Monday, September 26, 2016

Oh, America, and Other Random Stuff

I'm linking up with Stacy.

Oh, Lawdy!  After watching (part of) the debate, I am convinced that America, we have a problem.  Listening to Hillary and Donald, I feel that we're doomed, regardless of who wins.  I really avoid political conversations on the blog, but really?  This is who we have to choose from?  I realize they both have their good sides and they both have things of which they should be ashamed, but I just can't believe we don't have a better choice.  And did anyone else think that they had earpieces in so they could get advice on what to say as they were saying, or perhaps, teleprompters?

Moving on...
The state of division in our country is unacceptable.  I believe there is a much greater divide between the races than there has been since the 1960's and there's so much spite and disdain for police, educators, and community leaders.  What can we do to repair these relationships?  I don't have the answers!  But here I go getting "political" again.  I'll stop.  Promise.

My daughter finally convinced me to download Snap-chat.  Big mistake!  What a time-waster!  But what fun!  We have laughed and laughed at ourselves looking like aliens, bees, and frowny faces. I've got only 3 "friends" or whatever they're called on Snap-chat.

I had a scare with my son.  He's been sick since last week.  First it was pink eye.  The "Doctor" at the Quack Shack on campus failed to give him antiobiotic drops for his eye.  (How does THAT happen?)  He developed other symptoms.  He went to a different doctor off campus.  They ran strep and flu tests, which were negative, gave him a shot, some antiobiotics, and some antiobiotic drops for his eye. He continued to get worse.  His fever spiked, and he had a stiff neck.  Now THAT's scary!  I made him go back to the Quack Shack, but all they did was run the flu test again and give him Sudafed and Ibuprofin.  He had the meningitis vaccine three years ago; it's the law, but now they say there is another strain that can be just as deadly, and I know he only got one type.  The fever and stiff neck just scare me!

So, what do you think of the fall shows that have started?  I'm continuing to watch the Big Bang Theory, even though it's becoming unfunny.  And I'm still enjoying Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and Once Upon a Time.  I watched the pilot of Designated Survivor, but I'm not sure about it yet.  Any recommendations?

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Synopsis

The ClosingThe Closing by Ken Oder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre:  Adult fiction, legal thriller, suspense, mystery

The Closing is a legal suspense novel. The main character is Nate Abbit, a commonwealth attorney in rural Virginia. Abbit is on a downward spiral. He has ruined his career, his personal life, and his marriage. He almost dies in a car accident. With help from a Judge who also has his secrets, Abbit begins to redeem himself in his legal career. He's changed sides from prosecutor to criminal defense attorney. He is asked to work on the appeal of an inmate whose attorney has died. In the process, he uncovers a chain of lies, deceit, false evidence, obstruction of justice, and other corruption in the small county where his new client's trial was held. As it turns out, the deceased lawyer did not attempt to put on a defense for his client which leaves Abbit to wonder if the man is guilty or innocent, as he claims. Thus begins Nate Abbit's journey, one which very well could lead to his own incarceration for a murder he didn't commit.

This is the only book I have read by Ken Oder. His writing style is very straight forward. The book is easy to read, and the author keeps the reader hooked. Just when you think you've figured out the truth, a new twist is thrown in keeping you guessing at what may happen... until the end where it becomes somewhat predictable. Abbit's motivations also seem clear up until the reader reaches the near end of the book, then some of his actions seem incongruent or illogical based on the character's intelligence and experience. But it was a good book, and I would recommend it. I really liked it.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Thursday Thirteen

With three kids in college, it got me thinking about things I know now that I didn’t know then but wish I had learned then. (Thursday Thirteen)

1. How to be successful in an interview. Many colleges offer “mock” interviews now, but 30 years ago, they didn’t, at least not in the education department. Perhaps they did in the business department, though.

2. How to begin saving for retirement. It would have been so much better to learn it then than to wait until I was married with kids to figure things out.

3. Lessons about interest charges… credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, and so on. Again, maybe they did this in the business department, but I think it should be required to graduate.

4. How insurance works.

5. What a healthy relationship looks like.

6. How to solve a Rubik’s cube! Hahaha!

7. How to deal with difficult people. You shouldn’t have to wait until you’re on the job to learn some techniques to deal with the inevitable “unable-to-be-pleased” co-worker.

8. And along those same lines, conflict resolution.

9. What jury duty is REALLY like and why it's important.

10. Self-defense – at least for females. I know that a lot of colleges offer these courses for women now.

11. The real-life consequences of not meeting deadlines. It’s not just a grade anymore.

12. How to set up a household.

13. How to find true happiness in your life!

Have a great weekend!

Several images courtesy of free images

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


That Moment...
When you just know!

Linking up with Image-in-ing, W W on TWW Create with Joy and WW.
Follow the links for more amazing photos!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sunday Synopsis

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre:  Young adult fiction, dystopian, science fiction,

(Some Spoilers, but still worth reading,)

America Singer lives in a dystopian world where all people are classified by castes, with 1's having the most desirable vocations. She is a 5 (on a scale of 1-8). The boy she is secretly in love with is a 6, and girls are not supposed to marry someone in a lower caste. When her name is chosen for the Selection, she only agrees to participate because the boy she loves wants her to go. Her mother wants her to go as well, so America allows her mother to "bribe" her into participating although America had already told her love, Aspen, that she would go. America truly wants no part of the Selection.

The Selection is a competition, so to speak, in which 35 girls are chosen, one from each province in the country, to live at the palace and "date" Prince Maxon. This is how he will choose his wife and  future queen.

At first, America only wants to stay in the Selection because her family is getting benefits they would not get if she were sent home. She is only one of three 5's who was selected, but America easily develops a bond with Maxon. They are only friends, and he agrees to allow her to stay so that her family won't have to struggle so much. She will also have some time away from home to get over her lost love.

She is his confidante; however, Maxon begins to develop deeper feelings for her. Can she forget Aspen, who broke up with her the day before she left for the Selection, and can she also be developing feelings for Maxon? Can she give up the luxurious lifestyle and exquisite food and return home to a normal life? And what happens when Aspen is drafted for service and becomes a guard at the palace pledging that he still loves her?

I see this as a cross between The Hunger Games and The Bachelor. The similarity to the Hunger Games lies in the type of society that exists in the book, castes, a central government that controls all aspects of life, and a contest. Those chosen for the selection are similar to the tributes who go to the Hunger Games. It is similar to The Bachelor because the Prince must get to know the Selected and choose his bride from this contest.

The book is interesting and contains vivid descriptions. It has a futuristic appeal as well as some suspense, war threats, romance, and a smidgen of comedy. While not as sophisticated as my usual taste in books, teenagers, especially girls, are the target audience, and I know many of my students will enjoy it.

I must end with a negative. I finished the first book today, and I feel cheated because there is no resolution to the conflict. Instead of creating three books, the author could easily have created one long book rather than leave the reader with a major cliffhanger. If this was a ploy to make more money, it worked. I'm on to the second book. I need closure!

View all my reviews

I love this!

Monday, September 12, 2016


I'm linking up with Stacy.

So... Open House happened.  I hate Open House.  I started my day off with an early meeting, taught classes all day, attended another meeting during my conference period, Had about an hour and a half to freshen up and get snacks before parents started coming.  I had a 13 hour day in a dress and heels.  Can you say, "Exhausted?"

Another reason I hate Open House is that, since I teach sixth graders, we've already met many of the parents at our "Cardinal Camp" the week before school started, so I really don't have much more to say to them yet.  We've just been in school three weeks!

Further, the parents go to see all 6 or 7 of their child's teachers, and we all tell them basically the same things, which are district policy:  supplies, grading, online grades, email, late work policy, makeup work policy, tardy policy, and so on.

And I hate Open House because the parents that you really need to meet and talk to don't attend! Sorry for ranting!  I'm not the only one who dislikes school events such as this!

In other news... I ordered some great classroom supplies from Oriental Trading.  I got 100 pencils for $14.99.  That's about 15 cents per pencil.  And free shipping!  I think I may look into their party and wedding supplies.

I heard Rick Perry's dancing debut went less than well!  No surprise to me!
I'd like to see Laurie Hernandez, but she's about the only one.  I just can't watch DWTS!

And since this is my blog, and I can post what I want, let me just say, "I love this kid!"

Have a good week!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 11

Fifteen years ago today, I was on the way to school, and the silence was deafening. Planes usually flew over our area at very regular intervals since we were 10 minutes from the airport, but absolutely nothing was in the sky.

It wasn't until later that I found out why. I was working in my classroom preparing for the school day when the teacher next door came to get me to show me what was happening on TV. I didn't understand it. Was it a movie stunt? A joke? What? It took a while for it to really sink in what had happened... terrorists changed the face of America in a matter of minutes.

 I will NEVER forget 9/11.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

It's Just My Opinion

The Constant Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #6)The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Philippa Gregory does it again! I adored this book! The characters just come to life, and the one you don't like from a previous book is the one you root for in whichever book you are currently reading. Gregory has a way of doing that. She uses rich, historical details, not just events, but culture, allowing the reader to vividly picture the scenes and actions in the book. The only thing I did not like about this book is that it ended with her in court without the result, likely because it's an event in a different book, but I literally gasped at the end of this amazing novel.

View all my reviews

Monday, September 05, 2016


I'm linking up with Stacy.

Have you seen any of the notes the Target employee made during his first week of working as a cashier?  If not, here is the whole post.  It's worth the time! And here's my favorite note:

-A three year old came through, pushed by his personal chauffeur. He bought one small Spider-Man onesie. He carried out the entire transaction on his own. He was the most polite customer I have had so far.

And this:

-Met a woman referred to only as The Cat Lady. She asked if I wanted her to buy me a keychain from Ross. I told her I had no keys. She nodded solemnly and walked away, whispering their exact location inside Ross, just in case. 

I bet this guy would make a great friend!

So, Monday, Labor Day... Lots of stuff to do to get ready for the work week, new software programs we're using, new curriculum, really needed to devote some uninerupted time working.  So why is this the day that everyone decides to call me?  I rarely get actual phone calls.  Maybe once or twice a week.  So why did six different people think they needed to talk to me on this busy day?  Two of these people called multiple times for multiple reasons.  One of them called asking for help doing the work I was unable to do because too many people called me.  And five of these people called me within twenty minutes of each other.

I'm not a big phone talker.  I'd rather text.  This was just odd.

Have a great week!


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