SOL #31: Wasabi

Have you had wasabi?






I had sushi for the first time today. Two of my friends helped me pick what I should order.

But back to wasabi.

I didn’t see it on my plate, then I tried one of T’s sushi rolls. Hers has avocado in it. I took the roll and ate it in one bite. Yum! Then I looked down and there was a clump of avocado. With my newly-learned chopstick holding, I scooped the avocado up and ate it.

At first I thought, “This avocado tastes funky- must be a sauce in the roll.”

Then C and T looked at me with big eyes and said, “That’s wasabi!”

But it was too late.

It was already in my mouth. I stoped chewing and took a big gulp of water and swallowed it down. My eyes were watering. The roof of my mouth was hurting.

My tummy has been hurting and I haven’t stopped burping yet.

SOL #29 Cat Map

I did something silly. It’s awesome and I love it.

I have a best friend who loves cats. She has two cats, her parents have two cats, her brother has two cats. They all love cats. Well, I’m surprising my friend for her birthday. I’m flying to Nashville and surprising her at a camp ground, and last night, I made her birthday present. The present has been in my mind for 4 years and I just never got around to it. Well, last night I sat myself down and started cutting out pictures of cats. A cat for every state in the United States of America.

The map has a cat picture in place of any state my friend has visited and there are more cat states she can glue on herself once she visits them.

I’m obsessed. It’s so silly. It’s so perfect.

SOL #28 Soda in the Morning

“Your lemonade looks so good!”

A coworker noticed my Tervis cup filled with it.

“Oh, thank you,” I say, “But it’s actually Squirt.”

We laugh.

I don’t drink coffee, so soda is my wake up drink. I grew up in a soda-once-a-week family, so I still feel bad when I had a soda everyday. Typically I get a Cherry Coke from the drive-thru before school at least 2x a week, but I’m trying to make smarter financial decisions, so I’ve been buying liters of soda and filling a big cup before I leave work. I know it’s only Thursday, but I haven’t gone through the drive-thru for a soda (and a small food/snack) for a full week!

Baby steps.

SOL #27 A Good Co-Teacher

Almost every teacher I’ve ever met has gone above and beyond their job description. You can’t do it all the time, but you also know your job isn’t over just because the bell rang. You can’t stop caring about your kiddos because you’re not in the classroom.

My co-teacher did something for our student she had never done before. Her husband was confused and couldn’t wrap his head around it. I asked my mom for help in the matter, but Mrs. S took matters into her own hands.

You stay up worrying about kids. Your chest aches with stress and wonder what they’re doing over break. Are they okay? Are they getting enough sleep? Are they eating good food? Should I have sent more break work? Less break work?

It’s an all-consuming job and it’s awesome to share it with someone who gets it.

SOL #26 Pain in My Neck

Checking the blind spot.

Putting on a seatbelt.

Grabbing the Starbucks drink through drive-thru.

Peeking into cars as I help students get out.

The left side of my neck hurts. You don’t realize how often you use something until its movements become noticeable, through pain. This is day 2. Fingers crossed this is the last day, too.

SOL #25: No Post Weekend

I didn’t blog on Saturday or Sunday. I remembered when I crawled into bed on Saturday and re-remembered halfway through Sunday.

A pang of guilt. A feeling of disappointment. Then I think about what I did do over the weekend: bake cheddar herb scones, make the most delicious deviled eggs I’ve ever tasted, and make hummus; host 6 friends over for a day of board games (Zombicide) which features almost 100 hand-painted zombie figurines I painted a few years ago; fold all laundry and put it away; catch up on shows I had over 6 episodes to watch; and read through my wedding binder.

My One Little Word is balance. I’m trying.

SOL#21: Family Size

Many of us have good intentions at the start of the year. My intention for 2019 is to be more balanced. I was killing myself over work and leaving my personal life to suffer. This included being in bad moods, not able to dedicate time to home chores like cleaning, cooking, or groceries.

Not any more.

I go shopping once a week and I make a goal to make one real meal a week- it’s not much, but it’s a start. Here’s the thing. I bought Joanna Gaines’s cookbook before Christmas and I decided to cook my way trough it. She and I have been cooking together for a few months and I’m loving it. I have 6 more appetizers before I’ve made all of them!

For as much as I love this cookbook, there are differences in our lives. I cook for two people and she cooks for 8. She made a cookbook and I follow it to the T, which means all my dishes are in mass quantities!

Last night, I made a chicken spaghetti bake that filled an entire casserole dish! It will last us until the end of the week.

I like making large batches for 3 reasons:

  1. I don’t change the recipe on the first make, so I know how I’ll need to adjust it next time to fit what I like.
  2. I have leftovers for days, which means I don’t have to cook again every single night.
  3. It helps me picture what I can make in the future for my children. What it takes to feed a family, the time and patience and love it takes to make a whole meal each night.

I’m not ready for kids, but I do like thinking about these things.

SOL #20 Not Exact(o)ly How I Planned It

Well, I did something. Womp Womp!

All teachers know the real life, daily struggles of maintaining a classroom. The classic tennis ball on table legs, for example, is something that has been going on for ages. Today, I was fitting a tennis ball for just that. I went to our closet closet, where we keep our toolboxes and grabbed an Exacto blade. I cut the tennis ball, then…

It happened in a moment. Holding the tennis ball in my left hand and the Exacto in my right, I pressed against the ball. I pushed in an upward motion because (oh, the irony) I didn’t want to accidentally cut my hand if the ball were to slip under pressure. In an instant, the ball moved under the pressure of the blade and the blade shot forward and upward. It caught the tip of my thumb and most of the nail.

I made a short gasp, not from pain, but more from the sudden movement. Immediately, there was blood. Mrs. S looked up as I set the ball and blade on her table and started walking toward the door. I was going to the nurse.

Our nurse helped me clean the cut and gauze over it. It is such a minor cut and I’m a pretty tough cookie. I’ve played through literal broken bones, undergone corrective treatment that grown adults (I was a teenager at the time) couldn’t sit through, and I pride myself in the beautiful stories each scar tells. I didn’t cry, I didn’t scream, and now, about an hour later, it doesn’t even hurt.

And yet, here I am with an 8-page form I have to fill out because of the work place injury. The most entertaining form has been the witness statement.

Mrs. S was with me when it happened, and she had to fill it out. We both think, “This is stupid,” but here we are, making sure all the Ts are crossed and the Is are dotted. Next time, I’m just going to rub some dirt in it.

SOL #19 Groceries

Planned recipes:

  • White bean hummus
  • chicken spaghetti
  • sloppy joes
  • deviled eggs

Grocery list

  • 2 grapefruit
  • pineapple
  • 1 lemon
  • strawberries (frozen)
  • parsley
  • dill
  • chives
  • thyme
  • 1 white onion
  • 3 garlic heads
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • salsa

  • 14 eggs
  • mayo
  • 2c heavy cream
  • milk
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 2oz grated cheddar cheese

  • 1/2lb bacon
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 2c shredded chicken

  • brown sugar
  • dill relish
  • baking powder
  • baking soda

  • chicken broth
  • 2oz velveeta
  • 1lb spaghetti
  • white rice

  • almond milk
  • la croix
  • soda
  • sparkling champagne

What are you making this week?

SOL #18 Pets

I always wanted a pet. When I was in middle school, I got two guinea pigs- Karmel & Oreo. Karmel started with a K because all my sisters’ names also start with a K. They were wonderful, but I wished they could roam like a dog or cat. Instead, they were only out of their cage if they were sitting or playing with me.

When I was in high school, we rescued a kitten whose mother abandoned in our backyard. He was so precious- a tuxedo cat. We named him Peter and nicknamed him “Leathah Cat” (it was 2009 & Project Runway was very popular). However, my dad does not want pets, so we kept Peter on our screened-in back porch during the evenings and he played inside during the day, while Dad was at work. He loved playing with the printer and sitting on my mom’s shoulders when she worked at the computer. We accidentally left the back porch light on one night and my dad went to turn it off. He saw the cat and was not happy. We had to give him away. Luckily, we know the people who took him. They kept his name and he’s a very fat cat now.

After Peter was gone, we started feeding the mother cat and the kitten she still had. We put food and water on our front porch and little by little, we moved the food closer to the door. Eventually, the kitten was more independent and would come over without the mother cat. One day, we moved the food into the house and she timidly came in. We closed the door and kept her. We knew Dad wouldn’t let us keep her, so the plan was to get her fixed, then release her. We chose not to name her, again because of the trauma we went through having to give up Peter. But one day became a week and a week became a month. We called her Kitty. One day, my dad said, “If you’re going to keep the darn thing, at least name her!” We said, “Well, she answers to Kitty now,” so that’s her name. My parents have had her since 2009. I love her so much, but she’s not a cuddle bug. She’s very skittish and nervous all the time. She’s like a piece of art- she’s beautiful and you can look at her, but you can’t touch.

My fiancé and I dog sat for a friend this weekend. Zoey cuddles and loves on you and I loved it. I want a dog.

Now I need to go vacuum my house everyday for a month… at least.

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