Sunday, July 22, 2007

HP 7...the end...No Spoilers Here


I finished book this morning around 10:00.

I thought that I would be really sad at reading this last in the series of HP books but as it turns out, I am not sad. JK Rowling has left me completely satisfied. The book was wonderful. It was a bit more difficult to read for me in the sense that I really had to think while reading this time. I also think that it was written at a higher level of difficulty, not your usual fiction easy read. Yes, there were some tragedies but I think those could not have been avoided. The story and all of its many elements were neatly wrapped up. I think one more book might be overkill.

I am left feeling fulfilled and eager to re-read the book out loud with Sabina to help her along the way so she too can enjoy this last book and so that I can get a deeper meaning out of the book.

What a great read!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Preparing

So tonight is the big Harry Potter night. This morning Sabi was looking all over the house for her Gryfindor tie. We looked everywhere trying to find that darn tie for her Hermione Granger outfit. I remembered that we put it away somewhere safe but couldn't recall where that somewhere safe was. Then it hit me...the Halloween closet. We ran to the closet and there it was!!!

After we got the outfit settled we went out on the town to find a wand. We found a great wand at Barnes and Noble. Sabi was flicking it all over town afterwards.

For lunch we went to La Morenita. Sabi went outside of her food zone (chicken nuggets) and LOVED her burrito de queso y frijoles. Wow! I had a good caldo de res con arroz. Yum!

After that we returned home and tried to get in some sleep since we will be up LATE tonight at the HP party.

Tomorrow (or whenever I finish the book) I will post pics of the party.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cookie Monsters

More Cookies
This month has been cookie month around our house. We have made several batches of cookies to bring to different events. They are yummy.

The recipe for the cookies I got from a friend. She told me that the recipe comes right off of Wilton cookie cutters. I visited the website but I can't find this recipe listed in their recipe box. It appears to be a cross between the sugar cookie and shortbread recipe. I am still crediting Wilton for this recipe though until proven otherwise.
Butterfly
I like this recipe because it is easy to make and use. You simply mix the ingredients and then roll, cut and bake. There is no need to refrigerate the dough. My twist on the recipe is to add lemon juice to the mix to give a better taste to the cookies.
Cookies - unfrosted
Once the cookies have cooled, I use two different types of icingss to frost the cookies. The icings I get at the cake decorating store. One of them is a glaze. The glaze can be poured over the cookies. It is very liquidy and it coats the cookie almost on its own. The second icing is a drizzle. The drizzle I pour into a disposable pastry bag and then pipe over the ccokie in the patterns I like. After the icings dry, I then use the fun colored icings from the grocery store that come in tiny tubes to add the final detailed, colored touches to the cookies.

Here is the recipe. Enjoy!
Smily Face
Wilton Roll Out Cookies
1 cup butter 1 cup sugar
1 large egg 1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder 3 cups flour
lemon juice - about 1 tablespoon or so

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix butter and sugar. Beat in egg, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix in baking powder and flour, adding in one cup of flour at a time. The dough will be stiff. (If the dough gets too stiff, add one teaspoon at a time) Roll dough and cut with cookie cutters. Bake until lightly browned

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Friday, July 13, 2007

38 is great!

Happy B-Day to me! Thank you Uncle Alan and Sabi for my concert a few weeks earlier!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

How to Excite a Teacher...

A SALE on school supplies!!!

WE teachers spend a HUGE amount of money on school supplies each year. Back to School time can be the worst time of the year. Most primary teachers purchase pencil boxes and all of the goodies to fill the pencil boxes in addition to other BTS items such as books, borders, etc.

Target has been wonderful with their BTS $1 Spot sales. I went by Target on this weekend and picked up some pocket charts, bathroom passes and a few other items all for $10. I was pretty proud of that.

Today, I beat that deal. Staples had an AMAZING sale, the 1 cent sale. Seriously, the items cost 1 cent! I bought 25 pencil boxes, 60 2 pocket folders, 3 cases of pencils and 6 pencil sharpeners. I almost passed out when the cashier told me, "that will be 99 cents!" My jaw dropped on the ground, I think because she then said "I know, I am robbing you blind!" 99 cents...WOW! I was almost too embarrassed to ask for change from a $5 bill! The cashier was so friendly and pleasant and reminded me to come back for Teacher Appreciation Day where teachers will get presents as they walk through the door!

As soon as I got in my car, I called every teacher friend I know. After all, when you spot a deal, you have to share.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

SICKO

Go see the movie!

8 Things About Me

I have seen this meme around a lot lately. Here is my installment:

1) I am SO excited about the Harry Potter movie and book release this month. Sabi, my mom and I have been re-reading the books and will have a movie marathon in preparation. We will wait until my birthday on Friday to see the movie so that we will miss some of the crowd on Wednesday's release date. I will be taking Sabi to the Midnight Potter Fest at Border's and that thrills me just to think about it. It will be her first, and last, Potter Fest. How exciting for her. (And me!)

2) I collect cookie cutters. I especially love copper cookie cutters. They rock! Last weekend I made some sugar cookies (Wilton recipe) and decorated them with a cookie glaze and decorative frosting. I have been dreaming about those yummy cookies. I did think about taking pictures and posting them but we ate them too fast! I will be making more next weekend so I will try and contain myself long enough to snap a few shots.

3) I need to exercise more. I hate to exercise but I know it is the best thing for me. The thing is, I really don't mind it as long as I have someone to workout with. I am a social person and I need the motivation of someone else there to help me along.

4) I went back to WW and I have lost 5 lbs thus far! (probably would have been more if I hadn't eaten those sugar cookies!)

5) This one everyone know but I am a fan of this guy. He is going to be in concert in Fresno in September. I need to get tickets... Who wants to go?

6) A new school year starts in 3 weeks. I have done something COMPLETELY out of character for me this summer. I have not been in my room to prep yet. Usually I am back at school the next Monday after we leave to clean up and I spend my entire vacation time cleaning and prepping. This summer I just couldn't get myself to go in yet. Twice last week I got in my car ready to go in and I just couldn't do it.

7) I think roundabouts on streets are stupid. My city is putting them in all over the place and I try to avoid those areas as much as possible. They are accidents waiting to happen.

8) My favorite summer dish comes from the Farmer's Market. Here is the recipe:
Ingredients:
Ear of corn Basil - chopped
Small Red onion chopped or sliced Tomatoes - chopped or sliced
Olive oil and Red Wine Vinegar to taste Salt to taste

I Schiacciata Roll
**************
Cut the kernels off of the ear of corn. Add the kernels and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix.

Enjoy salad with your schicciata. The two are a perfect compliment. I will try and take a picture of it next week. It is my Saturday morning meal!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Wallflower Girl

One of the people I went to HS with was a girl named "E." E was a wallflower girl. She was as timid as a mouse. I was probably one of her best friends and she had a hard time just hanging out and loosening up around me. I run into E about 3-4 times a year. Well, I really don't run into her, I see her and try to avoid her. Let me explain...

When I think of my friendship with E in HS, I am at first inclined to say that we were very good friends. We called each other and hung out together pretty regularly at some point or time during the school day. When I try to think about even more details of our friendship though I am at a loss. E was the girl who looked like she had a ROUGH home life. She seemed like someone who was either raised by a single mom or and abused mom, most likely the latter. She was always a bit nervous and walked around like she was walking on eggshells. I don't know that any of this is true , I am just making assumptions based on her behavior. The sad thing though is that I was supposed to be her friend. Why didn't I know what was going on and why didn't I try to see if I could help? I wonder if I even realized that there might be problems in her home life when I was her friend, way back in HS. Now, as a teacher, I am very tuned into those signs now, I didn't know any of that then. After HS, I lost contact with E. She didn't call me and I didn't call her...how sad.

As I mentioned before, E lives in town and I see her every now and then. She looks even worse than she did in HS. We are the same age but E looks like she has at least 15 years on me. By her appearance, she still looks timid and scared of her own shadow. I can't really quite describe her facial expression but it looks about 30 seconds away from a meltdown or a hard cry. I wonder if she has followed into her mom's footsteps? I saw E this morning on my way to to the Farmer's Market. She was walking in her lost manner holding a baby no more than a year old in her arms. I couldn't help but wonder if this baby was going to follow in E's nervous footsteps as well.

So why don't I talk to E? I probably should but I don't know what I would say to her. I think that seeing me might embarrass her. I would love to just give her a hug because she looks like she REALLY, REALLY needs one. I don't feel like I have that familiarity with her anymore though. I was tempted to stop today and try to break the ice by informing her of the coming reunion. I then remembered that the reunion costs $50 to go and she just didn't look like she had $50 to spend so frivolously.

I know that I might be totally wrong about E. She could be a very happy individual. I don't know. All I know is that she has been on my mind today. I hope that she is doing well. If she isn't, I hope that she can find some peace and happiness.

Reunion Musings

My 20th year high school reunion is coming up in August. I have decided to go. Upon making this decision, I started to think about the people who might show up. I am really not too excited to see very many people. High school was not necessarily a great time for me. It wasn't unpleasant, it was just awkward. My brother has many friends who he still talks to and hangs out with from his HS days. I only have one, Lisie. I don't include her in that group though since she left my HS in her soph year. She has been my friend since jr. h.s - 22 years...WOW!

In HS, I had interesting groups of friends. I was in the advanced classes, so I hung out with the "smarties." I never felt smart enough though so I didn't really feel like I belonged. Around my sophomore year, I got tired of the smarties and I asked to move to regular Social Studies. (I stayed in adv. English because that was just too interesting for me!) When I went to regular SS, I started to hang out with the jocks and cheerleaders. I also didn't feel like I belonged there because I knew that I wasn't cool enough. The third group I hung out with throughout HS was the wallflower group. These girls were nice, but simple. I don't mean this in a negative way. They were quiet, dressed in plain clothes and never stood out in a crowd for anything. I really didn't feel like I belonged with this group either. They were nice, they treated me well, but they weren't go getters or risk takers. I felt a bit stifled with them.

I moved in and out of these 3 groups and I felt like I was 3 different people depending on which group I was with. I had no peer pressure to do this, I guess I just felt that I had to be this way for some reason.

I went to my 15th year reunion and it was weird. The social groups were all represented and guess what? They sat in their separate groups...no mingling! I cruised by each group for a few minutes and then decided to leave.

So, why am I going back to the 20th reunion? I don't know. I think I want to see what people are up to and I am not busy that night!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Not that I Am Promoting Greasy Foods But...

Wendy's Kid's Meal now comes with books on CD instead of a toy. The 4 listening library books are The Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark, Geronimo Stilton: The Curse of the Cheese Pyramid, Arthur's Mystery Envelope and Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed.

I know that the food is unhealthy...every once in a while is ok though, right? Especially if it comes with a book on CD,

It's all in the name

I just went online and saw my new class list for the coming school year. I will have a Damian and a Giovani. Teachers...you know what this usually means....

I might need therapy!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Loving Life

Vacation is wonderful. I have had no schedule and that suits me perfectly. Sabi, my mom and I have been enjoying leisurely time around the house doing whatever suits us. Last night we spent the evening on our newly fixed up patio (thanks to Uncle Alan!) playing Spellbound and Scrabble.

Today my plan includes clean up and then possibly painting my bedroom. We will most likely go to the gym and swim because it will be HOT today.

Tomorrow we will be in Berkeley celebrating Inter-Dependence Day with NSP at Tilden park. I hope it is cooler there than it is here.

Happy First week of July to all!

Monday, July 02, 2007

That sounds about right!

72%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

I found this over on Literanista's site. How addicted are you???

Gender Roles

penguin
On the last day of school I showed the movie March of the Penguins to my class. I wanted to make sure they understood the movie so at different times throughout the movie, I paused to ask comprehension questions and make sure they were grasping the content.

When we got to the part where the daddy penguins are the ones who primarily care for the eggs, I checked for understanding. Here is how it went:

Me: "Who takes care of the baby penguin?"

Kid 1: "The daddy!"

Kid 2: "The daddy? What about the mommy?"

Me: "The mommy has to go for a long, cold walk and get food."

Kid 2: "Oh, so it is kind of like she had to go out and get the groceries?"

Me: "Yeah, I guess you could say that."

This was of course funny but it struck me as interesting as well. The student who made the grocery store comment is the brightest of the bunch in the class. She is very independent and is a great thinker. Her tone and mannerisms were not what I expected from her. She was thrown by the role reversal and was not ok until she rationalized why the mommy would not be with the baby. It was too far of a stretch for her.

Interesting...