Monday, April 30, 2007

I <3 Mondays

Mondays are great days. No, really. Mondays are my brain-organizing days. They are the days when I get my week planned out (I realize I'm a bit behind), figure out what I'm teaching when and to whom, what chores I need to accomplish by week's end and even what to look forward to for the weekend. In all, Mondays work for me.

My students are reading two novels - Of Mice and Men and The Catcher in the Rye. I'm excited to share these books with them, as I enjoyed them in high school. We have an organized system for the homework, which is freeing my mind up for figuring out what their final projects will be. Any ideas?

I sat on a chocolate chip and got it all over my pants today. Damn it.
(That's my only downer).

I think it's about time to post some more pictures, don't you? I will be taking some today or tomorrow and will get them up as soon as I can. If they are really nice, I may post them as beautiful things on my other blog.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Fabulous Friday

I'm so happy it's Friday again! I've been thinking it's week's end for two days so I'm glad that the work week is finally over. I have much to do today - I need to photocopy a bunch of papers, clean my desk off, all kinds of things, but it will be a nice weekend and it'll be here in another three hours.

Last night I made calzones. I like them better than pizza, and I've twice modified mine to use alfredo sauce instead of pizza sauce, and it is very yummy. Last night I put green peppers, broccoli and ham in it. Aside from the sauce leaking out while cooking, it was pretty good. Bear's calzone was missing most of its sauce and cheese due to significant leakage, though. I felt kind of bad about it.

I need to update my Favorite Blogs list, I think. Two blogs I enjoy are quitting business. That makes me kind of sad. I enjoy reading them and selfishly think the bloggers should keep posting for my own entertainment.

It's time to buy new sneakers - as I sit at my desk, I can smell them. They stink. Pee-yew!

That's all I've got today... I hope to take some pictures this weekend. If I can, I will post them. Any requests?

~Amalia~

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Photographer

Last weekend Bear and I went to my parents's house to meet with the photographer and the florist. The photographer did my senior pictures as well as my brothers, and she has done family photos as well. All of the pictures were amazing, and they were all done at my house. I've mentioned many times before how much I love her and her work. Bear and I had dinner with her at Applebee's in Augusta Friday night. She is excited about doing the coffee table album I want, even though it is a new process to her. Unfortunately, she wouldn't back off her price at all - she is going to cost $2,000. I don't have $2,000!! She won't take credit payments, so basically, I don't know what to do. I told my mom (who told me months ago I'd get a deal on the price), and she was totally unsympathetic. I will have to ask the Golden Child (my brother) for money, and pay him back after the ceremony. I figure if the Golden Child will float me 1,000, we can pay thje photographer the rest with money we get from the guests. There's just no other way around it. I hate asking my brother for money, but what else can I do? I HAVE to have this photographer, and as Bear pointed out, I haven't really asked for anything else specific for my wedding. I've compromised on the location, the dress, the music, the cake, the flowers... I've not held firm to any one thing but this. Bear says it's okay, that we will find a way. It makes me love him even more for letting me have this one "extravagance." Even though it means that Bear will be working overtime as much as possible between now and June 30. He tells me not to feel guilty, and I am working on that.
What else can I do?

~Amalia~

Friday, April 20, 2007

My Wedding Invitation!


Who Knew?

Who knew that walking could be so entertaining? I didn't until this week. I walked to the post office on Wednesday, and took a two mile treck out of town yesterday. I felt fantastic when I got back. No really. I guess I've missed physical activity more than I realized. I will be taking another walk today.
Bear and I are taking a trip home to my parents for the weekend. We are meeting with the photographer and the florist. I am excited to see my photographer again, as I haven't seen her since she took my senoir pictures. I LOVE her. Have I mentioned that before?
I think spring is finally here - the ladybugs have arrived. If you live in the city, you may not be familiar with this phenomenon, but here in the country ladybugs hatch/arrive in spring, ready to eat pesky garden critters. But for some reason, they are all inside! They coat the windows in my house, trying desperately to get out. I will shut the furnace off today and open the windows so they may escape on their merry way. Ladybugs are probably the only insect I truly enjoy. Zedd loves watching them, too.

I will be scanning the invitation today to post, as I have to print the RSVP cards, too. I hope you'll tell me what you think!

~Amalia~

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Only 73 days (or so) to go!

For several weeks now I've been putting off several wedding tasks because they are not fun. Printing and making the invitations, asking my cousin to officiate the ceremony, meeting up with the photographer to pay the deposit and agree on prices, and meeting with and hiring a florist. After this weekend, everything should be DONE! I'm meetin with the photographer Friday night, the florist Saturday morning, and my cousin will give me her answer this weekend as well. I asked her, but gave her some time to think about it as she's never performed a wedding ceremony before.

I'm very excited about all of this, really. I'd been dreading it for so long, but for what - so far, thing have gone pretty well! After this, the only major job to do is pick out the outfits for the bridal party - four shirts, pairs of jeans and pairs of shoes. I can do that!

I'm headed out to go get the mail and take some pictures because the sun has made a huge comeback today after five long days of nothing but wind, rain, sleet, and snow. Some places in Maine got more than eight inches of rain in a single day! We had wind gusts over sixty mph here, but I'm not sure how much rain. It sucked, basically. But today I'm refreshed because I'm getting stuff done, the sun is out... what's not to love?

~Amalia~

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hooray!

It's only the first official day of April vacation and my wedding invitations are already 90% done! I really have to thank Bear, because he helped me a ton. I would be nowhere near as done if he hadn't pushed me to keep printing and cutting. He rounded all the corners for me, using a curvy corner punch that was pure hell on my thumb. Thanks Bear! All that is left is putting the pieces together, punching a hole, and putting a fastener through it. From there all I have to do is stuff envelopes and mail! I'm uber excited to be this close to done so fast.

Bear stayed home today as he's been having some breathing problems (his asthma has come back after many years of no symptoms). He got up this morning to go to work and then crawled back into bed with me. It was really nice! We slept until after nine. I think he felt guilty about staying home, thought, because he decided it was past time that he cleaned out the office. The office was so jam packed with stuff that it was literally a fight to get in the room. four bags and a box of trash later (not to mention the three bags of stuff for Goodwill) and we have a functional office space again! The next home improvement project is my sewing room. I can hardly wait!

Thats all for now, I think. Once I get the invitations all put together, I will scan one to show you. They really do look nice.

~Amalia~

Saturday, April 14, 2007

04/05/07




Vacation!

My "spring" vacation started a day early as the second major April snowstorm dropped a good 12" on the ground, causing school to be cancelled. Originally we just had a two hour delay, so I figured I'd probably better go to school. I cleaned off my car, made it out of the driveway and followed a plow truck for about five miles when my principal called to say that they had gone ahead and cancelled school. I turned around and headed back home, relieved I wasn't going to have to drive forty miles on back country roads. I felt even better when I got home and did two loads of laundry, washed the dishes, cleaned the counter and did general pick up - all before breakfast! Of course, I didn't do much the rest of the day, but at least my morning was productive.

Bear and I went to Bangor today to get the stuff for invitations. It was a bit problematic to figure out what exactly I needed (I totally forgot that I am going to have to cut the paper, so either I have to buy a paper cutter or go to school one day next week to do it there), but I did get most of it. We went to Office Depot to get envelopes and got plain white ones with an easy-open tear-off end. They don't look like your standard invitation envelopes, but then, I'm not making standard invitations, am I? I will be creating the designs and layouts today or tomorrow, as well as the RSVP cards, and will post them as soon as I get a chance.

~Amalia~

PS I'm posting the pictures of the LAST snowstorm, finally. The pictures were taken April 5, 2007. We got ANOTHER 12" Thursday night, remember!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Batten Down the Hatches

I just learned what that clich├ęd phrase means thanks to Discovery's The Deadliest Catch. That's what I'm doing tonight, because we are supposed to get ANOTHER 6-12 inches of snow tonight and tomorrow. If you remember, the samd thing happened just a week ago. The weather man said this is the coldest April in a hundred years. Poor man. I'm sure he's sick of people complaining to him about this weather.

And you know what? This year is one of only two or three that Puxatawny Phil did NOT see his shadow. That groundhog really ought to look for a new line of work.

I'M SO SICK OF SNOW!

I doubt I'll be driving to school tomorrow, which means my vacation starts early. I should be happy about that, but I'd much rather drive to school on a nice spring day instead. Wouldn't you?

At least the sun has been shining the last two days... almost like an apology upfront for what's coming.

~Amalia~

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Intentions

I often think about what I will post on my blog as I drive to or from work. There's nothing to look at but trees for most of the drive, so it's the perfect time to think. I've been tossing around an idea to write about the saying "get over it" and how often I hear it and how deeply I am irritated by that damn phrase. I probably will post about this sometime soon, but I've realized that there is something more important I need to get off my chest.

Lately it seems that I have been somewhat ... callous, I'll say, in my treatment of Bear. I have been bitchy lately for no reason I can honestly give (I'm full of excuses, but I won't waste your time and mine). I'm irritable, I complain, I'm not satisfied by much and even when I am it's not for long, and because Bear is near me more than anyone else, he bears the brunt of my behavior. It is unacceptable, I acknowledge this. The poor man keeps thinking that something is "wrong," that I'm not happy anymore. While I may be less happy than I was a year ago (and I'm not even sure that I'm NOT), it has nothing to do with him. He's still the terrific, caring Bear that he has always been. I, however, am becomming a harpy.
Let me give you an example. I come home and grumble that there are chores to be done. I do some chores, grumble some more. Bear gets home, and I grumble that I am doing chores while he checks his email. Then I grumble about dinner. Either I don't want to cook it or I don't know what I want, or I want him to cook me something while I sit on my butt. This goes back and forth a while. Then I grumble because I have to exert energy to cook myself something to eat. Bear and I eat dinner quietly, then play a game or watch t.v. I grumble that I get no exercise (while my recumbant bike collects dust in the corner). I make snippy little comments out loud, which Bear takes as criticism and objects to (rightfully). I pick a fight with Bear because I am pissy, so everyone else should be, too. bear reacts by pulling away, and I object to that... and on and on it goes. Bear, bless him, has been trying to end the cycle whenever he can. Last night he asked nicely for me to stop, to cuddle and regain some semblance of a loving environment. I was a petulant child and refused. It's a cycle I repeat every day, and even though I see it, I don't stop.

Well, that ends today.

Seriously. What the hell am I thinking? No one should be forced to endure my child-like behavior. I can't even stand it! What happened to the fun, interesting girl I used to be? The one who said yes once in a while instead of just no, no, no? I miss her. I'm sure Bear does, too. So, I've decided I'm going to be more positive from here on out, dammit. I'm going to stop taking my negativity out on people that don't deserve it, while at the same time bringing back the joi de vivre I used to be so full of. To that end, I've created a secondary blog called It's a Beautiful Thing, a blog dedicated to all the beautiful, cool things that happen each day (it's based on Clare's 3BT blog). Many of those things will deal with Bear, because, well... he's beautiful and cool and worth blogging about. I hope you'll check it out, and I hope you'll call me on any bitchy behavior I exhibit in the future. Thanks (in advance) for your help.

~(the old) Amalia~

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Borrowing

If you have looked at the list of favorite blogs to the left of your screen, you may have seen the blog Three Beautiful Things. It is written by a British lady named Clare who posts every day. Each post consists of three beautiful things she has seen that day. Most of the time, these things are quite simple - for example, one recent post mentioned a cup of tea her father made for her. I've been thinking a lot recently about creating a new blog where I write my own 3BT. Ideally it would consist of photos, but realistically, I know that probably won't happen. I bet I could post pictures once a week, though. Maybe on Sunday? I'd like to have a reason to get outside more, to use my camera more, to DO more each day.

But would people read it? Clare does a great job with her blog, I can't imagine anyone wants to read a similar blog. I guess I'm plagued by indecision. What do you think? Would blogging three beautiful things from Maine each day interest you? What about the photo idea?

~Amalia~

PS As promised, I will post pictures of the freak snow storm tonight.

Monday, April 09, 2007

One Week to Go!

April vacation is right on the horizon. I have only to make it through this week, and then I have twn blissful days of sleeping in, reading, spring cleaning and more. I enjoy my job and I love my students, but it will be really nice to have a break from them. I did have a mini-break from them this weekend, as it snowed almost a foot and a half on Wednesday and Thursday! There was no way I was going to make it to work on Thursday (despite my district NOT calling off school), so I didn't go. Of course, that meant I had to snowblow the driveway, which was less than fun. I pulled several muscles and swore more than I have in years, but I cleared enough of the driveway for Bear to drive in. I have photos, I will post some tomorrow.

Friday Bear, Snake, Blondie and I all went to the New Hampshire Reptile Expo. We piled into a van and drove down Friday afternoon, then chilled at the hotel. The next morning we arrived at the expo. I've been to Maine's reptile show, but this one was MUCH cooler. There were a lot of animals at this one that there weren't in Maine, mostly due to Maine's restrictive species list (there are a lot of animals you can't have in Maine). I got to see tarantulas, geckos, chameleons, salamanders, tegus, tree frogs, crabs, over a thousand snakes of different types and colors, and even an alligator! It was only a month old, and the vendor let me hold it. The alligator was definitely a high point. Bear and I went there sort of half-looking for a new crested gecko, but of all the ones we saw, we didn't find one we liked the looks of. Crested geckos, if you aren't aware, are terribly cute things. See for yourself here.

The trip had no major mishaps aside from Snake's snoring (he was so loud that sleep wasn't a possibility). Blodie made a couple of off-hand remarks that kind of "yanked my chain" as the expression goes, but I tried to shrug it off. More than anything her whining, baby-like behavior gets on my nerves. I don't know how Snake does it. I just kept reminding myself that she isn't my girlfriend, and that I can put up with her for one weekend if I have to. (Just one quick rant: she FREAKED out Friday night at the idea of walking around the expo by herself - crying, carrying on, everything - but within twenty minutes of actually being at the Expo, she was wandering all over the place by herself with no problems at all.) She is going to college in Connecticut this fall, and while I'm sure we will all miss her, it will be nice to have just "grown-ups" around for a while.

Wedding invitations are being created and mailed out next week during vacation. We are buying the materials this weekend - wish me luck! I'll let you know how it works out.

~Amalia~

Monday, April 02, 2007

An Early Wedding Present


This weekend, Bear told me that he was going to buy my wedding present and give it to me now. I have to admit that initially I was suspicious. Why would he give it to me early? Was it a naughty nightie or something he wanted to try out right then? It wasn't a porno, wasn't? I admit to watching the occasional Jenna flick, but I didn't want one as a wedding gift! Hell of a story to tell at your bridal shower, don't you think? Not really. Hmm. what else then? Membership to a gym so I'd quit complaining about my lack of weight loss? The closest gym is about fourty miles away, so that wasn't it, either. I've had my fill of invitation books, wedding how-tos and bridal magazines, so I was hoping he didn't buy that, so... I was stumped.

We took our usual trip to Bangor on Saturday, and he dropped me off at Borders while he got my present. I spent the twenty minutes or so perusing the romance, fantasy and literature aisles. I was too keyed up about my new present to really concentrate, though. Bear called me before I was in the M's of the Literature section and I ran out to the car. In my seat was not one, but TWO mp3 players! He'd gotten me an iPod and a Samsung, and said I could choose which one I wanted. He remembered that my old mp3 player doesn't work any more and thought I deserved to be treated to a new one. I chose the Samsung (mostly because I hate iTunes), and we took the iPod back. I love it! It's purple, about the same size as the nano, and holds 2 gigs of music. I can record voice, store movies and photos... it's pretty awesome.

And you know what? I would never have bought it myself.

Bear sees what no other boyfriend ever has: that I will treat other people many times before I will treat myself. I so love to make him happy, for example, that I buy him whatever clothes, gadgets, or books that he wants/needs. I, however, rarely do the same for me. I have one pair of black work shoes, and they are four years old. It's so easy for me to say, "no, you shouldn't buy that, you could pay bills with that money," when it's something for me. but when Bear (or anyone else I've dated) looks at me with that, "Aww, please" expression, I can't say no. In the past, that has been used against me. I've been told more than once that I need to learn to say no. The great thing about Bear is that he makes sure I get spoiled a bit, too.

I love him!


In other news, family members have gotten together to outvote me - the swatch invitation is the one we're doing. Thanks for everyone that voted for the thumbprints (I think we may use the thumbprint heart on the outside envelope). There is just so much information to get through, the swatch invitation works best. Bear had to promise to help me with them, so we'll see how it goes. When I have one finished, I will scan it for you.

~Amalia~