Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Road to Recovery...

Good News! Maverick is definitely on the road to recovery! He is eating on his own and starting to gain some weight. I could bring him home with me today, but I figure since yet another spontaneous weekend is looming in front of me, I think it's probably in his best interest to stay at the vets instead of dragging him all over in the kennel. Also, his incisions are seeping some and it's probably best he stays to rule out infection. He also doesn't need to be tearing around with the girls with stitches still in. Yeah! I'm so happy he's going to be okay! Thanks to everyone who kept their fingers crossed for me!

Go Wings!

Tonight the Wings take on the Oilers in Edmington for game 4. Since I'm starting to take a lot of crap out here since they've lost the last two games, we are definitely winning this one so we can come back to Detroit tied at 2 and kick their butts at home. That is the game plan I believe.

I can't help but notice that every year during the playoffs the Wings pull this 'close to winning, overtime BS'. EVERY YEAR! Of course last year was a bust hockey wise so that doesn't count. But seriously, what is up with that?! Double, triple overtime have become standard for Wing playoff season. I'm not sure if I can handle the excitement on my own. I need to be kickin' back with a beer or two and my Redwing fanatic friends throwing a stuffed octopus at the TV and getting all hyper over the game like I used to do.

So I'm sweet-talking SOMEBODY who has satellite into letting me watch the game tonight. Hopefully this means I'm not going all the way to Alamosa, but I will if I have to. 100 miles round-trip for a hockey game...that's devotion folks, or my temporary (?) insanity kicking in. It has been a long week...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

HELP! Dress? What's That?

Ok - I've decided I'm going to Greece looking sophisticated. I figured I can pull off the Cosmo Cowgirl bit while overseas, but my wardrobe needs a makeover. Basically it consists of Wranglers, buttondowns and boots. I do have some real cute bar-hopping shirts, but since I don't have anything but jeans to wear with them I thought I'd add a dress or two to the collection. Not evening dresses, I have a million of those collecting dust. I need cute, casual, definitely something I wouldn't wear normally type dresses that will look great while prancing around the Mediterranean.

So I'm callin' all you ladies in (and especially guys) for advice. I have been browsing and found a few styles I really like from a couple different places. Problem is I can't decide what I like best for style and pattern and need advice. I wear a lot of earth tones, but really look best in bold, bright colors. Look 'em over will y'all and let me know what you think. Or if you know anything else cute from other stores (remember, I have to order online as I live hundreds of miles from a real mall).

Love some of the other options you gals have sent and have browsed though those websites. FYI, can't wear strapless...wish I could! For whatever reason I'm always falling out of them. Maybe it's the bras I've tried and haven't worked, but you'd think I have enough to hold it up!

So far #3, #5, #9 and #11 seem to be the most popular. I also like a few others from other sites you all passed along. I'm not ordering anything until later next week, so if anyone else wants to add comments, feel free!


Dress#1 Dress#2 Dress#3
Dress#4 Dress#5 Dress#6


Dress#7 Dress#8 Dress#9
Dress#10 Dress#11 Dress#12 Dress#13

Maverick Update

So my pup had surgery yesterday...good news first: He responded well to IV's so dehydration never became a problem despite not being able to hold anything down. Unfortunetly he still couldn't eat and was beginning to throw up water too. Yesterday morning he was crying and had a distended belly, meaning he was becoming septic...sign of a severe intestinal problem. So he was rushed into surgery and was found to have a twisted intestine which was blocking EVERTHING! Poor baby. Now he's recovering, and unless he has a bad response to the surgery, should be back home as soon as he can hold down food. There is a chance he may have complications, but I'm still just keeping my fingers crossed. The only good thing about this whole ordeal is that I got the dog from the vet, so I'm not worrying about some serious bills.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Weekend Craziness

Currently: Tired and waiting until the end of the day during which I get to sit through a High School meeting before finally getting to go home.

Red Wings: 1st round tied at 1 game apiece

What a busy weekend! Check out my new tattoo: I had the symbol done when I graduated (the first time) and have wanted it added to forever, but could never find an artist I thought was good enough to ink my design...until now!

It looks like I've been watercolored on, which is the effect I wanted when I drew it. My artist did a great job and was just so easy to work with. We had a great time talking and the few hours it took just flew by. So if anyone wants a really good artist I've got one for ya!

Stopped by to see my friend Chris afterwards and got sweet-talked into staying in town and going over to a get together. Since I'm bound and determined to take control of my pathetic social life and meet more people in this God-forsaken valley, I decided to go along. It was fun meeting a bunch of new people, but Chris is a fire-fighter and got a call and left with everything of mine in his truck so I was abandoned! His brother drove me over to Chris' house where my truck was and I crashed on the couch. Chris didn't get home until after 3 in the morning and I woke up to another fire call at 6:30. Luckily it was a false alarm and he'd brought my stuff in the night before anyway so I wouldn't be stranded again. Anyone familiar with fire tones? They're really loud and suck to wake up to.

Saturday turned into a confusing mess when a girlfriend I thought I was having dinner with went out with her boyfriend instead, so I still ended up back in Alamosa having dinner with Chris. Afterwards I stopped by my High School's prom where I was roped into watching the stairwell 'cause it had just been discovered two former students and a few other's had broken into the liquor closet. I'm so not voicing my opinions about this because once I start I'm probably not going to shut up...

Met up with friends later at a country bar, nobody asked me to dance (which I think is a funny story, and yes Chris if you're reading this it's STILL funny), and crashed in town. I still got up super early Sunday, went out to breakfast, did chores (anyone know how much crap can grow at the bottom of a stock tank in a month? Gross!), and then went driving up in the mountains and used our ever increasing Prairie Dog population as target practice with my buddy Wayne (don't worry, I'm a lousy shot). We're always looking for an adventure, so he showed me the old tepee rings where Chief Ouray and his Utes had a permanent campsite, and we went poking for rattlesnakes and then checked out a site where a bunch of Geodes can supposedly be found. Not knowing what we were looking for and not having any patience, we basically picked up any round, light rock and smashed it. I'm sure we were quite the spectacle and I highly recommend smashing rocks to alleviate frustration. Unfortunately this method ended up smashing a pretty cool cystalized geode that Wayne found. All I managed to do was stick my hand in a cactus when picking up a rock ( like I couldn't see the 2 inch long spikes...), and spent the next 10 minutes picking out minute prickers from my fingers.

Friday, April 21, 2006


For those of you who know me well, you know that in my life it seems that anything I do must run hand in hand with some small disaster. I've gotten used to this and just figure if I couldn't handle it, than it wouldn't be happening. My newest worry? Maverick's at the vet's for the weekend because he is one sick puppy. He won't eat, and when he does throws it all back up. So I started seems all the little 'beings' in my life seems to be, or have, some kind of problem or other....mainly they are neurotic. Dixie thinks she's a human, literally. She backs up to sit on the couch or in chairs, and she throws temper tantrums, stomping paws, whining, the whole nine yards. Sedona feels she is a reincarnated Blue Heeler, and brings in and cuts cattle very well; except she's not and is going to keel over of a heart attack one of these days. I have a cat that feels she's been slighted by life, a cat who thinks she's a dog, a cat who drools, and a tomcat that can't get the job done, and so I therefore think he's gay. And now I have and anorexic/bulemic puppy?! I'm not even going into the livestock...

So this has made me wonder on many different I attracted to neurotics, or are they attracted to me? This could be my problem with some of the other 'beings' in my life you know...
Anyway, keep your fingers crossed Mav's okay and I have him home by Sunday. On another note, I'm sitting in the coffee house at the moment waiting to get my tattoo done. Will post pics on Monday!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Wednesday, April 19th...10:20 am

Dear Students,

As I am your loving teacher, I'd like to point out a few observations I have made and make a few suggestions that I believe will make the rest of this school year run smoothly. Technically speaking, after today we only have 4 weeks of school left, or 16 full days of class in which I get to see your smiling faces. I'd like to remind you that you are not in a position to question why you must write final papers, why the book reports are in fact mandatory for this quarter's grade, nor why we are not watching movies for the remainder of the semester. I'd also like to point out that you are not in a position to argue with me when I ask you to remove your hats, earphones, watch your language, get off MySpace and do some work, stop kissing in the hall, or to follow any other basic school rules. Until you are dismissed for the summer I own you.

Also, when I ask you to do something, I expect you to do it NOW. Not "in a minute", tomorrow, later, "after I finish this", 30 seconds from now...I mean NOW as in it should have already been done. Because this is so hard to get through your thick skulls, many of you are losing points for simply not following direction. I'm asking you to rethink this way of thinking. Ten possible participation points for staying on task, or zero points for not following direction. I don't see why the decision is so difficult.

Yes, I understand the weather is becoming quit beautiful out and the sun is shining. Hence why I asked you to begin bringing your books with you to class everyday so we may enjoy some spontaneous outdoor reading on the high-jump mats. Since listening seems to be such a difficult concept for many of you to grasp, I don't anticipate this happening. Instead you will be stuck working in my classroom with a crabby teacher who would rather be outside reading in the sun. I told you paying attention may pay off one day... unfortunately you must all seem to learn the hard way.

There are some issues I have with your manners as well. Since we live in such a small town, I know many of your parents and know they raised you with manners. Because I know this, I am very confused as to why the words 'please', 'thank you' and 'you're welcome' are not in your vocabulary. Can any of you explain this to me? I know two year olds that seem to have a larger vocabulary than many of you. Perhaps we can work on this? My suggestion is that when I refuse to give you something until you ask politely, such as a bathroom pass or snack pass, you comply and use the aforementioned words.

I am sure that many of you expect me to continue on, but being the fair teacher that I am, I will only give you a small portion to chew on for the time being least you choke. I'm asking you to PLEASE consider my suggestions because I feel they will make the remainder of the school year run smoothly and go by quickly. THANK YOU.

Miss. McLeod

Monday, April 17, 2006

Red Wings Rock!

  • Hockeytown Baby!

  • For those of you who don't know, I'm a HUGE Red Wings fan living in Colorado. To spell that out, home of the Colorado Avalanche, our biggest nemesis in the world of Hockey. Though this has brought about some heated responses from some of my students, guys I have dated, complete strangers...I am still alive and not buried in some shallow grave (they don't have a 'Detroit River' here).

    So I thought I pay a small tribute to the boys back home in Hockeytown. Not only are the Wings leading the Western Conference Division with 57 wins and 122 points on goal, they also have clinched the Presidents' Trophy. That means they have the best record in the NHL. Eat that Avalanche.

    Unfortunately I don't get to watch many of the games since I'm too far from town to have cable and I can't afford satellite. On the rare occasion I've gone to the bar to catch a game, I've gotten vary strange looks when asking to have the Wings put on. I got scared for my life after a few attempts and haven't tried since. SO I'm stuck catching up on the games online. I tried catching a game in Denver this year, but to no avail. To all of you in D-town, be prepared to catch a game the next season I'm in town! Go Wings!

    Like I Need Another Dog

    A bit of a spontaneous weekend on many different levels! Ended up in Penrose and Pueblo with friends for a night, road-tripping, and just pretty much enjoying life. Also have an addition to the family (I know, I know...). Been seriously considering getting a cow dog in the fall, so been keeping up with breeders who may have pups this summer. Many of you also know I have an affinity for Boxer's, but since they have such a high rate of cancer, I always keep my eyes open for a good cross (hence Dixie, a Boxer/Rottie mix). So what do you get when you cross a Walker Coonhound and a Boxer? Maverick!
    Mav's 10 weeks old and just came from Kentucky last week so his life has been in a bit of upheaval lately. His sisters looked more Boxer-ish, but he's lanky and I think is going to look more like a hound dog with the Boxer coloring. He took to my girls pretty well. Dixie really likes him which is surprising because normally she's pretty jealous of other dogs in the house, and Sedona can't get over the fact I brought her home a new playmate. She keeps jumping on him, but I wonder how long that'll last once he begins to outweigh her...

    Maverick's not too sure of his new mama yet. He kept hiding from me all day yesterday. I found him under the couch, the bed, the porch and behind the chicken coop. Once I picked him up he cuddled up pretty good and liked to be carried around. He checked out the new calves with me yesterday and and stuck his nose up a couple of horses nostrils when they came to see what he was. Maggie and a paint I have on the property (I call her Jezabel for good reason) wouldn't leave him alone and followed me around for a good half hour trying to figure out what Mav was. I started the whole kennel thing last night, but after the first 20 minutes of his howling I decided to let him just sleep with me since I really needed to get some sleep. I figure he can start today while I'm at work. He pretty much slept the whole night through except for once when he woke up to go outside. He's pretty funny 'cause he won't bark, doesn't whine or whimper, just kind of moans when he wants something and stuck a paw in my eye. So the first night was a success and he started following me around this morning and responding to his name, so maybe he's figured out his new mum isn't so bad afterall. Having problems getting him to eat though. He's already kind of skinny, so if he doesn't clean up what I left out for him I'm going to have to find an alternative. Thank God I live on a ranch eh?

    Thursday, April 13, 2006

    2006 Naked Fireman Poster

    Here it is ladies! The newest publication out of my department! Wooohooo!

    Thought I'd share with you all who have a tendancy to like a man in...or out...of uniform!

    Nice slow weekend ahead of me. Starts tonight since we only work a 4 day week out here. How does that work you ask? Well, live 50 miles from the nearest doctor, dentist, Walmart...and I bet your kid will only go to school 4 days a week too! It definetly has it's perks!

    Tuesday, April 11, 2006

    Chicken, Chicken...Goose!

    All this talk of babies! All you gals are making me jealous! So while wandering through Big R the other day picking up horse feed I was drawn to the, "peep, peep, peep" of baby geese and decided I HAD to have one. Say hello to baby Huey! If it's a girl the name is still sticking...she can have an identity crisis in her teens. At this time his best friends are my three little chickens and my bulldog Sedona who stands over them. I figure she's trying to either decide which to eat first and how bad of a beating she'll get if she makes a choice, or what they heck they even are. See, life continues to be exciting, albeit on a smaller scale...

    Loverly weather we're suddenly having out here. The wind has picked up something fierce and the clouds have moved in cooling things off a bit. The problem is, these clouds haven't brought any moisture with them and we're in the midst of a drought. Pray for rain! In the meantime, everything is blowing away! Oh well.

    Monday, April 10, 2006

    Who I Am !?!

    Stealing ideas from sites again! Anyway - pretty cool analysis if nothing else. Sorta kinda me, in a strange, scary way. My fortune for the day: You are contemplative and analytical by nature. Hmmmmmm.....

    Advanced Global Personality Test Results
    Extraversion |||||||||||||||||||| 86%
    Stability |||||||||||||| 56%
    Orderliness |||||||||||| 46%
    Accommodation |||||||||||||||| 70%
    Interdependence |||||||||||||| 56%
    Intellectual |||||||||||||||||| 76%
    Mystical |||||||||||||| 56%
    Artistic |||||||||||||||||| 76%
    Religious |||||||||||||||||| 76%
    Hedonism |||||||||||| 50%
    Materialism |||||||||| 36%
    Narcissism |||||||||||||||||| 76%
    Adventurousness |||||||||||||||| 63%
    Work ethic |||||||||||||| 56%
    Self absorbed |||||||||||| 43%
    Conflict seeking |||||||||||||| 56%
    Need to dominate |||||||||||| 43%
    Romantic |||||||||||||||| 63%
    Avoidant |||||||||||| 43%
    Anti-authority |||||||||||| 50%
    Wealth |||||| 30%
    Dependency |||||| 23%
    Change averse |||| 16%
    Cautiousness |||||| 30%
    Individuality |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
    Sexuality |||||||||||||||||| 76%
    Peter pan complex |||||||||||| 43%
    Physical security |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
    Physical Fitness |||||||||||||||| 70%
    Histrionic |||||||||| 36%
    Paranoia |||||||||||| 50%
    Vanity |||||||||||| 43%
    Hypersensitivity |||||||||||| 50%
    Female cliche |||||||||||||||||| 76%
    Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
    personality tests by

    Hay is for Horses!

    What a crazy weekend! I finally got the rest of last seasons' hay put up so my boss should be happy...and so should the livestock. Overall we moved about 140 TONS! Thank God I had such good help with this or it probably would have been more tramatic than it has been these last few months. I feel like I've been moving hay forever! Sometimes I feel like this is all I do...bust my rear-end to get everything done for everyone else. I can't wait until it's just for me eventually and I don't have to keep worrying about keeping everyone else happy.

    Yes that's me on that big 'ol tractor! You know what they say, "Nothing Runs Like Deere!" Now only if they made men like that...and that's all I'm going to say on that subject.

    So now that I have the hay up and don't have to worry about it again until late summer and only have about 6 more cows to calve - I get to bring in the colts to break and hopefully sell this summer. I have to say I'm a bit nervous to get started this year. I've been working them on and off all winter on the ground, letting them get used to me and sacking them out, but after crushing my foot last year I'm hesitant to just jump back on these young horses when there isn't anyone else around. I had a coupla good spills into the fence last spring, but nothing serious until I was training a horse for rodeo and he slipped and fell on me. I had a cast on forever and was seeing a physical therapist on and off until just recently. You know when people say they can feel when it's going to rain from old injuries? They aren't kidding! I get anywhere near moisture...the lake, ocean, the bathtub...J/K...It aches! Oh well...must be getting'

    Thursday, April 06, 2006

    Where I've Been and Then Some...

    I saw this on some site and thought it was way cool. What a neat way to see where everyone has been! I've also included a world map since I've been overseas and will be in Greece and Turkey this June!

    The Road Not Taken

    TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    Robert Frost

    create your own visited states/countries map

    Worries and Miscellaneous Bothers Through the Day...

    So has anyone been worried about having your information on the internet? I mean, I was hesitant to start a blog at first, and then I did my homework...Did everyone know that's it's a common practice to 'google' the name of a person to learn what you can about them, especially when you first start dating them? I learned this from a guy I was dating. And to say the least, I was a bit unnerved, until I started realizing that you can get anyone's information...for about $10. I don't just mean their name and address. I mean birthdates, everywhere they've ever lived, where they work, phone numbers (luckily unlisted #'s are still taboo), credit history, bankruptcy, marriages, divorces, the name of your kids....I mean EVERYTHING! So instead of getting worked up over it, since I can do nothing about it, I figured I have to go with the flow of things. No, I really hate that someone can find everything about me with the click of a mouse button, especially since I think it's kind of fun learning about people the old fashioned way, but technology is only moving forwards, and so must we! Therefore, I am ecstatic about this blog thing and love how much easier it is to keep in touch with old friends who live thousands of miles away.

    Another thought on my mind...relating to the whole integrity thing I wrote the other day...I don't know how many of you have to deal with teenagers on a regular basis, but I HAVE to deal with them everyday. Now how many of you would have brought a sex toy to school when you were in High School? Show of hands...that's what I thought. I'm not saying it didn't happen to some of you, but it wasn't normal. So why does this situation show up in school this morning? How does a teenager get their hands on this stuff anyway? Knowing they had bought this article (and they are definitely not 18 yet), all I could wonder was, why can't people just do their job right so I don't have to put the extra effort into disciplining a classroom I'd just gotten calmed down. This sort of did not set the stage for the morning attitude wise...mine that is. Maybe if we all took a closer look at how our actions effect others (or could effect others), life would be much simpler for many of us. Perhaps that's what is wrong with society today...

    Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    Kids and Stuff

    For all of you having kids out there...and I mean ALL of you, congratulations! I love checking out pictures of your little ones and their new strides in life. Remember when children weren't even a twinkle in our eyes yet and all we were concerned about was where the next piss call was? Oh yeah, and our grades too!

    Oh yeah - I want kids one day, definitely. But seeing as it requires a man, and the way I figure, not just any man; I really don't see that happening anytime soon...remember...'Valley of No Men"...So I've acquired an assorted collection of children who think of me as their mother....the four legged kind that is. See, I figured I had to share with everyone my experiences with my kids since everyone I know is popping out a baby every few months or so. Ha! I have you all beat, I've had 16 in the last 6 weeks and more to come! Yes, they are cows, but still....

    So for those of you who remember Dixie, she's still around and still thinks she's the same little shit who used to run around the chapter room during meeting terrorizing the president and ripping up toilet paper. Though instead of bugging my sorority sisters, nowadays she brings in the neighbors' cattle and then wants to be rewarded for a job well done. She's lucky she hasn't been shot. Sedona, on the other hand, is getting uglier I believe the older she gets. One can't help but love her, the snoring, the slobbering, the big dog attitude...I mean, who can't love to wake up to a face like that?

    There are always cats, I mean after all this is a ranch. But it seems my boys have taken a liking to Sabrina. They go out to pasture with her, eat with her, sleep on's just way too cute. Morris, the big old orange cat is a bit of a drooler. Something I've heard about, but never actually seen. He can soak you in under a minute, but seems to keep most of his affections for Sabrina. As I mentioned before, she is officially retired from Rodeo, and well deserves it. I was a bit worried about her this winter when she dropped some weight, but brought her in from pasture and now she gets all she can eat and gets to hang out with her boyfriend all day long. What a life! All I can say is...when do I get to retire?

    Rumba is getting to be one hell of mountain horse. I love taking her out to the sand dunes which are conveniently located nearby. I discovered this was a perfect place for starting young horses since they sink up to their hocks and tire out real quick. That way I only get dumped a few times! Rum won't ever have the heart for barrels, but is starting to rope this spring and maybe by the end of the summer we'll be hitting some jackpots. She should be a mommy herself by next spring if everything goes according to plan. Right now she spends a lot of time out in the field with the ranch horses (about 20 last I counted) whenever I'm not training her. Little Maggie May, my new little girl, started in on her first ground lessons the other day and looks promising. Hopefully I'll have her turning barrels by the end of the summer. She was given to me, so I figured if nothing else I could always sell her at auction, but she's been so great so far I figure I'll keep her.

    I also have a miscellaneous collection of horses at various stages of training, their mums and poppa on the property. They are always getting into trouble, and have slowly been tearing apart the dog house I put up of straw for the winter. This picture was taken shortly after it was built. There isn't a whole lot to the top left nowadays.

    So I thought I'd share, and for all of you who have expressed interest in a visit (and for those of you who haven't) y'all know your welcome anytime! Great skiing, climbing, biking, name it! All close by! Take care of your babies and I'll keep adding to my collection!

    Tattoos and piercings OH MY!

    Ok - I have tats...four of them to be exact if you count having one added to, and have an appointment with an artist later this month for yet another addition. Piercings? Other than the traditional ear piercings? Yeah, that bellybutton twice and my nose (and mom if you're reading this I just got it done and it's real cute, I promise). Why? Because having an artistic background, and being raise as an independent woman, I've always felt it was necessary to express myself, and this is one way I've done it...especially since I've designed my own tattoos. But I do believe there is a line of unprofessionalism that should never be crossed.

    A lot of my students have talked their parents into bringing them in to be inked. Some have had some very tasteful designs done in unnoticable areas. Others have not. Don't get me wrong, some people, such as the artist I'm going to, is fairly covered in tattoos, but he's a tattoo artist. He is more or less a walking billboard for his work. He isn't going to walk into a corporate office looking for a job, and not get it because of his taste in expression. Unfortunately my students may one day. What I want to know is if they are even contemplating this possibility? I think back on how much my life has changed, and my way of thinking, and can't help but wonder if these kids put any thought into the future. Yes, what they want to do with their body is their business, but we still happen to live in a society where people would rather 'read the cover of the book' than open it. Most places of employment ask that noticeable piercings other than in your ears are removed, and that visible tattoos be covered by a bandage of some sort. Is this fair? I believe it is. Why? Because your job is trying to portray a certain image and if you can't meet that image why should they hire you? Afterall, their clients may be the ones judging you as the representative of their company. That's quite a bit of responsibility.

    My tats aren't noticeable unless I make them so, and neither are my piercings, except for my ears and nose and that's one I never would have gotten done if it wasn't becoming a pretty standard accepted thing. For example, the principal of the school I work at has her nose done. So does the head nurse at our tiny clinic, as well as my tax consultant. My boss in the Forest Service also has hers done. They aren't big noticeable things, just tiny little diamonds and such. But if I'm ever asked to remove it, I will without a fight. Yes it's my choice and my right to have it done, but not worth a fight.

    And guys...I think tattoos are sexy. Most people I know have them for various reasons that explain who they are and what they're all about. But unless you're a rock star or tattoo artist, do you really need to go overboard? If the first thing I notice is some big 'ol tattoo winding it's way up your arm, I may not look twice. Not because I don't think you're a decent person, but because I simply don't find it all that attractive. I mean, skin is sexy too. Really. Why cover it all up?

    Thoughts on Integrity...

    Ok - since I got this thing started I'm definitely going to use it...I'm sitting around with asthmatic bronchitis at school, completely unable to talk , wanting to be at home but can't since we have no subs to cover for me. I have my kids in the lab all day, can't teach, have caught up on everything imaginable and am REALLY I'm going to keep the thoughts runnin'...I suppose this is all really my fault since I had a bit of a cold from skiing all day Friday and then going out to the bar knowing I'm allergic to cigarette smoke and still stuck around after it started bothering me, but I've never gotten this bad before where it just keeps getting worse. And for me, not being able to talk is a real most of you all know! To say the least this is a very trying experience!

    So, integrity...I've been coaching since I started college, always been involved with the schools, have been in education now since 2003, so I figure I have a bit of experience with a wide range of students. When did responsibility and integrity get dropped from the English language? The kids can give me a sketchy sort of definition of responsibility at least, but haven't a clue what the word integrity I decided to start being a bit more aware of the people around me and try and figure out where this all stems from. And lo and behold, most folk I know my age and older don't have a clue about what responsibility for their actions even means. This means my lovely young adults I teach everyday haven't a clue because most have never had some sort of example to live by. Those of you who don't want to admit you can't give a precise definition of what integrity is, don't feel bad. It's should be more of a sense of what is right from wrong in ALL aspects of life rather than a bunch of words on a piece of paper. But if you want the textbook definition:

    Integrity is:
    1) A firm adherence to a code of especially moral or
    artistic values: INCORRUPTIBILITY
    2) An unimpaired condition: SOUNDNESS
    3) The quality or state of being complete or undivided:

    Synonym see HONESTY

    Pretty cut and dry huh? So why is this such a difficult concept for so many people these days? I find myself hitting the age where everyone I meet, especially the guys I date, come with a lot of baggage. The last three guys I've met and enjoyed talking with are divorced with kids. At first this was strange to me and my first thoughts were, "what did you do to get yourself in this situation?" And then I started hearing the stories. Yes, there are two sides to every situation, and usually more than just one person has done, said, whatever something they regret...but the fact of the matter was that one major player usually had some serious breach of integrity. To me this is not a concept I understand. I was raised to be responsible for my actions, to stand up for what I believe in, and most of all, be honest. Of course I've lied as a teenager to get out of trouble for doing stuff I probably shouldn't have done, who hasn't? But at least I wasn't getting myself into trouble, and adhered to the morals I had been raised with. Nobody just wanted to believe I wouldn't do something really stupid as a mouthy teenager. And I can't blame them. Those are phases everyone goes through and it doesn't make you a bad person. It's the things you do in life that effects others, negatively, that I have a problem with. For example, I caught a senior skipping class last week. Since it was the end of the hour and he was already taking an unexcused absence I simply only asked him where he'd been. He had no problem telling me what was up, but then proceeded to lie to another teacher right in front of me less than 20 minutes later. I piped in and told him not to lie, and the look he gave me was pure hate. He hasn't talked to me since and hasn't shown up for class either. What's up with that?! The only person he's truly hurting is himself I suppose, but why lie to someone and expect others to do it for them? Of course I wasn't putting myself into that situation and really, what kind of person expects another to lie for them?

    My grandfather always used to say, "don't blame the sheep, blame the shepard." And it's so true, the root of this is in the household. As a teacher sometimes I feel like I am expected to be raising these kids, teaching them not just how to write a kick-ass term paper, but the foundations of right from wrong. All I can do is serve as an example. It is not my place to tell them these things...I don't have kids yet!

    It seems to me there is a lot of bad feeling and hurt floating about simply because people can't be honest with either themselves or others. Integrity may be an easy concept to understand, but not necessarily an easy concept to practice. Most people want to either hide what they're thinking, or simply hide, in order not to deal with their actions. Quite personally I'd rather deal with the truth than wonder why someone's acting weird. Maybe I'm too outspoken but that's just me. My definition of a person who practices integrity? They aren't a chickenshit. Put bluntly.

    Gettin' Started

    So Diana (the other Miss. D) got one of these buggers goin' so I figured I'd follow in her steps since everyone is wondering when and where I disappeared to. I am in Southern Colorado...the San Luis Valley to be exact, or as my friends like to call it, "the Valley of No Men". Go figure. I moved out here in December of 2004 to accept a teaching position in a little town called Moffat. Currently I am teaching HS English, computers and drama, and coaching cheer and dance. I also manage an 800 acre ranch over in Saguache and train horses part time for the owner. So those of you who've been wonderin' where I went....well here I am!

    So I was running rodeo, but finally retired that old mare of mine. She's as sassy as ever, but gets to beat up on the youngins' when I use her for training. Other than that she's getting fat hanging out with the cattle. Just got a barrel horse sold so I think I'm out for this next season until I get another horse finished. I'm also still fighting wildland fires, and it looks like we have a kickin' season coming up so I may finally be able to afford that new truck I've been wanting. Also keeping up with forestry and working for the Forest Service in the summers.

    I escaped into Baja over my student's spring break. Absolutely beautiful and definitely relaxing! I plan on making it back down there at least once more this year. Anyone who wants to join me is more than welcome! I have a great place to stay on the Sea of Cortez, and it's dirt cheap too!

    Don't get me wrong. I love it out here, it's just a bit isolated. I spend a lot of time on my own when I'm not working, and rarely get out. It has been hard to meet people since they're few and far between, but I have managed to meet some great folk here and there whom I keep in regular touch with. But sometimes that party girl everyone once knew wants to escape a bit more often...So I promise to keep this sucker updated and look forward to hearing from more of y'all!