Friday, October 30, 2009


"When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween."
~Author Unknown

I'm afraid of the dark.

In fact, I'm so afraid of the dark that I refuse to enter the basement after the sun sets or to get up from bed until my alarm goes off. I simply can't take chances. I mean, it is perfectly logical that some type ghoul or ghostly apparition lurks in the hallway between the hours of 11:30 PM and 5:30 AM.

Ever since I was a child, I've fought fears of the night. I believe I was six years old when my parents finally caved and bought a television set for my room. And no, it wasn't due to my abnormal obsession with Sesame Street or Romper Room. They did it for their own sanity, because every teensie-weensie noise woke me up, causing me to run and scream and alert the entire household of the ghosts and witches hiding in the corners.

To this very day I have some strange habits. For example, I cannot fall asleep unless the closet door is fully closed. As a child, I had an entrance to a crawl space in my bedroom closet. Obviously the witches lived in the crawl space. Closing the door-tightly- kept them at bay. I still insist on a firmly latched closet door, and frequently ask Chad-o to get up and address the situation. Weird. Very weird.

About a month ago, I had to go into my classroom on a Sunday afternoon to do some organizing and decorating. I was honestly frightened to go by myself. Me- alone- in a dark school? No. Not happening. My mom's a saint. She escorted me. She, of all people, realizes the extent of my fear.

Did you ever watch The Exorcism of Emily Rose? I did, and my life was forever changed. Four years later, I continue to wake up at 3:33's awful. I'd give anything to undo the damage caused by that horrid film.

So, knowing that I am beyond freaked out when it comes to the dark and noises in the night, you'd think I would harbor a severe dislike for Halloween, right?
Quite the contrary, my dears. Quite the contrary.

I love Halloween. It's my all-time, favorite holiday.

(Please enjoy the snapshots of my spooky little Halloween tree.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Little Flame Lights the Way

"Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and his ultimate expression."
~Isaac Bashevis Singer

I promised myself that I wouldn't act impulsively; that I would carefully think each decision through and create the perfect retreat.

I'm so anxious to spend my weekend piecing together the space I have dreamed about for nearly a year. Slowly but surely, I've gathered the ingredients-a lamp here, a picture frame there. Each piece serves a necessary purpose and can tell its own story. It might be a bit hodge-podge, but I like that. Originality.

Stay tuned. I promise a cozy hideaway filled with creamy vanillas, robin egg blues, antiqued metals, a splash of tangerine and some stainless steel. Odd, huh?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Six Word Memoir

I've managed to master the amazing new skill of cardio-reading. Yes-- it's as strange as it sounds, but manages to provided tons of entertainment while imparting ideas and philosophies through the written word. Double bonus, eh? I can read, while sweating like mad, and burning insane doses of calories.

As I was cooling down from my run, I thumbed through a fitness magazine and stumbled upon an interesting article. The article was about a web-site that encouraged people to write a six word memoir. Interesting.

The more I thought about it, the more I found myself enthralled with the idea of writing one of these exceptionally short, yet all encompassing life stories.

I walked and cooled down and tossed around the idea in my mind.

"Humm...This is going to be harder than I thought," I found myself thinking.

Putting together six words that completely summarizes one's self proves ridiculously challenging. One must be exceptionally succinct and specific, while completely capturing the whole of their person and character.

Geez....six words? For real?

After much contemplation I present my revised and edited, final-copy, six word memoir.

...drum roll....

Continues learning, growing, creating and playing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Always Together

"I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day."
~Vincent Van Gogh

When I lived away from my home, far from the people I loved, I often gazed at the sky.

No matter what, the sky was something we shared. Something that blanketed everyone I held dear.

I liked to think that at the very same time I was gazing at a sunrise or marveling at a colorful sunset or watching stars twinkle in the night sky, my loved ones were looking, too. And at that very moment, we were together.

I continue to take comfort in the idea that no matter where two people are, the moon is a constant.

Even in distance, we can share a common bond.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

For Ava

"The only gift is a portion of thyself."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Honestly, I had fantastic and supremely heartfelt intentions. I worked and worked and studied and carefully mulled over the pattern. But alas, I came up short. (sigh)

Ava, my sweet niece, turned 4 on October 2. She's an absolute doll- a spitfire with a twinkle in her eye and a song in heart. I wanted her to have something special; something she would have for years to come.

"I'll make a blanket," I thought. "Yep- I'll knit her a blanket."

I just gave it to her yesterday. (gulp)


"Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping."
~Bo Derek

As as wee one (think five or six years old), I actually had a pair of these "duck shoes" in an ultra-stylish navy blue. And, if my memory serves me correctly, they also had a faux furrish (is that a word?) type of lining. I have a photographic memory, so I'm quite certain I'm not mistaken. (wink)

You can only imagine my excitement and youthful joyish glee when I spotted these the other night. I actually squealed and performed a nifty, energy packed jig around the store. I'm not one to make impulsive purchases, but these had me reaching for my Discover Card quicker than you can say "quack."

Isn't it funny how things have a way of reverting to the past? I suppose history really does repeat itself.

Oh, and just for the record, I'm attempting to fashion a stiletto onto these babies. Then, my friends, they would be perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

For Real?

"The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination. "
~Ward Elliot Hour

Imagine this....

Today, at precisely 1:41 PM, snow fell from the sky.

Needless to say, the kids at school displayed the typical signs of first snow wonder-- pure excitement. Naturally, I had to tell them we would dismiss early. I can't resist getting them all stirred up.

They found it hilarious that I actually had a camera and climbed on a table to photograph this monumental occasion, and the snow covered picnic table in the adjacent courtyard.

Seriously, like I'd be caught without my picture taking friend. As if!

I found it hysterical that many of my students suggested I stop at Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Wow. I love these kids.
"Mrs. Wheeler?"

"Yes, Nate?"

"I bet that since it's all cold and snowy you are going to stop at Starbucks for a 'what-do-ya-call-it'--- oh that's right, a pumpkin spice thingy."

"You got it, Nate. You know me too well."
I'm going to go get cozy now. It's manicure time.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wonderfulness: Apple Pear Crisp

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating."
~Luciano Pavarotti

I don't know about you, but when I witness the beautiful fall foliage and feel the gentle breeze toss my hair in a delicate whirl amongst my head, I find myself craving yummy autumn treats.

I could go on and on about all the different palatable wonders my hypothalamus deems so necessary, but today brought a craving for something new. Well, old with a new twist.

I present Apple Pear Crisp- the working girl version.

I'm a huge fan of this ultra-simple, especially delicious recipe. If you've got a few cans of sliced pears and some apple pie filling, you're all set.

Don't forget the butter. Smashing it with your fingers provides an immense amount of stress relief, along with an ultra-moisturizing hand treatment.

Be honest, can you really resist real butter and soft, supple skin? I think not.

See, I told you this was going to be a winner. As far as I'm concerned, if I could just remove the calories, this would pretty much be perfection at its finest.

I'll admit it, this crumbly, sweet topping was fabulously decedent, even before it was baked.

I know, because quite frankly, I sampled quite a few morsels. (grin)

Don't forget to add coffee and ice cream and a cute puppy.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Checking Papers

"I believe the children are are future,
teach them well and let them lead the way...
Show them all the beauty they posess inside,
Give them a sense of pride..."

When I was but a small fry,
I constantly "played school."

And I really loved it.
In an obsessed and fixated kind of way.

I played and played and played.
For hours upon hours upon hours.

I remember using black markers and typing paper
to create worksheets
and substituting my Highlights magazines
as faux workbooks.

I had lists of pretend classrooms,
full of students,
with neatly designed seating charts.

Most of all,
I loved to grade papers.

I'd take those carefully designed worksheets,
complete them with a pencil
and then carefully check over them,
with the utmost of care.

I'd make comments
and smiley faces
and stars.

Sometimes I'd fill the paper with red check marks
and minus signs.

I even went as far as to scrawl,
"See Me" on the top of a few.

It was so fun then.
Grading papers.

It was my little world,
in my little school room.

Times have changed.
Now, as the papers pile up,
I begin to panic.

"How will I ever get all of these checked?"
"Why did I assign two essay questions?"
"I have such a busy weekend and I desperately need some down time..."

It's all worth it though.
When the struggler shows signs of improvement.

Or, when the tough guy
writes a note
on the bottom of his test
that says,
"Thanks Mrs. W.
U make this EZ and fun."

First I am angry.
He's writing in "text talk."

But that quickly fades
and a huge smile creeps into my heart.

We're getting there.
Slowly but surely,
I'll win this kid over.

And he will learn.
And succeed.
And be successful.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cozy Comfort

"Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week."
~Joseph Addison

I set my alarm for a bright and early rise.

I vaguely remember it going off, but suffice it to say, I failed to heed its wake-up wail. I do, kinda-sorta, remember something about pulling the covers a bit tighter and moving a tad closer to Chad-o, finding peaceful slumber in the new snuggly warmth. It was a sleeping caccoon and dozing-off emerged as the only reasonable option.

Although I'm still feeling guilty about missing church and Sunday School, I did attempt to turn my bonus sleep into some form of productivity. Perhaps my favorite part about today came when I uncovered my toasty sweaters and hung them in the upstairs closet. Or, it could have been the trip my mama and I made for a pumpkin spice latte. Humm, but... I also enjoyed decorating my classroom with spider decor (on a Sunday- ahem) and baking up a new recipe; cheeseburger pie.

I'm just about to settle in with my Lemon Green Teavana tea, the holiday issue of Knit Simple and my mental wish list of gifty projects.

Pupparoo and hubband are curled on the couch, the Halloween tree is glowing softly and I'm loving this Sunday night. Farewell.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Kitchen Knitting

"Insist on yourself. Never imitate."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'm knitting while standing at my kitchen countertop.

For some reason, I figured I share this with you.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wishing You...

"October is crisp days and cool nights, a time to curl up around the dancing flames and sink into a good book."

I'm sending my wishes for a most cozy snuggle season, filled with captivating books, relaxing cups of tea, and baby-soft blankies. Feel free to throw in some homemade soups and freshly baked bread.

These days, I find myself craving comfort food and couch time.

Whatever brings your heart warmth, that is what I wish for you.

Happy October.
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