Friday, September 29, 2006

so proud of china girl

Grade 2, Changning Campus

I am very excited to be teaching second grade! Through living in China, I am able to combine my love of teaching and my love of traveling to create a memorable experience unlike any other. Until now, I have lived my entire life in the sunny state of Florida in the United States. I received my Bachelors degree in Elementary/Exceptional Child Education from Flagler College in St. Augustine, and then continued on to receive my Masters degree in Elementary Education from University of North Florida. I am also certified to teach ESOL students. I taught second grade for four years and first grade for one year in Jacksonville, Florida. As much as I love the beach, living in a great city like Shanghai has been an exciting change.When I'm not teaching, I'm usually exploring Shanghai. I love riding my bicycle, reading, writing, and of course, shopping! I also enjoy trying the many restaurants around town. I'm particularly excited about traveling in China and other countries in Asia! I look forward to getting to know the children and families here at SCIS.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

good way to start the day

First thing this morning, I found these cute photos of Sons of Artists waiting for me. So adorable! I can really see artist mommy and artist daddy there. Time certainly does fly!

Monday, September 25, 2006

sheep or wolf?

met mr. parmet the other day and on his biz card it says

The price of being a sheep is BOREDOM.
The price of being a wolf is LONELINESS.
Choose one or the other with great care.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Thanks for the beach sun!

Just want to send a THANK YOU to the rock star family for allowing Mr. Wonderful and DragonFLY join in on the weekend fun at the beach. I caught up on my reading and the latest in rock star mom's life. She is on the go even with another little rock star kid on the way! We were making up names throughout the weekend for the little one -- Blaise, Mossimo, Santa, Hunter, Thor, Dawson, Zeus, Hagan, T. It was fun to namestorm. Whatever they choose will be perfect. My favorite rock star name is STING. Maybe that's what they need to go with...rock star dad already looks like him. I am emailing their fan club right now.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Jim turned 40 at Room 3nine!

Billy the redhead and I at Hobo's 40th birthday at Room 39!
We were wearing t-shirts with his high school photo (mullet included).
He was voted Most Likely to Rock.
I think he's fulfilled his graduating class' expectation.
Happy Birthday to HOBO!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

got a problem? one way to find a solution.

when you sit down and really think about how to go about solving a problem, things become so clear. first and foremost, figure out what the problem is. many times, we mistake a problem without really understanding the source. what's really going on here? am i upset about the dishwasher being broken or am i just stressed because i know that i'll have to figure out how to fix it like i do with everything else and in the meantime, it's going to take away from my already piled up list of to do's that i try and stay on top of daily? to dig even deeper -- i am really upset about being stressed and not having enough time to do everything. so once the problem is identified, i begin to think of possible solutions: i can fix it. i can try to get ted to fix it. i can choose not to fix it and handwash the dishes. i can go ahead and get a whole new dishwasher.

so those potential solutions are a good start. from here, i pick one that seems most reasonable. maybe it doesn't work so instead of trying to bang my head against the wall and do the whole thing again, i try something else. this time, it almost works but not quite the way i thought it would. so, again, i look at another possible option and just for the sake of brevity of this post, it works! the dishwasher is now in working condition. i feel much better because i have time to do something else and i move forward happily to the next thing on the list.

when it comes to problems, i think of how many times i forget this simple exercise of just understanding what's really going on and then taking the time to come up with some viable solutions. now, not every problem or as some would say, challenges for growth, extend the luxury of time to figure it out thoroughly but when it does, instead of jumping in and possibly making it harder, try and remember to take some time. to stop. to breathe and to regroup. to think about it and for a lot of us women out there -- to talk about it. then, most importantly, begin working on solutions. even more importantly, MOVE FORWARD! when faced with something similar in the future, know what worked and what didn't. try to stay the course of being able to see the many problems that come our way on a regular basis and how it's a way to stretch ourselves and challenge our abilities to know that we can make it through anything. i mean, anything! to encourage and reinforce that, look closely at some of the people who surround us. think about some of their obstacles that they endured which ended up being what brought them to us as a friend or to a better place in life. think about the difficulties that you've experienced personally and how being on the other side of them sheds light on how strong the human spirit is and how by choosing to move forward, any one of us can face whatever it is knowing that there's hope because we're alive.

Monday, September 18, 2006

day off from the weekend

i got to work this morning and thought, i should be home today. the weekend was so full of activity i could barely breathe before the next thing.

so, as far as the best of for each day, below is an attempt to try and encompass it all:

friday: amy lyn arriving :-) going shopping with her, making a cheese tray and getting a new green bag

saturday: hearing the quote -- Every baby born has the capacity to change the world. it gave me goose bumps. briefly riding around on a green motorcycle...

sunday: having coffee with ted, sr., luis wearing green to coordinate with my outfit

monday: hoping that it will be a NAP!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Victory for Voodoo

Played two great soccer games last night. Won both but the most important win was with the Voodoo Posse! I have missed kicking the ball around for the last three weeks. So glad the rain stayed away long enough...There were a couple of light showers throughout the night. The last time we played the red team, the field felt like a swamp. Just for laughs, I actually found a picture of Swamp Soccer.
To another great season!

best thing of the day: playing soccer

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

and for the best

monday: the possibility of brainstorming with imagineers and my meeting with andrea
tuesday: remembering trish with ted

i was reminded tonight how important it is to not be afraid. also, i was reminded how some people just understand. they've been given this amazing gift to see a situation and instead of lashing out, they know how to embrace what is really happening and carry it forward instead of letting it drop into a place of ugliness.

Do not be afraid for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name. You are mine.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up;
The flames will not consume you.For I am the Lord, your God,The holy One of Israel, your Savior”(Isaiah 43:1-4)


Yes! I started reading a new book that I want to finish before giving the DragonFLY report on it. So far, I am very impressed.

Here's an excerpt...Title to come later.


-- To give our heart a place to rest.
-- To support the unfolding story of our life.
-- To challenge us to GROW and become our BEST.
-- To give us a place to play.

If I had money to buy a billboard, I would want to highlight the following to people:

Confidants listen without judgement!
Treat our friends' confidences with respect if we want trust to grow.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

these are days

happy birthday catherine!
i'm not only the president of cathy's fan club, i'm also a member.
a TRUE FRIEND challenges us to be REAL with ourselves and with them.

one minute i'm ready to have a nice dinner with friends and the next minute, i am potentially on my way out of town to an exotic place for the weekend. such was my weekend...never quite knowing where i'd end up. i do believe it all worked out the way it was suppose to. i love my friends...the real ones. the ones that share, listen, understand, see, recognize and are themselves.

on friday, which i just started typing accidentally as frienday, i had an opportunity to help support one of my best during a difficult time...i was willing to go and do whatever. it ended up that she just needed my availability for comfort which was fine because she's got bigger fish to fry in the grand scheme of things. but then, the evening opened up for another way to connect with a friend who i've been away from for way too long. no excuses, i was going to see her. so i did. the visit ended up being the cherry on top of an exhausting but absolutely wonderful week. she and i talked about so many things that i rarely get to talk about with anyone. the sign of a great friendship is the inspired conversation that comes along during your time together. because of this experience, i shall return along with mr. wonderful so that she and i can resume the conversation while the guys take on the little people. thank you for welcoming me, embracing me and challenging me to think about what's important.

saturday, mr. wonderful and i did our breakfast thing. i'm thinking about breaking the law and marrying a blueberry pancake. as strange as that sounds, i just love 'em. if they weren't so starchy and topped with evilness, i'd have one every day. instead, i mind the thought...too much of a good thing...i can't even remember but you know how it goes. we prepared the koos for our departure later that afternoon. we've been traveling with kitties, litter box and insulin shots but this time, i put my foot down and said, "no! we travel with people only today!" cats are way too stressed in a car and i had arranged with catlover friend, to take care of them for the whole 27 hours we were planning to be away. got to the big house by dinner and enjoyed family time and football in the background. met up with joe at square one which was so dead. i remember when that place was packed wall to wall. what happened? despite the lack of people, we had a swell time.

sunday morning breakfast is key...where to go? i basically turned right out of the big house neighborhood and trusted that i'd find something yummy. sure enough...i did. they had great coffee, great food and most importantly, a display of the most beautiful cakes you ever did see. jackpot! along with the coffee and cake, was a casserole of conversation that continues to shed light on the crazies and all of the corruption in the cracker box. i can't complain. life is really good. after breakfast, there was a flurry of activities which included a quick shopping trip and a joint push out the door of all the males. i was left by my lonesome which was the plan all along. i did what any woman in need of some relaxation would do, i soaked. i was in the tub almost an entire afternoon. since i finished my other book on the car ride, i started reading the new one and got about halfway through it while i sat in the tub. it was absolutely perfect. to round it all off, i traveled down and got myself some phad thai noodles. excellent. it rained. i didn't care. jets flew over the house and made the earth shake. i didn't care. the jags beat the cowboys. i didn't care. the only care i had was to relax, read my book or not read my book and thoroughly revel in the beauty of allowing myself to just be. i highly recommend it.

a few best things of the day -
friday: pumpkin pie with cool whip and the love it was served with

saturday: dancing with mr. wonderful
sunday: where do i begin? solitude.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.
~ Ayn Rand

Thursday, September 07, 2006

tiara president and you're fantastic

~ Michelangelo

started the day at first watch with three cups of joe (woohoo) and some fancy oatmeal. always tastes better when someone else makes it. then, k and i left for jacksonville. before we knew it, we were conference calling and discussing upcoming strategies of how to message this and how to coordinate that. so amazing what you can get done while driving from meeting to meeting. the actual destination, aka meeting, was "fantastic." got to see my pal get her new tiara as the president of all of north florida pr. she was adorable as she stood proudly behind a podium that was about the same height as her. she certainly handled the whole process with total poise and good humor -- my favorite combo in any public speaking venue. just fyi for y'all -- pr folk can be pretty persnickety about how you communicate..they're the experts ya know. table talk was good...talked to a former grocery store chain corporate communication senior director about life after a company she moved 2,000 miles to work for (with husband and children in tow) goes bankrupt. enjoyed a presentation about the importance of ethics, diversity and leadership from the current national pres. who is cooler than cool. met three flagler seniors getting ready to graduate in december. hugged wendy who is heading up the sunshine state and kicking some big ones publicizing one of the chicken soup for the soul guys newest project. stopped by mr. j's house but found it empty. he was still out and about with the "old farts" on the golf course. to wrap the meeting portion of this endless word spicket, the whole experience was full of good connections and an opportnity to see how things are done elsewhere. the drive was a bit rocky back to o-town because of the rain and i-4 traffic (one of my dislikes as you may recall). had to get back in the office to keep images in check. k goes back without me...where am i? at home? at the nail shop (that was the plan if i would've been told to go)? nope! instead, i grabbed the umbrella and walked from the parking garage after sitting in bumper to bumper traffic while cats and dogs fell from the sky. coincidentally, king j opened the door for me. "perfect," i thought. he needs to see my utter devotion to coming back from a four hour drive, to spend the last hour and a half in the office to deal with a total of two hours of traffic to and from the office. it totally makes sense on planet insane! just keep smiling at him. laugh at the funny joke even though your umbrella has made a huge water stain on the "only for special days" green jacket. back at the office - i perused the email which ended up being a good thing. chatted it up with my office neighbor and ate the last two of my favorite teeny dessert bars that were left over from yesterday's meeting. sugar always throws me into optimism. thank goodness! it made the thought of sitting in traffic again somewhat bearable. talked to sweet mother of four kids under six who doesn't believe in television, on the ride home...dinner is on for tomorrow night. told her how much she meant to trish and got a bit teary-eyed. the day i called her to give the sad news, i ended up crying over the phone to her husband about it. poor guy. i don't think he understood a word i said. men don't really speak female cry-anese. made it home in nowhere near record time and made a point to just read through catalogs and dream about getting new lamps for fifteen minutes that felt like seconds...unwinding...feeling social again...changing my outfit...ready to go back out to the big bad world of crowded roads and bad drivers. met the crew at i.d. for the thursday chinese food eating contest. mr. wonderful (with big mouth) won as he scarfed all of my lo mein. yes, he did order but as usual, he liked what i ordered better. heard the latest about some crazies that drive people, good and intelligent people, to question the point of using rational thought when it doesn't seem to work in certain environments with certain unreasonable indivduals. everyone is hanging in there which makes my heart smile. they got they're crazy shot that's good until at least the end of the year. that's where i went wrong. anyways, i ended the evening with a call from the be-fri. love that girl. she had lots of great things to share. hope you got the dog in...when i get a dog, i am going to send it to your house too. life is good, really good. the only reason it's less than perfect tonight is because the dolphins lost to the steelers. i promised mr wonderful a.k.a. #1 dolphins fan, that miami would bring it but somehow they fell short. my apologies to mr. wonderful. dragonfly doesn't know american football and also does not own a crystal ball.

from left field -- happy birthday m.r., wherever you are!

best thing of the day: blueberry tootsie pops

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

best things

The present moment is where life can be found. And if you don't arrive there, you miss your appointment with life. You don't have to run anymore. Breathing in, we say, "I have arrived." Breathing out, we say, "I am home."
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Some of the best things of the day since I last posted:

Friday: cats in the car

Saturday: sleeping in, more dreams for me

Sunday: walking into a mess on Hawthorne and being a part of the transformation, soaking in the tub and reading a hundred pages of the latest page turner

Monday: having a thank you moment with Mr. J, holding my nephew who is the most beautiful baby in the world, seeing my brother

Tuesday: red velvet cake

Wednesday: finding trish's old lipstick box in the junk drawer. remembering how much she loved it and how i would make special trips to the mall to find it for her.


Find the best in every moment, every person. There's good for each of us packaged in a gift box full of life and wrapped in time.

Today, I received Jennifer W.'s newsletter. How can you not love her? She is a fabulous writer who comes across so personable. Seriously, I feel like she's one of my best girlfriends.

Strangely today and mostly Monday, I feel for Terry. He has no idea what he's missing...

Friday, September 01, 2006

likes & dislikes

dragonFLY dislikes:

1. onions
2. inconsideration
3. trash-filled cars
4. spam
5. bad coffee
6. cheap pens
7. unfriendly people
8. greasy breakfasts
9. supermarket sushi
10. i-4 traffic
11. liars
12. big spiders
13. cell phones in a movie
14. coca-cola/pepsi
15. yelling car commercials
16. bad strawberries
17. lamb
18. cookie cutters
19. cooking
20. dirty dishes and silverware
21. strong perfume
22. jelly fish/bees/anything that can sting you
23. stale cupcakes
24. rubber neckers
25. airplane bathrooms
26. smelling cigarette smoke
27. any movie with tom green in it
28. super sizing
29. forgetting birthdays (i'm guilty of this but i still don't like it)
30. instant information all the time whenever and wherever
31. excessive selfishness
32. low ceilings
33. mold
34. saying goodbye
35. my knee
36. tiny tubs
37. curtains/blinds/drapes closed at all times
38. mean geese
39. deadbeat dads
40. ignorance
41. corn syrup
42. liver
43. cheap haircuts
44. bad grammar (it's everywhere, even on the dragonFLY blog)
45. small minded thinking
46. insincere apologies (I'm sorry but...)
47. people who destroy beautiful things and/or people
48. arrogance
49. judgers
50. senseless crime
51. bullies or people who abuse power
52. cancer

dragonFLY likes:

1. tj
2. laughing
3. surprises
4. good books
5. breathing
6. journals
7. well written tv
8. bloggers
9. good photos
10. board games
11. magazines
12. packages
13. j.jill clothes
14. gilmore girls
15. handmade jewelry (spec. by Vickie D.)

16. green
17. saag paneer
18. jennifer weiner
19. music that connects you
20. simplicity
21. mild organization
22. boats
23. cake
24. bringing people together
25. making stuff - cards, gifts, paper airplanes
26. the keys
27. sunshine
28. giant flowers
29. truffles
30. post its
31. new places
32. friends
33. learning a different language
34. the ocean
35. yoga
36. soccer
37. blueberries
38. learning
39. high speed internet
40. dictionaries
41. celebrating for and with other people about anything positive
42. massages
43. familiar smiles
44. art
45. bobby's world
46. unplanned discounts
47. word of mouth about anything good
48. driving fast - i was born to be a race car driver
49. nice paper
50. animals, big and small
51. givers over takers
52. listening
53. good conversation
54. taking time alone
55. parades
56. survivors
57. climbing trees
58. watching sunsets and sunrises
59. a new box of crayons
60. a library card
61. singing karaoke
62. taking photos
63. arnold palmers
64. the #9
65. bartering
66. walking backwards
67. receiving a letter
68. writing a letter
69. sharpies
70. nice people
71. good customer service
72. making the best of whatever - "it's not what happens to us!"
73. cool lamps
74. ted's curry chicken
75. taking responsibility
76. soul collage
77. choices
78. being uplifted and uplifting others
79. focusing on what's important
80. support
81. relaxing
82. card shops
83. true friendship
84. tea -- hot, cold, whatever
85. true love

86. Thai food