For realsies

Hairstyles That I Shall Not Rock July 28, 2012

I could spend a full forty hour workweek laboring to coax my hair to do any of what is going on in this shot.  And on Friday, it would revert back to its natural state (complete with price tag, as below):

This level of devotion to hair is actually quite commonplace among my students, strangely enough.  It is considered a medical necessity to take entire school days off in order to attend to one’s weave.   I am not even opposed to the concept of the “mental health day,” and perhaps I should chalk it up to that.  However, since the vast majority of my students are academically well below their actual grade level, it is a bit tougher to deal with a missed instructional day in the name of hair illness.  Especially since I end up sweeping up long clumps of fake hair from the classroom floor as the day approaches when my scholar shows up sporting her original, non-Diana Ross length hair.  I’m used to critters, though! See La Cucaracha en La Clase.

Which reminds me of Pinterest.  One of the recent strokes of genius disseminated to the masses involves a miraculous, DIY formula which promises to smooth the tresses of any doll whose hair has been compromised through excessive washing, playing,  or pet chewing.  So, theoretically, we could go from Messy Bun chick to Straight Red Hair model girl with minimal (and affordable) intervention.  Or, by the time the doll would finally resemble my childhood hairdo and make me feel at one with a popular toy, it would all end in sleek, flowing locks being restored by yet another miracle concoction that contains Dawn dishwashing liquid. The enemy of grease, and now, crazy hair. Oh, the cruel irony that it only works on fake hair!

Truthfully, I made peace with the curvy stuff that is my hair long before the flat iron came on the scene.  It is what it is.  Every several years, the unconstructed  messy hair thing becomes trendy for twelve minutes.  It’s exhausting, the paparazzi and all.


Passing on Vacation Bible School July 26, 2012

Filed under: family,humor,parenting,school,spirituality,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 3:32 pm
Tags: ,

I read a hilarious  blog post by Snarky in the Suburbs this week–When Vacation Bible School Turns Bad. It’s like, two years old and I couldn’t be happier that she reposted it.  Well, except for the fact that it threw me into a low level existential crisis.

See, I attended Vacation Bible School, several times.  More on that later. Snarky, on the other hand, has been recruited to teach it.  The fact that I am not affiliated with a specific denomination at this point in my life may have something to do with this distinction between our experiences.  And the God of any religion knows that I am not asking for that job. I am active in a spiritual community of sorts, but we are far more inclusive than exclusive.  I call my affiliation Christian Plus.  At a certain point, for me, God got too big to fit on one pathway.

My mom sent me to VBS at the Baptist Church. This was curious mostly because we were not Baptist, but Presbyterian–a lot less fiery (my mother was actually allergic to pepper).  I realize, thanks to Snarky, that I was sent there mostly because summer vacation is just too darn long.  Perhaps mom also hoped that some of that “don’t be naughty or you might burn in hell” finger wagging might rub off on me in my upcoming teenage years. Sorry, mom.

I don’t really remember much from hanging out with the Baptists.  I did win a jazzy Bible by memorizing twenty-seven verses—not the popular ones, either.  I have no idea what they were; I didn’t meditate on them, I memorized them.  This helped me to excel in theater in high school, which in turn cemented my place socially as  persona non grata.  That, and my co-founding of the CSDACP (see The Sanctity of the Spud ).

I do have a vivid memory of the weirdness of sitting in the pews and having the pastor strongly suggest that, if we did, in fact, love the Lord, we could and would come forward right then and there to be saved, reborn, etc. It just didn’t sit right.  I already felt naturally connected to God, who had provided a fair amount of comfort to a painfully shy young girl without the right hair, clothes, or toys to have the kind of good time fun that was being had by those girls on the Easy Bake commercials.

Recently, my youngest son struck up conversation with some neighbor kids across the street. They stay at their house, and aren’t allowed to venture out in the neighborhood.  My son LIVES to make new friends, and he was super excited about these newest ones.  A few days later, he came to me on the verge of tears to tell me that the kids were not allowed to play with him.  The kids had asked him if he knew the Lord, and if he had been saved.  For me, this was not great PR for Vacation Bible School.

Had he mentioned Harry Potter? Referred to his knowledge of mythological gods? The kid is one of the most spiritually wise people I know. All I could do was to remind him about what we do believe: that we are supposed to try to be good to everyone, and that everyone has their own way to experience their connection to spirit, whatever the name and tradition.  But that not everyone believes that.  I’m just glad he’s not going to VBS!


Treasures of Somebody’s Yard July 24, 2012

You know this guy, right? He’s a leaning cowboy, and he is wall art.  Please do not parade your racial insensitivity and call him a black cowboy.  I saw this guy hanging out on the wall of a garage out in the middle of nowhere.  Predictably, there were other examples of very sophisticated yard art displayed in close proximity, the combination of whose spinning power might very well supply enough energy to run the garage beer cooler.  I can only guess that the owners had recently returned from Windmill Con.

Perhaps the most impressive piece on display stood proudly opposite our friend, the leaning cowboy.  He looked something like this, except that, like Tex, he was nailed up on a white wall. 

As you can see, the long, feathered headdress suggests a stereotypical Plains individual.  I may have neglected mentioning the fact that these folks were spotted neither on the Plains or in anything that could be considered “West,” unless the year were 1786.  Another curious feature of this arrangement was that the native gentleman and the leaning cowboy were not created in the same scale, resulting in the appearance of slight dwarfism on the part of the “chief.”  Is it just me, or could this be viewed as problematic?  Are the enormous Monarch butterflies that surround them on the wall supposed to help to bridge the gap between them? Methinks that one would need at least giant hummingbirds to accomplish that.

Really hoping to see this conversation coming to the forefront of the election, by the way.



Victory Garden Defeat—the battle, not the war July 23, 2012

Leave a garden for a week during a heatwave, and this may be the only happy thing left.  It’s pretty clear that some of these plants just didn’t even make an effort to stay around, resentful little wimps that they are.  Apparently, they are not fond of pre-teen neighbor attention, and went all drought drama queen on her.  Some supposedly fantastic basil variety just decided life wasn’t worth living without me.  Really, BASIL? Are you not aware of your own horticultural roots (so to speak)? Your cousins over in the container seemed to be happy to continue living, while you decided that suicide was the only option.  Whatever. Let’s just say that you have not earned a spot in the Peachy garden of 2013.

Our Purple Heart goes to our darling dear one, the erstwhile fighter of a cherry tomato, little Sungold.  Before I snapped this shot, her eight or so sisters had already been snatched up and gobbled down by a kid who has fallen hook, line, and sinker for the propaganda that these things are as sweet as candy!  In this case, it is actually true.  And intensified by the crazy heat and lack of rain.  These babies on a pizza are insanely delicious.

If I were an urban farmer, like our neighbors down the street, I would be in severe danger of not making the grade right now. Edible flowers don’t put up so well for the winter.  As it stands, I am grateful for the opportunity to support those local farmers who didn’t go away last week, and whose crops didn’t throw the white flag up quite so quickly.  In the meantime, I am giving cool showers to all those folks in my yard who decided to stick around and give August a shot.


Manicure Gone Horribly Wrong July 13, 2012

I rarely, rarely avail myself of that upper-crust indulgence: the manicure.  Perhaps it comes from my Depression-era raised mother, who would be downright embarrassed to do such a thing.  On the other hand, I do treat myself to the occasional pedicure from time to time, and Mom would sooner have pierced cartilage (I upset her farm girl sensibilities when I got my lobes pierced, let alone any of that other heathen puncturing–it really created a rift that she carried to her grave).  Mom owned some nail polish, yes, but I am quite certain that the striation in the bottle’s contents indicates a pre-sixties Avon product.

For those of you who have a life, my research on your behalf reveals that the image at left is an example of what we do these days when we want to tell the world all about our latest nail color: hand hug the bottle whilst displaying our fresh and perfect manicure.

Getting back to depression,  this is not about a perfect manicure.  I did give it a shot, due to the lure of an online mani/pedi coupon.  I was paired up with a nail technician who was all but silent while taking the better part of two hours to complete said M/P.  It was nice, you know, the awkward quietude that enabled me to pay close attention to the sitcom broadcast on four flat screens in the cavernous, mostly empty and orange salon.  And everything looked quite nice at the end.

Let’s just cut to the chase and put it out there—by the time I was in my car, I had dinged up no fewer than three fingernails, rendering me impotent as a fingernail model.  HOW is it possible not to do this, I ask you!?  HOW can a five dollar bill be so destructive? Clearly, I am not made for manicuring.  My fingers reject nail polish and respond with the equivalent of digit projectile vomiting.

BUT WAIT! I saw something going on in there that supposedly yields an indestructible result, even in the face of the abrasive and abusive five dollar bill.  Varnish? Veneer? Shellac!! It seemed that the main difference is that you have to “cure” your newly-shellacked (?) claws in a mini-kiln for a couple of minutes, then walk on hot coals, after which your nails are ready to return to the potter’s wheel and form the urn of a lifetime!  Surely that costs more. . .



Caprese Salad: The Food of the Gods July 9, 2012

This is what dinner looks like (in July) in a home where a teacher lives!  There is basil in the garden! Tomatoes aren’t “in” yet (that means in season, not trendy) in the backyard, but you can get some at the grocery store that don’t taste like soggy rice cakes.

Okay, the bologna thing still happens.  See previous confession, “Bad Parenting with Bologna/Baloney”

I know that you want a stylized, Pinteresque tutorial on how to construct this delicacy, so here is a picture of the ingredients:

Here’s what you do: Chop up some garlic and then warm it up with a couple of tablespoons of good olive oil in the microwave (or on the stove, if you feel that microwaves are Satan’s cooking devices—but, really, come on—his appliances were installed long before the introduction of the lowly microwave).  This makes the fresh garlic less raw and bitey.  If you want to offend Giada De Laurentiis, you may want to substitute garlic powder.  Then whisk in a tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar.  By this time, you have sliced and arranged your tomatoes and fresh mozzarella in a way that could only be done by someone who did not go to work today.  If you did go to work, and you can still do this, I just need to hold on to the the belief that you have some large dust bunnies nesting elsewhere.  Toast up that nice Italian bread a bit, arrange it and your lovely basil and then drizzle your garlic/oil/balsamic yum over everything. Salt and fresh ground pepper.  Serve chewing gum for dessert, as everyone’s breath will smell like that of an old Italian dude.

Boom! Food of the Gods!


Keep a large, ugly coat handy—just in case July 7, 2012

Filed under: fashion,humor,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 3:57 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

     So, there is this enormous coat that lives at my house.  It’s a man’s coat, worn by the man of the house on any day where there is a chance of freezing temperature or some possibility that he may be called away to the Arctic Circle on business.  It’s reversible, which is an iron-clad guarantee that we won’t be seeing it or any of its counterparts on the runway of Fashion Week anytime soon.  Except in Yakutsk.  The coat has resisted stepping aside gracefully in the face of not one, but two purchases of stylish and attractive outerwear.  Its pockets contain what amounts to a small Y2K kit and about seventy thousand minor receipts, presumably for the items in the doomsday prep outfit: gum, lighters, fun size candy bars.   You have figured out that this is not the coat of a fitness nut.

I am using today’s ninety-degree plus temperature as an excuse to A:  Deep six the coat in the attic, and, B:  Stuff some tube socks in the sleeves to “hold its shape.”  The geometrical term for the shape to which I refer is “amorphous coatlyhedron.”  No, I have no idea where your tube socks went.  Maybe they went to look for a nice tube to live in.

I try super hard to live and let live in the wardrobe department, especially since I have recently felt that my own wardrobe is beginning to lean toward the Amish persuasion.  If he had his druthers, though, no item of his clothing would ever go to Goodwill or become a soft and absorbent rag, regardless of holes, paper thinness, or ugliness of coat.  However, sometimes I am weak.  I may have let slip once that he could not wear the “homeless guy coat” out to dinner.  And then, I might have postscripted that one with something to the effect of–“I am not comfortable going on a date with Aqualung.”



The Nerd Factory vs. Those Sassy Amish July 3, 2012

Filed under: education,family,humor,parenting — peachyteachy @ 8:01 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Lowlight: Threw on what I’d like to think is a sassy black maxi skirt.  In a moment of religious fervor, threw on a pair of black athletic clog/slides to run some debris out to the trash can.  Caught sight of my reflection in a window, and realized that I have become a flipping Amish woman.  Hitching up my buggy as we speak, prepared to donate all actual sassy clothing to Goodwill. Call me Nouveau Amiche.

Highlight: Today we went to the library—it’s on our “Summer Fun!” list on the fridge!  Thank God for the cheap and repetitive entries on the “Summer Fun” list.  My eldest son will be a senior in college; his bro is eight and his biggest fan.  As a result, the two of them have a far deeper understanding of the world of comic books and graphic novels than I ever hope to develop.  As a teacher of many students who possess limited literacy at best, far be it from me to give my own kids a hard time over their reading choices.  Big Boy is a reliable screener for comic book content, anyway, so I am not practicing heavy censorship here.   Besides, Little Boy tends to report when things stray from the straight and narrow, as when he reflected on a recent Pokemon graphic novel: “This is way more violent than the TV show,” when, apparently, there was some decapitation of Pokemon going on in there.  That’s the risk you run when you turn kids loose on books.

All risky business aside, it was a tender moment this afternoon, when I looked up to notice that we were all sitting in the living room, lost in our respective tomes.  I thought to myself, with pride, “I am a freaking Nerd Factory.”

If, for some reason, you still labor under the illusion that it’s not awesome to be a nerd, you are clearly not a part of a community of self-proclaimed “nerdfighters” known as “nerdfighteria.”  To find out more, you should explore some of our favorite You Tube video bloggers, Vlogbrothers. They are the originators of the whole nerdfighter movement and they have carried me through some dark days as an educator by providing hope that there are good, funny, smart people out there and they aren’t giving up.  Start with a silly little synopsis,  How to be a Nerdfighter.  You will see why I am happy to be raising nerds in a reality TV wasteland.



Throwing a Party, Gelatin Style July 1, 2012

Filed under: bad dining,food,humor — peachyteachy @ 7:59 pm
Tags: , , ,

Jell-O is a trademark. Obviously.

I am not throwing a party, at least not the kind that involves people coming over, setting up a s’mores buffet, and playing miniature badminton on our miniature badminton court.  But I did make Jell-O, which is a party in itself; am I right? This partified vibe becomes intensified when one makes GREEN Jell-O (sometimes referred to, loosely, as “Lime”).  I would argue that it is cooler to see the world through a serving of green Jell-O than through rose-colored glasses.

Where does Ms. Peachy come by this abiding passion for Jell-O and its entertaining properties, you ask?  You may be surprised to learn that it has nothing to do with the famed party-starter, the Jell-O shot— although I have perused scores of variations on the theme whilst procrastinating doing some other distasteful,  occupation-oriented task.

I like vintage advertising (not Jell-O shots— yeah, it’s a crazy party life I lead).  One of my faves is a thirties era Jell-O recipe book entitled “The Jell-O Girl Gives a Party.” They apparently used to give parties, back before life got so harsh and we started throwing things all the time.  Either way, this little manifesto of Jell-O was ostensibly written by the Jell-O girl herself, so you can understand why I was compelled to buy it.   There are some recipes in here that will put hair on  your chest, not the least of which is the Prune Whip, which utilizes my least favorite Jell-O flavor, orange. Oh, and, um, prune pulp. The garnish? Think hard; what goes well with prune pulp and orange Jell-O? Prunes, with a half walnut inserted in each one!  I don’t know about you, but I’m not really interested in inserting any nut into any conceivable prune.

An excerpt for your reading enjoyment:

“We worked very hard and fixed the table all up just wonderful.  I wanted to buy the flowers in the shop, but my ‘lowance wasn’t enough, so my mother said I could make it a pussy willow party, with pussy willows, that I could pick myself, in the center of the table, and daffodils from our garden, and a yellow and white cloth.

And we did.  Daddy bought pussy pups for favors.  That was the ‘sprise—You don’t know whether they’re cats or dogs, but they’re very, very lucky.” The Jell-O Girl Gives a Party p. 7.

And they never elaborate any further on those favors (‘sprise!), which are probably going to drastically increase the traffic on this blog.  The appendices include a Pinterest-ish illustrated piece called “Jell-O Girl tells how to do the daily exercises.” These are moves that really could be mastered by any 90-year-old, so it’s pretty inspirational.

My point? Make some! Unless you’re vegan, in which case you don’t like that pesky hoof component. . .


She’s inspired

Inspired to inspire


For realsies

Bill Pearse

Writing is learning to see in the dark

Random and Scattered Thoughts!

I might not be always right, but it's my point of view.

Christopher De Voss

Life, Humor, And Zombies

ThinMan's Blog

A geezer's ramblings

Just a dad ...

Still a coach. Still a daddy. Just not Coach Daddy anymore.

Snapshots of Second Grade...and Shirley

Mrs. Tonnessen's Classroom Blog

Miss Lou Acquiring Lore

Gallery of Life...

The Irrefutable Opinion

Assaults on the Casually Mundane by K. Jean King

Mister G Kids

A daily comic about real stuff little kids say in school. By Matt Gajdoš

The Blog of Funny Names

Celebrating Great People With Greater Names.

Lame Adventures

A Humor Blog

The Magical Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Recipes

Essential Bygone Housewifery

A daily assemblage of the obsolete, the antiquated, and the curious practices of the erstwhile homemakers of a vanished era. Including lost secrets in the areas of Cooking, Baking, Personal Care, Remedies, Cleaning, Entertaining, Crafting, Decorating, and other miscellany of household management.


For the Love of Vintage

Views from the Valley

Middle America musings

Bite Size Canada

Canadian trivia and history in bite size chunks!

The Tattooed Teacher

Adventures in Elementary School

The Great American Memoir!

Like, share, comment, follow, tweet, etc.

Glory Of Zig

I'll be the blog you're dreaming of

Photography and Travel


Crayons, cookies, cards, and cat hair.

%d bloggers like this: