One

Seattle as a whole was a hot, sweaty mess yesterday. At 11:30 last night the local weatherman was still running around outside with his giant thermometer to report that it was still 84 degrees outside. Ugh. Most Seattlites are not meant for hot weather, and neither are our apartments. Even though we had on the ceiling fan, an oscillating fan, a stationary fan, a window fan, and an air conditioner (not the right type for our window, so you'll have to visualize some cardboard and duct tape to make it "fit" into the window) all setup in our livingroom, it was still the same temperature inside as it was outside.

It was getting close to bedtime, so I decided to jimmy-rig some "walls" to close-off the kitchen and hallway in hopes of creating an arctic oasis in the livingroom. I not so daintily climbed up on the kitchen stool and hung up an old sheet and a hand-decorated, elephant shower curtain (one of my many unfinished art projects) . It looked a little ghetto, but seemed to help. I was worried that I would have to keep chasing one of our cats, Mookie, away from the sheet. I knew that through her little kitty eyes it looked like the world's largest (and most comfy) kitty hammock. I then brought out every extra blanket in the place to create a "mattress" for myself in the middle of the floor and settled into channel surfing to pass the time. Finally, around 12:30 am, I set the timer on the TV and draped a small corner of a light-weight blanket across my rear end, and closed my eyes. (I can't fall asleep without a blanket on my tush. I don't know if this is something my mom did as part of my bedtime routine during my early, formative years, or just something weird I've picked-up along the way...anyone else have the same issue?) Anyway, I took a couple deep breaths and tried to sink into sleepy time, but somewhere in the distance I heard strange noises. I tried to ignore them, but finally decided that either I was going crazy or there was something going on outside...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Soy hot dogs and cucumbers

In anticipation of going on vacation later this week, I am now playing my own version of Survivor. Whatever food is in the house, needs to be either eaten or thrown away by Thursday morning. This explains why I just ate a soy hot dog, cucumber, and sunflower seed salad...topped with ripped up, day-old french bread and non-fat ranch spray. My drink of choice? Slightly flat Diet Pepsi. Mmm, now doesn't that just sound delicious? I can't wait to see what I cook up for dinner. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009


To Move or Not to Move? ...That is the question.

Our lease is up at the end of August, but we have to let the apartment manager know by August 11th if we want to move. Here's the pro/con list so far:

Possible pros for moving:
Cheaper rent, hopefully no smokers on either side of us, healthier (I've developed allergies since living here), no more stupid Essex apartment managers, better control of apartment temperature, and less ghetto neighbors (our place doesn't look ghetto, but the actions of some of the people who live here make it seem ghetto-like).

Possible cons for moving:
We have to spend time hunting for a new place, lots of packing and moving of boxes (right before school starts!), changing our address on everything, higher parking fees and/or no parking, painting, possible less desirable location, and the whole first-last-and-deposit thing.

Any thoughts?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Skinny Clothes

I recently went through two boxes of what I often refer to as my "skinny clothes." These clothes have not seen the light of day since we moved into our apartment about three years ago. I still like most of these clothes, but due to a sudden reduction of storage space in our apartment (we got rid of our bed stilts), I decided it was time to purge some of the boxes usually stored under the bed.

It didn't take long for me to go through the two boxes of once beloved, smaller-sized clothes...corduroy skirts, hoochie tops, logo embellished t-shirts, you name it, I had it.

In the end I kept a few things, including four pairs of skinny jeans. At 5'2", it's worth keeping pants a few sizes too small if they are the right length. (My waist can get smaller, but my legs won't get any longer!) I also kept what I consider the cutest and hippest clothes (although I don't know how they can still be considered hip three-plus years off the assembly line!).

I thought going through my skinny clothes would be depressing, but it felt good to get rid of some of the excess "things' in our place. Also, this purging of clothes was like a walk down memory lane..."I remember when I wore those red, velvet pants out dancing," and "Oh, I think I wore that t-shirt on our road trip to Yellowstone." I knew Baldy (from would go through my Goodwill-bound clothes and snag up a few of the gems and make them her own, further easing any hesitation I had with getting rid of these clothes.

In the end I put all the clothes I was keeping into one small box and found a spot for it on my closet shelf. Instead of feeling sad, I felt almost enthused; looking forward to the day I would be wearing them again. With working out four days a week this summer, I'm hoping that by the time the school bells start ringing in September, I'll be fitting into at least a few of my keepers.
I'll keep you posted on that! :)


Friday, July 24, 2009

Feedback Please! :)

I've got my blog to the point that I'm ready to share it with the world...or at least my friends and family. I figure once school is back in session the posts will be more education/teaching/kids-are-weird-related, but for now I'm writing about whatever is on my mind. Please send any suggestions, compliments, or questions to: You can also follow my adventures on Twitter at:

Thanks so much!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Blog Page!

Check out my newest posting. It's all about my goals and good intentions. You'll find it on my blog page at:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The "A" Word

I recently received an e-mail from a co-worker describing her amazing trip to Corona was her water, and that she was in such a remote area that her cell phone didn't get reception and most people around her didn't speak English.

In the midst of her light-hearted e-mail, while throwing out dates for exploring the best wine to drink with hot, gooey smores, she used the A word...the vile, angst ridden A word...August. She apologized for putting it out there, but nevertheless, she still did it.

Most people outside of field of education don't realize that August is like the Sunday night of the work week. August means the end of relaxation and the beginning of meetings, and forms, and setting up the classroom, and making alphabetized lists of your new students, and making a new birthday calendar, and writing your students' names on little popsicle sticks, and getting back into teaching mode.

Please don't ask a teacher when school starts. We know you mean well, but we don't' want to think about it.

Yet. : )

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sights, Sounds, and Smells of My Childhood

spray paint fumes
the sewing machine
days of our lives
bottle caps with picture puzzles on them
deep fried mushrooms with hot grease still inside
the washing machine
cool whip instead of frosting
a warm washcloth on my face
burgers from the "tiger's den"
a dry towel wrapped around my cold, bathing suit clad body
new underwear at christmas
the painting with the heart carved into the tree
an orange, brown, and green knitted blanket with tassels on the end
fresh cut wood from the hardware store
smelly markers
being barefoot on the grass
hot clothes from the dryer


Monday, July 20, 2009

"It's Never too Late to Adopt a 40 year old!"

When most people think of adoption they think of cute, cuddly, little babies or maybe they might think of adopting an older child maybe a 6 year old, maybe a 12 year old. Unfortunately teenagers are commonly over looked when it comes to being placed with new parents. I'm Baldy and I am sad to say that my biological mom passed away when I was young. But a few years ago I was adopted by my best friend's girlfriend, you may know her as The Pigtailed Teacher. This wonderfully witty school teacher already had a tight knit group of girlfriends, but never failed to make me feel right at home in her presence, but a little over a year things took a turn for the better, she, a super busy social sassy, ask me to participate in a mini-triathlon with her, I was honored that she wanted to train for an event with such an ass backward, athletic slacker, such as myself, so I jumped at the opportunity. Shortly after committing to this event I found out that I was pregnant, and being the physical fitness flake that I am, was looking to bail on this whole triathlon thing, but not wanting to let P.T. down, I waited for her to give me an out, by telling me that it was ok if we didn't do the triathlon. P.T. did not, instead she rousted me onto a proper training schedule, she endured endless hours of my whining and complaining, coached me through open water neurosis, and opted to walk with me when I bitched about being too 'pregnant' to run. We completed the triathlon! dead last, but we finished! All because she never gave up on me, and it didn't stop there, being 4 months pregnant I was just moving into the "Oh Shit" I'm going to be a mom mode, which meant 1/2 of my brain shut down and the other 1/2 simply shifted into denial mode, focusing on nothing more than "what color shall I paint the nursery?" This is when the official adoption took place P.T. bought me maternity clothes, made me register for baby stuffs, trained to be my doula, bought the baby throngs of clothing and toys, sat with me in my house when I was to pregnant to waddle about town, called to check on my condition daily, planned my baby shower, and was there perfectly clad in her pink Mock Doula outfit, ready to hold my hand when the big day
came. That was 7 months ago today, now her and her boyfriend (my friend that brought her into my life) are not only the most fabulous pseudo parents to this semi-crazy 40 year old mom but they have become the best co-parents to Little Muffin that I and my partner could have ever dreamt of. So the moral of my long winded story is, that is never too late for adoption, us old kids need love too! So for all of you out there with extra love to spare, think of the cast of characters you call friends and adopt one today!
If they are over 18, they probably aren't tax deductible though. sorry


A friend of mine recently had a baby and I have been there for the entire ride...from discussions on pregnancy constipation to actually being handed the video camera in the delivery room and told to keep rolling. I've seen the exhausted look in Mommy's eyes and heard the coos from Baby that make it all worth it. I've had spit-up on my knee, and my shirt, and my hand. I've even see photos of Baby's first solid poo (I'm not too upset that I wasn't there to see the real thing. The photo is good enough!)

My friend has started her own blog, to help others realize what goes on in a new mom's life and to share the fun and real adventures of being a first time, older mom. It's called, Baldy the Urban Geriatric Mom and you can find it at

Baldy said I should write about being a co-parent to Little Miss Thing, but I think I'm no where near co-parenting status. I'm more like a super cool support person. I don't have to do nighttime, wake-up several times, feed me now, and change me duty. I won't have to deal with Baby when she starts teething or when she has her first case of strep throat. And when she's crying, she doesn't want me. She wants her mommy (or daddy, if mommy is not around). And I'm okay with that because I still get loves, and kisses, and I play fun games like peek-a-boo and get-the-waving-hand. Babies are pretty cool and I'm glad I get to be there for this one. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Experiement Number 1, Later on Day 4

Well, it happened...sort of. Someone cleaned up the detergent in the elevator, or at least they tried to. I got into the elevator Friday evening and was sad to see a majority of the the powdery substance was gone. I fear though, I may have tainted the experiment earlier in the day. You see, I was getting my mail from the front of the building and overheard one of my neighbors talking to her friends about our elevator. I interjected that it's not a very clean elevator and then we briefly discussed the mysterious white substance (I of course, relaying the past dog-pee situation). I'm afraid that the manager-type person that was sitting in the nearby office with the door open, may have heard our conversation and went to checkout the dirty elevator. No worries though, I'm sure I'll have another experiment around here soon enough...maybe I could document how many days the apartment manager parks in one of the handicapped spaces in our garage? I'm sure the Essex company would love to know one of their managers does that on a daily basis. Hmm...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Experiement Number 1, Day 4

Just checked the elevator. Still detergent on the floor. Since it's Friday, I'm not guessing it won't get cleaned up until next week, that is, if it gets cleaned up.

Here's some background information for you about the origin of this experiment. A couple months ago a dog peed (I hope it was a dog!) in our elevator and two and a half days went by before I saw one of the apartment managers. I casually let her know that it reeked of urine in the elevator. There was another suit-like company person sitting in her itty, bitty office, so the apartment manager acted surprised, said she didn't know anything about it, and promised she'd get the maintenance person right on it. Liar! She knew about it! She lives in the building and parks her car in the garage and rides the elevator up and down to her apartment on the second floor! Lying bitch, you knew about the nasty puddle in the elevator and didn't want to clean it up yourself.

I'm pretty sure the detergent will just be left to grind itself into the stained carpet.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shout out to Staples!

I had to stop by an office supply store yesterday to purchase something for a special project I'm working on at home, and while I was there I got sucked into buying back-to-school supplies. I went to Staples first since last year I joined their "Teacher Reward Program" and I really liked their customer service...and I liked the good deals they gave to teachers! You know how most of those places have a 1 cent special each week to draw people in? Well, usually you can only buy one or two of those items at the discounted price. But at Staples, if you sign-up for their teacher rewards program you can get a class set (25) at that price. For example, yesterday I got 25 packages of pencils for a penny each. That works out to 300 pencils for 25 cents! I was worried that since the economy is in the crapper this year that maybe Staples would cut back on their rewards program, but they didn't. So thanks Staples! Those pencils will definitely come in handy in my classroom. :)

Experiement Number 1, Day 3

No real changes. Losing the "mountain fresh" scent. New, small, unidentifiable stain off to the right.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Experiement Number 1, Day 2

I know a lot of us do unscientific experiments on those around seeing how long will it take So-and-So to call you back, whether sitting on the aisle seat on the bus will keep the window seat unoccupied just a little bit longer, etc. Here's my latest observational experiment: Yesterday someone in my apartment building spilled powdered laundry detergent in the elevator and didn't clean it up. I'm wondering how long it for the management to do something about it. I say at least five days, so Friday at the earliest. If it isn't cleaned up by Friday, then you know it will be there until at least Monday...god forbid the management do anything over the weekend.

I Didn't Have to Do My Best

While lying in my warm and cozy bed, at the god forsaken summer vacation hour of 6:00 am, I had a debate with myself. After two hits of the snooze button, I finally decided that if I went to my dance aerobics class this morning that I wouldn't have to do my best there. I decided that just getting out of bed and fighting the demons of excuses that kept coming to me would be a victory in itself. Who cares if my kicks were a little lower today or that my pony steps lacked a little pizazz? At least I was there. And the great thing is, is that it's only 10:00 now and if I still want to crawl back into bed, I can. In fact, I think it's mandatory that I take an afternoon nap at least twice a week during the summer, don't you?
-PT (Pigtailed Teacher)

P.S. Did I mention the teacher decided that today would be a good day to tryout her "all Irish" cd? Who's ever heard of working out to Irish music?
Oy vay!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Niche?

What should my niche be? Teaching and art? Teaching and stress? Teaching and yummy girly drinks with little umbrellas in them?

Or should I do something with art? Art and my family? My students? Myself? Simple art projects everyone can do?

What kind of project could I take on that would keep people interested and coming back to this blog? One on weight loss? On my potential flossing habit? One blog I saw recently had a woman's list of her new year resolutions and people could view her progress on them so far. (They could also see photos of her hair growing.)

What kind of weekly or daily item could I add to the blog that would draw people in? Perhaps a question of the day, or a photo, or an entry from my cats?

What about a section for free/cheap things, coupons, etc?

Maybe my focus could be on children's books? A weekly review? Curriculum ideas? Maybe a place to buy used children's books?

What do you think?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday Nights

I really love summertime. The candy-filled parades, cheesy, local festivals, and the return of the vitamin D producing sun! I love all of it. But what I really enjoy is the lack of stress I feel on Sunday nights.

During the school year I often get the Sunday-night-back-to-school-blues. That means I'm a little crabbier, I might have to write off doing something fun with friends in order to face the schoolwork I brought home, and if it's a particularly bad case of the blues, I might end up with either an upset stomach and/or mind that won't shut off at bedtime.

But all of that changes during the summer. Mondays are just an extension of the weekend (and a return of one of my guilty pleasures, reruns of The Gilmore Girls.) No upset stomach. No last minute prep. No alarm clock going off at 6 am (unless I want it to, dammit!).

Now I just need to figure out how to make my summer last the other ten months of the year. : )

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bad Habits

Why is it that bad habits are hard to break and good ones hard to start? I wonder if bad habits are naturally tied into some instinct of doing things the easy way, perhaps taking the past of least resistance? For example, I have a habit of cracking my neck. Some would consider this a bad habit. With a simple rotation of my chin to the left, and then the right, my neck often gives off a cracking sound. I usually do it without even thinking about it. Maybe it's because it's so quick and easy that the habit lives on.

Now let's look at a good habit, like flossing. It keeps our teeth strong, helps head off bad breath, and some say it's linked to improving the condition of the heart. But does that mean I jump out of bed every morning and run to the bathroom and grab my little container of Crest Glide (mint flavored, of course) and floss my way to a healthier me? Of course not. Why not? It's simple, easy, and cost effective. But it does take time and effort...and I have to make it a priority when I'm at home. Since it's summertime and I have very few excuses for not flossing (although I can come up with excuses at the drop of a hat!), I am making a half-hearted attempt to floss at least three days a week. That's every other day for heaven's sake; I should be able to do that!

The same goes for exercise. I can make up some lame excuses for not going to the gym, but since I have the time right now, I'm trying to go at least four days a week. So far I've been more successful in reaching this goal than the flossing one. This week I've taken yoga with a deep voiced, gangly hippy, done dance aerobics to 50's doo wop music (I felt like I was "Sweating to the Oldies"with Richard Simmons"), and I went to water aerobics at the nearby community center. (I thought I had read the schedule wrong and maybe walked in on a senior citizen aerobics class, there were so many gray-hairs there!) Since I started working out two weeks ago I have had less neck pain and headaches, so maybe this exercising is worth following through on this time. :) I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Let Me Introduce Myself

I am a recovering, stressed-out third grade teacher in Seattle, Washington. I say recovering, not because I have quit teaching, but because I am on summer vacation right now. I'm slowing beginning to forget about the million little things that make teaching a less rewarding job than I thought it would be...the nasty parent notes, the endless forms from the principal, the time consuming assessments we are required to give, the tense staff meetings, the endless correcting of assignments, etc.

I have been teaching for about eight years now; seven years as a classroom teacher and about a year as a substitute. I have worked mainly in public schools, but I did have the opportunity to work in a small private school for a few months. Most of my time has been spent with second and third grade students, but I have experience with preschool through high school aged kids. In addition to being a classroom teacher, I have also taught art and enrichment (a catchall term that meant I had to run around and be a flexible, art, drama, movement, creative writing, recess duty, reading specialist, please cover my class at the last minute, sort of position).

So why am I starting this blog? Here are the basic reasons:

1. To share with others the highs and lows of teaching.

2. To have fun and try something new.

3. To practice my writing skills. (Because one day, when I grow up, I want to write children's books!)

I hope you check my blog often. I plan on posting almost daily, to share with you fun stories, random insights, and other interesting bits of information.


Pigtailed Teacher