Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ringing in the New Year....

Hey Y'all,
Well, today was a busy day! Look at what I finished!

My one New Year's rezzie for 2009 was to learn how to knit socks. CHECK!!!!! I started this pair WAY back in February when I took a sock knitting class at The Knit and Purl. By March, I had one sock done. Then Zorro became very sick and all of my friends kept having babies, so the last sock hibernated in my knitting bag. Well, over the past few weeks, when Paddington would let me, I slowly tried to finish them up. I decided today that they were getting finished BEFORE the clock hit 2010 tomorrow night! So there you have the evidence of my 2009 New Year's resolution!

I have another knitting project that I have had to step away from. I started making these as a gift for family members for the holidays. The knitting pattern is great, it is the seaming that is driving me mad. I hate to seam even under the best circumstances. But these babies call for a "special" seam called the Bickford seam. My patience is just not there yet. Maybe I will have more luck tomorrow! I hope these felt up as cute as the ones I have seen, but we will have to wait and see. Don't fret.. the pieces are supposed to look like this, I promise!

Next up on the knitting front are SEVERAL baby gifts. I have a baby set that I have been commissioned to do, my college roommate is expecting in March, and one of our third grade teachers is due in May. My one crafty New Year's Resolution this year is to learn how to crochet. I can chain like nobody's business.. but holding the yarn and getting the right tension is giving me a fit. Oh well. I have a whole year!

My other rezzie's include, of course exercise. With my crazy tummy and now elevated cholesterol, I am afraid that I don't have a choice in 2010.

As I mentioned in my Christmas newsletter, this has been a good, but sad year. I still miss Zorro like crazy, but I am very thankful for Mr. Paddington. Who is squeaking a bone and a ball as I type.

Let me run and play with him!

:) JKP

Monday, December 28, 2009

Livin' The Life..... Of a Couch Potato

Hey Y'all!

I hope the post finds you enjoying the ends of the holiday season! Our Christmas here at Chez Barks and Squeaks alot, was very bright! On Christmas Eve Eve, I got the word that Uncle Richard was coming home for Christmas! Uncle Richard and Aunt Brenda have been spending time in their mountain home and it was easier on Uncle Richard's flight schedule if they stayed at the mountain house. Well, the last ice storm changed their minds, and yippee, I ended up having Christmas Eve lunch and Christmas day lunch with him! Hooray for snow and ice storms. No, not really, but Uncle Richard came home!

It was my responsibility to make macaroni and cheese and a desert for Christmas Day lunch. Luckily, on Christmas Eve Eve Eve, Paula Deen had a crock pot special on the Food Network. So for my mac and cheese dish, I chose to follow her recipe for Mac and Cheese in the crock pot.

I followed the recipe, but did change a few things. First of all, I HATE eggs in macaroni, so I left those out. Also I did not add the mustard seed. Before I added the macaroni to the crock pot, I only cooked it for half of the time listed on the box. I hate when noodles are soggy, so I let the crock pot finish the work! The result was creamy and yummy. Although, I think next time I will bake it in the oven. I missed the crispy crust on top!

My next responsibility for Christmas lunch was a desert. I found a recipe in a magazine for bread pudding made with egg nog and a panettone. Panettone is that wonderful bread looking thing that you only see in the stores around Christmas.

Y'all know me, I started the whole thing off with rum. :)

This is what I topped mine with. Now for the recipe....

4 large eggs

1 quart of canned or refrigerated Egg Nog (I used the Vanilla Spice kind)

8 cups of cubed panettone

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2 quart shallow baking dish with non stick cooking spray. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended. Whisk in the egg nog. Place the pantettone cubes in the baking dish. Pour egg nog and egg mixture over the cubes. Add cranberries and raisins soaked in rum on top. :) Bake uncovered for 50 to 55 minutes until knife inserted comes out clean. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve. It serves 8.

This is mine, right before it went in the oven. The result was very yummy. The nice thing about this bread pudding is that is wasn't sugary and was the perfect way to end a heavy meal.

As you can see, my family enjoyed our feast!

Anywhoo, that's some of the things that I have been up too. Back to the life of a couch potato!!

:) JKP

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Got Milk?

Hey Y'all,

Well, as promised, I BAKED.
Here's the total of the spread I made! I started last night, I had a few of the doughs that had to be refrigerated overnight. I started baking at 8 this morning and just finished. As you can see, I don't have my sugar cookies cut out for now, but I decided it was time for me to back away from the flour!!
Today, I made....

Raspberry Shortbread with White Chocolate Drizzle (They are about to go in the oven here...)

Cranberry Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

My personal favorite of all time... BLONDIES!

Paddington says, "When is the fat guy in the red suit going to come? I have been a good boy!"
:) JKP

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Hey Y'all,

Well, the good news is, I am feeling SO much better! I have taken several long naps each day and have been taking my antibiotic like a good girl! Yesterday, I even went out to lunch with a friend! Today, I actually took the furry babies to the groomer and then came home and cleaned my ENTIRE house. Laundry too! So it looks like I have had a Christmas miracle!

So you know what this means for tomorrow.... BAKING! This afternoon I took the time to gather all of my cookie cutters that I haven't seen in years! The last time I actually made true cut out Christmas Cookies was about 5 years ago. My kitchen in this house is smaller than my last house, and I don't have as much counter space as a used to. While I love the kitchen I have now, when you bake cookies, you want to spread out. Well, this year I have decided to try it. I have several sugar cookie recipes to try and several icings I want to try as well. I also have some "non" sugar Christmas Cookies to bake too. Of course I watched a Paula special a few days ago on Cookie Swaps and have some ideas from there too!

So, of course, I will photo document all of my baking adventures. Stay tuned! I have to run... The Santa in the Brown Truck is here (the UPS guy) and Paddington enjoys torturing him!
:) JKP

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ms. Snuffleupagus

Hey Y'all,

Well, I am officially on Christmas Break. As of 3:00 on Friday I wanted to do cartwheels! Instead, I had to swim in a monsoon. In case you haven't been keeping up with the weather, a nice little blizzard has hit most of the country. However, Myrtle Beach did not see ANY snow. We saw RAIN. So much so, that for a little while on Friday night, I actually had lake front property. While Paddington has had immense fun jumping into puddles, I have not had so much fun cleaning his white fur off. Luckily for him (and he doesn't know this) he goes to see Megan the groomer on Tuesday!

I ran a few errands yesterday morning. I went to bed Friday with a massive headache, but I thought it was due to stress and the weather. By yesterday afternoon, I started to not feel so hot. I should have known something was up when I took a 3 hour nap yesterday afternoon. But no. So I woke up this morning feeling like Ms. Snuffleupagus. I have a massive sinus thing going on and I kind of feel like I have been hit by a truck. I started on an antibiotic and have been taking Tylenol Sinus around the clock. I am hoping that sleeping in tomorrow will help too!

Until I started feeling bad yesterday, I had a whole list of things I wanted to do this weekend. I wanted to do my holiday baking, but seeing as I have had the dizzies due to my sinuses, I passed on that. I did watch a few movies, one being Julie and Julia. I read the book on the way out to Tahoe this summer and enjoyed it. The movie was really interesting, especially the parts about Julia Child. It made me want to get in my kitchen and cook!

I also have several knitting projects going for Christmas. Well, since it's Friday, I better get to feeling better. I found the most precious pattern for these. I am not saying what they are. If you are a close family member, DO NOT CLICK THE LINK!!! They knit up in a jiffy and you get to felt. Need I say more? Also, they are so similar to my favorite shoes of all time. And we all know my professed love for all things Paula Deen, sweet tea and my favorite shoes of all time.

Today we had an impromtu family get together in Scranton at our barbeque place. It started out as a few of us just getting together before Christmas and then ALL of our family showed up. It was so nice to see everyone before Christmas.

Well, Pitty Pat is asleep in his crate, so I think I will go to bed. My head is hurting, so I think that is my cue...

Later Gators!
:) JKP

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Monkey Business

Hey Y'all,

Yesterday I mentioned in my post that I made some yummy Monkey Bread for my friends Toni and Marie who visited last weekend. This was a fantastic way to start our day long marathon of shopping. The best part is, refrigerate these when you are done and they are even better the next day! Here's the recipe with pics!

To make Paula Deen's Monkey/Gorilla Bread you will need:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuts (10 count) (I use Pilsbury's Buttermilk ones)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Spray your bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Then mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a seperate bowl. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stir this well!
Next, cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. You will have a half moon looking biscut.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of your bundt pan. Place half of the biscuits with the sugar and cream cheese in the pan. Sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts.

Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.

I served mine with hot coffee and a side of fruit. Trust me, it was a HUGE HIT! So if you want something yummy to make for Christmas morning.. this is it!!
:) JKP

Saturday, December 12, 2009

So This is Why I Haven't Blogged.....

Hey Y'all,

Well, this is the current state of my living room. Do you see all of the dog toys? Yup. This is what has kept me from blogging. Among other things. Paddington has taken over the living room!

Pitty Pat on guard at the window!

Pitty Pat on guard at the door!

Pitty Pat posing for the camera! He has gotten SO BIG! He now weighs 14 pounds! He has also gotten really cute about some things. He now knows that he can lay on my bed with me at night. He doesn't sleep with me yet, but we are almost there. He loves to sit on the chair in the living room and patrol the 'hood. He has some other things he has figured out too. Like how to pull the toilet paper off of the roll and shred it. He has also learned how to pull up the carpet and chew on it! Ahh... puppy hood. Paddington is now 9 months and is still very much a puppy!!
Paddington stayed with my mom last weekend while my two very best buddies came to visit me for a ChristmasPaloozaGirlsWeekend2009 extravaganza. We shopped from one end of Horry County to another AND even into North Carolina! While the girls were here I made a fantastic Monkey Bread recipe by Paula Deen. I will post it with pics tomorrow. They are so yummy, that they deserve their own post!!! Let's just say, that they are very yummy in the tummy!
Well, we have one more week until school gets out for Christmas. Thank God. I don't know how I am going to make it through next week. Lots of Excedrin will be involved. I am such a Grinch, my kiddies have tests on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I guess it is just bad timing, but I've got a few things I HAVE to do before Christmas! I have plenty of fun things planned for Thursday and Friday, so it will be fine.
Tomorrow I am going to try and shoot the annual Christmas Card. Zoe will not be in the picture this year. She still doesn't like Paddington and proved it this week by biting him on the nose. :)
I am off to snuggle on the sofa with Paddington and watch some Christmas movies on TV...
I'll check in tomorrow!!
:) JKP

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Begining To Look A Lot Like........

Hey Y'all!

Well, obviously one of my New Year's resolutions this year is going to involve me being a better blogger. I kind of slacked off, which is a shame, because I have so much going on! Pitty Pat turns nine months old this week! We are in the process of scouting out locations for the ol' Christmas card. He already has his UGLY sweater to wear!

I am really excited about this weekend too, my two best buddies are coming from Lexington to spend the weekend with me and shop away! Usually I make the trip up to Cola/Lexington, but this year the girls are coming to me! Paddington is going to stay with his granny for the weekend, so I am a free woman!

I really enjoyed my long Turkey Day break, I really had the Sunday blues last night. Only 14 more days until Christmas Break!

I have lots on the needles. I am finishing up a pair of socks and recently I have become obsessed with knitting hats! I am also jumping into mitten knitting as well. All of this is hysterical. I only need a hat and mittens for 1 day a year living at the beach! Our high was in the 70's today. I put up my Christmas tree yesterday wearing flip flops. Global warming for sure!

I leave you with two of my favorite photos of this year. While in Charleston setting up for the wedding, I got to hang out with my cousin Jordan (the bride) and our friend wedding planner and long time friend Kate. Kate just got a new dog named Mista Busta Brown. We had the best time hanging out with him. The other photo is of me becoming one with a slice of heaven... Andolini's Pizza. I was lucky enough to grab a slice when I was in Charleston for The Big Fat Lebanese Wedding. It was so yummy!


:) JKP

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pitty Pat the Elf

Looks Like Someone Has Been Hitting The Egg Nog a Little Early!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

:) JKP

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Big Fat Lebanese Wedding...

Hey Y'all,

Well, tomorrow morning I am off to Charleston for The Big Fat Lebanese Wedding. My cousin Jordan is getting married and we have a weekend of events! So far at this point, I am bringing more shoes than outfits, but a girl has to have options!!!

Pitty Pat is staying at doggie camp while I am gone, I hate to drop him off in the morning.

I'll post more after the wedding!!

:) JKP

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sticks To Your Ribs!

Hey Y'all.....

Recently I had some blood work done by the good ol' doc and it seems that I have not escaped the curse of high cholesterol that runs rampant on both sides of my family. I am borderline at this time and I have to start behaving myself with what I put in my mouth. This presents a problem for me because all of the "good" food for a low cholesterol diet is stuff that I can't eat/digest because of my Crohn's Disease. I was reading a magazine article this week and in the article it suggested for a yummy low cholesterol breakfast make steel cut oats in a crockpot overnight to have yummy creamy oatmeal in the morning. I love oatmeal, I just never have time to make the "proper" kind! So last night I did the experiment.

1 cup McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oats (it's expensive, but my favorite)
4 1/2 cups water
pinch of salt

Set the crockpot on low and let it cook for 8 hours overnight. I used my 2 quart cooker instead of my 6 quart cooker. The 6 quart is too big.

I woke up to the yummiest breakfast! I added a little bit of brown sugar and a little bit of milk to my oatmeal. It was just delicious! The best part is that this makes about 5 servings for me so I can have some more tomorrow! You can also add dried fruit to this while it is cooking too. It is important to note that you have to use the steel cut oats for this to work. The regular oats won't work as well in the crockpot. But for one cup of oats, I got about 5 cups of oatmeal.
And... it's sticks to your ribs on these cold mornings!
I am off to do some pre-birthday celebrating. I lost my mind and I am taking my kiddies on a field trip on Tuesday, which is my birthday. I better celebrate now, because on Tuesday, I will be worn out!
:) JKP

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Deals, Steals and Giveaways... Oh My!

Howdy Y'all!

Well, now is the time of year where folks really start revving up the shopping engines for all of the holiday shopping. If you like to peruse the Sunday ads and plan accordingly for good deals and steals, then you will love this tip. Most of the Black Friday Ads have already been leaked to many Internet sites. So get your organizers ready. Check out The Black Friday .com to get the hookup on what many major chains will be offering on the biggest shopping day of the year. Watch this site daily as they add something new everyday. According to Black Walmart is getting ahead of the game this year and having a pre-Black Friday sale this Saturday that starts a 8:00 am. This site also updates daily. Don't forget to check Southern Savers everyday too. Lot's of neat deals are being posted daily too.

Right now, Philosophy is having a giveaway EVERY DAY! Log on daily to play The Gingerbread Man game. There are 5 winners every day AND you automatically are registered for the grand prize a $2500 Philosophy shopping spree! Now that's A LOT of smell goods!

Whew... while most folks are gearing up for the great big sales, I am not one of them! I enjoy sitting on my sofa, sipping my coffee watching the helicopter hover over crowded malls with frenzied shoppers. I have never had the patience for Black Friday. It's the same for the tax free weekend here in SC.. I would gladly pay tax than get in all of that mess! But, I thought that some of you would enjoy the deals and steals.

I am off to get ready for FlashForward. I am totally confused by this show, but like the creepy plot!
:) JKP

Monday, November 2, 2009

Face Lift....

Hey Y'all....

Well, I am at it again! You may notice that I am playing around with the look of the ol' blog lately... I found a really cute site that has some great backgrounds for blogs. The Cutest Blog on the Block is a great resource for all bloggers who want to make their blogs less template like and more like the authors of the blog. So hang tight and enjoy the changes!

We are all adjusting to the time change in our casa. Pitty Pat has been a handful and with this extra hour in the day he isn't quite sure what to do! Right now he is sleeping in the kitchen after an afternoon terrorizing Miss Zoe. Pitty Pat will be 8 months old this week! He is really growing up, but is still very much a puppy.

Halloween was quite a scream this year. Literally! Paddington had a ball barking at all of our trick or treaters. He must have sounded very menacing, because a few backed away from our door! I tried to tell them that he was safely barricaded in the kitchen, but some were doubtful. Paddington had a costume this year, Paddingtonstein. However, as you can see... all he really wanted to do was eat it.

Oh well... I am off to enjoy some How I Met Your Mother and Castle tonight. Later gators!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pinching Those Pennies.....

Hey Y'all!

Can you believe that next weekend it is going to be Halloween? Time changes next weekend too, just in case you were wondering!

I closed on my house on Halloween Day 2005. So, I will have lived in my house for 4 years next Saturday. One more year, and it will be a record for me!

Recently, I have had several friends talk about organizing their coupons for when they go shopping. I am a coupon girl myself. I love not having to pay full price for something! I always have a coupon with me for something. I came across this website a few weeks ago that is such a find! It is called Southern Savers. It is written and kept up by several ladies who live in NC, SC and GA. Their goal is to put everyday savings in one place. On the day that the food circulars come out, they comb them for you for the best deals. They also tell you where the best coupons are online and in the stores. This site also tells you how to combine coupons to get free things and earn money back! It has always been a dream of my to buy like $100 of groceries for like $5! With this site, you can!!! They also give you a deal of the day. My deal this week was AWESOME!!
Southern Savers sends out daily emails too, which is how I came across my deal of the day this week. This week if you became a fan of Edible Arrangements on Facebook, then you would be sent a coupon for a free box of chocolate dipped fruit. Y'all, I was all over that! Sure enough, after becoming a fan of Edible Arrangements, the next day my coupon was in my inbox. Was it worth it? I'll let you be the judge!

Oh my yummy goodness! Let's just say that about half of the box is GONE! The chocolate that they use for the dipping is DIVINE. None of this waxy chocolate. This is the GOOD stuff! And, IT WAS FREE!!!!!!!

So, I highly recommend Southern Savers. It really does work!

I'm off for Sunday lunch.... later taters!

:) JKP

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just Barely Keeping My Head Above Water.......

Hey Y'all,

Well at this point there is no denying it... I am OVERWHELMED. With school. With everything. My house is a disaster and I don't know if it will ever be straight again. Next week I have school conferences until 6:00 everyday. I have so much school work to do I don't think I will ever see daylight again.

Not to mention Mr. Paddington is not happy about these recent developments. He has eaten my comforter, my dust ruffle and several of my socks. He is most defintely not pleased.

Here's a video of the sock thief himself.....

Watch out .... your socks may be next!

:) JKP

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mama's Little Helper...

Hey Y'all!

Well, I have completely recovered from my bought with strep throat. I am feeling like my old self! I made it through the week and then took yesterday off for a checkup with my doc. I go back in Wednesday for bloodwork, but so far I seem to be healthy! However, many of my kiddies are not. I had 4 out with the Swine Flu this week. It seems to be contained to one area of the room. I hope it passes quickly!

Paddington turned seven months old last weekend and this week he has been alot of fun. He is still a puppy in many ways, but now he is starting to really grow up! Check out the video of him below. He is trying to help me make the bed! His little personaility is so funny! Everyday he discovers how to do something new!

Today it is sunny and beautiful so I am going to grab a book and go sit on the beach and read for awhile. Tomorrow I am heading to Lake City for a family lunch. My great Aunt Alice is turing 96, so we are coming together to celebrate.
I am off to my happy place.. THE BEACH!
p.s.- Guess what??? Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash is back in stores!! It is true that the holidays must be right around the corner......At least the egg nog has not made an appearance yet. I bet they will start putting it out this week!
:) JKP

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I've Been a Little Under the Weather.. No, Make That a Bus!

Hey Y'all,

Well. If you have been reading my twitter feeds, then you know for much of the last 4 days that I have been too sick to even get off of my sofa! I left school last Friday with a 102 temp and could barely drive. I tested negative for the flu and the "special" flu, but positive for strep. My throat hurt so bad I couldn't even swallow. Mom to the rescue! She took Pitty Pat for the weekend and all I did was sleep and pray that the pain and agony would end. My fever finally broke (even with Tylenol) around 3 a.m. Sunday morning. I am still weak, but I am on the mend. On top of all of this, our third graders had to perform tonight for PTA. So, ready or not, I had to go back to school on Monday. Here's a pic of our third grade team and our principal after our show tonight. Our kiddies did a great job and you can see the relief on our faces!

All of our kiddies had on our SC t-shirts too. Our program was all about South Carolina and its six regions.

Well, I am so tired and I need to put Pitty Pat to bed. He turned 7 months old on Sunday! We are still teething, and losing baby teeth too.

:) JKP

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Think a Peace Treaty is Brewing.....

Hey Y'all,

Well, to add to this crazy week, Paddington and Zoe have been having WW3 at my house! Paddington just wants to play and Zoe wants NONE of it! Well after trying to kill each other for a few days, I think a peace treaty has been reached......

Let's hope it sticks!

:) JKP

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The One Where I Keep Posting Videos From You Tube..


I just love this commercial. Paddington could star in it for sure!

:) JKP

Shh... Don't Tell Paddington What Santa is Bringing Him!

Hey Y'all....
I just had to share this......there are no words!

Ha! Ha! Maybe Paddington should get Zoe one as a peace offering. It has been WW3 around here!
:) JKP

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tres Meses (3 Months)

Hey Y'all,

Sorry if I have been blogging irregularly. But I have a lot going on, and sometimes, I think that you really don't want to hear about the mundane stressful details of my life. You have your own stressful life, and I imagine that you visit blogs as a form of escapism. You don't want to hear the same problems from me! :)

I have actually been having some fun, which is not like me these days! Last Saturday, I went to a Coastal Carolina University Football game! It was really weird, because the field that they play on used to be the field that my high school played on, so it was de ja vu at moments. I also went with an old friend from high school that happens to work at Coastal, so it was just like old times. It really made me miss Columbia and the USC games! But it was a great way to spend a fall night.

On a lighter note, I have had Mr. Paddington for 3 months today! I brought him home June 19th! This week was one of those weeks where I really thought "What have I done getting a puppy!" We have had a few tough weeks. My mom went out of town the week of Labor Day and Paddington had to stay in his crate all day long while I was at school. He did great and didn't wet his crate once. Well, he more than made up for that this week! My mom's office has installed a new way of doing their records in their office and she has been unable to get away for lunch to let him out. Top that with me being stuck and stressed at school and not able to get home until 4:30 or 5. Uggh. He really acted out this week. He wet his crate several times, wet all OVER my house and was biting and chewing everything!!! On Thursday, I really had to think if I was the best living situation for Paddington, because he was obviously NOT happy. Friday was better and today he was back to his sweet self. He also went to the groomer for the first time today! I'll let him show off how pretty he looks!

So, I think we were really having some growing pains. He does have days that he acts like an alien has taken over his body. But, luckily they are few between. I just hope they become fewer and fewer! He does have about 4 upper teeth coming in, so I think he just really felt bad on Thursday.
I haven't had time to knit lately between Paddington and school. I do have a list of things I WANT to knit, but it is hard with the banshee running around. He has his moments where he will snuggle with me on the sofa, but they only last for about 4 minutes at a time.
Anyhoo, I will try and do better at posting. At least I gave you a cute video today!
:) JKP

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Life is Made Up of Marble and Mud

Hey Y'all,

I have to give some credit to Mr. Nathaniel Hawthorne for my title day. And, boy
I am still fighting the cold, but I am on the tail end of it. Tuesday was rough, but my kids were great. Today I have acquired a stomach thingie... but I am just hoping that it is something that I ate and not something else! I have to be so careful whenever I eat at school. Sometimes they put things in the food to keep it fresh, and that can make me really sick. I ate a school salad today because in the hoopla of getting Mr. P walked and played with this morning, I forgot my lunch. Imagine that.

I have several kids out right now with various fevers and sicknesses. We have never had kids this sick, this early which makes my conspiracy mind kind of do some thinking. Oh well.

Yesterday was, let's just say stressful. Awful. Terrible. Not with my kids, but with surrounding forces. If I could just hang with my kids and teach them, that would be terrific! It's all of the other stuff that is just insane. Have y'all noticed how stressful things are lately?Last year I blamed it on the whole recession/money thing. But this year things are different. It is like the gods above have granted folks the right to lose their minds. Folks saying terrible things to one another. Folks having to work extra hard due to budget cuts, etc. And finally, everyone is just overall grumpy. I don't know what it is..... I guess the fear of sickness scares folks. I guess this health care thing has folks up in arms too. My beliefs about health care are this... if you have a job, you have coverage. You get a check from the government because you don't have a job, you don't have coverage. You had a job and you lost it, but of no fault of your own, you get coverage for up to a year. Then you get a job. Simple. And I bet I just saved the government millions. I am a little testy about the not having a job because you don't want one part. I know folks who are living high off the hog from the government and they just got back from their 3rd cruise this year. Life is not fair, but then again, we all know that.

So anyway, I am just going to keep on walking Mr. Paddington, keep doing my part and maybe knit a little more these days. Because y'all, people are just crazy.

:) JKP

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Feet, Runny Nose

Hey Y'all,

Day 3 of the cold. Still not pretty. I still can't breathe and my throat still hurts. Goody. And tomorrow is my day without a special. I will have my kiddies all day long. Lord help me.

Paddington and I are hanging out today. I went to Hot Stacks this morning for some yummy pancakes. Since I've been eating soup for 3 days, I felt like I needed something else to eat! The pancakes were great and hit the spot. Hot Stacks was busy, but I didn't have to wait. There are definitely touristas here at the beach for the long weekend, but they were heading out by the time I wanted my pancakes!

Also, I have discovered something great! Y'all, I have the worst feet in the world. Part of my problem is that I am a chronic flip flop wearer. This makes my feet dry and scaly. My feet have been so bad in the past, that when I went in for a pedicure, one look and they would cringe. The folks would actually talk about me while I was having my pedicure! So, I stopped going in for pedicures and figured that I would have to live with my feet. Besides, I love my flip flops! I have tried lotions, potions and soaks. I even invested in a Ped Egg, but to no avail. A few weekends ago, I was visiting my local Sally Beauty Supply , when I came across something fantastic!

Y'all, this Feels Like New Foot Softner is the bomb. There is no other way to put it! I put it on my feet before I go to bed and I cover my feet with socks. When I wake up in the morning, I have feet that are as soft as a baby's behind!!!!! All it took was 1 week! I have never in my life had feet like this!!! I don't even need to pay for a pedicure, because my feet are even better than when you get a pedicure!!!! Also, it has helped my hands too! Since I am chronically washing them due to the H1N1 threat... they are now able to recover! You must try this if you have dry feet. It will change your feet!!! However, I do have one buyer beware. If you have a dog, just know that they will take your socks and hide them. Paddington loves this as much as I do. He loves to just sniff my socks! :)

Alrighty, I am feeling fuzzy again. Time for a nap!

:) JKP

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever

Hey Y'all....

Well here I am day 2 into this cold, and things haven't changed much. I am still feeling pretty cruddy and snotty. Paddington has been a champ and has licked me every chance he has had. I think he knows I don't feel great since I am sleeping so much. The Nyquil has helped, but I think this thing just has to run its course. I did step out for a few minutes today to stock up on some juice and other fluids. I am trying to drink a lot of fluids and just sleep. I have also been eating lots of warm soup. That feels good on the throat. However, I have had to eat at the table on not on my normal spot, the sofa. Paddington has figured out over the weekend how to drink from a cup and eat from a bowl. My boy sure is determined! I think he also knows that I am on a bit of a delay, so he is trying to get away with more!

Today has been a good day to hang around the house. It has been rainy and cloudy. They say that we have a low pressure something or other forming off of the coast of Myrtle Beach, but I have slept through the updates today. I also noticed a few minutes ago while I was cruising the National Hurricane site that they think that Mr. Fred, our next storm, is currently forming off of the coast of Africa. I am sure that he will follow the ways of his former buddies and fall apart or curve off to the north. :)

Ok, the couch is beckoning again. Wow. Two posts in two days. I just impressed myself!
:) JKP

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lordy, Lord, I've Caught a Cold.....

Hey Y'all,

Well, I think that it would be fair to say that so far this school year is kicking my butt. I am exhausted and worn out and we have only been back in school for two weeks. Part of the problem is, due to budget cuts we have lost several positions. Which means we all have extra duties every day AND I have one day during the week where I do not get a break at all. It totally sucks. I have alot of demanding parents this year as well, so it seems like I never get a break from the constant stream of phone calls, emails and visits from parents who are concerned about their munchkins and the transition to third grade.

Yup. I am a little over it.

So what's a girl to do..... go out and catch a cold of course! I started feeling bad yesterday and by the time I woke up this morning, it had reared it's ugly head. I am very happy it is just a cold. We have 6 confirmed cases of H1N1 at school. It has hit our 4th grade. So besides making sure my munchkins bathe in hand santizer AND wash their hands, it seems like a germ slipped by. I think that this little cold is the universe's way of making sure I makeup for lost sleep and keep my butt on the sofa over the long weekend.

Paddington is doing great. He turned six months old yesterday! He is growing up! He has started wanting to hang out with me more and is always following me around the house. He still gets into trouble at times, but I can tell he is on his way to growing up. He knows I feel bad today, so he hasn't left my side, except when I have put him in the gated kitchen so I can sleep. Even then, he positioned himself so he could see me at all times and slept when I slept.

I don't have any grand plans for the weekend, other than watching some movies and sleeping. I am exhausted and have a feeling that the next few weeks are going to be a handfull.

Y'all take care and I will be back soon!
:) JKP

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bringing Lazarus Back...

Hey Y'all...

Guess what??? I brought my laptop back to life!!! By last Wednesday I was dying without my home laptop. By the time I would get home from school... I lost any inclination to climb my stairs and get on the computer. Also, Paddington would whine everytime I went upstairs to surf the net... so I was OVER IT! So, me being me... I took my laptop apart. Literally. Then I took out the battery and re-inserted it. The laptop came back on, but it was apparent the only thing I could do was reimage it. I did a factory re-image and Ta Dah!! I am back in business! I still lost all of my files, but oh well. Backup. Backup. Backup. Next time.

Paddington graduated last Monday from Puppy Kindergarten! We have had a good week, except that I am exhausted. We lost several people this year due to budget cuts, so that means that we all pay for it with extra duties and one day without a special. My day is Tuesday. No break. I was ready to commit myself by the end of the day! Also this year, I don't sit down EVER. And. I have no time to go to the bathroom. At all.

It's going to be a LONG year folks. At least next weekend is a 3 day one!!
:) JKP

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Goodbye Summer....

Hey Y'all,

As I type this, I am getting ready to go to bed early in preparation for the big day tomorrow. I went to the beach this afternoon to enjoy some sun and the ocean breeze. I NEVER sleep the night before school starts, so I am hoping that the salty air will do the trick tonight.

Saying goodbye to this summer is bittersweet. In some ways, it was a very good summer, and in someways it was not. The summer started off on a sour note of course, because I lost Zorro on the 3rd of June. I was sitting on the beach today and just started crying. I still miss him so much. I love Paddington and so happy he is with me, but I am still grieving for Zorro. Seven years is a long time. I really just miss having my little companion. Although, I have to say, I think Zorro has been visiting. Paddington is doing some things that only Zorro did, and I have to shake my head. Zorro used to leave his bones by the door for me. Paddington just started doing that this week. Very interesting. Of course, getting Paddington was a definite highlight. I don't know if I would have said that two weeks into having a puppy, but now things are better! Puppy Kindergarten has helped! :)

Of course most of the summer I was busy with summer school. I am glad now that I did it, because I don't have the anxiety about starting school tomorrow like I usually do. I think since I had a "first" day about two months ago, I am better able to roll with the one tomorrow.

A neat thing that happened to me this summer was my trip out to California and Lake Tahoe. I was able to connect with some professional techie people and that was something I really needed. Sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in our jobs, we forget what we really enjoy. Technology is one of those things for me, so I need to make sure I do a better job of networking and staying in the loop about things.

The last few weeks of summer were nice. Paddington started Puppy Kindergarten (he graduates tomorrow!), I saw some old friends and hung out at the beach. I also read a little and got some knitting done.

Whew! I still don't think I am ready or looking forward to the stresses that this school year is going to bring, and I definitely am not looking forward to all of the stress we as teachers face about test scores, etc. At least I have Mr. Paddington to come home to!

Well, I am off. Tomorrow marks my 13th year teaching. Who would have thought that????
Nighty Night!
:) JKP

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Booties and Bonnets.....

Hey Y'all!

I have been knitting... there's something in the water at work.. so my needles have been VERY busy! :) Here's some pics of a prezzie I have for a friend of mine who had twins in the middle of July. Yes. I know. My present is late, but just for the record, the twins were early!!!!! :) The twins were a boy and a girl, so I made each one a bonnet and booties.
I got this pattern out of the May issue of Creative Knitting. It is called the Butter Cup Baby Set. There is a sweater that goes with this set, but I thought just the bonnets and booties were a nice touch. I still have one more set to knit for a shower on Thursday. The nice thing about this pattern is that it knits up in a jiffy and I can probably knit it by heart now!
Wow, 2 posts in 1 day! Time to feet Paddy......
:) JKP

Play Ball!!!!!!

Hi Everyone!

Sorry I am not blogging much, but I have WAY too much going on right now! Paddington graduates from obedience school on Monday! I have a video of us practicing our tricks.... BUT something MAJOR happened this week. My laptop that I use downstairs in my house literally fried itself. It won't even turn on! I lost a ton of videos, pictures and work. Oh well. I am so sad. So now, when I want to use the computer, I have to go upstairs. At least I still have 1 working computer at home, but I loved that laptop. I am going to save for a "netbook" I think. Those are the tiny notebooks that you have been seeing around. They are small, portable and wireless. So I think that I will save for one. I still need a computer downstairs so I can keep an eye on Paddington!!!

On the 19th I officially had Paddington for 2 months! He is still being puppy silly, but has done very well with his training. The training has helped him with his listening skills!! He has adjusted OK to me going back to work, but I have been able to come home some during lunch and visit with him. I get my 24 munchkins on Monday. These past few days have been hard for him because I have had to work late hours at school. He has done well, but we haven't been able to do our training as much as we should. If we can make it through the first week, I think we will be ok. The beginning of school just wears me out, so it is hard for him because he wants to play ALL of the time! He has gotten better about playing in the kitchen, so he doesn't require my attention ALL OF THE TIME! Although, he would if he could!

I just got home from school, I went in to make a few last minute changes for the first day. My class keeps growing! I have 24 right now. Some schools in the district have 27 in each class! That's just crowd control!

Well, I am going to leave you a video of Paddington and I playing ball.... He is just too cute!!
:) JKP

Friday, August 14, 2009

Life in My House

Hey Y'all....

Here's what we have been up to!!!!!

This is Paddington playing with his toys. I have a constant "squeak, squeak, squeak" going on in my house these days! I think that is the way that Paddy talks to me. We have moved on to week two of our puppy kindergarten. Paddington is working on sitting, staying and laying down. So far with me going back to work this week we have had to work extra hard to get in his training. But, he is doing well!!!! I took the above video with a video camera that I got this week. It was $30 at Big Lots. I am not sure I like it, but it does an OK job for $30! It also beats the $150 ones that are on the market now. So we shall see if I keep it!

Anyhoo, this weekend I hope to do some reading and finish up some knitting. I also hope to make it to the beach at least once this weekend too. It has been SO rainy here that this afternoon is the first time the sun has been out in a while.

My classroom is basically finished! I had so much stuff to hang this year! I discovered these wonderful things called Stikki Clips. They are fantastic! They have a wax adhesive on the back to they really hold things up and don't take the paint off of the walls!!! They also make Stikki wax dots that work great as well! I wish that I would have had these years ago... it made putting up my classroom so much easier!

Well, Paddington is ready for his supper and then a walk. He finally got a bath today after three weeks. Since he had his "surgery" I had to make sure he was well before I could bathe him. Well, add all of this rain and three weeks with no bath, and I had one stinky boy. So, I don't know who was more soaked, but my boy is clean!

:) JKP

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Note From the Supreme Court......

Hey Y'all!

Well Paddington (or Pitty Pat, which is his current nickname for the week) and I have been VERY busy learning to sit! We had our first obedience lesson on Monday, and ever since then 3 to 4 times a day we have been practicing, practicing! Pitty Pat is a very smart student (if I say so) and is doing very well. We are still having issues with the potty training.... and I am a little worried since I go back to work next week. Our main issue is that he is being silly and wants to eat his poopy. I have some remedies that I am going to try and see if this helps. It is REALLY gross, but according to several experts, puppies do this. UGHHH!

Pitty Pat had a birthday this week! On Tuesday he turned 5 months old! So far, I haven't noticed a difference, except that now he will nap a little bit more than usual. I don't know if this is because he has been neutered, but he has calmed down a bit! He still has his wild and crazy moments, but overall he is growing up. He is cutting 5 teeth right now, so he is chewing like a silly boy. :) He is also growing! He is gaining weight, but he is also growing longer! His face has changed too! His hair is still thin, and hopefully in a month or too his coat will come back in.

Anyhoo... you may have heard on the news today that they confirmed Sonia Sotomayor, who is the first Hispanic woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court. While this is exciting news, it brought back a memory to me that I just had to share!

When I was in high school, we had just moved to Columbia, SC. I was a freshmen in a class of just over 1,000. Gulp. My freshmen year I had an English teacher who was wonderful. Although I had to hike way across the parking lot out to her portable every morning...she was always beaming and ready to see us! Her name was Mrs. Hefner. (She is still Mrs. Hefner. Her husband is now superintendent of Richland School District 2!) She was so very kind to me. I think she saw something in me that other teachers hadn't noticed. Maybe she noticed how much I LOVED to read. She also loved the way I wrote. One of our first assignments was to write a letter to someone famous or someone that we admired. Of course, most of my classmates wrote to rock stars and football heroes. Andre Agassi was a big back then! The writer in me was curious to write to someone who had accomplished something extraordinary. Since that really limited me, and at the time, we had NO INTERNET, I had to use an encyclopedia. I settled on writing to Sandra Day O'Connor. For those of you who don't know your American History, Sandra Day O'Connor was the FIRST WOMAN appointed to the Supreme Court. Ronald Regan appointed her in 1981. In my letter I indicated to her that I was curious about how she came to be a lawyer and then a judge. I asked her what advice she had for me as I was just beginning to think about my career path. My thoughts were writer, teacher, maybe lawyer. I was also curious as to what her days were like and if her family supported her during her rise to the top court in the nation. I finished my letter, shared it with my teacher, we put a stamp on it, and mailed it. I didn't expect a response. About a month went by and several of my classmates received autographed postcards from their folks, but no true response.

One day I walked into class and I had a fancy envelope sitting on my desk with the return address OF THE SUPREME COURT! Mrs. Hefner was BEAMING!


I rushed over to Mrs. Hefner and we held our breath as I carefully opened the envelope. I wanted to treasure this, even if it was your standard reply form letter. I mean it had been sent from the Supreme Court and I wasn't being subpoenaed! Y'all. This. So. Wasn't. A. Form. Letter.

Mrs. O'Connor said she was delighted to hear from a student and she said she was honored that I had chosen her to write to. She explained to me that she had to study very hard and had wonderful teachers to support her, especially in law school. She encouraged me to do what my heart told me to and that I would always be happy if I did something that I loved. She said that she loved being on the Supreme Court and that she was challenged and learned something new everyday. She ended the letter by thanking me and she wished me well in my future. She signed the letter "Sandra Day O'Connor." She didn't use her title, just her name.

To this day, I always think of her kindness in replying to me and taking the time to share her thoughts on how she was successful. Needless to say, I got an A+ on my project. I still have the letter today. It is a cherished memento.

So today's thought is, always take a moment to help someone out. You never know how much you may end up influencing their life later on. Mrs. Hefner and Sandra Day O'Connor taught me that!

:) JKP

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's Raining, It's Pouring, Paddington is Snoring!

Hey Y'all,

Well, I am savoring my last few weeks of summer vacay. Really, I only have about 3 weeks off this year. I know, I know, many of you don't get that many all year. I have spent my time off hanging out with Mr. P. He had his "surgery" on Monday and has done really well. He was groggy on Monday when I brought him home, but that quickly changed. He doesn't seem to be in pain, just itchy where they had to shave his hair. He has a little razor burn. Yesterday he took off like a jack rabbit around the back yard, and today he ran upstairs. So I think he is recouping well! Right now it is pouring and he is taking a little snooze. He has been doing that alot more lately. When he first came home, he was so hyper that he didn't sleep at all! Now, he will play really hard, and then take a nap. We took a walk right before this thunderstorm, and I just fed him dinner. So I guess he is tuckered. Oops, I spoke too soon. He's got his eyes on me now!

Tomorrow we get to meet with our obedience school trainer. Sunny Dogs Training here in Myrtle Beach is going to come to our house and train both of us! Kristen sounds super nice and believes in positive reinforcement is the way to go with training. I couldn't agree more! She is coming for a consult visit tomorrow and then we are going to set up our training schedule. Paddington has a few manners that he needs to learn. He is so smart, I feel like if we went to a group training that he would learn some bad stuff from other doggies! Or maybe, teach them a few things! We need to work on sitting, dropping, coming when called and when to go to our space when we are told. I also want Kristen to help me fine tune Paddington's schedule since I am heading back to school on August 12th!

I went out and ran a few errands today, AND EVERYTHING IS BACK TO SCHOOL!! I am so not ready to face that reality yet! So, I am going to stick my head in the sand for a little while longer. I am going to hang out with Mr. P, watch some movies, read and go to the beach! Of course, let's not forget the knitting!

:) JKP

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Hey Y'all!!

I now know how all of my friends that have been new mommies feel. You really have NO time! I spend most of my days playing with the munchkin and watching all of the new stuff that he has learned! This week Paddington learned how to incite ALL of the dogs in the neighborhood just by barking. Yup. Not fun at 6:30 in the morning! Paddington has also learned that if he drops his tennis ball at your feet, then you will throw it for him! Paddington has also figured out that if he touches you with his toys, then you will play tug with him. He turned 19 weeks old yesterday. His big party will be on August 4th... he will be 5 months old! Just this morning he figured out that if he goes and sits by the sliding glass door that I will let him out. Smart boy!
Here's some recent pics....

He mainly looks like the picture above at all times. Tennis ball in mouth. He likes to lay on his back and squeak the ball too!
Tomorrow he goes in for the big "snip, snip." My vet likes to do it right before they turn 5 months old so that the don't actually activate their hormones. I'm all for that! I hope that he will be ok!
This past week I enjoyed not having to work at all! Although, I was sick for most of the week, it was nice not to have to teach any summer school or have any meetings! Next week I am working for a few days for the Coastal Area Writing Project. After that I am off until August 12th. I can't believe I go back to work so soon! Paddy may struggle with that, he has gotten used to having me home!
Well, I am off to the beach for a little bit to do some reading. The beach has been a dangerous place this week with all of the rip currents. We have had several drownings. I don't plan on staying long, just to have some quiet time to read.
Also, I do have some stuff on the needles believe it or not! I am finishing up a sock and working on some baby items for a friend who is having twins this week. I'll post pics tomorrow. I am sure I will be a nervous wreck until I know that Paddington Bear has done ok in surgery!
:) JKP

Monday, July 20, 2009

Paddington Bear Goes to the Beach!

Hey Y'all!

I am still here, just busy with finally having some time off! Summer school ended last Thursday, so I have been taking it easy since! I took Paddington to the beach today... enjoy our pics!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Paddington's Beach Trip
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Our Big Project

Hi Y'all!

To attend this here fancy retreat/conference in Tahoe, my Coastal Area Writing Project partner Bill and I had to write a proposal of what we would create and present while we were out here. Well, we finished our project. Here's a glimpse....we created a social NING to keep all of our writing project folks together as a community. We also made videos explaining how to do everything on our NING. We have been very busy folks! Check out some of our hard work below...

To see our videos, (beware, the sound is WONKY I am going to re-do the sound when I get home. I left my fancy Britney Spears headset with microphone at home!) To see our videos, visit our website dedicated to the NING...

Enjoy!!! Toodles!!!

Looking Forward to Returning to the Land Where Sweet Tea Flows Freely...

Hey Y'all!

I have had a great time in Tahoe! I return to SC tomorrow... but I thought I would leave you with the photo montage that one of the early risers here at our Granlibakken Lodge took during one of our early mornings. Enjoy!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hanging Out in Cali......

Hey Y'all!
Well, I am still in Cali! Here is a pic of my partner Bill and I working yesterday....we started our big project! Last night a few of us were about to monkey so we took a hike down to Tahoe City and walked around. We also walked around the lake a bit. It was so nice. The weather was cool, no humidity and the walk was great! I bet we walked about 4 miles! I slept great last night. Here's some more pics of Tahoe....

It so's noon at home and 9 here... we just finished breakfast and are now off to work!


:) JKP