Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Break Check-In

I think I rushed into Spring a little too soon, forgetting that I'm in Missouri. We had some really nice, warm weather last week, and I was thinking about sandals, which lead me to the thoughts of pedicures, because a Southern Woman never shows her feet without having prettied them up, so I spent some time Monday giving myself a pedi/mani and felt all ready to don those sandals, and now it's like 40 degrees here! And there is SNOW predicted for Saturday. What the...?

This is Spring Break, and I'm holed up in the house, supposedly studying for comps, which begin on Sunday and last the entirety of next week. I've already told my students that I'm canceling classes next week and they are quite delighted. So, I've been studying, some, but I've also been doing some cleaning and have watched some movies. I also had a paper I had to finish on Monday that I didn't get done last weekend. It was a bugger and ended up being 18 pages. Glad it's over.

So, what are comps? For me to graduate in May, I have to pass all four sections, which are papers I must write next week, with the exact subjects given to me on Sunday via Blackboard. We've been given "hints" as to what the questions will be, and were given some articles to read, so this week I have to study the articles and find more articles related to the subjects, and write an outline of ideas for the papers. Each paper only has to be six pages, with five sources, but there are FOUR of them. In one week. I'm not nervous about it, though. I know I can do it, I just have to focus!

I took a break yesterday and turned on the TV while eating lunch, and I saw this amazing demonstration on QVC for these microfiber cleaning cloths. They clean everything! With only water! No chemical cleaning products! So I ordered them. Apparently I'm a sucker, now. I give money to strangers in grocery store parking lots, and now I order cleaning "rags" from a television show. I'll let you know how they work.

Thank goodness I got Netflix to resume. I have "Milk" to watch, and I can hardly wait to watch it. Love Sean Penn. I watched "The U.S. vs. John Lennon" last night. I recently read a Lennon bio for Teen Lit class and it got me curious to watch the documentary. Meh. Not that good, and not that interesting, really.

Have "Rachel Getting Married" at the top of my queue. Anyone seen it?

Emily is in Chicago with her church group for Spring Break. She said they would get a break from all the praying to go shopping one day. That was a terrible way to put that, I know. Hope she's having a good time.

I have no idea what Reece is doing. I left a message for him to call me yesterday, but I haven't heard from him. I'm going to call him again in a minute. Mom tells me his latest obsession is the military and he's watching a bunch of war movies now. I love that boy.

Wow, I know this has been riveting. More later!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Are you wearing green today?

How about this little darling to make you smile today? Meet Lucy, my friend Kelly's adorable little girl. (Shown here with Kelly's permission, of course!) Kelly also sent the following. Thanks, K!

Wishing you always...
Walls for the wind,
A roof for the rain
And tea beside the fire.
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lesson learned: Be on guard!

Yesterday afternoon, I stopped at the grocery store after my shift at the library to pick up some popcorn because Abby gets rather agitated if she doesn't get her popcorn at least a couple nights each week. I got out of my car and was immediately approached by a young woman, probably in her early twenties. She said she was in a terrible situation: she was out of gas, and she lived in Boonville, which is twenty miles away, she was pregnant, sticking out her belly to make sure I realized that, and she'd already had a flat tire that day. She pointed to the spare tire on her van. Then she asked me if I could help her. I stood there staring at her with thoughts running through my head, like, "Well, times are bad and we should help those in need." And, "Oh, man, I don't really want to drive this woman to the gas station." Then, she asked if she could have a couple of dollars. I was relieved that she had a solution that easy for me! So, I opened my wallet and I had a twenty-, a one-, and a five-dollar bill in it, so I handed her the five. She looked very grateful when she took it and said thank you and ran back to the passenger seat of the van and hopped in, very un-pregnant-like. The split second I handed her the five dollars, I knew I'd been taken.

It was so obvious then! She had her damsel-in-distress spill very rehearsed and she talked so fast I didn't have time to put it all together, which is exactly what she was hoping for. Why didn't I say something, like, "Well, why don't we call the police and see if they can help you?" Or, "I'll go and get you some gas and bring it back,"????? That would have worked and she would have backed off. But no, I was a stupid, gullible, sucker - just what she was looking for.

I then walked into the store and watched her approach another woman, while the driver of her van, an older woman, puffed on a cigarette. I didn't see if the other victim gave her any money, because another woman in the store saw me watching through the glass doors and asked me if the young woman had approached me, too. The woman in the store said something like, "there's no way that girl is pregnant" and something else and I was furious at myself and really wanted to call the police, but by the time we'd finished our conversation, the van was gone. She probably didn't net more than twenty bucks in the time she was in the parking lot, but I'm sure she spent all day going to parking lots all over town.

This is Columbia, Missouri - people are friendly and helpful here! I haven't felt the need to be guarded, which is why these gypsies are here in the first place. When I'm in Memphis, or any other city, I'm always on guard and no one takes advantage of me. One day, Reece and I were in Memphis and we were leaving a restaurant and a really drugged-out-looking man started walking towards us. I told Reece to get in the car immediately, and then I told the bum to get away and I got in the car and drove off and we were fine. Reece was a little excited, and I'm glad he saw that he needed to be aware of such things, but nothing happened to us.

Thankfully, I learned a good lesson yesterday, and it only cost me five bucks. Sadly, I'm going to be suspicious of anyone who looks at me in a parking lot from now on, and I will avoid anyone who looks as if they might need my help.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fun Visit

This is just one of the many good things we ate while I was in Arkansas earlier this week. We celebrated for four days and there's not a spoon of frosting remaining anywhere west of the Mississippi River.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

What snow?

I'd planned to go to Arkansas yesterday to spend a few days with the family and celebrate Emily's birthday, but then there was a huge threat of snow from central Missouri to northeast Arkansas, which is exactly where I would have been driving, so I postponed the trip until next Friday. (We didn't get one flake of snow here.) I'll get to party with the family and celebrate Dawn's and Don's birthdays, though, on March 8 and 9 while I'm visiting, so it will be fun. Emily's going to have to wait another week, however, for her birthday presents. Here she is on the morning of her birthday, all beautiful and grown up:

Look at this boy! I can't believe how big he's gotten in just a couple of months. I can't wait to kiss those cheeks. This is the snow they received in Arkansas yesterday and take a look at the remains of their willow tree in the background:

Now, here's what that willow tree looked like after the big ice storm in February, when most of my hometown was without power for several days:

Isn't that something?