Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Is it Just Me, or Does Today Feel Like the Longest Day of the Year?

Hey Y'all!

Well, I hope you are enjoying our extra long day today. If you didn't already know, some government thingie somewhere decided that we needed to add an extra second to 2008 to catch up with the Earths axis and it's spin. Whatever. So if today seems like a really LOOONNNG day, now you know why!

I know that some of you out there are getting ready for a New Year's shingdig. New Year's is really not my thing. I don't like to be on the roads with the crazy drunken people or at a large party. I usually hang out at home, cook a yummy dinner, and watch Kathy Griffin try not to out Anderson Cooper on CNN. A good time is usually had by all!

For those of you who are going to a dinner party tonight or making a yummy fest tomorrow.. I bring you one of my favorite recipes to end the year with!

Julia Goolia's Yummy in the Tummy, Anyone Can Make This Oreo Fudge

You will need the following...

1 bag of Oreos, 1 can of condensed milk and 1 bag of white chocolate chip morsels. (Hello, ONLY 3 ingredients for this recipe!)

Pour out two thirds of the condensed milk into a sauce pan. Make sure the heat is on "medium to low." We don't want to burn the fudge! Add white morsels and begin to stir. You can add the morsels first and then the condensed milk. It's fine either way.

Then stir until melted into yummy goodness.

Then, take the yummy, melted goodness off of the burner. In a Ziploc bag, add about two thirds of the Oreos in the package. Crush them. Then mix them in to your white morsel and condensed milk melted goodness. Mix well and place in an 11 in by 8 in pan.

Then, put in the fridge to cool for 2-3 hours. Then cut into bite sized pieces, place on a pretty serving dish and you are the life of the PARTY!!!

(The contents of my fridge. Health conscious these days, I am not!)

I hope y'all have a Happy New Year!

:) JKP

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We're Gettin' Fancy Around Here!

Hey Y'all!

Well, you as you can still tell, I have LOTS of time on my hands! I thought I would tinker around with the ol' blog a bit and see if I couldn't make it a little snazzier and sassier. I use a basic blogger template, but I wanted a little bit more of me on here, so I made my own banner. I may do a few more things, but for now I am happy! Of course, all of this was done with major complaining from Zorro. In fact, he is under my desk right now making all kinds of complaining noises. He also just passed a large amount of gas and I may have to evacuate this room in just a minute. Nope. My man does not play around when he wants your attention! I think I should write a children's book and call it "Zorro, the Dog Who Can Fart at Will." I think my third graders would love it! I'll be right back, I need to run and get some fresh air.

Can y'all believe that tomorrow is New Year's Eve? I was thinking about this past year in the shower this morning and all that has changed. It has been a wild year, one that I am glad to say goodbye to! I have had some good things happen this year (Technology in Teaching Award, Teacher of the Year, starting this new blog and saying goodbye to my old one) and not so good things (my tummy, BUT it's better!). I have a feeling there are lots of folks out there who are ready for this year to end. With all that is happening in the economy and Middle East right now, I think we should just all take a moment and see peaceful thoughts out into the world. We do have some exciting changes to look forward to.. a new president and hopefully a more stable economy. So overall, I am hopeful about the new year.

Well, let me run. Zorro is taking aim again... I'll try and post later...
:) JKP

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Hulu to You!

Hey Y'all....

Well, I may have too much time on my hands these days. Don't get me wrong, I love being on Winter Break... but I may have too much unstructured time on my hands. I mean, I almost bought a ShamWow from an infomercial today!

I have also been perusing the internets and have found the coolest things! For example, do you like to read, but don't have time to get to the library? tired of returning books late and then having to pay a fine? Then check out Booksfree.. it is an online book rental service. It's like Netflix, but for books! They also audiobooks too!

My other favorite thing that I have found over the holiday is a nifty little site called HULU. You may have heard of it, but it is this neat site that lets you catch up on all kinds of TV shows online. For example, I have fallen behind on a few shows like Lipstick Jungle and The Starter Wife. Well, whoop dee doo.. I can find all of my missed episodes on Hulu. It is fantastic and wait for it.. it is free!! So get those laptops ready for some show watching! Also, I plan on adding a Hulu widget to my blog so you can see my shows in queue!!

Alrighty, that's about it here. I've been DVD watching too. So far I have seen Eagle Eye, Traitor, Wanted, Kit Kittredge and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Up for tonight's viewing are The Dutchess and Ghost Town. Hey, it keeps me from watching the infomercials...and that Pasta n' More looks right up my alley!!!

:) JKP

Friday, December 26, 2008

Best Present EVER!

Hey Y'all!

I hope that each and every one of you had a great and Merry Christmas! I meant to post Christmas Eve, and I had a yummy recipe, but time just got away from me! I promise I will post the recipe later on though!

This Christmas, the fam and I didn't exchange gifts. Normally we draw names, etc. But, with the shape of the economy and the uncertainty of it all, we decided to forgo the gifts this year and just have a huge meal and be thankful for every one's company. We went ahead with the annual Thomy Ornament Exchange, but even that was subdued this year. However, Zoe and Zorro still managed to do some shopping behind our backs! I knew I shouldn't have shown Zorro and Zoe how to shop online! Here's Zorro below getting in on some Christmas fun!

A few months ago, you may remember the post where I wrote about almost electrocuting myself. It turns out, my favorite bracelet was the culprit of my almost electrocution in front of my kids at school. Here is a picture of the bracelet after it's unfortunate contact with an electrical current.

Well, I was really devastated to loose this piece of jewelry. I don't own alot of jewelry, so the few pieces I have, I wear alot. This bracelet is my absolute favorite and I have worn it daily for 7 years. It was a gift to myself and it is actually like a limb on my body. Since it's unfortunate demise, I have felt very undressed with out it. Nothing I wore even came close to replacing it. I visited Handpicked, where I originally bought the bracelet for a replacement, but they no longer made the bracelet or the medallion that was melted. So I have been pretty bummed about it.

Enter the elves, Zoe and Zorro. Look what they gave me for Christmas! No, it's not a Mini Cooper, it's better!

A new medallion! I actually cried! I can not tell you how happy I am to have my bracelet back! I went into Handpicked today, where the nice ladies fixed my bracelet for me. Now it is as good as new!

That is the best present I could have asked for! Zoe and Zorro got an extra treat for that!

I have been spending my break catching up on movies and reading. Yesterday, we tried to have our annual trip out to the movies on Christmas, but like us, a lot of folks had the same idea. We wanted to see Marley and Me, but it was sold out when we got to the theatre. So, today we went to the first showing and it was a lot less crowded. The movie is great and any animal lover will just love it. It does kind of tug at the heart strings if you have an older dog like me, so take lots of tissues. Even the elderly gentleman sitting beside me in the theatre was having an UGLY cry. So be forewarned!

And last but not least... here's a pic of the doggies and me... sleeping off our Christmas fun!

I am off to watch some movies, cuddle with the Z-man and chill!

:) JKP

Monday, December 22, 2008

What Ever Happened to Global Warming?

Hey Y'all,

As I am typing, my fingers are literally frozen. I just took the Z-man for a walk, and it may be a while before I recover. IT IS COLD OUTSIDE! I mean, if it is going to be this cold outside... it could at least snow! Heavens! Never fear, it is supposed to be back in the 70's by Christmas Day. It wouldn't be Christmas in Myrtle Beach unless I could wear my Christmas flip flops.

Today I woke up and forgot that I was on Winter Break. It may have something to do with the horrible nightmare I had last night about having to go to school on Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas. I guess I was really tired last night! I finally got out of the WARM bed, with, ahem, Zorro's urging! I ate my Cheerios and watched the Today show. I ran a few errands.. to the library and to the dump and then came back to the house. Mom and Granny swung by and I went with them to Costco to prepare for The Thomy Christmas Feast. Not to be confused with The Annual Thomy Ornament Exchange. Although, they do take place on the same night! We actually hit Costco at lunchtime which was genius. They have great food giveaways during that time of day. I got to sample some tasty snacks. I also picked up some yummy bruschetta. Yum, Yum! After our trip to Costco, we hit P.F. Changs for lunch. I am still full from that! We actually had dessert, The Great Wall of Chocolate. Oh my. So yummy! I may not eat for a few days now....

This afternoon I tried to take a nap, but I think I have a migraine brewing. I can always tell. I get really sleepy, but can't sleep. I also get dizzy and I have a hard time seeing. So I think I have one about to hit. Uggh. Oh well. Usually I only get migraine's when I have been somewhere loud, like a concert or a bar. I guess Costco just did me in today!

I also swung by the Redbox today and picked out some movies to chill and watch. I haven't made it to the theatre alot this year, so I have a lot of catching up to do. On the menu for DVD watching are Wanted, Traitor, The Perfect Holiday, and The Women. I am getting ready to take a hot bath, put on my jammies and take a migraine pill. Hopefully that will ward it off!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Home Sweet Home...

Hey Y'all,

Well, I am back from my road trip to Cola/Lexington! It was a short, but sweet trip! I got to catch up with all of my buddies and got to eat some great food too! San Jose's, Zesto, and Rush's Sweet Tea! Although, my stomach is seriously rebelling right now, it was totally worth it! Bring on the Motilium! That drug has been a lifesaver. Without it, I don't think I would be eating all of the yummy things that I wanted to this weekend!

It was great shopping and hanging out with my friends. Last night we all piled in the car and went and looked at the Holiday Lights at Saluda Shoals in Irmo. It was absolutely beautiful. It was also a little warm, so it was hard to imagine we were in a winter wonderland! However, that is all supposed to change tonight! Our highs are going from the 70's to the 40's tomorrow. Yuck. A good day to stay home and hang out with the Z man on the sofa!

Today, I went and visited my favorite church, Our Lady of the Hills. After mass, I grabbed some lunch at Panera. I wish someone would wise up and open a Panera here in MB. It is so yummy and way better than Atlanta Bread Company. I had the yummy turkey, artichoke and spinach panini. It was great, but my stomach is having issues. I keep forgetting that spinach, is not my friend. EVER. Oh well, it was yummy while I was eating it! On my way out of town, I needed to find a Bath and Body Works to return a gift that a student gave me for Christmas. Y'all know me. I am a Philosophy smell goods girl. I lucked out and stopped at The Village at Sandhill off of Clemson Rd. in Northeast Columbia. I not only got to return my items, but instead I was able to exchange the goodies for a cashmere robe! For free! Yeah me! I am totally in love with this thing. I can't wait to put in on after my bubble bath tonight! Best. Present. To. Myself. EVER! FREE!

Tomorrow, since I am on winter break, I am heading out to pick up some movies from the Redbox to entertain myself for a few days. I also have a few last minute errands to run. However, this weekend I did find my ornament for the Annual Thomy Ornament exchange. This year's ornament is very cute. Pics will follow after the exchange! So that is one less thing I have to do. I also have to pick up the ingredients for this..... it is my responsibility for Christmas Eve dinner. That and of course, picking up Christmas Eve dinner! We are having it catered this year since Mom has the peg leg and I've just been busy!!

That's about it from here! I am a little sad about leaving Cola town, but happy to be sleeping in my own bed tonight with Mr. Z!!!
:) JKP

Friday, December 19, 2008

Blogging From Cola Town..

Hey Y'all,

Well, I took a little road trip to visit Columbia and Lexington and to catch up with some buddies. It's kind of a Christmas present to myself! I had some Hilton points that I had to use before the end of the year, or they would expire, so I decided to hit the road! We had a half day of school today, so I arrived in Lexington about 4:30 this afternoon. I ended up eating dinner with my friend Marie and then off Christmas shopping we went!

It is kind of nice being back, Lexington has changed so much in the 3 years that I have lived here. I came back and visited last January.. but alot has happened here even since then! It is nice to come back and just visit. I don't think I could live here again. I like living at the beach alot, but there is something to be said for the big city too!

Before I go to bed tonight, I must, must, must finish my Christmas cards! I had to go back and order extras because I didn't have enough in the first batch to cover "The List." Hopefully I can put them in the mail tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am having lunch with two old buddies of mine. We all actually taught at the same school together about 8 years ago! I can't wait to eat some Mexican and catch up! After that, more Christmas shopping! Yippee!!!

:) JKP

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Counting Down the Days...

Hey Y'all!

Hee, I am at school right now. My kiddies are watching The Polar Express, so I thought I would take a minute and update the blog! It has been busy, busy around these parts! Besides trying to survive the last week of school before winter break, Zoe and Zorro have been keeping me on my toes! Zoe was evicted on Monday! She got a wild hair and ran away Sunday night. It took me forever to find her! I think because Mom visited with her on Saturday and Sunday she was homesick. Also, I made the discovery that Zoe has been eating Zorro's breakfast! We kept wondering why her tummy was getting so big and why Zorro was begging to be fed at 4:00! Well, I caught her in the act Monday morning. After those incidents, I thought it was best if I took her back to Mom's for a while! Besides, I think she really missed her house and being an "only dog!"

This weekend Zorro is going to be spending time at Mom's... I'm taking a road trip to Cola town! I can't wait to see my buddies and do a little shopping. I am really looking forward to this trip! Tomorrow we have a half day of school, we get out at 12. So after that, I am hitting the road! My buddies in Cola have a full day of school tomorrow, so I will be arriving just as they are getting out of school.

Today is jammie day at school, so we are all in our jammies. I, of course, have on penguin ones... after all, our class mascot is a penguin! We have enjoyed our day of hot cocoa, movies and this afternoon we are having a yummy pizza party for our Christmas party.

Well, let me run... The Polar Express is coming to an end! We are off to make chinese fortune tellers!
:) JKP

Saturday, December 13, 2008

2008 Christmas Card Preview

Hey Y'all!!

Well, the annual Christmas photo is complete! Here is a sneak peek... check your mailboxes this week! They will go in the mail Monday!

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Love ya,


Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Holiday Memories

Hey Y'all...

Check out these ghosts of Christmas past! To make your own visit Smilebox!

Click to play Christmas Memories
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Monday, December 8, 2008

Get In My Belly!

Hey Y'all!

Well, I kind of crashed and burned after Turkey Day. I think the classroom move just caught up with me! I also had some friends in town that I normally don't get to see, so I spent some of the Turkey Day holiday catching up with them. Also, one of my friends just had the most precious baby ever, so I had to go and visit!

Not to mention that I had a ton of things to catch up on, like grading papers, lesson plans, etc! I even took last Friday off just to chill. I really didn't get to chill... I had to have my mammogram re-done (everything is fine) and I had to take Mom out and about to do some errands. Saturday was pretty much the same (errands) and then yesterday Zoe, Zorro and I took it easy. I graded 10 sets of papers. So now, I can happily enjoy the upcoming holiday season! As you can see.. we are getting quite festive this year. I actually bought a live tree this year. I have never had a live tree in my house! This is my first! I always use an artificial tree. But, this year I really wanted a real one. Zoe and Zorro helped me decorate it Saturday night. And yes, that would be Paula Deen on TV. Yes, I decorate my Christmas Trees while the Food Network is on! I am classy like that!

In other news, I have been cooking too! I found this really easy chili recipe on Kraft Foods and I have made it several times since. The nice thing is that you can put this in the crockpot and let it cook all day. You know me and my professed love for all things crockpot related. Below are the ingredients that you need to make "Julia's Get In My Belly Chili."
You will need 1 jar of Thick n' Chunky medium salsa by Taco Bell, I can of light kidney beans and 1 can of dark red kidney beans, 1 can of tomato sauce, a couple of sprinkles of chili powder, 1 onion and a pound of ground beef.
Combine beans, salsa and tomato sauce in crockpot. *Make sure you drain and rinse the beans first. Then use your handy, dandy food chopper and slice your onion into bits.

Take your onion bits and add them to your ground beef. Brown and then drain. Add to your other ingredients in your crockpot. Let cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8. Garnish with sour cream and cheese. Bake up some cornbread and you have your self some yummy in your tummy chili!

All this cooking wore the boys and girls out.

Finally, a pic with me and one of the cutest babies around. Of course, this one is human. This is me and baby Frank... Mama is my proud friend Kerri.... I say, "Job Well Done!" I went and visited on Saturday and Frank has already gained a pound since this photo Thanksgiving weekend and really doesn't look like this anymore. He is CUTER!!!

I am off to find a Christmas movie on TV and get some Christmas knitting done.....
:) JKP

Friday, November 28, 2008

Signs That You Have Had Way Too Much Turkey Lurkey.....

Hey Y'all,

Well as you can tell, we like our turkey lurkey in this here household. This is a picture of "the man" after leftovers last night. In typical form, he is on his side, on his fleece blanket, paw on the remote. And y'all wonder why I'm not married. Heee! Thanksgiving was yummy yesterday, we ate at The Boundary House up in Calabash, NC. The food was plentiful and great! The inside of the restaurant reminds me of the California Dreaming near my house. They even served yummy crescent rolls with honey butter just like they do at California Dreaming. We met Uncle Rich around 11:30 and by 12:30 our tummmies were full. Mom is getting an extra workout this year, the doc finally put her in a cast to heal her broken foot. She went for the understated look and chose light blue for her cast. She could have gotten with the season and opted for red and green! Zoe has been staying with us on and off for a while. Since Mom is in a cast, she can't walk Zoe, and that does not go over well with the princess. I was hoping to take a road trip to Cola town next weekend, but since Mom is in a cast, I can't leave her with the two dogs. So maybe over Christmas break I can get there!

I went out and did a little shopping today during "Black Friday." I didn't hit any of the major chains... I was in and out. I don't like to deal with the crowds on Black Friday. I left my house at 9:30 and was home by noon. Zorro and I heated up some leftovers and then we took a walk and a nap. The weather was great here today.. 68! I happily wore my flip flops all day! We have had some extremely cold weather for us, so this warm day was a treat! I haven't made it to the movies yet, but I have caught up on my DVR'ed shows and some DVD's. I am hoping to make it to a movie tomorrow.

Well, I am going to get ready for Elf... it comes on tonight and it is one of my all time favorite movies!!!! SANTA'S COMING!!!!!! SANTAAAAAA! SANTA... I KNOW HIM!!!

Get your popcorn ready....It's the BEST MOVIE!

And last but not least, one more picture of Zorro in his turkey bliss...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Love Me Some Oprah....

Hey Y'all!

Well, I officially survived my classroom move! It is OVER! It is DONE! All 62 boxes have been unpacked, furniture is arranged and I have educational stuff up on my walls! And can I just say.. how wonderful it is to actually have a sink in my classroom now? That is my Christmas miracle right there! Whhooo hooo! Of course, we moved last Friday and I was at school ALL weekend long. I am so exhausted. Not to mention that I have had to teach for the last 3 days. The kids were released today at 12 and let me tell you, I was out the door right behind them. I came home, made a grilled cheese sandwich for me and the furballs and proceeded to take a two hour nap. Life is good! Then of course, I did some cleaning up and laundry. I also had to run out this afternoon and purchase one of my favorite things.. because by the end of the Friday sales it will all be gone! I love the scent of Bath and Body Works Winter Candy Apple that they put out this time of year. Every year I am either too poor or forget to get some, and it is all gone after Turkey Day. This year, I remembered (amazing in my current exhausted frame of mind!) and I went and got some hand soap to put in the bathrooms and kitchen. So yummy smelling hands for me!

If you tuned in to Tee Vee land today.. you saw that Miss Oprah had on her "Favorite Things" show today. Let me just tell you, Oprah needs some snaps this year. Instead of her over the top show she always does (and I love) she opted for a low key, Christmas from the heart show. Let me just tell you it was great. She showed folks how they could give gifts from the heart and not spend a lot of money. As one American who is currently struggling right now, it was a sigh of relief not to sit there and stare at things I can not afford. Ever. In this lifetime. Not while I am a teacher!!!! One of the greatest gifts she gave was free Christmas music.. so for the next 48 hours, you can visit Oprah's site and download 8 songs for free! They even include a CD cover and everything. Of course, I downloaded mine to Ichabod the i-pod, but I immediately made CD's for Mom and my grandmother. So go and visit now and get your great Christmas music!

I am so excited to have a few days off! While I am on Turkey Day break I hope to catch some movies and catch up on my DVR'ed shows. I also plan on catching up on all of my lost sleep! I also have to get on the ball and get my annual Christmas card done... let's just say that it involves Zorro and Zoe in costumes this year...... I'll post tomorrow about the Turkey Day feast!

:) JKP

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pass the Duct Tape Please.....

Hey Y'all,

Well I warned you that I was going to be AWOL for a while! I made it through my crazy week last week! Besides celebrating my birthday, I had to get ready for a major presentation that I had to give on Saturday to wrap up the Coastal Area Writing Project that I took over the summer. I had to give a 50 minute presentation and luckily it lasted 50 minutes! :) Besides getting ready for the said presentation I have been busily packing my classroom for our "big" move this week. Our new wing is getting inspected tomorrow and if we pass, the move is on for Thursday and Friday. Which, of course means, I will be camping out at school this weekend getting my "new" classroom straight. So, this is going to be an incredibly long week! I am a little scared that we won't pass inspection and we may end up moving over turkey day break. I really need that break though, so I hope everything works out! So we will just have to wait and see.

I am going to sign off now, I am incredibly exhausted. I spent yesterday at school packing, today teaching AND packing and I am sure that tomorrow will be the same.
Take care and I'll check back in once the move is OVER!!!!
:) JKP

Monday, November 10, 2008

Blowin' Out Those Birthday Candles...

Hey Y'all!

Well, today I celebrated another birthday! I have actually been celebrating since last Friday (that's how I roll) but today kind of wrapped it all up!

I took the day off from work because I had a mammogram scheduled for today. It was my first and because of my age (more than mid thirties now... 36!! and family history) my doc thought it would be a good idea to get a baseline. I had the new "digital" version done and it wasn't painful at all. I went to this great place to get it done Carolina Forest Imaging Center and it was more like going to the spa! So I got one thing checked off my to do list for this year!!

I opened up my mailbox today with lots of good wishes from family and friends. All of my buddies on Facebook (aka crack book) wished me happy thoughts too! So all in all it was a good day!

Also this weekend, I went to the movies. Of course. One of my favorite things to do! I saw the movie Fireproof with Kirk Cameron. Ok. Kirk Cameron should say it all! Oh be still my 8th grade heart! Anyway, I have been hearing great things about this movie because it is from the producers who did Facing the Giants. It was also filmed in Albany, GA.. where I spent a lot of time when I worked for Corporate America. Several of my clients were located here. Also, just for trivia's sake... this happens to be Paula Deen's hometown. So, it has a lot going for it! Anyway, this was a really positive movie and I really enjoyed it. If you are looking for a great movie, with a great message, check it out. And, let me just say it again... Kirk Cameron! Hee!
p.s Another Albany side note... it has the smallest airport I have ever been in. There are only 2 flights a day from Atlanta. And it's on the small, say a Hail Mary and you peddle airplane!!!!!!
p.s.s. When you rent a car in Albany.. they just give you the keys and let you pick. It is insane! I always had the best rental cars in Albany!!

Zoe and Zorro topped off the birthday celebration by giving me a new crockpot, a candy apple (yum-o) and some roses! The Z's know of my love for all things slow cooked and they really upgraded my crockpot status! My new crockpot has a several temperature settings and it will automatically cut off to warm when it is through cooking. My other crockpot (a college graduation gift) was missing the new safety feature. Also, I can take out the ceramic inside and put it in the dishwasher to clean. My other crockpot did not have a removable inside. I can't wait to try it out this week and cook some good ole' chili!! I think Zorro and Zoe want me to make them some lickin' chicken! Ohh and check out this blog I like to read... A Year of CrockPotting... there is a new recipe listed each day!!

Alrighty.. let me run and get in the bed. I have early morning duty tomorrow. Both Z's are on either side of me snoring away as I type....
:) JKP

Monday, November 3, 2008

Me Likey......

Hey Y'all...

Well, it rained cats and dogs today, so we did not get to go on our field trip. It was really a blessing in disguise. After having Field Day on Friday I was still fried and having a field trip to the zoo today would have done me in. So, it all worked out in the end. We are going to try and reschedule the trip for one of our moving days so the kids won't have to be in the room when the movers come to move our stuff. Yes, we think it's just brilliant. Let's hope it all works out!

We have tomorrow off of school, so we can V-O-T-E! I am so excited I can't stand it. I love to vote. This year's election is so exciting too. I told my kids today that no matter who wins tomorrow we will be making history in one way or another. It's just neat to be a part of it.

Zoe and Zorro are going to the doggie spa tomorrow and while they are there I have a ton of errands to do. Zorro needs his meds picked up at Walgreen's and I have a few household things to take care of. It is so nice to have a day off during the week! I also have some major knitting to do. Mom's b-day is tomorrow and I have The Sunday Market Shawl to finish up. Yep. It was supposed to be a Mother's Day present. But. You. Know. Life just got in the way. I am taking it with me when I go and vote just in case there is a wait.

If you have been out and about lately you probably have noticed that Christmas has thrown up in most major stores. This really bothers me. I am a proud member of The Society for the Preservation of Thanksgiving. Hello, Turkey Day is an important holiday! Anyway, it's about this time of year that a few things that I like a whole lot start to appear....

1) Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash: Folks I buy as much of this as I can get! It only comes out during the holiday season. If you are lucky, most of your batch will last all the way until April! I am going on a hunt for this tomorrow. I scored some at the evil mart a few days ago, but I need to replenish my stash. This stuff is yummy good. Me likey. ALOT. Try it!

2) Southern Comfort Eggnog- This stuff is deadly good. It is so thick that if you try and drink it with a straw, you will have a great facial work out. I was never an eggnog fan until I had this stuff. The original flavor is my favorite, but the vanilla will do in a pinch. Again, I buy tons of this right up until the day after Christmas. Me Likey. Alot. Alot. Alot.

3) Oil of Olay Winter Retreat- Ok, I admit, I am not much of a lotion fan. I love my philosophy smell goods, but overall I am just not a lotion person... unless it is philosophy. Well, in the winter I get crazy dry skin. So much in fact, that I can only use philosophy's Purity Made Simple to shower and take a bath with. But, I have a new discovery. Oil of Olay has come out with a body wash called Winter Retreat. It smells vanilla-ish and it makes your skin feel great. It's a real treat for your shower and your skin. And, I can't eat it, which is a good thing.

Well, I'm gonna run. Even though we have an extra hour, I'm still not used to it. I feel like I should be sleeping right now and it's only 9:30. The Z's are already in the bed, under the electric blanket asleep. I'm going to join them. Philosophy is coming on at 10 on QVC.. so I am off to watch, not buy. But maybe the guy with the white beard and red suit is watching......or maybe Zorro is watching and is going to shop online.....

:) JKP

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lovin' the Redbox

Hi Y'all,

Well, we survived Halloween around these parts pretty well. Zorro is no longer phased by the trick or treaters, but Zoe would have eaten every single one of them if she could! She went nuts every time someone came by for some candy. Zorro just hung out on his chair and observed. I guess he let Zoe do the leg work this year! We only had about 7 or so trick or treaters so our night ended early.

We woke up early on Saturday to have yard sale #2. We did pretty well, and I am glad that it is over. Now I have my garage back! Of course, when my garage was in yard sale form, it was the coldest it has been in SC in decades. We even broke records! However, now that Ceasar is safely ensconced in the garage, we are back into our normal fall weather of 70. Go figure! Oh well. I am happy to have my garage back!

I have discovered something totally fantastic that I can't wait to share! A few weeks ago, I cancelled my Netflix subscription to try and save a few pennies. I have noticed these RedBox $1 DVD rentals at my local grocery store and decided to do some investigating. It turns out that RedBox is a great DVD rental service that let's you rent movies for $1 a night. All you have to do is return the movie by 9 p.m. the following night to any RedBox unit and that's it. If you want to keep your movie for an extra night it's $1 more. The great thing is that they have all of these free codes that allow you to get free movies! When you join you are emailed a free code and of course, there are sites out on the Internet that give you more free codes as well. You can also opt to have RedBox send you a free code for a movie every Monday. Maybe if Netflix had promotions like this, more folks would still be with them! So today, I went and rented 3 movies.... Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Kit Kittredge An American Girl, and Iron Man. I got all 3 for absolutely free! I didn't have to wait for the mail and, bonus, it was at my local grocery store, which is on my way home from school! So if you want to rent some movies, but are tired of the Blockbuster and Netflix hassle... try RedBox. It's really good!

Tomorrow I am supposed to go on a field trip with my kids to our local Zoo. I use the term Zoo loosely! Anyway, we have about a 90 percent chance of rain, so I'm thinking maybe that our field trip is off! We'll see. I am really looking forward to voting on Tuesday... not to mention having the day off! Zoe and Zorro are going to the doggie spa... so I will have some time to clean house. Believe me, it so needs it!
:) JKP

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy "Howl" a ween!

Zoe and Zorro wanted to wish all of you a Happy Howl-a-ween! We are getting ready to chase goblins in our pink princess and vampire finery! 

We'll let you know how it goes tomorrow! Be safe tonight and enjoy the best day of the year!! 

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Hey Y'all!

Wow, I can't believe that I let a whole week go by without posting. But, I did warn y'all. October is not fun for teachers in my school district. I was at school until almost seven every night last week for parent teacher conferences. I came home, took a bath, loved on the Z-man and Z-girl and then went to bed. At 8:30. I was a tired chica. I've spent most of the weekend catching up on my DVR'ed shows... instead of doing meaningful stuff like cleaning out closets. Yup. Hmm.

Last week was pretty uneventful... EXCEPT... on Thursday I was named "Teacher of the Year" at my school! That was a very nice surprise and big shock! My children went nuts. It is a very nice compliment and sure made my day. I knew that I had been nominated, but to actually win. Wow. I was "Teacher of the Year" eight years ago at another school I taught at, so to receive this honor twice totally tells me I am in the right profession, even if I doubt myself sometimes! It was nice to see my children get so excited and be so proud. Everyone needs a pat on the back in their career every now and then!

In other news, I totally did not get anything done this weekend that was on my list. You know me. I make lists. I derive great pleasure in checking things off of the list when I get them done. Obsessive compulsive much? Anyway... I think after my busy week last week I just wanted to veg and take some time to chill. I have a busy couple of weeks coming up (Yard Sale on Nov. 1, a big birthday (uhmmm.. let's just say I officially am in my mid thirties now!), a big presentation to give on Nov. 15, oh yeah, and I have to move my ENTIRE classroom on Nov. 20 and 21st. So good busy times are ahead. I meant to change out my closet this weekend, since cooler weather has hit the south. Where's global warming when you need it? I didn't get it done. Oh well. I did go shopping and got some great new pants. They just need to be hemmed and I am good to go and can put off changing my closet for another week. Yes, I know that is completely stupid. But, one of the reasons I am putting off changing my closet is because everything is so BIG. I just dread going through everything and making piles. So I am just being LAZY. I am hoping that I get inspired tomorrow. I am looking for a roomate right now, so the closet will have to be dealt with in the next week. I guess I am using the old adage... "I work better under pressure..." We'll see.

Well, let me run. The Z-man is demanding his supper. Right. This. Minute. I don't want him to go all vampire on me (that is what he is going to be for Halloween) so let me go feed him.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tales of the Girl Who Tried to Electrocute Herself....

Hey Y'all...

Well, um, by that title I guess you can use your inferencing skills and deduct that the whole sparks shooting, electrical shock thing in my classroom on Wednesday.. was well, totally my fault. And according to all sources, I should not be here right now folks. I am one lucky chica.

The electrician for the school district came out and looked everything over and surmised this scenario. Apparently, my projector cord was not plugged in all the way into my laptop cart. I was teaching a lesson on my laptop and my right arm with the bracelet somehow got to close to the plug. The medallion on my bracelet slipped in between the cart and the plug and made a connection. Sparks flew, fuses got blown, there was a shock and then smoke. The electrician did not understand how I was not hurt and/or killed. Yup. I tried to electrocute myself and I didn't even know it. Needless to say, it freaked out my principal and I am now a "technology don't." People have been walking up to me in the hallway and have been amazed. This is my year for being a freak, I think. First the Sweet's Syndrome, and now this. My only hope is that this electrical shock I sustained has done something magical to my brainwaves and chakra's and I am on the mend. So far, all I have been is a little scrambled. But, I guess that is what happens when you almost electrocute yourself in front of 19 8 and 9 year olds!

So in honor of me still being here and being thankful and all that (I actually went to church today. Stop the gasps.) I decided to post a list that I worked on during my writing retreat last weekend. This list is in random order, so don't think just because something is #25 there is meaning to it. This is just random stuff.
50 Things Julia Loves
  1. Zorro (um, of course, #1!)
  2. My Family
  3. Cheesecake ice cream w/ blueberries
  4. Popcorn (can't eat it right now, still LOVE it!)
  5. Painted toenails
  6. Zoe (again, this is in NO order!)
  7. Walking on the beach
  8. A good book
  9. Flip flops
  10. Writing
  11. A good cup of coffee
  12. Rainy days
  13. An email from a faraway friend
  14. Blogging :)
  15. A card in the mailbox
  16. Funny jokes
  17. Sweet Tea
  18. Chick Fil A
  19. Summer time
  20. Halloween
  21. A clean house (which I so don't have right now!)
  22. Eating dinner out
  23. Knitting
  24. Finding clothes that fit (umm.. I'm 4'11 people!)
  25. People who have nice manners
  26. Taking Zorro for a walk and watching him smell the flowers... So Cute!
  27. Southern fried anything
  28. Spaghetti
  29. Libraries
  30. Little kids
  31. My writer's notebook
  32. A new journal
  33. Bookstores with comfy chairs
  34. Cute bookmarks
  35. Hand written thank you notes
  36. A great writing pen
  37. Technology
  38. Surprise parties
  39. Candlelight
  40. Sunsets
  41. Bubble Baths
  42. Trees in the Fall
  43. Digital cameras
  44. Children's books
  45. Sunflowers
  46. Getting flowers
  47. Chocolate cake with a big glass of cold milk
  48. Dogs
  49. Fluffy down pillows
  50. Wrapped presents

So those are the "top" 50 things I love...... I thought I should celebrate that! I'm off to put on my jammies and to get ready for Army Wives... only 2 shows left! I don't know what I'm going to do when it goes off.....Hmm... suspiciously Army Wives didn't make the list!

:) JKP

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Hey Y'all,

I just discovered that I can blog from school! For some reason I thought blogger was blocked, but it's not, and I really need to update!

I had a very scary situation this morning! One of my outlets blew in my classroom! Plugged into this outlet is my laptop cart. I plug in m projector and laptop into the back of this cart. The back of the cart with plugs faces me! Well, the plug blew, the spark traveled through my cart and shot out with the left over plugs on the back! The spark was so powerful that it melted my metal bracelet. I am fine, just really shaken up. We had lots of smoke and the kids were scared, but we are OK. I am really sad about my bracelet. It is my favorite piece of jewelry. It was silver with a medallion hanging from it with my initials. The medallion is completely burnt to a crisp. However, I think it saved my life because it took the spark and it didn't catch my clothes on fire.

So, no more technology for me today. However, I am going to buy a lotto ticket after school! I've got the power today!!!

I'll post more about my writing retreat later. I need to go have a sweet tea!
:) JKP

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Weekend Full of Writing

Hi Y'all!

Well, I am really looking forward to this weekend. The writing class that I took this summer through the Coastal Area Writing Project is hosting a weekend retreat at the Cypress Inn in Conway for us to get together and flex our writing muscles. We meet tomorrow at 5 and the retreat lasts until 5 on Saturday. I am so excited about this! I have missed my writing buddies and the encouragement I got from my group. I am looking forward to seeing my buddies again and getting the writing bug/juices going again. My bag is packed with my Writer's Notebook, watercolors and pastels. I can't wait to see what fun we get in to!

Zorro is spending the weekend with his granny. Zoe is staying with us tonight, and then Mom is taking both of them back with her tomorrow. Zorro is feeling a lot better, he is chasing Zoe around the house. That's how I know!

Check back on Sunday to see if I have any new writing posted!
:) JKP

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Have Discovered a New Guilty Pleasure...

Hey Y'all!!

Sorry it has been a week since my last post, but October is just an insane month for teachers. We have these personalized learning plans that we have to do for each student and we only have a short amount of time to get them done. Luckily they are computerized, but it does take A LOT of time to work on them. We have conferences coming up Oct. 21-23, so I have tried to be all organized and get mine done early. Well, then add in all the papers I have to grade, the notes home, the lessons to plan, and not to mention a field trip coming up... and I have had alot on my plate. Once October calms down, things seem to get back to normal!

I am feeling better, but I still have my cough. So I am still going to bed early, because I am just exhausted after a day at school. Zorro has a cough too, and the vet put him on an antibiotic for a sinus infection. He seems to be acting a little better, but like me, is still coughing. We are such a pair! I cough, he coughs. He coughs, I cough. My soul mate.

I was such a bad girl last night, I didn't even watch the debate. I got into my jammies and got all comfy in bed and I just couldn't watch. I think I am over-saturated with the state of America right now. So I flipped through the channels to find some brain numbing TV. Well folks, I have found a new guilty pleasure! I do like reality TV, but most of the time I get really bored with the shows. So I stop watching. Well let me tell you, I tuned in to The Real Housewives of Atlanta last night on Bravo and it was like a train wreck. I couldn't stop watching! I am so fascinated by people who have all of this money, but don't do any good with it. Last night a woman on the show wrote a $68,000 CHECK for a brand new Cadillac Escalade. Y'all. And with gas prices the way they are! Do you know how much money that is? I don't make that in a year. And I tutor after school and do technology training on the side! I am sure that it is nice to be able to walk off the car lot with a brand new car... but all I can hear is Dave Ramsey yelling... YOU'RE AN IDIOT!!
I think even if I had money, I could never spend that on a car. The same with clothes. I love me some cute clothes, but I want a sale price or a bargain. I am not cheap, I am just careful with my money. These days you have to be. The other women on this show just amaze me. There are at least two who work, but the rest really just, don't do alot of anything except focus on themselves. I am telling you, this show is a guilty pleasure. But I'm not sure if having lots of money and living like they do can make you happy. At the end of the day, at least I can say I have touched the life of a child and maybe, just maybe taught them something. All of the money in the world can't replace that. Although, it would be really nice to have their budget. I wouldn't have to worry about how I was going to buy Christmas presents for my students!

Last, but not least, I can't leave this post without commenting on the state of affairs in this country. I know a lot of folks are scared. I am one of them, but I am trying not to buy into this hysteria. I watch Dave every night on the Fox News Business channel and take his advice to heart. I have made major changes in how I am living. If you notice, my Netflix sidebar is gone. I have cancelled my subscription. I am having a yard sale next weekend. I am even fixing up my spare room so I can get a roomate. I've turned one of my digital boxes back into the cable company. (I didn't loose my mind, I still have my DVR!) But, these are uncertain times and I am trying to prepare and not waste extra cash. I figure the best way I can help this country is to get myself out of debt. So I have stopped watching CNN and the nightly news. I am grateful for everything that I have. I am grateful for my job. I am trying to focus on the positives and keep my head up. Times are going to get tough, but if you are prepared and doing everything you can, then you will be alright. I think that tough times are a good thing for our country. We have forgotten what we are all about. Maybe this will make folks closer to their families and not stuck on autopilot. Maybe folks will actually begin to live again, and not be zombies just buying stuff.

Anyway, those are just my thoughts.

Nighty, night!
:) JKP

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy Hump Day!

I thought this was the cutest picture of Zorro. He has literally thrown himself over the pillow. Notice, the remote to the TV is not far behind!! Heee! He has also absconded with the fleece blanket from my bed. That boy is resourceful! 

Sorry I have been AWOL from the blog, but I have been really sick with an upper respiratory infection. I stayed in all weekend, except to go to my class on Saturday. I slept all day Sunday and somehow made it through school Monday, Tuesday and today. I am feeling a little better, but my voice is still coming and going. Now, all of the other third grade teachers have the crud! My coughing fits have finally stopped as long as I use an inhaler. I didn't think y'all would want to read a blog post on the merits of mucus. 

Things at school have been really yucky this week and if you count what is going on with the economy right now, I think most folks are pretty nervous. I think the overall feeling in the nation is one of panic. Which, with an election around the corner, we don't need. 

Well, I am off to take it easy and do some reading... Happy October! 
:) JKP 

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Little Throat Tickle That Could....

Hey Y'all,

Well remember my little throat tickle? Well, it has turned into an upper respiratory infection, which has landed me with a day home from school! I went to the doc on Wednesday, who promptly gave me a Z-Pack and told me, by the way that I had an ear infection too! She tried to get me to take Thursday and Friday off... but substitute teachers are scarce these days... so I made it through yesterday and took today off. I went to bed early last night with Zorro and Zoe and this morning I am feeling a tad better. My voice still comes and goes, but my nasty cough and coughing fits are under control. So I am looking forward to a day of sleep and TV.

Tomorrow I have a class! My writing class from this summer is meeting at Coastal from 9-1 tomorrow. We are meeting to discuss our big presentations that we have coming up in November. I am looking forward to seeing and chatting with everyone!

Alrighty, I am going back to the sofa now!!
:) JKP

Monday, September 22, 2008

There's a Wee Tickle in My Throat....

Happy Fall Y'all!!!

I love the fall! It is my favorite time of year. I don't live in a part of the country that has a lot of trees that change for the season, but I love it just the same. I have always loved fall. I don't know if it is because I am a fall baby... but October and November are my FAVORITE months of the year! I love all of the oranges, reds and purples. I love the whole idea of scarecrows and apple and pumpkin pie. I love the cool nights and mornings. I love the warm autum afternoons. Fall just makes me happy. I think I like fall so much because all of my good childhood memories are from the fall. And then there's Halloween. My favorite day of the year!

I woke up on Saturday with a tickle in my throat. I thought it may just be allergies.. but it has turned into a major tickle that chokes me when I try and talk. Not a great thing when you are a teacher.... This sounds like it is becoming the Horry County Creeping Crud.....

I'm off to nurse myself with some NyQuil and hot tea! Mmmmm... pumpkin bread would hit the spot right now!
:) JKP

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy....

Hey Y'all,

I honestly can't believe that today is already Sunday and another week is about to begin! Since last Tuesday, when I last posted, I have been really busy with school. I am just trying to tread water at this point! I think things will be alot better when I get off of the prednisone. It is just that everything is magnified by 100 percent now. Normal things that don't bother me at all, are of course, making me crazy! I had a last minute meeting after school on Friday with my principal and he informed us that we are moving into our new third grade wing on Friday, Nov. 21st. While this is great and I am very happy that all of this is happening BEFORE the holidays... it takes alot to move. Especially a classroom! So the next month or so is going to be interesting.

I did take some time out and enjoy myself this weekend! On Saturday, Uncle Rich made his way down to my end of the beach and I met him and Aunt Brenda at P.F Chang's for a yummy lunch on Saturday! Y'all.. I think I am still full! While I was out at the Market Common I ended up running into some friends that I teach with, so I went back into P.F Chang's and hung out with them a while longer. I spent the rest of the afternoon walking through Handpicked, Anthropologie (oh, how I wish I was rich!!) and Barnes and Noble. It was kind of a cloudy, windy day, so it was perfect for taking a stroll through the stores.

This morning I was up bright and early, and I just chose not to fight it. I set up my stuff at about 7 a.m. and I got a lot of school work done. I made my spelling lists through December and thought out my lesson plans for the next month or so. I wrapped up at about 12:30 and took Zorro on his second walk of the day. I think Zorro actually prefers the sleep deprived me... .he gets more walks out of the deal! We also took some time to decorate our house for the fall season. I took my Department 56 Halloween Houses out of the attic and put them out with my orange and purple fairy lights. It looks very fallish around here! Zorro decided to sleep through this part. I've gotten alot done this weekend, which is good. My writing class from this summer is meeting again next Saturday from 9-1 at Coastal, so I had to really get my ducks in a row this week.

Well, my hands are killing me, but I am going to try and finish working on a baby sweater!
:) JKP

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ceasar Is Fixed, But I'm Still a Hot and Sweaty Mess!

Hey Y'all!

Good News! Ceasar is all better! The air conditioning is working again! And all it took was one Power Transducer. I really have no idea what that is. Y'all Google it. I was so happy to get in my car and have air after 2 weeks! I literally drove home with the air on high. My windows were fogged on the outside.... that is how cold it was in my car!! YIPPPPEEEEE!!!! It was the coolest I have been all day.

My day started at 1:00 a.m. so I could change my jammies that were soaked due to my hot flashes. Then I had another change at 4. Today it was so hot and humid, I was really worried that I might have a heat stroke. I got home a few minutes ago and took my second shower and washed my hair. Again. Tonight we have PTA at school. I am not going. I am terrified I will faint in front of the parents. Besides, since we are remodeling, there really isn't room. I'll catch the November meeting!

Alrighty, I am off and I'm in search of something cold to drink..... I'm of course, still hot!

p.s. The new season of House starts tonight!

:) JKP

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Am Slowly Returning To Normal... Whatever That Is!

Hey Y'all!

This is going to be a quick post... The Closer season finale is on! I haven't been the best watcher of this season... since I have been going to bed so early.. but I have them all DVR'ed and ready to tune in on a sleepless night!

Both of my Dr's appointments went well today. I am slowly healing and it looks like the Sweet's Syndrome has abated for now. I still have a few weeks left on the evil drug... but knowing there is an end in sight might make things better. I have started to take some Lasix to help with all of the swelling that the evil drug is giving me. My joints are really bothered by all of the extra water. So every few days, I take a Lasix and my joints feel better for a while. It is mainly my back, knees and wrists that suffer the most. YUCK!

I really enjoyed my day in Charleston today.. it was nice to have a Monday free! I had to take Mom's car for the trip. Poor Ceasar the CR-V... his air conditioning stopped working about 2 weeks ago. As in no air. As in no blowing air. As in NADA! As in me on steroids, dying of a heatstroke and NO AIR IN MY CAR!!! IN THE SUTHERN' HEAT!!! So, knowing it was going to be bad and expensive, and me being VERY POOR at the moment, I kind of put off taking Ceasar in to the shop! On Saturday, I needed an oil change and my 80,000 mile tune up, so I bit the bullet and asked them to look at the air. I had already been on the internet and heard/read that sometimes the air compressor just blows up in the CR-V after about 60,000 miles. So I said a Hail Mary.. and went forth. Praying that the result would not be the $2,000 one! It turns out the mechanic had seen the same problem in a CR-V the week before and he knew exactly what to do! So all in all... I had to have a part ordered and I am going to have it replaced tomorrow after-school. Then, it will be igloo time!

Speaking of igloos.... in my room right now, my ceiling fan is going on high, the air is on 72 and I have my monster standing fan blowing on my side of the bed. Zoe is in heaven! Zorro is burried under blankets on the sofa! I will be very happy when I am not hot all the time! I think Zorro will be too!

Later gators!
:) JKP

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Think Something "Boney" Is Going On Around Here....

Hey Y'all,
This is what was waiting for me when I arrived home from school on Thursday.

Do you think Zorro is stockpiling for something? Who knows! Zorro gets a chewy bone about every other day. Sometimes he hides them and I roll over them while I am sleeping. Sometimes, he leaves one on my pillow for me. Last week, I was in the back yard and found a hiding place where he has been stashing these when I am not at home! The other night, he ran into my bedroom and then ran out with a bone. Then I come home and find this.

Zorro has been a very busy boy! He has also been a little under the weather. Zorro has allergies and has been having a hard time since the begining of August. Recently, he started not eating his food, which is very unusual, and it signals that something is not right with his food. I did some quick internet research and discovered that the company that made his food, has been having TONS of complaints and Consumer Reports wrote an article on them. This really upset me and explained why Zorro has been so sick! I was feeding Zorro a brand that had a very good reputation, but suddenly and recently, they have sold to MARS, Inc. and the ingredeints they have been using in their food is just not accpetable. Zorro is such a smart boy, he knew this! So on Friday, I went and visited Coastline Pet Supply. The owner was wonderful and very informed about "healthy" dog food. I learned so much and now Zorro is on a new food... Ealge Pack's Holistic Select Senior. We even switched Zoe and both seem much happier and they have tons more engery. Zorro is still wheezing a little, but he has more pep in his step. So folks, don't be afraid... make sure you know what your babies are eating! AND DON'T FEED YOUR PETS ANYTHING MADE BY NUTRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zorro says, "No more Nutro, But I'll have another chewy bone please!"

I actually took the day off of school tomorrow. I have to drive to Charelston for 2 Dr's appointments. One of my appt's is for the sore on my leg that is no more! My leg is all better except for the skin peeling where the sore was. So I hope this is the end of it! I am still on the evil prednisone, but I have tapered down to 40mgs. I am still having mega hot flashes and not sleeping... but at least I am weaning myself off! I also forgot about the horrible shakes I get when I come off of the steroids. I can't knit today because my hands are shaking. I did finish reading a couple of good books though. I am also about to put a movie in.... Fool's Gold.
Well, the little man wants a walk... that's a good sign! I'll write more after the Dr's tomorrow!
:) JKP

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Don't Be Puttin' No Lipstick On a Pig Now.......

Hey Y'all!

OMG! I am in a serious time warp! Since I haven't been feeling that great over the past few weeks, I have been going to bed early. REALLY EARLY. Like, so early that the sun is still out. Most nights Zorro and I are in the bed by 8:30! This is unheard of for me, but it is the only way I can manage my four hours of sleep each night that the prednisone lets me have. I am looking forward to returning to my vampire way of life soon.... (I am a true night owl, I always have been) but as long as I am on this horrible medicine, I don't think that is going to happen! The upside to all of this is that I get to school really early. I have time to run through Chick-fil-a and still have time to spare. My team is worried. I am worried.

Anyway, apparently due to my early nocturnal doings, I have missed the mudslinging that has begun in the presidential race. And oh my, it's a doozy! Y'all know that I am suthern' and all and "puttin' lipstick on a pig" is akin to the "pink elephant in the room." It's a phrase that we use to make light of something. To point out something. Well, apparently it has been taken to far. I heard a little about this debacle between Obama and Palin this morning online, but my kids were coming in the room and I didn't have time to investigate further. I stayed at school WAY TOO late today, and got home as the 6:30 news was coming on. So anyway, basically a remark Obama made was taken way out of context towards Sara Palin. But this is what gets me... she just used the "lipstick" remark about hockey moms in her speech at the RNC. So, some think it's a slip of the tongue, some think it's a crude remark.... You say tomato, I say tho-ma-to......

I guess now we will really see what this race is going to be like. I am still undecided, but I am leaning McCain's way.... we'll see. Obama's theories on education scare me just a little. Is it too much to ask for someone who has taught in a public school, for more than 5 years to decide policy for our teachers and children? And I don't mean someone who was a teacher for 2 years and then went into administration. We need a true educator, one who has been in the trenches daily! With munchkins!
So we shall see! I have a feeling that things are about to escalate in this presidential race!

Well, it's the witching hour for me. Nighty, night!
:) JKP

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just a Quick Note...

Hi Y'all...

I'm still here! Getting back into the swing of things yesterday was tough! I think both me and my students enjoyed having a "surprise" day off on Friday. Finally today, things were more normal. We seemed to be on more of a schedule and without any tropical storms or hurricanes looming we could focus on what we had to get done today!

I am very excited, tonight I have supper club with all of my friends from the Coastal Area Writing Project that I took this summer. We are meeting at Abuelos, one of my favorite restaurants! I can't wait to see and catch up with everyone. Since school started my writing has gone by the wayside, as I thought it would. It will be nice to reconnect with everyone and maybe get some ideas flowing! I have noticed that this year I am better about not bringing as much home, but since I haven't been feeling great, I come home and rest up for the next day.

My leg is so much better, you wouldn't believe it! I will post pics tomorrow. I go back to Charleston on Monday to be re-evaluated and hopefully I can get off of this dang prednisone. I haven't slept in over a week! I actually got in bed at 8:30 last night, took a Tylenol p.m and only got 4 hours of sleep. Then when I wake up I am covered in sweat because of the hot flashes I am having. Zorro is so not happy with me right now! Not to mention that the prednisone makes me literally want to cry.. LIKE ALL OF THE TIME! It also makes me very anxious! I am so ready to get off of this merry go round!

Well, let me go.. I've got to take a bath before I go out to dinner...
:) JKP

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Hannah Aftermath.....And Knitting Too!

Hey Y 'all...

Well, we survived Tropical Storm Hannah with minimal damage.

Our only wind damage was one of my ferns. It was knocked over by the 30 something mile an hour winds. We did have lots of rain and at one point the road in front of my house resembled a lake, but all in all, we were fine. We didn't even loose power. Our lights flickered twice and that was it. I went to bed about 2 a.m. (thanks, prednisone) just as Hannah was coming ashore in North Myrtle. I didn't hear a thing, and Zorro didn't either. If we have to have storms, those are the kind to have. I am really worried about the folks in Cuba, the Keys and the Gulf right now, IKE looks like a monster storm!

With all of that time on my hands Friday and Saturday, I embarked on a new knitting project. I have about 5 friends who are all preggers right now and are due within months of each other. I have been scouring Ravelry for cute baby patterns and I came across several. I casted on for this garter stitch baby kimono (a pattern by Bernat) Friday afternoon. Thanks to the prednisone, I've had to put it down for a while, my joints are hurting. (One of my weird side effects.)

Here is one front and a half of a front of the kimono. I am using Baby Bernat Jacquards in Spearmint Candy for this project. The yarn does this cool striping effect. It really makes you look fancier than you are! This is just garter stitch and simple decreases and a little shaping. I love the pink and green combination, it looks darling!

This is what it looks like partially put together. When I finish the front, I have the back and arms to knit. All in all, this is an easy knit. There has been a House marathon on USA this weekend, so I've been watching and knitting! I've decided I need to do more of this to get me through my prednisone doldrums. Oh, how I hate thee! But, oh how much better I feel!

On another note, Zorro wants you to know he has everything under control, including all of the blankets in the house. The medicine, which shall not be named, is giving me terrible hot flashes. So Zorro has taken this opportunity to steal every blanket in the house to stay warm while I have the air really going. Bless his heart!

Alrighty, I am off to finish watching House.... and Army Wives is new tonight! Yippee!

:) JKP

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Sweet's Syndrome Timeline

Hey Y'all!

Well below chronicles my whole debacle with Sweet's Syndrome. My first lesion appeared on my leg around the 30th of July. It is now September 5th and I am just starting to heal thanks to some prednisone. Although it makes me feel yucky, it is really helping my leg.

This is what my lesion looked like about three days after it appeared. We began to think it was a spider bite or maybe even staph. At this point I was in some pain, and I was on 2 antibiotics.

This is the lesion about two weeks after the first picture. This was taken the day before I went to the surgeon for a biopsy. At this point, I am in alot of pain and my leg is really swollen. I am having a hard time standing and walking for long periods of time.

Another shot on the same day.

Another shot, same day, you can see how large it is.

Slide of 1st biopsy by the surgeon in Myrtle Beach.

My leg as of last night, Sept. 4th. This is after 1 dose of prednisone.

Another shot from last night. The black looking things are my collection of stitches from the 2 biopsies that I had done.

In this picture you can see how large the lesion turned out to be. I am a short person, so it took up almost the majority of my lower leg.
So that's it. I should be a whole lot better by Monday. I'll post pics throughout the weekend so you can see how I am healing. The scary thing is, these things can be recurring. No thanks!
I am off to track Hannah!
:) JKP

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Battening Down the Hatches!

Hey Y'all!

Well, remember in my last post how I said that Myrtle Beach was going to be fine and we were in school for the next two days? Hee.... I was somewhat wrong. We got word this morning about 11:30 that school was cancelled for tomorrow due to the "unexpected nature" of the tropical storm Hannah. So I find myself with a day off tomorrow! The weather experts still can't determine where she will actually make landfall, but I do think that the weather is not going to be fun tomorrow night. Luckily, I had an inkling that this may happen, and visited the grocery store on Tuesday. Yeah, I'm psychic like that. So Zoe and Zorro have bones and water. Most importantly, I have cheese doodles, movies and yarn. We are set.

Y'all.. that nasty evil prednisone is working! I am starting to feel better! My sore is getting a little better, and it did not hurt as much today. Also, my leg didn't swell as much either. Tomorrow I am going to post a timeline of pics for this Sweet's Syndrome that I have. It will blow your mind when you see how this thing literally took over my leg. I am so thankful that the pain is lessening. I actually took Zoe and Zorro for a stroll tonight and didn't have to limp. Don't get me wrong, my leg is still repulsive, but by next week it should be gone. Let's just hope another one doesn't pop up anytime soon. Although, I must say... it has been a few years since I have been on the prednisone. I forgot how bad it makes me feel. But it does give me lots of energy! p.s. visit the link for Sweet Syndrome above... it made CNN!

I've been upstairs tonight pulling together baby yarn for some projects that I need to work on. I have 5 friends who are expecting babies within the next 6 months, so I need to get busy! I have found some cute and easy baby sweater patterns on Ravelry that I am going to work on over the weekend. Luckily I graded all of my papers last night, so I can play and rest my leg this weekend.

Well, I am off to watch the Republican National Convention. You know, I am interested in politics... however.... these past two weeks of conventions has given me the best nights sleep in a long while. I am going to be lost when they are over! Give me a crowd and a speech and I can call it a night!
:) JKP

I'll post tomorrow and let you know how we are doing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Paging Dr. Gregory House... STAT!

Hey Y'all....

I am wondering if that hospital on the show House is real. Is there really a Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital? Surely there is a Dr. House this point I think I could qualify as a patient!

Anyway... the doc figured out what is wrong with me. I had another biopsy done yesterday and today it came back and they have concluded that I have Sweet Syndrome. I wish that meant that I was chronically nice, but it doesn't. It's a syndrome that some folks with Crohn's get.. and lucky me! My sore on my leg is larger. I have four new stitches to show for their exploration yesterday. My students are very impressed at my collection of stitches these days! I have to start on a round of prednisone and take it for the next two weeks. I have a follow up appointment on the 15th. So hopefully I can return to the land of the living soon!

In other news, we are still monitoring Hannah. She can't make up her mind if she is a hurricane or tropical storm. By all accounts, I think that Myrtle Beach is going to be safe. We are going to school for the next two days, so I think that means we are in the clear. My kids have been really excited about the storm, though. I had to pull out some hurricane stuff because they were so interested. We go online during the day to check out the progress of Hannah, Ike and Josephine. Tomorrow we are going to write a Hannah poems. Hee! If you can't beat them, join them!

I off to bed... I am so tired! I just finished grading 10 sets of papers. What a glamorous life I lead!
:) JKP