Thursday, March 12, 2015

Words Are Important

What a day!  

So, work has been busy this week, what with closing out our spring Book Fair, getting orders ready by the end-of-the-month, use-it-or-lose-it budget deadline, and various other things that must be done to keep the cogs of the media center running smoothly.  By noon on Tuesday, I informed my media assistant that I had done enough stuff to fill a whole week already, and that I would like to start my weekend early, please.  She just laughed.  So it was with great anticipation that I headed home today, Thursday, for my one night a week that is unscheduled, with nothing to do but change into my yoga pants and putter away the evening.  

But then. . . 

I got home and headed to the back of the house to slip into the aforementioned yoga pants, when our dog comes limping up to greet me.  

Uh oh.  

We've been dog owners for a couple of years now.  Oreo is actually my first dog, as we had a wide assortment of cats as I grew up.  I actually consider myself a cat person, but I promised Jerry that we could get a dog after our last cat had gone to kitty heaven.  So, we have Oreo, and although she doesn't purr and snuggle on my lap, I enjoy her company.  I do not, however, enjoy her vet bills.  

I've decided that Oreo is accident-prone.  Shortly after we got her, she cut her leg open (on what we still don't know for sure) and required staples.  So now, I'm watching her limp towards me and thinking, "Dog, what have you done to yourself now?"  I start running my eyes and hands over her legs to figure out what is wrong, when we see it: 

One of her toenails, or more correctly, her toe itself is sticking out at a 90 degree angle to her foot.  We call the vet, and he says he'll stay there until we get there, so we put the dog in the car and head over.  I send Jerry a text -- one of those that you can't ever imagine sending when you are thinking about how life might go next -- "The dog has broken her toe.  We are at the vet."  

After a closer examination, the vet decides that she has actually popped her toe bone out of joint, and that to pop whatever back into place, they will need to sedate her.  I decide to take Oreo home for the night, and bring her back in the morning, when we can be sure she hasn't eaten anything, and they can keep an eye on her as she recovers from the anesthetic.  Maggie and Gracie have been out in the main room looking at the cats awaiting adoption while I talked to the vet, but Maggie pops her head in the room and asks what is going on.  

And that is when I make a very unfortunate choice of words.  

"Oreo's toe is out of joint, so I'm going to bring her back tomorrow morning so they can put her to sleep and pop it back in."  Only Maggie hears "put her to sleep" and thinks I am talking about putting Oreo down.  For good.  

I wasn't looking at Maggie at the moment - I was still looking at the dog.  The vet says, "Um, I think we have a misunderstanding here. . ."   I look up, and Maggie is holding back sobs.  "No, no, no!  Not that kind of sleep. . . Good grief, it's a TOE.  We aren't going to put the dog to down for a TOE!  I may not be a dog person, but my goodness, I'm not that heartless!"  Now she's laughing and crying.  Gotta love those teenage years.   So we left, and I'll be back bright and early tomorrow for Oreo's "procedure".    

We got home, and started to work on dinner.  Maggie has become a big Pioneer Woman fan.  

I mean, I was already a fan, and have been ever since I saw a post many, many years ago where she contemplated the antics of her sons and wondered if it was nature or nurture that made them wrestle so.  That's neither here nor there.  The point is, I found out that Maggie can be swayed to eat (*gasp*) VEGETABLES if they are in a Pioneer Woman recipe!

Several months ago I was making a recipe for black beans, and Maggie came in and saw what I was cooking and begin that lovely commentary that all moms love so much, "What is that?  What are those green things?" when suddenly, she saw the recipe sitting beside the stove.  

(*Gasp*) "Is this a Pioneer Woman recipe?"    



She ate every bite.  Even the green things.  With no complaints.  She even liked it.  I began to contemplate printing all future recipes on letterhead with the Pioneer Woman logo at the top.  Deceptive?  Yes.  But desperate times call for desperate measures.  

This week she asked me if we could make Chicken Pot Pie -- PW's of course.  So tonight, she and I cooked from scratch, the Pioneer Woman's Chicken Pot Pie from the recipe in the book pictured above.  And for the very first time, I made a pie crust from scratch.  Here's the proof: 

Beautiful, it wasn't.  But yummy it was!  Everyone wolfed it down.  Even the green things!  It's amazing what the mere mention of PW will do.  

It's all about knowing the right words to use.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The No-Snow Snow Day

We were out of school today because of expected winter weather.  Key word there was "expected."

What has actually happened at my house today is lots of cold wind, moments of wintry mix (snow, sleet, and rain mixed together), and, for the most part, no accumulation.  The radar has shown the expected snow / sleet / ice all around us, but we've been in a band of nothing all day.  Now that it's 5:30, the snow has started to come down, and without the chance to melt off, we will probably have a snow day tomorrow too.

I am alternatively aggravated and delighted to have a snow day.  Aggravated, because today and tomorrow are book fair days at my school.  With funding cut the way it has been in recent years, book fair revenue makes up about half of what I get to spend on books and other items for our media program, so I am loathe to loose a penny of it.  Delighted, because snow days turn out to be great days for catching up on things I need to do since there are so many cancellations by those who are afraid to go out in the weather.  Today, before the roads got bad, I was able to get Maggie into the pediatrician for her well-child appointment, which I normally would have to book out three months from now.  Our last snow day, the roads were bad until noon.  In the afternoon I managed to get in to a cancellation slot at both the dentist and the CPA.  Score!!!  Who knew that snow days were such good days to get things done?

Our book fair theme this year is "Under the Sea".  I gave myself the ambitious project to create a skit/song to promote the book fair this time.  I announced my intention to enough people that I would definitely follow through, and got busy with my thesaurus and rhyming dictionary.  I had a great, very enthusiastic coworker who helped pull it off.  Here it is:

You know, when I took an elementary job, I wondered what it would be like to work with the very youngest ones, because I hadn't had that experience before.  Mrs. Cross and I had rubber-banded beach towels to look like mermaid tails as part of the "Under the Sea" theme, and the littlest ones closest to the stage were shouting, "Look, it's Ariel!!"  They are so fun, and so free with their smiles and enthusiasm - I enjoy them more than I ever thought I would.

So, back to snow days. . .  Maggie came in and asked what we were going to do for snow day.  I listed off at least five things I could do with my snow day:

1) Clean out the closet.
2) Write a blog post.
3) Decide what books to order for the library.
4) Read a book.
5) Scrapbook!!!

She looked unimpressed.   On well!  I only accomplished one of the five, so it's probably good that tomorrow is looking like another snow day -- this time with snow!