Thursday, April 29, 2010

TAKS Observations

When you have NOTHING to do but watch students take a test (knowing your career and teaching certificate are on the line), you can have some pretty random thoughts. I have two.

1. Can you imagine being OCD and having to take a standardized test? Imagine having to bubble in all of your answers on a scantron. Torture, I'm sure!

2. Pretzels are the WORST snack to give out during the TAKS test. First, the eat them like a squirrel. I had no idea it takes so long to eat one pretzel! There are many ways to prolong it:
- Bite off each curve individually. Then eat the remaining branches one at a time.
- Lick all of the salt off of them and then proceed to the technique above.
- Bite each pretzel into a letter. Examples: A, B, C, D, J, K, M, R, S, V, W,Y Also, they can be bitten into a teardrop.
- Eat all the way around the outside of the pretzel (like a layer) and then go the other way to finish it off.
- See how many nibbles it takes to finish one. Whoever takes the most wins.

All are disgusting and delay the inevitable. My personal opinion - pretzels should be banned from the testing environment. Why not, everything else is!?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Creepiest Dream Ever

Seriously - I win. This week I had the creepiest dream I have ever had. Some people I have told about it have laughed thinking it funny. Some have shared my my creepy feelings. Yet, others have surprisingly told me they have had a very similar dream. Usually I'm not into dream interpretation but this one has me curious. Here it is:

I'm a part time nanny for a dentist who lives on the first floor and has his practice on the second floor. One day as I'm getting ready to go into work (still a teacher as well as a nanny), my teeth start falling out. So I try to tell someone but every time I talk, the teeth left in my mouth crumble into little pieces. I can't call my assistant principal to tell her I'm not coming in because my teeth are alternately falling out and falling apart. On top of this, the dentist I nanny for won't see me. I don't know why but he won't. So I try to get an appointment and can't.

That is when I woke up. I immediately felt for my teeth. It so wasn't funny. Here it is two nights later and I still remember every vivid detail of the dream. I could feel it all! So creepy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Too Good Not to Share

I have a friend that just cracks me up. I had to share what he wrote on his status update because it was oh so funny. In advance, you are welcome.
I wondered this morning as I sat here quietly eating my danish....What do they call a danish in Denmark? In my head I think they just refer to it as "bread". That would be a confusing conversation. "Danish?" "Yes I am, grew up here." "No, do you want a danish?" "No, I have a wife and she's from here too."

Friday, April 16, 2010


A few months ago, a friend of mine wrote a blog about how she was homesick. She moved to Egypt to teach school on a two year commitment and, at the time, has been there for about six weeks. As I opened her post and read the title, I expected to find lines about friends in Houston, places she missed, and the comforts of America. I should have known better. She has a heart for Cuba and it is her ultimate goal to move there permanently. She wrote that as much as she was enjoying Cairo and does miss Houston, her heart is longing to be where it fits best. While she has never lived there, being there fits.

I find this very interesting. While I see all kinds of spiritual significance to this small post, I'm not going to go there today. I know - you're shocked. Dana's keeping it light. It doesn't happen too often so you can relax and enjoy. :)

I can totally relate to what my friend was saying. Last weekend as I was in Austin, I felt at home. Everything in me relaxed because I was where I love and long to be. I love the abundance of independently owned businesses, the laid back atmosphere, and the lifestyle. I love the accessibility of the hill country while being surrounded by the healthiest city in Texas (tenth in the nation). Right now, that is not the path that has been set before me but one day I hope to find myself in a house in Austin (or somewhere very like it). I love everything about it. So as I thankfully continue with my day in Houston, I long for home.

What about you? Is there a place that feels like another home to you?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Taking a Flying Leap

Last winter, I was trying to think of something big to do for the big 3-0. I wasn't too sure what to do but it was looking like a trip somewhere. Then one day I got an email from my friend Adrienne. She is Miss Adventure all the way (at least in my eyes she is). She had some photos of her at a trapeze school and I wondered if she would be up for skydiving. However, I felt really awkward asking someone to jump out of a flying airplane so I mentioned doing the trapeze. On me of little faith. Of course, Adrienne mentioned skydiving and the plan was made. So after months of anticipation, we met up this weekend to take the big jump.

It was amazing! I really think everyone should do it once. My instructor was wonderful - over 4,000 jumps under his belt. On the plane ride up, we got attached and he told me what to do and expect. When it was our turn, we walked up to the door and we were off. We did a back flip out of the plane and went into a 120 mph free fall. He tapped me and let me pull the chute. We slowed down and got to really enjoy the view. It was so beautiful! Watching others floating and spinning below me was so fun. He showed me how to steer and spin using the toggles and then let me control our path for a while. At one point I felt like I was floating through the middle of a movie. I heard him say, "I'm going to be the first guy to take you on a walk through a cloud." Next thing I know he is steering us in and around a cloud! It was very cool! He has the perfect line built in if he ever wants to sweep a girl off her feet!! We made a very gentle landing and exchanged a hug. I was over too quickly but it was so worth it!

Adrienne and me

Me before the jump

Me after the jump (obviously enjoyed it)

On the way back to Austin, I told Adrienne this jump felt very freeing. I know that there are a lot of things I have wanted to do but chosen not to because it didn't fit who other people think I am. I think this is one of those things. Most people I know would not pick me to skydive. I'm the dependable, responsible, two feet on the ground type of person. However, I just jumped out of an airplane! And it felt great! I am finally ready to stop limiting what I do base upon what I think others will expect and think. I loved the jump and am now ready for the next thing. The options are endless - a solo trip, zip lining, parasailing, hand gliding, and the list goes on. So keep your eyes open! You never know what I may come up with next.....

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Poor Captain Von Trapp

I've been wanting to watch The Sound of Music lately. It reached the point that I set it out but just haven't set aside three hours to sit down and enjoy it. Tonight, I noticed it was on TV. It has been playing as I have taken care of some things around the apartment. Of course, there are certain scenes that you have to sit down to watch.

As I was working on dishes in the kitchen, the gazebo scene with Captain Von Trapp and Maria came on. I couldn't help but wonder, am I the only one who feels bad for Captain Von Trapp in this scene? I mean, he tells her he loves her and she doesn't say it back. Then, he goes to kiss her a second time and instead of letting him, she starts singing. Am I the only one who feels he gets a little jipped? I don't know any guy who would be prefer a serenade to a kiss. Don't get me wrong, it's a sweet scene but really? Poor guy.

Maybe its because she was a nun.......

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Woes of a Single Woman

God is good and I am very thankful for the life he has given to me. However, there are a few things that are slightly annoying being single. These aren't things that truly are important but they can really get irritating at times. I've obviously managed fine thus far. So without further ado, here is a list of the top seven things that are better with someone around (couldn't think of three more to make it an even ten):

1. Sometimes zippers on the back of dresses are very hard to close.
2. Jars can be very difficult to open.
3. Cars are beyond my comprehension.
4. Grilling out is a favorite but eludes me completely.
5. There is no one to blame when the apartment gets messy.
6. The act of doing taxes and dealing with insurance companies is an act of trust in God each time it happens.
7. Apparently men shoot straighter than women. Sometimes the clarity and "to the point-ness" of a man is appreciated.