Monday, June 30, 2008

My day

I started tutoring today and my Lord did I love it. Working one on one with someone who really needs just is very good. The kid has trouble with math, because numbers are a little too abstract...but we started talking about money, and bingo-girl could divide and multiply. She had no trouble...because money is more real than a symbol on a paper. I think we can really work with this. Next time I'm bringing lots of coins and maybe fake money. Anyone know where I could get fake money by Thursday?

Science Center was a little overwhelming today but so much fun. There were like 70 kids, from 4 to maybe 12, and it was quite an adventure trying to keep all those kids focused and going for all that time. But fun fun. I had them all miming they were stuck in little tiny boxes. I wish you could have all seen it, or that I could post pictures, but you'll have to use your imagination.

Postcards came in the mail today. I've been busy stamping and putting the address labels on. I hope to get them to the post office before they close. Productive day so far, and it's only 3:21.

I've been in such a delightful state of mind lately.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fuzzy Things, 12

12: A tweet with exactly 140 characters.


I am feeling completely overwhelmed at the love I feel for my husband. I am so glad that we got married so irresponsibly early. That's the theme for the weekend...I love my man.

Jon has been gone to South Carolina and I have been here, with no school to go to, and I'm mad at McGuires so I don't wanna go in there...I am glad to report that Allison and Matt are about the best friends a girl could ask for. If you're both reading this...much love, from the bottom of my heart.

But now Jon is here and I'm so happy and I didn't know I would be so happy and everything is just better. I feel elevated.

This is an unsteady time in my life and it is so amazing that I have such an anchor to hold onto. Jon is everything I need a husband to be, and more that I didn't even expect. I'm so happy.

And, that guy is so much better at seeing at the pebbles we have to look out for. I'm good at figuring out how walk across them all easier. So, between the two of us, we'll get up the mountain for sure.

Sorry if I made anyone throw up just now. It's just that I'm overwhelmed and got the urge to shout my love from a rooftop...and I don't have a ladder. But I have a blog.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Quote

I just read a quote on Wayfaring Wanderer that I loved. I mean, really loved. I read it lots of times, and loved it more when I was finished.

Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain.
~Author Unknown~

First day on the new mini-job

So today I taught my first class as the Science Center. It went well. It's an odd set of circumstances to teach in...these kids are tired. Their days are packed full of all kinds of stuff, and by the time they see me, they're droopy. But, I managed to get them enthusiastic, which was fun. That will be good for me to do a couple of times a week.

Also today, I accomplished another task I wasn't looking forward to. I went to the Register of Deeds and went through a huge list of people in the county. I was able to really narrow it down and get a mailing list that is extremely close to being exactly perfect. It took a long time, and there was a lot of searching on the county's computer, and lots of typing addresses into my address book, but I think it will be worth it. Most advertising people do just blankets a general audience...most of the people who see your add aren't in the market for what you're selling. I'd like to avoid that to make our advertising dollars go much further. So, it was tedious, but I am now the proud owner of a good deal of addresses on mailing labels. Our first batch of post cards, for Jon's children's photography, will get here soon, and those labels are just itching to be on them. I feel like we're climbing up a steep rocky mountainside....but I know that soon we'll have our first spectacular view, and we'll be encouraged. And as long as we keep climbing up up up, we'll hit the top sometime. And even if it takes a long is inevitable that we'll reach it. I'm still feeling sunny about the whole thing.

And tonight...a breather. Allison, Bertha and I are hanging out with Matt at his house, where we will be cooking out then walking to Hickory Alive. I'm stoked.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I have found a new home for my trivia game (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)! Not this Monday, but the next, I will be at Beef O'Brady's. It is clean, with some fresh air and a great menu. The owner will have several beer specials each night. He will also have more than one bartender. I get to keep the same time-Monday from 8-10. There is more room, too. There are so very many things about this that excite me. I really would like to get a huge crowd there for opening night, so I implore each of my readers to be at Beef O'Brady's, Monday next. And, tell your friends. And all those people you see that you don't like quite enough to call them your friends...they'll be more entertaining with a little alcohol. I'm so so excited.

2 Big things I want to talk about, but I'll get to them very soon. One of them is the completion of our small book from our honeymoon. Check it!

More on the other shortly.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


If anyone thought that not teaching and getting a business up and running would be easy, you were wrong. Teaching was easier but this is better. I needed that vacation to take a breath, but it honestly wasn't much of a vacation. I was very worried that Jon would be miserable there with my whole family because he's not really a big people person. I was also worried that once he was miserable, he would be rude, because that can happen on occasion. But he was so nice. But, I was stressed out the whole time because of those feelings, and it wasn't as fun as it could have been. But, for a first family vacation with the husband, it wasn't bad at all.

But then I got home and walked into a hornet's nest of things to do. I don't feel like I've stopped at all...just hopping from project to project, and marking a lot of things off the to do list. This will be very hard, but also probably the best option around. But I'm feeling hopelessly optimistic and positive about the whole thing.

Trivia...exciting news there. I quit doing Trivia at McGuires, even though I actually loved it, because I couldn't in good conscience make money for people that don't do well by me. And quitting was kind of a leap of faith, because, like I said, I love it. But, it seems that I'll get another game up and running very soon. I shouldn't say where yet, because it isn't 100% final, but my very first choice for a new home for trivia is a go. More on that later, but the owner is an actual business person, with knowledge of how bars need to be run. Because of lots of factors that I'll go into later, this will be a much much better situation for all involved. So, after last talking to the owner, I did a happy dance. Then, I ran upstairs and found Jon and did the happy dance for him too. I think he liked it.

And hey-all you readers out there...take a moment, please, to think about your photographic needs. Jon is amazing and creative. He also travels and takes me with him! Send me an e-mail if you need us. And spread the word. :) Click here if you want to know more, but the website hasn't been updated lately. It is nearing the top of the to do stack.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Kind of Busy

I've been busy the last few days. I've been doing all sorts of things to get ready for this running the business thing. Also, I created a blog for my family. You guys probably won't care at all, but here is a link anyway!

My Cousin

Doesn't she just look like she could belong to me?
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm happy. I'm feeling glad. I got sunshine, in a bag.

I feel rosy. We've been on a two day cleaning and purging rampage. We have found so much space, and reorganized our life in a way that will enable us to work together. I even have a permanent home for my laptop and printer, complete with a drawer for printer paper! It doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment, but trust me, it is. I also have a LOT of stuff to sell on eBay...mostly theatre books of one sort or another. Those postings will go up soon, but I have photographed the lot of it, and typed all the names of books out. That was a big project. Now, I'm sitting in my living room, not staring at a single stack of something I need to do. It's peaceful.

I've always thought positive thoughts bring positive actions, and now there is some book I haven't read on the subject to back me up. So, I'm going to write out 2 positive thoughts...2 cool plans for your enjoyment and critiquing pleasure.

1: I get that job on Saba. I become a teacher at the only school on this perfect little crime-free, beautiful island. The entire infrastructure of American Education, which is mostly what I hated about my old job doesn't exist. I would love to do that. Jon, who is only a few classes away from being able to teach SCUBA, takes those classes and gets a job working at one of the several diving spots on the island. This island is constantly rated one of the top five diving spots on earth. Jon, professional photographer. So, Jon could be this one lucky photographer with reliable access to the most beautiful spots on earth, and an underwater camera to catch it all with. It's a stock house's dream come true. Meanwhile, I also get to sing karaoke every Friday, because everyone in town goes to the bar of the hotel we stayed at, Scout's Place to sing karaoke each week. So Jon, Bertha and I could conceivably live perfect lives in the perfect place. And I promise I would blog about it every day.

2: I don't get that job. Jon and I spend the next year fixing up our condo to sell, and working together, as a smoothly operating team to sell his photographs. We make enough money to pay our bills and advertise some more. We build. I strive to make sure everyone in this town knows who we are, and how we can be of service to them. See, Jon is so supertalented. And I am charming and creative. And determined. Together, we'll be jammin'. A year from now, we move to a darling house with a little more space. We'll use the space to operate our business better...the ultimate plan is to have a house we love, a studio down town somewhere, enough money and some down time. And a baby.

Either of these are perfectly dandy little scenarios. And right now, I have no idea which one we'll go for. It's out of my hands. The Saba thing seems a long shot, but it's possible, so I have to believe, you know? Either way, I'm happy. I'm feeling glad.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hope against Hope

I just wrote a letter of interest to the school on Saba, along with a resume and copies of all my degrees. I don't want to post the whole thing here, but it is here, just for the curious. If you read it, let me know what you think...would you give me the job? I'm sure the chances are slim, but it would only be the coolest thing in the whole world.

Fuzzy Things, 10-11

10: Crossing something off a to-do list that has been sitting there much longer than you care to admit.

11: Writing an application letter to teach on the world's most perfect little island. It's a long shot, of course, but writing that letter was all kinds of fuzzy.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Vacation

It seems that the easiest way to sum this up would be just to show you the pictures with a few comments.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Going away, and a warning.

I'm packing up to head for the beach. I'll be gone until Wednesday, and I doubt I'll have internet. I promise a blog entry just as soon as I get back, complete with pictures.

And, the warning. Do not go see The Happening. Honestly, I like 99% of movies I see, even if they're swill. This is beyond swill. It was so bad that parts were funny, even when they shouldn't have been. But, these moments of unintentional funny do not make it worth the money it will cost, or the precious 2 hours of your life you will never get back. One of the fellows we saw this movie with summed it up best when he said, "I would rather watch Lady In the Water 2." Really, old Shamalamalinglong has completely lost his touch. I'm really searching my brain, and I can't think of anything good about the movie. Just don't waste your time, and if you do, don't say I didn't warn you.

If you've seen it, what did you think?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fuzzy Things, 1-9

Allison and I were riding around last night, talking about things that give you that awesome warm feeling. Her list is here, and mine is below.

1: Linking. It's an awesome feeling, and I can't figure out why. Perhaps, subconsciously, it is knowing that the things I think and talk about fit into a much bigger scheme, and I can simply attach it to that scheme with a couple of mouse clicks.

2: When I'm chilling with Bertha, and she just throws herself back on me, totally trusting that I will catch her to love on her better than I was before. So far, I have always caught her, although she did give me a fat lip one time.

3: When a person tells you something nice another person said about you. It's better, usually, than the person who said the nice thing just telling you. It feels more honest.

4: When my car starts beeping that someone doesn't have their seat belt on. It pisses some people off, but I love it. I want seat belts worn in my car!

5: The hush that falls over a table when we start to eat something delicious I cooked.

6: Embarrassing admission coming up: I still have my blanket. Well, I have blanket number 2. Number 1 was thrown away by stepdad 1, also known as satan. Blanket number 2 was from my grandma, and I really love it. I don't sleep with it always now, but I do bury my face in it, daily if possible. That is the fuzzy all other fuzzies compare to.

7: A hot bath.

8: Sometimes, when I go out my back door and knock on Allison's door, I get the feeling. It's so nice to live next to your best friend. I recommend it.

9: The kind of hugs Jon gives where I get to let my knees go soft, knowing he'll hold me up.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Why I am So Happy Today:

9 years ago I was looking around, trying to decide on the best scholarship to go for. I thought I wanted to be a teacher...but at 17, I thought all kinds of silly things. So, I went for the Teaching Fellows Scholarship, which is hard to get, and pretty involved once you do get it. That was all well and good, and I felt extra prepared when I graduated and went to find a job. After the first 2 weeks, I thought "Uh Oh". Because the deal with Teaching Fellows is this-you have to teach, in NC, for 4 years, or pay back $26,000. And I knew right off it wasn't really for me.

Teaching is the hardest job I can think of. I have a constant stream of 25 kids in and out my door all day. Unlike a regular classroom teacher, I have to be "On" the whole day. There is no recess. There is no "Kids, sit down and read a book." And then there is this: You have to fight the kids all day. So, you think the parents would be glad you're helping them out, and would support you, right? Um. No. You have to fight the parents too. So, you think, your administration will be there for you, right? Um. No. With the exception of the school I'm at now, I don't think the administration has ever been on my side. So, you have to fight the administration. So, you would think that perhaps the people at the county office would be on your side. Um. No. You have to fight them too. So, it seems the only friend to the teacher is another teacher. You'd think that. But again, Um. No. Teachers really have a tendency to bicker amongst themselves, and generally make life a little more difficult. (Again, this is better at my current school.) So, you have to fight the other teacher. So, that leaves you, just you, on a team by yourself, standing in front of 25 kids, trying to keep them controlled enough to trick them into learning something. And then, the president comes along, sticks his nose in, and everything just gets worse.

It is exhausting. By the end of the day, I have no patience left, and no energy left. This isn't fair to my husband, or me. And I've really got a gift with little kids. Don't get me wrong. They love me, and I love them. But 8 hour day after 8 hour day, year after year...I just can't do it.

I have just today finished my fourth year. I am immensely proud of myself. I do not feel like a failure for giving this up. I feel like a trooper for making it as long as I promised I would.

To continue teaching would be a really passive path to take. I am not happy. Typically, when you aren't happy, the passive path isn't the one you should be on. So, I'm being active, even though it is a little scary. I am looking at life and deciding what I want out of it.

If I don't quit now, after this 4 year mark, I'm pretty sure I'd never quit. I'd just go along, teaching teaching teaching, being too scared to quit, and being unhappy.

So, school system: Good bye. You've done me good, and you've done me dirty. I can't work inside of the box that you assigned me. It makes me feel like a smaller person. So, I'm glad we're going our separate ways.

So, today is the day to celebrate. Reminds me of a song from my childhood church..."This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Say NO to crack!

Honestly. Just say no. This would be from one of the blogs mentioned on my last post. Kiddies...don't click.

Perhaps my 37th post of the day

I know I've posted a thousand blog entries today. This is the thing: I'm bored. Way beyond bored. And the school computer blocks most websites, and I'm feeling like writing. So, the result is blog entry after blog entry. Whatever. It won't offend me if you don't read them all.

So, have any of you ever just scrolled through blogs using the "next blog" button up at the top? Oh my dear Lord. First of all, I'm now convinced that the idiot to non idiot ratio in the world is rapidly going downhill. And also, has no one ever noticed the ABC button with the check mark? Yeah...that's a helpful button. I want to drive to these people's houses and explain that. Also, the difference in then/than...two/too/to...they're/there/their etc. And also, I'd like to convince them that "irregardless" is not a word. Maybe with my fists, if they argue with me.

And, most of the blogs that pop up aren't in English. I understand the whole world doesn't speak English, but if you were reading an English blog, then chances are, you'd like the next blog to be in English too. Am I crazy here?

And further, why blog if you have nothing to say? You may be rolling your eyes, because I don't always pick the most interesting topics, but come on! It actually made me angry. One blog entry, "I have nothing to say, but I'm bored. Hmmm. It was cloudy last night. And kind of hot." Is there anyone in the world who could read an entire entry like that and not feel like they've wasted valuable time they'll never get back?

And the design of some of these I guess there are all sorts of people in the world, but some of them look like a blind person designed them. No offense to blind're a swell lot, but I wouldn't want you designing my web page.

It seems to me-most blogger blogs are in a different language. A good portion are family sites with lots of kid pictures. I found several that are girls on diets blogging about that. And I've only seen one or two that are more personal journal type blogs like this one.

This one girl's blog only consists of pictures she has taken of herself. And this one...well, it's not in English, and you get a penis! I would like to go in this girl's house and read a good book.

While it was a huge waste of time, and I found no new blogs to read, it did give me a smug, self satisfied feeling. I love my blog.

Moment in Time, Number 1

I was thinking the other day about all of these moments in life that are really memorable, and help to define who we are. And then I thought, I sure would like to write about those moments. So, from time to time, I will. I'll start with my favorite.
Imagine-Jon and I are in paradise (Saba). We decide "Let's hike up that gigantic mountain." (Mt. Scenery) Those of you who know me probably know that I am not the most physical person in the world...and this is a pretty high mountain. In the picture below...see that cloud up at the top? Yeah. That's where we went.

The hike started off well, and we saw some really beautiful things. The way to the top of the mountain is to climb some 1100 steps. Doesn't sound too bad, right? What they don't mention is that some of those are 3 feet high, some steps don't even exist, and not one of them is even. And they are all very very old.The picture below is of the steps near the beginning, before I started wishing for death.

Img Source

While it was breathtakingly beautiful, it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. At one point, I sat down and cried. I told Jon to go on without me. He wouldn't, so I trudged on. We saw 2 lizards doing it on a leaf. We saw leaves that were bigger than me. We saw one tree that had some 30 other plants that I could count, just growing on this host tree.

Img Source

But the point of this story isn't for me to complain about how hard it was. That was only so you would understand the sweet victory we felt at the top. When you finally get near the top, your stairs stop. Then, you see a rope that you have to pull yourself up. And then, you land in heaven.

I took off my shirt, because it was so wet from the exertion that it stuck to me everywhere.

This was the moment: We're standing at the very highest point in the whole Caribbean. We can see most of the island. We can see 3 other islands. There is a beautiful, incredible wind blowing. I can feel this wind just blowing away the ache in my muscles and wrapping my back and chest in bliss. We are standing in the clouds. My brand new husband wraps his arms around me and holds me as we look out. He whispered that he loved me.

It was the most perfect moment in all the world. I realized then how lucky I was that I got this man to marry me.

The hike down? Waaaay worse than the hike up. And the next morning? My legs felt like spaghetti. But, it was worth it, and I will climb that mountain again.

Allison must love me!

Allison must really love me a lot. I didn't know this, but she has a whole flickr set of pictures of me! Click here!
Allison, you're awesome, and I love you oh so very very much.
Allison's blog is here, and her flickr is here.


I JUST changed my name and all, and I am already on google's first page of results for "Hurricane Carmen". That makes my heart happy.

I think I've decided on a name!

Lots of suggestions for "I AM the drama", but I just can't do it. I think I'm going to go with "A Hurricane Called Carmen". Hurricane Carmen would be better, but it's taken, so Oh well...

Why Hurricane Carmen, you ask? Well, my dad always called me that, and for most of my life it pissed me off. But recently, I've just accepted it. It is truly a great description of me, and there isn't any fighting it. I may as well just accept who I am. I am Hurricane Carmen. I could be worse. Like, "Boring Carmen". Or "Just like everyone else Carmen". Or "Inhospitable Carmen". I always thought it was such an insult, because Hurricanes are bad, you know...But I've changed my mind. Hurricanes are a huge force of nature that do their own thing, and I think perhaps that is what dad meant. Never a dull moment when there is a Hurricane. Or, maybe he meant that I was a horribly destructive force that people hid from...but knowing my dad, I doubt that. He does like me, so I'm going with the positive.

For those of you who said "I am the drama" (Mom, Allison, Nathan) I'm just not ready to accept that I am drama. I mean, it is probably true, but I just can't announce it to the world. :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Title

I need a new name for my blog. Any ideas?

Also, if you were worried about Bertha's leg...she went to the vet that day and got a shot. It was just a band aid.

New iGoogle toy from Blogger in Draft

I'm writing this from my iGoogle page. Beautiful. It doesn't look like I can add pictures this way, but I'm excited anyway.

I guess I'm just so lazy that the one click it takes to get to blogger is just too much for me.

Monday, June 09, 2008

About my dog, Bertha

Growing up, my dad always had 10 big dogs or so at his house, and whenever I wanted to see him, my short little self had to battle with 10 dogs that were bigger than me. So, for a long time, I didn't like dogs. My mom and I had a couple growing up, but I never developed any kind of relationship with them, because I've just never been a dog fan. In college I had a dog-it was the worst dog in the history of the world, and she destroyed so many things that it was unbelievable. That was a pretty bad experience. So, I was all set to have no dogs in my adult life.

Then I met Bertha. I was visiting my friend Mark Maason (I can't find a link or a picture, but this man was BEAUTIFUL) in Boone when I'd first moved to Hickory. His neighbor had this dog that the landlord had found out about. They had to find her a home, and quickly. This owner wasn't the orginal either...she had gotten Bertha from a dude that had found her at a concert. I fell head over heals in love with her in the 10 minutes we got to play. So, we took the dog home.

Bertha has always been a relatively good dog...but she was wont to crap on the floor or tear up the garbage when she got pissed at me. And because she had been abandoned, she had a real fear that we would leave her too. So when I say "when she got pissed at me"...for a while, that was every time I would leave her. But even when dealing with that, it was worth it. This dog has more personality than any dog I've ever known. She's really like a little person...a mute person, but still a person. You always have the idea when you're looking at her that she is thinking some deep thoughts, and when I talk to her, it seems, and has always seemed, that she understands a little too much.

When Satterfield and I split, he took the dog and left the cat. This was terrible on the dog and I, because she's always been a mama's girl. Ultimately, S took her to live with the mother of a girl he was dating. If found out and raised holy hell, so he brought her back to me. That whole fiasco brought a new bout of abandonment issues, but was she ever happy to be reunited with me.

A note on Bertha-she lives to play fetch. Any version of fetch, with any sort of thing to throw. When we don't have a ball, she'll bring a tiny little piece of bark, and completely expect for us to throw it for the next 30 minutes. She has been this way the entire time I've known her, which is adorable...but what about when you get tired of playing fetch? Well, she's not done. She's just going to keep bringing the bark and dropping it at your feet. Until you go inside, and then she'll bring you a stuffed animal to throw. This is irritating.

Since Jon has moved in with us, Bertha has really blossomed into a totally good dog. Maybe it is the stability of having 2 responsible parents she knows she can count on...maybe it is because Jon's expectations were higher than mine, and she rose to meet them...who knows. She hasn't torn into the trash in months. And in the last 3 months, we've only found one poo pile, and I'm pretty sure that was an emergency. She is more cooperative when cutting her hair/nails/cleaning her ears etc. She seems to love me even more, and loves Jon as much as she loves me. She has learned so many more words and word phrases, which thrills me. A partial list of things she understands:

Come here.
Bring me the ball.
Find the ball.
Drop it.
Put it in my hand.
Give me a kiss.
Where is your toy? (She knows the difference in toy and ball.)
Let's go out.
Go potty.
Let's go to Matt's. (Where the pool is that makes her so happy.)
She knows the names of me, Jon, Allison, Matt, My mom, Jon parents, and she forgets the others, but remembers them when I teach her.
And my favorite new thing she's learned? That when we're playing fetch, and I sit the ball down and look away, we're done. Now, she just takes the ball, goes and sits down, and licks the ball.

She also has a great deal of stuffed animals. Does she tear them to shred like most animals? No. She carries them around like little babies. She licks them, and pretty much always has one with her. She has a chair in the living room where she keeps her pillow, a stuffed bear rug to lay on, about 2 balls, and as many stuffed animals as are out at the time. And she loves to come sit on the couch with us, but only if she can have a stuffed animal in her mouth.

I know I'm going on too long about my dog, but a word or 50 about the pool: This dog loves the pool. She loves rivers and streams too, but the pool keeps her wildly entertained. At first, she had to always go down the stairs to get in. Then, she finally figured out that she can jump in anywhere, although that still isn't her favorite. It gets her head wet, and she likes to avoid that. But on Friday, we taught her how to use a float. What follows is perhaps the best minute of video ever shot with my camera. Notice how focused she is on the ball. It's impressive.

In short, I never thought I'd be one of those people who loves their dog more than most people. But I am. I love Bertha Eckard.

Mt. Scenery

When Jon and I went to Saba, my camera battery died on the hike up Mt. Scenery, and I missed some beautiful shots. Jon told me today that if heaven isn't like the top of that mountain, he'll be dissappointed. Today, I found a flickr set of Mt. Scenery pictures, by Misscrabette, who lives in Saba. This picture below is from the set. To see an awesome slideshow, click here. To see Misscrabette's blog, click here.


Also, this lady used to live there, and her pictures made me cry.

And Sunday

Whew. Sunday was the day of the breakdown. I've been a little stressed, what with all the changes in my jobs and such, and I've been keeping a lot of negativity in the back of my brain. Sunday, it all came gushing out in a huge stream and stained Jon's clothes, and probably his brain too.

Everything just sort of built up and built up, and then exploded. I was really feeling like I couldn't do anything right, and all the things I always thought I was good at, I was wrong, you know? I've never felt quite so dark. It was big. It was ugly. Thankfully, it was brief, and ended as quickly as a summer thunderstorm.

Probably some of that stuff is still lurking back there, but I'll get to it, and deal with it, when I can.

Got no pics of that for you. :) You can use your imagination, though...a crying, hysterical girl with swollen eyes, and puffy hanging limply and lips unable to cut out that quivering crap.

My dad has always called me Hurricane Carmen, which has always pissed me off a little too much, but I was surely hurricane like yesterday.

Once the storm was over, though, we had a fine day. We hung out with our friend Mason and then went for a ride with Matt. If it weren't for me thinking my life was over, Sunday would have been a swell day.


Saturday Allison and I went to Asheville to see my dad at a dog show. It was an awesome day, all around. We listened to music we love the whole way, which would have irritated most...Dirty Dancing, Sublime, Bob Marley, Beck, and we even ended the day with a little "I'm too Sexy" and "Shoop". Halfway through the 97 degree day, it rained hard, and Allison and I went for a ride in the rain on my dad's golf cart. We ate dinner, then went to the coffee shop that my brother in law has been involved in starting. I'd link to their site, but I don't think they have one yet. I'll check on that.

Then, I got, I rushed home for karaoke. And there were 8 people asking to sing, but because the owner has ignored the advice of people who spend more time in her bar than she does, business is terrible and they can't afford to pay me, so I didn't go. Back in the day, when I started this karaoke thing, she said I'd be doing it every Saturday, for money. But this is the fifth, yes I said fifth Saturday in a row that she hasn't wanted to pay me. Has she ever wanted me to skip trivia, you know, that night that brings her crazy business and doesn't cost her much, but requires hours of my time? I'm frustrated, and I will be moving my game. I just have to figure out the details about that. Anyway...a few pics from Asheville:

Friday Night

Friday night Jon, Allison, Bertha and I went swimming at Matt's house, where Bertha learned the joys of a pool float. I took some pics and video, but I can't upload video through the school's firewall, so you'll have to be patient. Afterwards, we went to Hickory Alive and McGuires. By the way...I think I'm done with that place, but more on that later.

Friday, June 06, 2008


The last student just left my room. I think this means that I am no longer a teacher. Wow.


A speech, some thoughts, and a response.

From a student’s farewell speech today: “And I’d like to thank Mrs. Eckard, who taught me to stand up and do my thing, and to do it proudly. And to not care what other people think.”

And I have to say that out of all the things I’ve taught, I’m so glad that is what she’s walking away here with.

But it did make me feel stupid for caring so much about Joe and his opinion of me and my hospitality. I feel terribly proud that this is what she learned from my example. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Also, I’d like to respond to this comment, left by Brad on my post about Joe.

"You put too much emphasis on what people think of you. Just remember that most people spend 95% of their time thinking about one thing: themselves. This guy should have no power over you and only you can let yourself have a bad day.

I'm curious. How do other peoples views and opinions effect (or is it affect--I always get that wrong) you. For instance, if I told you I was a Republican (which I am), would you think more or less of me? Just a little psychology question.

By the way...Joe is really more of an assclown rather than an asshat, but that's really an issue of semantics."

I probably did put too much emphasis on what he thought about me. See, most of the world’s opinion of me just doesn’t really matter at all. However, the people that I consider friends…their opinion does matter. But, he has no power over me now. In fact, I saw him in the car last night, and I didn’t even run him over or anything! Progress!

As to the second paragraph. I’m kind of a weirdo. I look at the people I like, and they don’t really have a lot in common. I base my feelings about people completely on instinct or gut…but honestly, if a person doesn’t get on my nerves, I like them. About 40% of the population gets on my nerves, and the rest I like just fine. I don’t really care about their political views, their religious views, or their outlook on pretty much anything else. It’s more interesting when your friends are different from you. Plus, my whole family…they’re all republicans and I like them fine. However, if your last name was Bush, we wouldn’t be cool. But see, I already decided I like you, Brad, so you being a Republican doesn't really change that. If I said I'm voting for Obama (I am), how would that change your feelings about me, or would you just assume that anyway?

And Joe, well…he’s something for sure, but I’m not sure what.

So cute your eyes might bleed.

Since it was hot as hades yesterday, we went to Matt's pool, where Bertha, as always, thoroughly enjoyed herself.

And also, today is the happiest day of the school year!!! The kids go home today and stay there!

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Since I'm so desperately in love with Google, I figured I'd let you know about some cool thing. They have a new service pack, which is really awesome, and free. Picasa make me all kinds of happy, and so does their word and spreadsheet program. I totally deleted word and Powerpoint from my computer in favor of these totally free programs. The best thing about Picasa is the web albums, I think. One click publishing to your web albums rocks my socks off. And then, one more touch and you're sending them off to get printed. All of the pictures on my website have been edited with Picasa, and I like the effects. Also, you can publish to blogger with one click while you're editing your photos. It is all seamless and wonderful. Again, I'd like to reiterate that I want to give Google a big sloppy kiss.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Fascinating Read

I just read a great article that I want to share.

Fun times

It was field day today and a firetruck came to spray water all over the kids. It shot straight in the air, and all these kids just ran around like nothing in the world was better than getting soaked with a firetruck. It was a fun 20 minutes.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I wasn't feeling photogenic...

...but this is my hair. It is very curly. I had no idea how much spring a little haircut could put in my hair.

50 more things about me!

1: I'm a little obsessed with blogging.
2: When I was younger, I got stuck in a laundry chute that went to the basement. Instead of helping me, my step sisters shut the door at the top so they wouldn't get caught. (Mama-bet that's the first time you're hearing that...they eventually helped me out, and I fell onto a big pile of laundry.)
3: I'm fiercely loyal to my few real friends.
4: I'm just all the time putting my foot in my mouth.
5: It's because I say whatever is on my mind, and that filter that is supposed to be between your brain and your mouth is broken in me.
6: I'm a great director.
7: I'm a decent actor.
8: I like to sing, and I'll qualify myself as a little better than decent, but not great.
9: I cannot dance. I was even married for a while to a dance teacher, and even he thought I was hopeless.
10: His mom, who was also a dance teacher, said that I just wasn't trained, but I had a "Lovely pointe", which is the only nice thing that I can recall her saying to anyone in my presence.
11: I really love kids, and I can feel that clock tick tick ticking away saying "BABY BABY BABY". So far, though, I'm able to resist. I want to have one of those guys, but a little later, when we would be better suited to handle it.
12: I live an hour and a half away from my mom and 2 1/2 hours away from my dad.
13: Growing up, I didn't see my dad often, which led to some sore feelings, but now I know my father as a pretty cool dude who is easy to talk to, and makes me laugh a lot. This is better than before.
14: My mom and I have always been close. She is still cool, and reads this here blog often.
15: I pretty much need everyone to like me. If I hear that someone doesn't like me, I can't stand it. I think of nothing else for the next few days.
16: I've got one crazy bad temper on me. But it is more of the stew and vent to everyone that will listen temper, as opposed to the hit someone in the face kind of temper.
17: I've never hit anyone in the face.
18: I did kick a guy as hard as I could one time in 7th grade. He kept touching my butt. It was spirit day, and I was wearing steel toed boots. I put a fracture in his shin, but I didn't get in any trouble because I moved out of town the next day. He deserved it. I said "If you touch my butt one more time, you'll regret it." And he did both.
19: I spoil my dog just as rotten as she'll let me spoil her.
20: While I'm glad my dog loves my husband, it makes me a little sad that she loves him as much as she loves me.
21: I over analyze things that don't need analyzing, and then fly by the seat of my pants when I really should be analyzing.
22: It usually works out for me OK anyway. It, meaning life, I guess.
23: I don't like working for women. Present principal excepted, because I like her a lot.
24: I used to sweat all the time, no matter what. It was horrible. If you have this problem, and find yourself wearing 4 shirts in a day, and throwing out white shirts after you've worn them twice-try this: Don' t use soap on your underarms. (I know it feels counterproductive.) Scrub with a loofah instead. And don't use antiperspirant. ( I know this feels even more counterproductive.) Just use deodorant. Works like a charm!
25: I love coca cola, and even though I know it is poison, I still just can't stop myself from drinking it. I love love love it!
26: I didn't care about ice cream in the past, but over the last year, I've developed an undying love for ice cream that is almost as serious as my love for google.
27: I have a mom, a dad, a step mom, a step dad, a sister and 5 stepbrothers. There was a point in my life where I had a different step mom and a different step dad, and 2 step sisters, which ups my total of siblings to 8! Just not at one time.
28: I love talking to people I don't know.
29: I love talking to people I do know.
30: OK-I really just love talking, especially when I have a microphone.
31: I have been married almost a year to a precious precious man who puts up with a lot of crap from me.
32: My favorite color is red, and I lean towards schemes that are red and orange and yellow.
33: I am an expert at wasting time.
34: I think the funniest thing in town is my dog swimming in a pool. No one seems as amused as I am, but seriously, I could watch her do it for hours.
35: I'm not big on second chances. Unless you are one of the 4 or 5 people who are closest to my heart, and then, honestly, I'd probably give you 30 chances.
36: I am very emotional, and not so quick to think logically about something that gets an emotional response from me.
37: That makes it not so much fun to argue with me.
38: I'm a cry baby.
39: I need a better creative outlet.
40: I'm terrified of failure.
41: It makes my heart smile when I see comments on my blog. I know it is dorky, but it makes my day every time.
42: I would rather be doing something unpleasant than be bored bored bored.
43: If I were loaded, I would get laser hair removal every where they would let me get it.
44: I'm not much of a gossip, but I sure do love to hear some.
45: I eat a salad almost every day.
46: I eat too many $0.99 double cheeseburgers from McDonalds.
47: A lot of people get on my nerves. But I'll be nice any way, because I know it doesn't take much to irritate me.
48: I tend to immediately like and trust anyone who doesn't get on my nerves, which blows up in my face sometimes.
49: I can, and do, unfortunately, hold a grudge for years.
50: Nothing in the world is nicer than watching a good TV show with my head in Jon's lap.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Stolen from leesepea

1: Favorite Food?

I know they're not really actually good, but they have some kind of hold over me. I'm ashamed to admit it.

2: Least favorite food?

Yucky yucky yuck yuck.

3: Favorite thing?

Jon got me this for Christmas and I love it so much. I keep it with me at ALL times.

4: Least Favorite Thing?

I really hate football.

6: A phobia?

The biggest reason I couldn't live in Asheville? Tunnels.

7: An addiction?

I just can't give it up.


I have been stabbed in the back by someone I thought was a friend, and I want to talk about it. My "friend" Joe, who I have mentioned in this blog, is in all actuality a back stabbing, trash talking tool, and I hate it for him.

Joe has been to my house on many occasions, and eaten my food, and drank my drink. Joe said last week that he wanted to come over and watch the game show I was on. We were planning on watching it, and I never mind company, so we told him to come over. I offered to pick him up, and he insisted on walking. We watched the TV program, but it was a really low key day. I had had a hard day at work, and Jon was tired too. It was a low energy night, and after the show we watched a little more TV, then Joe wanted to leave. We were ready for bed, so I offered him a ride. He said "No I'll walk." I argued with him, telling him it was miles and miles and it was late, but he insisted. While he was there, he took the opportunity to talk all kinds of junk about our mutual friend Herb, Herb's mom, and their friend Christian. It wasn't a really fun night, and it made me kind of glad that he was moving to Boone, so that I wouldn't have to hurt his feelings by just never inviting him over again.

That was Friday. Monday, he went to Herb's house for dinner. Yes, Herb, who he had spent a good ten minutes running his mouth about. And while he was there, he started talking about Jon and I.

Call me crazy, but I thought friends were people who came to your house to hang out with you, you know, people who like you. Call me crazy, but those people shouldn't be the ones who run their mouth about you.

He said that Jon was a gigantic "A**hole" who wouldn't let me give him a ride home. He also said that I was fat on the TV show, and I looked stupid. He said there were 45 minutes where everyone sat in stony uncomfortable silence. This did not happen. But, for me, the worst thing he said was that I was "Inhospitable."

I'm not as upset about a friend being a jerk as I am about any one in the whole world calling me inhospitable. I am the most hospitable person I know, excepting my mom. I constantly invite all my friends to my house, feed them delicious food, carry as much of the conversation as needs carrying, make sure they have drinks, etc. In short, I bend over backwards to make sure that all the people that enter my house leave having thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Joe, as I said, has come to my house many times, eaten that food, and otherwise benefited from my hospitality. He knows that I am hospitable. Anyone that knows me knows I am hospitable. I'm so mad that I want to punch him in the face. And I'm not a violent person.

Further, after all the times that I have invited him to my house, have I ever stepped foot in his house? No. So, who is inhospitable? I'd put my money on that guy. I've given him so many meals, and has he ever even offered me a soda? Again, no.

If you recall my not getting that summer job that I wanted...I didn't get it because the people who work with Joe know he's a tool and assumed the same of his friends. I suppose because he spends a lot more time at work than with me, he's had time to show his true colors.

So I'm sitting on Herb's front porch yesterday with his mom and friend Christian. Joe has talked badly of each of them to me. Joe has talked badly about each of us to Herb. Joe has talked badly about each of us to Herb's mom (Does anyone else think that's weird?). Joe had talked badly about each of us to Christian. So, the four of us sat and shared everything he has said.

What kind of person talks badly about every person they know? And get this-Joe has been our "friend" for months and months. Dude was in prison for 5 years for drugs, and do you think he ever mentioned that? If you guessed no, you're right. No, dude never mentioned 5 years in prison, which I think is pretty important.

So, if you're ever walking around Hickory and you see an unattractive skinny guy with horrible teeth and stringy hair parted in the middle, (See Joe, I can say mean things too, only mine are true) I'd avoid him if I were you.