Now this is a Sun-day

Typical Sundays in Nebraska in January usually consist of layers, scarfs, and playing ‘1-2-3 Not it’ to see which sucker has to go warm up the car.  The most I see of my neighbors is a wave through a frosted window or a quickly shouted ‘Hey’ as we dive in and out of our doors.

No joke.  Two weeks ago, with the wind chill, it was -35 degrees here.  MINUS 35!

Well what a different 14 days can make.  Today it is a glorious 66 degrees outside.  You read that right; POSITIVE 66 degrees.

When God hands you this gift in January, you take full advantage.

Coat – Nope

Scarf – Not today

Sweatshirt – Even that’s staying inside

The neighbor kids started a pick-up game of B-Ball in the circle…in shorts and T-shirts, of course.  My grumpy teenager emerged from her cave, still dawning ear buds and a scowl, to take the furrriest member of our family on a long-awaited walk.  Heck, one of my neighbors just fired up his lawn mover.  (I’m officially concerned about that guy.  I get it’s nice, but the sub-zero weather I previously mentioned may have done something to his neurons.)

As for me, I dug a dusty lawn chair out of the shed and have set up camp in the yard with a beverage and a book.  Oh, and my sunglasses.  I’m enjoying every second of this that I can!

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A mighty giant

in a tiny package.

Well it appears that winter has finally decided to exit stage left here in ye’ ol’ Nebraska.

The claps and cheers at the local university baseball games can finally be heard in full force, fans being able to leave the thermal gloves and knitted scarves at home when they flock to the ball parks.

The temperature topped 70, causing us all to dig through last years shorts and shimmy into a pair, daring to expose our neighbors to our winter paleness while we steal those first few rays.

And it’s the type of weather that sparks all humans, whether hard-core athletes or couch loving potatoes, to strap on some shoes and hit the trails.

Now while those trails and roadways get backed with runners, bikes, and strollers, another breeds squeaks in its four paws, adding to the congestion.   The dog.

I love dogs and I love people who take out their dogs on runs with them.  When I go out for a run, I used to be jealous of those out with their jogging companions, wishing I had a four-legged friend I could take out with me, especially on my early morning runs.  Unfortunately, when you’re a woman and  you run alone at 5 am, there are times that you feel uncomfortable and desire a furry protector.

Almost three years ago, we added a furry member to our family.  The kids had been asking forever, begging to be loyal and responsible dog owners.  Santa finally caved and deposited a cute little, Yorkie-Poo, Maddie, into our home.  Why a Yorkie-Poo you ask?  Well, the answer is two-fold.  Paige has a dog allergy, any puppy we were given need to be non-shedding.  Secondly, I’m not a big dog person.  Just thinking about 87 pounds of slobbering, shedding dog sends my OCD into a tailspin.  In my eyes, dogs should be fluffy, soft, little and cute.  It should be able to fit under my arm, in a purse, or curl up in my lap.  (Ok, mock me now.  I’m woman enough to handle it.)  I do draw the line at clothes.  You should not dress your dog….except on Halloween…. and during football season…. and, screw it.  I dress my dog sometimes too.

Anyway, back to the nice weather.  Maddie LOVES to go for walks.  And when I say loves, that’s an understatement.  We cannot even say the word ‘walk’ in our house.  We have to spell it, because, if you say it, you had better be prepared to grab the lease and the poop bag right then and there.  When you do walk her, she pulls you, going full throttle at the end of her leash the whole time.  She comes home still hyped, still leaping up to your waist, still looking for you to throw her ball.  Seriously, how much energy does this dog have?

Too bad I can’t take her on a run.

Or can I.

I don’t know where the unwritten rule about what type of dog you can take on a run came from, but today, I remembered that my dad didn’t call me his ‘little trendsetter’ for no reason and set out to re-align the universe.

I laced up my shoes, strapped on my music, and asked the spunkiest Yorkie-Poo on the block if she wanted to go on a run.  Want to guess what she said?

She took off like a dart, practically dragging me off the driveway and up the first hill, proving she was up for the challenge.  The only thing Maddie might love more than being out on her leash…. is peeing.  She is forever at the door, scratching to be let out.  She will go out, come in, then go right back out again.  Apparently, I have the cutest puppy with the smallest bladder.  That, and the largest ‘little dog’ syndrome, so she must spread her scent wherever she goes.  Our run started out like this.  Mad dash at puppy full speed, nearly choking herself trying to make the leash longer.  Squat in grass.  Be passed by Kerry. Give up squat to pass Kerry and take the lead back.  Repeat.  And repeat.  And repeat.

About twenty minutes (yes, I said 20 minutes) into our run, Maddie started running at my side, matching me stride for stride, no longer trying to drag me.  I thought, maybe, just maybe, this was it.  I had found the point at which one can tire out a Yorkie-Poo.  Then she started running behind me.  Crap, I’m about to break my puppy.  I’m going to have to carry her all the way back home.  You know what looks sillier than running with a Yorkie-Poo… running while carrying a Yorkie-Poo.  Well, my fears were completely unfounded.  As it happens, my puppy was nowhere near spent, there just happened to be a runner approaching me from behind and Maddie morphed into protector mode.  I stepped to the side to let the runner pass.  Maddie again took off at full speed.

We hit the half way point and pulled a U-turn, heading for home.  She didn’t let up the whole way back.  I was in awe.  At any moment, I expected her to throw in the figurative towel, to sit down and refuse to lift one more paw.  But it never happened.

We rounded the last corner and caught sight of the house.  She did it!  She made it the whole run.  Hot Dog!  No, seriously, she was hot, thirsty, and panting like crazy.  I rewarded my superstar runner with a puppy treat and giant bowl of cool water.  She eat, drank, and crashed.  Literally.

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Remember the Tootsie Roll commercial…’How many licks does it take to get the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?’  I still don’t know that, but I now know how many miles it takes to tire out a Yorkie-Poo… 4 1/2.

If only it lasted.

Later in the day, IP made the mistake of saying the “W” word.

Guess who made a B-line to the door…..

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Ok, I’ll play

The high noon sun is beating down on my messy ponytail while I hide behind a weathered tractor tire.  The rock gravel grinds into my scraped knees as I scrunch down, hoping not to be seen.  As IT approaches, I hold my breath, hoping I won’t be found, paranoid IT can hear my rapid heartbeat.  Please don’t see me, please don’t see me, please don’t see me….

Tag, one of those childhood playground games that all kids loved.  Well, all kids but me.  I was not what you would call a tag enthusiast.  Mostly because I was not a fast, nimble child.  A game of tag to me became a strange strategy session, trying to run out the recess clock while avoiding the dreaded tag at all costs.

So when my blogging friend irishkatie tagged me in an online version of tag, my first reaction was to freak out.  Then I remembered I wasn’t 10 anymore and my heart rate went back to normal.  Katie has been a great find in the blogging world, a truly great soul.  I was happy and honored.  Truly honored.  Of all the bloggers out there in the wordpress world, Katie chose to pick me to tag.   Then I was worried.  As I was reading the game of tag rules and regulations (there seem to be a lot of rules and regs…), I started to freak out a little bit.  Most of my days are a non-stop roller coaster of work, kids homework, household maintenance, and kids activities, days that pass in a blur as I dream of getting to my couch.  My stomach tightened up with anxiety thinking of when I would actually get time to respond properly to this tagging and give Katie the thanks she deserved.

Luckily, the nature gods decided to drop 9 inches of snow on the great state of Nebraska, blessing those of us in education with the gift of a snow day.  After sleeping in, cleaning out all the messy closets and junk drawers, then cuddling with the kiddos for a movie, I hunkered down with my laptop to finally crank out my reply.  So here goes…..

First I’m supposed to post the rules.  (I’m a rule follower, so I’m going to do as told.)

1.  Post rules. 2. Post a picture.  3. Post 11 random facts about myself.  4. Answer the questions given to you in your tag.  5. Tag others. 6. Create 11 questions for those tagged.  7.  Notify those you have tagged.

Number 1 done.  Here’s number two.

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I’m going to spoil number 5, and mention one of my tags now.  Anka is a wonderful fellow blogging friend who honored my last month by making me a “Bon-A-Fide Mommy” and linking me on her blog.  She is a great blogger who is Keeping it Real all the time, plus we freakishly have too much in common!

Eleven random facts…  1. My favorite movie is Say Anything.  “A pen.  I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen.”  2. I have a pencil collection.  They were the cheapest souvenir when on vacation, so I always knew I could get one.  3.  I loved the cartoon Garfield so much I named my cat Odie.  (Don’t judge.)  4. I had a pet beta fish that thought he was a dog.  No seriously, he chased his tail in the bowl and swam to the top when you called him. Oh, and his name was Fluffy.  5. I drink coffee at night, while I’m falling asleep.  Apparently caffeine has no effect on me.  5.  My first concert was New Kids on the Block in 1989.  6.  My favorite concert was New Kids on the Block in 2008.  (Again, don’t judge.)  7. I get up at 5 am everyday and run.  I have issues.  8.  I’m obsessive compulsive about having a clean house.  I will put things away my family is still working with.  No really, I can not stand water spots on my sink.  It’s a sickness.  9.  I love fall because I love wearing sweatshirts with shorts and FOOTBALL!  I order the Red Zone every year and watch football all day Saturday and Sunday.  10. I wear crazy socks everyday, to every event, and they usually don’t match what I’m wearing. 11. I swear like a sailor.

Next…Answering Katie’s questions.

  • 6.1.      How do you think you and I met?  I don’t know.  I think I saw your blog mentioned on someone else’s so I clicked the link and found a friend.
  • 6.2.      How long do you think you will be blogging here?  I hope for a while.  I’ve kept it up over a year now, so I think I’m doing good so far!
  • 6.3.      Whether you like math or not, what do you think is one cool thing about math? I like Math because Math has a definite answer.
  • 6.4.      Whether you believe we are alone in the universe or not, does believing what you do comfort you? Yes, very much.  My faith gives me very much comfort.
  • 6.5.      What is an embarrassing thing that happened to you since the beginning of 2013?  Sending a text to the wrong person!
  • 6.6.      What is something you have done since the beginning of 2013 that you are proud of? I made Chicken Pot Pie from scratch last weekend…and the fam LOVED it!
  • 6.7.      What did you dream about last night? I can’t tell you, you’ll blush….
  • 6.8.      We’ve all seen the, ‘What 5 people would you want a dinner party?’ question.  Say you got all 5 there, what would you serve for dinner?  Steak and mashed potatoes, corn bread with honey, corn on the cob.
  • 6.9.      Can you give the next in the sequence? OTTFFS   Um, no…..
  • 6.10.    All of you that I have tagged loved to write.  What kind of writing do you like to do?  I like to tell stories from my life about situations that I found funny.  As I’m writing, I’m hoping that you all will find them funny too!
  • 6.11.    What makes you happy when you are feeling down?  Singing at the top of my lungs in my car.  I’m really good…I think.

Here’s where my lack of tech knowledge will come into play.  I hope these links work.

Keeping it Real

mom of 3 and i need a bigger car!

motherhoodisanart

Katie

Mar on the Run!

Ok, I promise, I’m almost done. Here are my questions.

1.  Why did you start blogging?

2.  Biggest, yet to be accomplished, dream?

3.  Biggest fear?

4.  Biggest failure?

5.  Biggest regret?

6.  Secret crush?

7.  Favorite color?

8.  Team who?

9.  Worst fashion faux pas?

10.  Secret food you love, but would never admit to others?

11.  If you had one day to yourself, no chores or errands to do, what would you do?

And exhale… I’m finally no longer IT.  Whew!  No tag back!  😉

 

Tis the season….still

By now, I’m sure most of you have undecked those halls.  I get it.  I understand.  It feels so good to clean up and put everything away, fresh start for a fresh year.  We have too, well…mostly.

Christmas spirit.  Spreading goodwill towards man.  Kindness, peace, and love to all.  Why should that be crammed into just one month a year?  Shouldn’t we be on our happiest and jolliest of behaviors all year round?

We get so focused on the list, the shopping, the baking, the wrapping, the traveling, that we all forget to sit back and enjoy the sparkle of the holiday.  Christmas is here and gone in the blink of an eye, making us wish it wasn’t over already.

Why does it have to end?  Does it have to?

Actually no, no it doesn’t.  The sparkle lives on in the Soby household.

This is what our house looks like tonight, as I type.

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No really is does, well except the lights blink and race each other, like they are on a serious caffeine high.

I’m sure the fact that our house still glows with joy on January 22, might be annoying to some, in particular, my neighbors, but I love it.  It makes me smile and chuckle each night when they kick on.  I’m not the only one…..  The snowmen are smiling too.

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HappyNewValentineStPatrickEasterMemorial4thLaborHalloweenThanskgivingChristmas!

 

Butter Ball

After braving the stores for some early morning shopping, I stopped at home to eat lunch, watch my Nebraska Huskers beat those stinky Iowa Hawkeyes, and check out some prices on the web, searching for more deals.  Once I was properly re-fueled and re-hydrated, I decided to venture out back out into the crowds.  As I was getting ready to leave, I asked my mini-me if she wanted to join me this time.  My fashionista jumped at the opportunity.

As we were walking in the first store, I noticed this on the back of my Paige’s jeans.

“Hey Paige.  The back of your pants are wet.”

“No, I sat in butter at Grandma and Grandpa’s house last night.”

“Before we left the house, I asked you for any dirty clothes because I was starting a load.”

“I know.  I gave you my dirty clothes.”

“YOU’RE WEARING PANTS WITH BUTTER ON YOUR BUTT.”

“I know, but they’re clean.”

No, Paige, no they’re not…  Man I see there are a few life skills lessons that we need to go back over again.

 

Ice, ice baby

For a while now, we haven’t had a lot to complain about in Nebraska in regards to the weather.  We had a very mild winter last year.  Not a single snow day used, which is a sin when you work in a school.  A very pleasant spring, not a lot of the severe weather and thunderstorms we are used to.  Sure the summer was hot and dry and we could have used more rain, but with all the rain we received the summer before, everyone seemed ok with it.

And this fall….well this fall has been glorious!  Most days have been in the 60s, warm, with beaming sunshine.  Just this last week, it was 75 degrees on Saturday.  Kids running in T-Shirts at the parks, trails full of joggers in shorts, the sounds of lawns still being mowed.  Then Sunday hit.

The first hard freeze of the season.  Lows in the teens overnight.  Waking up in a panic, hoping you remembered to disconnect your hoses from your house.  I got up that morning and instantly felt the chill of the weather change.  Man, I glad I crashed out in the sweats last night.

As I was making the bed, I touched the wall, damn that’s cold.  I was making a comment to my husband about the lack of insulation in our house, when he sheepishly walked over to the window, pulled back the curtains, and I saw the real culprit.

Yes you are seeing that correctly.  In his euphoria from enjoying the beautiful fall weather, my husband had forgotten to close the window and it was now frozen…open.

“What!,” he says to me.  “It was unfreeze later in the day…   :/

 

I got nothing

You know those times when you talking with someone and they make a statement that just dumbfounds you, so much so, you’ve got nothing left to say in reply?  Yup, that was my day….

As a reminder, I work with behaviorally disordered kids.  Craziness, stress, and chaos are like air, lights, and water at my work.

These are two of my conversations from today.

Student 1 – “I’m going to drop kick you from here to New York!”  (Yes, I was threatened with physical harm today at work.  Repeatedly.  It’s normal.  It happens all the time.)

Me – “What direction is New York from here?” (We are in Nebraska)

Notice my sly distraction to get off the topic of assaulting me?  I’m tricky like that!

Student 1 – “East.”

Me – “Correct!”

Student 2 – “Oh yeah!  What direction is Florida from here?”

Me – “I know.  Do you?”

Student 2 – “Yes.  North!”

Me – (Shaking my head)

Then, within minutes…

Student 1 – “Can I go to the bathroom?”

Me – “You just went 15 minutes ago!?!”

Student 1 – “Yeah, but I only went Number 1”

Me – “Great…”  (A few minutes later)  “Ready to go Number 2

Student 1 – “I don’t have to go Number 2!”

Me – “But you said you already went Number 1, so there’s only Number 2 left.”

Student 1 – “Umm, NO!  There are numbers 3, 4, and 5!”

Me – “What are Numbers 3, 4, and 5?  Nevermind…I don’t want to know.”

You think I would have figured out by now to stop asking them questions….