Monday, June 30, 2008

When I don't know what to write...

I just make a bulleted list of random thoughts, so here goes:
  • last Friday's storm was crazy! It only lasted about 15 minutes, but I have never seen the wind blow so hard outside my house. We were very blessed to escape damage, just a few large branches and tons of little twigs and such. Much worse around town. Large trees down. Power lines down. Busy intersections without functioning stoplights. Our neighbor had a huge tree down in his back yard, just barely missing his brand new deck.
  • related to the storm: being without electricity is much easier in town than it was growing up in the country! Scott made fun of the fact that I was thrilled that our water still worked. "Do you see a plug-in on the toilet?" was his comment, I believe. Growing up, our water came from a well, which required electricity, so when our power was out, we didn't have water...showers, working toilets, you get the it was much more of a pain. We just lit candles Friday night and pretended we were camping with a very comfy bed.
  • summer school: it's going great, but the students and I are ready to be done with The Jungle. The book gets more depressing by the day. I only have a three day week this week, though, so really, I have nothing bad to say about the job :)
  • sore muscles...I have them! I haven't lifted weights recently, so I was prepared to be sore after the gym class on Friday. Four days later, though, it still hurts to go up and down the stairs. I think I may have actually pulled or strained something. I've never had sore muscles last this long. Feeling a bit wimpy these days, I must admit.
  • cleaning: I've decided I wouldn't want to make a living on it. I'm cleaning very part-time (5-10 hours a week) for a man at church who runs his own cleaning business. It's a good little way to make some extra cash, but I wouldn't want to do it full time. I have an increased dislike for soap scum and black shoe scuff marks on linoleum floors. Vaccuuming, however, with the backpack vaccuum is kind of fun.
  • fun new hair! I splurged last week on some highlights with my regular haircut. No more blah brown hair for this summer-lovin' girl! Changing something about my appearance is always fun when teaching because students have such varied reactions. I have several very trendy girls who said it looked cute, so I must be doing something right, eh?
  • the Summer Arts Festival: JTho and I purused the vendors Sunday afternoon. After looking at photos and paintings that were way out of my price range, I came home with a hummingbird made out of a pop can (way cooler than it sounds, I promise). The Asian couple running the booth had a wide variety of birds, helicoptors, airplanes, and other random pop can art. It looked like the busiest booth at the festival!
  • Jeapordy! I'm addicted...enough said.

There you have it, random thoughts for the last day of June.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hitting too close to home

Another round of severe weather roaring through the area tonight. The sirens went off, periodically, for about an hour and a half. Sometimes I'd go to the basement, sometimes I'd stay upstairs watching TV.

One of the breaking news stories is about the Little Sioux Scout Camp where a toranado came through just a couple of hours ago. 100 campers were there tonight. 30-40 to injured. 4 dead. My nephew was at that camp. Thank God he's fine. My mom talked to my sister who said that Andrew had a cut or something on his head. They're taking him to a hosptial, I believe, to get checked out, but overall he's fine. Physically, at least. I can't imagine what it would be like to be in the midst of such a dangerous situation.

I was talking with my mom on the phone, and off-handedly mentioned that a scout camp was hit. "Andrew was camping this week!" was her response. As the conversation continued, I became more and more sure that he was at that camp. Mom decided to try to call my sister (Andrew's mom). I decided to take a shower while I waited for her to call back with news. The entire shower I silently prayed that Andrew would be ok. Praise God he is, but that hit way too close to home.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Back to School

I survived my first day as an official teacher...all on my own, no one sitting in the back, telling me what to do, just me deciding what goes on and when. Who wants to join me in a big sigh of relief? All in all, I think teaching at Boys Town this summer is going to be great. My classes are super small (seven or eight students) and discipline shouldn't be an issue with the amazing system they have in place. My biggest concern is getting through the two books (The Jungle is rather long and a "thick" read as I explained to a student today) while keeping things real and interesting for the students. I'll keep you posted as the summer moves along.

The most entertaining question I was asked today: "Did you have electricity on your farm?" Sad thing is, I think the kid was serious when he was asking. Really? Do people think we are that backwards? That's a rhetorical smart-aleck responses, please :)

Random closing thought: speaking of rhetorical questions, anyone seen the movie "Mr. Woodcock"? We rented it from the Red Box this weekend (the McIntyre's heart the Red Bos) and were very entertained. Predictable, yes, but funny along the way with no foul language or nudity. Yes, there is some talk about sex, but in a funny, not offending way (at least we thought so). So if you're looking for some good mindless entertainment, we'd recommend it.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Song Lyrics: Random Thoughts

I don't listen to the radio nearly as much as I used to (read: when I had a desk job at the Red Cross and listened to the radio to keep from going crazy), but a few songs have caught my ear, so to speak, in the last few weeks.  

First, in no particular order, is "You're Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins (yes, country...groan, groan, groan for all you country-haters out there).  The chorus goes like this:
You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days
hadn't gone by so fast.
These are some good times
so take a look around.
You may not know it know
but you're gonna miss this

A bit cheesy, yes, but that's one of the things that I love about country and you gotta admit, there's all sorts of truth in there. 

Next up, "Ticks" by Brad Paisley.  Seriously, you should read all the lyrics to this song just for a good laugh.  My favorite line: "I want to check you for ticks."  What woman wouldn't be swept off her feet by the guy that whips out that line?

And finally...well, I have another song rambling around in my head, but I can't think of enough of the lyrics for Google to find it for me.  Come on, Google, you're letting me down!  I'll be sure to let you know when I find it because I'm sure you're all dying to know what it is.  :)


The new favorite name around the McIntyre house these days: Weber.  As in the grill manufacturers.  We said farewell to my trusty Target-brand grill...I convinced Scott that kicking it off the high end of the deck was not a good idea, even if it would break it into smaller pieces to dispose of in the trash...and bought a Weber grill.  Few things are better on a hot summer night than standing in the AC-cooled kitchen, watching my wonderful husband grilling something for dinner.  Ladies, it's completely worth the monetary investment...seriously.

Not all grilling turns out perfectly, though.  One evening Scott was grilling some deli ham slices for sandwiches for his lunch when a friend stopped by to pick up some items stored in our garage.  Scott, being the helpful guy he is, helped her load her car.  By that time, I had arrived home, so we talked for a few minutes outside, then inside for a bit before Scott suddenly blurted out, "The ham!"  Twenty minutes on the grill is too much for ham slices, unless you like them on the charred side.  But if that's the worst grilling mishap we have this summer, I will consider it a very successful season.  

Happy Grilling everyone!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Back in my "single with no one on the radar" days, I never would have said that "kid at heart" was high on my "what do I want my husband to be like" list. Now that I'm married to a kid-at-heart, though, I understand what a great quality that is.
And my kid-at-heart happens just so happens to be winning over the heart of my niece Amber. I know, I know, I'm biased, but come on, you've gotta admit that it's pretty darn cute.


I visited "the fam" back in Pierce and Norfolk on my last two "lazy" days. Big news at the farm, at least big news to 4 1/2 year old Amber, is that "Blackie", the spoiled cat who mom lets on the porch and feeds actual cat food (which, if you grew up on my farm, you'd know is a very big deal) has kittens!

Kittens make me feel seven years old again. Growing up, we always had a large crop of kittens every spring. At least one mama cat (sometimes two or three) had a litter of kittens. I spent the last days of school and the first days of summer vacation creeping around the hay loft, searching out the newest arrivals.

Once their eyes were open, the magic sign that the kittens were old enough to play with, I'd visit them at least once a day (if not more). I'd hold them and let them climb all over me. I'd try to stay still while they licked my toes, hoping they wouldn't sink their needle-sharp teeth in for a taste. I'd laugh as they crouched down, wiggling their bottoms, preparing to pounce on the straw I was wiggling or, better yet, an unsuspecting brother or sister.

I was not disappointed on Tuesday. There are three kittens: two black and white ones, yet unnamed, and one tiny black runt, aptly named "Squirt." Few things are cuter, in my humble opinion, than a kitten. And few things can take me back to "the good ol' days" quite like sitting on the barn floor, silently watching the kittens play.