Indigo Robe

My Photo
Location: United States

Mum likes reading, decorating, shopping with the girls, and Starbucks. She also feels funny writing in the 3rd person. Papa (also known as Sparky) is currently looking at me with a blank stare having asked him to add something about himself to the blog. (Now he wants to say something) The only thing he loves more in life than music and Coke is his wife and kids. (Awww...) :) Little Lotte is a genius on the computer and makes me fall over laughing every day with her quick wit. She loves computers and animals. Sweet Pea abandoned her family and moved to Phoenix for work and is now married as of 2/28/06. She is beautiful and smart and the most nurturing person I know. She gave me the greatest gift ever when she made me a grandmother. I am the proud Mum Mum to Andrew Christopher. There are no words to describe the joy of having a grandson!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Word for 2008 - LOVE

I read several blogs for enjoyment and inspiration. I read one this week that directed me to, a very inpirational site. The author speaks of new year's resolutions and how they always involve "doing" instead of "being" and that really spoke to me. She then lists words that you can look through, contemplate, and choose. As I was looking at the list, I thought - I can do at least 4 or 5! Then when I actually read what she had to say, she wrote that many people do that, wrongly! The point is to just stick with one word in our rush, do everything, multi-task world. Wow, does this woman know our lives or what?! She did say if you feel like you have mastered your focus on the word by June, you can pick another one but I want to focus on one word all year long. So I looked through the list again and, as she suggested, chose only one word. She said to let one pop out at you and indeed, one word did.

The word is love.

The reason the word jumped out at me is because it's a word that is in the byline of the new skins for this blog. (You will see soon!) Also, last week while shopping for the post Christmas sales, this little pink sign with the word LOVE just sort of called out to me. I am not sure why. I didn't even look at the price, something I ALWAYS do. It was one dollar. I think it was from Michael's but I am not sure. The thing is, I usually don't buy little signs like this and it was rather funny to see it in my cart on top of all the red and green wrapping paper, bows, tags, boxes, and tins that I was buying for next year's Christmas wrapping.

So why love? Many things fall under love. But I will leave you with this first reason:

... And now I will show you the most excellent way. 1. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

2. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

3. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

5. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

9. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,

10. but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

12. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13, NIV)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Christmas Home 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas 2007 Part II

Christmas 2007 Part I

I took 806 Christmas pictures. I know, right? So here are two slides shows. Merciful woman that I am, I placed only 20 photos in each slide show.

WTF?! Rachael Ray (My second post of the day - I LOVE WINTER BREAK!!!)

So today I am busy as a winter bee, cleaning the kitchen, putting up my winter decor, taking down the Christmas stuff, and just generally organizing the kitchen and dining room. I needed a little break so I sat down for uno momento and the tv happened to be on Rachael Ray's talk show. (My loving family knows that I cannot turn off the tv in the bedroom or I will never figure out how to turn it back on.)

So I watch her do a cooking segment on her talk show (and might I add that is it painful for me to listen to her raspy voice because she sounds like she has a double infection in each lung and can barely breathe between words - give up the ciggies, girlfriend!) but anyway - there she is making soup. Yum! Or Yumo-O! as she says.

But the really weird thing was the way the audience was acting as she cooked. With every ingredient that she added to the soup, the audience would applaud and whistle.

It went like this:

RR: Add the noodles last because they don't need as long as the chicken to cook. Now add some carrots.

Audience: applause, applause.

RR: Now I am going to add some fresh parsley.

Audeince: whistle, applause, moans!

RR: And to top it all off, I am going to add some PARMIGIANO REGGIANO!!!!!

Audience: stands on feet, whistles wildly, APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE!!!!

So I am going to try cooking in front of the family tonight. And I'm going to see if I get the same reactions as I am cooking. (And no, Sparky, I am not going to cook in the nude - I know I would get applause for that from you.)

But my family better be on their feet, screaming and moaning at each ingredient that I throw in the pot or I am not cooking anymore! If RR can get perfect strangers to encourage her while she cooks, I should at least get a "good job" out of them, don't ya think? Yeah.... dream on. Here is more of how it would go in my kitchen.

Me: I am going to make dinner!

(Haha, actually, it would be more like hey! let's call for a pizza! but for the sake of funny and my blog, let's pretend, shall we?)

Me: I am making cheese enchiladas!!!

Little L: smirks

Sparky: What's for dinner?

Me: I just told you, I am going to make enchiladas!!!

Me: waiting for applause. blink,blink...crickets chirp.

Little L: Can I have something else?

Me: Sigh - you never eat what I cook. I am not a short order cook! Next week you are going to sit down with me and tell me what you like and then .....

Little L: Thinks to herself - I hear a blah, blah, blah sound, but I am not sure where it's coming from.

Me: And we will go to the store and buy groceries so you eat something that I actually cook!!!

Little L: Can I have potatoes?

Me: Yes, but you are making them.

Little L: ok by me.

Me: Here, let me put the potatoes in the oven.

Sparky: Is there anything I can do to help?

Me: Yes, help me get the foil for the potatoes so I can wrap them.

Sparky: Do you have sour cream?

Me: Crap.

Sparky: It's ok, I 'll go to the store and get some.

Me: Ok, while you are there pick up a store chicken. And some french bread. And some chocolate cake for desert.

Little L: Dad is going to the store? Can I go?

Me: Yes but you are having potatoes so no junk food!

Sparky: You want to just have the chicken and potatoes then?

Me: I'll make cheese enchiladas tomorrow night.

Still waiting for applause.

Me: Naked.

Sparky: stands on feet, whistles wildly, APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE!!!!

Little L: Never mind, I've lost my appetite.

Spelling Test

Dear Internet,

I know how you hate when people get all mad about spelling and grammar on the internet. Heck, even I, a teacher, have the bad manners to not spell check before I post on my own blog. But there is something I have to take care of. <--- note the ending with a preposition! See? I am NOT a grammar snob!)

I spent the morning writing the introduction for the blog changes that will occur here in the new year. And I have to make sure that the internet knows this:

desert: the place with sand and the "dry heat"

dessert: what you have after dinner

Now here is what I tell my students.

desert: has one s because there is ONE SUN that heats the desert.

dessert: is Super Sweet so it has two s's.

Is it too much to ask that you remember the difference between desert and dessert? I think not.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go eat my dessert (a Cinnabon!) in the desert (where I live)

Have a super sweet day in the desert, internet!


Thursday, December 27, 2007

skidding into the new year...


As Sweet Pea pointed out... I had a 33% return rate on getting those 12 ornaments of Christmas posted!

It's just that it's been so crazy. Why? I don't know why. I mean we did the same things we do every year (even leaving out some traditions) and I still found that the universe somehow managed to take away hours from my day.

But many great things happened. Many revelations were made. Time spent with family is precious. No one is ever gauranteed another December 24th (or 25th) and you just have to embrace each and every moment with the ones you love.

Christmas was quick but delightful.

We are back from Phoenix. I will try to detail the fun (dipping chocolate covered pretzels, eating a nasty milkshake at Chik-Fil-A at Christmas Eve lunch, finding the perfect bargains post Christmas, getting a "grab bag" at the Hello Kitty store, Zoo Lights at Phoenix Zoo, a COLD night in Sedona but warmed with hot chocolate, receiving a toile black and white throw for the foot of our bed, etc.etc.etc.)

But for now - my house is messy and I must clean! I want to organize (surprize! new year! who doesn't?!) and I want to take before and after photos. I have another glorious week off of work after this one and Sparky and I must make that one final decision - sell and build? or stay here and settle in until retirement.

Look for a new skin for the blog next week and my darling Little L is going to do a complete redesign for me.I am very excited about the changes that will come to this blog.

Merry Christmas, World. Sorry I am late but I think I really am beginning to embrace the desert. We do everything late here.

Until We Meet Again,


Thursday, December 20, 2007

breathe in, breathe out

busy! blah, blah, blah

Ornament! of the day! (yeah right)

blah, blah, blah

here it is:

One of my 4th grade students gave me this years ago. I bought it that year too so I have two of them. One of them is on my tree and the other is in my classroom in my Snow White display. I love when my students remember me with an ornament. I even love those corny teacher ones! I know some teachers complain when they get them that they have too many but I absolutely adore them.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Crazy

ok.... um rough week. Busy week. Preaching to the choir, right?

Last night we came home and snuggled on the couch and watched It's A Wonderful Life with Little L. She had never seen it before. I am a failure, right?!

It was sooo relaxing and fun because she had funny comments and questions throughout.

Today we went to finish the last of the Christmas shopping. I THINK we might be done. I always swear I will be done before Dec. but something always pops us. We got some great bargains and enjoyed the time together. My new favorite thing is a Venti Starbucks black tea, no sugar. I could drink them all day long!!!

And now for today's ornament.... this is San Xavier Mission. We bought it one time when we were visiting. We like to visit there at Christmas because it's beautiful with all the decorations and poinsettias. We buy Indian Fry bread and walk around, light a candle in the chapel, and take lots of pictures. The gift shop happened to be open last a few years ago so we picked up this little ornament as a reminder of one of our Christmas traditions.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


(Click the photo to enlarge)

It seems that the photo I took is making quite a trip around the media world...

Sometimes I feel like Charlie Brown. (Halloween episode: "I got a rock.")

My name is still not associated with the photo that I took. I'm not supposed to be upset about that, right? I am not a professional photographer. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. But I just have this silly notion that a photographer, professional or not should get credit for their work.

But I'm not bitter!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My First Born Angel

This little ornament was made by Sweet Pea when she was in elementary school. I am sad to say I am unsure if it was 1st or 2nd grade but I know it was one of those. That was her handwriting in 2nd grade so I going to guess it was 2nd grade. Sweet Pea went to a private Christian school while we lived in Huntingdon, Pa. We paid for it out of our meager salary as officers in The Salvation Army because we had already tried 1st grade in public school and she was, to be frank, just too smart for that school. Enrolling her in that private school was the best thing we could have done. She had the greatest, sweetest, most incredible teacher. This teacher inspired Sweet Pea and enouraged her. This teacher nurtured Sweet Pea to become a life long learner. This teacher had high expectations for her students yet displayed such kindness. Sweet Pea loves a good learning challenge and she literally ate up every bit of learning that was given to her by this young woman. Sweet Pea loved her dearly and at the end of the year, this young teacher gave us a book of the year of memories (before scrapbooking became popular - she was already doing it!) that we still treasure to this day.

Now about Sweet Pea. She is doing well! Finally over the morning sickness and confronted with a dental issue, this has been a rough pregnancy. I am so proud of her for working through it. She still works full time and tends to her house and husband. She is nesting and enjoying the time she has before baby makes three. When I saw her just before Thanksgiving, she was positively glowing! Her hair is growing like crazy and is smooth and shiny. Her beautiful Irish rose tinted cheeks were smooth and healthy. It was so nice to see her feeling better after the rough few months. Now if only the tooth thing will settle down, she will enjoy the last trimester of pregnancy!

Sweet Pea - I love you dearly.


Monday, December 10, 2007

12 Ornaments of Christmas

This blogger inspired me so much with her yearly series of ornaments that I wrote to her to ask for permission to do the same. What a wonderful idea! Thank you, Ninotchka, for letting me share in your idea!

Starting this evening, I hope to remember to post an ornament a night. There are several reasons I am excited about this:

1. It will help me to remember my ornaments and Christmas and cold when it's 199 degrees this coming August.

2. I get to write a little story about how each ornament came to find rest on our tree.

3. It helps to count down the number of days left until my winter break!

4. I get to share some special memories with my family.

So with that being said, let us begin!

This is the first ornament we ever bought for our Christmas tree. It was bought, obviously, in 1979 and I believe we bought it at a Hallmark Card store. It is glass and I worry about it breaking every single year because with each passing year, it becomes more and more precious. I am so glad to have a picture of this ornament now! No matter what accident may happen in the future, I will always have this picture.

The ornament is 28 years old so I have to think hard to remember our first Christmas together. I know that we were living in Chester, Pa. and getting ready to move to Reading, Pa. (We moved there that January) We had to have gone to visit my folks but it seems to me that we also went to Reading as well to see Sparky's folks. His parents were incredible about Christmas. I have never seen so many packages under one tree! And because I was overly excited (imagine that, me, overly excited!) they really went all out. I guess they appreciated my appreciation for their Christmases!

This ornament is always the very first ornament to go on our tree each year. Sparky sees to that tradition. It is very important to him. It's another reason to love that man so much. He respects and honors these traditions and sees to it that they are carried out each year. I look forward to putting that ornament on our tree for many years to come.

You Are a Gingerbread House

A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Weekend Update

What a wonderful weekend I had. And I sooo needed it!

Firday night began with our yearly tradition of going to see The Nutcracker at Centennial Hall. It was moving, as always. We have seen it so many times that we notice the changes some subtle, some not, in the choreography and enjoy discussing our favorite things as we walk back to the car.

I love going to The Nutcracker because of the live orchestra. We always spend some time before finding our seats to look into the orchestra pit and watching the musicians warming up. After finding our seats, I enjoy the large, projected snowflakes on the curtain. I love snowflakes!!! The next thing that I love so much is the scene in the house. I imagine Sparky and I in those days, a beautiful victorian home which I would lovingly decorate and care for, hosting a Christmas party for our friends and neighbors. I love when they send the party guests off at the end of the party and they hold hands while looking at the Christmas tree, fulfilled and content that they spent the night with friends, family, loved ones - but now it's just the two of them, heading to snuggle in their warm bed.

The snowflake ballerinas were the absolute best on Friday night! There is nothing quite like seeing a blue lit stage with sparkling, larger than life snowflakes framing the stage and 16 beautiful ballerinas in pure white tutus and sparkling jewels in their hair. And then the dancing - moving about as snowflakes would... just breathtaking!

The whole thing just leaves me speechless by the end. What a feast for the eyes and ears, as well as my heart. Thank you, Sparky and Little L, for enjoying and loving this beautiful ballet as much as I do. I love sharing this with you every year. (I miss taking you with us, Sweet Pea!)

On Saturday morning, we took a little ride to enjoy the rain. We saw a rainbow over the mountains. We then finished up some shopping and enjoyed a grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch on a cold, almost blustery day! HOW I LOVE THE COLD AND RAIN! Saturday evening, we ventured south to go to Tubac for their Luminaria Nights. We walked in the cold, drank hot tea, took photos, talked, squeezed each other's hands, and felt rested and relaxed. On the way home, Sparky suggested going to the casino since we pass right by. Oh, fine. We put in $20.00 and quickly it became $70.00 Cool! Now we can play a little with their money. We played for about an hour and we were down to $17.00. I was happy to go but decided to play a dollar machine and won $95.00 I was done! We cashed in our ticket and walked out happy and $75.00 richer.

Today was spent grocery shopping, cooking, baking, talking for a long time to Sweet Pea on the phone, and cleaning out the pantry. (Sparky did the pantry, is he the best?!?!?!? He is sooo organized! I love that!) Tonight it is raining - the perfect ending to a perfect weekend.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Kicked Around

Today was one of those days. I had a third grade student deck one of my 1st graders. I went to the 3rd grader to ask him to apologize at which point he began kicking me. I put a hold on him and he screamed that I was pinching him. Knowing that I can get sued to hell if he claims I hurt him in the hold, I let go. He ran and I went to the office to file the incident. Unfortunately, nothing will happen. This child is trouble with a capital T and has been for a long time. When I ask if he is getting therapy, counseling, etc for his behavior, anger, and foul language, no one knows the answer. He is falling through the cracks and will one day shoot people in a mall.

That is what amazes me the most. We have these mentally disturbed people who go nuts and shoot up innocent people and we stand around scratching our heads when they are in elementary school. Today is one of those days when I have very little hope in the future of mankind and even less hope that I can be in this profession for another 11 years until retirement.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


You Were Nice This Year

You Were 40% Naughty, 60% Nice

Okay, so you weren't *entirely* nice this year
But Santa doesn't expect a modern girl to be perfect
You were good enough - and you'll be rewarded for it

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Photo: Bill Adams

From the Easton Express Time in ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Two days after naming its mascot "PorkChop," the Philadelphia Phillies' new Triple-A affiliate abruptly dropped the moniker after receiving complaints from Hispanics that it was offensive.

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs, whose mascot is a large, furry pig, had selected PorkChop from more than 7,300 fan submissions. The team, which begins play in 2008, announced Monday that the mascot will be named "Ferrous" instead.

General Manager Kurt Landes said he heard from several Hispanics who said PorkChop was derogatory.

"We were really unaware of any negative connotations with the word 'pork chop,"' he said. "If it offended a few, it's a few too many."

Guillermo Lopez, vice president of the Latino Leadership Alliance, said he was called "pork chop" when he worked at Bethlehem Steel decades ago.

"If my parents were alive, they'd be having fits," said Lopez, among those who complained to the team. "It meant much more to them than it does to Puerto Ricans now in the Lehigh Valley."

PorkChop had been submitted by 32 fans. The replacement name, Ferrous — from the Latin word "ferrum," or iron — received the most fan nominations, with 235.


And these can no longer be called crackers. They will now be named Salaries (Latin for salt)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

His Better Half?

Well we did it! We tackled the outside lights today and it looks mahhhhvelous!

Here are the photos:

I helped Sparky hang the new wreath we bought yesterday!

Here I am helping Sparky to put up the white light tree.

I also helped Sparky hang the lights around the garage.

Sparky! You didn't catch the lights when I dropped them!

It's ok - we have replacement bulbs that I bought at Kmart in 1987 for 25 cents. Gotta love those day after Christmas sales!

I'm helping Sparky to hang the lights around the front door in this photo.

Sparky!!! You dropped the lights!!!

Sparky made fun of me when I bought these for 25 cents in 1987. Aint laughing now, are ya, Sparky!? These are really coming in handy!

Now it's time for me to help Sparky place the garland around the door.

Here I am helping to unpack the candy cane lights.

These are really hard to get into the ground. Good thing it rained yesterday to help soften the ground or my arms would really be hurting tonight!

I notice that one of the candy cane lights is crooked and lovingly mention that to Sparky. He points to me with his finger. At least, I think he is pointing. What are you pointing at, Sparky? Why aren't you using your pointer finger?!

The house is finally done and we can't wait until night to take photos. Unfortunately, when I went outside to take photos, I forgot to change the setting on my camera from PROGRAM to AUTO and thus, the fuzzy photos.

If I weren't so exhausted from helping Sparky all day, I would go back out tonight and retake the pictures.

But that is going to have to wait until another night when I am not so tired! Thanks for all of your help today, Sparky! And... I know you are thinking that same thing and all I can say are welcome! It was my pleasure to help you!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Isn't it Ironic

From Fox News...

Dec. 1: A person walks through the finish area of the World Cup Super G ski race course where the event was postponed because of snow and high winds