Friday, March 26, 2010

Crafty Schtuff

Here are some pictures of things I have made, as mentioned in the previous blog post. I only had a cheap webcam for photographing, so please excuse the crappy quality.

Here is a statue of Freya I made for an ex-boyfriend:

My Maiden, Mother and Crone:

Pagan Blog Prompts - Creativity

A simple question today - how do you combine Creativity and Spirituality? Do you craft all the things needed for your rituals? Do you create one (or a couple different) kind of tool for ritual that you then sell? Or is the art created in ritual enough to satisfy you soul for a while? Perhaps maintaining your Book of Shadows is your creativity exposed....

This is the first time I've ever answered one of these prompts, but I saw it on Absynthe and Arsenic and it was right up my alley.

I haven't done much crafting here for several reasons. One, I just don't have the energy or focus during the week. I'm a babysitter to rich, privileged teenagers during the week and am too drained when I get home to think about being terribly creative . Two, my craft supplies are 6,000+ miles away, stored in my mom's house. But yes, I do craft.

I have made my own Goddess prayer beads. I've made several Goddess charms for necklaces, various Day of the Dead skull crafties - bracelets, necklaces, what have you - and runes. I make little Goddess figures and little bitsy foodstuffs for kitchen altars as well. All of these things are made out of polymer clay. When I return to the states, I fully intend to learn how to make resin jewelry so I can make some groovy Goddess stuff out of it too.

I've tried my hand at candle making but haven't made ritual candles yet. Another project I want to complete upon my return to the U.S. is my kitchen altar. I have plans for it that I will divulge at a later date. I was also repainting some nativity sets to look like Day of the Dead sugar skulls. Those I plan to sell, methinks. I'll repaint any statue I can get my hands on, really. I have a minor obsession with El Dia de los Muertos, it seems. :)

Last but not least, I cook. Cooking is my kitchen witch craft. Even if I am not making a recipe for a magical purpose, the food is still made with love in mind, so it still has some magical properties.

Oh, and the cookies made everyone very, very happy today. Mission accomplished. :D

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Friday!

Oh thank gods this week is almost over! It seemed to go by much, much faster than last week. I was about at the end of my rope last week, but now I don't feel as run down. The weather looks to be improving too, which is always a plus.

It's Friday and what that sometimes means here at Koc is cookies. I get cookie cravings and I want to bake, but I can't have a bunch of cookies in the house or I'll eat them all! Every once in a while I will bake a double batch of cookies and take them to work. I think it's nice to have a sweet treat at the end of the week, especially since this track has been so long. We don't have any breaks during the third 8-week period of the school year and boy is it tough! But today we have peanut butter chocolate chip cookies to help us through the day. Next week we have two class days, two days for final exams, and then we're on spring break. Woo hoo!!!

Does anyone have any cooking projects lined up for the weekend? I don't, but when my friends get here from England, I plan to cook up a storm. I trust there will be no objections! I'll be taking them to sample some of the lovely Turkish cuisine the city has to offer as well. I also hope to get some major walking in. I can't seem to break my plateau! April 4 is my one-year bandiversary and I've only lost 50 lbs or so. Actually closer to 47, as I seem to gain and lose the same couple of pounds all the time lately. I'm stepping up the exercise but I have to step down the cookie cravings too. :)

I imagine I'll be on my own this weekend as I usually am, so I'll probably be blogging and farting around on Facebook and various instant messengers. If you're going to be online, drop me a line and I'll hook you up with a screen name.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Blessings of Spring!

I hope you all have a lovely Ostara, no matter how you choose to celebrate. Me, I'm doing some much-needed spring cleaning this weekend. I'm focusing on the kitchen, where I will sweep and wipe, reorganize and smudge. I'm also getting as much sleep as possible, as this last week just wore me out!

Today it is lovely and mild in Istanbul. I hope you are all enjoying lovely spring weather as well. It's been cold here, but today it is several degrees warmer than it has been, the sky is blue and the sun is shining. I said a little prayer of thanks as I walked down to the shop this afternoon. Spring, it's nice to see you. Please stay a while.

For those of you in the southern hemisphere, I wish you a lovely and blessed Mabon!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I never thought I would have 71 followers, much less get awards for my blog, but I'm very pleased! The Beautiful Blogger and Sunshine awards both come from the beautiful Magaly of Pagan Culture. Thank you so much!

I've been a bit down lately, Dear Readers. Ol' Aunt Flo has me feelin' a bit blue (or purple?) and I've had the longest, most stressful, most exhausting week at work. I am so thankful tomorrow is Friday!

I'm going to dance to the beat of my own drum with these awards, as Magaly suggested. I shall post a strange tidbit of information about myself, plus some things that make me happy.

My weird fact: I have a certain way of hanging toilet paper. We all do. The thing with is, if I go to any other bathroom and the toilet paper is hanging the other way, I'll switch it. I could be at the White House and I would do it!

Things that make me smile: Animals of all sorts, especially baby animals. Well, who doesn't love baby animals? They bring sunshine into my life. It gets lonely here.

Halloween decorations, especially if left up after Halloween, also make me smile. Pretty much any unseasonal display will illicit at least a smirk from me.

Kitchen gadgets. I'm a kitchen gadget geek.

Cute kids. I may not want any of my own right now, but I like to smile at other people's.

Now, to whom shall I pass the awards?

Mama Fey, come on down! http://mamafey.blogspot.com/

Mama Feoneafey is a fellow kitchen witch and recent recipient of a Beautiful Blogger award, but I think she could use a little Sunshine too.

I'll have to do another award post when my brain is working a bit better. It's almost 8:30 and I'm going to force myself to wait until 9 until I go to bed. Ugh, I'm old!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Can't get it out of my head

A couple of weeks ago, one of the students from the university where I teach committed suicide. He was only 20. I don't know precisely why he took his life, but I think the pressure of university life had a good bit to do with it. Again, I don't know. I didn't know this young man, but my heart aches for him and for his family and friends. Please, if you can spare a moment, stop to think about how much you, as an individual, mean to the universe in its entirety. To someone, you are the wold. Rest in peace, Erkin Aslanturk. My heart weeps. If only someone could turn back time...if only we could've stretched out our arms to catch you as you fell.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Leathra at Confessions of a Crafty Witch tagged me for the photo game. Here's the procedure: Go to your first photo file. Post the 10th photo in that file and explain it. Tag five more people.

Some of y'all may have been tagged before. If so, don't feel obligated to do it again. Here's my picture.

This was taken in January of this year. We don't usually get a lot of snow in Istanbul and we didn't really get a whole lot, but it was heavy. The tree isn't very big, so it was easily overwhelmed by the wet, heavy snow.

Tags go to...
Judith at Merlin's Magickal Mistress
Nydia at Bringing up Salamanders
Elizabeth Rhiannon at Elizabeth Rhiannon Is...
Suzie Ridler at Suzie the Foodie
Iris at Iris Awakened

My tattoo

The photo quality isn't that great, but it's the best I can do for now. I've had this tattoo since 2000. A friend of mine designed it for me. I wanted a Green Man, a seasonal depiction, but I didn't tell Isaac that. He presented his sketch to me and it turned out to be exactly what I had in mind.

A chance to teach

I'm a teacher, so every day should be a chance to teach right? Well, only if the kiddos feel like learning that day (they usually don't). Sometimes, though, they surprise me.

I sometimes get asked what my tattoo means. My Green Man tattoo is usually visible, as it's rather high on my chest. Today when one of my students asked me what it meant, I told him it was a tattoo of the Green Man and that he should look up the information on Wikipedia. Well, the girl next to him whipped out her cell phone and while the rest of the students were finishing their grammar quiz, she looked up and read information on the Green Man. In English, no less! Sweeeeeeeeet. :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A nice article on Ostara

Click the title to go to the article on witchvox.com. Bronwynn Torgerson has written a nice article with ways to reconnect to the earth and to Ostara. While I don't think Ostara has become largely a children's Sabbat, I like her suggestions and the images she invokes. She even includes suggestions for a spring picnic, which you know I like!

Here is a little snippet from the article:

You may have to take the taste of spring camping with you. Put together a salad of spring greens and herbs. Set a dish of plump strawberries or blackberries for dessert. I dare you to play at face painting by tracing some of the juice across your nose or cheeks!

Pour yourself a glass of spring water with a sprig of mint. Dice up an apple and scatter it nearby, that the creatures of the earth might dine too. If you are led to say a pagan grace, it might be something like this:

“Blessed is the earth on which I stand. One Mother, giver of all life, renewed and renewing for time without end. Blessed is the goodness you provide to nurture my body and soul. May I walk gently, ever mindful of your grace. So mote it be.”

Savor your little feast and thank Ostara for feeding you once again. Take time to be grateful. After your meal, see what gift you can give back to the earth. Pick up some aluminum cans or trash. Pour the last of your water at the base of a tree, or bury a few silver coins for the unseen spirits of the land.

How lovely. Thank you, Bronwynn Torgerson.

The meal *is* the ritual!

Okay, I admit it. I've pretty much cornered myself. I don't do a whole lot outside of the kitchen. Sure, I'm trying to get back into reading Tarot and I meditate sometimes, or just light some candles, burn some incense and spend time in quiet prayer. However, these things don't happen as often I'd like. Being more spiritual here, far from witchy friends and family, hasn't been easy. I'm really, really looking forward to a visit from Maz because when I'm with her, I practice reading cards more, I meditate more, I do more energy work. Hopefully our friend Deb will also be joining her in Istanbul.

Here's what I'm working on. As the post suggests, I am hoping to work out something for kitchen witches and non-kitchen witches alike. It's for those of us who are often overcome by the mundane world and just don't seem to have any inspiration or energy leftover for the spiritual side of life.

What you will need (and by need, I mean what I suggest you have)

candles, white or colored to correspond to the directions
dried sage or rosemary for smudging
fresh rosemary
sea salt
meal of your choice

Start by cleaning the area physically. Remove all the junk from the dining room table or kitchen table and wipe it down. Then you can smudge the room with the rosemary or sage bundle. Use the fresh sprig of rosemary to flick salt water around the area too, cleansing it of negative energies, distractions, etc. Say what you wish.

The candles can be placed around the room, on the corners of the table, or clustered in the middle of the table. Light them and call upon your personal representations of the directions - watchtowers, the elements, what you will.

Leave some sage or rosemary burning in a dish. If you have a charcoal for incense, place it in a dish of salt or sand (to absorb the heat) and sprinkle the herbs on top. If you choose this option, I would place the dish off the table.

Lay the food out on the table. Give thanks. Invite the gods to partake of the feast with you. Enter the circle created around the table, clockwise, and be seated. If there are others with you, hold hands around the table as you give thanks. if you are gathering for a special purpose, state it.

Eat the meal slowly, quietly, savoring the flavors and textures, thinking about the energies carried by the ingredients.

When the meal is finished, place an offering of food outside if you can. Thank the elements, gods, spirits, etc. for attending and finish as you would any other ritual.

You know what I'm thinking? Brunch

Ostara is almost upon us. How will you be celebrating? I am thinking of hosting a brunch, but it probably won't happen until shortly after Ostara, due to work. It won't be a strictly Pagan affair, either, as I'll invite coworkers to celebrate. I want to have it sometime during my Sister Maz's visit. Maz, sweetie, if you're reading this, tell me what you think! :)

I don't have any space for a garden, so I won't be planting anything. If I manage to land a job back in the U.S., I won't be here to watch a plant grow anyway. However, seed spells for growth, fertility, creativity, etc. are a good idea for Ostara, so I might grab a pumpkin or sunflower seed that I can just carry with me. Any thoughts or ideas?

Anyhoo, back to the cookin', 'cos that's what I do. My oven was repaired yesterday, so woo hoo!

Traditional foods for Ostara include seeds of pretty much any kind - sesame, poppy, pumpkin, sunflower, and even pine nuts, as well as leafy greens and edible flowers. Eggs, of course, are a given. You can color the shells of hardboiled eggs, or puncture each end of an egg with a needle and blow out the yolk and albumen. I've done this before and it's not always easy!

For a nice Ostara meal, here are but a few suggestions:

Spinach omelet or quiche

Sesame/sunflower/poppy seed bagels

Cream cheese spread with nasturtiums if you can get them, or just some spring onions, dill and smoked salmon

End the meal with a sweet, eggy bread, such as Easter bread, made with anise seeds (It's very similar to Pan de Muerto)

Oh, and since it's brunch, feel free to whip up a pitcher of spicy Bloody Marys (yum!) or fruity bellinis.

Pagan Enough? Yes, Yes I am! (And so are you!)

Click the title to go to Inciting a Riot's blog, read the post, and grab the logo for your blog.

There's no need to call people "fluffy" because they don't want to work a dark spell now and then. Not everyone has to. Not all people are "Playgans" because they're wearing a plate-size pentacle purchased from Spencer Gifts and have only read one book. If you come across those people, don't belittle them. Help them! For the love of gods, help them learn and grow.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Recipes for One

Click the title to go to my recipe blog and see my recipes for Glazed Carrots for One and Sesame Spinach for One. I made this to serve with 1/2 chicken breast that I seasoned with oregano, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Recipe for Love

Well, you'll certainly love this recipe! Today is Friday, a day sacred to the goddess of love, whether you know her as Venus, Aphrodite, or any other name. I'm going to share with you a recipe I made a couple of Fridays ago. I took a double batch of these cookies to work and they disappeared quick as a flash! This is a recipe that may or may not be put into my cookbook. I hope you enjoy.

I call these cookies "Chewy Chocolate Cherry Sin". hee hee!

2.5 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch or two of salt

1 cup butter, divided
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
6-8 ounces dark chocolate (semi-sweet or unsweetened, so the cookies aren't too sweet)

1 cup chocolate chips (the darker the better)
1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Melt half the butter with the dark chocolate. Put the rest of the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the melted chocolate. Mix until well combined. Beat in two eggs. Add vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients, then mix in the chocolate chips and dried cherries and the nuts if you're using them. I would use pecans, almonds or hazelnuts. Walnuts might be too overpowering. The cherry flavor is quite delicate.

Grab about a tablespoonful at a time, roll into a ball, and place onto a greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly. Place the cookies 1 1/2-2 inches apart. Bake at about 350-375 for 6-8 minutes per tray. I like to remove them when they're still just a teeny bit soft and just let them finish firming up as they cool. Melting the butter helps make them really chewy.

If you're feeling a bit PMS-ish, these will hit the spot, methinks. I had to "test" a few, which is why I made a double batch!

That Time of the Month?

Ladies, you know what time I'm talking about! That special time of the month in which we women want to strangle everyone around us, put on our stretchiest pants, and eat a chocolate cake. Wrapped in bacon. And washed down with a jug of Ernest and Julio Gallo's Cabernet Sauvignon.

We all have our different cravings. Some of us like salty things, while others want sweet things. Some of us, myself included, want both. Back in the day, a big ol' bowl of greasy popcorn tossed with a handful of M&Ms was just what the doctor ordered! I haven't tried to eat popcorn since having lap band surgery, though, and I doubt it's a good idea. Too pointy.

There are something like 18574638575839390984 websites out there (yes, I counted! lol) that give women diet advice for the time before and during the menstrual cycle. Many people believe that our bodies naturally tell us what foods are needed to correct imbalances, and I believe that as well. What about those of us who would like to try to tap into the energy of our moon cycle and eat magically? Well, I've put together some ideas that you might like.

First of all, props to Mr. Scott Cunningham, as always. He's the main source of information on magical plants and foods for me. His Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen provides us with a list of foods that are ruled by the moon.

These include:
blueberry, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, butter, cabbage, cauliflower, coconut, cucumbers, eggs, grapes, grapefruit, ice cream (score!), lemon, lentils, lettuce, melon, milk and milk shakes, mushrooms, papayas, poppy seeds, potatoes, pumpkins, seaweed, soy, watermelon, white wine, and yogurt.

If you want to combine these magical foods with other dietary advice, here are some things to remember:

Your digestive system is usually more sensitive during your period. You may not be able to tolerate certain foods, and heavy meals do not make you feel very well. A full rectum (sorry!) presses against the uterus. I think most women's digestive systems are a bit more sluggish around their menstrual time.

Too much caffeine will not only dehydrate you, but it can also make your breasts more tender. I don't know about you ladies, but about 2 weeks before my period starts, my boobs are so sensitive that just barely brushing against a nipple while getting dressed is enough to make me cuss. (Not that it takes much!)

Some women lose too much iron during their period and may become slightly anemic. Therefore, iron-rich foods such as legumes and dark greens are your friends during this time.

Red raspberry leaf tea is good for a woman's reproductive organs. You can buy it in health food or regular grocery stores. It's a good idea to drink this when the onslaught of PMS first begins. Check with your doctor if you are on any medications, as herbs can sometimes react badly with prescriptions.

As for the magical side of things, I would recommend choosing fish for some of your lean protein. To me, a fish's connection with the water is also a connection to fertility and to the moon and her cycles.

Broiled, grilled or pan-fried fish with mashed cauliflower would be a nice, light, meal, comprised of nourishing, comforting moon foods.

Other ideas include a smoothie made with yogurt (lemon yogurt would be nice) and blueberries.

Mushroom omelet.

Lentils with roasted Brussels sprouts and a lemony dressing.

Sushi with shrimp and cucumbers.

Have your chocolate too. Dark chocolate has a lot of heart-healthy antioxidants. Red wine has more antioxidants than white, but drink what you prefer. Just remember that the wine will also dehydrate you, intensifying cramps and headaches.

Quinoa is a high-protein seed from South America. It's easy to digest and has a very mild flavor. Combine it with roasted pumpkin or squash, black beans (Mercury), spring onions, tomatoes (for love), and a citrus-dressing for a refreshing salad.

A lot of women get caught up in the emotional roller coaster of PMS, as well as the cramps, the fatigue, bloating, etc. Other women feel more empowered during this time. I'm one of the latter. I like to channel my energy. I get into the kitchen and give it a good scrubbing. Sometimes I cook for myself, or make things to give away.

Women were sent out of the home and not allowed to cook or touch weapons during their moon time because the women were either considered unclean or too powerful, depending on the culture. I think that our energy definitely changes, and it gives more power to our rituals. That's not to say women who have reached menopause are not as powerful. The Crone has her own kind of power. I'd like to see someone chime in with ideas about the Crone in the kitchen. I, alas, do not have much knowledge or experience in this area.

Anyway, Ladies, try to focus on the power that is inside you. Those cramps are surges of power! Well, okay, maybe not, but if you tell yourselves that, it might make you feel better. If nothing else, grab a glass of wine, some dark chocolate, and go chill out in a nice hot bath! That will definitely make you feel like a goddess!

Witchy Questionaire

This comes from the Confessions of a Crafty Witch blog. The title links to her answers.


Do you have a magickal name?
I kind of do, I guess. I never really took to the whole magical name thing. Many years ago the name "Greenlady" came to me but it didn't really work. I do love the Green Man, but it wasn't who I am. I am Zedral Z, or just Z to many, but it isn't my magical name. I have rather taken to the name "Nar". It's Turkish for "pomegranate". I think I'll work with that one for a while, but y'all can still call me Z or whatever.

Does it have a special meaning?
See above.

How did you find Wicca/Paganism?
It started with a prank phone call. That's all I'm going to say. *L*

How long have you been practicing?
I guess around 11 years. I started reading about it 12-13 years ago.

Solitary or group practitioner?
Solitary mostly. I'd like to meet more people but I live in Istanbul. Back in the U.S., though, everyone is so apathetic. No one wants to get off the couch and do anything!

What is your path?
I'm a random, eclectic kitchen-centered chica.

Are you out of the broom closet?
More or less. I don't feel the need to run around screaming, "I'm Pagan! Look at me!" although so people do.


Who are your patron Gods?
Dunno. Green Man. Kali. I want to get in touch with Hecate more, and also Annapurna holds interest.

Who are your patron Goddess'?
See above. I put them all into one category.

Which Gods/Goddess' do you worship?
I respect and revere them all, really.

Do you fear dark aspects of the Gods/Goddess, or rather, respect them?
I respect them and wish to embrace them more. I guess I'm just afraid of negative repercussions. Repressed Methodist guilt, maybe.

Do you worship the Christian God?
Worship, no. Respect? Sure. The followers, on the other hand...most of them really tend to burn my toast.

Do you ever worship animals?
Nope, but I respect them. I know that they are sacred to individual gods and goddesses. I still kill every cucaracha I see, though.

Or plants?
I do hug trees.


Do you regularly commune with nature?
No, not regularly. I live in a city of at least 14 million people. Most of the green space has been taken.

Ever walked barefoot in the woods?
Yes, I prefer to be barefoot.

Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature?
I used to go to a Pagan gathering and would commune with nature at the same time.

Describe the moment you felt closest to Mother Earth?
I can't really think of one particular moment, but I did feel really, really good when I was walking in the forest in Woodhall Spa with Maz, hugging trees and taking pictures of mushrooms.

What is/are your power animal(s)?
Porcupine. Maybe occasionally the fox.

Do you have a familiar?

Have you ever called upon the powers of an animal in ritual?
No, but whenever I do a guided meditation, Porcupine comes with me.

Or a plant?
Well, when I cook a special recipe I call upon the properties of certain foods and herbs.

Do you hug trees?
I've been saying it all through this survey. I like hugging trees.

Give them gifts?
I haven't in a while.

What is your favorite flower to work with?
I don't think I have one.

What is your favorite tree to work with?
I don't know. I feel partial to the cypress.

Wheel of the Year

What are your favorite holidays?
Mabon and Samhain

What if your least favorite holiday?
Ya know, I honestly don't know. Maybe Imbolc. I connect with it the least. (My answers to this and the previous question are the same as Crafty Witch.)

Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday?
I don't do it that often anymore. Things just slip past me. I get so busy and disconnected. I need to get away from the city.

Ever taken a day off work to celebrate a pagan holiday?

Do you celebrate Yule on the 21 rather than the 25?
I observe Yule on the 21. I celebrate Christmas with my family on the 25th.

Have you ever felt the Veil thin?

Ever danced the Maypole?
Nope. Was going to once but was informed that it was for fertile people. I'm not one of those people.

Know what the Maypole symbolizes?
Duh! :)

Ever made love on Beltane?
Nope. I'm always single and alone.

How do you usually celebrate the pagan holidays?
Light a candle, say a prayer.


Do you use Tarot?
Yes. I'm trying to get back into it. I need a deck that I connect with, though, and I've yet to find one. I used to work with a dragon deck and I still have it, along with a Goddess deck, but neither of them really speak to me.

Do you use runes?
No, not really. I used to make runes to give away.

Do you use a pendulum?

Do you use dowsing rods?

Do you use astrology?
Not really.

Any other form of divination?
Sometimes I just know things, but not very often.


What was the first spell you did?
Heck if I can remember that far back!

What was the latest?
It's been a while, but I have a justice spell to do soon.

Ever done a love spell?
No, not really. I don't believe it would work. I think I'm beyond hope.

A job spell?

A healing spell?
Indeed. It was a chant from $ilver's American Folk Magick book and it really helped my broken arm.

What was the most powerful spell you've ever performed?
I don't know, honestly.


Do you believe in Vampires?


Shape shifters?
As in actual, physical shape-shifters? Not exactly.

Elves? Faeries? Dragons? Nymphs? Sprites? Mermaids? Sirens? Satyrs?
You can interpret that energy any way you wish. Do I believe they physically exist and I can see one? No.

See above.

I do have some experience with those things, yes.

Ever "seen" any of the above?
Yes, but mostly I feel them. My dad sees ghosts all the time.

Ever talked to any of the above?
I haven't, but my dad and uncle are good with the spirit board. They used to be, anyway. They haven't used it in years and years. They talk to my great-grandmother when they use it.

Ever called on any of the above in magick?
Oh, sorta, I guess.

Do you have one of them as a personal guardian?
I have a little dragon in my brain ;) I use a visualization sometimes.


Do you see a rabbit, a man or a woman in the moon?

Own a cat?
Nope, not for a long time.

When you meditate what does your sacred/safe place look like?
It's usually a bright, sunny field.

Do you work with Chakras?

Do you believe in soul mates?

Ever met one?
Obviously not.

Do you have a Spirit guide?
The only one I know of is Porcupine.

Is it always love and light?
Shit, no!

Direction Following Activity - An Update

I gave that activity to my students today. Out of three classes, which normally have 60 students (far fewer on a Friday), one person did the activity correctly. I did not tell the first two classes the secret but I let the cat out of the bag to my last class. Most of them seemed to think it was rather amusing. Will it help them follow directions better in the future? Hell no! It just gave me a break from dealing with their crap. What a week! Thank the gods it's Friday!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

What's going on?

Well, not much is happening in my kitchen these days. I get home from work and I'm just too tired and unmotivated to cook. I made pasta Monday night and spent the night with an upset stomach. I took Tuesday off, but this week has still seemed so long! It's normal, though, as we don't have any days off during this 7-week period.

This afternoon I congratulated my last class of the day for being my worst-behaved class, the one I dreaded going to at the end of the day. I know English is their second language, but some things are just common sense. They act like they're still in high school, or maybe even junior high.

I've devised a devilish activity for them tomorrow. Observe:

Friday Activity

1. Read all directions before you begin working. Your teacher will not answer any questions during this exercise.
2. Write your name at the top of this paper, on the right side.
3. Write your teacher’s name on this line _______________________________________________
4. On the back of this paper, write how old you think the teacher is.
5. Look at sentence number 2. Circle all of the nouns in the sentence.
6. Draw five small circles in the upper left corner of this paper.
7. Put an “X” inside each circle.
8. Fold this paper in half, then unfold it.
9. Fold it in half the other way, then unfold it.
10. In the bottom right corner, write your parents’ names.
11. Go to the board and write your name with the red marker.
12. Tear off the bottom left corner of this paper.
13. Roll the piece of paper into a ball and throw it on the floor.
14. Look at sentence 13. Circle all of the verbs in that sentence. Underline the nouns.
15. In the space below, write all of the prepositions you can remember. Do not look in your book.

16. If you have read all the directions, complete number 2 and give your paper to the teacher.

They never read the directions on tests or in the book, nor do they bother to look at anything I write on the board before class. Today I wrote "No, I do not have your quizzes yet" on the board because I have 60 grammar students and didn't grade them all yesterday. How many students asked? One in the first class, one or two in the second class, and at least 4 in the last class. ARGH! No wonder my stomach hurts and I grind my teeth at night.

I'm looking for jobs in the U.S. Wish me luck, please. I am especially interested in an assistant director position in Ohio. I can trade one stressful position for another. I really hope I can go back to the U.S. and finish my cookbook, get it published, and get a deal for at least one more!

Monday, March 1, 2010


I won another one of Mrs. B's fabulous giveaways. Cool! When I saw the Better than Homemade book, I was immediately interested. I love reading about the convenience foods we are so enamored with came about. I'm also one of those nerds who will watch "American Eats: History on a Bun" on the History channel no matter how many times I've already seen it.

Here is a linky to the book: http://irreference.com/better-than-homemade/

Hmm...I wonder if I can find any magical properties in those foods? That could be a whole new series of posts! BTW, I have a post or two planned for food and a woman's moon time but I just haven't had the chance to sit down and write yet. This track I have 4 classes instead of three (only 4 of us have this schedule) and even though it's less time spent in the classroom, I have more students and a higher percentage of goobers. I've been one exhausted woman! I'm looking at jobs back in the U.S. for next year. Wish me luck!