Monday, November 21, 2011

Leave your fears at the door!

Today was day one of Professional Development for HCS faculty/staff...I usually dread these 2 days because as an art teacher very few sessions are related to our work.  Fortunately we work in a great system that wants these days to be meaningful to everyone and we are spending the days painting! 

The art teacher at the high school is a wonderful oil painter and she has spent the last 2 years doing a "painting a day" to loosen up and let her creative juices flow...she works on small pieces of wood 6"x6" or 8"x8" she taught us what she knows and turned us loose...we were to use short strokes, lots of paint and move fast...the goal was to get 2 paintings finished! Everyone struggled with the first painting and those took almost 3-4 hours to complete...the second painting took a little over an hour. 

I can see the benefits of painting fast and painting everyday!  I need to work this into my crazy schedule...I tend to obsess over my paintings and this is a great way to practice and release that crazy energy...

Here are my "masterpieces" :)

This one makes me think of Kyle in high school :)

Vase and fruit 


I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving...enjoy your time with the family!



Much love,

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October has come and gone...

Wow! That was a fast month!!

Atrox Factory was a blast this year!  Our celebrities were all female "Scream Queens"!  Was a little worried because working with men is much easier for me...being a flirty southern girl and all! But these ladies were awesome!  Here are some pics from this year...
Danielle Harris - Rob Zombie's Halloween

Melissa Cowan - Walking Dead TV Series

Shawnee Smith - Saw Movies...I liked her best on Becker w/Ted Dansen

Adrienne Barbeau - Maude's Daughter...but she came to Atrox because she was in The Fog, Swamp Thing and Creep Show

P.J. Soles and her bf Rob...she was in the original Halloween, Carrie, Devil's Rejects, Stripes and Private Benjamin

Looking forward to a relaxing November....HaHaHaHa!!!  Daniel and Charlotte are getting married on Iron Bowl Day and I am helping with the After Rehearsal Dinner and Slideshow....not to mention the school wide Art Show...Grand Pal's Day and the state Art Conference :)

Much Love!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

College Football in Alabama!

I love college football!
I love the Crimson Tide!
I love the SEC!

There is nothing better than going to the grocery store on a Saturday morning and seeing everyone in their "gameday attire"... almost every house has a flag flying to make sure everyone knows where their allegiance lies!  It was time for me to make my is my latest work of art...

Roll Tide!!

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

Much Love,

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Memories of 9/11

July 4, 2011 - Circle Line Cruise on the Hudson River NYC
I have been really emotional this past week and I think 9/11 is the reason.

You know I am a good southern girl and I am really good at pretending nothing has happened but deep down my emotions still get the best of me!

I have been remembering that day, 10 years ago, and I have a hard time dealing with those memories.  I was a first time school teacher with 3 weeks of teaching under my belt, my Mom was still alive and undiagnosed with the cancer that would take her from us 10 months later, I had friends living in and around New York City and had no idea if they were safe or not.

The words, "teacher's please check your email" will forever strike fear in my heart.  This is how we received the information about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center.  I had a classroom full of 5th graders busily working on Keith Haring projects.  I couldn't react to the news because I didn't want to freak out my students.  As time passed and I had a break, I rushed to the front office to get more details and call my mother, I witnessed the second plane hitting the World Trade Center while talking to Mom.  As the day progressed and more planes were highjacked it almost became unbelievable to me...I couldn't watch TV because this was all that was on...I started having nightmares and didn't want to hear anymore information than I had already heard.  I am not the kind of person that watches every minute of a tragedy...I choose not to ingest too much negative information...yes, I know that makes me a coward but I'm okay with that.

Ten  years later, Mom is gone, the site of the twin towers is being built upon, I have spent 3 summers living in NYC earning my Master's Degree...I have a very clear realization of just how small Manhattan is and what that day must have felt like for those in the city.  From the building where my art class was this past summer you can clearly see where the twin towers stood and just realizing how close that tragic event was to NYU and Parson's really hit home with me and I think that is why I am so emotional now...

It breaks my heart at what that city and those families went through for our country.  For a while, police, emt and firemen were held up and honored on a new, higher level...I wish this were still the case.  The people who ran toward the collapsing buildings while all others were running away are the heroes...and will forever hold a special place in my mind and heart, this includes the "civilians" who thought of others in a time of great need.

I am now watching footage and specials about that day just like every other American and hope that this will renew our spirit of patriotism and love for one another.

To all my new friends I made at Bank Street College of Education - I love you!

Much love,

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Long time no see!!!

Sorry it has been so long since I posted but I will try to catch you up!

After the Mercedes Half Marathon I had a relapse of pneumonia :(  with a chest x-ray my doctor saw "something" on my lungs so they sent me for a CT scan, the lung "something" was just fluid from pneumonia but the CT scan showed "something" on my thyroid so they sent me to have a sonogram on my neck...sure enough there was "something" on my thyroid...from there I went to see a surgeon who did not seem terribly concerned...told me to rest :) and come back in 6 months for another sonogram to see if "it" had grown...he assured me that people do not die from thyroid cancer...they die with it...if that is what "it" wait until September for the next phase of "this".

In the mean time I went to New York for my final summer of graduate school at Bank Street College of Education and Parsons New School of Design!  I graduated with a Masters of Science in Education :)  Now I'm not sure what I'm going to do next summer...pool, lake, beach...the possibilities are endless. This is after the commencement exercise and that is my therapist...I mean advisor, Cathleen.  Jessica (my niece) got to take her first ever plane trip to come visit in NYC and to see me graduate!  My BFF Lisa brought her up and it meant the world to me that they were there!

While I was gone my landlord pulled up the carpet in my apartment (I only had it in my living room and dining room and it was NASTY)...he refinished the hardwoods and they look AMAZING!!  I came home on Saturday night and went shopping on Monday with my friend Angie...her aunt and uncle own United Textiles in Bessemer...a very cool place.  I was able to get one 8'x10' rug, one 5'x7'rug, a door mat, sheers, drapes and curtain rods for an amazingly ridiculous price :)  I highly recommend you go!
After carpet but before rugs...
After the rugs :)

Reconnected with many old friends before I left for the summer and hope to get back in the swing of things pretty soon....already back at the gym...if it wasn't so hot I would be "wogging"...I do have a 5K at the end of August so I should probably get on that!

We start school on Monday and the students will be there on Wednesday...pray for a great school year for all involved!

Much love to all!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I DID IT!!!!!

Acting a fool at mile 3!

Serious concentration at mile 7!
Crossing the finish line - 13.1 miles after 3 hours and 28 minutes!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mercedes Half Marathon - February 13, 2011

Hi friends!

I need your support....I am "wogging" (walking/jogging) the half marathon on Sunday, February 13th and since I have NEVER done this before, I think it would be beneficial for me to have a "cheering" section at the halfway point...I figure that is where I will hit the wall :)

I am not fast so don't laugh...but I "wog" a 15 minute mile...if I stay true to this pace I should be in Southside by 8:45am-ish...the easiest place to be is on the corner where Louie Louie's use to be (good southern directions)...

We start at 7:03am...but there are thousands of people running so the time could be off by 10-15 minutes...

Here is a link for a map of the course...I am only doing the 13.1 miles...other crazy people will run the course two times for 26.2 miles!  pay no attention to the date on top of the is from last year :)   Feel free to be at any point along the course!  All of the runners/walkers need support and it is a great boost to have people cheering you on...even if you don't know them!

Hope to see you there!

Much love!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Southerness :)

Found this on another blog and thought it post makes me smile!

Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you don't "HAVE" them, you "PITCH" them.

Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up "a mess."

Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder."

Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is, ... as in: "Going to town, be back directly."

Even Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white , granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.

All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.

Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin! Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near"and "a right far piece." They also know that "just down the road"can be 1 mile or 20. Only a Southerner, both knows and understands, the difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.

No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.

Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines, ... and when we are "in line," ... we talk to everybody!

Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related, even if only by marriage.

In the South, y'all is singular.... all y'all is plural.

Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.

Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin'," you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!

Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it -- we do not like our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk. And a true Southerner knows you do not scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say,"Bless her heart" ... and go your own way.

To those of you who are still a little embarrassed by your Southerness: Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning. Bless your heart!

And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff... bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southernness as a second language! And for those that are not from the South but have lived here for along time, all y'all need a sign to hang on y'alls front porch that reads "I ain't from the South, but I got here as fast as I could." Bless your hearts... y'all have a blessed day.
Much Love,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wogging - 2011

So the New Year started off kind of slow...I had pneumonia before Christmas and it kept me from exercising for 3 weeks!  Now, I have never been one who craves exercise but my body has gotten quite use to it and when you pay money to participate in a race you really hate to waste it....

I resisted the urge to go to the gym or train in anyway the first week back at school because I really wanted to participate in the Red Nose Run - 5K that I had signed up for and my friend Mike, from high school, was also signed up so I didn't want to ditch without any prep or exercise of any kind...I wogged (walk/jog) the 5K on a very cold Saturday morning...Mike and his wife Kris were there but we couldn't do the course together because they are both over 6 feet tall and my short legs just won't keep up with only goals were to finish with somebody coming in behind me :)

I was concerned about losing the time that I had worked up to but in the end I actually improved my time...I averaged 13:02 min/mile as opposed to the 14:56 min/mile I did at the 10K...

Was doubting the 1/2 marathon that I have coming up but now feel like I can definitely do it...the balloon lady will not defeat me!!!

Here is a picture of me and Mike before the race!

Much love,

I made the hat and wrist warmers that I am wearing :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Thank goodness 2010 is OVER!!!!

I worked really hard this year to get in shape and lose weight...I even started wogging (walking/jogging)...I'm sure Coach Faust would be highly amused to hear this!

Anyway with the help of Scale Back Alabama, Gold's Gym, Homewood City Schools "Movement" and various friends who constantly encouraged me...I was able to lose 51 lbs and I'm still going!  It is true...if you eat right, exercise and get will lose weight!  According to the "charts" I still have 40 lbs to lose but if I lose 5 more lbs I will finally weight what it says on my driver's license...and that is a great goal as far as I am concerned!

I hope everyone has a great 2011!

Much love,

"Before" - January 2010
"After" - October 2010