Sunday, January 26, 2014

This-That-and a Few Other Things

In reading the blog of a my good friend Colleen, I am reminded how it really is about the little things that make our life worthwhile.    So, while nothing big is going on right now, here's a little glimpse of what's been happening with the Chang Gang.
Stepping back a couple weeks ago, it was indeed a Friday worthy of the praise TGIF!....after having my car in the shop for over a month, the happy news that Schnitzel was ready to come home.
 We'd gotten used to our rental car, affectionately called "Clownie" by Thing One (referencing the fact that it was a little car, much like a clown's car).   Thing One likes curling up in small spaces, so I think he enjoyed this Hyndai Elantra's limited passenger space.   He also was rather impressed that he was taller than Clownie.  

Just the same, I missed my German engineered car...yes, I suppose the bun warmers were missed the most (that and the heated windshield, with freezing ice, well, it's one of those little features you sort of forget about until you really need it).
   Sure, given her advanced age (a 2005) with a high mileage (127k), I suspect her days are numbered.   But for now, I am indeed happy to have my ride back in the garage!

As for the Things, last week they faced the challenges of 1st Semester Finals.   Actually, I'm not sure that Thing 2 had a lot of finals, per se, but he did have to hustle to get in a few forgotten assignments while he still had a chance.   As for Thing One, he managed to stay pretty calm and focused, and actually did better on his geometry test than any of his previous unit tests!   Still neither one bring home the grades that warrant boasting about in the family Christmas letter.    And well, given how low I've seen some kids GPA (yes, there seems to be a direct correlation to how often you visit the nurse with how bad your grades are), I'm not going to complain.

With the high school kids on a shortened schedule for finals, I agreed to visit another school and help out their new nurse learn the ropes.   She's got what it takes to get the job done...but holy smokes, I came back to my building, grateful that I've been here long enough to have things flowing rather smoothly.   She's got a lot to sort through, and well, I'm glad I've been-there-done-that, and now can enjoy the rewards that comes with creating a streamlined and organized office.

Typically, I'm not a big movie buff.   I prefer to watch films in the comfort of my own home, where I can pause when I need to, and not have to take out a loan to buy a package of Red Vines and popcorn.   But during the winter Awards season, I do like to see a couple of the most talked about movies.    So far, I've seen 12 years as a Salve, American Hustle and August, Osage County.   

My favorite?   12 years as a slave, hands down.   American Hustle was a fun-methodical con-film, and August Osage County?   Helped me appreciate that my own relatives are really pretty normal by comparison.   I'd still like to try and see Dallas Buyers Club but not sure when that will happen.

So that really wraps it up...while the rest of the country seems to be suffering through repeated trips into the Polar Plunge, we've enjoyed a relatively mild winter.   So mild, that well, here's what we did for lunch yesterday...

Wishing you all a warm and restful January...what's left of it...!
Thing 1 cuddled up in his quilt, custom made by my friend and co-worker, or if you ask Thing One "The nice one in the clinic!" (Susan G).

Monday, January 06, 2014


I have had a case of the back to work blahs.   2 weeks off, and I was enjoying sleeping in, lounging around, just basically taking my time to do only the bare minimums.

 I was not only liking this break, I was loving it.

This morning I dragged  myself back to work...I was dreading it.   The students have finals coming up, it is cold and flu season, and it was bitter cold. I  just wasn't in the mood to deal with any of it!

My office phone rang, even before I had officially turned on the lights and opened the door for the day(0650!)

It was a mom, saying "I just don't know who to start with, so I picked you."

Turns out her 16 year old son has been diagnosed with leukemia and she knew she needed to let the school know, but well...that first call is so hard.

It jolted me back to reality.
Yes, I love being home.
No, I wasn't in the mood for a flurry of faux illnesses.

But this call reminded me, I am here for more than Tylenol, band aids, and convincing the reluctant student that they need to be back in class.

No, I won't play a direct role in this student's battle against cancer.  Shucks, he may graduate without ever coming back to the large school setting (we have home bound teacher programs for seriously ill students).

 This morning, yes, all I did was answer the phone...and listen..and shared the information with others.

But being there, helping support this parent, and later helping the younger sister get through her first day back...reminded me that as much fun as is it to chill at home, there is somewhere else I need and want to be when break comes to an end.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

A Year in pictures...Martha style

So, not to be outdone by my talented hubby, I too have compiled our year in pictures.   Using Shutterfly.   I find that their templates are the easiest to use and have the greatest amount of flexibility when it comes to customizing the templates.   Keep in mind, it is best NOT to attempt such a creative endeavor when sipping a glass (or two) of white wine.   Nor does it work real well when you've got the medicine head cold thing going on.   But, finally the fog lifted and I was able to finish up this project....motivated by a substantial sale that ends in a few days!

I hope you enjoy looking back on these pictures...I've come to appreciate I take fewer and fewer pictures, but those that I do take, hold special meaning and memories!

Wishing everyone a happy new year (a little belated, see above, head cold, hangover...yeah I'm a bit behind, what can I say?)

Click here to view this photo book larger
Photo books are the perfect gift for any occasion.