What Kind of Mood Are You In Today?

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Remember

There are probably hundreds of thousands of bloggers posting today about 9/11 and those who are writing those blogs most likely experienced it themselves.  

I'm not offering a riveting story about my day on September 11th 8 years ago, because I don't.  
I do not write because I have an incredible perspective, because I don't.
I do not write because I think that I have anything of worth to say about 9/11, because I don't.

I am only writing because I remember.

Forgive me if some of the events are out of order.  It's been awhile.

The alarm went off to the radio.  They were saying something about an airplane crash.  I snoozed it.

Travis' alarm went off also to the radio and they said something about 2 planes crashing.  I didn't nudge him to snooze it.  Two planes in just a few minutes?  Something is wrong here.

I leaned over to Travis and said, "Honey, I think the radio said something about two planes crashing."  He turned on the TV.

And there was the story unfolding minute-by-minute on live TV.  Not only had two planes crashed, but they crashed into the towers.  Terrorists were not confirmed just yet, but there just couldn't be any other explanation.

Oh my gosh.  Terrorists.  Here.

My father-in-law was staying with us.  He is an early riser.  WAY early.  I went downstairs to tell him what was going on.  We rushed up the stairs together.

There we sat, my husband, my father-in-law, and I, utterly speechless.  We just kept watching the images of the planes crashing again and again and again.  ...and again.

I grew tired of watching this and headed downstairs again to start making my husband's lunch.  My father-in-law came down and we just talked in disbelief, not really having much to say, but being people who process through words, we couldn't just keep silent either.

My husband came running out of our room and hollered down the stairway,

"They got the White House!"

Now, my husband was in such disbelief of what was going on that he misspoke.   Who can blame him?  Once my father-in-law and I ran up the stairs, jaws dropping, we heard that it was the Pentagon.

I didn't feel any better.  The military headquarters.  They attacked it, too???!?

This is when the nervousness really set in.  How many more planes were there?  Are they heading for the West Coast?  (We live on the West Coast.)  What's next?  How will we know when they are finished attacking?  Really, how many more planes are there?

And then another plane went down.

It went down in a field.  We all know the story of the heroic passengers of Flight  93 and the last words anyone else besides those on the plane heard, "Let's roll."  Of course, at this point all we know is that another plane crashed in a field.  The rest of the story would unfold in the hours and days to come.

And then the images of "Ground Zero" began to stream in.  Images that never should have been aired, too gruesome to write about.  It's utterly shameful the things that were aired that day.  I suppose equally as shameful is the fact that I watched it.  What is it about us that makes us scope out every highway accident...or watch people die on live TV?

The most vivid memory I have is the live video of when they told George Bush what had been going on in our country while he was reading to elementary school children.  I will never forget the look on his face.  I can't really say why it had such an impact on me, but it pierced me deep inside.  Perhaps it was a mixture of compassion for what he must have been feeling and what he had ahead of him, sadness for what was going on at "Ground Zero" and fear for what would lie ahead.  Perhaps a feeling of confidence that there was a Texan in charge and you know what they say..."Don't mess with Texas!"  I know that's stupid, but whatever.  What I knew is that Texas had the death penalty and I was ready to deliver.

For my "peace-lovin'" friends, if that offends, so what.  I'm patriotic and what they did was evil.  I know it's not "Christian", but I won't apologize (at least until Judgement Day) for the fact that I wish torture and/or death on those who purposely planned that attacked on our country that day and left so many children without their mom or dad that was supposed to be home that night, telling them to do their homework, to get ready to for bed, and inform them that they're grounded for 30 years.  

Phew!  I'm getting worked up!  It's interesting how emotions can lie dormant for some time, only to resurface later.

The rest of the day was pretty much spent listening to the news while trying to do the normal routine of the day...as if it was a normal day, which it wasn't.

And there it is.  Again, I don't really have anything to say that is of any significance except...I remember.

And thank you to those who defend our freedoms today.  May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It Was Indeed a Rachael Day

Stupid buzzer!  I hate waking up!!!

Unless it's 9am or so, but 5:30am is simply too early.  So I snoozed until 6:15am.  My best laid plans for doing a load of laundry before getting the kids up, making a 3-course breakfast, and NOT doing my make up in the car were sacrificed on the alter of "I Stayed Up Too Late Last Night."  

Why do I kid myself?

Anyway, that's pretty much the start of every day.  Snooze, snooze, snooze, rush, rush, rush, drive, drive, drive, kiss the kids, get to work.  

Now, as I have mentioned before, in the morning I work part-time in the school office.  In the afternoon I teach Music. This year is my first year in my OWN classroom!  I am SO loving my classroom.  I could go on and on about all the reasons why and then start bragging on all my students, but I won't.  I'll just tell you that my classroom is in a basement.

No, they have not locked me up yet.  

It's a big basement.  There are two classrooms, a library, a computer lab, and a teachers' resource room.  The basement can be quite cold in the winter, but pretty nice in the summer...until you get 15 or so kids in the room, and then it can get warm!  There is a newly installed air conditioning/heating unit.  I usually forget all about it until the last hour of my Music work day, but today I actually remembered before any kids arrived!  I was so proud of myself.  Seeing as how the basement is cooler than other places, I simply turn on the "clean air" button to keep the air circulating and prevent overall stuffiness and the smell of B.O.  

The first class comes in.  Room is feeling great.  The kids sing, then me and the kids dance, and away the kids go.  I'm warm, but not too bad.

The second class comes in.  The kids sing, me and the kids dance, and away the kids go.  I'm hot, but then I've just been waving my arms like a mad woman directing and dancing.  Go figure.

The third class arrives.  I assemble them on the risers and begin to teach them the song.  One kid on the middle riser starts fanning himself.  

"I know!  I'm hot, too!  But the air is on, so it should get better," I say.

The kids sing, me and the kids dance, and now that same kid is sweating and looking miserable.  I'm doing the same.

"Hey, Joe (fake name).  You only THOUGHT you were hot before, huh?  I'm dying!"

Kids leave.

The fourth class arrives and it is getting just plain miserable.  I shut off the lights hoping that will help.  After all, the ceiling is only 8ft. high which makes the lights fairly close to our heads.

The kids sing, me and the kids dance, the kids leave, and now I am downright ready for a cool breeze!

I figure I might as well turn on the air conditioner.  Forget this clean air function!  

I grab the remote that I don't really know how to operate very well and look at it.  GEEZ!  It's 88 degrees in here!  

I start pushing buttons.  When I pushed one of them, the little word, "heat" changed to "cool."  Oh, dear... I did NOT!

Yup!  I had the heat turned on the whole time blowing out air at 88 degrees, the max setting for the heater!

When my last class came, I asked the teacher how to work it, she showed me, and 20 minutes later the room felt great.  

Of course, there was only 10 minutes of my day left, but hey.

Oh, but my day isn't over yet!  

Music is over, pick up the kids, go to the store, head home, do the "Do your homework...NOW!" routine with the kids, and start dinner.  Since Travis had his episode with his heart, I've been trying to fix healthier dinners.  Lentils.  Truly, you KNOW you've crossed the line into the ultra-healthy zone when you cook lentils!

I have this book called, "More With Less," and it has all these cool recipes from missionaries around the world who made great dinners with few resources.  Awesome book in this economy!  Anyway, I chose sweet-n-sour lentils.  I followed the recipe to the...well, almost to a T as I was out of onions.  I boiled them in homemade turkey broth I made a few weeks ago and froze (pats self on back), added the bay leaf, cloves...blah, blah, blah.  Did all the right stuff and then got to the very last line of the recipe...

"Serve over rice."

Oops.  I didn't make rice.  Oh, well.  I'm sure it will taste fine on it's own.

And it did.  

I pulled the salmon out of the oven, arranged it on a plate, and then decided that the cook really should get a taste before she serves it to her family!  I mean, who would let their family eat something they hadn't tried themselves, especially things like cookie dough and such.  

I grabbed a chunk of salmon, fresh out of the oven mind you, and placed it in my mouth.


It was HOT!  But worse, it was trapped in my bra!!!

Yes, it fell down my shirt, past the undershirt I was wearing, and straight into my bosom.  

And did I mention that it was HOT?

Travis ran in.  

"Can you take my iPod please?  And glasses?  Hurry!"

I then proceed to undress from the waist up until the offending piece of salmon falls to the floor.

And did I mention it was HOT?

And that is such tender skin!  I had to keep blowing on it and  it still burns slightly.

Travis, my knight in shining armor and iPod preserver, got some pictures.  Once he saw that I wasn't dying, he grabbed his camera and took some shots.  Some I allowed, others I did not and threatened him with his life or his dinner or something if he posted them.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Luckiest Person on the Planet

(Re-post.  Like a RT-repeat tweet-only longer)

I'm starting to believe that I am the luckiest person on the planet. I mean, there's Travis. My most patient Travis who is, in my not-so-humble opinion, one of the truly great men in this world. It's not until you really get to know a person that you can determine if they are great or just famous, smart or powerful. Travis may not be famous and people outside of his sphere of influence will likely never know his greatness, but mark my words-he is a great man.

And there are my kids who are undoubtably THE most brilliant and talented kids in the ENTIRE world!

But I also have a knack for forgetting my purse in various places and not having a single thing stolen.

I have been known to leave my purse just about everywhere, even in places like Burger King in a bad part of South Sacramento. And I don't mean just getting to the door and realizing I left it on the seat. No, I mean driving down the road for 10 minutes or so and realizing that I left it out in plain view in a fast-food restaurant in a bad part of town...and having to tell Travis we have to turn around...and then come back and seeing the purse just sitting there, exactly the way I left it.

Or leaving my wallet in Borders Bookstore, again in plain view, in the back of the store where every chair is taken with people reading books they don't intend to buy (or am I the only one who does that?) and then having the store manager call me the next morning, letting me know that someone turned in my wallet.

In both of these cases, not a single thing was stolen. In fact, in every instance where I have forgotton my purse, I have never had so much as a dollar or empty gum wrapper stolen. No, not even a piece of lint. Shocking, I know. Lint is in such high demand.

But the instance that makes me feel TRULY lucky is the time when I left it on top of my car.

Oh, yes, I did! Some may leave coffee, others babies, but I left my purse up there. I thought for sure that all the people honking and waving at me were mad about the way I was driving, though I couldn't figure out why. And of course, there's no way I'm going to actually look at one of these people because I don't care to actually SEE the bird and I don't really like reading lips, especially when I know that the words I'll be reading won't be family-friendly!

No, I just kept my eyes straight ahead and drove on.

We lived out near the country then. Oh, how I miss it! A mere 5 minutes down the road took us to rice fields and back roads that bumped worse than turbulence on a small aircraft in a lightning storm. Actually, driving down those roads was a lot like playing a video game. You had to drive fast (that's an unspoken rule about back roads), avoid pot holes the size of the Grand Canyon, and dodge the suicidal pheasants. You earned points by either missing the stupid birds or hitting them, depending on which version of the game you played.

I added another component to the game and that was balancing a purse on top of your car while driving fast, avoiding pot holes, and dodging suicidal pheasants. And MAN I did good because the purse stayed on top of my car the entire time!

At some point I came home and as the night wore on, I began to look for my purse.

*GASP* "Honey, where's my purse??!!!???"

"(sigh) I don't know, Rachael. Did you have money in it?"




"Credit cards?"


Travis didn't care so much about the lipstick, but he was rather concerned about the credit cards. Ok, the lipstick wasn't the most important thing to me, either, but I do admit that I was beginning to wonder what I was going to do in the morning without my favorite shade of Mary Kay lip color!

So, at this point, do we call the credit card companies or do we figure that my purse will show up just like it has every other time? Has my luck worn out or will I discover that it was on the kitchen table the whole time and we missed it all 570 searches around the house?

I don't remember if we canceled the credit cards or not. That's a lot of work when you're as lucky as me and the purse always shows up. But I do remember that Travis wasn't all that happy when we went to bed that night and I wasn't sleeping well, as I was simply so worried about my lipstick.

The phone rang.
It's 2am and the phone is ringing.
You know what that means...

and you wonder-

"Oh, no. Who died?"

Travis answered.

"Hey, I'm sorry to call so late, but is there a Rachael there?"

(Spoken like a protective husband) "Who's this?"

"John (pick your own name, I don't remember it). Does a Rachael live there?"

"What do you want?"

"Well, my friend Shawn (again, pick your own name) and I were...ummm...just-like, well, hanging out and stuff and we were driving down the highway and we found this purse."

The look of utter amazement and relief and bewilderment on Travis' face was priceless.

I, on the other hand, am still wondering who died.

"Yeah," John continued, "it's kind of messed up and all the stuff fell out of it..."

What he said next convinced me that I was indeed THE luckiest person on the planet

"...but we stopped and picked it all up.

"It was all over the side of the road for like 200 feet, but we tried to get everything we could, then we went to my buddie's house and called you."

"Okkkkkkkk?" Was Travis' reply.

"So, uh, do you want it?"

Psh! Of course! Travis made the arrangements. What they were, I don't remember at all. But what I do remember is that when I got the purse and looked inside IT WAS ALLLLLLLL THERE! Every credit card, every business card, every bit of make up-yes, even the lipstick- was all there. Well, minus a few pieces of lint. But there WERE some weeds, so that was a bonus. (weedS. plural, not the stuff you smoke!)

Can you believe it? A couple of kids not only saw a purse on the side of a small town highway in the middle of the night, but stopped, and what's more, spent a good part of their night collecting the items of this purse with nothing but a flashlight! Not to mention the fact that they were honest enough to return it!

I am THE luckiest person on the planet!

You must read Travis' post now...