Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Year in Review

Even though I've been a bad blogger, I'm trying to at least keep my year in review going.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
Placed 7th at a National Scrabble tournament and won $300

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I won’t kid myself.  I’ll continue to set a book reading goal on Goodreads – that’s about as much as I can do. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope – we’re all getting old.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.  

5. What countries did you visit?
Once again, I’m a homebody who never gets away.  I *might* try to go on a cruise sometime so maybe I’ll get out of the country someday.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2015?
More time.  There’s never enough hours in the day it seems.  I’d also really like a maid.  I really need someone to clean up my messes because I procrastinate too much.

7. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
No specific dates really – other than last week’s Snowpocalypse that happened while visiting family in Amarillo.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Receiving the Inspire Award from the SAISD foundation and placing 7th at Scrabble Nationals.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Nothing major – still haven’t cleaned out the garage. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing major – same old colds and stuff. 

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably my new iPhone – not that it’s fantastic or anything, but it is faster and works better than my previous phone.  I also gave my old phone to my dad which was a major upgrade for him so it was a win all around. 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My students did well at the state Scrabble tournament that I took them to. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Nobody in particular.  Matt’s mother is still being mostly silent. 

14. Where did most of your money go?
Paying bills and groceries. 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Making it to the top eight at Nationals.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?


17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? About the same as last year – generally happy.
- richer or poorer? Slightly richer now that Josh is paying me for his car and insurance.
- thinner or fatter? Slightly fatter – really need to do something about that.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Keeping the house clean. 

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying – about my job, the new principal, bills, etc.

20. How did you spend the holidays?
New Years (2015) – at home with Matt who grilled steaks.
Valentine’s Day – with Matt – got him tickets to a concert and we went to dinner beforehand. 
Easter – with Matt - can't even remember what church we went to this year.
4th of July – with Matt – cooked out on the grill and then just hung out at home.
Thanksgiving – With Matt and my cousins – cooked a big dinner here and then watched Harry Potter.
Christmas – went to New Mexico to visit my aunt and uncle and then headed to Amarillo to see my dad and brother.  Got snowed in while there. 

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?
Still in love with Matt.

22. How many one-night stands?
Do I have to answer this question every year?  I'm a married woman!

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Big Bang Theory is still a favorite.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nope - still like everyone I know.

25. What was the best book you read?
I actually exceeded my Goodreads goal but I did cut it in half this year.  Some notable books were The Martian, X by Sue Grafton, Dead Wake (about the sinking of the Lusitania), and As You Wish (about the making of the movie The Princess Bride).

26. What was your favorite film of this year?
Spotlight was probably one of my favorites this year.  Surprisingly, I liked Mockingjay part 2 even though I didn’t care much for the book.   Star Wars and The Martian were also great.

27. Whom did you miss?
Friends and family back in Amarillo/New Mexico.  I haven’t seen my sister in a few years now. 

27. Who was the best new person you met?
My new principal.  I really like her. 

29. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
To be successful in Scrabble, you really have to learn more words.  

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

It's about damn time you posted something....

I don't know if I should give up blogging or keep at it.  I still like reading other people's blogs.  I just have a hard time keeping up with my own.  I do wish I blogged more because it helps me remember things from year to year when I forget things like what Matt got me for my birthday and such.  So since I last blogged, Josh and I had a birthday.  Mine was fairly uneventful.  Matt got me a Kohl's gift card and my aunt sent me some cash.  Josh gave me an Amazon gift card.  Matt also took me out to dinner at a really nice steakhouse the weekend after my birthday.  Food was good, but fairly expensive - even with a $40 coupon.

Work has been busy as always.  Scrabble club is still going strong.  My new principal is great.  I got to be her secret Santa the week before school was out.  When I revealed that I was her secret Santa, she got very excited and gave me a hug.  She said she enjoyed all the gifts and especially the notes I put with them.  My secret Santa gave me a 3D puzzle and Marvin the Martian cup with a lid along with other goodies during the week.

I've done all my shopping - a good portion of it online and have all the presents wrapped.  We are heading to New Mexico tomorrow evening.  We'll stop for the night along the way and then get into the mountains where my aunt lives sometime the afternoon of Christmas eve.  We'll spend Christmas day there and the day after - hopefully.  We are planning to come back through Amarillo in order to stop and see my dad and brother, but they are expecting to get 8-12 inches of snow on Sunday when were planning on heading that way.  We may have to leave early or go late... not sure which at this point. Josh is going with us as he has a week off from work.

We haven't seen the new Star Wars movie yet.  We may see it in ABQ or Amarillo if we get the chance.  We were going to go on Monday but I had shopping to do in the morning and then Matt and ran errands the rest of the day.  I headed out for final shopping this morning and got back around 1:00.  I've been working on cleaning the house some but what's a better way to procrastinate than to blog!

I'll certainly be posting my annual year in review either on the 31st or the 1st.  So now you can get TWO posts in the same month!  Well, I guess I should get busy on the kitchen again.  There's so much STUFF.  I also need to start packing soon.  I've got a load in the washer and when that's done, I'll get the suitcase out and get started.  Hope you're all having a nice holiday.  If I don't blog again by Friday, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, October 26, 2015

I know, I know

Yes, I've been a very bad blogger lately.  Things have been crazy busy for a while.  Let's see - I got the Inspire award and it was a very nice evening.  I shook hands with John Quinones and Matt took a blurry picture of he and I together.  (Note to self: Do not let Matt take pictures with my phone any more.)  School has been busy with just about everything.  My Scrabble club is now HUGE.  I have over 50 students that I'm recording scores on.  One lunch alone has 28 students in it.  Another lunch has about 18 and the last lunch has only 4.  Still - it stays active and the kids are having fun I think.  My Scrabble class is also keeping me busy as I'm constantly working on the curriculum that I'm creating as I go.

I played in a Scrabble tournament this weekend and did fairly well placing 4th overall.  I won my entry fee of $50 back.  It was up and down for a while, but I had some good wins and some lousy losses.  We always host people from out of town for tournaments so I had to work on cleaning the house a few days before.

Josh is coming home this weekend.  He's going to speak at our career day at school on Friday.  On Saturday, he and I are going to go see the Rocky Horror Picture show.  Matt is going to the Stevie Wonder concert by himself.  I feel kind of bad that I'm not going with Matt, but he says that he is ok with going by himself.  I've been in the stage version of Rocky Horror and watched the movie on tv with a group of friends, but haven't had the full theater experience.  I think it will be fun.

On Friday night, Matt and I are going to the Spurs opening home game.  It's going to the a busy weekend.

Matt is planning on hosting a Scrabble tournament in San Antonio in December.  I'm going to try to bring my students to it.  I don't know if I'll be able to play in it though.  I will need another sponsor to help watch the students while I play.  I should start playing in more Scrabble tournaments.  I don't know if I'll steadily move up the ladder, but I need to force myself to study more in order to do so.  I really need to learn my four letter words.

Well, I'm going to go have some leftover pizza for dinner and probably call it an early night.  I'm still tired from all the thinking I did this weekend.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Being Recognized

So last week I received a surprise visit during school.  The assistant principal came into the library and told me that something was going on and that I needed to stand up.  In walked the director of the SAISD foundation that has funded my Scrabble club and other projects the past few years.  She told me that I was going to be recognized as an honoree at their annual Inspire Awards banquet as an Innovative educator.  Only two teachers in the district were being recognized - myself and an elementary teacher.  It's kind of a big deal.  The dinner is a major fundraising event for the foundation and there will be some celebrities like John Quinones there.  Matt will be going with me.  I went shopping this weekend for a dress to wear.  The ceremony is next week on Wednesday.  I was told that I'll be able to say a few words so now I have to figure out what I want to say.



School has been busy as always.  Last week I had a nasty cold that made work more difficult.  I'm finally getting better but not at 100% yet.  Hope to be there by Friday.  I'm presenting at a workshop on Friday.  I haven't even gotten a real start on the presentation.  I have a general idea of what I'm doing, but need to start actively working on it.  I've spent the last few weeks working on my book order.  The district facilitator is coming tomorrow and she is going to approve my final list.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Starting another year

So school has been in session (with students) a little over a week.  I spent most of last week getting textbooks out to teachers.  I'm hoping to open the library for book checkouts later this week.  I'm (im)patiently waiting for a bunch of equipment to be picked up before students can freely roam.  So last year I was a bit worried about getting a new principal.  So far I really like her.  I was worried about her need for tidiness, but so far it hasn't been an issue since she knows I'm trying to get the library opened and have had to deal with a bunch of stuff.  I like the fact that she gets stuff done, she is visible, and is tough but fair.  I think I've impressed her with my technological skills so far.

Tomorrow I should be finished with all the textbook deliveries.  Next I have to pack up a bunch of books to get rid of.  Then I have to update out fixed assets.  I'm also in the middle of working on my book order which has to be turned in two weeks from now.  I'm pretty close to spending all the money I have - it's harder than it seems - especially when you have to be careful about the titles you choose.  We can't purchase anything that has to do with drugs, sex, gangs, bullying, or violence.

So there's big news in Josh's world.  He is finally a fully employed adult.  He graduated in May with his Master's in music composition.  He has been working as an intern at the local classical music station in Houston.  An opening came up at the station and he was offered the job after interviewing for it.  He will have health insurance and an pretty good salary.  I'll be able to take him off my insurance and he will start paying me back for his car payment and car insurance.  He is airing his first two hour show on Friday. You can listen to it online if you're interested.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Back to Work

I reported back for my first day yesterday.  The past two days have been productive but exhausting.  I couldn't keep my eyes open after getting home from dinner tonight.  Our new principal is a bit of a clean freak so it's going to be an interesting year.  I wish I could say that my library is always neat and organized, but I tend to operate in what I call organized chaos most of the time.  My desk is rarely tidy, but I can tell you where that paper is that I'm looking for - it's in that pile over there.  The verdict is out on the principal so far.  I'm just hoping she doesn't micro-manage.  If she lets me do my job, I'll be ok.

Tomorrow starts three days of meetings with other librarians which will hopefully be refreshing.  It's nice to be able to work with colleagues that are also friends.  We tend to commiserate with each other.  The only thing is that I won't be able to go to lunch with my "group" tomorrow as I'll have a working lunch with our library organization officers.

Matt works late on Tuesdays and doesn't get home until about 10.  I might be asleep by the time he gets home.  It's going to take a few days for me to get used to working and not being totally exhausted at the end of the day.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Back to School

To answer DKZody's question, school starts for students on August 24.  I report back for work on Monday.  I get two days on my own in the library before all the teachers return.  On those days I'll have to get equipment set up in about a dozen rooms in preparation for district inservice that is happening on our campus starting Wednesday.  I also have to get the library clean, pull textbooks out of a million boxes, and update the fixed assets information since the new principal wants every room in the school to be known as a number (instead of "office") or ("band hall").  

Yesterday Matt and I braved crowds to go clothes shopping.  Matt really needed new pants and it is the tax free weekend.  Kohl's wasn't too crowded and Matt found 4 pairs of pants.  I found a pair of pants and a blouse.  After that we headed to the outlet stores in San Marcos.  That's where it was rather crazy.  It took us 15 minutes to find parking.  Matt was finally able to find new shoes at the Nike Store.  I found two pairs at the Sketcher's outlet.  After that we headed home.  It was really hot - over 100 degrees.  This is the hottest part of the year for us.  This is when I moved down here 4 years ago and it was about 106 degrees then.  Our summer has been relatively mild until now.  Hopefully it will start cooling off in another few weeks.  

Today I slept in since I was up fairly late last night.  I'm going to have to start training myself to get to bed earlier.  Being in Reno last week and on Pacific time has thrown my clock off a bit.  I went to get my hair cut at 12:30.  She cut it quite a bit shorter than last time, but I'm ok with it since my hair grows really fast.  I went to lunch at a place called Fire Bowl Cafe and then went to Michael's.  They had all their Scrabble paraphernalia on sale for half price so I picked up lots of pencils, pens, notebooks, and such to use as incentives for my students in my Scrabble class.  

Now Matt and I are trying to decide what to do for supper.  We seem to be very indecisive tonight.  I haven't gone to the store to get groceries yet so there's not much to cook.  

Friday, August 07, 2015

I guess I'm a Scrabble player

So Matt and I left for Nationals a week ago.  Somehow I got on a roll and played very well in my division - at least up to the new format of an elimination round.  Day 1 I went 6-1.  Day two I think I only lost two games.  By the end of day 3, I had a record of 15-5, I think, and I was in second place going into the elimination bracket of the top 8 competitors.  Unfortunately, I lost the first bracket to the young man who ultimately won in my division.  (I did beat him twice, however.  Once in the preliminary rounds and once in the elimination round when we played best out of 4 games.)  After that I was vying for 5th-8th place.  I had a record of 3 wins and 3 losses and ended up in 7th place because of the spread.  (Number of cumulative points after 6 games.)  I won $300 and hope to get the check in another week or so.

Matt didn't do very well.  He had a lot of bad luck in drawing tiles.  He was happy for me though.  We did have a nice time visiting with fellow Scrabble friends and going out to dinner.  The best dinner was at a nice Italian restaurant.  It was so much food and I was frustrated I couldn't box it up to take back to the hotel.  Our room didn't come with a refrigerator.  I found that during the week, I couldn't eat a whole lot.  We did try the Mexican restaurant at the hotel but it was fairly bland.  It seems that places outside of Texas really don't know how to do Mexican food very well.

We went to the movies while there and saw Mr. Holmes.  Matt needed a night to decompress and not think about Scrabble.

Our last day was very long.  I had to play 3 rounds in the morning and then I had about 3 hour break.  I went to the awards room where they were live streaming the final rounds in the first division.  It was interesting to watch two master players at work.  I discovered that they each took quite a bit of time before making their plays.  I'm always worried about my time so I often try to play fast when I can.  I had to wait for awards of course so once I received my recognition and they finished announcing for my division, Matt and I rushed out to catch the shuttle to the airport.  It was just before 3:30 and the shuttle was supposed to leave at that time.  Luckily the shuttle was delayed so we did make it.  Our flight was at 5:30.  We had a layover in Las Vegas that was supposed to only be about 2 hours but turned into about 3 1/2.  We were supposed to get in at 1:15 a.m. but didn't make it until a little after 3:00.  Once we got luggage, took a shuttle to the car, and got home, it was almost 4 a.m.  We slept in until almost noon the next day.

Today we went clothes shopping since it is the start of the tax-free weekend.  Matt really needed new pants and shoes.  He found four pairs at Kohl's while I got one pair and a blouse.  Next we headed to the outlet stores in San Marcos.  There it was really crazy - took us 15 minutes to get a parking spot.  Matt was able to find some shoes at the Nike store.  I found two pairs of shoes for myself at the Sketcher's store.  We headed home around 3:00 and then went to an early dinner around 5:30.  Tomorrow I've got to see if I can get my hair cut again and then head to Michael's for more Scrabble stuff.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Paying the Price

I paid the price for the fun I had yesterday.  You'd think that sitting in a tube riding down a river for five hours wouldn't be that exhausting or physically demanding.  Well, you don't just ride, you have to paddle with your arms from time to time to steer around rocks and to catch up to others.  I'm a magnet for big rocks in the river.  I hit one pretty hard with my butt while going over some small rapids.  On the plus side, I didn't get sun burned.  I put on plenty of sunscreen before we started and had a small tube that I took with me in a waterproof case and I reapplied it throughout the trip.  We went to dinner when we finished and I was so hungry I ate every single bit on my plate and it was a rather large piece of chicken fried chicken with fries and corn.  Matt and I stopped at a store on the way home to pick up some tylenol since we were so sore.  This morning I was feeling stiff and puffy.  My eyes did not appreciate wearing contacts yesterday.  I laid around until I was hungry around noon.  I ran to Sonic for a burger.  I felt a little more alive after eating so I've been working on word lists this afternoon.  I need to go to the store but I may wait until tomorrow.  I think today is just going to be a lazy day with some naps involved.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Going tubing tomorrow

A Scrabble friend of ours invited us to go tubing with her tomorrow at the Frio river.  Matt has a doctor's appointment in the morning, but we will head over there in the afternoon.  I have to see if I can still fit into my swimsuit and find my water shoes.  I went tubing for the first time two summers ago in the Comal river in New Braunfels.  It was fun, but I got sunburned pretty bad.  I put sunscreen on, but I should have taken some with me so I could keep applying it.

My cousin Rob took Matt out for a boy's movie this afternoon with Rob's son.  His wife and two daughters stayed here and we watched the second Harry Potter movie.  I'm glad I have family in town, but sometimes doing things with company can be exhausting.  I guess it's because I'm so much of an introvert.  I need my alone/down time.

I've been actively working on my online Scrabble study cards.  I've found several that have already been created by others, but need some editing because the list is slightly different (probably a Collins or British) word list than the NASPA (North American Scrabble Players Assoc.) word list.  I'm hoping that by going through all the words that some of them will sink in.  I worked on my three to four hooks (letters you add to a three letter word to make a four letter word such as ban + d = band) the other night and I was surprised at how many I knew.  There are some unusual words I've learned from that list like "waah", "kbar", and "udon".

I'm going to head back up to the Panhandle on Saturday.  It will be a quick trip to take care of some bank stuff in person and to see a few friends.  Of course I'll have to have my beloved Taco Villa and a donut stop donut.