Archive for April, 2009

Creature of Habit

April 29, 2009

I’m not sure if it’s a Taurus-thing or what, but I LOVE creating procedures and routines for things.

I always put my personal belongings in the same spot so I always know where they are.  I hate that feeling of “oh poop, I lost XXXX”.

My house keys are kept on a keychain with a clip so I can attach them to my car key.  That way I can take the house keys off and stow them in (the same place) in my car and not have a pocket bulging with keys.

I always have my car key and my iPhone in my right front pocket.

I always have my work keys in my left pocket.

I always put my briefcase in the same place at home and at work.

I always take my work keys out of my pocket when I get into my car at the end of the day and put them in the same place in my car.

So when I reached into my pocket today after lunch and didn’t find my work keys (think Master key to the campus and the gates!), I almost had a heart attack!

They weren’t in my right pocket either.

Run back to the parking lot to check my car.

WHEW!  There they were, just like I usually do every evening but for whatever reason did when I went to get lunch.

All this to demonstrate how highly routinized and predictable I am when it comes to stuff like this.

Which is why I’m utterly and completely miffed that (GASP) I lost my wedding ring!

The last I remembered wearing it was last week Monday, during the heat wave we got.  After that, I don’t remember what I did with it.  I’ve searched high (through my medicine chest) and low (through the front garden!) and I couldn’t find it anywhere.

I know, I know, I shouldn’t take it off to begin with.  But sometimes it annoys me (like after I wash my hands or when I’m really hot and my fingers are sweaty).

What I normally do is either put it in my medicine cabinet (when I have the gumption to walk up the stairs) or attach it to my keys (via the clip on the house keys).  So the only thing I can think of is that I was walking out to my car, didn’t realize my ring was on there and it fell off when I unclipped my car key.

We’ve (yes, I told Hubby) been looking for a week and couldn’t find it anywhere.  :o(

So I bought a new one (thankfully at almost 50% off what we paid before thanks to a “stimulus sale”!).

From now on, it’s not going on my keys and only in my medicine cabinet.

Help A Friend Fight Cancer

April 28, 2009

When I was going through treatment for cancer, I was incredibly lucky to have had an amazing group of people working on my behalf. One of these people was my oncologist’s assistant, Mary.  She was so incredibly efficient, friendly, and professional and worked very hard on my behalf to make sure I was well taken care of for medical and hospital visits.

As if she doesn’t do enough on a daily basis in her professional life, Mary has decided to train with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program to run the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon!

I promised Mary a long time ago to post this and completely forgot until I was cleaning out my Inbox.  I know times are tough, but if you’re able to, both Mary and I would appreciate it if you made a donation.  Her goal is to raise $4,000 and she’s well on her way, but needs your help.

As incentive, anyone who donates and comments in this post by May 31 (the day she runs the marathon!) will be in a drawing for a hand-made prize!  Any amount is eligible for the drawing, so dig deep and DONATE!

First Step

April 24, 2009

I can’t post a full entry because I’m nursing (in the sense I’m taking care of, not giving a boob to!) my son whose canines decided to come in full force.

Anyway, I toon the first step towards Plan C today: I have my reseller’s permit which means I can by wholesale! Woot!

More in Plan C later this weekend.

Mid-life Crisis?

April 23, 2009

I’ve been feeling very anxious the last couple of weeks.

It’s no surprise really, given the uncertainty about my job next year. I won’t find out whether my counseling position may be funded until later this year, although even if it is (which it doesn’t seem very likely) it will likely only be for a half-time position. Although a half-time counseling position is still much more palatable to me than a full-time teaching position; going back into the classroom is not where my heart is and feels like a step backwards in my educational career.

I would consider attempting to find another counseling position in another school district except that 1) counselors in my current district are considered administration and hence get paid more (although teachers are paid more here than in other districts as well!), 2) I love the school that I’m at, 3) given the change in funding from the state, there are probably thousands of unemployed counselors currently looking for a new counseling gig, 4) I’m tired of working for The Man (and would like the opportunity to work for myself).

Unfortunately my teaching credential expires in June 2010. California has a two-tiered teaching credential system so when you are first credentialed it is with a Preliminary Credential good for five years. Within that five years you have to take more classes and teach for at least two full years, at which point you can apply for the next level (Professional Clear Credential). General Education teachers are able to “clear” their credential by working through a program most school districts offer, free of charge and usually during their normal work days. Unfortunately Special Education teachers don’t have that option and must “clear” their credentials by taking university classes, which have to be paid for by the teahcer and attended in the evening or in summer (or both!).

I was actually credentialed as a counselor before I became credentialed as a teacher because I felt I was missing some essential knowledge and experience by not having been in the classroom. Because my goal has always been to be a counselor (and teaching was mostly to enrich my experience as a counselor), I put off “clearing” my credential.

It’s not too late for me to “clear” my credential, however I’m at a point in my life where I don’t want to expend the time, energy, and money for something I don’t have a passion to do.

Further complicating matters is No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and its definition of a “highly qualified” teacher. Most Special Education teacher have a multiple subjects credential, meaning they had to pass a competency exam in English, Social Science, Math, and Science (whereas General Education teachers usually have a major in their teaching area and have passed a competency exam in that area).

When I became credentialed, I was deemed to be “highly qualified” to be a Special Education teacher. But now NCLB requires that Special Education teachers have a major, 20 semester units, a passing score in a single-subject competency exam or a 72-hour course provided by the County of Education IN EACH AREA they support.

As the only SpEd teacher at our school, that would mean I would have to be “highly qualified” in English, Math, Science, and Social Science! My undergraduate degree would fulfill the Social Science requirement and I’ve passed the Math competency, so I would have to take the 72-hour prep course in English and Science to become “highly qualified” in those areas.

Doesn’t sound too bad, except that I would also have to work on “clearing” my credential at the same time. And manage a household. And raise a child. And all for something my heart really isn’t into.

So I’ve been fantasizing about Plan B. If I didn’t have any constraints (mostly financial), I see myself opening a café/coffee shop/craft center. My idea is to combine several of my passions into one business venture. Imagine a place you can go that allows you to use crafting tools (sewing machines, scrapbooking tools, screen printing equipment, etc.) for your favorite hobby while enjoying a cup of tea or gnoshing on a sandwich. A place where you can take classes on a craft you’ve been dying to try without investing in all the equipment. A place where you and your friends can create your next masterpiece while sharing a freshly-prepared meal. A place where you can take your kids and their friends to celebrate their birthday with a meal, a cake, and a craft lesson.

Unfortunately, at this point at least, it’s all fantasy. Financial constraints won’t allow even a simple version of my fantasy.

In the meantime, I’m working on Plan C, which I’ll share more about later since this has quickly turned into a novel!

In the meantime, please share your thoughts about my idea!  Am I crazy for needing to do my own thing?  Is this a place you would like to frequent?  If not, what would make it more appealing?

A Tisket, A Tasket

April 21, 2009

It’s a week after Easter and finally pics of O’s basket…


I found a tutorial online (Thanks Maggie!) that I used for the general idea.  It’s constructed of 1″ piping cord (I’ve seen some people use clothes line cording), and 1.5″ strips of fabric, in this case it’s flannel and cotton Sock Monkey fabrics.

But the tute had you sewing the coils of fabric-wrapped cording together, which was WAY too much work for me.  So I used my past experience with making raffia baskets to make it sew-free.  To do this, the cording is wrapped three times with fabric (allowing it to go inside out, fold onto itself, etc. for more texture), then on the next wrap the fabric (which is threaded onto a large needle) is wrapped around the coil below, which can be seen in the photos.


I really like how it turned out, although the ending could have been incorporated more smoothly.  Oh well, live and learn.

Regardless, I liked it.  And I think Oliver did as well!



He even took it on a trip (or a hundred!) down his slide!


And of course he tried to figure out other uses for it (other than for holding the rocks from the garden!).


It was definitely worth the effort to see that face!

Forever Family

April 20, 2009

We FINALLY got the call this morning from our lawyer that we have a date with the court to finalize Oliver’s adoption!

On Monday, May 4th (the day after my 40th birthday; what an awesome present, eh?!) at 8:30am-ish (it is a bureaucracy after all) the State of California will recognize us as Oliver’s Forever Family!  (Of course we already see ourselves as a family, so it’s really just a hurdle, but significant nonetheless.)

Our Litte Billy Goat

April 19, 2009






Incredibly Proud

April 18, 2009

Last night Hubby, our friend Marie (who is visiting from France), and I attended the opening gala for the Pasadena Showcase.  Basically it’s a fundraiser whereby the owner of a HUGE house (dare I say “mansion”?) donates their home for a period of time during which a variety of designers remodel and redecorate the interior and exterior of the home.  Then tickets are sold to allow to the public to view the house and gardens.

This year, Hubby’s design firm participated in the remodel of an exterior room which they called The Tea House.  They were inspired by the color of the koi fish, which can enter into the room via a channel from the outside!

What Hubby and his team did was AMAZING!  Unfortunately I don’t have the best photos (the first few were taken with my iPhone), but you get the idea.


Looking in from the door.


Gorgeous Jim Thompson fabric on the chairs and an amazing rug underneath.


Looking towards the door.


The Koi pond (you can see the light under the wall where the fish enter from outside).

(The “caution tape” has since been replaced by a rope!)


The fish outside as they are trying to get in (it was barricaded for some reason).


Hubby and Marie before the party.




Hubby and I at the party


Marie and I (I could be three sheets to the wind!).

To say I am proud of Hubby is an understatement in the extreme!  Bravo!

Experience Required?

April 16, 2009

Experience Required?

Experience Required? Close

Easter Fun

April 14, 2009

Ever wonder just how many times an Easter will bounce? Find out for yourself…


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