What Kind of Mood Are You In Today?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Where There's Smoke...There's Rachael!

This is probably THE most embarrassing moment of my adult life.

I love my job. I really, really do! I have the privilege of not just being able to know every kid in school because I teach Music, but I also work in the main office part time and get to bandage up their wounds, give them hugs on a rough day, and clean up their vomit. Ok, that's not the best part, but after having three kids, I can handle it.

I also have some great co-workers and one day someone decided it would be fun to have a potluck. Whoohoo! I signed up for dessert and I thought it would be AWESOME to bring my chocolate fountain. Oh, yeah. This would be the talk of the day.

...Little did I know...

I went to the store the night before and got bananas, strawberries, maraschino cherries, marshmallows, Nutter Butters and Oreos. (Ohhhh I LOVE Oreos!!!) The next morning I got the chocolate, oil, fruit, and marshmallows, but as I was driving to school I realized that I had left behind the Nutter Butters and Oreos. Fortunately, I had a bit of time on my lunch break to run home and get them.

Not a whole lot of time, though, so when I returned to the school, I had to move FAST to get the fountain set up! Being a person of efficiency (hush, Travis!) I thought it would be best to melt the chocolate first. I had a Tupperware container full of it so I added some oil and stuck it in the microwave. I set it for 5 minutes and then rushed to set the fountain up.

I know 5 minutes seems like a long time, but the microwave at school was reeeeeaaaallllly slow!!! I didn't have time to go check it every minute when there was LOTS of chocolate to melt. I dashed off to the front of the office and began frantically setting up my fountain. With a little help from the P.E. teacher, it was ready for the chocolate.

I ran to the back to check on the chocolate.

Let me describe the layout of the office. When you walk into the door, my office is to your left and a conference room on the right. The conference room is where all the food was set up. If you look straight ahead, there is a long hallway that goes straight for about 30 feet, then it turns right 90 degrees. The Principal's office is on the right and just a little further down is a small room on your left. The room is about the size of a nice-sized walk in closet. Inside that room is another little room about the size of a small walk-in closet. That's where the microwave was stored. (Yeah, I'd be lost right now, too.)

So, I ran back to check on the chocolate, threw open the microwave and....OMGOSH!!! There was smoke billowing out and oh, the smell! Have you ever smelled burnt chocolate? It's worse than burnt popcorn. Absolutely disgusting.

I cannot have the entire office smelling like chocolate or everyone will be asking all day what that smell is! And remember the Principal's office is about 5 feet down the hallway and she would have to smell this the rest of the day. Not good-she's my boss! (She's a great one, though!!!) I think fast and start opening all the windows in the office. Naturally, all the teachers who are left (several had to go back to their classes) are wondering what is going on, so I frantically explain that I burnt the chocolate and I'm worried about it smelling up the office. No luck. You could smell it and IT WAS STRONG!

Someone suggested that I get the chocolate out of the microwave and put it outside. Great idea! I run back there and open the microwave again. The smoke billows out again and fills the room with the horrible odor of burnt chocolate. The teacher who followed me back there took the chocolate and headed for the front door. Being the quick thinker that I am, I see that there is a door to this little room and I think, "I better shut this door so the smoke doesn't set off the fire alarm!"

I head back to the front of the office and explain to everyone that dessert will be served without chocolate. Bummer. :( But everyone made the best of it, laughing about the incident when all of the sudden I hear something.

"What is that sound?" I say.

Everyone looks up with a quizzical look on their face. The room goes silent. My eyes grow as big as the marshmallows and I ask...

"Is that the fire alarm?"

Everyone who is seated shoots up and that's when it hit me...there's a smoke detector in the microwave room, too!!! It's a school- there are smoke detectors everywhere!

There everyone goes. What teachers were left in the room had students who were on the playground. They run out to the yard to help the yard supervisor assemble the kids. I run to the back room and open the door, then head out myself to the back of the parking lot. As I'm walking out, there is a steady stream of children in silent, straight lines and teachers trying to keep a straight face. Some were trying not to laugh, but others looked a bit frightened.

You see, it was nap time for preschool. Not that we would never do a fire alarm during nap time, but it's not like it's the most favored time to do one. The teachers do not know when a fire drill will be, but they know it's nap time and can't help but wonder if this is the real thing. As my daughter told me later, "Mom, (name of teacher) was a lot faster on the fire drill today!"

I'm dying of embarrassment and feeling really bad that I woke up a bunch of preschoolers who would likely not go back to sleep after this. To make matters worse, a parent pulls into the parking lot and sees everyone filing out. I'm really hoping this parent thinks it's just a fire drill!

Once the children are all assembled, it's customary for the principal to tell the kids how quickly they made it out, gives them an 'atta boy/girl for coming out so quietly, then turns off the alarm and everyone heads back to class. Not this time. Everyone had to wait until the fire alarm shut off on its own before returning to class and this didn't happen in the first 5 minutes, either.
All the kids had to sit down on the pavement and the frightened looking teachers look at the smiling teachers and are naturally wondering what in the world is going on. Oh, boy did I have some explaining to do, especially to the preschool teachers!

The alarm finally shut off and everyone returned to class, but there was no putting it behind me just yet. I went back to the office where someone suggested that I throw the Tupperware bowl away and take the microwave outside.

Somehow the Junior High kids found out what happened and news began to spread. Parents began arriving to pick up their children and some of the little ones began yelling, "MOM! MOM! We had a real fire today!" Oh, man. Now I've got to tell the parents what REALLY happened! I am SO VERY embarrassed!!!

Eventually the microwave found its way to the dumpster because the smell never did dissipate and the next time the teachers wanted a chocolate fountain, they asked me to bring it, but didn't let me melt the chocolate.

I still haven't lived it down. I think I'm going to be a legend.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Scarier Than The Fact That This is Real...

It's scary to think that I drive a car.  Scary that I leave my purse everywhere.  Scary that I drank bleach as a kid and scary to think that I'm still walking on this planet!

But scarier still is the fact that I am raising children.

...and my Rachaelness is rubbing off on them.

The video is his explanation.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Got the Flat Fixed Today!

If you remember, I got a flat tire on Tuesday, my boss put the spare on for me, and I found the spare keys to my Honda after only 4 years of owning the vehicle.

What?  Like you've never done that before!  Psh!

After dropping off my kids at school this morning, I rushed right over (as fast as a spare tire will let you rush!) to Rossi's Tire & Auto Service to have my flat fixed.

Free Advertising Time!  
I am not being paid to type this, I promise!  I have never been to a better tire store than Rossi's.  The people there are incredibly friendly and never look at me like I'm a stupid chick who knows nothing about cars and will believe them if they tell me I need 8 tires instead of 4!  I can come for an oil change any time during business hours and they always get me out of there in less than an hour.  Today they fixed my tire in 15 minutes.  Nice!  If you are anywhere near this business, seriously, go there!  It's worth it.
And now, back to our story...

I made hard-boiled eggs for my children's lunches today.  We rushed out the door, so I finished shelling the eggs and putting them in a ziplock while driving.

Not so smart.

Shelled eggs smell.  In fact, my kids used to get upset when I shelled their eggs for them because they felt so big being able to do it on their own.  But  they're over that now since the kids sitting next to them at the lunch tables don't like the smell of freshly shelled eggs.

There are two eggs left in my plastic dish that I planned on saving and as I'm driving to Rossi's Tire, I'm trying to decide what I'm going to do to get rid of the smell.

Should I put them in the glove compartment?

I seriously did think about it. But no, that would not get rid of the smell and I'd probably forget about them, which would be a bad thing in our unusually warm weather we're having right now.

Should I take them in with me?

Oh, sure.  Get the smell out of the car but smell up the entire shop!  I'm sure all the other customers are hoping that someone will come in and bless them with the fragrance of hard-boiled eggs!

Should I take them in with me, but leave them in my purse?

No, the smell would still be there and now everyone would just think I have gas.

Shoot!  What can I do?

And then it hit me...I can eat them!

Yes!  I hadn't had breakfast and this was a pretty healthy way to go.  And so, I began to shell them.  Mind you, I am only a mile away from Rossi's so there is  not much time.  I shell, pull into the parking lot, scarf down the eggs, and begin to reach for the door.

But there are still egg shells in my front passenger's seat!  I scan the lot, looking for a trash can.  There's always a trash can out front so people don't litter on the lot.  But was there a trash can?  Oh, of course not!  This is Rachael's World here!

Doggonit!  What am I going to do???  Freshly shelled eggshells smell, too!

"I'll start getting everything out of the trunk, that's what I'll do!"  So, I began piling everything that's in the trunk to the back seat.  That's when I find a roll of paper towels.  Sweet!

I wrapped up the eggshells in a paper towel, then in another paper towel, and stuck it in my purse.  Once inside, I placed it in the trash.

Perhaps not the best solution, but it was the best I could come up with.  Did the shop smell?  I don't know.  You'll have to go to Rossi's and find out.  But at least there were no other customers in the place and if the Rossi's tire employees thought I had gas, perhaps they changed their minds around noon or so when they could still smell it.

...or maybe that's worse.

Elmer at Rossi's let me have the nail I ran over.  I could have SWORN it was a bolt!!!  Then, when I showed the kids, I was POSITIVE that it was actually a screw, as I distinctly remember the phillips head.  Elmer brought me out a nail.  It had a big head on it, but it was a nail.

Personally, I think Travis called him and told him to mess with my mind.


Bump-Originally posted 8/22

As I type this post, my hit counter is at 2970. So, the contest is...

What day and what time will my hit counter reach 4420? I chose that number because $442 is what I owe Chevron, but I had to add the zero, so I'll pretend that I was being clever and say that it stands for zero cents. Although, that isn't completely consistent because I owe some cents to Chevron, as well.

Ok, ok. So I started out trying to be clever and when it didn't fit 100%, I made the rest up.

Anyway, post your calculated guess and whoever gets the closest will get a $5 Starbucks gift card!

You must enter your best guess by September 5 to qualify.  (Thank you Melissa for giving me another slap-in-the-forehead moment!)

Good luck!

p.s.  Since I forgot to post the deadline before today, those of you who guessed it would be before September 5 can guess again.  I'd like to think I'll have that many hits before then, but I don't think that will happen.  If it does, I'll double that gift card to the closest guess that was guessed at sometime before September 5, provided you really did post it before today, September 2.

Getting Cooler By the Day!

OH, yeah!  I'm SO in the "cool crowd!"

I now have a Facebook (oops, FB) group.  It's open to all.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Follow Me on Twitter

Do you tweet?

You can follow this blog on Twitter if you want to be tweeted.  I haven't figured out exactly why Twitter is so cool, but if all the cool kids are doing it I guess I will, too.


Travis has a fun, interactive post tonight.  Click here if you want to join the fun.  I did!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Got a Flat Tire Today

Look, it wasn't my fault! I know you don't believe me, but it really wasn't! I was simply driving down the road, stopped at a stoplight, began thinking deeply about...hmmmm, I don't remember, then felt someone staring at me. I looked over to my right and there was a guy in a pickup mouthing the words, "You have a flat tire!"

My eyes widened and I mouthed back, "Thank you!"

I don't know what he thought I said, but he told me again and started pointing. I nodded my head and said, "Thank you!" again and smiled. He then drove off in a hurry.

Pulled off fast.  So fast that  I wonder if he thought, "Yup! I see the sharpie eyeliner. That's her, alright! I'm outta here!"

There was a gas station just down the road and even though there are bars on all the windows and doors and I see cops there all the time, I decided to pull into the lot and air up.  

As soon as I opened my door I could hear a fast hissing sound.  Oh, this can't be good.  

I walked to the tire and-

Hey!  Wait a minute!  It's not flat!

Oh, oops.  Wrong tire.  I swear that guy pointed at the right tire.

It was my left tire and the air was slithering out like a rattlesnake with a grudge.  I'd ran over a stupid bolt!  I quickly went to grab the hose when I noticed that the hoses were cut.  DUH!  Bars on the windows!  What else could I expect?!?

Or maybe they saw me coming, I don't know.

My place of work was less than a mile away and by the time I got there, the tire was pretty much flat.  I have a great boss and he volunteered to put the spare on for me.  He said I wasn't dressed to change a tire and right there I decided that I will never wear jeans to work again!

I shoveled everything out of my trunk and Ken (my boss) dug the spare out.  I grabbed the owner's manual from the glove box, opened it, and 

Hey!  THAT'S where the spare keys are!

Travis and I have been having this debate for 4 years now about whether the dealer gave us the spare keys or not.  I was pretty positive they hadn't and Travis swore they did.  There have even been a few...discussions...about when was I going to get new spare keys since I couldn't seem to find the ones we were given (or not given!).  

And there were the keys!  Ok, Travis was right.  Well, I take that back.  I think he went to the dealer himself and planted them there.  That's my story, anyway.  ;-)   I'm just glad some stranger at a repair shop didn't find them and think to themselves, "Who in the world would carry spare keys IN THEIR CAR???!!??"  I'm so glad I don't have to answer that question because either way, the fact that I drove around for 4 years without a spare key or their supposition that I thought the glove box was a good place to store them, makes me look like an idiot and I'd hate for anyone to think that of me!  

Well, I'll be off to the tire shop on Wednesday and I won't have to worry about anyone finding my spare keys.  Where did I put those keys, anyway?

Travis is doing the happy dance on his blog tonight!

Don't Park Under the Apple Tree

My kids are now back in school and everything, homework included, is in full swing. There is even talk about the first field trip the K-2nd graders will be taking.

It's a tradition. Every year this age group goes to Gitzich Ranch where they learn about apples, apple trees, apple juice, and the adults in the group learn about buying apple pie. This field trip is often well chaperoned simply because of the apple pie.

When my daughter Hannah was in Kindergarten and Rebecca in 1st, I was crazy enough-I mean priveledged!- to chaperone this field trip. (And yes, I bought an apple pie!) I piled six kids into my infamous Expedition and had a lot of fun watching their little faces stand in awe of the...

...play house hay bales!!!

Of course it wasn't the apples!

And you never see kids so eager to eat an apple anywhere other than at an apple farm! My daughters enjoyed it so much that I decided to take my son there. He was still in preschool, so I figured I would enjoy a little time alone with my son and took him to Gizditch Ranch on my day off from work.

I had Fall Fever, big time! Apple farms will do that to you! I could smell the crisp Autumn air, I could smell the apple pie, and all that red and white gingham was stirring the Martha Stewart in me! I also had a brand new Honda Accord and driving around in something that clean was stirring up the Martha Stewart in me so bad that my hair was beginning to cover half of my face...and it didn't bother me...and I liked it! Well, I don't know if I'd go THAT far.

So, off we go, my 3-year-old and I, to Gizditch Ranch. He was so excited! His sisters had told him all about the hay bales and he was ready to experience every minute of it.

We drove the country roads, pulled into the ranch, and I began to search for a parking spot. There must have been another 500 school groups there because I was having a hard time finding a parking spot. And I'm not too great at parking, so I don't try to squeeze into those tiny parking spots that is only there because some huge monster truck took up two spots somewhere in the lineup.

But then (sound of angels singing) a minivan backed up. YES! Even if she was moving because she judged the space was too small, it should be no problem for my Honda Accord! SaaaaaaaaaWEET!
The minivan drove down the row a bit and with a smile on my face, I began to pull into the vacant spot. The minivan stopped in front of another minivan, apparantely a friend, and I caught a brief moment of eye contact with both of them. They had the strangest looks on their faces. I was smiling at my fortune, but they were looking at me like...well, like I was nuts or rude or...I don't know what!
I'm thinking, "Am I taking her spot? Was she planning on coming back and thinking that no one was going to park there while she did a little socializing? Am I being rude in some way and don't even know it?


"Ahhhhh...yes. I'm parking under an apple tree. Those are just branches. I hope they don't scratch my brand new car, though.

"Wow! Those are some seriously loud branches! I think that's going to leave a scratch."

I got out of my car, unbuckled my son from his car seat, and together we headed off toward the hay bales. Unfortunately, the hay bales were gone and it took some time, but I was finally able to convince my son that the tour through the apple trees truly was going to be fun.
And it was. And I bought another pie. And it was time to go.
We went to the car, buckled, and I began to back out.
"HOLY COW!!! Those branches are INCREDIBLY LOUD!!!"
I decided that maybe I should get out and have a look.
Those weren't branches. Rather, it was a single branch. Only a BIG one. To be more exact, it USED to be a branch. It was a branch that had been cut off and it's stump was as large around as a Christmas tree stump. It hung out a bit and I...well, I just didn't see it.
I'd like to think that perhaps I'm still as smart as the minivan driver, as it would have been in her windshield, I'm sure, so she had no choice but to see it, but I don't think Travis would have bought it. He barely bought the fact that I didn't see it!
It left a very long and deep scratch on my hood and sunroof. It wasn't pretty.
I took it to the same shop that repaird my Expedition after taking it through the car wash. Unfortunately, they recognized me and I'm not sure if the look I saw was a look of, "Oh, brother. I can't believe she's back," or "We better suck up to this one because she could bring in a lot of profit!"
The cost was suspiciously the same amount as my copay, again $1000, and since I didn't have $1000, I decided the repair wasn't totally necessary.
As you can imagine, Travis wasn't too happy that our car of 2-weeks old was already damaged and I don't know what it is about guys and cars, but he still gets a little riled when he thinks about it.
Well, here is a picture of the scratch and proof of why you should never park under the apple tree!