Monday, August 31, 2009

No longer....

No longer are the days that I can stay up until 1:30 am watching MTV Cribs or Jon and Kate Plus 8...

Nope, those days are gone!

Back to work means back to a decent bed time...I mean, there are always some exceptions to the rule...but for tonight...it's early to bed for me!

I am Woman....hear me ROAR!

No....this is not some crazy feminist blog...so keep reading!

This is a picture of me:



I think this picture describes me fairly well...

*I'm wearing a dress...

*My toenails are painted a pretty pink...

*I have crazy fun jewelry on...

*I am sportin' the gorgeous flowers...

*I have on some cute little heels to give me a few extra inches...

Upon seeing this picture, the average person would say "Oh wow...Tina is pretty 'girly'..." I guess I would tend to agree that I'm girly because I like pink things, dresses, and flowers. However, over the last 3 or so years I have come to the conclusion that while I am crazy girly in some aspects of my life, I have become crazy WOMANLY in other aspects. Let me tell you about this.

I know several girls, around my age, who got married right out of college. This is a beautiful thing because they fell madly in love with the person that they will spend the rest of their life, at such a young age. The difference between those people and myself is that I have had to learn to do a lot of "things" on my own...things that, to some, would be the "guy's job."

Sometimes when I am doing these jobs I wonder if I am losing some of my femininity or perhaps gaining too much masculinity because I'm doing stuff that other females I know have never experienced, and maybe never WILL experience. For example...

*I found a dead, rotting squirrel on our back patio. I grabbed my trusty shovel and scrapped that insanely heavy critter off the pavement...

*I saw a disgusting centipede and chased that sucker down and hairsprayed it to the ground to kill it...

*I had to trap, kill, and dispose of several filthy mice...

*I had to clean up a shredded bird that was severely chewed--feathers flying everywhere and the head left a few inches from the body...

*I had to attack and clean a creepy basement, gathering spider webs and dust on my face and hair...

The list could go on and on....but I'll stop it there. As I was reflecting on all these "things" I've had to do, I began to realize that not only can I be girly (as the picture would indicate) but that I can be womanly and take care of myself and do these things. Of course when the day comes that I am living with a man who will offer to kill the centipedes for me, I will gladly let him. But as I have had these experiences over the last few years, I am becoming increasingly proud of who I am, and the fact that I can take care of myself.

Long story short...I am WOMAN....hear me ROAR!! :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Teachers...OUTSIDE of school..

I think most kids have the impression that their teacher always looks the same, acts the same, talks the same.

If they were to see their teacher outside of school, she would still be wearing kahki pants with a brightly colored cardigan sweater...hair long, straight, and laying neatly on her back...name badge still hanging gently from her neck...voice still sweet and 10 pitches higher than the normal human being...you know, all the things that MAKE a teacher.

It's hard for students to wrap their head around the idea that Ms. Ventura could be drastically different in and outside of school.

To entertain the idea that Ms. Ventura wears skirts above her knees with skinny strap tank tops...that she throws her hair up in a messy point tail or perhaps doesn't even "do" her hair at times...that she hoots and hollers, screams, and can be insanely loud and boisterous from time to time...that would nearly put them into shock.

I used to live in the same city that I teach in and I would always wonder if I was going to see my students....I always wondered if they would pull up in their big Escalde next to my sweet little Malibu Maxx and see me jammin' to the music...or if I would run into them while I was on a date and how I would explain that.

In fact, one time I had just left the gym and needed to make a quick stop at Target. I figured there would be no harm in running in and out and being done. I was wrong. I had my hair up in a high pony tail with a handband pulling all the hair out of my face...no makeup...and a sweaty glow from my earlier exercise. The inevitable happened. I saw one of my kids and his family. There was no point in trying to avoid them because I knew the mom saw me. So I excitedly walked up to them and gave little Johnny a big hug and said hi to all the other family onlookers. Johnny just stared at me. He couldn't stop looking at me. As I was talking to his mother, he quickly interrupted and said, "Ms. Ventura....you look different...are you ok??" I couldn't help by chuckle and then I said, "Oh yes, I'm great...don't I look great?!?" Ha.

The point I'm trying to make here is that kids see you one way and assume you are always that way. Always with a book in my hand...always with a marker for the white board...always with a pair of scissors....



Generally I would say that is NOT true...but as of lately it's been the case due to the quickly approaching start date of school. I've been toting around my laminated papers, scissors, and sharpies and have been going to town any and everywhere I am. So, usually I am not one of those "You can tell she's a teacher" types outside of school, but this weekend, I've been wearing my teacher hat in and OUTSIDE of school.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

To Keep or Not to Keep...that IS the question!

I was at the Mall of America today because I heard there were great sales at Old Navy...an additional 50% off Clearance items! Even though I needed nothing, I could not resist going to look.

I stumbled across the dress rack (as I often find myself doing) and found this dress that caught my attention. It's actually my size, pink, purple, and flowery. Cut just above the knee which works great for my height and is flowy and comfortable. Sounds perfect, right? It gets even more perfect...the tag listed the dress at $6.50 which means the grand total (after the additional 50% off) would be 3 dollars and some change. How can you beat that?



I took it into the dressing room to try it on. While I thought the dress style was "cute" I didn't fall totally in love with the dress. Something about it didn't sit well with me.

I'm not sure if it's because it reminds me of a dress I bought back in 7th grade (which, at the time, was pretty dang cute) or if it's because it reminded me of a dress I had seen ladies wear as they drop their babies off in the church nursery back in the day.

Either way I just wasn't sure, but felt like it was way too cheap NOT to purchase. So, purchased it I did. I took it home, and got it out of the bag hoping that my opinion of the dress would have drastically changed in the 13 minutes it took me to get from the mall to my house. This is what I saw when I looked in the mirror...



So you see, its a perfectly nice dress. It fits me well (actually it may be a snippit too big...but they don't carry anything smaller than an XS...), its bright and cheery, it was cheap, and it's a dress (one of my favorite things in the whole world). I keep looking at it, hoping to fall in love, but it has yet to happen.

To keep it or NOT to keep it....that is the question of the hour!

Monday, August 24, 2009

SAND...yeeesh!

The beauty of my job is that I work (and I work HARD) for 9 months out of the year and then I have 3 glorious months off.

Usually during these summer months I'm frolicking around, sleeping in, traveling the world, and soaking up the sun at the beach. This year, however, has been different, and quality beach time has been merely a twinkle in my eye from time to time. With grad school and my part time nannying, I just haven't had as much of a chance to lounge at the beach as I'd like.

However, I have 1 week left of "vacation"...1 week left of no set schedule...1 week left of staying up late...1 week of left of chance to go to the beach. Since our weather has been crazy here in Minnesota this summer, I've been closely watching the weather forecast for this week as to find the prime time to get out in the sun. I looked online and the forecast alerted me that it would be sunny and near 80 degrees today. PERFECT. I had nothing else on the agenda, so I planned to take a book, my iPod, and spend a few good hours laying in the glorious sun!



I got to Nokomis, and got all situated...had just closed my eyes when I felt a scratch, and a pelt, and another scratch and pelt. These little pieces of annoyance were not seizing. They kept coming. On my arms, on my stomach, on my face...even getting stuck on my lips which had just been lathered with Carmex (as to avoid sunburned lips). I opened my eyes long enough to get a few of those pellets of pain in my eyes and quickly closed them. I decided I was just going to ignore the feeling of what I was soon realized to be sand. I turned up my iPod and was jammin' away to "Gettin Jiggy Wit It" in hopes of drowning out the feeling on my body with the noise in my ear. That plan failed. I couldn't ignore the sand hitting and sticking to my body.

I endured it a bit longer and actually fell asleep when the wind died down, only to be woken up a half hour later by even more sand flying through the air. After realizing the problem wasn't going to stop anytime soon, I decided to pack up and head out of there. The good news is that I got a little bit of sun....the bad news is that I keep finding pieces of sand everywhere, and every so often I close my mouth and hear a crunch from sand that managed it's way into my mouth. Awesome!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blogging from the Kitchen Table

I made a declaration today, that I WAS going to blog.

I say it in my head a lot of days, and then I just always forget to get around to it. It's actually pretty silly because, as mentioned in previous entries, I love writing...so why not make this more of a priority. I guess time just slips away, and I find myself doing other equally enjoyable things.

In any case, today, when I was having lunch with some friends I blurted out, "Oh....I'm going to blog today, so check it out..." I don't really know who reads this...I think sometimes I'd like to know who reads it, but at the same time, it's fun not totally knowing because it's a mystery. But, I do know a handful of people who check this out from time to time and some of those people were at lunch. I knew if I said it out loud, I would make it happen, especially with my anxiously awaiting audience at hand.

However, when I made the promise to write, I didn't have anything in particular on my mind. There are tons of things to write about....tons of things to say....lots going on in my mind and heart these days. So how do I narrow it down to one thing at the present moment? That's hard. I decided to blog from the viewpoint of my kitchen table--what it is that I see from here--and see what interesting things I could come up with.

I see...



Dutch Blitz...last night I had some people over and I decided to break out the Dutch Blitz cards. I absolutely LOVE that game. However it is with hesitation that I bring it out because people can get rowdy and its not as enjoyable for some people as it is for others. But, last night I figured I'd give it a whirl. And what a TIME! Something about the speed of the game...the sounds of the hands slamming the cards on the table...the feeling of the cards flying through your fingers...it's addicting. You want each round to be faster, and louder, and more intense than the round before. I quite thoroughly enjoyed the time and got my Dutch Blitz fill, and will be good if I don't play it for a while now.


The Star Tribune
...I received a voicemail yesterday that said, "Yeah...Tina...go pick up the paper off our front step on Sunday morning. See we get the newspaper delivered to our house and since we won't be there to read it, you take it in and read it at your house...you can keep it. I just don't want it left on the front porch..." A few other words of information and the voicemail was over. About 20 seconds into the voicemail I knew immediately who it was, without ever hearing the person's name. It was my neighbor Pearl who had just left on her journey to South Dakota with her 95 year old husband, Walter. Yes that's right...my elderly neighbors are still making the trek to South Dakota to "vacation" and visit with family and friends. I was in shock when I found out that they were going to be driving to South Dakota because it was only a few short weeks ago that Walter was in the hospital and then nursing home for health issues. They are both pretty "young" for their aging bodies, but driving all that way just seems crazy to me. Walter can barely walk from his couch to the front door, yet he's planning to trade off driving shifts with Pearl during this road trip? YIKES. I love those two people, though. They are incredible and I feel so blessed that we were placed in such close proximity to them. It was definitely God's hand in placing us two houses away as we have been able to bless them with helping out around the house, picking up sticks in the front lawn, and keeping them company....but they have blessed us immensely with their commitment to pray for us, to love us, and to share wisdom from the years with us. I don't know that I've ever been able to say that my neighbor, a retired pastor, prays for me over his daily breakfast and Bible study...until now. I just giggle when I think about the two of them because they are so feisty, but I sit back with a huge sense of peace and blessing to know they are in my life.


A Candle
...Ahhh candles. I love them. I'm pretty picky, though, when it comes to the scent. I'm not a fan of the candles that smell like Grandma's oatmeal cookies...or birthday cakes...or even juicy peaches. Those are just too much for my sniffer. Something that's simple and relaxing...like the smell of fresh linens...or a sweet rose...my all time favorite candle is the Tommy Bahama candle that's green (I can't even remember the name now because it's been burnt off through the multiple times I've lit my candle)...it makes me feel like I'm in some exotic island laying on the beach. The bad news is that I found out that candle scent has been discontinued...I was devastated when I heard the news. The good news is that I have found it to be a fun and exciting process to search for new and enjoyable candle scents...that are CHEAP! Candles are not enjoyable to me if I pay full price for them...they have to be on sale or clearance or else the scent, even if it's amazing, will be unappealing to me.

So there you have it....random thoughts....inspired from my kitchen table :)

Monday, August 03, 2009

Not a lot to say....

I think it's funny how sometimes I can talk like there's no tomorrow, and other times I just don't have a lot to say. It's usually in those times when I don't have a lot to say, that I wish I did.

Right now is one of those times.