Saturday, November 29, 2008

You haven't snacked til you've snacked with us

So i've been home for Thanksgiving this weekend, and last night i spent some quality time making memories with my good best friend Amanda Renee (it's French!) Parsons.

We decided to bring a little life to the small towns of Lenoir, Granite Falls, and Hickory, NC. Not a difficult thing to do when you've got the two of us together. We pretty much laugh all the time. About EVERYTHING.

Well, round about the midnight hour or so Amanda got a slight craving for a little snackeroo (snack). I'm thinking McDonald's, Wendy's, Jack in the Box, something of that nature.


We pull into a gas station. She looks at me and says, "I'll be right back."

Ok. Great. Getting some gum?

Wrong again.

About two minutes later she strolls out the front door of the gas station with a grocery bag in hand. I'm staring at it trying to figure out why there is an abnormally long stick in that bag.

What did you get????

She hops in the car, and drops her purchase on the seat beside me, grinning.

"So, i got 5 packs of combos, one beef stick, and a diet coke!"
"You got WHAT? How many packs of combos??? Are you serious?"

Hey, don't knock it 'til you've tried it.

We immediately begin doing work on the combos. We had Original, Cheddar Cheese, and Pizza (my favorite). About two bags deep, she decides she wants to open the beef stick. The only problem is, she can't get it open. I try. I fail. I'm wondering how in the world we are going to open this stubborn beef stick when a light bulb turns on in my head.

Don't try this at home. I borrow her cousin's lighter and hold the flame to the end of the beef stick wrapper. Bingo! The beef stick is open. And it's surprisingly delicious. You know you want one right now. We washed it all down with the diet coke and sat back satisfied with our late night snack. Who knew the evening would lead to such a smorgasbord of flavorful goodness??

In the words of my dear BFF: "Five packs of combos, one beef stick, and a diet coke later, we're good to go!!!!"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Just wanted to say Thank You

There was much chaos and confusion that revolved around my growing up years (mostly the later ones) as a result of the school I attended from 3rd grade - 12th grade.

BUT....inspite of everything....i have found things (people, really) to be truly thankful for.

My best friend.
Circumstances should have torn us apart, but they didn't. We are stronger than ever, and i know the Lord put us together because 1) He likes to laugh, and 2) He knew i would need someone like her to walk through life with me.
I wish everyone could have a friend like her.

Mrs. Arlene Neal.
She is the reason i write. She showed me the way and taught me to love words. Her classes were always fun and creative. I remember when i first met her i was afraid of her (hah!), but now i have nothing in my heart but love and respect for her. She is an amazing woman. She was fair in her treatment of the students (unlike most of the other teachers), and i knew she cared about each one of us by the way she was constantly speaking truth in love. She never raised her voice to scare us into submission or obediance. She would simply sit on her stool at the front of the classroom and address us like we were adults. Occasionally, there would be a fire in her eyes, but it was never out of anger; she simply wanted the best for us.

Mr. John Grubbs.
He is the reason i love astronomy. He is probably one of the smartest people you could ever meet. He knows everything about everything. You can literally see his mind working as he talks. He taught me math and science. Subjects that weren't my best, but if he was teaching, i always understood. He wanted us to understand. He wasn't at the front of the class to brag and show off his brains and abilities (or cowboy hat, boots, and belt). He really and truly wanted us to learn. And if i'm honest with myself, even though they were subjects i wasn't particularly fond of, when something finally did click in my slow working brain, i was genuinely excited about it. Only an excellent teacher can cause a student who seriously doesn't like math to be excited about it. He was a humble man who would never ask for recognition, but he deserved it more than anyone else. Yet, he was content to sit in the background and answer the tough questions while everyone else got the glory for it. He also refused to play favorites.

These two teachers are what i see when i look back and say, "Lord, where were you in all of this?" He was both of them. They were a safe place for students. They loved us purely and unconditionally like the Lord loves us. I can't remember one instance in which either of these teachers ever made me feel awkward or not good enough or unimportant or hellbound (unlike our principal who told many of us we just weren't quite saved). They gave us hope, and showed us the love of God when everyone else was telling us we couldn't and wouldn't be good enough.

And of course Amanda, my best friend, has always been and always will be a light in any darkness that might come my way.

For these three people i am so thankful. They are one of God's many good gifts in my life.

I am so blessed!

Monday, November 24, 2008

In keeping with the season

These were my instuctions for the 3rd graders today:

"Class, these papers have the word 'Thanksgiving' written on them. You are to write as many words as you can think of using the letters from the word 'Thanksgiving.' You may begin."

Ten minutes later i'm checking over a child's list"







Wait a minute. Did i read that right?


Stiffle a laugh (how old am i anyway???)

"Umm, hun, you might wanna take a look at that fifth word in your list. There's no 'O' in Thanksgiving."

"Oh YEAH! That was supposed to be Thing!"

So he re-writes it. I check it later.


Sigh...Should i even bother?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

then there was that year i played on the basketball team...

My small, insignificant, private Christian school did not have enough students for a basketball team, much less a girls basketball team, until i was in the 8th grade. In fact, we had no sports programs whatsoever until the basketball program took shape that year. We were all excited. Finally, something to showcase our skills (or lack thereof), something to do in the long, boring, winter afternoons, something to get us out of class early, something that suddenly brought with it an undying sense of school pride, something that meant one day we might have a cheerleading team, and...something that brought with it the possibility of meeting some cute guys! Oh yeah! I mean, it was slim pickins at my school, and that's putting it nicely.
So, we took a school-wide vote on a team name and colors. We were the Cavaliers, and much to my chagrin, our colors were the same as those of my least favorite college basketball team...the UNC Tarheels. Whatever. That was just something i had to get over. The most exciting part of being on the basketball team, at least for me, was the prospect of new shoes. I mean, a girl couldn't be expected to run up and down that court in anything less than some totally cool basketball shoes, right? Right. So i told my parents, and my dad packed me in the car and drove me to the mall in search of the perfect basketball shoes.

Brace yourselves for this one.

I did not come home with Nike's, or Adidas, or New Balance, or Converse, or anything else even remotely cool. Instead, i proudly laced up my, and i can't believe i actually picked them, my new FILA's. FILA??? What was i thinking??? Nobody wears FILA; especially not skinny, little, freckle-faced, albino girls like me. I know i totally looked like a fish out of water in those ginormous high-tops. They swallowed my ankles whole and then some. AND, the dark, navy FELT (felt???) rim around the top only accentuated my bright, white legs. But, ignorance is bliss, and i knew i would play better just because those shoes were on my feet. hah. haha. HAHA.

The team was formed, i made the cut (they needed players), we all got uniforms, and the first day of practice arrived. Oh boy.

We were at the Granite Falls recreation center. I'll never forget it. NONE of us knew what we were doing. Except for my best friend. She had been playing basketball since she could walk. She was amazing. Thank goodness we had her. Our poor coach, her father, probably would have quit right then and there if it hadn't been for her. I don't think i could really even dribble the ball. I remember running suicides and thinking i was going to die. Every time someone threw the ball to me, i shied away and ended up chasing it halfway across the gym. My coach told me to go home and try to rip the lids off of soup cans. He made me do fingertip push ups...well, he told me to, and i tried. I couldn't even do a normal push up, much less a fingertip push up.
As the season went on and practice continued, i began to wonder if i was really cut out for this whole basketball thing. A lot of the girls started shaping up and getting much better, and i just kept dropping the ball, missing shots, forgetting to plant my feet, missing free throws, and doing everything else i wasn't supposed to do. I couldn't bring myself to quit though. All my friends were on the team, and if nothing else, practice was always good for a laugh; usually inspired by me and my lack of talent. I had no clue what the plays were, me setting a pick was a joke, and my defense was even less believable. But i tried. I tried really hard. I did. I wanted to be a good basketball player. My coach even told me i had the prettiest shot on the was just that i usually didn't make that shot.
Finally, the first game rolled around. We were psyched. I forgot all about my isufficiencies, and got caught up in the hype with everyone else. We were matched up against Harris Chapel Christian Academy. At that time, they were pretty good. I remember the ride to the game. The girls team rode together in the back of a white work van. We cut up and giggled the whole way there, imagining what it would be like to come back with our first win.
I still remember how it felt to sit in that small classroom before the game for our first pep talk ever. Our coach was proud of us. He told us he was, and that he was sure we would do well. Looking back, he probably should have reminded us to shoot the ball in the right basket.
My excitement instantly hit an all-time high when we entered the gym to warm up. Everyone was cheering and yelling for us! Kids came up to give us high fives. Parents hugged us and wished us luck. Sweet! I loved being on stage, and in many ways the basketball court was like a stage. The pre-game clock ran out and we all headed to our bench (folding chairs). I have no idea why, but my coach started me. I could not wait to hear my name called. When it was finally my turn, i ran out to the very center of the court, bowed, and waved enthusiastically to my parents. I should have been taken out then...before the game even started. We take our places (i had to be reminded where mine was), the whistle blows, and the game begins. Five million thoughts flood through my mind: Is someone going to pass me the ball? Will i catch it? Which basket is ours again? Who's on my team? Do i have a wedgie? Can i get it out without anyone seeing? Are my socks even? How do my shoes look? I wonder where that girl on the other team got her shoes? Will i meet any cute guys tonight? Am i running the right direction? What play did our guard call? Please DON'T pass me the ball!
The most vivid part of the game for me, besides when one of my teammates shot the ball in the wrong goal (still thanking God it wasn't me), happened while i was guarding the best player for the other team (how in the world i got matched up with her is still a mystery to me). She was kind of scary. She looked a little manly, and she had on these really long, striped socks. She kind of reminded me of Pippy Longstockings. She never smiled (and i always smiled...even on defense), and she sort of had a mustache (probably because her hair was so dark...who knows? maybe she was taking steroids in high school?). Anyway, i was doing my best to guard her. I ran myself weary making sure she didn't get the ball. I must have been doing a good job because she then did something i'll never forget. We were under her basket. She was trying to get open, but i was on her like white on rice. All the sudden, she reached out and poked me HARD in the chest. It totally caught me off guard. I couldn't believe it. You're allowed to do that??? I'm sure it showed on my face. I was stunned. I looked at the ref and back at her and back at the ref. I watched everyone run to the other end of the court, realized my coach was yelling at me, and ran to catch up with them.
We lost that game. By a LOT. Our guys played after us, and they lost too. By a LOT. It was safe to say there would be many losses in our future before the wins came along. But it was still fun. And despite the fact that scary, manly girl had invaded my personal space, all in all it was a good night.
I got somewhat better as the year went on. I remember making my first shot and celebrating until my coach yelled at me to act like i'd made a lay-up before. Oops.
We finally got in a groove as a team. I didn't start. I came in the game when we needed two points. That's what i was good for. The coach would put me in, and i would run down the court, plant my feet, and stop right inside the 3 point line. Then my best friend, the star of our team and point guard, would pass me the ball. It would barely rest in my hands as i turned to direct it towards the basket. Swoosh. It was almost a given for that shot to go in. The whistle would blow. I was back out of the game. The game would end, and the most important decision of the night would be where to eat dinner.
Basketball was fun, but at the end of that year, i decided it just wasn't for me. More than one person told me i looked more like a ballerina than a basketball player on the court. I opted to not try out for the team the following year, and instead followed my true calling: Cheerleading.
I still got to go to all the games, and i got to wear a shorter skirt than the dresscode manual allowed. Plus, i had a good excuse to be in front of the crowd putting on a show....and i didn't have to worry about looking sweaty in front of all those new boys i was hoping to meet.

Kindergarten Conversation

Sammy: "Miss Loss, are you married?"

Me: "No Sammy, i'm not."

Sammy: (eyes wide, mouth dropping open) "OH!"

Me: "Is there a problem Sammy?"

Sammy: "Teachers are supposed to be married!"

Robbie: "Do you like have a boyfriend or something?"

Me: "Nope."

Tito: "Maybe you should meet someone in your neighborhood that you haven't met before."

Me: "Good idea Tito."

Emily: "But then he would be a stranger. We can't talk to strangers."

Ziyanah Grace: "You could marry Pastor Walter!"

Me: "Well Ziyanah Grace, Pastor Walter is an awesome man, but he's already married to Maverick's mommy."

Maverick: "Yeah! Beat that!"

Monday, November 17, 2008

Let me introduce you to....


haha! "All the single ladies" should totally have one....right K?? :)

This is actually the last of the halloween candy left over at our house...apparently no one likes Sugar Daddys anymore? I tried to eat one, but barely even made it 1/4 of the way through. Talk about pulling your teeth out of your head.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Translation: Dear Miss Loss. I am sorry for my dehavior. Tito
This is one of the four apology notes i received from the Kindergarten class today. You see, we usually have PE on Fridays, and they are outside running around, exercising their muscles and their voice boxes. Today, it rained. We did not have PE. We had Spanish. INSIDE. WHILE IT RAINED OUTSIDE. ON A FRIDAY. Unfortunately, several of the Kindergartener's (is that a word??) voice boxes did not get the memo. Instead, i got four apology notes. And yes, i do have a student named Tito (rhymes with Cheeto).

Macho Macho Man

This is what happens when you tell 3rd grade boys to draw flowers.
The same boy who drew this picture asked me in class today if i had a boyfriend. When i told him no, he replied, "You need a boyfriend, Miss Loss. They are good for taking care of you."
I love my job :)
Photo compliments of the young Matthew Jones, 3rd Grade.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


to let them get the best of me
they sit on the rim of my lids
and dry up before overflowing

they slip out the corner of my eye
brushed away quickly
before others can follow

they rush down my face
streaking my cheeks with grey trails
spotting my shirt like raindrops

they bring a storm of emotion
soaking my pillow
breaking my heart

He is there
catching each one
holding me close...calming the storm

~Melody Loss
Nov. 6, 2008

just a galaxy, passing through

How cool is this???? I saw it on my Daily Nasa Photo, and had to read more about it. Wanna know how the galaxy on the right obtained it's current composition? Read's ridiculously amamzing!!
(taken from the Nasa webpage)
Just a few days after the orbiting observatory was brought back online, Hubble aimed its prime working camera, the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), at a particularly intriguing target, a pair of gravitationally interacting galaxies called Arp 147.
This image scores a "perfect 10" both for performance and beauty, demonstrating that the camera works exactly as it did before going offline.
The two galaxies are oriented so that they appear to mark the number 10. The left-most galaxy, or the "one" in this image, is relatively undisturbed apart from a smooth ring of starlight. It appears nearly on edge to our line of sight. The right-most galaxy, resembling a zero, exhibits a clumpy, blue ring of intense star formation.
The blue ring was most probably formed after the galaxy on the left passed through the galaxy on the right. Just as a pebble thrown into a pond creates an outwardly moving circular wave, (go back and read that part again and try not to let your jaw drop) a propagating density wave was generated at the point of impact and spread outward. As this density wave collided with material in the target galaxy that was moving inward due to the gravitational pull of the two galaxies, shocks and dense gas were produced, stimulating star formation.
The galaxy pair was photographed on October 27-28, 2008. Arp 147 lies in the constellation Cetus, more than 400 million light-years from Earth.
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio (STScI)
Comparing galxies to pebbles...i can't even wrap my mind around that.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Wendell Wilkie

Remembered as the 1940 Republican presidential candidate who lost to Franklin D. Roosevelt by nearly 5 million votes.

I figured with the election tomorrow, i should tell my readers (all 12 of you) a story about politics. Get ready to ride....

When i was in the 7th grade, my English Class was combined with the 8th graders. That's what you do when you go to a small Christian school. You combine classes. You also tend to have to give up your classroom for many various reasons. So on this lovely afternoon, we were having English in the Library. Our Library was about the size of a small kitchen. It held two computers and a gazillion national geographic magazines. There were also some books. haha! It was split down the middle by a bookshelf. The left side of the room held the desk where you checked out your books, and the right side held a round table that our small, combined class managed to fit around. There was also a white board and a world map on the wall. And windows that gave all us poor kids barely making it at the expensive Christian school a nice view of the Principal's mansion. And greenhouse. Yes, i just said greenhouse. They had a greenhouse. Oh, and a boat.
So anyway, being the excellent grammar student that i was (toot! toot! (that's me tooting my own horn)), our teacher, Mrs. Neal, left me in charge with the Teacher's Edition Answer Key book. I was to call out the answers so everyone else could check their homework. Clearly, i was not ready for this kind of power. Right away, the first sentence threw me off task. I can't remember exactly what it said, but it was something to the extent of, "Wendell Wilkie lost the election to FDR in 1940." Wendell Wilkie?? Wendell Wilkie!?!? WENDELL WILKIE!!! Talk about a fun name to say. I just couldn't get over it. Never heard of the guy before, but immediatly LOVED his name. Then i decided he needed a special voice. So i made one up for him. I continued to use that voice as i read more sentences and called out more answers. Well, my classmates did not have the same enthusiasm and appreciation for this man. Sorry Wendell. I refused to quit, and that's when it all went downhill. I have to tell you, for Christian school kids, we could be pretty coniving and mischievious. And by we i mean everyone else. Not me. I was just having fun with a name and a voice. They were plotting to shut me up....forever. duh-duh-duh (that's the scary music).
This is how it all went down:
I'm innocently sitting in my chair at the round table, swinging my legs back and forth, annoyed by the run in my required-by-dresscode pantyhose, and calling out answers as i perfect my Wendell Wilkie voice. Meanwhile, THEY are up out of their seats, one grabbing my legs from under the table, one grabbing the back of my chair, and the other two grabbing my arms. Before i could say, "Wendell!" My chair was rudely yanked out from under me, and my chin went on a blind date with the table top. SMACK! It hurt. badly. I don't think i cried though. I don't remember crying. I just remember being EXTREMELY upset. My pride was hurting worse than my chin. But, i was able to get over in time to laugh hysterically with everyone else at the humor in it all. It was pretty funny.
We came to our senses and got ourselves together before the teacher came back. In a small Christian school (really just the one i went to) antics like that will earn you a double detention at the most, note sent home at the very least. We didn't want either. The bell rang, school ended, we were in the clear.
Yeah, right.
One of my classmates had to go and run his big mouth (bless his heart - saying that makes it ok for me to make fun of him, right?), and the next thing we knew, we were all lined up outside the principal's office receiving our pink slips to inform our parents of our upcoming detention. Great. Not only did i have whiplash and a sore chin, but now i was going to have to scrub the baseboards in the bathroom with a toothbrush. No joke. That's what we did in detention. After we found a verse in the Bible that explained why our actions were wrong, and we had written at least a page about it (talk about learning some BS skills (yes mother, i know you're cringing at those letters, but no one would know what i meant if i said DW (Donkey Waste)).
In the end though, i made out better than the guy who told on us. See, he was the only boy in our small gang of "criminal students going to hell in a handbasket," so he had to scrub the boys bathroom by himself while all us girls got to scrub the girls bathroom together. Bless his heart.

Heighth of Romance

Hey baby, let's me and you go over to taco bell and get us one of them chalupa combos. We'll split it and put two straws in our cup so it's all romantical. I got something i wanna ask you, but i can't do it without the help of my good friend, Hot Sauce. So whadya think? If you say yes, i'll go get you one of them rings out of that plastic machine over there. Didn't wanna jump the gun and waste a perfectly good quarter if you was gonna say no. Three more of them things and i could get me another soft taco.
I think you made a good choice, baby. Let's celebrate with some pintos and cheese. I'll even let ya shift gears in the 'ol pickup on the way back. Mind if i eat that last bite?
(if your eyes are bad, that blurry photo is a pack of hot sauce with "will you marry me?" written on it.)