Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Snowmageddon 2016

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Day 8 of the Snow of 2016.  Everybody slams my county for being out so much for snow, but DANG, people, my driveway still has ice.  You should see Rachel's YARD!!!!

Anyhoo,  on Day 8, I have left the house (wearing a bra and lipstick) exactly two times

- once in a 4-wheel drive driven by hubby because he could see in my eyes that I was slowly going mad and needing a Cracker Barrel fix.

- once in my car…….. JUST BECAUSE!!!

That’s twice in 8 days.

I’ve also left the house (sans bra but still wearing lipstick!!!  Yes, I listened, Granny Jean!) a few times to venture to the mailbox and to retrieve the paper from  whatever snowbank in which she decided to sling it!!!!! 

I’ve also done the following:

1.  Netflixed - up to season 3 of 5 of a show from the 80’s that I have always LOVED, but if I tell you what it is, you will have confirmation of just how strange I am  Out of curiosity, comment what show it is below.  Not you, Billy.  You already know how weird I am. 

2.  Cooked.  See previous blog post.  Awaiting Heidi's seal of approval using stuffing instead of breadcrumbs which is TOTALLY needed!!!

3.  ATE the cooking.

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4.  Washed my hair exactly three times.  In 8 days. 
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5.  Private messaged and/or Snapchatted Annalisa and Shana inappropriate shenanigans going on!!!!

6.   READ and READ and READ and READ !!!

Here’s the current book.  

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I’m on page 65 and completely hooked.  I’ve already done the following

1.  Googled Mr. Vancey to see his other works.

2.  Added all his books to my handy little “BOOKS” list on my notepad in my iPhone.

3.  Made those little deals with myself such as…….

If I get up and clean the kitchen cabinets with Murphy’s Oil Soap, I will allow myself a steaming cup of coffee, my blankey, my two useless dogs at my feet, and 30 minutes of reading.  Ok, more like 60.

If I get up and shower and change into clean clothes, I will allow myself a hot cup of tea, 5 (or 14) pretzels filled with p-nut butter, my blankey, my two worthless dogs at my feet, and 30 minutes of reading.   Yeah, 30, right. 

You get the picture.  I’m loving this book even though it’s not my usual type of book.  I think it has to do with the fact that I became a Walking Dead fanatic because my teenage son thought I was so lame for not watching it, so I binge-watched it on Netflix until I got caught up, and now the teenage son thinks I’m so lame because “NOBODY watches that show anymore, mom.”

  Come on ladies, draw out that mooooooommmmmm just like a teenager does!!!

So, Faye, suck it up, buttercup, and venture out to the "Aliens-Taking-Over-The-Earth which freakin better wait because I still don't have my underground shelter stocked up" kind of book!!!!!!!

Anyway, back to to Mr. Vancey.   I’m also praying that he decided to leave out sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll enough that I can share it with my 
RylanMattKyraAbbieRenJustyn readers at school.  Please be semi-age appropriate, Mr. Vancey!!!  Even though the first word in The Martian was a big old “F” bomb, I hope to share this one with my reading buddies as well.

Maybe on Day 9?  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chickenspinachcheesespicy Heaven

So this little picture below is making the rounds on Facebook…….

To find the recipe, click here..

I thought it looked DEE-licious, but I was concerned there wouldn’t be enough “heat” to it, so I added a little heat - PLUS - I made it spread out to six servings!  Here’s what I did -

I bought three boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut them in half.  Using Common Core math……the result is  I have six THIN boneless, skinless chicken breasts now.  Then I took a hammer……not a Craftsman..a “kitchen” hammer to beat these six breasts one at a time in a baggie until they are begging for mercy.  Pound away - flatten those babies!!!!!!

I used fresh spinach - 5 oz package - and sautéed it in olive oil along with 3 cloves of minced garlic.   Add the pepper-jack cheese, salt, and pepper...

She's not kidding about the toothpicks.  You need a lot to seal these creatures.  If not - and trust me, I now know - you will have cheese goo leaking out onto the aluminum foil.  Now I'm all about num-nums leaking out and becoming a peel-and-eat thing off of aluminium foil- but this doesn't peel well.  Keep that gooey stuff in the breasts with toothpicks!!!!!

NOTE TO READERS - LOOK ABOVE!!!!!!  See how "a lot" is two words!?!?!?!  

To the breadcrumb and Cajun seasoning mixture, I added 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.  The next time I will use 3 teaspoons.  I’m ashamed of how amateurish I was with that one little baby teaspoon.   

The result?  Chickenspinachcheesespicy Heaven!!!!!!

Friday, November 27, 2015


Unless you have been under a rock for the past 20 years, you know this restaurant.  You know the family that you see through the window.  You know the reason that family is eating their Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant rather than enjoying a feast in the comforts of their home. 
Remember?  This scene? 
[the Bumpus hounds break in the house and raid the kitchen]
Mr. Parker: Holy smokes, the turkey!
[the old man arrives too late to see that the dogs already devoured the turkey]
Mr. Parker: Oh, my... God! You sons of - !
[the dogs leave out the back door]
Mr. Parker: [shouts, high-pitched] SONS OF BITCHES! BUMPUSES!
Remember how that turkey looked on the tile of that 1960’s tile kitchen floor.  Those hounds picked that bird down to the bone.  Nothing left.  Nada. 
 Even the dark meat was consumed!!!!!
So, the point of this post?   That’s how our turkey looked after our Thanksgiving feast.  That’s right - nothing left but the carcass!!!  We stripped that bird down to the marrow, folks.!
Sweet, baby James had to work and came late for dinner - his plate looked like chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant.  He put his gravy in a bowl in the center of his plate and surrounded it with turkey strips - dunking away in front of the Blue Bloods marathon!!!!!!  Dee - licious.
But I can take absolutely zero credit for this wonder of a bird - it’s all from my cooking heroine - The Pioneer Woman.  Click here for the most fabulous brine recipe EVER!!!!!  And, yes, there is whiskey involved.  Some of the reasons I love to cook - whiskey, bacon, butter. It’s called FLAVOR! 
 There’s a slightly different version on the Food network website.  The one I used is the 3rd one - Enjoy!!!
 Print it.
Plan for it for Christmas.
Prepare it the day before serving.
I promise - you won’t be disappointed!!!!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I'm Fine.

God bless the teacher who posted that picture above on Facebook.  It has kept me giggling for 24 hours now.  

We’ve been in school 10 weeks.  These 10 weeks have been beautiful when I’m in my classroom with the door shut.  Beautiful weeks of helping kids discover what Robert Louis Stevenson meant when he said “Here we shall meet and remember the past.”  Beautiful moments when a nonreader says they are enjoying Hounds of the Baskervilles and recently watched RDJ’s epic-failure movie, Sherlock Holmes. 

Beautiful until you leave the classroom and the students.  I haven’t blogged.  I haven’t written much.  I haven’t been an active participant in anything except planning lessons for my kids and loving on them.  That’s hard if you know my personality. 

I still absolutely LOVE teaching.  I know that.  I believe that.  I feel that.  It’s just getting kicked that makes you feel destroyed and damaged. 

Last night was homecoming at our high school.  I love going to see my babies all grown up - playing football, singing their hearts out, cheering with the crowd, dressing up in their finest to stroll across the 50 yard line and hoping for that crown - just being a teenager.  Little do they know how uplifting that is to my heavy heart. 

I had SIX - yes, I counted!!! - SIX students come up and tell me how much they miss middle school, how much they love/hate high school, and how much……….

wait for it…….

they use their interactive notebook they made in my class.  SIX kids said they still refer to it when they are reading and writing.


I have another reason to get up on Monday.  

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Dangling Modifier, Like, is a Bad Thing, Like, Right?!?!?!

I was cleaning out my photos in my phone and realized..


Here’s a funny moment that happened at the end of the school year.  You know those few days before the BIG DAY - in our little world, it’s called the TCAP test.

You know those last days..the days when you come to the conclusion that based on review quizzes you have been giving to PROVE you have been teaching your heart out for a full year are only proving that you obviously showed the movie FROZEN every single day since August.  Those days when you question WHY you are a teacher.  Those days when your students give you that hairy eyeball look that means “If you give us one more test, one more assessment, one more review sheet, I swear I’m going to   )@%&)%&#TEGJNEY)&#)&735!!!!!!!”

You’ve all had enough.  You need this to be OVER
You need summer break.  You need to stop reviewing.  You need to stop stressing.  You need to stop stressing the kids out.  You need……………..

To review dangling modifiers ONE MORE TIME.

So here I go.  Making a PowerPoint.  Making a fun little review game.  Making a fun little group project.  Making a fun little quiz. 

Cue the hairy eyeball look from the “I’m sick of the cute stuff” group.

So, we are working, working, working.  I’m cheerfully encouraging the little angels to find the dangling modifier, find the split infinitive, find the misplaced prepositional phrase, find the.. find the.. find the..

When I hear THE VOICE.  The voice that you’ve grown to love to hear.  The voice that always has the right answers.  The voice that you don’t call on very often because you know THEY got it the first time you said it.  The voice that belongs to the girl whose life will end if her average drops below a 100% in ALL classes.  The voice of reason.  The voice of knowledge.  The voice of HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The voice that says AT THE END OF THE STINKING 8TH GRADE YEAR,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

“So a dangling modifier, like, it’s, like, a BAD thing, right?  SO, like, we are looking for the, like, BAD sentence, right?  I mean, like, something called a, like, Dangling Participle is a BAD thing, like, right?”

Pardon my use of a foreign language here that is never used by a teacher ANYWHERE.


So apparently, we just had an AHA moment in which the teacher discovered that these kids made it to the end of 8th grade without the understanding that

YES, Virginia!!!!!  A DANGLING MODIFIER IS A BAD THING SO PICK THE SENTENCE WITH THE BOO-BOO, you sweet little muffin of knowledge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cue -  two bottles of wine that night instead of the standard one plus the added bonus for my husband of crying on his shoulder an additional hour on top of the standard one hour.

Now, to the picture.  Our phenomenal gym teacher decided for each grade level to make posters to hang in the gym the week before tests.  Posters of encouragement or phrases we use to remember stuff or formulas that needed to be drilled and killed.  Your standard everyday offering to the testing gods via poster and markers.  We decided that one of our motivational pictures on our ELA poster must be in reference to the “Dangling Modifier is, like, a Bad Thing, like, right?” moment that almost took Mrs. Hensley’s life.  So my artist and his helper (aka the two boys who would do anything to skip related arts) decided to draw a cat named Modifier hanging dead in a tree. 

 Cue -  the emotional 14 year old girl who immediately bursts into tears and cannot be consoled until the……

Cat is changed to a cute little feline named Modifier who is simply dangling from a tree.

Which is a, like, a bad thing, like, right?  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

"Reading Journey"

I’ve reached that age…… know..the one where you think to yourself……

I look better with a tan..It might hide “stuff”

I shouldn’t be in the sun at all - I’m too old!!!!

Usually I just get whatever tan I get from mowing or sitting on the back deck with a good book.  You must remember - I grew up in the days where everybody used baby oil and iodine!!!!!!  I love to be in the sunshine, soaking up some rays!!!!  So today, I enjoyed time on the back deck reading…………

Letters/Questionnaires from STUDENTS!!!!
Yep.  Still in teacher mode.

Here’s what I learned.

Here’s what amazed me.

Here’s what dazzled me.

Here’s what inspired me for next year!!!!!

Question 1:  What are you most proud of this year in regards to language arts?

Answer:  How much I read this year. 

Question 4:  What was the most challenging part of language arts this year?

Answer:  Reading and the book projects.

Question 6:  What helped you learn the most this year in language arts?

Answer:  Interactive Notebooks was the # 1 answer.  Reading novels was the # 2 answer!!!!!

AS A RESULT…………This READING JOURNEY that I made last year and tried my darndest to stick to will be revamped and reused and required!!!!

As I write in every student’s yearbook……..

Keep Reading!!!

Click HERE for more information!!!!