Thursday, December 29, 2011

Home for the Holidays

Christmas lights at Matt and Lindsey's house
Me in my Christmas sweater
My parents' comfy bed that I sneak into early in the morning once they've left for work
My beautiful cousin Kate who's getting married on New Year's Eve
A good time

I'm home. And it feels so good. I wish my week vacation could be extended. I feel so blessed to be with my family and friends during the holidays. My cousin Kate is getting married this weekend in Chicago. Can't wait to put on my dancing shoes and party hardy (do people still say that?) with all my relatives!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hillside Blooming

Ok, girl. Alright, alright.

You're gonna make me lonesome when you go

I’ve seen love go by my door
It’s never been this close before
Never been so easy or so slow
Been shooting in the dark too long
When somethin’s not right it’s wrong
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go

Dragon clouds so high above
I’ve only known careless love
It’s always hit me from below
This time around it’s more correct
Right on target, so direct
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go

Purple clover, Queen Anne’s Lace
Crimson hair across your face
You could make me cry if you don’t know
Can’t remember what I was thinkin’ of
You might be spoilin’ me too much, love
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go

Flowers on the hillside, bloomin’ crazy
Crickets talkin’ back and forth in rhyme
Blue river runnin’ slow and lazy
I could stay with you forever and never realize the time

Situations have ended sad
Relationships have all been bad
Mine’ve been like Verlaine’s and Rimbaud
But there’s no way I can compare
All those scenes to this affair
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go

Yer gonna make me wonder what I’m doin’
Stayin’ far behind without you
Yer gonna make me wonder what I’m sayin’
Yer gonna make me give myself a good talkin’ to

I’ll look for you in old Honolulu
San Francisco, Ashtabula
Yer gonna have to leave me now, I know
But I’ll see you in the sky above
In the tall grass, in the ones I love
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go

Sunday, November 20, 2011


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My go-to food? Cheese. Always cheese.

Can't get enough of it.

One of my favorite students and I had this conversation recently in the lunchroom...

Student: "Hey Ms. B, my birthday is coming up in December. You know what that means?"
Me: "No, what does it mean?"
Student: "Cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese. I love cheese. And on my birthday we only eat foods with cheese. Cheese pizza, mac and cheese, mozzarella sticks, cheesy potatoes, nachos and cheese, and some more cheese."

All I could do for the following minute was laugh hysterically.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Youth Lagoon

Home alone. Youth Lagoon's music has been calming all day long. Montana sounds nice right about now.
Yesterday I went for a walk with my friend Rachel. It was the best. We stopped at a park and had a little chit chat. During our discussion she nonchalantly said, "Twenties are a turbulent time." It was quite poetic.
Later we got pizza. Mine had potato on it, hers had bean dip. Again, poetic.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The songs that made me so

I took a break from correcting homework and lesson planning on Sunday. I ended up making this and never returned to the work. Work/life balance, right?

{Song - Postcards from Italy - Beirut}

{Video and Editing - Kathleen Quinn}

Postcards from Italy
The times we had
Oh, when the wind would blow with rain and snow
Were not all bad
We put our feet just where they had
Had to go, never to go

The shattered soul
Following close but nearly twice as slow
In my good times
There were always golden rocks to throw
At those who
Those who admit defeat too late
Those were our times, those were our times

And I will love to see that day
That day is mine
When she will marry me outside
With the willow trees
And play the songs we made
They made me so
And I would love to see that day
Her day was mine

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hands of a rock n' roll band

On repeat. Because I love this song and I love Oasis.

Slip inside the eye of your mind
Don't you know you might find
A better place to play
You said that you'd never been
But all the things that you've seen
Will slowly fade away

So I start a revolution from my bed
'Cause you said the brains I had went to my head
Step outside, summertime's in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace
Take that look from off your face
'cause You ain't ever gonna burn my heart out

And so Sally can wait, she knows it's too late as we're walking on by
Her soul slides away, but don't look back in anger
I heard you say

Take me to the place where you go
Where nobody knows, if it's night or day.
Please don't put your life in the hands
Of a Rock 'n Roll band
and throw it all away

Gonna start the revolution from my bed
'Cause you said the brains I had went to my head
Step outside the summertime's in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace
Take that look from off your face
You ain't ever gonna burn my heart out

And So Sally can wait, she knows it's too late as we're walking on by.
her soul slides away, but don't look back in anger
I heard you say

And So Sally can wait, she knows it's too late as we're walking on by
Her soul slides away, but don't look back in anger
I heard you say

So Sally can wait, she knows it's too late and we're walking on by
Her soul slides away, but don't look back in anger, don't look back in anger
I heard you say

It's not today.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Reminders of Home

One day there was a girl named Kathleen. She had a really, really crappy day at work. Ya know, kids swearing at one another, other kids making fun of other kids and telling them that their face looked like moldy macaroni (why are kids so mean???), other kids saying, "I hate this school," while glaring at Kathleen. Oh, and there's always the classic kid that decides to bring in a bag of dirt that they collected during recess. And then, of course, they decide to spill it all over the class carpet. Again, classic. Really brightens the day... not.

Then she got home after a 12 hour day. There was a package from her dad on the stoop. In it was the Shel Silverstein book, "Every Thing On It," a compilation of some of his best poems. She opened to the first poem and smiled for probably the first time that day. The poem was called "Years From Now"

Although I cannot see your face
As you flip through these poems awhile,
Somewhere from some far-off place
I hear you laughing -- and I smile.

The gift was accompanied by the perfectest (not a word) card. "Thinking of you. Believing in you. Here for you."

The next day this girl named Kathleen had a another crappy day. Super crappy. Supa, supa crappy.

Then she got home after a 12 hour day. There was a package at the front door from her oldest brother Matthew and his fiance Lindsey. In it was Kathleen's favorite dessert in the whole world - Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. A happy girl and a happy stomach.
The cheesecake was sent all the way from North Carolina. And the dessert was prompted by Matthew reading an earlier blog post in which I said I was craving the cheesecake. So, so thoughtful.

The cheesecake was accompanied by this note...

I guess it's true. Family is all that matters.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Yesterday I had lunch with my mom's college roommate Fran who I haven't seen in 21 years! So technically, I've never seen her, because the lord knows I have no memory from when I was 1 years old. My precise cognitive awareness didn't kick in until I was 2. It was a heck of a year!
Anyway, Fran lives in St. Paul and treated me to brunch at Salut. It was the best. Just what I needed. It was so nice to be around a mom and to have someone say the types of things like, "Don't work yourself too hard," "Make sure you make time for yourself," "Ya know, kids can just be brats, can't they?"

Sigh of relief.

Breath of fresh air.

I've only been working for 5 weeks? Yikes.

So, during the week I eat terribly. PB&J, pretzels and coffee is my diet. Throw some Chex Mix in for good measure. I know, it's super bland and bad and boring and I'm gonna pay for it.

But, on the weekends, I've been making up for it. As I said, I went to Salut, and it was bom-chicka-wow-wow good.
I had the eggs florentine.

I didn't get the french fries.... but there's always next time.

We sat outdoors because it was such a lovely fall day with a bonus of sunshine - image via

Went to Starbucks to grade homework and got a pumpkin spice latte. Fall is here. And it feels so right.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Braids and Cuckoo Clocks

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It's raining outside. How calming. Our front lawn needs to be mowed. I wonder if our neighbors don't like us because we've let it go. I'm sure the leaves will start falling soon and you won't even see the overgrown grass. Problem solved. I'm currently writing math lesson plans and trying to figure out Minnesota's state standards for all the subjects I teach. Complicated. Can't someone just email them to me all neat and compiled nicely in a PDF format? Teacher troubs. Yuck.

Wondering: If I will ever learn to make a decent braid. So far... fail.

Missing: My friends from home. Sitting on Anne's porch and being cuddly in a plaid blanket sounds ideal. Throw some apple cider into the mix and we have perfection.

Listening to: Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue"

Craving: Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory

Wishing: I was watching Aladdin or The Lion King

Happy: That one of my students made me and another teacher a copy of his football schedule so we could go to his games

Reading: Oh, The Places You'll Go (short but sweet... and quite relevant for my students... well at least I think so)

Need: More cozy socks and more flats to wear to work (On Friday, a student said, "Ms. B, you must really like those purple shoes. Because you wear them, like, allllll the time." In my head I thought to myself, "Stop concentrating on my outfit and start concentrating on these vowels!")

Thinking about: How nice the ticking of a clock is when the house is empty and quiet. Also, thinking about getting my paws on a cuckoo clock. It would make a lovely addition to my bedroom.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sitting still

{all images found via}
SPECIAL GARDEN (A Child cry to his Daddy)
In my garden, I will plant some of Daddy's things 

The hat he wears for his favorite baseball team.

His special notes he wrote to me.
His favorite songs he likes to sing.

His special collect cars he bought last spring.

His favorite tie that has grease stains.

His favorite fishing pole, even though he has never caught anything.

And I'm going to plant some of my tears, these come from me.

Every night before I go to sleep, I will go out to my special garden

and pray over Daddy's things.

(c)copyright Natasha Flowers 2002 

This poem is so simple and yet so poignant. I read it for my students today during our discussion on 9/11.
A few students liked it so much they asked if I'd make copies so they could share it with their families.

I had plans to have my students write a journal entry on where they were on 9/11. Then I remembered that they were only 1 when it happened. Then I felt really, really old.

We remember.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gray or Grey ?

Either way. Digging this.
{via Anthro}

Sunday, September 4, 2011


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{image via ildiko neer}
It feels like Fall. It sounds like Fall. The house is empty and quiet. Just some breeze through the window and I'm wearing a sweatshirt and knit socks. Drinking water and writing math lesson plans.

Missing: My family
Listening to: Mumford and Sons ("Winter Winds" ... on repeat)
Craving: Strawberry Licorice
Wishing: I was lying in a pile of leaves or getting ready to go to a Badger football game
Happy: That my cousin Sean and his girlfriend Sarah are visiting me in a month :)
Reading: The Girls Guide To Hunting And Fishing
Need: More weekend time and more organization
Thinking about: Wyoming and mountains

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mary and Max

I'm looking forward to seeing this once I find some free time. Does "free time" exist as a first year teacher? Not so far. (Well I guess technically the three minutes I'm taking to write this is free time... but I'm not counting it.)

Penguin Cafe Orchestra's "Perpetuum Mobile" (which is the first song that plays in this trailer) was something my favorite student and I bonded over this past summer. I quietly played it while all my class was working on a worksheet, and he came up to me after class and asked if I could write the song name down for him so he could play it for his mom when he got home. Man, I miss that kid.

Penguin Cafe Orchestra: making kids happy since 1972.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gena Rowlands

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I just watched The Notebook and cried for the millionth time. I never get sick of that movie. I remember I saw it three times in one week when it first came out (freak). Once with my ma, once for a birthday party and once with my grandma and aunts.

I just realized Gena Rowlands is from Madison, Wisconsin and went to The University of Wisconsin-Madison.
I don't know why, but that tidbit makes me really happy. I wonder if we've ever sat at the SAME EXACT spot at Lake Mendota. I bet we have. And I bet she got ice cream too. Birds of a feather flock together.

Superficial goal for the fall: Learn to curl my hair on my own. Specifically, learn to curl my hair like Allie Hamilton's.
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Well, well, aren't they just perfect?

Sunday, August 21, 2011


This morning was quite a refreshing one. I woke up and went to church with my cousin Kate and her fiance Dan. It's so nice to have family around when you are adjusting to a new city. The three of us went to an enormous church, The Basilica of Saint Mary. It was absolutely beautiful - ornate, tons of mosaics and stained glass windows. It was a good start to the day.
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To make the day even better, we then moseyed our way on over to a quaint diner called "Our Kitchen" for breakfast. I demolished everything. So good. So, so good.

Then I lesson planned for the majority of the remainder of the day. That wasn't nearly as fun or exciting. What is this grown up mumbo jumbo?

In unrelated news:
It is quite annoying when people are condescending about condiments. I've gotten, "You're from Chicago and don't eat your hot dogs Chicago style? FREAK!" a few too many times. Well, listen up, buddy. I don't like mustard, relish or pickles, so why would I put all that on my fine hot dog? You don't see me blabbing about your hot dog. Back off. (People technically never call me a freak, but, exaggeration felt necessary.)

Scab on ankle that really itches. The temptation to scratch it is reaching skyrocket levels.

Eating plain carrots is overrated. Throw spinach artichoke dip into the mix and then we're talking.

Lantern lighting makes all the difference.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cloud Life

image via

Yesterday I took an airplane back to Minneapolis from Chicago.

While hundreds of thousands miles up in the air...
I wondered if birds were afraid of planes.
I wondered how many people have ever flown in the air.
I wondered if there was a ritual that my pilot did every time before he flew.
I wondered if anyone else on the plane was listening to Coldplay's Fix You on repeat.
I wondered if the dude next to me could hear my music playing.
I wondered how many babies were at ground level in their mother's arms pointing at us way up in the sky.

It was the first time in a long time that I was okay with "not knowing." Let's see how long that lasts.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

An escape into oblivion

Right now I'm going to pretend that I'm here (wherever "here" is) instead of feeling overwhelmed in my new bedroom. Right now I have so many daunting things to do. So many things to tackle in such little time. I guess I'll get started with something small and manageable i.e. go to the grocery store so that I have more in my kitchen other than a frozen pizza, water and Ben & Jerry's.

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This song has nothing to do with my life currently. But, I have been playing it on repeat. Just cause it sounds so sweet.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


{The Summer Day}

By: Mary Oliver

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean—

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

We all miss you, Uncle Skip. What a wild, precious and laugh-filled life you had.

Rest in Peace 7.19.11

Friday, July 15, 2011

Time is a flyin'

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I apologize for being so MIA for the past, uh, month? Or has it been more than that? I guess I could check by just going to my last blog post, but that would require saving this page and backtracking, and frankly, right now I'm just too tired to do so.

These past few weeks have been a roller coaster, a whirlwind, the colors of the wind as Pocahontas might say (I'm so tired that I'm just making up stuff). It has been a mishmash of feeling overwhelmed, excited and nervous. There's been lots of snapping, lots of waking up early, lots of going to bed late, lots of realizing "Oh my god this is the reality of our education system in America," lots of paperclips, more paperclips, making copies, looking tired, circles under the eyes, missed calls from my mom and dad (I'm sorry), feeling behind, feeling inspired, working harder than I ever have, lots of smiles, lots of frustration, lots of being grossed out by dorm bathrooms, too many emails, more emails, lots of sweating, more sweating, even more sweating, a wee bit of crying (sometimes happy tears, other times not so much), lots of laughing, lots of hope.

I think that just about sums it up, and yet, I could probably ramble on for a good hour with my thoughts. I won't though. Again, as I said, I'm really tired. I'm not thinking too clearly. I tried making an analogy the other day about loading my plate up too much with pot stickers on top of pasta on top of pizza on top of salad and so on. It made sense in my head at the time, but everyone else just said, "Kathleen, you seriously need to go to bed."

And so I guess that's what I'll do. I just wanted to pop in and say "hello!" If you are reading this, I hope you are doing well. I hope you have found some quiet time to read outside under a shady tree. I hope you've drank a glass of cold lemonade at least once this summer. And I hope you haven't been using a dorm shower for the past month, but if you have, I feel ya pain.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A preview of Wyoming

Wyoming : Where life is simple and beautiful. And where you can learn how to country swing dance.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Yep, my heart just melted

If you don't like this, hit the road.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Checking out the Chan Chan Man

Chandler has always been my favorite. I don't really feel like explaining why. He just is. I think his mannerisms, quirks and awkwardness speak for themselves. Do you have a favorite Friends character? My ranking goes: 1) Chandler 2) Phoebe 3) Ross 4) Rachel 5) Joey 6) Monica. As far as I'm concerned, Monica can take a hike. Except for the throwback episodes; she kills those. I hope my ranking doesn't offend any readers. To be honest, I have a spot in my heart for each character. Yes, even Monica. Sometimes. Not when she's annoying.

Here are some of my favorite clips highlighting Chandler's goofiness:

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oh happy day!

It's so beautifully beautiful outside today! Just sitting on my stoop and reading and eating chips and salsa. I'm so content right now it kind of makes me want to do a handstand. Like Mallory:
Only problem is that I don't know how to do a handstand. And, now that I'm thinking about it, I haven't even done a cartwheel in about four years. Uh oh. I wonder if I've lost the capability to do so. I would try it out, but I bruise like a peach and I have some classroom observations coming up and I don't want to be all pale and blue. Here is proof that I bruise easily.
Mmmm look at that hotness. This happened at a football game. No, I was not playing football. I was merely observing from the stands, and yet, I still managed to leave injured. I was taking part in an ole' school tradition in which after the 3rd quarter the song "Jump Around" comes on and the whole student section... jumps around. Well, I guess it got a little too rowdy. I was on the end and ended up taking a tumble. The back of my leg hit the pointy corner of the metal bleachers. Good times.

Side note: In that first picture, Mallory fell hard about 1.2 seconds later.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I'm a little behind the times, and I just got around to watching Michael Scott's farewell episode on The Office. I teared up. More than once. My favorite line was when he's speaking with Jim in his office and he pulls out his recorder and says, "T-shirt idea: Goodbyes stink."

Working in a cubicle use to not seem appealing, but The Office and this following short film make it look not so bad. Deceiving? Does cute stuff like this actually happen?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

You're right, not my life

Other than the first three, "You're born, you learn to walk, you go to school," these tidbits don't really apply to me. But nonetheless, this PaperCut ad is creative and fun to read.

Although I never "stole a chocolate bar," one time at a summer swim meet when I was in 1st grade, I saw a a boy a few years older than me steal a fruit roll-up from the concession stand. I thought that was like the worst thing a person could ever do, so I told on him. They never found the culprit, but I knew he was out there. I KNEW!
{click the image for a closer look at the text}