Thursday, November 10, 2016


Hair update!
I finally got my haircut, for the first time since April.  I was growing a serious mullet.  Now its shorter in the back and long on the sides.  Pretty much close to what my hair used to be, ya know, before all that silly hair-loss madness!  Yeay, normalcy.

So the past couple days have been irrationally dramatic.  I'm definitely among the 49.7% of Americans that think the country is officially CrazyTown.  As I was stomping around the house and throwing a temper tantrum on post-election day I realized:  when did I become so...."OLD"!?  Me?  Yelling about politics, before 7am on a Wednesday?!

I started thinking about this transition to oldness.  When did it happen....

Well, I....

1.  got married.

2.  turned 30.

3.  got a new job.

4.  was faced with the possibility of terminal illness.

5.  changed careers.

6.  became a homeowner.

7.  listen primarily to talk radio in my car.

8.  discovered mushrooms are among my favorite things.

9.  require a mug of caffeinated warm beverage at all times in order to function.

10.  shudder at the thought of staying out past 9:30pm.

11.  became thoroughly disgruntled with politics.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Glitter Cocoon

Yea, I haven't written in awhile.  I've had various blog topics brewing in my head recently:  the black lives matter movement, the election, and a response to a breast cancer article that I read.  But I'm not in the mood for any of those serious topics at the moment.

So instead, I will share a collection of "this is me" pictures I've collected off the world-wide web recently.

                                               cocooning on said couch ----->

I'm currently killing time before a concert tonight.  I'm snacking on a "Tasty Tater" juice (sweet potatoes, pineapple, and lime).  It might be the most delicious and beautiful juice I have ever enjoyed.  It is the color of the sunset.  

And, current hair pic (I haven't had a haircut since April...).  This is 15 months post-chemo:

Friday, September 2, 2016

Livin' the dream

Labor Day Weekend has always been such a huge milestone and much needed break from all the back-to-school craziness.  Now, although I will always appreciate a three-day-weekend, I am just like, oh cool, instead of feeling like oh-thank-god-I-can-sleep-for-72-hours-straight.

My new job is awesome.  For the following reasons:
1.  I am totally relaxed.   I don't think I've ever been this relaxed in my adult life, EVER.
2.  I may use the restroom at regular intervals of my choice.
3.  Its Labor Day Weekend, and I am not sick.
4.  I'm super hydrated.  I have time to drink coffee/tea/water regularly, instead of running my mouth all the time.
5.  I haven't done a single bit of work in my evenings or weekends (excluding concerts, of course).
6.  I travel between 3 buildings, so I have jam-time with my car radio throughout the day.
7.  NW is one of my buildings!  I'm super glad about that.  I love getting to stay in regular touch with my friends there.

1.  The old me:
       The new me:
        It feels WRONG!  But its right.  My super-boss actually gave me a special project, so if I find myself with a chunk of unoccupied time (which happens regularly with building schedule changes and other unexpected academic things), I can work on that and be occupied.

2.  Particularly at NW, having previous relationships with many of those students, I'm floundering on where my line is.  I'm not the teacher anymore!  It is not my job to direct kids.  But I find myself in situations where I am tempted to intervene with student behaviors, and when I do, sometimes it backfires.  Yes, I am not the teacher, and it is no longer my job to be in charge of them.  But it is unrealistic to think that I can be an adult in a school building and never find myself in a situation where I will need to provide positive adult guidance to a student.  I'll figure out the balance, I'm sure.  
Today, the choir teacher pointed out to the students how I'm an extra set of eyeballs in the room, and the student exclaimed "I don't care about her.  I don't even know her.  She's not my teacher."
True story, bro.  But that doesn't mean I'm not going to see you, really SEE you, try to telepathically send you better choices, and that if given the opportunity, have an exchange with you about acting like you have some sense in this world.  Its no longer my responsibility to deal with you.  But I WILL see you.
Bleh.  Its sticky.
But the good part about it - I get to leave and not deal with it.

3.  NW again - its awkward seeing the band and orchestra students.  Although I love when they approach me, and give hugs, and I ask how they are, it is a tad uncomfortable.  I don't wish to cause any problems for the new teacher next door in my old classroom.  

In other news, my side job pet sitting has been AMAZEBALLS.  I'm currently in love with a cat who lives in this gorgeous home near campus.  He lets me pick him up and snuggle snuggle snuggle!  I also visited a house with FOUR super-awesome, adorable, happy, lovable dogs last week.  Three big ones and one small one.   They all believed they are lap dogs, if you can imagine Heather-Dog-Pile.  Wow, it was tough to get in and out of there in 30 mins.  But THEY WERE SO MUCH FUN!  

So, yep.  Livin' the dream.  Professional music maker and animal snuggler....

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Smushy, Eustress, and WWND?

Awwww....summertime bliss.  Welp, my NW past-co-workers all went back to work today.  Meanwhile, I slept in until 9:30am.  Caught up on the Bachelorette and Jimmy Fallon.  Ate a leisurely lunch at 3pm at an all-time fave: Terrebone Po'boys cajun cafe, and then wandered over to the library where I'm currently parked.  I'll have a leisurely dinner later at home and then when Superman gets home from his day/evening of work with army AT, I'll tag along with him and army friends to see a late showing of Star Trek.  Of which I would've been like, NOPE, if I was back at work.  But now I'm, YEP, cuz: #summerlovin.  I've been carrying nightowl hours anyway, with the musical going on.

Despite feeling mischievously satisfied that I didn't go back to work today, my heart is feeling smushy.  My co-workers/friends, and my students...I will miss them.  But I also imagined how I would feel if I'd gone to work there today, and it was not good.  It solidified the rightness of my decision that this was the right thing to do.  No one should go to work feeling the way I would've felt today.  A completely different dimension than the normal IIIIII-Don't-Wanna-Work-I-Just-Wanna-Bang-On-The-Drums-All-Day.  It was definitely time to move on.

I saw this article the other day, and it definitely spoke to me:
Teachers: Move On Before You Burn Out

Especially this part:
I'm walking away knowing that new, fresh personalities will bring something else to the table, things I could never do, and that's good. After all, if more time had gone by, I predict that I would have burned out, and then the kids would have been happy to see me go.

I can tell that this is going to be my line of thoughts for awhile, as I reflect and ponder my changes.  Its going to be a touchy subject: abandoning my profession, and feeling like a quitter/failure.  But also all things education makes my entire system go BLECK!  The job of teaching keeps getting harder, and the political climate keeps getting weirder.  I mean, its no wonder I said PEACE OUT, and somehow managed to change my career path to 1. playing piano and 2. hanging out with other people's pets.  Score, on that one.  For realz.

(I started pet sitting for Lawrence Pet Friends.  I've almost finished training and do my first SOLO visits later this week!)

I've become interested in the topic of Distress vs. Eustress recently.  I've always strived to achieve this middle ground of busy but not too busy, and finally found the word for it:  Eustress.   My explanation for my current career choices have been followed up with "I need less stress in my life."  Which is true.  But, more accurately: I need different stress in my life.

I think our politicians and decision-makers could benefit from studying this concept of distress vs. eustress.  I'm willing to bet that most teachers live in the realm of far-right-distress 9 months out of the year, and the ones who don't are either super-humans, or they have discovered Work-Your-Proper-Duty-Day and are coping with the hard reality that you just won't be enough and you will never be 100% effective at your job.  Ugh.  Doesn't that suck?  That teachers have to cope with the reality that your success rate will be terrible, and then society will blame you for the failure.

Speaking of politics:
This is not something I do.  Ever.  Comment on politics.  I'm usually not aware enough.  Not smart enough.  But this is MY BLOG...Its my party, I'll do what I want to.  I mean, there was this one time in college I went on this coffee-date-thing with a guy I met at a friend's party.  The hour was going very pleasantly with mild-to-healthy interest on both parts until he brought up, oh I can't remember how...maybe a silly-date-get-to-know-you question like, "if you could have coffee with anybody in the world, who would it be?" and he said: Nelson Mandela.  And I said: who?
I was just THAT OBLIVIOUS.  I know who Nelson Mandela is now.  I made sure to find out, because that truly was an atrocity, and I don't blame the guy for being a jerk and expressing his distaste that this is what the world had come to:   music majors not knowing Nelson Mandela.
But anyway, a friend of mine posted this today, and I couldn't help going: YEP.  ALL OF THAT.

Imagine you're on a commercial flight and find out that the pilot and co-pilot have both died suddenly and simultaneously. The plane is on autopilot at present, but someone needs to assume control eventually to land it. It turns out that there's a retired airline pilot seated in first class. He just retired two years ago, but continues to fly a small personal plane as a hobby. He's flown commercial jets very similar to the one you're currently in; many times. He has thousands of successful flights on his record. The only rub is that he's had two drinks during the course of the flight. Given the reputation of drinking problems in pilots, several passengers begin to suggest that he must clearly be an alcoholic as well. He's not an alcoholic, mind you, that's just what several other passengers are suggesting. Hell, let's go so far as to say that someone recognizes this guy as a pilot who crash landed a plane 6 years ago in an accident that resulted in the deaths of four passengers. He was not charged with negligence or any other crime, and continued to have a successful flying career after this crash, but it was a big story for a while. He is, however, the only pilot on the plane.
Given these concerns, another passenger in first class offers up his willingness to fly the plane. He's a 21 year old college student with no flying experience whatsoever. What he does have, however, is a LOT of experience playing video games. Not flight simulators, mind you, just typical video games, like Call of Duty, but since these require "hand eye coordination" he's sure that his skills will translate perfectly to the successful flying and landing of a commercial airplane. Additionally, he is very, very confident in himself. He guarantees that not only can he land the plane, he will land it better than any plane has ever been landed. Ever. It's gonna be so great. Oh, by the way, prior to the announcement of the pilot/co-pilot's deaths, this dude had spent the first hour of the flight being a loud, obnoxious ass, and sexually harassing the flight attendants. And since the announcement of the current situation he's been loudly screaming into the PA that everyone is going to die a horrible, fiery death if they don't immediately let him into the cockpit to make this flight safe again. He's really scaring the children.
This is the choice in front of us. On the one hand we have an individual with an extensive political background that includes successes and failures. Most importantly, however, she is capable of doing the job. You may not like her, you may not trust her, and you may feel she represents more of the same, but at least she has a base of experience sufficient to translate into performing as President of this country. On the other, we have someone who is an insufferable, pathologically narcissistic possible sociopath, who, most critically, has no experience whatsoever doing what he's asking us to let him do. All signs indicate that there is no chance he can successfully carry through with his claims. Moreover, the consequences of his ineptitude are not insignificant. Rather, he will almost certainly make mistakes which will spell utter disaster for all of us.
Stop pretending this is even a choice at all. It's not.
Its clear who the people are in this analogy, and the one scaring children was also talking trash on teachers last week and reportedly, from his own mouth, punched his teacher in the face when he was in 2nd grade.  His music teacher, btw.

Sigh.  A successful person in my mind is a person who:  1. does their best.  2. is nice to people.
That man is not a nice person, and acts like a complete idiot, which makes me think he must BE an actual idiot.
So, NOPE.  Can't even.


Nelson wouldn't vote for him.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016


I've spent the day doing my favorite favorite things.  I finished my first book of the summer.  Yoga.  Thai food (Chicken Mango Curry, my absolute favorite!).  Library.  Coffee shop.  Iced coffee and computer time.
I've got a mildly busy summer ahead of me, but I'm also glad for these couple weeks of almost no scheduled activities.  (A couple weeks is the perfect number, because if I go longer than a couple weeks with nothing to do, things get weird.)
At the end of June, I'll be going on a roadtrip with Superman to visit friends in Minnesota.  Then, we are going to Chicago for my birthday.  Perks of an Army Wife. :)  He's gigging there for the 4th of July, and I'll be tagging along.  Woot!  I love Chicago!  Then I'm playing a musical at Topeka Civic Theatre (The Little Mermaid!) for the month of July and part of August.  (I love musicals, and its been way too long since I was apart of one!!!)  Somewhere in there, I hope to get offered the part-time pet-sitting job I applied for, and will be doing training for that.
And then it will be time for school!  I'm excited about the piano accompanist gig.  I know its somewhat of an odd career change, but I'm thrilled. 
I don't have that impending-doom feeling that I always get when I think about the summer ending.  I'm not spending my time prepping curriculum like I've done the past several years on my summer afternoons.  Instead I'm exclusively reading books and drinking coffee. 

Every once in awhile I think about how I'VE QUIT TEACHING, and it makes me feel weird.  This has been my identity for almost a decade.   A couple years ago, a friend of mine also took that leap, and I felt horrified inside, thinking "I could never do that!  Its too much apart of who I am.  There's nothing else I care about." 
It still makes me feel weird.  But I know this is right.  I scroll through education articles in my newsfeed, and read and hear friends talking about teacher-stuff, and I'm just left with a shell of disgust for the profession.   I just can't even.
I think about all the complex issues that went into my decision, and I realize the most influential one is contributed to "a bad class".  Every teacher has had them.  But mine Broke Me.  They started out as a great class.  They were amazing and I was so excited about their future.  They were quick, funny, kind, curious, skilled, coachable, resilient, and then somehow over the course of 2 years, under my supposedly-exemplary teaching, they became the most difficult human beings I have ever had to be in charge of.  And because they broke me, it was time for me to go.  I have lost all desire to ever be in charge of another human being ever again.  I will never forget that feeling of animosity that permeated my classroom everyday for a year due to a horribly bad combination of personalities, and resentment directed at me for not tolerating it.  As if the rest of the challenges weren't enough to stress a person out.  I just had enough.  Broken.

Maybe the broken teacher inside of me will heal someday and I'll go back to it.  Or maybe I won't.  Because this feeling I have sitting here, and I'm NOT experiencing soul-crushing dread at the thought of starting a new school year, is extremely convincing. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Life is good today!

I've experienced a lot of awesome things/changes in the past couple weeks.

1.  My House
Omg.  We moved in over memorial day weekend.  I.  Love.  This.  House.  By far the best purchase I have ever made. EVAR!!!!  There was a time there that I was worried we were going to lose it.  We made all our moving plans, and gave our notice on our rental and were scheduled to move out, and then this thing happened that was maybe going to screw all that up.  And as close as 5 days before the move, we were uncertain about having a place to move into.  And then everything worked out.  It was always fine.  I just worry way too much!
On our move in day, Superman and I happened to have tickets to the Zac Brown Band concert (his belated birthday present).  So we spent all day moving WAY TOO MUCH STUFF (time to purge!), and then dragged ourselves to the concert.  Totally worth it.  Zac Brown blessed our new home with his positive life messages.  And we ran into a friend, someone I'm convinced is my guardian angel.  (She was absolutely essential to my 2015 recovery.)  Took that as another blessing on our new home.

And I keep finding awesome surprises in our house.  There were the big perks we knew about before we signed.  And then little perks: like the glow in the dark stickers on our bedroom ceiling (not tacky ones), ones that look like we are sleeping under the stars; the heater in the master bathroom; the mudroom for the dogs; the awesome kitchen cabinets; the dimmer lights on most of the lighting.  The little things are important to me.  Its clear that we bought this house from good people.  Karma is real.

2.  My Job
I gave my notice at Northwest Middle School and I'm leaving teaching, perhaps for just a little bit, or maybe forever.  Not sure yet.  I have transferred, effective in August, to the Piano Accompanist position at F.L. Schlagle High School for the vocal music department (and 1 or 2 other schools, yet to be determined).  Its an hourly position.  Almost full time.  Full time benefits.  Sometimes irregular hours, depending on if its concert season or not.  I am thrilled to be using my music degree, and continue doing classroomy things but without all the responsibility.  I might absolutely love it and do it for awhile!  With my new free time and less responsibility, I am pursuing re-opening my private lessons studio, maybe doing dog-walking/in home pet-sitting (phone interview next week), and I'm researching freelance writing opportunities (not that I'm qualified to do that, but I'm reading up on it...!)  I went through quite a bit of turmoil making this decision, but after all was said and done, I have an intense feeling of RELIEF, and I know this is the right thing for me.

3.  Two more days of school left.
It has been bittersweet.  The staff and students of Northwest literally contributed to saving my life in 2015.  There are people and things that I will miss so much.  There are other people and things that I will not, hence the above relief.
I had my concert scheduled for last week and we ended up canceling due to the severe weather that evening.  It was a metaphor of my time there.  All prepared and organized and then forces beyond my control prevented the desired outcome.

So, I'm feeling incredibly lucky for all these changes as I sit on my amazing deck typing this post.  Life is good today!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


I have my good health (and intend to stay that way).  I am employed.  I'm in a loving marriage and have a wonderful family.

But there are other obstacles in need of removal.  So I will turn to Ganesha.  He was splendid the last time I needed an obstacle removed!!

Acceptance, Gratitude, and Healing.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Eye of the Storm

I feel like I'm sitting in the eye of a hurricane right now.  Everything is going crazy around me, and I'm in a holding pattern in the middle.

I was offered the job.  I'm on the cusp of accepting it.  There are sensitive and complicated variables involved in the timing.  I want to make sure I'm doing right by myself, my superman, and my workplace.

I went to yoga last night, and the complete stranger who was sitting next to me at the end of the class said "I don't know what you're going through, but I can assure you its going to be alright."

I had to physically restrain myself from laughing out loud, but instead smiled and said thank you and ran the other direction (and then awkwardly stood with her at the cross-walk).  If I go too long between yoga classes, I tend to spend the entire time with silent tears running down my face.  Its really weird.  And I'm not like sad or mad or any typical reason to cause waterworks.  I'm just OVERWHELMED and haven't done a good job of keeping myself BALANCED.   Ug.

Hopefully resolution is coming soon.

I had a conversation with superman last night regarding how I run and hide from my problems when things are difficult.  It further supported that I'm making the right decision.  I need to be happier.  I need less conflict in my life.  I need a job that resonates with my natural state of being (not disciplining teenagers.  you can't avoid conflict when you are in charge of a classroom.)  I don't know what I envision for myself with this position.  It could just be temporary until I figure something else out, or it could turn out to be really great and I do it longterm.  I do know, I am excited about using my degree to make music and still doing classroomy type things, but without all the crap.  I can't continue to do what I'm currently doing any more.

The conversation with superman prompted me to look up INFJ pictures on pinterest all morning.  These were my favorites:

Gratitude, Acceptance, and Healing.  I am grateful that I have the ability to change the things that are no longer acceptable, and contribute to a lifetime of healing.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Week

The internet is plastered with appreciation for teachers.  At work, we are all receiving staff gifts.  Lunches.  Ice Cream parties.  Roaring words of praise.  These things are all awesome and definitely appreciated...


.....this -------->

I understand the problem originates from elsewhere.  I'm just annoyed, deep down inside, past the surface of gratitude.

Well, I have a job interview/audition tomorrow.  I'm nervous.  Decision-making time.

Then, to make matters worse, a job posted earlier this week that:
1.  Is outside of the classroom, but still in education
3.  A position devoted to fixing the things in the above yellow box
4.  In the town where I live
5.  Would be a pay raise.  (Woot!)


6.  application materials will not be reviewed until May 16.

So what do I do!!!??  I'm hopeful of getting a job offer by the end of the week.  *crossing fingers*  But do I ask them to wait while I see if I'm contacted regarding the other thing?  Two weeks is an excessive amount of time to wait.

#adulting is so hard.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Elephants leaving the circus

I came across this funny video about the teacher's work week.  It makes you chuckle.  Its also super accurate.

Teachers bond over this mentality.  

As I watched the video, I found myself thinking:  soooooo 6.5 days out of the week, teachers are either mad or sad?  Waaaaaaaaat?    Wake up call!

But then, on the other hand, I'm thinking to myself:  adulting is hard.  Sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do.

On the other other hand:   Life is too Short to be unhappy.  We should all be doing what makes us happy.

On the other other other hand:  but dreams are for young people.  Reality is for adults, especially when it comes to making money and paying the bills and supporting your family.  Grow up!

I feel immature thinking that I can just quit my job and choose whatever I want to do.

And then I heard a story on the news this morning about elephants leaving the circus.  I couldn't help, in that moment considering all my different hands, to see a metaphor in that.


I have a job interview on Thursday:  one of two responses I've gotten from 15+ submitted resumes (I also received 2 rejection emails today).    If I'm offered the job, I'm prepared to take the leap and leave teaching in the name of happiness and less stress.  It'll be a huge pay cut.  But, its time to take care of me.  No more bull hooks.  Eat some high-quality hay and local produce, go on occasional walks, and possibly pull old tricks...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Resume Distribution

Alright.  I've sent my resume to a BUTTLOAD of positions in the past 2 weeks.  Basically spending all my free-time searching and filling out applications.

International Student Advisor
Strategic Communication Coordinator
Library Information Specialist
Library Clerk
Library Youth Information Specialist
Online Editorial Assistant
Youth Services Librarian
Piano Accompanist
Internal Communications Manager
Site Manager, Recruiting Programs
New Teacher Pipeline
Marketing Content Writer
Technical Writer
Freelance Writer

Wanna know how many replies/interview requests I've gotten?:
1.   Dog-walking/Pet-sitting.

And there is currently one middle school band opening in the area.  Am I dumb not to apply for it?  Am I allowing a sour situation to overcome my judgement?

Am I living in a fantasy land that I can be choosy about what kind of job and environment I work in?

*head exploding*

I'm going to turn to my phone's photo library for inspiration and morale-boost.  (Whenever I see something that resonates with me online, I save it for later!)

Random Throwback.   GUYS!  LOOK HOW LONG MY HAIR IS.

In other news, the house front is going swimmingly.  Inspections are scheduled for next week.  Home loan details are being solidified with no issues.  Yeay!