ringsandcoffee: (huh? Legolas)
6 p.m., 101 degrees and stormy. Go Arizona...?

Ok, it was 109 and stormy (lightning in the distance) on my drive home an hour ago. Now it's apparently 77 and going to rain soon. I felt a few drops while putting a thermometer outside. I don't believe AOL weather saying it's 77 when Google says 101.

Edit again: put a thermometer outside and it was 90 when it started pouring rain. I had to walk in it...walked down one staircase and up the other. Then, I was cold. Ha ha.

I love the rain.
ringsandcoffee: (POTO duhhhhh)
Pantry staples:
onions
garlic
canned tomato products (diced, sauce, paste, Rotel)
rice
pasta (any type)

Today I adapted Pioneer Woman's pasta alla Marlboro Man. I was trying to make something using the Roma tomatoes I'd bought yesterday. Last weekend my adaptation of the Rice-a-Rini meal flopped, I think, because I added way too much rice. Today's pasta is good, though the super-lean ground turkey will be changed to ground beef next time. My goal is to eventually use fresh tomatoes as much as possible, though I don't know if I could do without canned paste. Forget taking hte skin of the tomatoes first, too - too much work! I also want to learn to make more meals that involve meat besides ground beef, ground turkey, or chicken breasts. Beef stirfry I can do, but it's still easy. Steak I've done twice ever. Ever. Beef stew once also.

Right now, the AC is off and the window open. It was 85 degrees earlier with a nice breeze. All the cooking has warmed the place up a bit, but I'll take a day like this as long as it'll last.

One week of work down, 195 days to go. Same crap, new year. Feeling ok so far; my students are not trouble makers and pressure from the top hasn't come down yet. Just ye wait. In a month or two, I may want to quit again.
ringsandcoffee: (love phantom)
Monsoon storm! Yay!

Phantom of the Opera - still creepy but still love it.

Must stop baking...
ringsandcoffee: (sup homies)
Valiant, but not in a good way
One of the vocabulary words the class was mapping was "valiant."  Part of the assignment is to draw a picture showing what the word means, and one girl drew me and a boy in the class, J, who is rather outspoken.  I asked why it made me valiant and she said no, J is valiant because he's not afraid of you. 

Did you, did you?
I have a ticket system this year, and every Monday I open my store where students can spend their tickets.  I've told them to write suggestions for items they'd like in the store, and I got 2 notes so far.  One of the boys, R, asked me a couple times over the week if I'd gotten the items he suggested.  He was very polite, and I assured him I had his list and would look for his suggestions.  He just made me smile. 

Um, it wasn't an option. 
We spent a week on a writing assignment, where I made sure to teach conclusions since I usually don't get around to that part.  In their plans, the first thing they did was write the topic sentence and the conclusion, copied from a list they could choose from.  Fast forward to yesterday when I'm collecting the final draft papers.  I look at one paper, and ask if the girl is finished.  When she said yes, I asked where the conclusion sentence was.  She very innocently answered, "Oh, I didn't want to put one!"  Kids, kids, kids.  It was in your rough draft, silly, all you had to do was copy it! 

Because I have so much free time
I finished The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, by Syrie James, on Wednesday, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Last night I bought Shirley since I found it in Penguin Classics paperback.  I'm partial to Penguin versions of books.  So many books to read, so little time, and so many other things I ought to be doing!

Perplexing
Last night while walking across Tempe Marketplace to meet Jen, I found myself a little freaked out by all the families with children playing in the fountain area.  Then I wondered why I get weirded thinking these strangers have too many kids but my friends with children (Jen has 3) don't bother me at all. 

More "Only in Arizona" things
Only in Arizona are you excited to stand in the rain, in the middle of a shopping center.  Only in Arizona do you not completely care that the lightning is flashing about you as you stand in the rain.  [livejournal.com profile] mysterygal11 , I think you would have gotten used to the weather here had you stuck around longer. 

Flashes
Little things all over remind me of my dad.  They don't make me sad, just make me think of him. 

Attitude may not be everything, but it's a hefty portion
I'm determined to be more positive this year, and not stew in worry and anxiety.  It's really helped in class.  Instead of getting angry, I just wait until they are listening or issue a consequence.  There's a lot of prayer going on as well.  Some is just to myself, and some is when Susan comes over in the morning to pray together.  It's doing a whole lot for my sanity, to be sure. 
ringsandcoffee: (Default)
Weatherpixie says it's raining when it's not. At least she put on some clothes since I last checked - maybe it's the clouds that appeared, or maybe she realized it wasn't smart to stand in a bikini with lightning flashing around her.

I love lightning storms, especially when I'm safe indoors.
ringsandcoffee: (Default)
Since I was in the area, I got some take-out from Juan's then headed home. As I got on 51 to 202, the sky was a dusky blue and a full, yellow-orange moon was rising in the sky. As if that wasn't awesome enough, the color of the sky was hiding some clouds in the distance, inside which lightning was flashing. It may not be very green here in Arizona, but monsoon season offers some incredible sights. Lightning was rare where I grew up, and when we did have it, you saw the bolts. Here, more often, the lightning lights up the whole sky, inside the clouds. It might be clear blue in one area, and a gorgeous storm a few miles away.

So I'm heading east, mesmerized by the moon and storm, and then I drive past Tempe Town Lake, where the moon is reflecting off the water. Life is good.
ringsandcoffee: (water lift)
3:26 - Rain starts. I go sit on the balcony to watch and take pictures.
3:56 - Hail! (only a few minutes worth)
4:34 - Still raining, with thunder and lightning. Parking lot has been a lake for a while now, too. Power flickered and my computer restarted. Maybe I shouldn't be online...

I love storms.
ringsandcoffee: (AA kiss)
I've had my glass door open, listening to the rain, for hours now. It is glorious.
ringsandcoffee: (Default)
It rained tonight. Finally! I'm alwways confused by the sound at first, thinking something is leaking. Strange, it didn't smell like rain when I was out earlier. Luis said he was driving through a dust storm though.
ringsandcoffee: (awesome)
I have to tell about my drive home before I talk about school. Gotta love monsoon season! First, there's the stifling humidity for a few hours. In the midst of this, I was standing outside in the bus circle after school with 2 dozen kids asking me which bus goes where. Yeah, I don't have a clue, and I was never given ANY bus information. Still, we do the best we can to help kids get home, which becomes even more amusing when they don't know where they live.
"Does this bus go to Blahblah St.?"
"I'm not sure. What other street is it near?"
"Phoenix."
"Phoenix isn't a street, it's a city."
"Yeah, it has to go to Blahblah St., Phoenix, ARIZONA..."
"Mmmkay you just wait here and I'll let you know when to get on the bus."

I finally got sick of standing outside and went back to my room. About an hour later, it started raining so I propped the door open so I could listen to it. As I'm getting ready to leave school, the lightning starts. Yay, that's always fun, worrying about getting hit by lightning. So, I finally leave at 5:18pm, teacher guides in backpack to look over for tomorrow. I stopped at Starbucks for a first day of school reward (mmmm toffee almond bar) and then head home. It's a good thing I got something to eat, as it took anohter hopur to get home. I live 10 miles away. Streets and freeways won't mean much to non-Phoenix people, but still. Loop 202 was crawling, so I took surface streets. First mistake, turning onto Curry Rd, which narrowed to one lane and took 15 minutes to go a single mile. Well, I get on 202 anyway and it's still crawling, all the way to 101, which is slower than a drunk sloth. Not wanting to sit in that traffic, I go surface streets again. Well, Broadway is crawling because Dobson is flooded and police are directing traffic out of the left turn lane. Oh yeah, a bunch of trees on Broadway's median were blown over. Things are ok, aside from the occasional large puddle, until I get to my complex and see that my parking lot is flooded. I'm able to park in my spot, which is only sitting in about an inch of water. However, I had to take off my shoes so I could walk in the 8" deep puddle that is the parking lot. I was cracking up; good thing I wore cropped pants today. I took out my camera to document the experience, and just laughed at the cars having to drive through the mess. I'll post a picture later.

Oh yeah, it's a good thing I got off on Broadway because US 60 was a mess, also due to floods.

Ok, so onto Day 1. I thought that this post was from the first day last year, but it was the second. Still, the difference between that day and today is absolutely wonderful. Fourth graders are SO different from 8th graders! Even though I still have to figure out scheduling and curriculum, I'm not at all stressed. Last year, I was stressed to the point of not really wanting to eat and dreading each morning. Right now, I feel ok. I talked to the other teachers, and realized I'm sort of expecting too much from the kids, as I'm still in the 8th grade mindset, but it's ok. I can change things. It will be nice to slow down and be able to teach them.

It's only the first day, but I think it's going to be a good year.
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