Monday, August 27, 2018

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy.  Join us!

These last few days, Houstonians have been looking back at Hurricane Harvey and the damage it caused.  Many people still haven't fully completed repairs.  It's estimated that 40% of those impacted are still trying to rebuild. We were lucky. We didn't sustain any extreme damage or flooding, but those not too far from us were not so lucky.  In total, estimates put the cost at $125 billion.

Harvey wielded its power from August 25-29, 2017.  In some areas, it dropped as much as 51 inches of rain.  Freeways, highways, and inter-states were completely underwater.  The death toll was 75. A long-time high school coach who worked for one of the schools in my district lost his life while trying to save others.

Humans weren't the only ones who suffered.  Many animals were displaced or left to fend for themselves.  Dogs, cats, cattle, horses, and so on, likely hundreds of thousands.  Here is a picture of a "famous" dog whose picture circulated until his owner and he were reunited.  In the picture, he is carrying around a bag of dog food.

There were many heroes during this time period, and local celebrities who stepped up to the challenge.  Jim McIngvale, AKA"Mattress Mack," owner of Gallery Furniture, had his own down-on-his-luck story prior to moving to Houston, so even though his own home took in three feet of water, he opened his stores to serve as shelters for people displaced by the storm.  He also sent some of his larger trucks to rescue people when it was safe to do so.

Hurricane Harvey will always be part of Houston's collective memory.  I will leave you with this:

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” — Maya Angelou

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

Never Buried (Leigh Koslow Mystery #1)Never Buried by Edie Claire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This little mystery has some twists and turns, though it's not 100% believable. The main character is Leigh. She is moving into her cousin's Victorian house when she discovers a corpse. The history to this story dates back to 1949 to three unexpected deaths. Someone knows the truth, and they want Leigh out of Cara's house. With the help of their college friend Maura, a police officer, will the girls be able to solve the mystery and stay in the house?

For a free book, this wasn't bad. The author writes like an young adult author, but the storyline was not adolescent. The beginning was very confusing, but it all became clear in the end.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

I Wish I'd Known Then

Having put three kids through college and one still in college, it got me thinking about things I know now that I 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

Monday, August 20, 2018

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy.

School has begun!  I'm already exhausted!  I volunteered (was volunTOLD?) to teach an extra class instead of taking a conference period.  Normally that is illegal in Texas; however, my district is paying me for it - pretty good money, too - and I signed a waiver to that effect.  I'm going to be super busy since all of my planning and preparation will be done before or after school, but I can handle (almost) anything for one year.  Today is only the second day, but I think I'm going to like my students!

My son is moving back to college today.  He is close enough that he can come home on weekends.  My daughter graduated in December, and her job allows her to work from home, so she will be here until she has saved enough to feel comfortable moving out.  I like having them both here.  My daughter, on the other hand, can't wait to move out!

 Basketball season starts in 57 days!  I'm excited about that.  I have enjoyed baseball season this year, too.  We used to go to games a lot, but we stopped when they had that huge steroid scandal.  Guess we're over it now!

And since it's a school night, and I should be doing work, I'll get to some school-themed funnies.
And my personal favorite:
That's all for this week!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1)The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was pleasantly surprised at how good this book was, especially since I'd never heard of it until this summer. While it may be classified for tweens and teens, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and I felt the author was consistent and engaging enough for adults.

The book begins with protagonist Reynie Muldoon, an orphan, being taken to an audition of sorts in response to an advertisement that asks, "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?". He is put through a series of tests, puzzles, mazes, and more and is selected, along with three other children, for a special mission. The other students are George "Sticky" Washington, Kate Wetherall, and Constance Contraire (who is very contrary).

Their special mission is to work for Mr. Benedict to find out what is going on at the Learning Institute of the Very Enlightened (L.I.V.E.) which is run by the evil genius Ledroptha Curtain, who we later learn is Mr. Benedict's long-lost twin brother. Curtain is sending out cryptic messages in preparation for "The Improvement." The Institute is located on Nomansan Island. Get it? No man's an island? I loved the puns in this book!

The Society infiltrates L.I.V.E. and learns what is happening at the school. They communicate with Mr. Benedict and his agents on the mainland via Morse Code with messages that are more like puzzles. Will the four children be able to stop Curtain's evil plan? Read and find out!

This book occasionally reminded me of A Series of Unfortunate Events, particularly the character Reynie who is similar to Krauss. It has a similar tone, although less sad, and a similar theme, with children outsmarting the evil adults. But... it is its own book. Despite the similarities, it is clearly a unique adventure that is sure to entertain any reader!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy for some random nonsense.

Well... I went back to work yesterday.  I was EXHAUSTED!  I was on my feet for most of the day as well as moving boxes and books, decorating my classroom, and running around taking care of our department.  T.I.R.E.D.  I can't believe the kids come in six days!

Nothing much has been going on other than that except my son and I toured Minute Maid Park last week.  It was both fun and interesting!  This is us sitting in the dugout.

My step-daughter set up a Go Fund Me page for her 3 year old doxie who needs surgery.  If you are so inclined to help, here is the link. Lilly's Surgery.

And because I'm so tired, I truly cannot think of anything else I want to say right now!

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

The Bone Collector (Lincoln Rhyme, #1)The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For the longest time, I thought I had already read this book. I was thinking it was part of Jefferson Bass's Body Farm series, but I finally figured out that it's not. It's a different series, a different author, and only now on my "read" list.

Lincoln Rhyme is a brilliant criminalist forced into early retirement when an accident leaves him a quadriplegic. Amelia Sachs is a police officer who meets Rhyme by accident. Earlier that morning, she had stopped a train on its tracks and prevented foot traffic from walking through a crime scene, until other officers showed up and overruled her decision. Rhyme has been asked to come out of retirement to help the NYPD find a sadistic killer who is leaving clues about each of his next victims at the crime scene, and he wants Sachs on the case with him. Rhyme convinces Sachs to be his eyes, hands, and feet as she walks the "grid" according to Rhyme's directions.

This killer is smart. He knows how to avoid leaving prints and trace evidence. The team learns that the unsub has an unusual fascination with bones and the underground, and he fancies old New York. Will Rhyme, Sachs, and a slew of detectives and experts be able to find the unsub? And how will the unsub react if he can't stump them with his clues?

This is a very cleverly detailed story, and it was hard to put down. Amelia Sachs is the first character we meet. We are then introduced to Lincoln Rhyme. Both characters are difficult to like, especially in the first third of the book or so. The story is so good, though, that it's easy to get around that. At least the characters are well-developed and not caricatures.

The story was convoluted, not difficult to follow, just so many meticulous details went into the plot. There are so many twists and turns that you most likely haven't read about in every other serial murder plot. I'm not sure if that means Jeffery Deaver's mind is crazy or crafty, or maybe, a little of both. (Just kidding.) You're definitely in for a bumpy ride! The only time it got predictable was near the end.

I really couldn't put it down, which must be why I read this almost 400 page book in five days. It usually takes much longer, but I was really hooked!

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Wednesday, August 08, 2018


This is from our tour of Minute Maid Park today.

A view from the field.
Copyright 2018 DLA

Welcome to the Ball Park!
Copyright 2018 DLA

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Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 06, 2018

Random Nonsense

I'm linking up with Stacy for some Random Thoughts.
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I can't believe I got sucked in again!  The Bachelorette finale was last night.  I won't ruin it for anyone who hasn't watched it, not that any of you, dear readers, let yourself get sucked in to this so-called romantic, reality tv.  You know what I wonder, though?  I wonder how it is that some of the people who end up on the show already knew each other.  It's like there is some secret society out there with Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants.  And I know that a LOT of it is scripted.  I know they pit one guy against another just for ratings.  So how do I get sucked in?  Uuggghhhh!

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And don't forget, Bachelor in Paradise premiers tonight!  Hahahaha!

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Today, my (grown) son and I are going to tour Minute Maid Park - Home of the World Series Champions, the Houston Astros!  We're so excited.  I think he is most looking forward to seeing the press box.  Me?  I'm just ready to take it all in.

"I'm so ready to go back to school next week," said NO TEACHER EVER!  But, return to work I must.  We had to pack everything up this year so they could replace the flooring, so there is a heckuva lot of unpacking to do before I can even think about having students, much less their parents, in my room during orientation next week.  Lots and lots and lots of work!

And that's all I have right now.  My brain is so NOT ready to work again!  So, here ya go!

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Have a great week!

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