Indigo Robe

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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!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Those teachers - they have it so easy!

Got this in my mailbox this week:


I went to the benefits meeting last week. I want to update you on what is going on. Cigna wanted to increase our rates to 16%. Our contractor Cbiz was able to get them down to 12.8%. This translates into the following.

These rates are monthly and don't include the district contribution.

OAP Core
$279.97 Single (Old)
$315.00 Single (New)
$769.93 Family (Old)
$868.47 Family (New)

OAP Enhanced
$372.01 Single (Old)
$419.00 Single (New)
$1027.93 Family (Old)
$1154.92 Family (New)

Believe it or not the rate increase isn't due mainly to utilization of our insurance, but just to what is called health care inflation which is 12%-15% annually.


I currently pay $500.00 a MONTH to Cigna to cover the three of us! It's outrageous! And I still had to pay $30.00 for my epi-pen and $20.00 for my mammogram even though they get $6000.00 a year from me and I only see the Dr. once a year for my checkup! Cigna and other insurance carriers should be ashamed of themselves.

You better believe I'll be listening closely in this election year!!!! We need afforable health insurance, America!!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We interrupt this blog...

The last week has literally kicked my butt mentally, physically, spiritually, and any other "ly" word you can think of.

to sum it up:

600 + books published

people calling me out of the blue for reference letters

the to do list grows longer by the minute

sometimes I have to stop reading my decorating blogs because many of the women are full time homemakers (my dream job) and it so depressed me to have to go to work and neglect my home. When I am home, I am too tired to do a whole lot. Ugly cycle. I have to do things in spurts of energy which are getting farther and farther apart.

Blah, blah, blah like this is interesting, I know.

calling a grandparent of a 3rd grader (yeah, he's had a rough life - hope that works when they fingerprint and book him) to conference because I refuse to be heckled in class any longer.

calling another parent of a 1st grader who refuses to follow directions, work, or stop bothering others.

many, many more things of which I cannot blog about

I'm in need of a good cry, a great piece of chocolate cake, and some time alone with Sparky to recharge my batteries and smile again.

All will be well once I get a good night's sleep.

Good news: My grandson is well and his crib is put together!!!!!! Ok... that makes me smile!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

National Pie Day

A new blog (to me) that I read tells me is it National Pie Day!

We are supposed to post a pie recipe or something to do with pies.

Now we all know that I am not allowed to spend that much time in the kitchen cause I will inevitably burn myself or start a grease fire so here is my version of kitchen safe pie.


Ohhhh, not that kind of pie?!?! Fine!

Here is my favorite pie recipe:

Go to the grocery store.
Walk down the frozen food aisle.
Find the pie that says KEY LIME PIE.
Drive home and unpack the pie.
Put in fridge to defrost.
Who are we kidding... take it out and open it up.
Stick fork in the frozen pie.
Stab it several times to move along the defrosting time.
Get fork into the first bite of frozen pie.
Wipe drool trickle from chin(s).
Place in mouth.
Scream as pie touches that one certain tooth.
Swallow and repeat process of placing frozen pie in mouth.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lesson Learned

Forgive me, Blog, for I have sinned.

The moon this morning is indescribable. The clouds were softly covering the moon, a huge white pearl in the sky, as I arrived at work. Just as I went to get my mail, it is now a buttery yellow sphere, situated perfectly over the giant saguaro behind my classroom. As I stood there in awe, it dipped further, turning more orange, topping a beautiful mesquite tree.

Always, always, always, always, always have your camera with you! You just never know what you are going to want to capture to remember forever!!!!

I just returned from one more trip outside to look. I found a 4th grader, Seth, who was quietly standing by the wall of my room, looking at the moon. I was ready to say I was glad to see he could take in the beauty of this morning with me as the moon began to turn pink. But before I could speak, he turned to me and said,

"That is Gate's Pass."

He was right. I was about the comment on how pink the moon is when he said,

"It's a peachy color, isn't it?"

He was right again.

We had a wonderful talk about how you can look at the moon without burning your eyes. He said he loved the moonlight at night, when the moon is full like this, because it's like a second sun.

Then he went on to discuss that his father works around Gate's Pass. He is a landscaper. Seth told me that his father sits on top of the mountains there and just stares at the sunsets. One time, he continued, his father wrote a poem for Seth's brother who had died. He mentioned that you can see the tear marks on the poem.

We talked a little more and watched as the moon, now peach and purple, dipped in the horizon, just kissing the top of the Tucson Mountains.

I guess I didn't need my camera afterall, to remember this special morning.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Crate and Barrel

They double charged me for an item.


They fill the french fries half way.


They double charged me for an item.

I will never again walk away from the register without going over the receipt with a fine toothed comb.


I'll get to the post where I show the pictures of my weekend with Sweet Pea and my WONDERFUL presents upon my arrival home (THANK YOU, Sparky!) but this post only requires my computer and the other post would require me to download the photos. :-)


"At the center of non-violence stands the principle of LOVE."
Martin Luther King, Jr.


"I have decided to stick with LOVE. Hate is too great a burden to bear."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional LOVE will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ahhhh, there's that word again - love...

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only LOVE can do that."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Only. love.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Haikus for my Sparky

Sparky wrote a poem
In the comments of my blog
It was a Haiku

The poem made me cry
Because it was just so sweet
Who knew he knew how?

My dear husband is
Is still wooing me today
After all these years

Why am I so blessed?
To have this man love me so?
I love you, Sparky.

Happy Saturday, Love. I can't wait to see you again on Sunday! :-)


Friday, January 18, 2008

The Post That Has No Organization!

I am in Phoenix until Sunday. I was lucky enough to find a seminar I wanted to attend in Phx. and it gives me a great excuse to come visit my Sweet Pea and Mr. Sweat Pea. I drove up last night (and yes, I did bring my baby girl that burrito, bear down style from our beloved Sanchez!) and I did not get to sleep until 1 am. I was back up at 6 to shower and dress and drive across town to the seminar with Dr. Mary Howard. I went to one of her seminars about 7 years ago and she is the only person I have ever remembered as a speaker. She is just amazing! I took 25 pages of notes (Font size was only 14 so that should tell you how good it was!) on my laptop so what does that tell you? I was the only person in the room with a laptop - everyone else was trying to write notes and she encouraged that but I am a very fast typist so I took advantage of my laptop.

Anyway - the point of this post is to say that I have the greatest son-in-law!!!

SO I get home from the seminar (after using mapquest directions that took me all around Phx. to the Scholastic book fair warehouse where I spent a whopping $6.00 ( sooo disappointing) - and hit bad, bad traffic - and.. wow, do I have trouble staying on one topic tonight or what?!?!?!?

Where was I? Oh yes, traffic, three day weekend traffic on a Friday at rush hour traffic in that big bad city of Phx!!!! (I was white knuckled, holding tightly to that steering wheel!) Traffic... yes.. ok... I remember.... and I was hungry. So I know where the Arby's is near their house and stop for some onion petals. THEY DON'T HAVE THEM ON THE MENU ANYMORE. Man, was I unhappy. So I go to the Fry's - the only other place I know how to get to from their house - and I buy a frozen pizza. I get back to their house and I try to manage the keys in the locks when Mr. Sweet Pea comes to my rescue and opens the door for me.

Next, we talk about everything from politics and the economy, failing schools and HD tv while he helps me to figure out how to work their oven. The pizza finally is done and my sweet son gets it OUT of the oven to cool. I thank him and we continue to talk while he gets ready for his 12 hour shift (he works 4 days a week for 12 hour shifts PLUS picks up other 8 - 10 hour shifts at another hospital throughout the week - he is such a hard worker!)... where was I again? Oh yes, the pizza!

After the pizza has cooled, he cuts it and HANDS ME A PLATE WITH THE PIZZA. He then gets me a DIET DR PEPPER, icy cold from the fridge!!!!!!! Hello?!?!? I am the baby of my family and everyone knows the baby LOVES to be waited on. I just couldn't believe it! While I was eating, he emptied and reloaded the dishwasher while we were talking. He then took the leftover burrito out of the fridge to take to Mrs. Sweet Pea. Then he shut off the oven for me and turned on the tv and HANDED ME THE REMOTE CONTROL.

He then made sure I knew where Sweet Pea's phone number was in case I needed anything, hooked me up with the wireless internet, and showed me how to put the heat on should I get cold.

Can you imagine how wonderful he treats my princess if he is treating his mother-in-law like this????!!!!! It's the reason I sleep well at night even though she is 3 hours away from me.

I have no witty ending for this post. I just wanted the world to know that I am so blessed with a great son and I cannot wait to see my grandson who no doubt will learn these wonderful traits of kindness, love, and caring.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What I Did on my Christmas Vacation

I forgot to post the before and after pictures of Sweet Pea's room my office! During Christmas time, it becomes gift and wrapping central so I really needed to get in there and organize. I was able to use pretty much what I already had. I just bought a few things for organizing. I can't wait to get the floors done (THAT IS NOT A HINT, SPARKY! yes it is) and then it will be perfect! I am thinking of selling the emac because we all use our laptops so it's basically a paperweight at this point.

I love the office because Sparky even put a tv in there! So I can have it quiet or I can watch my cooking shows while I am paying bills. The next goal is to actually take the sewing machine we bought in June OUT of the box and LEARN how to use it. I am thinking Spring Break. I'll post pictures of the sewing machine once I free it from it's box. In the meantime... here are my before and after photos just like on HGTV. :-)



Monday, January 14, 2008

Still Learning the Ropes...

I have some great pictures from our walk around Tanque Verde Guest Ranch from Sunday but for now I am posting this horse picture. How sweet of them to pose for me! :-) The first photo is as is. The second photo I tried to enhance and play with the settings (adjustments) and I am not sure which one works better but I am having fun playing with photos! Sparky bought Adobe Elements and our goal is to sit down this year and learn that. Which photo do you like better?

This is the original photo:

This is the enhanced photo:

Menopause Monday

A Menopause Haiku

Who is this monster
That takes over my body?
I am so sorry

(I love you Little Lamb & Sparky)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I've been taking BOKEH photos for years! Who knew?!?!

There is actually a professional term for out of focus pictures. I know, right?
There is an entire section of Flickr dedicated to Bokeh pictures!

I am good!
Bokeh (from the Japanese boke ぼけ, "blur") is a photographic term referring to the appearance of out-of-focus areas in an image produced by a camera lens.[1] Different lens bokeh produces different aesthetic qualities in out-of-focus backgrounds, which are often used to reduce distractions and emphasize the primary subject. The effect itself is the circle of confusion, an image of the aperture convolved by the image itself.

I took these photos when we did the Sedona Red Rocks Fantasy Lights Thingy. Enjoy my Bokeh art from this past Christmas! :-)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

This is fun...

Here are the directions:

You are about to have your own band's CD cover. Follow these directions to the letter. It's fun and requires no thought at all. Go to...

The first article title on the page is the name of your band.

The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4. Use your graphics program of choice to throw them together, and post the picture on your blog. Put your blog address in a comment in this post.

My Results:


January 11, 2008

Amid accusations of racial insensitivity, Bill Clinton called into the Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show on Friday to discuss recent comments about Barack Obama.

Clinton was asked if comments she made about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and remarks her husband made about Obama receiving "fairy-tale" treatment from the press might hurt her standing with African Americans.

While the former first lady was defending herself in California, her husband was explaining himself to the Rev. Al Sharpton.

The former president explained to Sharpton that his comment was not a swipe at Obama reaching for the White House but rather a reference to the fawning press treatment Obama has received. In particular, Clinton is incensed that the press has not focused on Obama's 2004 acknowledgement to the New York Times that when he spoke out against the prospect of war he was "not privy to Senate intelligence reports."

"We went through 15 debates," Clinton told Sharpton, "and the Obama campaign made the argument that his relative lack of service in the Senate was not relevant because he has better judgment than all the Democrats because he'd always been against the Iraq war in every year."

"I pointed out," Clinton continued, "that he had never been asked about his statements in 2004 that he didn't know how he would have voted on the war resolution, and there was, at that time, no difference between his position and President Bush's."

"Look," Clinton continued, "there could be a perfectly good explanation for it. Maybe, he just meant, that once it was done, everybody wanted it to work, including the UN. But the point is, it disproves the arguments that he was always against it, and everybody else was wrong and he was right. So I said, 'that's what those debates were for, and how many of you knew those two facts, in the audience?' And I said, 'So that story is a fairy tale.'


So apparently, since Obama is campaigning, we are not to use the F word (Fairy Tale) and we cannot dare speak of MKL, Jr.

Sharpton is the most devisive, media-whore, attention seeking, polarizing person in our country. Obama will end up losing because of his babysitting of every word that comes from the other candidates mouths. How in the WORLD can Clinton talking about Obama's perception that he was never for the war (that IS a fairy tale story) be considered racist?

I am willing to offer Al some remedial reading courses for comprehension. Clinton said Obama's perception that he was always right about not going to war was a fairy tale story, meaning he is lying about that but we can't use the word lying! or fairy tale! or talk about MLK, Jr. because... if you are white, you have no right to!

I guess I'll have to take down the quote on my classroom door:

"Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education." ~ MLK, Jr.

Too bad Sharpton clearly has neither.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Day

I had morning duty on the coldest morning of this week...

a 5th grader threw up in my room, pretty much in my face... there is now a permanent stain on my new carpet (wahhhhh!)

we had a practice lockdown... I was with 2nd graders during that time...

I read a book about WINTER and as we worked on our WINTER poetry books that contain WINTER poetry and we had just finished our recipe for WINTER weather, a 2nd grader decided to draw a...


to illustrate his WINTER poetry because when you think WINTER, naturally you think MONKEY!

Other than that - it was a good day.

My husband brought home a dozen colorful roses for me. What a man, what a man, what a mighty fine man! :-)

Now I am eating sno-caps.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I say ... and you think ... ?

Mist :: Fog
Eating :: chew
Beacon :: of Light
Speaker :: of the House
Episodes :: King of Queens
Conference :: Writing
Sneak attack :: Big Mac (???)
Medic :: help
Web :: internet
2008 :: LOVE

Monday, January 07, 2008

Why I can't move to Canada

My grandson...

Oh yeah... and something is happening in Iowa...

This "breaking news!" makes me want to move to Canada.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Yummy, Thy Name is Sanchez.

I didn't want to include a food entry/pictures with the post of sunsets because it just felt wrong so I waited until today to share one of our favorite restaurants in Tucson.

Casa Sanchez.

We have been eating at this place for 15 years and the only thing that has changed is that they hung up some straw sombreros on the ceiling recently. This place has the best food, hands down, for a mom and pop operation. Occassionaly I have tried some dishes but basically I stick to the same thing: #1 with green corn. That means I get a huge plate of a green corn tamale, a cheese enchilada, rice, and beans.

Sparky always gets a bean/cheese burrito, bear down style, side of sour cream. Bear down style is a nod to the U of Az. (Bear Down, Arizona!) and it means the burrito is smothered in enchilada sauce. This little restaurant is so homey. You go up to the counter and order your food (but it is NOT fast food as in Taco Hell) and you get a #. Then you go to the salsa and chips bar. We are STILL eating mild salsa even after 15 years here. How sad is that?!?! Then you must scoop some fresh cilantro/fresh chopped onions on top of the salsa. Once you get that first warm chip in your mouth, your # is called and you go up and get your plates. We have a favorite table but it was being used last night! (How dare they! Didn't they know we were coming in?) The owner knows us and always greets us with a smile and asks how we are tonight. Seriously, he recognizes us no matter what night we come in. I love that!

Then Sparky and I sit and enjoy our food. We talk about how we can never leave Tucson if it means leaving Sanchez. We talk about the lack of good mexican restaurants in Tucson. We then talk about we wouldn't even know if there were other good restaurants because we are loyal to Sanchez and are not going to try something else.

Then we plan our our retirement, share our hopes and dreams, frustrations of work or the day, how blessed we are, make plans for the rest of the night and before you know it, the food is gone from our plates.

Do you have a favorite mom and pop place to eat?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Saturday Sunset

We went out to Ventana Canyon resort to walk around before dinner. It's so peaceful and pretty there. I took my camera because it's been cloudy on and off all day and that usually means a good sunset. The skies did not disappoint! I didn't not enhance these photos in any way. I just couldn't mess with mother nature. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

My Husband is cruel...

I got alllllll excited cause I actually believed that PAUL MCCARTNEY had sent me a STARBUCKS CARD!!!!!!!!!

My Husband is cruel!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Welcome to Indigo Robe...

There is no more moronfamily.blogspot. The new title is explained on the left side of the blog. Please read it.

I changed it for those reasons and also, because I could never win those giveaways on the decorating blogs. I guess when you have a blog named Sunshine and Rainbows in the Bunny Field of Happiness Cottage, announcing MORONFAMILY as the winner, doesn't look good. :-)


A BIG, Huge, Enormous, Gigantic, Infinite hug and thank you to my darling, Little L. She took my vision and made it reality. She spent all of New Year's Day redesigning this skin for the blog. She did it with a sweet personality, the patience of Job's daughter, and the skill of a fine webmistress.

The word for the year, as you know from the previous post, is LOVE. Does it mean I will not rant and rave? No. Does it mean I will not air my frustrations at the world? No. Does it mean I will try to be more loving, kind, and patient so that my rants and raves are less? Yes.

Little L showed LOVE in action today. Thank you, Little L. I love you!

Now some business:

Please do not copy images without my permission.*** All photos taken here, unless otherwise noted (and credit given to!!!) are my own personal photos. I love taking pictures and sharing them with you on the web. Didn't Little L do a fine job on the photos on the welcome page?!

***And Little L knows crazy redirecting tricks if you steal images. All I know how to do is send rattlesnakes and scorpions to your house, with LOVE, of course.


And lastly, I need to thank a good friend of mine - she is a fellow teacher (she teaches art). We had some conversations about my being restless here in the desert. Sparky and I have toyed with moving back east, missing weather, cooler climate, family, etc. One day while I was whining again about living here she said something very profound.

"You have always lived here with one foot out the door."

It hit me like a ton of bricks. All of the restlessness, the "not settled" feelings I had were all the result of my own view of living here. Instead of embracing it, blooming here, truly enjoying the beauty of the desert, I was busy thinking about where our next move might take us. She was excactly right. I have always lived here with one foot out the door.

No more. I am going to embrace or rather LOVE the desert.
(Now let's see how long this attitude lasts when it's 114 again in July!!!! haha!)

Perhaps I can share my love of the desert with you, my family and friends, through my photos and stories. It's time for me to plant both feet firmly in the sand.