Monday, April 6, 2009

Worst. Monday. Ever.

I had a delightful Spring Break. I got to sleep in every day. I got to bake muffins. I got to watch Seasons 1-3 of the Office. I went to see Monsters vs. Aliens with some friends Friday night and thoroughly enjoyed it- it was hi-LAR-ious. I enjoyed spending General Conference weekend with Juli (including a lovely picnic between sessions on Saturday and a nice lunch with her friends, the Leamings, between sessions on Sunday).

Then Monday hit. Hard. Literally.

Even though I was running a couple of minutes late, I was blithely driving along at about 35 mph (which happened to be the speed limit- weird, I know...) when I felt (and heard) a very jarring, nerve-grating thunking, crunching clunk on my front passenger tire. I slowed down even more and drove carefully the half-block it took to get to a nearby gas station. I was hoping for the best, fearing the worst. In the light of the gas station, the worst was revealed. I had a flat tire due to the dent in the rim caused by the obnoxiously large (and deep) pothole I had driven over.

No biggie, I thought. It's a good thing I know how to change a tire, right? I pulled out the donut in my trunk, located the jack and lugnut wrench, and tried to get to work.

No can do, apparently. I felt like such a pansy, trying to jack up the car and struggling with every crank of the jack. Still, I persevered, only to discover that the jack had started to lean at an angle. So, I uncranked the jack, reset it at a flatter point, and tried again. Still, after a certain point, it began to lean again (It never occurred to me that the car had probably started to roll a little). By this time, I was tired, freezing, wet (while I *hate* snow in April, I think it was somewhat lucky that it was not rain, or I would have been a lot more wet), and very, very frustrated and discouraged.

At this point, I just wanted to call a tow service to change the tire for me, regardless of the price. Unfortunately, no one seemed to be open at 7:00 a.m. Finally, one of the cashiers in the gas station sweet talked one of her regular customers into doing it--in exchange, she promised to buy him a pack of cigarettes and a 6-pack of beer. So, out he went. After about 10-15 long minutes of waiting, he returned to tell me he was done. I felt a little awkward taking his service in exchange for things I am morally opposed to- I offered to pay him, but he declined.

So. For a pack of cigarettes and a 6-pack of beer, I got my tire changed. I was late to school. I was tempted to just call off, take the day to settle my frazzled nerves, and be ready to try again tomorrow. However, I stuck it out, drove slowly the rest of the way to school, praying that the donut would hold out. Now, I pray it will hold out long enough to get me to the dealer to see if they can't fix the stupid, dented rim.

Grrr. I hate Mondays.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Little Blurbs

Okay, so it's been awhile. What can I say? Life got a little busy.
However, I am currently on Spring Break (well, by now, it is almost over), so I thought I would try to catch up all my countless, avid readers (Ha!) on how my life has been going lately.

Okay, so I actually learned basic cake decorating skills from my mother years ago during a couple of 4-H classes. I'll confess- the main reason I decided to attend this session was because our instructor, my friend Sarah, works as a professional cake decorator and was able to provide some basic supplies for a really great price. Still, even though I didn't really learn new skills, I learned a couple of new techniques, and really enjoyed the socialization. And hey- free mini-cake! What's not to love? (I have to say, though, that the frosting has nothing on Mom's homemade buttercream recipe...)

Good-bye, Calvin
A few weeks ago, I had to say good-bye to one of my students. He was such a sweet kid, always trying to stay engaged in the classroom (even though he didn't really do so well getting his homework done). I promised to make him some cupcakes for his last day. Here's how they turned out:

(Here's the charming young man for whom these were made:)

Spring Break Fiesta
I took off March 26th so I could take the Praxis I (which was long overdue!). March 27th was the last day of school before Spring Break. Knowing that I would not really be able to get much done, I decided to try vocabulary games. And since I love any excuse to bake, I made these cupcakes for my students:

Spring Break Fun
Well, with no pressing engagements early in the morning (i.e. school), I have allowed myself to indulge in one of my favorite pasttimes: baking! I have been a baking fiend this week. I have had several muffin recipes I have wanted to try. Now, I have finally had time to try them- a different recipe every day this week. So far, Rachel has been treated to:

  • Apple Streusel muffins (she took the leftovers to work, so no pictures- sorry)
  • Cranberry Almond muffins

  • White Chocolate Macadamia muffins (they're especially tasty with raspberry jam- yum!)

  • Lemon Pound Cake muffins

(Okay, so I can't seem to capture my food in photos as well as Emily can- so sue me. At least they taste good...)

And finally,

The Package

I suppose what makes this so ironic is that I was just commenting to Mom how, compared to Rachel, I rarely get packages because, unlike Rachel, I live fairly close to my family and see them often enough that there really isn't much of a need for packages. So imagine my delight when, upon checking the mail, I found this tucked amidst various ads:

When I opened the package, this is what was inside:

(An old thank-you for a present, a note of appreciation from Christmas- with a random Trivial Pursuit card tucked inside, and a darling "post-card" calendar, featuring photos of the family!)

This was such a lovely, unexpected package from my sister Emily- I wasn't having a bad day, per se, but it definitely made my day a lot brighter! Thank you, Emily, for your love (and the beautiful way you have of expressing it). You are such an amazing person and such a wonderful sister. I love you.

So. There you have it. I will try to be a little more diligent in posting...but don't hold your breath :)

(P.S. Sorry, Em, for the little photos and the poor layout- I tried to use Photobucket to post them, but apparently the website was having issues with my photos and wouldn't cooperate... I guess I'll have to have a more hands-on tutorial when I visit next...)

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