Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Your Turn

Please post what happiness is to you...It can be silly or serious or both. I want to hear from you. So...GO FOR IT!
Love, Annemarie

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Who Are These People and Why Have They Been Sent to Torture Me?

A week ago, my husband called me from a convenience store near work to tell me he had a flat tire. I dropped everything I was doing to go get him and take the flat tire to my least favorite but closest store, Wal-Mart. The guy was very helpful and got us a tire very quickly. This experience must have caused me to drop my guard regarding my feelings about the Super Mega Mart.

About two days later, my mother told me that my husband borrowed the pick-up truck because someone on the highway noticed he had another bad tire. Since the first tire already was outside the Victory budget, it was going to have to wait until payday.

On payday, my husband handed me a paper paycheck (very rare,) and I went immediately to the credit union whose lobby closes at 5 o'clock. In I walked and handed the woman my husband's signed check. She then proceeded to inform me that I could not deposit his paycheck from a very well-known employer in our community. Said teller continued, "If he comes in, we can cash it. Then we can deposit it in your account." I immediately got on the cell phone to call home, and lo and behold, no one answered any phone in the house. I had to drive all the way home to grab my husband and drag him back to the credit union. By this time, the lobby had closed, and the teller was working in the drive through. The manager came over to tell me that because my husband doesn't have an account with them, they will have to charge him 1% to cash the check so that I can deposit it. The first teller neglected to tell me this. By this point, I am fed up and said, "Whatever." The manager cashed the check and handed me back the entire amount instead of depositing it in the account. By the time I got through with the bank, it was too late to get the tire repaired at a non-Super Mega Mart type store. I also had to get my three year old from a tired grandma.

Saturday was spent running Caitlin around for dance. My husband had already committed to building a retaining wall for a woman at church, so another day passed without a new tire. This left today. You know Sunday, don't you? The day of REST? Well, not here! Hubby was still not done building the retaining wall and asked me if I will go get him a new tire after church. What is the only tire store open in our little town? You guessed it, Wal-Mart!

Off I went to the local Wal-Mart. I approached the ticket maker as the sign told me to do. He wrote down the size of the tire and sent me into the store to check what tires were available in that size. The counter attendant then said, "we don't carry that size." This confused me since I had just bought the same tire a week ago. Come to find out, the ticket maker cannot read. The department manager went out to the car himself to check the tire size and found the correct size. The young man cannot spell either. He tried to enter the data on his hand held computer. I asked him to add an oil change. This completely confused him. It took him five minutes to enter the information which included my name which by the time he wrote as "And Victoy." (This was after he had asked me to spell it and asked if Victory was spelled , V-I-A-....) Well, you get the picture. The manager said, "He's new." Needless to say, I was very ready to get out of my least favorite store.

Gary came home late from wall building. I hadn't had a chance to go food shopping yet, so he asked me to pick up Taco Bell. Against my better judgement, I went. The first indicator that there would be trouble was the sign on the speaker announcing the drive thru's debit card machine was not working. I went inside to see that quite a few people must have had the same issue. The cashier had the worst time trying to operate the cash register. I ended up telling him our order three times. He also forgot to give us our cups. I am so glad I brought my daughter along because the store had run out of drink carriers, too.

I am beginning to wonder if all of these places are using the same Human Resources department to do their hiring. Whoever is doing it, needs to give applicants a basic skills test. I just can't imagine where they are coming from. Obviously, the TAKS test (Texas Assessment of Knowledge & Skills) is not doing its job in "leaving no child behind."

If you managed to stick with this long drawn out rant, leave a comment. Those who do will have their name placed in a drawing for a nice little gift. It's the least I can do after torturing you with my not so little story.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Is This What They Call Children's Television?

Does Anyone else find this completely bizarre? How many kids are going to want to eat fried chicken or cheese that has a face. This is fodder for the vegans who say, "nothing with a face." Then to think that once you follow the foods they are in your tummy having a party?! That's just too much.

I just wonder how anyone could think that DJ Lance and his supporting cast could be a good idea. Children's television show producers need to remember that when children are watching their shows, parents have to be in the vicinity listening to this drivel.

Let's get one more glimpse at the idiocy of this show. (You may have to turn up the volume it is a bad copy.) Oh, and yes, that IS Elijah Wood looking like a madman.

Have they forgotten the movie The Puppetmaster?

Okay, this is the last one. I promise. Someone managed to combine my worst nightmare with one of my favorite songs.

Thanks for humoring a crazy lady who has lost her mind listening to children's television shows.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

For the Love of Dictionaries

Everyday I read to my students a chapter from a novel. Not just any novels, not "chapter books" as they like to call them in the library. We read City of Ember, Sign of the Beaver, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Where the Red Fern Grows....The list is a good one. They love when I sit down with them and say, "Next chapter." They hate when I have to close the book and send them off to write about it. Not because they don't like the work, but because they can't wait to hear the rest. The challenge comes for them during their assignments when they have to look up words from these wonderful books. Are you going to find words like begrudging or proprietors in the Children's Dictionary that the school provides for us? Not likely.

When I began teaching the Talented and Gifted Cluster class, my friend Chris gave me her backbreaking unabridged dictionary and a paperback dictionary that seemed to have every word a student might need to make it through a challenging novel. Unfortunately, the paperback dictionary went the way that well-loved, well-used paperback books pieces. That left the monstrous lexicon for my students to fight over everyday. It is funny to watch them, in a warped way, when they are peering over their shoulders when they should be journaling or responding to the question from the day's reading to see if someone is standing by the dictionary. As soon as a student walks away, another one jumps up to vie for his/her time with the cherished tome as one would vie for time with the pope.

I went to the Literacy Library at our school which is jammed packed with materials for teachers to use, but when I looked for dictionaries for students who already know the meaning of words like transportation or constitution, I was left lacking.

For now, the students will have to battle over the beloved dictionary until I can use the $50 our district has given each teacher to spend on our classrooms. (Man I wish I was coaching football instead - they don't have to worry about where their uniforms, or buses for traveling will be coming from.) I guess I will be heading to the store this weekend to find some good dictionaries. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Chaos

I have written about CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) on Myspace before, and have claimed to conquer it. Not entirely true, but things are better than before.

A different kind of chaos reigns supreme in our household, that of the canine kind. About 4 years ago we rescued a puppy from local animal shelter. You may ask what kind of dog it is, and to that I will defer to the opinion of the shelter which called her a Catahoula Leopard dog. Though that label is highly suspect. The older she got, the more she looked like she had a lot of German Shepard in her. However, my daughter still insists on calling her a Catahoula Leopard dog and justifies it by the ONE little spot left on her tail.

Zoey ................................... Real Catahoula

For a short-haired dog, she certainly sheds a lot. Even though she is a large dog, she is an inside dog. This is partially due to the high temperatures we have in the summer and that she doesn't understand the concept of going IN to the doghouse that is sitting in the shade. Because of this, we keep her in a kennel in the house at night and when we are gone during the day. I can't imagine that it is fun for her, but she never complains when asked to go in the kennel. So imagine my surprise when yesterday morning we woke to find that she had soiled her cage. Afraid that she might have the same accident like that while we were out, we let her stay outside.

That evening the kennel was still sitting outside (thanks to dear hubby) so he said it would be okay to let her stay in the house when we went to bed. She proved him wrong. This morning I woke to find presents left in various places. Needless to say, she had to stay outside again today, and hubby got the honor of cleaning it up.

The kennel is back in the house now. Let's just pray that Zoeygirl stays well enough to keep it clean.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Mosaic


1. The Annemarie, 2. Buen Provecho !!, 3. cove, 4. Purple fingers, 5. Nicolas Cage leathered up, 6. Chill.NeSs, 7. We ♥ Norway, 8. Untitled, 9. Day 137/365: Lord, I Lift Your Name on High!, 10. The Earth is God's Canvas., 11. Amazona amazonica, Papagaio-do-mangue, Orange-winged Amazon..., 12. El Arco del Triunfo... ¿¿en Valparaiso??

So I was reading Tweets from Twitter pals and heard some sad news about Aleida Franklin - a SISter at SIStv. She passed away yesterday in a car accident. I began going through the bloggers who spoke of her and ran across her blog where I came to find that she would have been a wonderful person to know. Everyone who knew her had nothing but wonderful things to say about her.

Anyway, she had posted a mosaic that she had created on Mosaic Maker through Flickr using the following guidelines that I have copied from her blog:

If you'd like to make one of your own, here's how you do it:

Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr search, using only the first page, choose your favorite image, copy and paste each of the URL’s into the mosaic maker (4 columns, 3 rows).

The questions:

1. What is your first name? (Annemarie)
2. What is your favorite food? (Puerto Rican food)
3. What high school did you attend? (Copperas Cove)
4. What is your favorite color? (Purple)
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (Nicolas Cage)
6. Favorite drink? (Iced Tea)
7. Dream vacation? (Norway)
8. Favorite dessert? (Peanut Buster Parfait)
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? (Debt Free)
10.What do you love most in life? (Children)
11. One word to describe you. (Talkative)
12. Your Flickr name. (Don't have one - I used Victory)

Aleida and I were the same age both with two children and her passing just makes me think about how important it is to live every moment to its fullest. I think she did and her scrapbooking and blogging will give her children the most amazing memories of what seemed to be a wonderful woman.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


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