Friday, March 21, 2008

The Courtesy Wave

I don't know when it started, but it seems to be the norm to wave to acknowledge that someone has done something courteous for you when you are driving. Maybe they let you out of a parking lot, gave you their parking space, let you over on the expressway. It wasn't actually part of my driver's test and I know that my driving instructor never actually said to me "You should always wave when someone grants you a favor on the road," but I somehow knew to do it. Maybe it is some weird instinct that we have...a recessed thing that comes out in all of us as soon as we get that first driver's licence. Maybe we learn it because we watched our parents do it while we were in the car. Whatever the reason or mystery behind it, we all seem to know what it is. But lately, it seems that more and more people are not giving the courtesy wave.

I hadn't actually noticed until this weekend while I was out with a friend. She waved someone out of a parking lot and the person pulled out and never gave the courtesy wave. She made a comment about how upset it made her that the person couldn't even wave to say thanks. At first I didn't understand her frustration, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized she had every right to be upset.

If you think about it, the courtesy wave is like the thank you of the automobile world. If we give someone a gift, grant them a favor or offer assistance, we expect a "thank you" in response. If we don't get one, we tend to get upset. I know that when I was a kid if I forgot to say thank you for a gift or other treat it was promptly taken away from me. So it stands to reason that when you grant someone a favor on the road that they would say thanks...with the courtesy wave. Unfortunately, if we don't get the wave we can't take our "treat" back. Instead we get to stew over it blog about it later :-)

I think it has to do with the lack of politeness in the world in general. I know that I don't hear please and thank you very much at work from kids anymore. My mom, who works with kindergarten kids, says she has to remind kids all the time to say please and thank you. My own husband often forgets to say please if he asks me to do something (it's to the point I won't do it until he says it). It's sad that I say that but even sadder that please isn't the norm for many people anymore. It seems polite requests are a thing of the past and abrupt demands have taken their place.

Now that I think about it, it seems that general politeness is dwindling--not just the use of please and thank you. I went to Kohl's yesterday and walked in two steps behind two women. Instead of holding the door for me, the one woman just let the door slam shut...on both sets of doors. And then, when they got into the store, the both stood blocking the entry door. I don't know why not holding doors bothers me so much, but I guess it's the same reason not giving the courtesy wave upset my friend. How long does it take to give a little wave or hold a door? Not long at all...and the results of those two actions are usually positive and acknowledge that there are other people around you who help you or need your help.

Maybe the dwindling of the courtesy wave is directly correlated to the diminishing use of thank you in our society. Maybe it's just because our society is becoming more egocentric. Whatever it is, we need to make a change. So today, hold a door for someone. Offer to carry groceries, give the courtesy is time that we found those polite instincts--both on and off the road.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #10

Thirteen Things That I'm Not Fond Of...

  1. Spiders (thanks to Arachnophobia)
  2. Heights (since I was 7)
  3. Needles (not sewing ones...the ones that cause pain when they are jabbed into you)
  4. Clowns (thanks to Stephen King)
  5. Large Crowds (I think it has to do with #7)
  6. Tiny Spaces (Only for prolonged periods of time)
  7. Clutter (I am a neat freak, so this bugs me
  8. Open closet doors (I have no idea why)
  9. 48 straight hours of rain (not really, but we just got done with that so I am annoyed)
  10. Repeating myself (hazard of my profession)
  11. Grocery shopping (I don't know what my husband sees in it--he thinks it is fun)
  12. Doing laundry (why can't clothes just be disposable?)
  13. Emptying the dishwasher (especially the silverware section...tedious.)

Want to play? Join in here!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I don't know how many of you have seen the previews for the new comedy Miss Guided, but I need to vent about the whole idea of the show...

I work hard to prove that teaching is a noble, honest, and admirable profession. I work hard to make sure that my students know that there is a very THICK line between me and them and I spend so much time trying to convince people (who think my job is easy) that I work hard and am worthy of a little praise.

So what does Hollywood do? They take everything that I have been trying to instill in people and turn it COMPLETELY around. They show the principal sleeping in his car during the school day. They make school guidance counselors look like fools, and the seem to have a storyline involving how many students want to "do" the hot female teachers. In fact, one of the lines from a female teacher is "It is so cool to walk through the halls and know that all the guys think I'm do-able." Add to that the guidance counselor's dismay at the fact that she is ranked 40th on the hot teachers list.

As if the teaching profession didn't have enough to worry about. Now we have Hollywood painting us like fools. I know that some people won't understand why this upsets me and that's okay. All I know is that kids are impressionable and the last thing we teachers need is for students to think we really care where they rank us on the "hot teacher" scale.

Heads or Tails Tuesday

Today Skittles has asked us to blog about part of a house. I have to spend some time giving a shout out to my kitchen.

Before anyone thinks I've gone loco (more so than usual) I guess I should explain...When TJ and I had our first house, we had a tiny kitchen. It was cute and functional, but tiny. We had very little counter space, even less cabinet space and very little space to move around. When I say very little counter space, that's what I mean. This was the whole kitchen...the cabinets you see is what we had:

When we decided to build a new house, I knew what I wanted in a kitchen: LOTS of cabinets, LOTS of counter space and a center island. When we were cutting square footage to keep in budget, I told our builder that he better not touch my kitchen--and, in the end, that was the only room that we didn't decrease in size. In fact, now that I think about it, we may have actually gained a few feet while moving other things around. We got rid of the double oven plan and put in a HUGE cabinet pantry. People thought we were crazy to nix the double oven, but I figured I had successfully cooked Thanksgiving dinners without one before and, let's face it, that was the only time I would have ever used it.

In the end we saved a load of money by axing the double oven, we gained a ton of storage space, and we even have a little wine rack. I hadn't ever actually looked at photos of the two kitchens close to each other before, but I think you will be able to see why I am soooo much happier! In all honesty, the pictures don't really do it justice...but it's the best I've got!)

Want to play, too? head over to Skittles' Place to find out how!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jello Finding

For those of you who (like me) try to buy some health conscious items at the grocery, here is a new finding by yours truly:

Fat Free Jello Pudding 100 Calorie snack packs have 100 calories and 0 grams of fat.

The regular Jello pudding snacks have 110 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. That's all. There is a 10 calorie difference.

Weird, huh?

(And, in case you are wondering, I bought the regular ones. They really do taste much better!)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Blogger Frustration!

In the last three days I have been so very frustrated with Blogger. It won't upload photos half the time, it formats everything wrong (takes away spaces, adds them), it has locked up numerous times, and it is just generally pissing me off.

So, I will be looking around for a possible place to move Rambling Shan in the near future. When (and if) I make the move, I will keep you all informed. Until then, I will continue to post here.

Good Morning!

Now that the snow has ended, we have to start thinking about how in the heck we are going to get out of here. Our driveway is a mess and the road is only one lane (from what I can see, anyway). Most churches (including the big one across the way from me) have cancelled services this morning. In fact, according to the local news website, 509 closings and delays have been sent to them already. Businesses are closed today and my county is under a level two snow emergency (which means if you have to be out for work, you can be, but no joyriding or trips to an open can get a ticket or even arrested.)

Hubby and I have the lovely chore of trying to dig our way out of our house today. My mom and dad shoveled snow three times yesterday and they still have to do it again today. I am supposed to have a training at work tomorrow. We decided that, even if we had a snow day, we would come in. None of us anticipated this, though. I can tell you that I will not risk my life for this job is important to me, but I think I need to value my life a little bit more.

To top it all off, we had nearly three inches of rain last week. Rivers and streams are already near or beyond flood stage. When all of this melts, we could have a world of trouble on our hands. Plus, we have another system coming through tonight that could drop an additional 2 inches by tomorrow afternoon. It's MARCH for Pete's sake!


Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Blizzard has Ended

Finally, the snow stopped. It was about 4:00 before it quit falling and then the sun came out and the sky was blue as can was weird. Plows are out now (one just went by) and they are starting to clean everything up, but it could take some time. Here are a few pictures of what we got after it was all said and done. (I have more, but Blogger keeps giving me error messages. I will try to update more later):

Once again, across the road. Kids love to sledride down that hill:

This is the snow drift that was blocking our sliding door. We had to sweep to let the dogs out:
The barn (for Skittles):
That is a flower pot (I swear it is):
Gizmo found a break in the snow drift: Loki had to follow in Gizmo's track...he's too short to go first!Gizmo prancing along: Dog tracks (see how deep it is?): Loki says "Let me in...this is ridiculous!"

Blizzard Update #3...It Keeps on Coming!

It has been snowing for over 24 hours here at Rambling Shan Headquarters. Here is what we were seeing at 10:00 EST:

The road has vanished:
But this guy is driving anyway:

We won't be needing these for a while:
Once again, the barn:
Our backyard:
From our front door:
The road is almost as high as the guardrail:
Hard to see:
From our garage:
Fruit trees:
I'll be back in a couple of hours to update. I know I have BLOGOVERSARY stuff to do, but this is so much cooler :-)

Blizzard Update (Blogoversay Post #1)

It's my blogoversary today! I have lots of people to thank and losts of "strolling down blog memory lane" to do, but I promised updated blizzard pictures, so here they are. This is what we are seeing as of 7:00 this morning (yes, 7...hubby got me up to look at it.) Some of them aren't very clear because it was snowing so hard!

Towards our backyard:
Between the pole and the guardrail should be the road, but you just can't see it:

Here is the barn on our property (it is my family's, so I guess it is sort of mine. It is really old, but we can't bring ourselves to get rid of it because it really adds charm to the place:

I took this one because I took a similar one last night...wanted to see the difference:

Loki nearly got lost in it:

Gizmo running towards the house. He can't walk through it becuse it is up to his chest:

They say this isn't over...I will be back!

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Blizzard is Coming...The Blizzard is coming!

Earlier today as snow started to fall, I joked with my students saying "the blizzard is coming, the blizzard is coming!"

Turns out I was right. we are under a blizzard warning and we may get as much as 11 inches of snow before tomorrow night. The craziest thing is that we were at 70 degrees on Monday!

I will be posting pictures throughout the next couple of days to let you all see what we are seeing. Here are a few 5:00 pictures:

I will post again tomorrow morning with updated images. See you then! (On my blogoversary!)

Friday's Feast!

If you could be any current celebrity for one whole week, who would you want to be?

I don't think I would really want to be any of them...I don't envy celebrities at all...but, if I had to choose, I would be one of the women on Lost--just so I could film in Hawaii!

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how much do you enjoy talking on the phone?

It depends on who it is. If it is a friend, I rate it an 8. If it is some riduculous telemarketer, it would be a 1. If it is an angry parent, it is in the negatives!

Name a charitable organization to which you have donated (or would like to).

American Cancer Society. I lost my grandma that way and it is very dear to my heart. I have also decided to do some volunteer work this summer.

Main Course
What is a food you like so much you could eat it every single day for a month?

Lately, Dole canned pinapple. I don't like fresh because it is such a pain in the butt to prepare, but the canned stuff is so good!

Have you or anyone in your family had the flu this year?

I am afraid to even answer this...I may jinx myself! We already jinxed ourself about the winter weather being gone (and as you saw, it isn't), so I plead the fifth :-)

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Have you ever known you are doing all you can but still feel like you aren't doing enough? That people expect more of you? That you are (somehow) letting people down even though you know you can't imagine trying any harder?

That's how I have felt lately. It seems that no matter how much I do, I am always behind...and I am always letting someone down. Be it home, work, personal life, myself...whatever, I feel that I am letting people down. I know I work hard and I know I deserve some down time every now and then, but, when I take it, I feel guilty because I know that someone somewhere needs me to do something. But, when I don't take personal time, I am resentful of whatever I am doing...

I have been struggling with this for some time now. I can't figure out how to fix it so that I feel better about myself...and that is the hardest thing of all.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I can't believe it, but my blogoversary is in three days! I can't believe I have been at this for a year...and I am so happy that I have stuck with it because all of you are so great. I hope you will join me on my actual blogoversary where I post special thanks and reflect on some of my fave posts and memes...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Breaking News!

According to the Packers' website, Brett Favre has told the general manager that he is retiring after 17 years with the Packers' organization. Although I know deep in my heart that this is the right decision for him and his family, I can't help but feel sad. Favre is a part of the Packers that I grew up with. He is the guy that plays the game with such childlike entusiasm that others can't help but join in. I can't imagine what it's going to look like next year not to see #4 run out on that field and pull off some amazing plays.

Thanks, Favre, for making the last 17 years so enjoyable to watch. I look forward to the day when you are inducted into the Hall of Fame...where you belong!

Heads or Tails Tuesday!

Ack. A whole week escaped me and I haven't posted since last week's Heads or Tails. Boo on me. On the bright side, today's topic is seven things about any subject. Enjoy!

7 Little Known Things About Yours Truly :-)

  1. I am an orange belt in karate (not yellow...I'm such a doofus.)
  2. I took two years of Latin in high school
  3. My hair is naturally curly/wavy/fuzzy
  4. I am part Czechoslovakian
  5. I had a breast biopsy when I was 21.
  6. My original career plan was to be a veterinarian
  7. My eyes change color

Want to play? Head over to Skittle's Place to find out how!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sticky Post!

I've joined the Technorati craze! I claimed my blog there yesterday. I can't believe how many blogs are already there...I feel like the last kid to know a rumor in high school :-)

Add to Technorati Favorites

So, if you would be so kind as to give me some love, I will return the favor (if I haven't already given you some Technorati love)