Sunday, April 30, 2006


The above word was my "Word of the Day" from the Merriam-Webster dictionary people. It means "a delay," which seems to be what I have been doing around here: delaying.

The return to school was eventful, as there was a lot of drama surrounding one of our students. Without going into detail, I'll say that he generates a lot of negative energy and was rumored to have made some *as yet unsubstantiated* threats against the whole school building. All of this happened with the arrival of our new Principal. Welcome to our school, dude.

I got an even bigger shock when I realized that there are about 16 "teachable" days still left in our school year. I say teachable, because even though there are about 25 official days left, about 9 of those are taken up with field trips, finals week, and state testing. So I have 16 days to get through the last and most interesting unit - food. Wish me luck!

I will be really very glad to see the backs of a few of my students. There are some that are just never satisfied - I don't give out enough treats or I don't play enough games, or they have waaaaaaay more homework than the Spanish class does, or French class is boring and way too hard! They are all boys, go figure. Spoiled, snotty little rich kids is what they are. Mind you, these are the same kids that will come back to see me next year and tell me how much they miss me. I will laugh politely up my sleeve.

Then, there are a bunch of students - the majority, really - that I will be very sad to see go. I have a great group of kids in general, this year, and am really scared for next year. I have the feeling that I'll be teaching a lot of Seventh grade next year...

Oh well, whatever comes, I hope it comes speedily, without cunctation.

*why do I giggle and think of Sniffy when I say/read/type this word?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

With apologies to Stacy, I present to you the Peanut Palace

I have a colossal sunburn. Maybe I'll show it to you later. I got this sunburn helping Miss Peanut build a sand castle.

Sand castles, to me, have always been mounds of sand topped with seashells. As I got older, I created mounds of wet sand surrounded by crenellated towers, made with the assistance of a bucket and shovel. Moats of seawater surrounded my fortresses and seashells decorated the sides. When older still, I learned how to create an arched doorway, fit for a portcullis and drawbridge. Still, my main ingredient was sand.

On Thursday, when Miss Peanut announced that she was going to make a sand castle, I walked over and retrieved the shovel and bucket. Miss Peanut turned and walked up to the dunes, where she collected strange reedy grasses. Huh? Grasses? O-kaaaaaay...

She began trying to plant them in the wet sand. Intrigued, I showed her how to bore holes in the sand with a rock. Since they dredged offshore by Folly Beach, there were loads of black fossil rock on the beach, washed up by the current. She began planting her reeds in a sweeping line, until she needed some thing else. She told me to make a circle, and then scuttled off down the beach. I planted the rest of the reeds in a circle and dug a trench in front of them, excavating my favorite material - sand - to hold the reeds in place.

Miss Peanut came back holding a pile of the black rocks, which she placed in the trench. The WCM kept her supplied in rocks and she created a sweeping curved wall that echoed the curve of the reeds. I couldn't help but stand there and marvel at her creation. Being a proud mother, I had to share it.

Impressive, huh? She's four and a half years old. Am I crazy, or is this child a genius?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Vacation Paradise

Easter Sunday was a bright and sunny morning, very warm - 80ish - for us, so we went to the beach. The WCM and Miss Peanut cavorted surfside, throwing her toy plane back and forth (the toy from her kid's breakfast meal at Sonic - ah, the deep fried goodness...) while I sat solitary, the abandoned guardian of "the stuff." It's all good though, because the beach here at Sullivan's Island is so different from the New Jersey Shore of my childhood.

There, the sand was coarse and rough, almost cutting your feet as you trudged through it toward the water. Here, the sand is powdery fine and silky soft. Even with the occasional prickly shell embedded in it, this sand is a satiny treat to sink one's feet into.

At Cape May, my memories are of pestilent, persistent seagulls, divebombiing tourists eating lunch, feeding off the abandoned sandwich or fries. Here, I can watch the pelicans - squat, dumpy deformed-looking birds on land - soar gracefully above the ocean searching for fish. Once found, I thrill as they pull in their wings and plummet beak-first into the ocean, making a tidy splash.

The sky is a gorgeous deep azure blue here, with feathery clouds tracing delicately above the water. Even with other sun-worshippers clustered about the beach, there is no overbearing drone of the banner-flying advertising plane or the raucous grating of a neighbor's Bon Jovi CD. Nothing against Bon Jovi, mind you, but the peace and -even cliched - serenity of the rolling waves is the only sound I hear.

I must, however, be the only lunatic out here scanning the knee-high water for signs of fins. For where there be large fins, there be large teeth. Nice to know my shark phobia lives on. I've always been in awe of sharks. Their effortless slicing throught the water, the graceful propulsion, and of course, the aforementioned big teeth. What can I say - I'm a girl easily impressed by size.

They fascinate me like no other creature on this earth, these prehistoric throwbacks. I've always watched TV programs on sharks - Shark Week on the Discovery Channel is must-see-TV for me. I have to watch them with my feet tucked up under me and off the floor, for, when sharks are on TV, the sofa becomes a raft, didn't you know? Also, TV sharks can swim through your carpet and bite your feet off at the ankles if you keep your feet on the floor. It's a recognized fact. I've been brave on this vacation and gone in up to my knees.

As I sat on the beach that day, searching the sparkling ripples of the Sullivan's Island shore, the theme from Jaws running through my head, I realize that even with the different location, some things never change.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Yesterday was a very bad day. I was barely conscious for most of the day, having a delightfully high fever (103). I went to the doctor who pronounced a sinus infection was responsible for my blahs.

Today, I am much better, albeit rushed off my feet with last-minute vacation preparations. We leave tomorrow morning for Charleston, South Carolina. I'll be waving at my beautiful baby boyfriend from a distance, because I'd hate to give him my germs. We're going to the beach, shopping, viewing the forts, and eating out every day during our vacation. I've been checking the weather sites rather obsessively, making sure that their prediction of 80 degree weather is accurate across the sites. Shorts, sandals, and sunscreen weather!

It's going to be a tough ride down, though, and I'll try to let you know the number of times Miss Peanut whines "Are we there yet?" My bet is 435. I don't think I'll have access to the computer during my vacation - I just can't stop saying vacation - so don't look for much.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The things I have to do...

I've cleaned her butt. I've wiped her snotty nose. I've picked crust out of the corners of her eyes. The things I do for Miss Peanut are many and frequently icky. But I do them, because I am her Mother and it is my job.

The most recent, though, is the funniest.

This weekend, while waiting for Nana to show up at the mall (practically an hour late, mind you - the woman has as much sense of time as the average catfish - but I digress), Miss Peanut and I strolled past a nail salon. I figured it would be a neat diversion for the little one to have her fingernails painted. She agreed.

We chose a light pink polish, and Miss Peanut settled into the huge padded chair, feet dangling off the edge. She watched, fascinated grin on her face, while the tiny Asian lady filed her nails and began to apply the polish. Four coats of polish later (base, two color, and top), Miss Peanut slid off the chair, hands held out from her sides, wrists cocked up to avoid any accidental contact, and wiggled her derriere at me.

"Mommy, can you get my wedgie?"

Manicure - $5
tip - $1
picking out your daughter's wedgie - priceless

Monday, April 10, 2006


I went AWOL for a little bit, but it's been in the pursuit of happiness, so all's good.

We've had decent weather here, so Miss Peanut and I went for a walk and got ice cream. I figured if she could walk the mile and a half round trip, the little booger deserved the ice cream. She walked like a champ.

It's so much fun being her Mommy. I mean, there's the normal drudgery of making sure she has clean clothes, healthy food, and good manners - and that's quite a lot of work, these days. There are times, however, when the fun just smacks me in the face. Playing in the yard, throwing the frisbee for the dogs, watching her laugh with her whole body is just wonderful. Taking that long walk in the sunny evening, just being with her as she gasped in delight at finding a wild violet in the grass, was the delight of my day.


Did I mention I love my job? I took my students out to play boules today. You know, French teachers can get away with a lot in the name of cultural awareness. It was beautifully sunny and just warm enough to really enjoy the rays. There were lots of jokes about playing with my balls - what adolescent can resist testicle humor? None of mine, I'll tell you. We had a blast pretending to be old French men. All we were missing were a gauloise and a glass of pastis.


We had a bit of a kerfuffle in my school district recently, involving a teacher and a 13-year old boy who got up to more than just a bit of mischief. I don't want to be too specific here, because of Google and job security - I rarely blog about work for just this reason - but it bears speaking of because, eeeeeeuuuuw! Thirteen-year old boys are hardly hygienic, let alone desirable! What was she thinking? Was she thinking? She's got to be mentally ill. Because, ew?!

I kid around with a few of my young men who like to flirt with me - they know and I know that it's getting them nowhere, but they're testing out their skills (and it's really cute, too). I've had to rethink my actions here, because even though it's completely innocent and I would NEVER EVER touch a child that way (or anyone but the WCM, actually), I'd hate for our kidding around to be misconstrued.

That said, my three young men still flirt. They're sweet boys. It doesn't help their grades any (two Fs and a B), but it's all good.


I've gone gadget-crazy, it seems. Last month, I bought an iPod nano, this month I upgraded my mobile phone. I got the Motorola Razr. Yes, I've heard that it has a problem with dust collecting behind the screen. However, I think that the person that told me this has a tendency to roll around in the cold, cold earth. Dust is his milieu. I think it's dustier in Ireland than here in the Mid-Atlantic United States, anyway.

That's all from me. Have a great week, y'all.