Monday, May 28, 2007

We Should Always Remember

This day is important because it forces everyone to remember and be thankful for the freedoms we have that have come to us by the service of others. Hopefully, though, these thoughts of thanks and remembrance are never far from our hearts and minds. For many families and friends, everyday is Memorial Day.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Our Jolly Roving Tar

Our favorite sailor is out of Iraq!
That's about all I can/should say at this point
and while he's not home in SD
he will be very soon!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Good News!

Thank you to everyone who has been reading, loyally, this blog and sending happy thoughts our way! The great news is that this long journey is almost over! I can't say too much but I can say that Mike is on his way home and will be back in sunny San Diego, sporting flip flops and baggy shorts (and a hat so that his nearly bald head doesn't get sunburn) very, very soon! I don't have exact details (as is always the case) and couldn't post them if I did (also always the case) but I did want to let everyone know that we have this to look forward to! I'll post more when I know more and when I can!

I love you Mike!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Smarty Pants

I got Final Jeopardy right tonight. I love it when that happens!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech

Our thoughts are with you...

Sunday, April 15, 2007


I think I have been pretty good (not perfect) over the course of this deployment, about not putting too much of any one political ideology into my posts. This has been a conscious decision on my part. However, today while I was reading the following AP article on the MSNBC homepage I found my anger welling up over the continued situations that our allied forces are finding themselves in. You can read the article in full here but I have posted an excerpt from it below:

Meanwhile, dozens of Iraqi policemen demonstrated in front of their Baghdad station Sunday, accusing U.S. forces of treating them like “animals” and “slaves.”

The protest took place at Rashad station in Baghdad’s eastern neighborhood of Mashtal.

Officers chanted “No, no to America! Get out occupiers!” while U.S. troops in two humvees and a Bradley fighting vehicle watched from a distance.

My anger came as I got to the last half of the final sentence of this excerpt, knowing that U.S. and coalition forces alike are meeting these sentiments on a daily basis. I think it important to note that these sentiments are often in some way, shape or form, shared by many war opponents in the U.S. and in other countries who have men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. I do not pretend to know or understand what the troops are facing in these two countries. Unlike others, I will not pass judgment here over whether I believe "we" should still be involved. What I will say is that the men and women who are on the ground in these regions are not the policy makers; they are bound by rules passed down to them from their 'bosses' just like you and I are here at home. It is, I feel, incumbent upon us - no matter what our feelings are about these wars - to support these troops in any way that we can. I suspect that, if given the choice, many of those "U.S. troops in two humvees and a Bradley fighting vehicle [who] watched from a distance" would much rather be at home with their girlfriends, fiancĂ©’s, wives, children, parents and friends. But they are not. I would suspect that many of those "U.S. troops in two humvees and a Bradley fighting vehicle [who] watched from a distance" do and see good and positive things on a daily basis that all of us at home are not privy to and that they are getting very little, if any, recognition for from the countries for whom they are trying to establish peace and order. I suspect that as they stood there hearing, not gratitude but contempt and scorn from the Iraqi policemen they've trained at their own peril, those "U.S. troops in two humvees and a Bradley fighting vehicle [who] watched from a distance" felt just a little more disheartened about their purpose in these countries.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I'm Back!

Can you see me now? :)

Kidding. But, I'm back, able to type and healing just swimmingly! Mike's mom was kind enough to help nurse me back to health over the first couple of days of my post-op and my good friend Cortney has been my personal chauffeur. THANK YOU both!! But, all is now right (and upright) with the world! The eye is still healing and there is still a little swelling, but things are as they should be. For the first few days after surgery, because my eyeball is now actually sitting straight in the socket - a position it was not used to - whenever I held my head straight I was seeing a crooked world! That has since gotten better and now I've stopped going around my house un-straightening everything that hangs on the walls! :)

I'm hoping you are all watching with bated breath the newly added counter at the top of this blog. It brings with it good, if still uncertain, news that I can't wait to shout out into the blogsphere when I can!

Tomorrow night I'm having dinner with a girl whose fiance' has recently embarked upon his deployment...I think he's been gone 2 months now. She lives here in SD and we have been emailing and talking on the phone, but have yet to meet. It'll be nice to put a face with a name and be able to talk about the ups and downs of our experience. She, like me, has been keeping busy and staying upbeat and optimistic. Also like me, she is planning her wedding! I'm certain we'll have LOTS to talk about! ;)

Well everyone, when school starts back up on Monday I'll be pretty busy. I promise to try and post at least several times during the week and especially when I get any updates from our favorite sailor!

Take care everyone!

I love you Mike!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


As some of you know, I am having outpatient surgery tomorrow on my eye. No big deal, but for kicks I thought I'd post a picture and try and explain what I think it is they are going to do. So, first things first. On the picture above you can see the Superior Oblique muscle, correct? Well, evidently my SO isn't working so well anymore and whenever I'm trying to focus on anything (so pretty much whenever my eyes are open) my eyeball feels like it's bouncing around in the socket. Now, it isn't actually bouncing around, it only feels like it because it's trying so hard to stay focused. Because the SO is so weak, its alternate muscles are pulling harder and the eyeball has a hard time staying straight. You CAN see this when I try and look to my right, without turning my head, when I'm focusing too hard on something, etc. At those moments, the SO loses the battle and my eye rolls pretty much into the top of my head! Nice image, huh? Happily it doesn't happen often and I know how to avoid it so I've not been thrown in a circus side-show yet!

Two things (at least) have come from this. I've adopted this weird head-tilt where I think my head is totally straight and it's actually tilting to the right (opposite the bad eye). This, I guess, is common with this problem. I was talking with a co-worker the other day who said he had noticed it but that he thought it was because I was so interested and engaged in what he was saying! :) Evidently, this tilt has helped my eyes to be able to stay somehow alleviates pressure on that bad left eye...weird. The second thing that has been happening is my headaches have been getting WAY worse...and I have them all the time (which I am sure is due in part to the head tilt, the strain on my neck AND the strain on my eyeballs!). The kicker came a few weeks back when I realized that as I was reading - anything, at any time of day - I was closing or covering my left eye because I couldn't get it to focus. Red flag, anyone?

Ok, so back to the surgery. They can't make the SO stronger so they have to weaken the muscle that is pulling against it, which in this case is the Inferior Oblique. How do they do that, you might ask? Well, they will cut a little hole in the mucus membrane of my lovely left eye to get to the IO which they will then proceed to snip/cut/sever (whichever term you like best) and reattach closer to the front of my eye. Sounds like fun, eh? Ideally, this will take care of the problem and a few weeks and one bruised, red eye later I will be healed of headaches and a neck tilt (which will take awhile to correct itself because I'm so used to it that when my head IS strait it feels like my left ear is touching my shoulder - call me Quasi Moto)! If this procedure doesn't correct the problem, they will go in and "weaken" another muscle...but let's hope that's not necessary!

Anyway, I may be walking around for a day or so w/an eye patch (too bad this didn't happen during my Pirate project last Fall!) and I'm not sure about posting in the interim.

On WAY better news, we are hearing good things from the Mike-front. I don't want to say anything too particular yet, but we could be seeing him WAY earlier than we had anticipated.

I love you Mike!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Go Green Racer, Go!

I am not an avid Indy racing fan, but tonight on the news I saw a story worth mentioning. It's not going to solve the world's problems, but I do think that the Indy car program is setting a very good example - they are now racing "eco-responsibly". Evidently, the Indy cars racing the circuit this year are running on 100% ethanol and you can read more here, here and here (all different links).

At the very least what I think this move does is generate conversation and raise awareness about our ecological footprint which in turn will hopefully get more people thinking about changes they can make in their own lives. As our favorite frog famously lamented "It isn't easy being green", but at least now Indy Racing is making it popular!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Last week I challenged all you who frequent this blog (or those who just happen by) to take on the "Too Easy" attitude for a week. Now I'm playing the role of your conscience checking in on you to see how you did.

I, myself, lapsed a couple of times BUT as I said, this is just an opportunity to do it better this week.

Here's to another week of positive attitudes!

I love you Mike!

Monday, March 19, 2007

False Advertising

I know that admitting that I did this is pretty much sealing my fate as a total lunatic, but I'm going to share anyway. A couple days ago when I was sitting around watching what was probably entirely too much television I saw a commercial for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Sadly, as much as I enjoy wonderful recipes from Bon Appetite and the like, I still like this old stand-by. The commercial claimed that it was "now even cheesier" and I went right down to our grocery store and bought a box (no joke, I really did). I even made the choice to buy one of the boxes with the new packaging with "now even cheesier" right on it! I was out of milk (something I didn't realize before I went to the store that day) and so I finally got around to making it tonight.

I am, sadly, very disappointed. Some of you will say, "yeah, it's macaroni and cheese, what did you expect?" Well, I'll tell you...I EXPECTED IT TO BE 'NOW EVEN CHEESIER' and it tastes the exact same as it always has! I won't go so far as to say that I'll never eat this Kraft product again, that's just plain silly because it's too easy to give up on for good. But, I just wanted to put it out there that they, in fact, have not made it "even cheesier" and for that, we can all be a little sad.

I love you Mike!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

East Coast time, some of us are already started and West Coast time...I'm not far behind! :)

If YOU need any help getting started, here are some of my favorite Irish toasts...

Here's to the land of the shamrock so green,
Here's to each lad and his darlin colleen,
Here's to the ones we love dearest and most.
May God bless old Ireland, that's this Irishman's toast!

There are good ships,
and there are wood ships,
the ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships, are friendships,
and may they always be.

May you always have a clean shirt, a clear conscience,
and enough coins in your pocket to buy a pint!

and of course, the most simply stated...


I love you Mike!

Friday, March 16, 2007

In our thoughts

In light of some recent conversations about OPSEC (operational security) I can't go into much detail, but I'd like to ask everyone to keep in their thoughts someone in my family who is embarking on a year-long deployment of his own. When and if I can say more on this blog, I will, but for now please keep his wife, his parents and all of his family and friends in your thoughts. I know how difficult this type of deployment can be and I just wanted to put it out there so that we are all keeping him close to our hearts.

I love you Mike!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

when it rains, it pours

Two posts from me in one day? No, you aren't dreaming! I just had an after-thought and didn't want to save it as a draft because, knowing my week ahead, I'd forget it was even in there. I was catching up on blog posts this weekend and read one from our friend Stimp over at My Desert Adventure. He was discussing how the Army (or the unit he's with...not sure if he's saying ALL Army in general) has this "can do" attitude that he is finding sparse from the Navy counterparts. While I do beg to differ with his assumption that Navy personnel does not have this same attitude, I do concede that it is likely the case with some of the sea going ranks he's running into.

That got me thinking - such is life, isn't it?

So, this is my challenge to all of you. Start with just this week. Attack all tasks and situations you are faced with this week with the Army's "Too Easy" attitude. After the week is up, reflect on how you did, how it felt and what you could do better. Take those reflections and implement them the following week. I'm hopeful that if we all take on this challenge, and approach our daily lives with this attitude, things just might start to get better - in our immediate spaces and possibly even the world-at-large.

Those of you who went to high school with me (Mike and Kim) might find this ironic as I was voted - I still claim I was just "misunderstood" - class pessimist. I persist, however, that I am an optimistic soul and believe that we make of our lives what we put into them - and we are forever and always beacons to all those with whom we come into contact...let us be beacons of hope and positive, helpful attitudes.

Enjoy the week all!

I love you Mike!

Long Overdue (and I'm not just talking about my library books!)

I promised my sister I would post something this weekend since it has been WAY too long! She said she's sick of looking at a bag of Lays potato chips and I don't blame her.

So, what's new in our split San Diego/Iraq world? Mike said it's getting hot again which he's not enjoying, especially since he's still walking everywhere. We are keeping our fingers crossed that he's home before the 130 degree temps pick up again, so we'll keep everyone posted on that. We are 'long-distance' planning our wedding...which is both fun and frustrating. We can't really "make decisions" very easily because we have to wait to email each other...but it's working out all right. We've got a date, a location and even invitations so we're off to a good start! I'm also branching out and creating another blog (cuz I have SO much spare time) so that Mike and everyone in both our worlds can get more information about the wedding. It has NOTHING posted on it yet, give me a week to get some things up there...but check it out when you get a chance (and try not to make fun of me too much for creating it): Mike and Colleen's Wedding Plans

In my 'vending machine' world, things are more crazy than ever, but I'm enjoying it. So, to clarify, the Lays bag of chips stands for a directorship of one of our new schools. It's like a principal, but we don't have those. We are opening with a ninth grade class in the South Bay area this upcoming fall and we will be adding a new high school grade each year after until we get our full four grades. Our second year we'll also be opening an elementary/middle school which will eventually become a full K-8 program. I can honestly say that I didn't foresee this new job as an option in my vending machine until about 5 years from now, but to mix metaphors, I'm running with it since it's come early! I'm slowly being "replaced" in my classroom so that I can be figuring out teacher hiring, budget, design plans and making the ever-necessary and very exciting community contacts.

We will be operating under a broad environmental theme, where we'll be looking at our "local" environment, including our classrooms and the San Diego area as well as more national and global environments. Our school plans include an ERC (an Environmental Research Center) - like a large greenhouse for research - where our students will be participating in local, national and global research projects and data collection. This program is loosely based off of another program currently operating in Israel. The gentlemen who founded and are running that site have visited our school and have been wonderful contacts for us and a true source of inspiration and excitement about our project.

The building itself is being constructed with as much "green" thinking as possible including as much natural light and passive ventilation systems as we can muster. Our website is not fully updated yet, but you can check it out and check back often to see our progress (the new campus we will be at will be Chula Vista).

I think that is about all I have for now. I will try and post more often (a promise I've made a lot during this deployment and have often failed at keeping...but I'm an I'm still going to try!). Please keep Mike in your thoughts as this deployment is winding down. I know that he would love emails because sometimes the last few months are just as hard as the first few! I'd also like to have everyone keep my friend Kym and "her" Mike in their thoughts as he's about to be stateside again very soon! She mentioned me in her latest blog and I need to ditto her comment back at her - this type of deployment is hard on the "significant other" who is left behind, no matter how busy, strong or "ready" they are. I have found Kym to be a source of support, strength and humor for me during this deployment and I KNOW that we will meet someday and we'll look back on this year as one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, times of our lives! Thanks Kym!!

I love you Mike!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My decision...

more on this later...

I love you Mike!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

candy bar update

So, a new option has been added to my vending machine of life and that's all it currently is - an option. I don't actually even have any control over whether this one drops into the bottom of the machine or not. I should clarify though that this option is not even a candy bar - it's like one of those extra big bags of chips! Once I know more, I promise I'll post 'real' details about all this and we'll be done with the cryptic comparisons! In the meantime, I'll be plugging away at a dissertation prospectus that still needs a lot of work, grading sixty-something short stories and writing a conference paper that I am presenting in's not like I don't have enough other stuff to keep me busy and my mind occupied!!

Mike is on-board with this bag-o-chips option though and has somehow been able to make some unique sports comparisons to the situation, particularly one to Joe Montana, which has been fun. I'm now signing off my emails "JM" as a joke...I thought about signing "Joe" but then thought if "the man" was reading through emails and noticed that someone named "Joe" was telling "military Mike" that they loved him, someone might raise an eyebrow or two! ;) So, I'm sticking with JM so as not to alarm the government about things since they obviously have nothing better to occupy their time with! No, that isn't a soap box you see me heading toward, no worries!

Speaking of Mike, I've made him promise to write a post or two so you all can hear more about him from him. Things are still going well over there and he's still anxious as ever to come home. He's planned our vacations for about the next 15 years I think; I keep getting email itineraries. Most exciting: tubing through the jungles of Belize. Most romantic: returning to Paris and actually climbing the Eiffel tower together! Most "like us": tours of central and northern California coast wineries (yay!).

Anyway, I'm off to work on that pesky dissertation some more. I have four pages of notes on things to address from a 15 page section - gee fun! I hope this post finds everyone happy, healthy and warm (especially those of you getting hit by that blizzard-weather!).

I love you Mike!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Hi everyone! Sorry it has been so long for a real post. Things have gotten kinda busy at work and I've been beat once I've gotten home (still no word on what I'll be doing next year...but hopefully soon...). Today, however, before I get into recent happenings, I must get on my soap box and reaffirm what our mothers (yes, that's you Barb...) have always told us - floss your teeth! As I spent the last 2 1/2 hours in the dentist chair with my mouth wide open and my face so numb I couldn't even smile, I must say, I wish I had followed through with that motherly advice. I've been bad at flossing. I don't like to do's not fun. But, what healthy stuff (besides yoga) is fun? Anyway, as a graduate student I didn't have dental insurance and I didn't go to the dentist for my first two years out here (yes, you can all gasp at the horror). I thought I was taking pretty darn good care of my chops. I flossed sporadically BUT I bought one of those fancy-smancy power toothbrushes. I keep a brush at school. I gargle with that awful mouthwash. That, I'm afraid, has not been enough. Three weeks ago I finally went to the dentist...I've had insurance coverage for some time, I just hadn't picked a dental provider. They found two friggin' cavities and said since it had been so long since I'd been to the dentist (I should have lied, was my first thought) that I needed a "deep cleaning". Sounds good right? Well, it hurts and it wouldn't have been necessary at all had I gone earlier and in the meantime, flossed my teeth!!! The fillings were equally as much fun and boy, now that some of the painkillers are wearing off, my face itches!!! What a grand afternoon!! I will floss twice a day from now on because I swear that if I ever have to have needles that big stuck into my gums again (and more than one, and more than once too) I better not be awake to know it!

Ok, so floss - that's basically all I'm saying here...sorry for the rant.

What's new? Other than my newly enhanced pearly whites? Well, Mike is still doing really well, albeit a little more homesick than I think he's been in the past. They've had a few days that he said has reminded him of San Diego, but minus the smell of the ocean. I also think doing the same thing over and over every day is getting to him. You know what the definition of insanity is right? "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." I guess that's kinda how he's feeling. Though, he is saying that his "results" are great. He's helping lots of folks, so that's gotta feel good. He's also recently had the largest bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream he's ever that's one positive - free ice cream!

On the home-front, not a whole lot going on. Mike's mom, Mary Lou, and I went out to an awesome dinner the other night at a place called Spread in North Park. We ordered three items and you share each of them. We started with a salad of chopped lettuces and rose petals, fresh mozzarella, strawberries, maple croutons and an avocado vinaigrette. Next we had this awesome lavender guacamole with roasted Roma tomatoes (Mary Lou LOVED those) and homemade pita chips. As if we weren't full enough by this point we tried one of their most popular items, the Thai veggie pizza with aged cheddar and peanut coulis. All I can say is WOW! It was amazing. The place itself is also a pretty unique space - very modern looking. They make everything fresh and change up their menu daily because they buy all their ingredients from local farmers markets. We also both had a glass of an edible silver infused sparkling wine - pretty tasty. I can't wait to go back!!

Well, I suppose that should be it for now. Oh, I had my first violin lesson tonight. It went pretty well considering I have no idea what I'm doing. I have homework so I hope my neighbors are tolerant! I hope you all are doing well! Take care of yourselves and for God's sake, FLOSS YOUR TEETH!!

I love you Mike (are you flossing?!?)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Go Colts!

Being a Boilermaker I am also a Colts fan and so I must say (even though I'd love to be saying it about the Chargers...):

Go Colts!!



I love you Mike!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Good Day Sunshine

Wow, I can't explain exactly why, but I am LOVING this day. The sun is out and it is gorgeous. I've gotten several errands accomplished and I'm looking forward (yep, I said it) to cleaning my house in just a little bit! I got to talk to Mike this morning and he's doing well. He was having some computer problems, but overall he's still doing well and staying positive. I sent him a care package a bit ago and it only took 5 days to get there - isn't that crazy!

I also know that one fellow JCCS1 person is home on R&R and I'm so happy for his girlfriend, Kym, that just the thought of her enjoying time with "her Mike" as we've come to call him puts a smile on my face. It seems like forever ago that "my Mike" was home on his R&R, but the up-side to that is that it makes his eventual homecoming feel closer! One of my other favorite Navy bloggers at The Desert Periscope is getting ready for his homecoming, which I couldn't be happier for him about. This small, unique community of JCCS1 sailors, families and friends has been invaluable to me during this deployment and I feel like their good news is "our" good news as well!

I still haven't chosen my candy bar yet. If you have no idea what I'm talking about you can read my last post, though it might not help clarify things. I am leaning toward the Kit Kat however and the 'powers-that-be' are really making it as an enticing of offer an as possible...throwing in a lot of options so it's looking like the KING SIZE version! I told them I'd give them a decision this week, so I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, I just wanted to post and let everyone know Mike is doing well. I hope you all enjoy the remainder of the weekend! If you need a little song to help you, take a verse from The Beatles...

I need to laugh, and when the sun is out
I've got something I can laugh about
I feel good, in a special way
I'm in love and it's a sunny day...

I love you Mike!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

decision making time - hungry anyone?

At my school we are on yearly contracts, so there is no tenure and you just don't necessarily stay in the same position forever. This, I have always thought, is a great thing. It alleviates complacence and allows us to follow our "passions" and remain interested, engaged and up-to-date. This is the time of year when everyone starts thinking about what they will be doing next year. It's a crazy time and brings a lot of stress that I am finding it hard to deal with. I know that my current problem isn't really a "problem" but I'm just having a hard time deciding what to do. I know there are people out there with no options, and I have several and I really do know how lucky I am, but you know how when there are too many options in the vending machine you sometimes just can't decide if you want a Snickers, a Kit Kat or a Butterfinger (yes, Mike, I know you always opt for the Butterfinger...) - well, that's what I'm facing right now.

I could stick with what I'm doing - the Snickers, in this case. It's always good, I always enjoy it and I know what I'm doing. I could opt for the Kit Kat which would have me doing something new and doing several things and not just in my one classroom. Or, I could go with the Butterfinger and take a position I know a lot about and while it's maybe not as "involved" as the Snickers, it still involves significant planning time. My conundrum is this: I have been apart from Mike for a year (or will have been) and I am interested in taking on a position that might offer me more "outside" (quality time, if you will) time to spend with him- so like this weekend that just passed, I would spend it with Mike instead of spending 6 hours planning on Saturday and another 6 on Sunday. The Kit Kat option is new and I fear that, while it would be fun, it would be just as much work and I might miss out on all the extras that come with teaching in a classroom (i.e. peer interaction, working with kids, etc.). There is one layer of the Snickers option that I'm just unhappy with, but it is something I could live with. The Butterfinger option would allow me to teach in my passion area, an area I'm really comfortable with and knowledgeable and excited about, but it comes with a lot of outside work - which is probably less than what the Snickers option has, but still...The other thing is I REALLY need to finish my flippin' dissertation and I think that I'm just going to have to deal with the fact that it is going to take me twice as long working full time (and I don't want to work part-time, but still).

Ok, so maybe I've taken the candy analogy a bit too far, but I'm clearly obsessing and stressing about this and on top of that, now I'm hungry!!!

I love you Mike!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Lest we never forget...

I return to posting today with the somber news that today in Iraq was a particularly harsh one, reaffirming the realities of war that I'm sure have hit home for all who have loved ones serving. I do not have much to say, other than that my thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has a family member or friend serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and my unending gratitude goes out to each and every service member who is risking so much for so many.

I love you Mike.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Just wanted to wish Mike's mom, Mary Lou, a very happy birthday today!

Or, as her students might have said to her today (I think): Bon Anniversaire!!

I hope you enjoy your day!

I love you Mike!

Friday, January 12, 2007

For my Virginia Beach Blogger Friend :)


Right back at ya! ;) You're the best!

Go Chargers!!!

I love you Mike!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


This might seem like an insignificant milestone, but if you look at the counters at the top of the blog you'll notice that now the "Time Left" counter is now LESS THAN the "Time in Sandbox" counter --- we have passed the halfway marker and I couldn't be happier!

We had a staff/planning day today to get ready for our respective intersession courses and our coming semester. My team-teacher/friend Amy and I are holding "High Tech High Iron Chef" as our intersession course. I went over to her house in Coronado last night and her husband taught us both knife skills...and we made homemade pasta and wonderful salads. I learned to brunoise, chiffanode, julienne, chop, mince and dice and I didn't cut myself once! I must say, learning to cook and cooking excellent, beautiful dishes is fantastic fun. I can't wait until Mike comes home and we can cook together!! This week our students will be making sushi (california rolls and such), risotto and homemade breakfast dishes (pancakes from scratch, etc.). Next week they'll be decorating cakes, working on their own knife skills with salads, making homemade ravioli and sauces and having an Iron Chef competition. The downside to this is that we have 40 kids, all day long, with no breaks and no prep it's going to be a crazy 8 days!!

Our first project of the coming semester is a HTH CSI project where our students will be acting as crime scene investigators, studying fingerprinting, DNA analysis, blood spatter patterns, paint and fiber analysis and criminal psychology. In my class they'll be studying major court cases in the U.S. and the history of detective fiction. We'll be reading several Poe short stories, some Stevenson, Dickens and some current works of mystery and detective fiction. They'll also be writing their own short stories and submitting them to a few writing magazines/journals. This is only and 8 week project and we'll end before spring break, so that'll make it a bit more manageable than our entire semester-long project from the Fall - ugh! Anyway, I'm sure I'll post more on both these things as they proceed.

I've heard from Mike in emails lately and he is doing just great, but still really looking forward to being home. I don't have a whole lot to share about what he's doing...other than the fact that he's had to give up his truck and is now on-foot for the remainder of his time there. I guess they needed it for training of some sort...or someone else needed it whose truck was used for the training, I'm not sure. Anyway, it's about a 1/2 hour walk to and from work every morning...and about a 15 minute walk to where he eats he figures he's got a lot of walking ahead of him! He was talking about wanting to work out more while he was there - I guess he got his wish! :) He certainly doesn't need to lose any weight and he looks great, but I think the "fresh air" might be good...maybe? I am sure he'll be wishing for the truck back soon enough!

Well, I hope this post finds everyone doing well.

I love you Mike!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone all the best for 2007!

I love you Mike!!