Monday, January 29, 2007

In the words of Jack Johnson,

Where'd all the good people go?

A couple short weeks ago, I spent 3 long weeks babysitting a finicky cat. He was a real sweetheart if you don't mind middle-of-the-night, blood-curdling meows. Which, apparently, the guy who rescued Black Cat (but never had him at his own house) does mind. Can you believe he is actually considering putting the cat to sleep?? What kind of person does that? You rescue a street cat because he has an owie on his face. So sweet. Then you take him to the vet to get his face all fixed up. Aawww. While fixing his face, you decide to go ahead and have him fixed and declawed so he will fit in with the other nomadic cats you have rescued. How kindhearted. Then you find catsitters for it from the time it's released from the vet to the time you return from visiting your family in the states. Very responsible. Then, after less than one week with the cat in your house, you announce that the meowing is just too much and that you're thinking about putting him to sleep. WHAT??? Who does that?!?!?

Oh I am frustrated.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Good Morning Game

Whenever I run I always greet other runners/cyclists that are on my path. For the longest time, I found that runners are just way more friendly than cyclists (sorry, cyclists!) because they would usually greet me right back.
Until I came here...
Now it's become a game of sorts: How Many People Can I Get to Say Good Morning. I don't know if Air Force people are totally unfit or incredibly unfriendly (I find myself hoping it's the latter---after all, they're supposed to pass routine fitness tests) but they either don't have the breath or don't have the courtesy to say Good Morning back to me. As I came down the hill back toward my house, I passed 9 runners fairly close to each other, and only ONE returned my good morning. I started to think of running in the states and how many runners would at least say good morning, and maybe even start more of a conversation. (Maybe that's just Midwestern runners, I hear we're very friendly people in those parts!)
But I passed one more runner and decided to give it one more shot. He DID reply after I said good morning, and he said something I'd probably only hear while running on a military base: "Good morning, ma'am"

Sunday, January 21, 2007

If you go to the commissary in the pouring rain,

You will find a close parking space. You'll be soaked by the time you get to the door, but you will not battle any crowds. You won't even have to wait in line. (But the person in front of you will have credit card problems and you will have to wait for him to try 3 different cards while pondering aloud why his card won't work)

You will also have ingredients to make a new dinner: Kahlua Jerk Chicken & Hawaiian Sweet Potatoes. That's what I'm going to go do now.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I love the postman!

What a great mail day I had! Too bad for David...he picked up the mail because he's really excited about a new laptop arriving soon and probably got really excited when he saw 3 package slips in our box! All were for me!

1.I got a pack of Prima flowers. LOVE those things!
2.Two books I ordered just last week probably. One is "Run Fast" by Hal Higdon, and the other is "One Skein" by Leigh Radford. "Run Fast" is obviously about running fast--improving your speed and training and "One Skein" is full of cute cute projects- knitted cupcakes, clutch bags, hats, even a rug!--that you can knit up with single skeins (duh) or leftovers. I'm so excited about this soon as I finish my sweater and untangle all the yarn in my yarn drawer I'll get going on a project!
3.My mom sent me a birthday package! It was full of yummy stuff--cookies, hot cocoa mix & chocolates- crafty stuff--ribbon, a super-cool idea-a-day paper crafting calendar, card envelopes, and the fabulous Stampin' Up! small black scissors- necessary stuff--the only kind of toothpaste that doesn't give me canker sores (Trader Joe's All-Natural Peppermint), Mary Kay cleanser & moisturizer- house stuff--kitchen towels- and other misc. stuff. The package also included a pair of very cozy-looking pajama pants from Aunt Cookie.

In addition to all that wonderful stuff, I also got a birthday card from my friend Kara and a few sheets of free card stock for filling out a survey a while back. Oh I just love getting mail!

Monday, January 15, 2007

The very best thing about being a teacher...

Check out this card from one of my 1st graders! She brought it to me on Monday, and was a little bit upset that my birthday wasn't until Friday. I told her I was excited that it was my first birthday card of the whole year! She kept on reminding me all week too that she had given me the first birthday card of the whole year!
But isn't this the sweetest thing? I almost cried when she gave it to me.
It says, "Dear Ms. Slone happy BirthDay. I hope your Day is spishell (special! gotta love inventive spelling!) Yay BirthDay girl. Yay yay BirthDay Day.

Turning Japanese

Aaaaaagggggghhhhh! I came to my blog today and everything is in Japanese! Just because I've been here for a year and a half doesn't mean I know how to read anything in Japanese. This happened once before and I posted about it and poof! It was fixed. Hoping that happens again today. I don't know how to fix it and obviously, I can't read the help menu to figure out how to change back to English!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Three birthdays

Three special people have birthdays today, Jan. 14. (I'm sure that there are more special people who have a birthday today, and if you happen upon my blog and I didn't mention you, I apologize... just listing the ones I know of)

My twin cousins, Matthew & Elisabeth turn 10 today! Welcome to the land of double-digits!
My Aunt Margie, who has been in double digits for a few years now *wink*, celebrates her birthday today!
Happy birthdays!!!

A new photo project

When Susan at ScrapVillage suggested taking a photo a day in December, I gladly joined the challenge. She then mentioned another challenge that she participates in, "12 of 12". I followed her links to Chad Darnell's blog and decided to join in on the fun. You take 12 photos on the 12th of each month.
Here are my 12 photos (all taken here in Okinawa, Japan!):

0640: I opened my e-mail to find a birthday note from my cousin Brenda & her family.

0710: I'm dressed and ready to go...most Fridays, I try to wear a school shirt. My blue shirt is way too big. Lucky for me, Leah sent me a buckle that I've been using as a 1980s-style t-shirt slide!

0800: I almost missed out on a birthday donut from David. I really had to eat and run...but he made me open a present first. I was a little bit late to work.

1220: "Mr. Slone" brought cupcakes to my class, then stayed awhile for "Fun Friday". Blocks are one of their favorite Fun Friday activities!

1240: T-shirt Friday.

1650: I came home from school with these flowers from Jayllan and Jacobi. They're now in a glass pitcher brightening up my kitchen!

1930: After opening a second birthday gift and having a birthday dinner (off-base! at Kitakaisen so I could get some tofu pizza--but forgot the camera), David asked me if I had a nice birthday. I said, "Is it over?" mostly because we hadn't yet had my traditional cake, decorated by David. I was in here on the computer and David said he had to go to his office to check on an e-mail he was expecting. He came back with this birthday cake!

1940: As I was eating a piece of birthday cake, David took a picture of me on the couch. He showed me the picture and there was a pink box behind the couch...another present!

1942: I was so excited when I opened my Garmin! This thing is so stinkin' cool!

2245: I finally finished making muffins for my running group. I wanted to take birthday treats. I made Chocolate-Chip Pumpkin Muffins (again!!) and made half of the batch Pumpkin-Golden Raisin Muffins instead so I could make something new. Both were delicious!

2300: Made sure Black Cat was fed. I've noticed that sometimes he meows in the night because he doesn't have food. Other times it seems he just does it to wake me up and irritate me!

2306: Finally going to bed! I never stay up this late! I have to be ready for our 12 mile run in just seven and a half hours! Notice that I'm still wearing my trusty Timex Ironman. I love this watch so much...even though it can't do all the things my awesome new Garmin can do, I'll still wear this watch during the day and keep it next to my bed at night!

25: the year in review

1. I celebrated my 25th birthday with a new group of students since I had just gotten a job offer I couldn't refuse and started mid-school year.
2. My uncle & aunt came to visit us and although I got to make them dinner and go out for sushi, I was bummed that I didn't get to spend much time with them due to my job.
3. David & I got a new tv: 61" high-definition (but our cable doesn't come in HDTV)
4. I learned that one of my best friends is getting married in Cabo San Lucas (this coming May)!
5. I read a lot of really great books, and traded recommendations with friends.
6. A pigeon flew into my classroom, sending my students into a giggling frenzy and sending me into silent hysterics. I was freaking out, but couldn't let the kids know! Maintenance came and got the bird out, but not before the darn thing left bird droppings on our writing table!
7. I spent 8 weeks in the states, visiting with friends and family and working at camp.
8. I bought 20 new pairs of underwear when I found out that New York & Company offers a military discount!
9. I bought fabric to make 8 pieces of clothing and made one and a half.
10. I found a great group of on-line friends at ScrapVillage.
11. I participated (and won!) several "Virtual Crops" at ScrapVillage!
12. I begged David for a puppy for one whole day. Then I changed my mind.
13. I finished a knitting project! A baby blanket for my "grand-neighbor"
14. The only couple we hung out with left. I realized later that I didn't appreciate them enough while I had them here!
15. I saw a counselor, Dr. Richard, (or was it Dr. Robert?) to help me deal with some "unresolved grief". He was really nice. It was just fun to go talk to someone who had no choice but to listen to you for an hour!
16. I learned a lot about families and friends and love and respect. Also about what kind of person I want to be and what kind of person I never want to be.
17. I introduced David to scallops. He said "Ew, I hate scallops", but he ate them and now he requests them often!
18. I ate sea urchin. It was disgusting.
19. I let birds land on my arms and drink bird juice from a little cup I held. I did not scream. I did not duck.
20.I met a friend while I was out running and joined a running group to prepare to run my 4th marathon.
21. I cooked my 2nd Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey turned out tasty and beautiful!
22. I hosted a Christmas Cookie Exchange and had fun decroating the house for it!
23. I worried about my Grandma when she went to the hospital after a fall. I guess this is how you can really tell you're getting older---it used to be my Grandma worrying about ME when I fell off my bike!
24. I celebrated my 2nd wedding anniversary
25. I agonized about turning 26...officially entering my mid-twenties (or almost-thirties!)

Friday, January 12, 2007

The end of 25...

So today's my last day being 25. It's weird how bummed out about that I am. All year whenever someone asked me how old I was, I wished I could say 26 just because 25 sounded so young. But now that it's really here, I don't want to turn 26! I think it's because when Ami turned 26 (almost 3 years ago!) I made fun of her and told her I wouldn't be able to hang out with someone who was "almost thirty". And now here I am...
I'm still the baby of most of my friends and colleagues, and of course I realize that 26 is really NOT that old, and everyone else is aging at the same rate as I am...but it's still really hard on me to be turning 26.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Excitement is contagious!

Remember just a few days ago when I posted about how much I was dreading going back to school? Well, listen to this...
I went to a multi-age meeting with all of the other m-a teachers on the island just before winter break. And they told me all about these fabulous units that they do, so I decided I'd plan something similar, not knowing how it would work. class is going on an imaginary field trip across the U.S. We're starting at the Statue of Liberty and ending up at Disneyland! They are totally excited! And that puts me in such a good mood!
You should have heard them as we pulled out notecards from the "luck bucket". Each card had the name of a state (they each got to choose 3 states that they'd like to visit and then I pulled out if 5 kids wanted to go to Wisconsin, Wisconsin went into the raffle 5 times) and the states that we pulled out of the bucket were the states that we are going to visit. Little did they know that I rigged the bucket so we would get to states in different parts of the U.S.! Anyway, they were screaming and buzzing and just so excited each time they pulled out a card, "Pack your bags, we're going to New Mexico!", "Watch out, Kansas, here we come!", etc. They're so girl who I absolutely love suggested that on the last day we're "in" each state, we dress up in clothes that we would really wear if we were there.
It's just so much fun... I can't believe I'm so excited about school and about this project!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Will Stay Up Past Bedtime for Food

Tonight David and I went to Membership Appreciation Night at the club. One Wednesday a month, there's a free dinner (well, we pay $7 per month to be club members) followed by a (long) evening of raffles and goofy games to win prizes and money. We didn't leave until after 9. And we didn't win anything! I really hope all that luck I had in 2006 didn't wear off before the new year!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A little un-sssssettling

So I found out yesterday that there was a very poisonous Habu snake in one of the classrooms at school! Oh my goodness!! I never want to go back to that place again! I guess the snake was found over winter break, thankfully in one of the classrooms on the opposite side of the school than I am on. I don't know what's more disssssturbing...the fact that there was a deadly snake in a classroom, or the fact that there was no formal announcement made that we should be aware and not reach into any dark corners without looking first! Oh that just gives me the heebie-jeebies!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Happy Birthdays

2 Happy Birthdays to wish today...
One to Elvis Presley.
One to my dad.

One of my goals for the New Year is to acknowledge birthdays. It would just be crazy for me to think that I'd be able to remember to send cards to everyone, so e-mails, phone calls, or just a quick mention on the blog all count towards achieving my goal.

More on my other NY goals later...

Kicking and Screaming

Yep, that'll be me, as I'm being dragged back to work today. Two weeks off just isn't enough. I need to find a job that has a 3 week winter break, a 2 week spring break and a 4 month summer break. Plus holidays and paid vacation.

Really though, I am a little bit glad to be getting back to school. I didn't do half of the things I had planned on doing over break and I don't think another week would change that. I was in total relax mode. Hung out with Oprah, watched Full House re-runs, went out to lunch, got a pedicure... So now that I'll be back to work, I'll have time to do those other things I needed to do but couldn't because I was just too relaxed.
Also, you don't get nearly as many hugs everyday when you are NOT surrounded by a bunch of 6 and 7 year olds.
But I have nothing to wear...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Yes it's 4 am

And YES I am awake.

Thanks to a little thing I like to call Black Cat, the most irritating animal on the face of the planet. Let's rewind 6 and a half hours or so to about 9:30 last night(you'll have to excuse me if my math is IS 4 a.m. you know). Anyway at 9:30 last night, Black Cat was sitting on the couch with David and I being so sweet and cuddly, moving from my lap to David's lap to get the most from his snuggle-time. Yeah, 6 and a half hours ago, I was baby-talking to Black Cat telling him he's so precious and such a sweet baby. Well, I take it all back. I am now whispering violently at him to shut up and trying to restrain myself from accidentally leaving every window in the house open. And leaving a little trail of kitty food leading out the door.
I think Black Cat used to spend a lot of time with dogs before he was "rescued" because his meows sometimes actually sound like barking. Imagine a large dog barking at, say, an intruder or something. Then insert a high-pitched meow everytime the dog barks and that's about what Black Cat sounds like. I have also compared his meow to the sound of a cat fight with just one cat, or perhaps a cat dying a slow, miserable death. I think his incessant nighttime meowing shows that he really didn't want to be rescued...I think he liked the wild nightlife and now he's rebelling. At my house. When I'm sleeping.
A special message for Black Cat's owner, if you're reading this (I know you're not), I wish you a safe and swift trip back from the states. I hope you had a great and restful time visiting with your family and friends. Now come get your @*#$&^% cat.

Happy birthdays...

Before I forget, I want to wish a couple of happy birthdays to people!

Belated birthday wishes to Britt & Kathy who shared a birthday on the 3rd.
An old friend of my dad's who I've kind of taken over, "Auntie Di" on the 4th.

And Happy Birthday right on time to my cousin Nicholas. Unfortunately, I didn't send a card and he doesn't read my blog (yet...). Hopefully I'll stay up late or wake up early and catch him on the phone. I can't believe he', I actually don't know how old he is, but I do know that I remember when he was in diapers and now he's in high school (and now if by chance he did venture to my blog, I've probably embarassed him so much that he'll never come back!) So however old high schoolers are...that's how old he is too! If you're reading Nicholas, you are sweet and loved all over the world. Well, in the U.S. and Japan anyway! I love you!

Another very special birthday note's my dear friend Josh's birthday today. Close friends and ScrapVillagers know the story (search my SB gallery -"Journal #15 (?) The Night We Crossed Paths"- if you want to know too and have some tissues handy!). Josh would have been 28 years old today.

Don't you love it when things (almost) work like that?

Remember the yarn ball I posted about back in December? Well, it has successfully been transformed into the back of a sweater! Hooray! I started working on the front and ran out of yarn. Luckily I still had a couple pieces of knitted fabric (the scarf? the poncho? This yarn ball's gone through a lot!) to unravel. Or frog as "we knitters" say. So...I dug into my yarn drawer and pulled out a piece of something knitted up with that yarn and guess what it was...
It was the front of a sweater! But unfortunately not the same sweater that I'm working on now and plus I saw some little mess-ups that I a)didn't feel like fixing and b)didn't want on my final project so...

it too has been turned back into a yarn ball...for now.

It was supposed to be 16!

Today we ran our 16 miler. About 13 miles in, we started on some killer rolling hills. That part was no fun, mostly because the outside of my right knee had started to hurt before 2 miles but I kind of shuffled through it, but it's pretty impossible to run up hills without lifting your right leg. So each time I took a step for about a mile and a half it was as if someone with a really sharp pencil was jabbing it into my leg. Nice. When we finished our 16 miles, we realized that Jill's GPS watch had actually tracked us for 17.16 miles! No fair! I say we should get to run only 17 the week after next when we are supposed to do 18!
Anyway, I've iced my knee, eaten some soup and watched the Friends True Hollywood Story. Sushi tonight!

Friday, January 05, 2007

5 things

5 things I really like right now- (in no particular order)
1. Jack Johnson
2. My brand new Avalon Organics Lavender Moisturizing Cream Shave
3. 1 vs. 100
4. Addiction Solitaire on yahoo games
5. Knitting! I think that the sense of accomplishment from completing Phoebe's blanket is still fueling me!

5 things I really don't like right now- (in no particular order)
1. meat on bones (ribs, fried chicken, etc.)
2. the fact that I have to go back to work on Monday
3. the fact that my birthday is a week from today (can't I just have the presents and cake without actually getting a new number?)
4. the route for our 16 mile run tomorrow. It will be boring, hilly and long. But really I have a positive attitude about it.
5. being woken up in the wee hours by a very rude houseguest. (Black Cat)

Monday, January 01, 2007

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