Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Thursday, December 10, 2015
One of the redeeming qualities of the job of school bus driver is that I'm up so early, I get to watch the sunrise from the very beginning. This morning it was a particularly breathtaking show. I wish a camera could truly capture just how wonderful it is. I was also playing George Winston's December album (an oldie now, but a perennial favorite for me) on the speaker, which really made it a peaceful and fulfilling morning.
Makes up for days when it seems like I can't do anything right, and when it's my fault, regardless of whether it really IS my fault. Those kinds of days suck.
Today NEEDS to be better.
Friday, September 11, 2015
Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Honestly, doing piano lessons is like therapy for me. Not only do I get to be encouraging, I get to pass along helpful knowledge like how to count dotted quarter notes.
I don't feel quite as heavily despondent as I did earlier. I'm hoping that means I'll actually get SLEEP tonight, as opposed to last night.
Rick had been scheduled to work until eight o'clock tonight, which is about four hours of overtime, because the casino has been having their World Poker Tour tournament stuff, and they need the accountants there to process the big jackpots that come through. Tonight, though, we were all glad to see that he'd gotten to leave at five-thirty... and he brought home absolutely awesome news. Employees have little "awards" that they're able to dole out to one another when they see someone doing something "above and beyond" the call of duty. Rick had about twenty of these saved up, and every so often the employees are able to put all these "merits" into a drawing for something they might want (concert tickets, restaurant dinners, etc). This month, Rick put all twenty of his merits into the pool to get tickets to see Larry the Cable Guy. AND HE ACTUALLY WON TWO TICKETS! A week from this Friday night, he and I are going to get to go see Larry the Cable Guy. We absolutely NEVER go anywhere and do anything together, so this is going to be a huge treat. I'm actually kind-of giddy about the prospect.
And now? I need SLEEP.
How much more heartbreak do I have to endure today? One of my best art and choir students suddenly dropped both of my classes saying she was too busy. Now I get to spend my afternoon bus route fighting tears just like I spent the morning bus route. Why I left myself get upset by this stuff is beyond my ken at the moment.
To the left is a card I had made for a friend who had given me an exquisitely lovely gift; I wanted to thank her and tell her how much she means to me.
Before I could even get it in the mail, however, she suddenly ended our friendship.
When someone assumes ill intent on my part, it hurts... especially when I've tried always to be kind. As snarky as I can be, down deep I really do have an inner Pollyanna who believes that there's always always ALWAYS something to be glad about. I suppose that level of sincerity on my part is easily misconstrued by some as fakery or flattery... but it isn't. I really AM that way. I really do love people, even when they're unkind or harsh back to me. In fact, I often feel that abrasiveness in a person is a "challenge" on my part to find out why and to love them in a way that they will genuinely receive that love in the spirit I intended.
I won't ever stop loving my friend, regardless... but the hurt is also instructive, and forces me to back away and give myself time to recover. I may still send the card. I may not. Or I may wait and do it another time. I don't know. Grief over a lost friendship seems so very, very minuscule and insignificant in the face of the trials and struggles of others... which makes me ashamed of myself for grieving... so my usual instant response is to retreat into silence.
Hence my retreat from most social media, at least for a while until I feel more able to cope. I may go back to it tonight. Or tomorrow. Or it may be a long time. People who know me well also know what my telephone number and e-mail address are, so I'm not unreachable. And in the meantime I will continue to drive the school bus, teach art and music, and I'll blog here as my outlet.
In the past, I've been told that my Facebook posts are evidence of my need for affirmation. I'm going to spend this time considering that, and doing some self-evaluation. I don't want to seek admiration and back-pats simply for the sake of boosting my ego, but if that's how I come across, then I need to change something somewhere. I don't ever want to seem that way, and if that's truly what it appears to be, I am sorry.
Psalm 62:5 reads, "Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him." It's time for me to be quiet for a while and be certain that my validation comes ONLY from Him.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
A few days ago, Aundrea moved of her own volition up to the corner of the porch, which is the perfect spot for her. She's out of the way, but I still get to see her. And this morning I saw that she was entertaining a handsome (albeit diminutive) visitor! The male Argiope aurantia is much smaller than the female, as you can clearly see. Looks like maybe we'll get an egg sac this fall!
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Tuesday, August 04, 2015
At the moment, she's enjoying a delicious feast for her dinner:
When she finishes off her meal, I'm going to have to move the box of cow bones because it's kind-of in the way... which means I've got to rig up something else for her to anchor her web to. I'm hoping to keep her on the porch where I can observe her.
Friday, July 31, 2015
But the big box had apparently been sitting out in her barn, because it also houses a lovely Argiope aurantia:
[editor's note on the next day: I caught a couple of small grasshoppers and dropped them into her web; she seemed rather pleased. I shall continue to contribute to her food stores, since I'd really like to encourage more of her offspring to take up residence here next season]
Thursday, July 23, 2015
TEXAS CHICKEN & RICE
1/3 cup Ranch Dressing powder
3 cups milk, half-and-half or heavy cream (I prefer the heavy cream, myself)
4-5 cups cooked white rice
3 cups diced cooked chicken
2 cups salsa
3 cups shredded cheese
1 T adobo seasoning
Whisk the milk and the Ranch powder together, then stir in the cooked rice. Pour this mixture into a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle 1 cup of the shredded cheese over it, then distribute the diced chicken over the cheese. Sprinkle the adobo seasoning over the chicken. Spread the salsa over this, then distribute the rest of the shredded cheese over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
This was very spicy and delicious. I have the distinct feeling the leftovers will keep being eaten until they're gone instead of getting tossed next week when the trash goes out.
If you're low-carbing, you could use riced cauliflower in place of the rice.