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Did Someone Say Milkshake?! March 17, 2013

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The following text conversation occurred today:

Me: My desire to have fun and meet new people is overruled by a greater desire to stay on the couch (pantless) and read. This is undoubtedly the major problem with my life and the greatest contribution to my seemingly unending state of being single.

My BFF Susan: LMAO! That’s paragraph 1 of your autobiography!

Me: Or the About section of my Facebook page? Perhaps the opening essay in my OKCupid profile?

Susan: Either!! Your pantsless ass brings all the boys to the yard! Lol!

Me: Ok…I’m adding that sentence into the mix somehow…lol 

The conversation made me laugh but also left me craving a shamrock shake from MickeyD’s.  Too bad that would require getting off the couch and putting on pants!


Four Months Later May 2, 2012

Posted by reddlissa in Single Life, Teacher Stuff, Uncategorized, Weight Loss/Fitness.
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On January 1st I wrote several goals for myself.  Four months later, I suppose it’s time to check my progress.

Financial Goals

  1. Save $1,000 — I am only $120 away from completing this goal 🙂
  2. Create a monthly budget and stick to it
  3. Reduce my credit card debt by at least 40% — I have completely paid off 2 credit cards. I’m not sure how much this has reduced my total credit card debt, but it makes me feel like I’m making progress.

Health Goals

  1. Lose 50 pounds — I have lost a total of 8 pounds. Despite being somewhat discouraged my this tiny progress, I am trying to stay positive and focused. If only cookies, chocolate, ice cream, and beer didn’t make my tummy so happy 😦

Professional/Educational Goals

  1. Pass the TExEs certification test in Social Studies — DONE!!! I am moving to the social studies department and will be teaching U.S. history and econmics next school year. 😀
  2. Apply for graduate school

Miscellaneous Goals

  1. Complete a scrapbook
  2. Actively look for “Mr. Right”
  3. Find a new church home with a strong youth program

Obviously I have a long way to go before I can check all of these goals off my list.  Hopefully the summer break will refresh my spirit and give me the motivation to get out there and do something!!

Places I Want to Visit Bucket List March 7, 2011

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The idea for this post began to germinate while listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s rendition of ” Battle Hymn of the Republic” and burst into full bloom after reading MerrieB’s latest post.

North America

  • Grand Canyon
  • Niagra Falls
  • Boston (with a side trip to Salem)
  • San Francisco and Napa Valley
  • Chicago (not as part of a 10-hour layover at O’Hare!)
  • Yellowstone
  • Colorado
  • Utah (so many great national parks)
  • Las Vegas
  • Detroit (just to see a Red Wings game)
  • Montana
  • Alaska
  • Quebec
  • New England in the Fall


  • Italy
  • Greece
  • Germany
  • France (more than just Paris)
  • Austria
  • Estonia
  • The Netherlands
  • Australia
  • Egypt (I think I’ll wait until the craziness dies down!)
  • South Africa

Places I’ve Been But Want to Revisit

  • Scotland
  • London
  • Hawaii

Books I Wish She Had Read January 26, 2011

Posted by reddlissa in Family Affairs, Literary Journal, Rants/ Raves, Uncategorized.
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While browsing the web, I found a post about missed reading opportunities and started thinking about my rich reading background.  I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t a voracious reader.  My mom has a tremendous love of reading and literature and shared that love with my brother and me.  Some of my earliest (and happiest) memories are of Momma reading The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins   and Are You My Mother? , and the greatest Christmas present I received as a kid was the Little House on the Prairie box set which I read at least a dozen times.  Books have always been an integral part of my daily routine and I shudder to imagine a life in which I couldn’t indulge in a quick trip to ancient Rome, King Henry’s Hampton Court, or the dark alleys of crime-ridden Los Angeles.   With this in mind, I offer a quick list of the most influential or memorable books from my childhood:

1.  Little House of the Prairie (Wilder) — I cannot express how much I loved this series.  I still own that box set I got over 25 years ago;  each book is tattered and worn from being read so many times.  I even had my mom make a “Laura Ingalls dress” that I wore until I couldn’t squeeze into it any longer. 

2. Anne of Green Gables (Montgomery) — Contrary to what my students believe, I was not a troublemaker as a child.   I relied on this book to vicariously experience tight scraps, wild adventures, and fierce independence.

3.  Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret? (Blume) — This book was so taboo in my 5th grade world!  What I remember most about this book is having to put my name on a waiting list at the school library just to check it out…..and the exercise to grow your boobs.  Surprisingly those of us lucky enough to have a chance to read the book never spilled any of its secrets to those poor souls still waiting their turn.

4.  Little Women (Alcott) — I had an illustrated version of this classic that was passed down from my mom and aunts.  I loved Jo and was devastated when she cut off her beautiful hair.  This was one of the first books that I can remember pulling various emotions from me as I read.

5.  Where the Sidewalk Ends (Silverstein) — Every student at my elementary school was required to participate in an annual elocution contest.  Without fail my brother and I always chose to recite a poem from this collection.  This is one of the few books that he and I both loved; we wrote and drew on the pages of our favorite poems 🙂

I’m happy to be able to say that I have passed this love of reading on to my daughter; she would willing spend my entire paycheck at Barnes and Noble.  Sadly I realize that my daughter, for all her reading, has not experienced any of these amazing works 😦

I’ve Doubled My Numbers! September 12, 2009

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Thursday Merrie and I were talking about her upcoming trip to Istanbul and the conversation got me excited (again) about the Mediterranean cruise I’m hoping to take this summer.  I browsed through my copy of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die to find out if all our scheduled stops make the list; they do! 

While I was flipping through the book, I realized I haven’t updated my original list.   Here are my additions thanks to the London/Paris trip:

9. Windsor Castle [Windsor, England]

10. The Cotswolds [Gloucestershire, England]

11. London, England

12. Oxford University [Oxfordshire, England]

13. Bath, England

14. Stratford-upon-Avon [Warwickshire, England]

15. Warwick Castle [Warwick, England]

16. Stonehenge [Wiltshire, England]

17. Paris, France

18. Chateau de Versailles [Versailles, France]

ABC’s Cajun Style July 27, 2009

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I finally started a new cross stitch project.  It has been almost 2 years since I’ve done any sort of craft; I am NOT a crafty person by nature but grew up watching every woman in my family cross stitch and it was a rite of passage I felt I had to complete as a teenager.  Anyway, from time to time I am struck by the urge to “create” something so I rummage through my stack of pattern books until I find a project that fits my mood.  This is the picture I’ve settled on:

Cajun Alphabet

Cajun Alphabet

The Changing Face of Friendship January 4, 2009

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2008 brought many changes in my life including a complete upheaval in my world of friends.  I lost two of the friendships that meant the most to me and am still struggling to deal with the void of those losses.  H was the first friend I made in Houston, and we saw each other through a roller coaster of experiences.  In March our relationship reached an impasse and we went our separate ways.  While she is no longer a part of my life, I think of her often and miss her terribly.  Just a few months after the fallout with H I lost the best friend I have ever had.  B was not only my boyfriend but in friend terms he was my other half; I can’t think of a way to describe our friendship that would even scratch the surface of how deep a connection we shared.  We ended our romantic relationship in September 2007 but maintained an incredibly close friendship through August of 2008.  Honestly I can’t even think about him without having to fight back tears.  It’s not a boyfriend that I miss; I let go of that part of our relationship long ago.  It’s the deep connection we had as friends that I long for.  Learning to live without that relationship as been one off the toughest challenges of my adult life.   

Life is often a thing of balance and I found the same is true with relationships.  The loss of old friends was countered with the addition of new ones.  SF is co-worker who has become an amazing friend.  We have cried together and laughed together as we both face some tough challenges that have been thrown in our paths.  She has taught me so much with her strength, compassion, and resilience.  I feel blessed to have her in my professional and personal life.  SH started out as a romantic interest but the 1,000 miles between us quickly killed that possibility.  Surprisingly we have grown close as friends, and he is the person I turn to when I need a guy’s perspective.  He is brutally honest, gives great advice, and even helped my respec my hunter on WoW 😆 .  I am lucky to have him as a voice of reason I can count on.  LH came into my life only as “M’s girlfriend” but she and I have built a friendship that is our own.  I am amazed at the depth of her compassion for others.  She has taken me under her wing and introduced me to a great group of people through HoustonConnect.  At a time when I long for new social connections, L has helped me make new friends and I am looking forward to more HC get-togethers and more time spent with her an M.

2008 was a challenging year for friendship but as I reflect I think I definitely came out on top, and I am looking to sharing great times with my new friends in 2009 🙂

Come Hell or High Water January 2, 2009

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I absolutely suck at keeping  New Year’s Resolutions.  I think my record for the longest I’ve managed to stay on track is….3 weeks.  Not this year.  I am committed to stick to my 2009 resolutions and have created specific plans to help stay focused.

1. Live by a budget.  This will allow me to pay off more of my credit card debt and save money for the family’s trip to London.  I have already calculated my budget for January and plan to spend 2 nights a week updating my checkbook and making sure I am within my given limits.

2. Live a more healthy lifestyle.  I plan to change my eating habits; FitWatch is going to be the main tool I use to help with this.  I also plan to exercise on a regular and schedule-driven basis.  I hope the Wii Fit and my training schedule for the Avon Walk will help with this goal.   

That’s it.  Two resolutions.  I don’t want to overdo things.  Sure I have other specific goals I’d like to accomplish, but many of them fall into those 2 broad categories.  I’m also hoping that if I stick to these 2 resolutions some of the other things I *wish* for in 2009 will fall in line and happen in the right and natural time.

‘Cause I Can’t Come Up With My Own November 17, 2008

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Questions from Curious Kitty-Cat via The Daily Meme

1) What book has most touched your soul?

   There are so many books that have impacted in me in different ways; I’m having a tough time making a final choice.  We Need to Talk About Kevin was an incerdibly powerful read.  The shame I felt for having “negative” parent thoughts lifted from my shoulders, and I accepted my parenting past.  I believe it made me appreciate S in a new way, and I trust my “mommy” instinct more.    

2) How do you think being a teenager today is different from when you were a teenager?

There are no more secrets in today’s society.  What I didn’t learn, experience, or discover until I was in college is now common in high school (or, God help us, middle school!).  Thanks internet, YouTube, and Google for putting it all out on the table.

On the flip side, I am amazed at what S and my students can do with a computer.  I was in the minority in high school (we had a computer at home AND a dot-matrix printer) but these days the average American household has at least one PC or laptop.   

3) If you found out for sure there was no afterlife at all, would you change how you live your life?


4) What is the biggest regret of your life so far?

I missed too much of S’s life when she was between the ages of 4 and 5.  My focus was me and my “romantic” life, and I neglected her too often.  She formed a bond with Aunt M that I am sometime jealous of, but I know it is 100% my fault.

5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one. Public Domain Photo

Rocky and Bullwinkle…I swear that’s the first thing I thought 🙂

All Things Fall October 6, 2008

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I had the urge to write today but couldn’t think of anything I was really itching to say.  I took the easy way out — did a Google search for “daily meme” and found the following:

Fall Time
1. Have you ever fallen for someone who turned out to be nothing like they seemed?   Isn’t this the story of my adult dating life?!?!  *pause for a trip down memory lane*  Yeah, pretty much every guy I have dated since college graduation has turned out to be vastly different from my first impression.  Do you think the problem is me?
2. When was the last time you had an embarrassing fall? And did you injure yourself?  I can’t remember any specific incident but I’d bet grocery money for the week that my last “trip” was at school in front of my students.  I probably wasn’t hurt but I’m sure they laughed and I in turn was embarrassed and ticked off.
3. Do you enjoy the music of Fall Out Boy?  Ummmm…I’m sure I’ve heard their music but I can’t recall any ot the song titles at this moment.  I am much too lazy to reserach and listen to a song.
4. For you,what is the best part of the fall season?  Fall?  What is that?  Is that what we call the 3 weeks in November when I can open my windows in the evening and enjoy low humidity and a cool breeze?
5. Have you ever had a falling out with someone over something that was completely insignificant?  If so,what was it over?  Do you honestly expect me to remember all the stupid times I have argued with a friend or loved one over something ridiculous?  My feeble brain can’t possibly hold all that data.  I do remember getting pissed at my boss (Office Max) because he had me declare a box of pens defective so he could use have them for personal use.  I threw a stapler at him.  Yes, I have learned to manage my anger since over the past 10 years!