Sunday, February 27, 2011

...a ride in February

We've had a bit of a cold snap, accompanied by a brisk wind. I wasn't sure if anyone would want to ride today, so was glad to get a text from Greg. He said it was pretty warm out, considering what the temperature has been lately, and the wind wasn't too bad. We decided to take our chances.

It was lovely to be able to wear these:

instead of these:

but my feet would have been happier in these:

instead of these:

There was a delightful tailwind heading out of town, and a killer of a headwind coming back in. As we slogged along we played the "at least" game: At least it's not raining. At least it's not snowing. At least it's not blowing dirt in our eyes. At least the wind isn't shifting like last time when we never got a tailwind. At least we're riding and not spinning. A good ride.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

...scanning my life away


  • This is my 22nd year of teaching.

  • I have accumulated a huge number of files in that period of time.

  • Cleaning out said files is a enormous job.

  • Personal scanners are relatively inexpensive.

  • Thumb drives hold many, many, many files in an itty-bitty space.

Questions to ask myself:

  • Have I used this material in the past 1, 2, 5, 10, or 2o years?

  • Even if I have, is it worth the time it will take to scan it?

  • How easily can I acquire the same or similar material online?

(I was sure that a scanner was the answer to my dilemma about what to do with my files. Now I'm not so sure. Oh dear.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

...Valentine's Day

This is what is spreading like a virus on Face Book right now: "For Valentines Day post a picture of you and your valentine as your profile pic and write the date you guys got together at the end of this post and copy and paste to celebrate the day of LOVE......"'s the picture I posted:


(Our 30+ mile ride in the sunshine today was a fabulous way to say I {heart} you!)

Friday, February 11, 2011

...taking an elbow to the nose

Earlier this week I was asked if I would participate in a pep assembly activity. "What's the activity?" I asked. "Co-ed basketball with a male and female teacher on each team." There are only three female teachers in our building. I could have said no, but one of the other gals had already exercised that option. "Sign me up, " I said.

Today was the assembly. Cheerleaders cheered, the band blatted out a tune or two, and the chosen few played basketball for the crowd's entertainment. Some were serious, while others of us ran up and down the court waving our arms at seemingly appropriate times trying to look like we knew what we were doing. And then it happened. I was in the right place at the right time (or so I thought) to rebound the ball. Just as I was reaching for it...crack! Someone's connected with my
It didn't sound pretty. It felt even worse. I was sure that my hand would be full of blood when I pulled it away. (It wasn't.) With wobbly knees I got myself to the bench and tossed the pinny to one of the girls. My career as a basketball great had just been cut short.

Tonight my nose is tender, and a lovely bruise is beginning to bloom. I think I'll be a spectator at the next pep assembly.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

...a grand adventure

A few months ago I posted about making a big change in my life. I'm not quite ready to go totally public with all the details just yet, but...on the way to that GRAND ADVENTURE I had a grand adventure that warmed my heart and reaffirmed that people everywhere are GOOD. Get a cup of your favorite wintertime beverage, and settle in for the story:

This past Tuesday I got up at 3:00 a.m. to make sure that I was at the {somewhat} local airport for my 6:15 flight. By 6:00 my fellow travellers and I knew something was up. Then the announcement came: due to mechanical difficulties, the flight had been cancelled. Oh dear. Next flight out was at 9:15. Since I live in Podunk, there are no direct flights to LA--we must go to Seattle first, change planes, then to LA. (It was a beautiful day to be up in the air!)My plan had been to arrive in plenty of time to change my clothes, fix my hair, and...breathe. Instead, I changed clothes in the restroom in Seattle, landed in LA at 2:15, grabbed a taxi and pulled up to the hotel just in time for my 3:10 appointment. Whew. (My hair looked fine, but I sure could have used that time to breathe!) The interview was over and done with before I knew it, and I staggered out to the street, feeling like I had really blown it. (I didn't, but that's a later post.) The kind doorman put me into another taxi and I headed to my budget motel.

It has been many years since I have seen the beaches of California, and I really wanted to experience the boardwalk at Venice Beach. After changing into jeans and walking shoes I asked the motel clerk the best way to get there. He said I could take another taxi, or...walk down the street, take a right at Burger King, and catch the Big Blue Bus at the bus terminal. It would take me right there. So off I went. I walked, and walked, and walked...and saw nothing that looked like a bus terminal. A woman was waiting to cross the street and I asked her if she knew where it was. She gave me a look that made me think, "Oh no, she doesn't speak English!" But then she pointed down the street--we were almost there. I stood in front of the information board, trying to get my bearings when the woman hurried over to me. "There's your bus--run!" So I ran, and got onto the Big Blue Bus that was seconds from pulling away, only to discover that I needed a one dollar bill or change. I had a $5 bill, a $10, and a $20 and some change--but not a single $1 bill. I dug in my purse and dropped coins in while asking the driver if I was on the right bus. "No, but for 50 cents more, I can give you a transfer." I looked in my coin purse with dismay--all that was left was a bunch of pennies. "I don't HAVE 50 cents," I wailed. So the kind driver gave me a free pass for the next bus, and told me when to get off. He pointed out the bus I needed and said to run!

I sprinted across the street and made it to the next bus. "What an adventure!" I said to the driver. She glanced at me and dryly said, "Uh huh." (She later said she thought I was a stewardess when I got on! ha!)
Then a delightful elderly man and his dog got on and sat down across from me. He had a wonderful Italian accent and told me how the dog had saved his life--he had been all alone and contemplating suicide when he was given the dog. Everyone on the bus was listening and joining in on the conversation. He asked me where I was going, so I told him--Venice Beach. Then the bus really came alive. People were telling the bus driver not to let me off--it was too dangerous on Venice Beach at night. A young woman came up from the back of the bus to tell me where it was safe to go. A man behind me got a map for me to use. Everyone was offering suggestions when the bus driver told them to be quiet--she knew where she was going to drop me off. Finally, she pulled up to a stop and had me come up and stand by her. She was letting me off at the Santa Monica pier--it was lighted and safe there. She pointed out landmarks and made sure I knew my way back, and where to stand to wait for the return bus. I thanked them all profusely and got off.

I didn't see the sunset over the ocean, and I didn't get to walk on the boardwalk at Venice Beach, but I did get to walk on the Santa Monica pier. I did have the incredible experience of having a bus load of strangers take care of me in LA.
It was cold on the pier, so I bought something warm to drink and ducked into this mall to get out of the wind. A man saw my reaction to the floor-to-ceiling display of old sewing machines on this store front and offered to take my picture. Another friendly stranger!
Oh, and I made it back to my motel just fine, and went to eat in a fabulous Greek restaurant--Aliki's Greek Taverna.

Spicy feta cheese appetizer

Comfort food after a long day: Pastitsio